Steve Johnson, president and CEO of Mountain Music Entertainment, is proud to announce that he has accepted the position of MerleFest artist relations manager at Wilkes Community College, Wilkesboro, N.C. Johnson will assume his new role on October 22, 2012.
“Our artists have been extremely supportive of my decision” said Johnson. “We are working to transition all of our artists to new agents in the coming weeks and will share additional information as it becomes available.”
“I am very excited to be joining Wilkes Community College and MerleFest in this full-time position and continuing to work with my friends and colleagues in the music community in this new role.”
MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts over 90 artists, performing on 14 stages during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs. (www.merlefest.org)
Mountain Music Entertainment has enjoyed an incredible 2012 with their artists and events including: Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice taking home Song and Album of the Year honors at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) World of Bluegrass Awards this past week in Nashville, Tennessee; Niall Toner and I Draw Slow (from Ireland) releasing new albums on Pinecastle Records; Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road reaching the No. 1 spot on the Bluegrass Unlimited Charts two months in a row; Mark Newton and Steve Thomas coming together to form an amazing band; and, Brandon Rickman receiving nominations to be considered for Male Vocalist of the Year with IBMA. Additionally, in May of this year, the Historic Jonesborough Bluegrass Series garnered a Pinnacle Award in the category of Entertainment and Recreation from the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association.
The Mountain Music Entertainment agency will cease formal operations for artist representation and management effective October 22. Existing artist contracts will be honored. Events scheduled for The Old Rock School in Valdese, N.C., and the Historic Jonesborough Bluegrass Series in 2013 will continue as planned.
Johnson shared that he expects the artists he currently represents to make announcements within the next few weeks regarding their future representation. Additional details for each artist will also be available on the Mountain Music Entertainment website (www.mountainmusicentertainment.com) as it is finalized.
MerleFest, considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, is an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans held at Wilkes Community College. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the late Eddy Merle Watson, son of American music legend Doc Watson who passed away May 29, 2012.