The Del McCoury Band

The Del McCoury Band is one of the most talented, revered and vital groups in the modern bluegrass era. In 2009, Del McCoury celebrated 50 years as a professional musician. One of the greatest ambassadors for traditional bluegrass, Del has been no less acclaimed for embracing offshoots of the genre, embodying both aspects of his career through his annual Delfest music festival, where tradition is both honored and extended by the presentation of a wide array of bluegrass and string music performances.

Alejandro Santoyo

Alejandro Santoyo will debut a new, original composition of his own creation, inspired by photographs taken be José Galvez, at this special Music of the Carolinas concert! Santoyo will also perform other original works that he has composed during his career.

Patrick & Cathy Sky

Patrick & Cathy Sky bring their considerable musical talents to the PineCone stage with a program of Irish reels, jigs, and hornpipes that they play on the fiddle and the Irish Uilleann pipes.

Boo Hanks

James Arthur "Boo" Hanks is an 83-year-old acoustic blues guitarist with roots in the Piedmont string band and blues traditions. He saved money for his first guitar by selling packets of garden seeds, picking out the same old-time songs he heard his father playing after long days in the tobacco field. As a young man in the 1940s, Hanks earned pocket change playing guitar at barn dances with his cousins accompanying him on mandolin and spoons.

Lakota John Locklear & Kin

Fourteen-year-old Lakota John Locklear is a Lumbee/Lakota Native American "bluez" musician who plays the dobro bottle-neck slide guitar and harmonica in addition to singing. Blending traditional styles of the Delta and Piedmont acoustic blues with bottle-neck slide guitar and a mix of Chicago electric blues, Locklear's unique sound is also sprinkled with a bit of harmonica and influences from his indigenous heritage, including sounds of the Native American flute. Locklear captivates his audiences with his unique blues-style of playing and "old man" soulful blues vocals.

The Mostly Mountain Boys (Paul Brown w/Terri McMurray & John Schwab)

The Mostly Mountain Boys (Paul Brown, Terri McMurray, and John Schwab) will perform a set packed full of fabulous old songs from the Southern mountains and the Piedmont, and part of the performance will also focus on the mountain holiday tradition "Breaking Up Christmas" and the dance tune by the same name. The catchy tune was frequently played in the Round Peak section of North Carolina's Surry County and in neighboring Virginia.

Sara Grey & Kieron Means

Sara Grey grew up in New Hampshire but also spent some of her youth in North Carolina, where she heard a lot of mountain music and developed a love for the old time banjo music and songs. She has carried this interest into her adult life studying folklore and collecting and performing music from the various areas in which she has lived, including the U.S., Wales, Scotland and England. She has been concentrating for the last several years on tracing the migration for songs from the British Isles to North America.

Blind Boy Chocolate & The Milk Sheiks

Blind Boy Chocolate & The Milk Sheiks took Merlefest by storm this past spring! What began in the summer of 2009 as a three-piece busking group with Dwight "Blind Boy Chocolate" Hawkins (wood saw, guitar), Nicky "The Squirrel" Marshall (mandolin, harmonica, accordion, kazoo), and Antone "T-Bird" Costa (lead guitar, kazoo) quickly became a sound people wanted to hear more! In the spring of 2010, the Milk Sheiks rounded out their sound with Alex Brady on washtub bass and Aaron Gunn on fiddle.

Shape Note Sing

The Shape Note Sing is held the fourth Sunday of each month (except February, the month of the Shape Note Singing Convention) from 2-4 p.m. at the Friends Meeting House in Raleigh. Shape note singing is for everyone - beginners and exeprienced singers are all welcome. Music is available at the session for anyone who doesn't have a book.

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