Merle Haggard to headline Kentucky bluegrass festival

Associated Press • Feb 15, 2013 at 12:16 PM

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — Country Music Hall of Fame member Merle Haggard will be the featured artist in this year's Bluegrass Roots & Branches Festival in western Kentucky.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports other featured acts scheduled to perform during the three day event in Owensboro include The Del McCoury Band, Doyle Lawson & Quicksliver, the Punch Brothers and Carolina Chocolate Drops.

International Bluegrass Music Museum Director Gabrielle Gray says organizers expect attendance to increase this year since the festival was named "event of the year" last fall by the InternationalBluegrassMusic Association.

She said the festival drew 21,000 people last year — a record number.

"We had more than 10,000 people on the final day last summer," she said. "And we were at capacity. We ran out of parking."

Haggard, who has had 40 No. 1 songs since first hitting the charts in the 1960s, recorded his firstbluegrassalbum in 2007.

"He'll be doing a mix of bluegrass and country," Gray said.

She says other acts will perform different kinds of music including bluegrass, rock, jazz and Cajun.

"Rather than being a strictlybluegrassfestival, it is a festival held strictly in support of the bluegrass museum," Gray said.

Tickets went on sale this week for the June 27-29 event.

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