Doc Watson’s got his yodel back. And we’re all the better for it.
That, to me, was the best news coming out of the 2008 edition of Merlefest, the down-home, four-day music festival held this past weekend on the campus of Wilkes Community College, about a two-hour drive from Asheville. The event features a range of music, from traditional bluegrass to old-time string-band tunes to Cajun rhythms and more. The festival is named in honor of legendary guitar player Doc Watson’s son, Eddy Merle Watson, who died in a farming accident in 1985.
The festival, which calls itself the largest folk-music festival in the U.S., featured Doc and his yodel. Buck dancers stomped. Young musicians competed in contests or practiced in workshops. Old-timers got together in small tents and jammed together. Campers tail-gated and got their bonfires on. Fans stayed late for autographs. The music stopped briefly for a nasty lightning storm Saturday afternoon, but only ever so briefly.
It was almost impossible to take it all in. So if you miss it, or you missed it, check out our photo gallery here.
— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor