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 Making a Statement: Brandi Carlile
Dr. Gordon Burns11/12

Best Making a Statement: Brandi Carlile

The rain had all but disappeared for singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile's reckoning with North Carolina.  The grounds awakened as the gay Americana star dished out the sunny "Caroline" from 2012 and boldly covered Led Zeppelin's "Going to California." Then she addressed the one storm cloud still hanging over the festival. "North Carolina doesn't always look like its politics," she told her fans, some of whom expected her to boycott the state over HB2. Then she sliced into Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run," the song he refused to sing for his North Carolina faithful.

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