• A. Trae McMaken

  • The website of the fiddler, storyteller, and tradition bearer.

Folklore and Fiddle

Well, it was a busy and fun summer, with lots of fiddling and folklore to go around. Now, I'm gearing up for fall, but first a few highlights from the last summer tour. The trip was a folklore fieldwork and performance trip in northern Michigan to Mackinac Island, Goodheart, and Beaver Island. I was contracting with Michigan State University to do some interviews and recordings and also performing for a square dance and for a couple nights at the Circle M on Beaver Island with islander musicians John McCafferty and Ed Palmer. It was a good time.

Below is a shot of the square dance I played on Mackinac Island, with friend and fiddler Jim Boynton acting as caller.

Here's a shot of us getting ready for the next dance.

Below is an aerial photo taken of the lighthouse on Whiskey Point of Beaver Island. Friend and fellow musician John McCafferty flew me over to the island for the Circle M performances.

This is a shot from earlier in the summer at the Eve Glen McDonough Folk School on Beaver Island. This is one of the workshop classes I taught. 

Summer shows!

Well, folks, the summer is going well. I just got back from a great week on Beaver Island. I gave a number of performances, including at the Beach Comber and the Glen McDonough Memorial Concert. On Friday,  I played a 5 hour dance at Donegal Danny's Pub on Beaver Island with the fantastic polkabilly band headed up by Danny Gillespie and Danny Johnston, with friends Cindy Gillespie-Cushman and Jim Boynton. I played the accordion, folks, something I particularly love to do on Beaver Island, and the only serious break I took in that 5 hours was to play a few tunes on the fiddle. If you weren't there, you certainly weren't there.

For all of you Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina folks. I'm going to be giving my "Finest Hour" performance for the Storytelling program at the Down Home in Johnson City, Tennessee on Saturday, July 20th. It's going to be a night of music, stories, and perhaps a guest musician or two. This will be the first time I actually perform one of my solo shows in Johnson City, and I'm excited to do some of my favorite repertoire that I don't usually get to do when I'm playing with bands down south. 

I didn't tell many people I was going to Beaver Island last week. I kind of snuck up on them. Paul, a Beaver Island friend, came around the corner and said, "Oh, I thought so. I heard that laugh and I said, 'There's only one person who could laugh like that. Trae must be here.'"

Photo update

Currently, I'm having a great time hanging out on Edisto Island on the South Carolina coast with a group of storytellers. Here's the shot from the porch.

Here's a shot from the Appalachian Highlands Conservancy Dinner that I played for with Will MacMorran.


 Soon, I'll be blasting up to Michigan. Cheers!