Friday came and went like the summer that I spent…wait, I’ll save that for Sunday. Friday proved to be a formidable festival day with rain and sun and endless opportunities to sink into the sights and sounds of MerleFest. With things in full-swing, it’s time to plan out your must-sees for today (Saturday), and let’s just say it’s near impossible to keep this list to three, but I’m going to try. Let’s see what today holds…
Yesterday we had a modern-day Smothers Brothers and today MerleFest brings you the Brother Brothers–another folky duo, but this time in the form of identical twins These two bearded bros are going to ease you into the busiest day of the festival with the most calming, delicate, beautiful blood harmonies you ever did hear. These genes don’t lie folks! So grab yourself an afternoon snack and park it over at the Traditional Stage at 12:30PM. Remember, you need to pace yourself today, and David and Adam will be the ones to set your chi straight for the rest of the day.
I’ve said it once and I will say it again, you need to have some Molly Tuttle in your life. Not only is she a two-time IBMA Guitar Player of the Year, she’s also got a laundry list of other major industry awards only two years after releasing her debut EP, and at the ripe old age of–get this–25! I can give you 25 reasons to head over to the Watson Stage at 1:15PM today, but really you should only need one–she’s a genius picker and will successfully drop the jaws of those who catch her performance. I bet you’ll even catch her second performance at the Creekside Stage at 2:45PM just to see what other tricks she pulls out of her guitar case.
Where do I begin with Keb’ Mo’? My love for this man and his music dates back at least 20 years. When I saw he was gracing MerleFest with his presence, I knew all of the festivarians were in for such a special treat. An award-winning singer, songwriter, guitarist, and contemporary blues artist, Keb’ Mo’ has established himself as a true pioneer in modern American roots music by blending soulful blues with relatable and common, yet equally empowering and endearing songwriting. His 1994 debut album was the soundtrack to my college days, and he has continued to deliver his signature sound over the past two decades. Now he brings his sound to MerleFest and will post up on the Watson Stage at 5:30PM. Though he’s up against some heavy-hitters to close out the day, rest assured that giddy chatter about his set will spread across the campus like a juicy secret.
I’ll say there are so many others that deserve attention here–really all of the performers deserve a captive audience. I’m confident that Brandi will close out the night with her powerful pipes and raw emotion that leave fans begging for more.
Y’all have an amazing day ahead of you! Enjoy every note that floats your way!