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Bill Aldacushion - CountryMusicVacations
Merlefest 2006 information
Merlefest was named in memory of Doc Watson's son, Merle, and the 19th annual event will take place April 27-30 2006 in Wilkesboro, N.C. and will feature Nickel Creek, Emmylou Harris, Guy Clark and Béla Fleck & the Flecktones.
The sun came out for the final day of MerleFest which drew even a bigger crowd than yesterday. And the trend of unexpected guest performers continued.

Allison Moorer started our day at the Chris Austin Stage (named after a member of Reba McIntyre’s band who perished in that tragic plane crash). She was joined by her “roadie” and touring partner Steve Earle for a powerful duet.

We stayed perched up on the hillside along with the hundreds of other music lovers for the next performer “Roger Miller-ish” Hayes Carll who intrigued us with his humor, words and style during Songwriters in the Round. We were surprised to see a couple of The Greencards set up on stage. We then learned that Carol and Kym toured with Hayes before forming their own band. The reunion of sorts was enjoyed by one and all.

To complete our day on the hill, Rodney Crowell, the writer of Keith Urban's latest US hit "Making Memories of Us," came on to conduct a lively workshop of interaction and song. We then hurried down to our seats at the Watson Stage for the finale in time to hear the ending of another Chieftains spectacular with a number of guests.

The Greencards kept up the energy playing to the "main house" on the Cabin Stage adjacent to the Watson stage. This gave them an opportunity to be projected on the Jumbo-tron TV.

The final performances of the festival by Buddy Miller and Alison Krauss and Union Station with Jerry Douglas followed.

Well, MerleFest 2005 is over, we are headed home, but our memories will linger for a long time... familiar sounds mixed with new friends and new music Despite the fact that MerleFest is alcohol-free, I still managed to have a good time. :-\ I am very thankful to Burnie, my former work-mate who planted the seed about going a few years back and to Carol who pushed us over the top with the stories from MerleFest 2004, her first. Now we are hooked and are pleased to share our experiences.

We recommend MerleFest to anyone who enjoys this kind of music and the opportunity to be among others who do and become part of what was termed the “MerleFest Nation.” Book tickets on your own through the festival website http://www.MerleFest.org  or buy them on-site. Find a place to stay as close to campus as you can via the Internet in a nearby motel (We and some of the artists ended up staying 25 miles away as there are fewer hotels in Wilkesboro than in Tamworth) or be prepared to camp or caravan. Access to a private vehicle for local transportation is a must. We have no commercial interests or ties what-so-ever to this event, but Mary and I would be happy to answer questions from anyone who might be interested in attending for the first time.

We hope you all enjoyed these daily reports as much as we did in putting them together. Thanks to Helen for finding room for them on the Rage Page.

Bill & Mary

Bill Aldacushion
Great Falls, Virginia
Print out and have the memories