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MerleFest announces first round of lineup for rescheduled September festival

MerleFest announces first round of lineup for rescheduled September festival

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WILKESBORO —  A rescheduled MerleFest will take place Sept. 16-19 on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro. The first round of performers for the 2021 music festival:

Tedeschi Trucks and LeAnne Rimes are set to perform on Friday, Sept. 17.

Sam Bush will perform Saturday, Sept. 18.

Mavis Staples and Melissa Etheridge will take the stage for performances on Sunday, Sept. 19.

Other performers in the lineup include Donna The Buffalo (all four days), Scythian (Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances), and The Waybacks (Friday and Saturday). Additional artists scheduled to perform will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets will go on sale June 10.

The volunteer application period for Merlefest is now open, the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest is accepting submissions until June 15, and applications for vending space in The Shoppes at MerleFest will be accepted through May 31. Information on all of these can be found at

About Tedeschi Trucks: After a decade of creative partnership between singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi and her husband, guitarist Derek Trucks, the artistic foundation of the Grammy-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band, their performances carry a distinguished reputation earned from audiences and critics as one of the premier live duos and bands in the world.

Embracing improvisation over convention, the collective is adept at exploring almost any musical territory and paying homage to an extensive canon of influences. 

As circumstances currently prevent the 12-piece ensemble from touring safely, the group returns in the summer of 2021 in a new form, billed as Tedeschi Trucks "Fireside Live," as a nod to their band members back at home. With a total band configuration ranging between four and seven musicians slated to appear, these special shows, inspired by their recent online live streamed "Fireside Sessions," are long-awaited by band and fans alike. Anytime, anywhere this musical family gathers is an opportunity to witness something rare, deep and powerful. Tedeschi Trucks will perform on Friday evening.

About Melissa Etheridge: Melissa Etheridge stormed onto the American rock scene in 1988. For several years, her popularity grew around such memorable originals as "Bring Me Some Water," "No Souvenirs," and "Ain't It Heavy," for which she won a Grammy in 1992.

Etheridge hit her commercial and artistic stride with her fourth album, “Yes I Am” (1993). The collection featured the massive hits, "I'm the Only One" and "Come to My Window," that brought Etheridge her second Grammy for Best Female Rock Performance. In 1995, Etheridge issued her highest-charting album, “Your Little Secret,” which was distinguished by the hit single, "I Want to Come Over." Etheridge received the Songwriter of the Year honor at the ASCAP Pop Awards in 1996. Known for her confessional lyrics and raspy, smoky vocals, Etheridge has remained one of America’s favorite female singer-songwriters for more than two decades.

About Mavis Staples: “I’m the messenger,” Mavis Staples says on her 80th birthday. “That’s my job—it has been for my whole life—and I can’t just give up while the struggle’s still alive. We’ve got more work to do so I’m going to keep on delivering my message every single day.”

That message — a clarion call to love, to faith, to justice, to brotherhood, to joy — lies at the heart of ‘We Get By,’ Staples’ spectacular twelfth studio album and first full-length collaboration with multi-Grammy Award-winner Ben Harper. Backed by her longtime touring band, Staples breathes  life into Harper’s compositions on the record, delivering roof-raising performances with both a youthful vigor and a commanding maturity. 

About LeAnn Rimes: LeAnn Rimes is an international multi-platinum-selling acclaimed singer and ASCAP award-winning songwriter who has sold more than 44 million units globally, won 2 Grammy Awards; 12 Billboard Music Awards; 2 World Music Awards; 3 Academy of Country Music Awards; one Country Music Association Award and one Dove Award. At 14, Rimes won "Best New Artist" making her the youngest recipient to take home a Grammy Award. 


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