At the Sugar Maple Traditional Music Festival
The drive into the Sugar Maple Traditional Music Festival (Madison, WI) through Lake Farm County Park was beautiful and made us wish we could have camped out with all the festival goers the night before. Our main stage show was not until 4 that afternoon, but first we were to host the Bloody Mary Jam at the Roots and Reason Stage. The folks that greeted us told us stories of the campfire jam the night before. Jerron Paxton had played around the fire for hours the night before and his wise, communal, "let's make music together" vibe set the tone for our jam. Homemade bloody Mary mix was out on the table and the circle that assembled passed and guided songs, new and old, with ease. We had fun tossing out a couple of our new Awful Purdies songs to everyone and learned a couple new ones, including Over the Waterfall, which got us all in sync with the predictable complexity of songs of that era.
Hanging around the festival was a sweet lazy day with all the jams, performances and Wisconsin Public Radio interview shows happening. Our show at 4 was dreamy, with great sound, waltzing couples, spinning kids in butterfly wings and the kind of audience reponse that made us wish our set was longer than forty-five minutes. Afterwards, backstage with Dom Flemons (Carolina Chocolate Drops) we learned his new band had just now assembled for the fest and they really got us up on our dancing feet. We met so many great volunteers and festivarians. From Barney, the mandolin player, whose goal in life was to obliterate world wide whining, to little five year-old Stella who was the greatest backstage helper of all time, we felt like we'd landed in a place where folk music is truly welcome in all forms. They should bottle up a day like that.
Thanks to all the volunteers who made Sugar Maple possible and made us feel so welcome. We'll be telling our friends about you.