Merlefest on the Road makes a stop at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum for an intimate 1927 Society Concert experience featuring live music from The Way Down Wanderers, The Barefoot Movement, and Andy May. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and adult beverages included.
Date: Friday, February 23, 2018
Doors Open: 6:30 p.m. (Heavy hors d’oeuvres and adult beverages included.)
Concert: Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Birthplace of Country Music Museum (520 Birthplace of Country Music Way, Bristol, VA)
Tickets: $85 (taxes, fees included)
1927 Society Members: Tickets on sale beginning Monday, January 8 – Sunday, January 21. See 1927 Society E-Newsletter for Special Access Code. (E-Newsletter sent on 1/8/2018.)
Public: Tickets on sale to the general public on January 22nd at 10:00 am (EST).
MerleFest, the popular music festival founded by the legendary Doc Watson and presented by Window World, offers music lovers a sneak peek of this spring’s festival when MerleFest On the Road tours throughout the Southeast during March. The tour will feature select artists that will to perform at MerleFest 2018 or have performed previously at the festival: The Way Down Wanderers, The Barefoot Movement and Andy May.
Equal parts fast-paced and soulful, 5-piece modern-folk Americana act, The Way Down Wanderers, draw listeners in with energy, originality and soulful generosity. Playing, performing and writing together for just 4 short years, the Wanderers have built an enthusiastic and fast-growing following. Youthful and professionally trained, these young men captivate audiences with soaring instrumentals, foot stomping sing-alongs and a lively stage show and have created a buzz for themselves with their unplugged, off-stage encores. The band’s debut, self-titled album, produced by Mike Marsh of the Avett Brothers and recorded at Sonic Ranch in El Paso TX, is now available wherever music is sold. Front-men and founders, Austin and Collin, met in their hometown of Peoria, IL when they joined the same folk band and embarked on their first tour at the ages of 14 and 18 years old. The two became fast friends and soon began writing music together, ultimately forming The Way Down Wanderers when Collin was 16 and Austin, 20 years old.
Memorable melodies, lush harmonies, and exciting instrumentation: the music of Nashville, TN’s The Barefoot Movement is made up of all of these things and more. With one shoe-less foot firmly planted in the world of roots music, while the other wanders anywhere from the styles of pop to rock to R&B, their genre busting sound may be hard to define, but it is clearly infectious to anyone who hears it. Centered around the soaring vocals and songwriting of lead singer and fiddler Noah Wall, the band has been touring since 2009, and their most recent release was produced by Chuck Plotkin (Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan) and Hank Linderman (Eagles, America). Heralded by CMT Edge as “one of the most promising bands on the bluegrass scene,” the music remains as down to earth as their intention for members of their audience: sit back, relax, take your shoes off, and stay a while. With crowds teeming with enthusiasm at every performance, and new fans joining the fold across the nation, word is surely spreading and the message is clear: barefoot is better. Won’t you join the movement?
Veteran singer/songwriter, mandolinist, and champion guitar picker, Andy May, infuses his songwriting and shows with his trademark creativity, humor, and consummate musicianship. He draws from a deep well of traditional American music and his writing taps into styles from blues to Bluegrass, old-time country to contemporary folk, traditional reels to roots-rock. He often co-writes with his wildlife biologist-Master Gardener-lyricist wife, Lauren, who brings a certain earthiness and wit to their joint efforts.
Andy’s latest album, Room for Roots, has played nationwide on independent Americana and Country Music radio, with multiple original songs charting. The album itself made Roots Music Report’s 2016 Top Americana Country Album Chart.
Also an educator and mentor, Andy has provided performance opportunities for hundreds of young musicians at music festivals for nearly three decades through his beloved Acoustic Kids Showcases. This is his 18th MerleFest.
Johnson added, “We are delighted to showcase some of the finest artists from MerleFest lineups. MerleFest regulars tell us that they can hardly wait for every April to arrive, and now they don’t have to! We believe that the fans who catch a MerleFest On the Road show will be more enthusiastic than ever for the festival in April.”
MerleFest 2018 will take place from April 26 – 29 on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, N.C., where the MerleFest on the Road artists will be joined by Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson, Rodney Crowell, Rhiannon Giddens, Elephant Revival, The Devil Makes Three, a Midnight Jam hosted by Town Mountain and Jim Lauderdale, among many others. The MerleFest website (www.merlefest.org) provides additional information about the festival, including the full released lineup, artists details, and the opportunity to purchase tickets.