The highlight of 2012 for MerryGold was winning the Race to TRI Studios contest. The studio - owned and operated by Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead - selected MerryGold as top-10 finalists out of over 500 entries. The public then voted MerryGold and their song “Sweet Lilly” as the winner. In December of 2012, the band recorded audio and video for 3 songs at TRI Studios.
MerryGold is Jillian Secor (guitar, vocals) and Alex Stephens (guitar, mandolin, vocals). Based in the small northern California town of Placerville, themes of the Gold Country are abundant in their music. Their whiskey-soaked folk/bluegrass songs take listeners back to simpler times and portray a rawness that embodies the pioneer spirit of the Wild West. While traditional folk and bluegrass influences are apparent in their music, MerryGold incorporates a wide variety of influences to create their own sound.
In 2009, Jillian and Alex initially performed and recorded as Trout and Parrot, selling over 1,000 copies of their debut album “Headin’ West.” Eager to build a bigger sound and explore more options instrumentally, the duo changed their name to MerryGold in 2011 and began adding pieces to the lineup. The full lineup currently includes bass, banjo, accordion, and percussion, though they sometimes perform as a duo and trio as well.
February 2012 marked the release of their second full-length album, “Good and Gone.”