12 Best Things We Saw at MerleFest 2016

From Jason Isbell's triumphant headlining set to Old Crow Medicine Show's super-charged strings

Best MerleFest Veteran: Jerry Douglas
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Jamie Wykle4/12

Best MerleFest Veteran: Jerry Douglas

Taking a page from Alison Brown, Jerry Douglas journeyed through progressive jazz in his 29th appearance at the festival. "We're going to take you into bluegrass with a song by Weather Report," he dryly announced. Like a gypsy peering into a crystal ball and conjuring unsettling vibrations, Douglas's dobro re-imagined a New Orleans funeral march and a Leadbelly prison song. The crowd may have wished for more fire from this reluctant front man, but he and his eclectic band pressed forward, always innovating and seeking knotholes in the fences that divide genres.

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