Jonathan Byrd & the Pickup Cowboys, Locust Honey, Mark Bumgarner

The MerleFest On The Road 2017 Tour

Jonathan Byrd & the Pickup Cowboys

Locust Honey

Mark Bumgarner

Sun Mar 5

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

$15 Advance / $18 Day Of

This event is all ages

Seated Show

Jonathan Byrd & the Pickup Cowboys
Jonathan Byrd & the Pickup Cowboys
Jonathan Byrd is a North Carolina flatpicker and a Texas songwriter, a Gulf War veteran and a preacher's son, and an award-winning songwriter whose songs you've probably heard, even if you haven't heard Byrd sing them. Covered by Tim O'Brien, Steve James, Red Molly, Jack Lawrence, Melissa Greener and more, Byrd's music will seem familiar to any Americana fan.

Byrd quit the rock bands of his youth and hit the road solo in 2000, flatpicking and singing new songs in an old style. A tip from a friend led him down to the Kerrville Folk Festival, a dusty ranch where he discovered the rich Texas songwriting culture and made it his own.

The word began to spread in 2003, when Jonathan won the festival's 'New Folk' songwriting competition, a milestone for Americana's most influential artists: Steve Earle. Lucinda Williams. Nanci Griffith. Lyle Lovett. Byrd broke the record for CD sales at the festival, and has played there nearly every year since.

Byrd's 2008 release, "The Law and the Lonesome" is the fruit of this interstate cross-pollination, what might have happened if Townes Van Zandt had made a record with Doc Watson. Tamara Kater of Canada's folk mag Penguin Eggs called "The Law and the Lonesome" her "album of the decade."

"Cackalack" is the newest Jonathan Byrd release, an homage to his home state. Recorded live in a day while on the road, "Cackalack" hit #1 on Roots Music Reports folk radio chart, #22 on the Americana chart, was the #91 Americana album of 2011, and made John Platt's "Best of 2011," along with strong international airplay and a dozen other "best of" lists.

Most recently, Jonathan won a 2011 SESAC Americana Music Award beside Bob Dylan, Seth Avett, Hayes Carll, Jim Lauderdale, and Colin Brooks from The Band of Heathens. "One of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years." -Chicago Tribune.
Locust Honey
Locust Honey
Chloe, Meredith & John bring their respective experience in Old-Time, Bluegrass, and Pre-war Blues to both their original material and the traditional songs and tunes of the American Southeast. With a rotating instrumentation of fiddles, open-back and resonator banjos, acoustic and resonator guitars and upright bass, they set an emphasis on lively arrangements that showcase their vintage three-part vocal harmonies.

Locust Honey was formed in 2011 by Chloe Edmonstone and her childhood friend and musical collaborator, Ariel Dixon. Both young women had grown up with parents who were active in the old-time music community: Chloe's mother was one of the original Green Grass Cloggers, and started taking Chloe around the Southeast, to festivals and square dances and traditional music performances, when she was only a baby. Ariel's parents raised her on a farm in North Carolina, and began attending old-time festivals when she was also very young. In a sense, the stage was set for the birth of Locust Honey many years ago, when the two young women met at one of these many festivals and began playing music together. It was a collaboration that would continue for years, until it organically grew into an official band late in 2011. Pretty soon after its inception, Chloe and Ariel ran into Meredith at a festival in West Virginia. They were in need of a guitar player, and so invited Meredith to join on a few gigs. From the very first rehearsal, it was clear that something special was happening. Vocal harmonies were falling into place effortlessly, and the various different interests of the three women: honky tonk, pre-war blues, and many regions of old-time fiddle styles, meant that the material brought to the table was varied and energetic. A major focus of the group from early on was the emphasis on interesting arrangements. It was imperative to the girls that they be making something fresh out of classic and traditional materials. This devotion to a new sound paid off incredibly quickly: within a year the band had toured multiple times playing listening rooms and dances all over the country, performed live on dozens of radio shows, been invited to tour for three weeks in Europe and the UK, garnered fantastic reviews from publications both domestic and overseas, and played countless bluegrass festivals to enthusiastic audiences. In summer of 2013, the girls met Hilary Hawke and invited her to join them on a tour of the Northeast. The chemistry was instant, with Hilary's inventive three finger banjo style adding a whole new layer of sound to the music. Shortly after this fortuitous meeting, Ariel decided to lessen her participation in the band in order to pursue her love of farming and agriculture. Since that time, Hilary has continued to tour as a permanent member of Locust Honey. Hilary's experience in multiple bluegrass bands brings with it an ever expanding repertoire and seemingly endless possibilities for innovation as the band continues to mature.
Mark Bumgarner
Mark Bumgarner
Mark Bumgarner is a performing musician and songwriter of more than thirty years. In addition to his solo work, Mark has also been performing and recording in recent years with his wife Aimee as the duo Calico Moon. As a songwriter Mark has had several of his works recorded by nationally recognized bluegrass and acoustic music artist, most notably Balsam Range and The Steep Canyon Rangers and Town Mountain. His musical style is a blend of roots country, bluegrass and rockin’ hillbilly blues that is true Southern Americana.