If there is one thing I know, it’s that MerleFest patrons aren’t scared away by a little rain. They brave the elements along with the artists, vendors, and staff, because it is all worth it in the end. I can recall dancing happily in the rain on the Sunday of MerleFest 2012, because I wasn’t going to miss getting my Avett fix. Today will be no different for those in attendance. Whether in rain boots or barefoot, there will be plenty of dancing today.
We are now getting into the thick of things in terms of daily lineups, and it is difficult to choose a few must-see artists, because that bench is deep! Here’s our best attempt at a list of starters…
They used to say, “Milk does a body good!” Even with the current anti-dairy movement, this saying rings true for one of our favorite folk duos, The Milk Carton Kids. Often described as a mix-up of Simon & Garfunkel and The Smothers Brothers, Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan bring an awe-inspiring performance of harmony and humor to the stage. Expect to alternate between breathlessness and belly-laughs throughout their performances. Festival goers have two chances to catch these California-natives, today at 2:00PM on the Austin Stage and 5:45PM on the Watson Stage.
If you are itching for a bit more rock-and-roll and tattoos, American Aquarium is your band. These Raleigh boys have NC pride running through their veins and they will make you wish you were a North Carolinian, even if you aren’t. There’s a reason the band’s first performance is on the Dance Stage at 2:00PM–They are here to get the party started. So throw your Canadian tux and shit-kickers on and get down to some good old fashioned southern rock. The band will then run over to the Hillside Stage for a 3:15PM performance and then hit the Autograph Tent at 5:30PM.
And last but certainly not least, I’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Cook. Don’t let her pretty face fool ya, this Nashville-based singer songwriter brings in a bit more spice than sugar to her music. Case in point, her jam (below), “Sometimes it Takes Balls to be a Woman.” I’d go see her simply to hear that song. Now, I understand that MerleFest is a family festival, but if you all don’t get this on the set list, you should be outraged. Truly, it’s a positive message to the female audience. Shes’ playing right now at 12:15PM on the Americana Stage…run, don’t walk!