Featuring blues, western swing, old-time country, bluegrass, Cajun and gypsy swing music, the 2008 Sugar Maple Traditional Music Festival has been called “the summer’s most robust and varied weekend of roots music” by the Onion. The festival, in its fifth year of presenting music by some of the country’s best performers, has earned “Best of Show” kudos from the Wisconsin State Journal for the past three years.
Blues music will come in many varieties, from the roots of the blues with Tani Diakite from Mali, to Charlie Parr’s gritty slide and steel, and the string band blues of the Adam Tanner Duo. The western swing of the North Country Drifters will bring listeners back to when country and jazz merged to create a sound influenced by the big bands of the 30s and 40s and the country and blues singers of the time. The great gypsy swing of Chicago’s Swing Gitan is sure to bring listeners to their feet. And of course, bluegrass fans will be invigorated by the Bluegrass Boys Reunion show, featuring Grammy-award winning mandolin player Mike Compton.
The legendary Mike Seeger will play for what promises to be the best barn dance of the year, with award-winning fiddler, Chirps Smith and bandmate Tim Foss of the New Bad Habits. “We’ve put together one of the most diverse festivals in the country, and people come year after year. They love it!” said entertainment chair Bob Batyko.
Festival-goers will interact with and learn from artists in workshops and jam sessions. A variety of kids’ activities will take place on both days, and kids under 12 are always admitted free. Tent camping is available– musicians can sleep over and play around the campfire.