Bob Batyko Brian Ray
Dane County Parks
University Book Store
Willy St Co-op
Although 25-year-old songster Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton has been legally blind since his teens, his ability to tap into traditional American music reveals a perceptiveness and focus that few others are able to achieve. A gifted multi-instrumentalist who specializes in traditional, pre-World War II music, Paxton plays the fiddle, banjo, guitar, harmonica, and piano, and his performances are filled with ballads (both sung and played), blues tunes, banjo tunes, fiddle tunes, rags, and more. TheCountryBlues.com declares that, “A fabulous new country blues talent as impressive as Jerron Paxton is not just rare, his extraordinary talent is almost surreal.” Ask this self-proclaimed “thorough musician” what he does, though, and he’ll tell you that “All I do is play music; I’m too lazy to work.”
Blind Boy Paxton will be playing this year’s festival on Saturday, August 2nd.
The Tillers got their start in Cincinnati, OH, in August 2007 when they started thumping around with some banjos, guitars, and a big wooden bass, playing songs that were (mostly) older than their grandparents. The Tillers have been awarded CityBeat Magazine’s Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Best Folk and Americana Act in 2009, 2010, 2013, and 2014, have toured throughout the US and Europe, and were featured in Tom Brokaw’s documentary about US Route 50. Musically, the band’s sound has proven to be an appropriate fit with a wide range of musical styles: traditional folk, bluegrass, jazz, punk rock, and anything else they might run into.
Southern native Bradford Lee Folk works hard and plays hard. By day he’s out on a John Deere tractor on an organic farm in Tennessee, tilling the land for a living. By night he’s back home in Nashville, tearing it up on stage with his Bluegrass Playboys, playing the rough-edged blend of bluegrass tradition and true country grit that’s his stock-in-trade. After years heading up the seminal young bluegrass band Open Road and then running a rural honky-tonk in Colorado, Brad Folk came back to Nashville determined to make his own music his own way. On his new album Somewhere Far Away, with burning fiddles and hard-picked banjo behind him, his new music flows out of the Americana bedrock of Music City, but bubbles with the intensity of modern life. Songs reference East Nashville street violence in one breath and soul-searching isolation in the next. These are the kind of songs whose thoughtful, literate lyrics pull you into the story. Plus there’s an instant charisma to Bradford Lee Folk’s voice, something there that makes you sit up and listen. At the Pickathon Festival last year, Folk got two standing ovations from a simple interview! Now he’s channeling that intensity into granite-hard bluegrass roots, beholden to no tradition but the long-held American tradition of making music with deep knowledge of its own roots and great hope for a fresh future.
Bradford Lee Folk and the Bluegrass playboys will be performing Saturday, August 2nd at this year’s fest.
The 11th annual Sugar Maple Traditional Music Festival is fast approaching! Scheduled August 1-2 at Lake Farm County Park, this year’s line-up sounds awesome and we are really looking forward to it! Check out the details right here at http://sugarmaplefest.org/.
As you may know, we rely entirely on volunteers to both plan and put on the fest, and we are hoping that you will consider signing up for a volunteer shift. Shifts include tickets, merchandise table, beer vending, volunteer table, and floaters who help out where needed (which could include collecting trash and recyclables, ticket area or other tasks). The ticket tent will now be near the music tent so you’ll be closer to the action!
Friday shifts will only be 90 minutes, and Saturday are the usual 2-hour shifts. All volunteers receive a 2014 Sugar Maple t-shirt and the pride of knowing you helped put on an amazing festival.
Please consider donating a small amount of your time to help make this another successful Sugar Maple Festival. Email fourlakesmusic (at) gmail dot com with any questions or to sign up.