[quote]Originally posted by pscates:
Ohmigosh, I used to go to that! When I lived in Tennessee (before I moved to SoCal), I went to that (formerly called the Merle Watson Memorial Bluegrass Festival). I went four times in five years. We always stayed at that Days Inn directly across from the grounds!
I had a BLAST there. I'd go with my dad and girlfriend and we'd have a great weekend.
I met (and got autographs from) Bill Monroe, Emmylou Harris, Marty Stuart, Carl Jackson, Vince Gill, Mark O'Connor, Jerry Douglas, Tony Rice and Sam Bush!
The coolest thing ever? About 2-3 years before Vince Gill really struck it big, he, along with Mark O'Connor, Jerry Douglas, Emory Gordy, Jr. and Carl Jackson played with Emmylou as her Angel Band. OHMIGOSH! They were SO on that day! Incredible, kick-ass acoustic/bluegrass versions of "Luxury Liner", "From Boulder to Birmingham", "Amarillo", "Blue Kentucky Girl", etc.
The following year, she was there with her Nash Ramblers, playing a more revved-up acoustic country (Jon Randall, Sam Bush, Roy Huskey, Jr., Al Perkins).
I knew who Vince Gill was and I saw him walking out hours before their set. Remember, he hadn't struck it big yet (this was a good two years before "When I Call Your Name"), but I recognized him from Nashville Network, early CMT, Rodney Crowell's band, etc. Plus, he'd had some albums out...just no major hits.
I walked up to him and said "you're my favorite guitarist EVER!" and my dad took a picture of me and Vince Gill standing there. He's wearing a black Roy Orbison T-shirt and he seemed genuinely shocked that someone knew and approached him.
Two years later, BAM...he was HUGE. And the hits haven't stopped. I've met him twice since then.
Merlefest is a BLAST! I road a shuttle bus with Bela Fleck and David Grissom one afternoon. Cool stuff: little mini-clinics, tons of campsite/parking lot jamming, etc.
I haven't been in 8 years. I hear it's gotten HUGE! I went the first year, actually, and it was quite small and laidback.</strong><hr></blockquote>
As if I wasn't already dying w/ anticipation. Vince is a great player - I lover his version of "High Lonesome sound" (that's the name I think).
Anyway, I'm going to see AKUS, Allison Brown, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush (a repeat offender apparently) and to discover some new faves.
I'm not going to be part of the pickin' tent this year, but maybe next year.
I'll make sure to ride the bus and see if I meet some famous people!
I'll post a report on Monday.