MerleFest has revealed Emmylou Harris, Rissi Palmer, Jerry Douglas and Greensky Bluegrass and more as part of the first round of performers for MerleFest 2022. The festival, set for April 28-May 1, 2022, will be held at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. 2022 will mark the return to the festival’s traditional spring slot, after it was postponed until September in 2021.
MerleFest was founded in 1988 to celebrate traditional, roots-oriented music of the Appalachian area, including bluegrass, folk, gospel, blues, classic country and more.
“We are very excited to welcome music fans back to the campus of Wilkes Community College in the spring,” says MerleFest’s festival director Wes Whitson. “Endless gratitude to all artists, staff, volunteers, vendors, and fans for their patience and support for the 2021 festival. Our team has put together another great lineup for 2022 and we’re looking forward to sharing four days of the very best in traditional music with fans.”
Since launching her music career in 2007 with her self-titled debut album and singles including “Country Girl” and “No Air,” Palmer has become known for not only her music, but also as a powerful voice advocating for country artists of color. In 2020, she launched the radio show Color Me Country with Rissi Palmer on Apple Music Country and also launched the Color Me Country Artist Grant Fund to help newcomer country artists of color as they build their careers. Palmer is also an official special correspondent for CMT’s Hot 20 Countdown.
Harris, a 14-time Grammy winner and the recipient of Billboard‘s Century Award, has recorded more than 25 albums during her career. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008. Following her early career work with Gram Parsons, Harris released a string of solo albums that ranked on Billboard‘s country albums chart, including 1975’s Pieces of the Sky and Elite Hotel, as well as 1977’s Luxury Liner. By 1983, Harris moved to Nashville and in 1987, she teamed with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt for the Grammy-winning Trio album (its successor, Trio 2, released in 1999). In 1991, she recorded the live album, At the Ryman, alongside the Nash Ramblers at the then-dilapidated Ryman Auditorium. The album garnered attention for the venue, ultimately resulting in the Ryman being restored as a music venue after it had been vacated for approximately two decades; since that time the Ryman has again become a revered part of Nashville’s music establishment. Moreover, Harris is known as a social activist, most prominently advocating for animal welfare. She established Bonaparte’s Retreat to aid the rescue and adoption of animals in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding areas.
The quintet Greensky Bluegrass formed in 2000 and in 2019, their album All For Money marked their second chart-topping debut on Billboard‘s Top Bluegrass Albums chart.
Also performing during MerleFest 2022 are Andy May, Banknotes, Carol Rifkin, Charles Welch, Donna the Buffalo, Happy Traum, Jack Lawrence, Jeff Little Trio, Jerry Douglas, Jim Lauderdale, Joe Smothers, Kruger Brothers, Laura Boosinger, Mark Bumgarner, Mitch Greenhill, Pete & Joan Wernick, Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, Presley Barker, Roy Book Binder, Sam Bush, Scythian, T. Michael Coleman, The InterACTive Theatre of Jef, The Local Boys, The Waybacks, Tony Williamson, and Wayne Henderson, with additional performers still to be announced.