Unfortunately, Hazel Dickens is facing health problems, and her doctor has advised her not to do any traveling for a while. She will not be able to appear at the festival in 2008. Hazel is in good spirits and regrets that she will not be able to appear at the festival this year. Please keep Hazel in your thoughts. We will be asking participants at this year’s festival to help send their best wishes to Hazel for a speedy recovery.
The fifth annual Sugar Maple Traditional Music Festival is one of Madison’s most cozy educational events, encouraging close interaction between artists and attendees.
“We started the festival to encourage people to learn from the artists and from each other,” said Evan Murdock, president of the non-profit Four Lakes Traditional Music Collective.
The festival will feature a wide variety of workshops that enable traditional music fans to learn directly from the artists in a relaxed atmosphere. Workshops include: banjo instruction by one of traditional music’s legendary performers, Mike Seeger. Also, Grammy-award winning mandolin player Mike Compton will conduct a workshop on the mandolin styles of Bill Monroe. “This year’s workshops are the best we’ve had yet,” said workshop coordinator Bob Batyko.
The Roots & Reasons Stage will also feature children’s artists Dave Landauon both Friday and Saturday. Kids 12 and under are admitted free. As always, there is space for musicians to get together and jam.
The 2008 Sugar Maple Traditional Music Festival line-up is packed with some of the country’s most legendary traditional musicians.
The festival will features two of the most influential artists in American folk and country music over the last 50 years, Smithsonian Folkways Recording artist Mike Seeger. In addition, a special reunion of Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys will feature Grammy Award winner Mike Compton on mandolin.
The setting at Lake Farm County Park offers 330 acres of green space including foot and bike trails, a boat landing, horseshoe pits, sand volleyball court, and a playground all accessible at the festival site. Throughout weekend a wide range of affordable food and drink options will keep festival-goers stomachs as happy as their ears.
Tickets are available throughout Madison including the Exclusive Company, Whole Foods Market, Spruce Tree Music, and Willy Street Co-op and on-line online at BrownPaperTickets.com. Advance prices for a two-day pass are just $28.
True to its mission, Sugar Maple Music Festival is as much about education as it is about great performances. In the intimate setting of shelter #3, the Roots & Reasons Stage, offers a variety of hands-on instruction as well as in-depth discussion led by a variety of this year’s Mainstage musicians. In addition, interactive music sing-alongs and story telling especially for kids is added to the Roots & Reason schedule. And what’s that yonder sound? The freestyle frenzy of the new Jam Tent. The following is a tentative schedule of educational offerings at the 2008 festival, with more information coming soon.
FRIDAY AUG 1, 2008
6:00pm – Dave Landau (KIDS’ SHOW! In his fifth annual appearance at Sugar Maple, Dave plays his first of three shows this weekend.)
6:45pm – Banjo Styles (Smithsonian Folkways recording artist Mike Seeger discusses and demonstrates clawhammer, two finger uppicking, index lead, and three finger styles. Jim Robarts, Moderator.)
7:45pm – Square & Contra Dance Class (Get your legs ready for this evening’s Mainstage Sugar Maple Square Dance w/ caller Dot Kent and friends.)
8:00pm – Open Jam* (host TBA)
SATURDAY AUG 2, 2008
1:00pm – Old-Time Jam* (hosted by Chirps Smith, one of the foremost and formidable master fiddlers on the old time scene today.)
2:45pm – When Tracks Were Wax (Moderated by Tom Martin-Erickson, host of Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Simply Folk” program, The Goose Island Ramblers discuss the history of their first label Cuca Records.)
3:00pm – Bluegrass Jam* (Hosted by Bob & Lisa Steeno, who return to Sugar Maple for their second straight year direct from Florida.)
3:30pm – Dave Landau (KIDS SHOW! In his fifth annual appearance at Sugar Maple, Dave brings back all the favorites of his participatory kids show.
4:15pm – Mandolin Styles (Grammy Award winner Mike Compton discusses and demonstrates the styles fathered by the late Bill Monroe. Jim Robarts, Moderator)
5:00pm – Life as a Bluegrass Boy (Songs and stories from the understudies and stage-mates Bill Monroe. Jim Robarts, Moderator.)
5:00pm – Stringband Blues Styles* (Discussion and demonstration with Sugar Maple alum Charlie Parr, and Adam Tanner. Karen Sonnenblick, Moderator.)
6:00pm – Dave Landau (ENCORE KIDS SHOW! Parents Choice award-winning music and sing-alongs.)
7:00pm – Open Jam* (host TBD.)
2008 Mainstage Performers
Over 16 hours of music performances!
Friday August 1, 2008
Emcee: Jeff Burkhart
1:00pm – Gates open for campers
4:40pm – Tani Diakite and the Malian Blues Band (Blues from Mali)
6:00pm – North Country Drifters (Western Swing)
7:20pm – Swing Gitan (Gypsy Jazz)
8:40pm – Square and Contra Dance featuring Mike Seeger* w/ Chirps Smith, Tim Foss, (of the New Bad Habits) and caller Dot Kent (Old-Time)
Saturday August 2, 2008
Emcees: Tom Martin-Erickson and Bill Malone
11:00am – Gates open
12:00pm – Charlie Parr* (Piedmont Blues)
1:20pm – The Goose Island Ramblers* (Polkabilly)
2:40pm – Adam Tanner Duo* (String Band Blues)
4:25pm – Cajun Strangers (Cajun)
6:00pm – Mike Seeger* (Old-Time)
7:30pm – The Bluegrass Boys Reunion featuring Bob Black, Tom Ewing, Mark Hembree, Mike Compton, John Fabke, and Paul Kienitz (Bluegrass)
9:05pm – Deanna Varagona’s Gospel Jubilee (see press release)