From Bangkok to MerleFest – Sunny’s bluegrass road trip

Thai banjo picker Chanasinj Sachdev, known as Sunny to his friends, created a remarkable travelogue this summer of his trip from Bangkok in Thailand where he lives, to North Wilkesboro in North Carolina to attend a Pete Wernick Jam Camp, and take in MerleFest 2023.

It looks to have been quite a trip, flying from Bangkok to Chicago, and then driving through the central US to North Carolina. The video captures more than just his bluegrass adventure, as Sunny shows a good bit of what he came across on the road, plus him sampling American fast food, and a bit of shopping, without the sort of frivolous commentary we are accustomed to getting on YouTube.

Once he arrives at his destination, we get a good look at a Wernick Jam Camp, and a decent taste of MerleFest and its many sights and sounds. Then, after the festival, Sunny makes the drive to Charlotte and Raleigh to see Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, and Edgar Meyer, plus visit a couple of large music stores.

The video runs just shy of 24 minutes, and will make you feel good about all that North Carolina has to offer to bluegrass visitors. Sometimes it’s fun to watch something we know well through the eyes of a traveler.

Well done, Sunny!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.