WILKESBORO — MerleFest announced new artist additions for MerleFest 2019, including The Avett Brothers, Molly Tuttle and Sean McConnell.

The annual homecoming of musicians and music fans returns to the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro April 25-28.

The Avett Brothers first made mainstream waves with their 2009 major label debut, “I and Love and You,” landing at No. 16 on the Billboard Top 200 and garnering critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, Paste Magazine, New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Time. In 2012, “The Carpenter” hit No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200, while People, USA Today and American Songwriter lauded the album.

The eighth studio album, “Magpie and the Dandelion,” debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200 and the band performed on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” and accompanied Chris Cornell for a Pearl Jam tribute on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

“True Sadness,” the record that followed, achieved The Avett Brothers’ highest career debut to date and dominated multiple charts. The Rick Rubin produced album hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Albums Chart, No. 1 Top Rock Albums Chart, No. 1 Digital Albums Chart, No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200 and scored two Grammy nominations.

The Avett Brothers were inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2016. In October of ‘18, The Avett Brothers debuted a new song, “Roses and Sacrifice,” live on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and then released the track officially in November 2018, which Rolling Stone called a “joyous sing-along.” Also, in November of last year, the band headlined the Concert for Hurricane Florence Relief in Greenville, North Carolina, raising $325,000 to help those affected by Hurricane Florence. The Avett Brothers continue to be revered as one of the top folk-rock acts in the country and will perform on Sunday at MerleFest.

Molly Tuttle speaks softly. Her voice is both lilting and lucid, and when she says that she wants to create music that is truly original and unmistakably hers, her quietness shifts into a steely audacity that’s charming and almost funny – she’s only 25 after all.

The 2017 release of her debut EP Rise further introduced Tuttle to a roots music audience who had already enthusiastically embraced and elevated her. Her 2017 and 2018 wins for International Bluegrass Music Award Guitar Player of the Year were history-making as the first woman to be nominated for the honor. The accolades kept coming in 2018 when Folk Alliance International’s International Folk Music Awards awarded her Song of the Year for her song “You Didn’t Call My Name,” and she was named Instrumentalist of the Year by the Americana Music Association.

With all of this recognition, it might be easy to forget that Tuttle has yet to release a full-length album. Her eagerly-anticipated debut album is scheduled to be released in early 2019 on Compass Records. Tuttle will make her MerleFest debut on Saturday afternoon.

“I think embracing the blurry lines is a sign of getting older and just having more life experience,” Sean McConnell said. “It can be healthy to break your own boxes.”

McConnell is home in Nashville, reflecting on the path he’s taken to recording “Secondhand Smoke,” his 13th album. A cohesive collection of modern folk music, Secondhand Smoke asks provocative questions about how we become who we are, what and whom we love, and the growth, pain and freedom that come with accepting that some answers might elude us forever.

Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Brothers Osborne and more have all recorded his songs. McConnell earned his first No. 1 single on the country charts in 2018 with Brett Young’s delivery of “Mercy,” which the two co-wrote.

McConnell packs listening rooms and quiets unruly bar crowds. His sound — a warm tenor painting vivid stories over acoustic guitar often cushioned by keys or other strings — has prompted a diverse range of music scenes from the storied Boston folk community to Texas’s defiantly self-sovereign camp to warmly claim Sean as one of their own. Sean McConnell performs on Friday at MerleFest.

“We are extremely excited to be adding these artists to an already stellar lineup for 2019, said Festival Director Ted Hagaman. “They represent the diverse talent that MerleFest is famous for.”

The three artists announced today join over 75 artists initially announced in November via Rolling Stone Country and the second wave of artists announced last month. Headliners include Wynonna & The Big Noise, Keb’ Mo’, The Earls of Leicester, Sam Bush, Tyler Childers, Brandi Carlile and Peter Rowan and The Free Mexican Air Force with Los Texmaniacs. The Late Night Jam presented by The Bluegrass Situation will be hosted by Chatham County Line.

In addition to the above mentioned artists, the following will be performing at MerleFest ‘19:

American Aquarium, Andy May, Ana Egge & The Sentimentals, AZTEC SUN, Banknotes, Bob Hill, Cane Mill Road, Carol Rifkin, Carolina Blue, Catfish Keith, Charles Welch, Dailey & Vincent, David LaMotte, Dirk Powell Band, Donna the Buffalo, Driftwood, Elephant Sessions, Elizabeth Cook, Ellis Dyson & The Shambles, Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys, Happy Traum, Irish Mythen, Jack Lawrence, Jeff Little Trio, Jess Morgan, Jim Avett, Jim Lauderdale, Joe Smothers, Jontavious Willis and Andrew Alli, Junior Brown, Junior Sisk, Larry Stephenson Band, Laura Boosinger, Lindi Ortega, Mark Bumgarner, Mark & Maggie O’Connor, Maybe April, Michaela Anne, Mile Twelve, Mitch Greenhill and String Madness, Nixon, Blevins, & Gage, Pete & Joan Wernick and FLEXIGRASS, Presley Barker, Professor Whizzpop!, Radney Foster, Roy Book Binder, Salt & Light, Scythian, Shane Hennessy, Si Kahn & The Looping Brothers, Steve Poltz, T. Michael Coleman, The Black Lillies, The Brother Brothers, The Gibson Brothers, The Harris Brothers, The InterACTive Theatre of Jeff, The Kruger Brothers, The Local Boys, The Trailblazers, The Waybacks, Todd Albright, Tom Feldmann, Tony Williamson, Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, Wayne Henderson, Webb Wilder and Yarn.

Additional performers for MerleFest 2019 will be announced in the coming months. The lineup and performance schedule are accessible via MerleFest.org/lineup.

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