Merlefest 2005

Music Reviews Merlefest
Merlefest 2005

Above: Singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale chills sidestage in a golf cart between performances. Golf carts are the preferred method of transportation for artists at Merlefest. Photo by Steve LaBate.

Day 1: Loretta Forever

Lush, rolling hills. Crisp mountain air. Banjos, fiddles and mandolins. … Chicken Alfredo?

Very little has changed about Merlefest over the years, but backstage at the Watson Theater, organizers are branching out with some not-so-Southern cuisine for artists and press. Fortunately, country queen Loretta Lynn is onstage, providing enough downhome nostalgia for the thousands braving sprinkling rain… Read more…

Day 2: Avett Brothers, The Duhks, Jerry Douglas

We power-walk it over to the Austin stage where, nestled cozily against an Appalachian hillside, a few hundred festival-goers are in the midst of getting rocked by North Carolina acoustic trio The Avett Brothers. Blaring steel-string guitar, strummed banjo, plunking upright bass and vibrant, rough-edged harmonies fill the mini-amphitheatre as the band cranks through old-timey songs of heartbreak, woe and adventure on the high seas…Read more…

Day 3: Avett Brothers, Ricky Skaggs, Bluegrass Journey, The Chieftains, Midnight Jam

Ricky Skaggs introduces the band, then tells a story about his mother—“a good Christian woman who’d slap the taste out of your mouth if you talked back to her.” He dedicates a pretty gospel ballad to her, mandolin plucking sweet and lonesome in the afternoon air, smell of fresh popped corn floating on the breeze from the nearby concession stand…Read more…

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