Rough Around the Edges is a Folk-Bluegrass-Country-Blues music featuring fingerstyle pickin' on Charlie's 1967 Martin D-18 guitar with vocals and occasional harmonica ... and occasional guest artists. Find out more at www.charliefolkmusic.com
Charlie's folk roots are in the music of the late Sixties and early Seventies. An accomplished fingerstyle/Travis pickingguitarist, he also flatpicks, plays harmonica, and sings. These skills were learned while attenting college in Northfield Mn. and further developed while earning an engineering degree in Boston Ma. Work took precedence, but in 1998 Charlie revived his music career and played in the Summer Concert Series in Kiel, Wi. and the Evening in the Park Concerts in Brillion, Wi. This was followed by open mikes and performances from 2004 to present.
Originally from the Milwaukee area, Charlie got his first guitar while in high school. As a freshman in college he met a fellow student who taught him how to Travis pick. Interest in the guitar grew and Charlie became a member of a renowned, but short lived, jug band - The Greenfield Iowa Mollases Truck Explosion. Now residing in the New Holstein Wi. area, Charlie performs regularily - solo, sometimes with son Christopher, or with Rough Around the Edges.
Fred Heyman has played in bluegrass bands, a variety band, gospel groups, and at present is active in three bands: The String Along String Band; EZ listening, and Rough Around the Edges. He has played guitar since 1966 while stationed in Germany in the Army. He has taken some guitar lessons over the years and studied some music theory; also the numerous guitar books and tapes and videos, etc. In 1973 he tried to play lap steel guitar but put if off. The fascination of the sound of the steel guitar haunted him and in the early 1990's bought a pedal steel guitar and a Dobro, a square neck resonator guitar played with a slide. He also offers free Dobro Workshops and usually annually offers one to interested persons. Fred has also given guitar lessons over the years and a song writing clinic and also is an hobbyist song writer. Since retirement music is one of his main staples of fun and relaxation and of course, meeting the people. one can never underestimate the fun and joy of music as it is a part of our total being whether one plays an instrument, sings, or just listens. His future plans are to play as long as he can move his fingers and they continue to make instruments.
Dr. Christopher Cramer is an accomplished classical guitarist who is willing to help out his dad by playing bass with Rough Around the Edges, mostly for the fun of it. As a solo recitalist, concerto soloist, and chamber musician, classical guitarist Christopher Cramer has performed in the United States, Canada, and Asia. As a chamber musician, Dr. Cramer has collaborated with a variety of instrumentalists and performs regularly with award-winning soprano Yi-Lan (Elaine) Niu.
Dr. Cramer currently serves on the faculty at Beloit College, where he teaches studio guitar lessons and directs the guitar ensemble program. He also teaches guitar related courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Wisconsin-Rock County. Former faculty engagements have included Edgewood College and the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc. In addition to academic teaching, Dr. Cramer also presents programs in schools and community centers for those interested in learning more about the guitar and its music.
Dr. Cramer began his music studies at the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc, where he won a number of awards including the UW-Manitowoc County Fine Arts Award in the Area of Music. He went on to complete his undergraduate training at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, where he won first place in the annual WCM scholarship competition in classical guitar. Continuing his studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Cramer earned both his masters and doctorate degrees in music performance.