You are currently viewing Presley Barker – Merlefest (S2 | E71)

Presley Barker – Merlefest (S2 | E71)


Presley Barker – Merlefest (S2 | E71)

The joy of this radio show is embedded in our tagline: YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GONNA GET. And I didn’t know that I was going to get the chance to meet musician and composer Presley Barker. Such a pleasant surprise for me. It is likely that you have not yet heard of this remarkable 17-year-old guitarist and singer yet. Let me tell you here and now – THAT makes me so happy!

This is a longer show than usual – just under 90 mins. So here you can listen to the extended version (which is a much more complete experience!).


Traphill, North Carolina, native Presley Barker plays country/blues music and is a singer/songwriter.

“I enjoyed music from a really young age,” Presley recalls. “My mom liked clogging, so we were always listening to folk music.”

Presley was particularly fond of Doc Watson, and started playing guitar at seven years old, It did not take him long to start getting the hang of the instrument and catching the attention of the local music community. Soon, Presley started taking lessons with Steve Lewis, a past winner of the prestigious Winfield National Guitar Championship. Presley also made frequent trips to Grayson County, Virginia, to meet with guitar builder and player Wayne Henderson.

“Every time I visit Wayne, he teaches me a new tune on the guitar,” Presley says.

Presley also traveled around the region to fiddlers conventions. He started entering guitar competitions and bringing home lots of blue ribbons. In 2015, at age 10, Presley won the Old Fiddler’s Convention Adult guitar competition in Galax, Virginia and won a second time in 2017.  In 2017, Presley also won the prestigious Wayne C. Henderson Guitar Championship. While Presley says that the Galax blue ribbon was one of his most prized awards, the competitions are not as important as playing music with friends.

He has appeared on the NBC Today Show with Al Roker. He has played the National Folk Festival, Richmond Folk Festival, Lowell Folk Festival, Montana Folk Festival, Masters of Steel String Guitar Event in Washington, D.C., PBS Song of the Mountains Show, Doc Watson Day Celebration in Boone, NC, David Holt’s State of Music, Blue Ridge Music Center, Silver Dollar City, Dollywood, Houstonfest, Carolina In The Fall, and Merlefest. Presley also appeared on NBC’s “Little Big Shots” with Steve Harvey and “Wonderama” TV show in New York City. Most recently, Presley was invited by Country Music Hall of Fame and Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Ricky Skaggs to play the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN. Presley released his first solo album entitled “JUST-TEN” in the fall of 2015 and is now working with Dolly Parton’s producer and Grammy Nominated Kent Wells Productions in Nashville TN to release some new music coming soon.

How to reach Presley


The Playlist from Presley Barker

Song NameArtistAlbumYear
Bottle of WineMerle and Doc WatsonThen and Now1973
Middle of SomewherePresley BarkerMiddle of Somewhere2021
If I Can DreamElvis PresleyIf I Can Dream1968
Starting OverChris StapletonStarting Over2020
CarolinaEric ChurchCarolina2009
‘Till You Can’tCody Johnson‘Till You Can’t2021
Black Mountain RagDoc WatsonDoc Watson1964
Aerial BoundariesMichael HedgesAerial Boundaries1984
It’s a Great Day to Be AliveTravis TrittDown the Road I Go2000
Only in AmericaBrooks & Dunn#1’s and Then Some2009
God Bless the USALee GreenwoodAmerican Patriot1992
I Hold OnDierks BentleyRISER2014
Wild HeartsKeith UrbanWild Hearts2021
Time MachinePresley BarkerTime Machine2021
Playlist: Presley Barker


You lucky radio stations – for finding LTNF you get this fabulous show on your air! Well done!

You never know what you're gonna get.



Learn more about LTNF here.


DJ and radio personality PJ Ewing is the host of Lester the Nightfly.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. PJ

    This was really fun!!

  2. Adelaide Ewing

    WOW This is Amazing!!!

  3. Finn

    Seems super fun!

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