12 Best Things We Saw at MerleFest 2016

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

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Best Soul Man: Mike Farris
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Will Sparklin7/12

Best Soul Man: Mike Farris

Many artists, without comment, aimed selections from their catalog at the HB2 legislation, until the Grammy-winning Mike Farris and his Roseland Rhythm Revue appeared in a frenzy on the second night. Amid their mix of Billy Preston's gospel funk and Stevie Ray Vaughan-inspired blues, Farris preached, "The power of love isn't just for church people. It's for everyone." Earlier, his sober interpretation of Prince's "Purple Rain" — delivered on a perfect back-porch night — was one of the festival's passionate elegies to the gender-bending, pop-rock king.

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