Tentatively, the band will play three shows on April 26, 2014, at the festival which is located on the campus of Wilkes Community College, North Wilkesboro, NC.
2014 will be the band's 80th year in entertainment and we are proud to be a part of this super-duper festival!
The Briarhoppers was a favorite band of Doc Watson, who started Merlefest in memory of his son, Merle Eddy Watson. When interviewed for the book, "The WBT Briarhoppers: Eight Decades of a Bluegrass Band Made For Radio (McFarland, publishers)," Doc Watson said the following:
- "When I was at the NC School of the Blind, a friend of mine snuck in a radio and we would listen to the Briarhoppers on WBT...that and the sound of the train passing by made the day better."
- "When I was a kid, The Briarhoppers were performing in Boone, NC. I sat on the sidewalk and played for money. I heard a quarter hit my can. My friend next to me said, 'Do you know who put that quarter in? Whitey Grant of The Briarhoppers.' Later on in the 1980s, I was playing at a festival and The Briarhoppers was there. I had someone get Whitey and have him come to the trailer where I was. When Whitey came in, I pulled out that same quarter and said, 'Remember this? I bet you want this quarter now!" Whitey said 'I think we made a fine investment in your career!'"
The Briarhopper Band is happy and honored to have been invited to Doc's country.