Calling ALL musicians: Music con Brio is proud to present a Summer Workshop Series event featuring bluegrass band Circus No. 9! These acoustic freaks of nature feature five-string wonder Matthew Davis, who followed up his 2016 National Banjo Championship win with a crown as champ at the 2017 Rockygrass Festival. The band hails from East Tennessee and puts the “pro” in progressive bluegrass sounds.
Come spend the day hanging with the guys pickin’ some tunes, experimenting with bluegrass style, and jamming together in concert! Open to ALL musicians with at least two years experience on their instrument. Generously sponsored by the Sugar Maple Music Festival and the Goodman Community Center.
Date and time: Sunday, July 1, 10am – 5 pm
(Free concert at 4 pm featuring Circus No. 9 and all participants)
Location: Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St Madison 53704
What you get: 3 workshop sessions and concert with Circus No. 9.
Lunch, snack & t-shirt provided.
Cost: $60 (need-based scholarships available)
Register online at: www.musicconbrio.org
What if you could combine the instrumental artistry and youthful vigor of the Punch Brothers, Crooked Still and the Dave Rawlings Machine? Turns out it would sound like Hawktail, the acoustic instrumental supergroup featuring four of the most influential and talented musicians in bluegrass and roots music today. Brittany Haas (fiddle), Jordan Tice (guitar), Dominick Leslie (mandolin), and Madison native Paul Kowert (bass) have established knockout reputations as bandmates, collaborators, songwriters and and performers in the uppermost echelons of the acoustic music world.
The previous version of the band, Haas Kowert Tice, became Hawktail with the addition of mandolin virtuoso Leslie late last year, and their first album as a quartet, this year’s Unless, is already receiving rave reviews. Read more at No Depression, The Journal of Roots Music. You will be hearing about this band and these musicians for years to come—and one of their first stops will be at the Sugar Maple festival this year!
–written by Brad Wolbert
On their sixth full-length studio release, North Carolina-based Nu-Blu delivers a set of songs that range from the melancholy to the exuberant, and at every step they prove they?ve got a knack for finding their way into the deeper parts of you.
Hailing from Siler City, the textbook definition of a picturesque small southern town, Nu-Blu’s heart and soul is husband-and-wife duo Daniel and Carolyn Routh. Carolyn’s caramel-coated soprano is one of the band’s defining traits, at times a tender lullaby, at times a freight train headed straight for you, but always unwinding a surprising tale. Daniel is the group’s backbone, a multi-instrumentalist and backing vocalist who also runs the band’s business. Calder Baker on vocals and banjo, and Justin Harrison on mandolin and fiddle round out the quartet’s warm, layered, Appalachian sound. Together they deliver upbeat, blazing-fingers pick work just as well as gentle, heartwarming ballads, and they do it all with a natural togetherness that can’t be faked, forged over hundreds of shows on the road.
North Street Cabaret
Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 8 pm
Day of show $15
Making their first-ever Sugar Maple appearance, Saturday’s headliners The Travelin’ McCourys bring an unmatched pedigree and an effervescent, adventurous spirit to the festival stage. Ronnie (mandolin) and Rob (banjo) spent 20 years on the road with their father, the bluegrass legend Del McCoury. Together with Jason Carter (fiddle), Alan Bartram (bass), and Cody Kilby (guitar), they are artfully bending their mastery of traditional bluegrass stylings toward exciting new combinations of old and young, traditional and inventive.
The Travelin’ McCourys have collaborated with the Allman Brothers Band, Phish, Dierks Bentley and Keller Williams, among others, yet they always manage to maintain the tight, sometimes joyful, sometimes high and lonesome vernacular that is the essence of bluegrass. It helps that each of the five band members have been recognized by the International Bluegrass Music Association as the best at their instrument, with bassist Alan Bartram winning the award most recently in 2018.
For a taste of the Travelin’ McCourys’ unique approach to a bluegrass standard, listen to their blistering version of “John Henry” from DelFest 2016…
…or how they can slow it down and adapt nontraditional material with their soulful take on the Grateful Dead’s “Loser”:
Expect the best of traditional bluegrass, and a healthy dose of the unexpected, with the Travelin’ McCourys at this year’s Sugar Maple Festival.
–written by Brad Wolbert
Don’t miss this chance to see The Fever River String Band, The High Street Revelers, The Driftless Sisters, Miles Over Mountains, WheelHouse and Them Coulee Boys and support the first ever Tri-State BlueGrass fest.
Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door; available here.