Tag Archives: MerleFest

Episode 72: Interview with Evan of Mile 12

We are days away from MerleFest and I am so psyched. I was able to talk with Evan of Mile 12 about the band, their new album and MerleFest. Listen on to see why I Had to Ask!

You can purchase Mile 12’s new album here:

Episode 69: Interview with Wayland

I talked with rock n’ roll band Wayland at MerleFest 2018. We talked about their music and how it falls into the MerleFest scheme of things.

Naturally, we also talked about the best food they have eaten and advice they have for themselves too.

Listen on to see why I Had to Ask!

MerleFest – Sunday (Blog Post)

The presser on Sunday was crowded and a little hectic so it didn’t naturally lend itself to too much of a theme so to speak.

I did have the opportunity to ask all of the artists at the press conference about their passions outside of music.

Here’s what I found out…

The passions of various members of The Steep Canyon Rangers was wide ranging. 

The responses were…

  • Family
  • Food
  • Festivals
  • Being Outdoors
  • Travel
  • Music Education
  • Fly Fishing
  • Fiddle
  • Trees

And Graham’s passion was his hot tub.

Alison Brown’s passions are the banjo and the roots music community.

Sam Bush’s passion is baseball (Go Cards). 


Steve Martin’s passion is the banjo.

It was really interesting for me to see what musicians are passionate and I was glad that I Had to Ask about musician’s passions. 

MerleFest – Saturday (Blog Post)

A big part of MerleFest is the history it has and the legacy it continues to carry. This was a hot topic at yesterday’s press conference.

According to Jerry Douglas MerleFest is different because not only is it the first music festival of the season, it has the most performers so it is like a big family gathering.

John Cowan feels MerleFest is different because it feels good due to the fact that MerleFest embraces different types of music (as Doc wanted).

Jim Lauderdale feels that MerleFest is different because it sticks with the traditions of having musicians like Sam Bush and Jerry Douglas back, but, they also capture the younger generation of performers and invite them in.

MerleFest also proves to be important to the health of bluegrass and traditional plus music.

John Cowan explained that MerleFest allows for great memories of living legends.

Tommy Emmanuel explained that MerleFest is important because it continues a legacy AND hooks the younger generation.

No matter who you talk with you will find that it is incontrovertible that MerleFest as a festival is important to the health of music.

Thanks for reading about what I Had to Ask.

MerleFest- Friday (Blog Post)

MerleFest 2018 is going great! I have had made many memories, experienced some cool moments, and heard plenty of awesome music!

My Friday picks for best musicians are…

  • Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer with Sam Gleaves
  • The Waybacks
  • Balsam Range and Atlanta Pops Orchestra
  • Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn

When with musicians, you’d up talking a lot about music. It turns into a common theme.

In the press conference with Bela Fleck, Abigail Washburn, Mandolin Orange, and Savannah Smith (and later with Jamey Johnson), we talked about the music that they are listening to in their cars, here were the responses…

  • Bela Fleck- Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer’s Children’s Album (with son Juno)
  • Abigail Washburn- Compilation Album, “Voices of Mississippi”
  • Mandolin Orange- Anna and Elizabeth’s new album, and Hawktail
  • Savannah Smith- John Prine’s new album, Tank and the Band
  • Jamey Johnson- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

What are you listening to in your car?

Thanks for reading what I Had to Ask!


Rosie and the Riveters Band Review (Blog Post)

The Canadian band, Rosie and the Riveters, were a huge hit especially with the young women at MerleFest 2018!
Their demeanor and style are both unapologetic and fierce.
They stand as a symbol of independent feminism with their strong stand-up vocals.
Rosie and the Riveters look and sound like the female role models young women in North American need today!
I found it amazing that thy could gracefully, yet powerfully, promote ideals like equal pay for all in song without being too “in your face” about it.
Rosie the Riveters needs to be the next band added to every girl’s playlist!

Nu Blu Review (Blog Post)

As the threatening rain cloud rolled away from the Watson stage, fans sitting on the field were in for a treat!

Nu-Blu had a wonderful set on the Watson Stage at 1:30 on Friday.

Carolyn’s powerful and animated voice paired with the driving rhythms filled the air. Listeners weren’t hungry for lunch,  they were hungry for more Nu-Blu music!

A few years ago my little sister and I interviewed Carolyn, you can listen to that interview here: http://ihadtoask.com/2015/01/carolynrouth/

I remember how genuine Carolyn was. She still continues to be a genuine beacon of strength and hope to many.

Nu-Blu (Carter Baker, Justin Harrison, and Carolyn and Daniel Routh) recently released a new album, Vagabonds. If you purchase it, you will not be disappointed. You can find it here: https://squareup.com/store/nu-blu-bluegrass-artists

They played some songs off of the album today, and they were wonderful.

If I had a chance to ask them one question following their set, I would’ve Had to Ask this…

Where did you get all of your energy that you have on the stage from?

Episode 68: Interview with David Holt

I interviewed David Holt, who will be performing (again) at MerleFest! He was happy to talk with me about everything from his music to Doc Watson, to key lime pie. Listen on to see what I Had to Ask!

Episode 67: Interview with Cathy Fink

I interviewed Cathy Fink of the duo Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer.  We talked about everything from winning Grammy’s, to “Dancing in the Kitchen”, to the mother of children’s folk music, Ella Jenkins.

Listen on to see why I Had to Ask!