Merlefest 25, Issue #6

Music. Friends. Fun. I guess if you have those three things, there’s not much more you can ask for. This year, the 25th Annual Merlefest held in Wilkesboro, NC had all of that,
in spades.

As usual, a strong party of friends from Greenbrier Valley made the trek for this 5 day festival of camping, music from legends, and just good times. This year was a little different though.

With more than 80 bands and 13 stages, Lewisburg was well represented in the crowd and on stage.

I often think, Lewisburg and the Greenbrier Valley really has no idea the amount of world-class talent in their midst. While I think this is a fair assessment, it’s not only people cultivated in other places who’ve have migrated here. What I mean is homegrown, world-class talent.

Johnson’s Crossroad played nearly every stage at Merlefest. The fans adored this band and expressed their delight with numerous standing ovations. Corey Lee McQuade, Johnson’s Crossroad’s band-member, switched things up by performing a few sets with legendary dobro player, Tut Taylor.

The Wild Rumpus performed 10 shows on smaller stages and received vast praise from the audience. Yours truly was highlighted on the songwriter’s stage, as was Paul Johnson. We each received powerful applause from adoring fans.

The West Virginia campground (as we call it) always delivers a good time. Music is continuous, the fire is always roaring, and delicious camp-fire meals are endless. All of this adds up to a wonderful festival.

Simply put, this was a successful festival for a host of Greenbrier Valley bred musicians who came together on an international stage. Goodnight Allison Jarvis, wherever you are….on an international stage and memories not to be forgotten nor lost.
Lewisburg was an ever-present energy at this year’s Merlefest.

– Allan D. Sizemore

(photo courtesy of Kimberly Bowen)

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