MerleFest 2017: 11 Best Things We Saw at the Roots Music Festival

From Zac Brown Band's stripped-down set to the Avett Brothers doing double duty, the highlights of the annual North Carolina hoedown

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Del McCoury
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Jim Gavenus4/11

Del McCoury

Plagued by allergies when he opened the main stage entertainment on Thursday, Del McCoury could have backed out of his band's steel-cut harmony choruses. But the 78-year-old bluegrass master sang through it in the spirit of the proud and determined Doc Watson, lending his lean and piercing tenor to favorites such as "Nashville Cats," "All Aboard" and his signature "1952 Black Vincent Lightning." When McCoury joined bluegrass father Bill Monroe's band in 1963, he met Watson at the Ash Grove nightclub in Hollywood. The two giants – now long dead – are never far away from a Del McCoury show.

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