Friday night’s headliner brings a sound to the stage that best fits MMF’s vibe, Bourne said. The Old 97’s hail from Dallas, Texas, and are recognized as pioneers of the alternative-country movement during the mid to late 1990s along with bands such as Uncle Tupelo, the Drive-By Truckers and Whiskeytown. “This show is guaranteed to be fun and energetic, which fits exactly into what our crowd expects for MMF Friday night,” Bourne said.
The Old 97’s round out an evening of local, regional and international acts on Friday, including rising Americana/folk stars Roanoke from Nashville, Tennessee; and Saskatchewan, Canada’s Colter Wall, who was named the Top 10 Country Artist You Need to Know in 2016.
Oklahoma native and 23-year-old Parker Millsap takes the MMF stage Saturday, having wrapped up a banner year with a network television debut on CONAN, an invitation to play with Elton John at the Apple Music Festival, an Austin City Limits taping and an Americana Music Association nomination for Album of the Year. Other Saturday highlights include reggae-rock-dub band Roots of a Rebellion, Americana singer-songwriter Shannon McNalley and local banjoist Edsel Blevins, whom MMF will honor as its 2017 Master Musician.
Held annually on the second weekend in July, the Master Musicians Festival has been named Southeast Tourism Society’s Festival of the Year and the Governor’s Awards for the Arts Outstanding Community Arts Organization.
In addition to two days of eclectic, diverse music, the Master Musicians Festival offers meet-and-greet workshops hosted artisans and musicians, as well as a wide variety of art and food vendors. MMF also showcases juried artisans and craftsmen, and recognizes a Kentucky artist whose festival-themed work is auctioned and featured on merchandise.
Weekend passes are on sale now on the MMF website and through Eventbrite. MMF continues its tradition of being a family-oriented event, as children 12 and younger are admitted free.