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

Zac Brown Band
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Zac Brown Band

The sprawling grounds of MerleFest hushed as the Zac Brown Band took over the main stage to close the four-day celebration. Everybody had flocked to the main Watson Stage to catch Brown lead his guys, absent percussion, through bonfire anthems "Homegrown," "Knee Deep," "Chicken Fried" and plenty more. Reminding the crowd of the band's upcoming album Welcome Home, Brown also made room for plenty of recollections from MerleFests gone by, praising the kids he saw performing on the youth stage when he himself was 12 years old. Those young fiddlers and banjoists inspired him, he said. And now to play the stage where his heroes played? "It feels good to be up here in the Bat Cave," said Brown.