Merlefest to feature Alison Krauss, Vince Gill

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 11, 2012

WILKESBORO — Country music fans, take note.
This year’s Merlefest — set for April 26-29 on the campus of Wilkes Community College — will feature two of the most popular performers in country music: Alison Krauss and Vince Gill.
Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, will close Merlefest 25 Sunday, April 29. Krauss has performed at MerleFest numerous times in the past, with 2007 being her most recent appearance. Jerry Douglas has performed at every MerleFest, with the Sunday, April 29, appearance being his 25th appearance at the festival.
Throughout her remarkable career, which spans a quarter century, Krauss has earned a record-breaking 26 Grammy Awards. The members of her renowned band Union Station—Jerry Douglas (Dobro, lap steel, vocals), Dan Tyminski (guitar, mandolin, lead vocal), Ron Block (banjo, guitar) and Barry Bales (bass, vocals), with Krauss on lead vocal and fiddle— have each earned artistic notoriety and critical acclaim with their own active careers, but form an airtight unit devoted to the process of making music when they come together as a group.
Krauss’ most recent project, “Paper Airplane,” is the artist’s first album of all-new recordings in partnership with Union Station since 2004’s “Lonely Runs Both Ways.” Alison and several members of Union Station also performed on this century’s best-selling soundtrack, “O Brother Where Art Thou,” recently reissued to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the groundbreaking album.
Vince Gill is the most recent addition to the Merlefest lineup. He’ll perform on the opening day of Merlefest, delivering the last performance of the evening.
Such blockbuster hits as “Go Rest High on That Mountain,” “Whenever You Come Around” and “I Still Believe In You” have helped Gill sell more than 26 million albums over the course of his career. He has earned 18 CMA Awards, including Entertainer of the Year in 1993 and 1994. He is tied with George Strait for having won the most CMA Male Vocalist Awards (five), and is currently third only to George Strait (22) and Brooks & Dunn (19) for accumulating the most CMA Awards in history. Gill is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and has received 20 Grammy Awards to date. Just last month, Gill scored his 41st Grammy nomination as a co-writer on “Threaten Me With Heaven,” nominated for Best Country Song. In August of 2007, the Country Music Association inducted Gill as a member of the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame.
Gill’s most recent project, Guitar Slinger, is a favorite of both fans and music critics across the country, with iTunes proclaiming “Vince Gill’s superlative work in the ‘80s and ‘90s remains a high standard to reach, but he exceeds expectations on Guitar Slinger… When it comes to musical finesse and pure feeling, nobody does it like Vince.”
Besides being known for his talent as a performer, musician and songwriter, Gill is regarded as one of Country Music’s best known humanitarians, participating in hundreds of charitable events throughout his career.
MerleFest is an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans, gathering to celebrate the memory of musician Eddy Merle Watson, beloved son of American music icon Doc Watson. More than 90 artists perform on 14 stages during the course of the event.
Ticket purchases for MerleFest 25 can be made on the web at www.merlefest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857. An early bird ticket discount is available through March 12, 2012.
A complete list of confirmed performers is available at www.merlefest.org. Additionally, up-to-the-minute lineup additions for the festival can be obtained through the festival’s e-newsletter and through Facebook and Twitter.

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