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by ramerama on Jul 22nd, 2014

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.



by ramerama on Jul 17th, 2014

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.


by ramerama on Jul 16th, 2014

The 11th Annual Sugar maple Festival is only a couple of weeks away and the complete schedule is now set.

Friday, August 1st

Main Stage

5:15 PM               Count This Penny

6:30 PM                Eric Lewis & Rory Hoffman

7:45 PM                Jack Klatt Trio

9:00 PM                The Tillers

Roots & Reasons Stage

6:00 PM                Accordion workshop/Jam with Patrick Harison from the Jack Klatt trio

7:00 PM                Dave Landau

8:00 PM                Old time jam with Chirps Smith

Jam Tent

Open jamming

Saturday, August 2nd

The fun begins on Saturday with a Sugar Maple Fest tradition, the Bloody Mary Jam.  This year’s  Bloody Mary Jam will feature the Awful Purdies, 10:30AM, at the Roots and Reasons Stage.

Main Stage

12:15 PM             Cajun Strangers

1:30 PM                Loves It!!

2:45 PM                Lil’ Rev

4:00 PM                The Awful Purdies

5:15 PM                Blind Boy Paxton

6:30 PM                Bradford Lee Folk & the Bluegrass Playboys

7:45 PM                Dom Flemons Duo

9:00 PM                Drunken Catfish Ramblers

Roots & Reasons Stage

12:30 PM             Erin Ribble & Tina Thompson Youth and beginners roots fiddle.

1:30 PM                Stephanie Elkins Interview and selected songs Blind Boy Paxton

2:30 PM                Stephanie Elkins Interview and selected songs Dom Flemons

3:30 PM                Moderated discussion with Blind Boy Paxton, & Dom Flemons on the influence of African American musical traditions and how they contributed to and became American roots music.

4:30 PM                Dave Landau

5:00 PM                Lil Rev ukulele workshop

6:15 PM                Drunken Catfish Ramblers tunes and talking of being a street band

Jam Tent

12:00PM              Old time Jam led by Chirps Smith

2:00 PM                Cajun Jam led by the Cajun Strangers

4:00 PM                Bluegrass jam led by the Bluegrass Playboys

6:00PM                 Open jamming

by ramerama on Jun 24th, 2014

The schedule for this years edition of the Sugar Maple Traditional Music festival is coming together.

Friday, August 1

Main Stage

5:15 PM              Count This Penny

6:30 PM              Eric Lewis & Rory Hoffman

7:45 PM              Jack Klatt Trio

9:00 PM              The Tillers


Saturday, August 2

Roots and Reasons Stage

10:30 AM            The Awful Purdies (Bloody Mary Jam)


Main Stage

12:15 PM            Cajun Strangers

1:30 PM              Loves It!!

2:45 PM              Lil’ Rev

4:00 PM              The Awful Purdies

5:15 PM              Blind Boy Paxton

6:30 PM              Bradford Lee Folk & the Bluegrass Playboys

7:45 PM              Dom Flemons Duo

9:00 PM              Drunken Catfish Ramblers



by ramerama on Jun 16th, 2014

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.

by ramerama on Jun 9th, 2014

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.

by ramerama on Apr 27th, 2014

The Four Lakes Traditional Music Collective is happy to announce the line-up for the 11rh Annual Sugar Maple Traditional Music Festival.

Friday, August 1st

Eric Lewis and Rory Hoffman                     Bluegrass, western swing

Jack Klatt & the Cat Swingers                       Western swing

The Tillers                                                                   Old timey, roots

Saturday, August 2nd

The Awful Purdies (Bloody Mary Set)         Bluegrass, folk

Dave Landau                                               Kids music

Loves It!                                                       Americana

Lil’ Rev                                                         Uke

Drunken Catfish Ramblers                             Jug, rag

Blind Boy Paxton                                                    Acoustic blues

Bradford Lee Folk & the BG Playboys     Bluegrass

Dom Flemons Duo                                     Blues, old timey

We will be posting introductions to the bands over the coming weeks.

by dasspunk on Apr 10th, 2014

This year’s String Gathering was another fabulous time. Folks from all over the Midwest converged in Baraboo, WI, for a couple days of music and fun.

For those folks who missed it, or if you’re just curious, here’s what it’s like to walk the halls…