Etta Baker - Railroad Bill 12" Vinyl $18.00
**This record includes digital download of all of Etta Baker's albums on Music Maker and never before seen video content** "Possessing a stunning beauty, Etta's husband refused to let her travel and perform away from home. She never stopped playing music! This gracious grandmother was the source of a great deal of joy and surprise when I found out that she still played guitar after I heard her early recordings in the '60s. One of the signature chords of my guitar vocabulary comes from her version of 'Railroad Bill.' This was the first guitar picking style I ever learned." -- Taj Mahal
John Henry $12.00
The story of John Henry, like any good folk legend, has been told countless times. The song is considered a standard in many American folk traditions, not least, those of the American South. In Tim’s years of recording, he has recorded it so many times he has lost count. John Henry represents the very best of those recordings. One might assume that a record full of the same song would be repetitive or boring. That cannot be said of this record. As a listener, I have constantly admired Music Maker catalogue’s amazing diversity of musical personalities. They have never been more blatantly on display. Each artist plays the song in their own way, highlighting what about the songs speaks to them most.
The Whole Nine Yards $1,000.00
Get the Whole Nine Yards from Music Maker - That's more than 100 CDs! For $1000 you can take home every Music Maker CD that is currently on our shelves, as well as our book, We Are the Music Makers! With your help you can enjoy the music and support the artists. Plus you'll make a donation to Music Maker that will directly aid a musician in need.
We Are the Music Makers! Book & CD $50.00
Get your copies of We Are the Music Makers Book and CD today! “We Are The Music Makers: Preserving The Soul Of America’s Music,” written by Timothy and Denise Duffy, features over 65 photographs taken by Tim Duffy over twenty years along with stories and songs. Of the book, B.B. King said, “We are the Music Makers highlights an essential part of our culture, providing us a glimpse into the lives of the amazing, and often little known, musicians of the American South. Tim Duffy has taken every opportunity to sustain a dimension of Blues culture that could easily be lost forever, and nowhere is that more apparent than in his new book.” Character sketches and black and white photographs of great American musicians Etta Baker, John Dee Holeman, Jerry ‘Boogie’ McCain, Taj Mahal, Willie King, Othar Turner, Little Freddie King, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Ironing Board Sam, and the original guiding light for the Foundation’s formation, Guitar Gabriel, are shared in the book. The book also highlights other artists nestled deep in southern culture and telling a hidden story of American music. The book also highlights the musician’s vital role in Southern culture. The companion CD both compliments the book and stands entirely on its own. The two discs are packed with music showcasing the work we have done with artists over our 20-year history. We Are the Music Makers' 20th Anniversary CD is something for everyone, from the most ardent music lover to newcomers to the MMRF mission. *** PLEASE NOTE International Buyers: We can only ship this item to the US addresses through our webstore. If you are an international customer and would like to purchase a book please click <a href="https://shop.musicmaker.org/products/371-we-are-the-music-makers-book-cd-international-orders-only"> here</a>.***
We Are the Music Makers! Book & CD: International orders only $85.00
*** PLEASE NOTE this item is for International Buyers only and includes shipping.*** Get your copies of We Are the Music Makers Book and CD today! “We Are The Music Makers: Preserving The Soul Of America’s Music,” written by Timothy and Denise Duffy, features over 65 photographs taken by Tim Duffy over twenty years along with stories and songs. Of the book, B.B. King said, “We are the Music Makers highlights an essential part of our culture, providing us a glimpse into the lives of the amazing, and often little known, musicians of the American South. Tim Duffy has taken every opportunity to sustain a dimension of Blues culture that could easily be lost forever, and nowhere is that more apparent than in his new book.” Character sketches and black and white photographs of great American musicians Etta Baker, John Dee Holeman, Jerry ‘Boogie’ McCain, Taj Mahal, Willie King, Othar Turner, Little Freddie King, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Ironing Board Sam, and the original guiding light for the Foundation’s formation, Guitar Gabriel, are shared in the book. The book also highlights other artists nestled deep in southern culture and telling a hidden story of American music. The book also highlights the musician’s vital role in Southern culture. The companion CD both compliments the book and stands entirely on its own. The two discs are packed with music showcasing the work we have done with artists over our 20-year history. We Are the Music Makers' 20th Anniversary CD is something for everyone, from the most ardent music lover to newcomers to the MMRF mission.
Adolphus Bell: Mississippi Rubberleg $12.00
“[Adolphus] was a true American troubador,” said Timothy Duffy, who helped produce Mississippi Rubberleg. “His music is full of love, happiness and joy,” Duffy continued, calling Bell “a southern blues treasure.” “Mississippi Rubberleg is an overview of Adolphus' lengthy and successful career with Music Maker. It includes rare out-takes from previous studio recordings and unheard live recordings on Music Maker tours from around the world.” - Ardie Dean Bell, who learned from GRAMMY-winner George Benson, is best known for his One Man Band stage show. Bell passed away in 2013 after a long battle with cancer, but his music lives on in this amazing album.
Adolphus Bell: One Man Band $12.00
“I got the advantage over a lot of artist. I got my whole band by myself.” Feet flying, eyes flashing, hands on the guitar and song coming from the heart, that’s the Adolphus Bell One-Man Band.
Alabama Slim and Little Freddie King: The Mighty Flood $12.00
When Hurricane Katrina struck, Milton “Alabama Slim” Frazier and his cousin Little Freddie King made it out of New Orleans with their lives but not much else. The story of their encounter with the storm is related in the two versions of the Mighty Flood that bookend this disc’s dozen selections and give it its name. Slim, who takes the vocals on all but two tracks, comes by his nickname honestly- he was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama and stands almost seven feet tall. As harrowing as his account of Katrina is, it gains power from its understated delivery (like John Lee Hooker’s Tupelo, on which it was modeled). Slim also employs the device of updating an old blues theme by transforming "Tin Pan Alley" into "Crack Alley." The other tracks include a version of Mr. Charlie by the way of Lightnin’ Hopkins, a Going Upstairs that¹s loosely based on Howlin’ Wolf’s "No Place to Go", and "I Got The Blues", which bears a faint resemblance to Buddy Guy’s "Dam Right I’ve Got The Blues." These, and all of Slim’s other performances, owe their primary stylistic debt to Hooker and Hopkins, with King supplying most of the guitar work and Slim adding simple rhythm patterns on some cuts. The occasional assist from varying combinations of harmonica, bass, and drums is unnecessary but unobtrusive, though it helps add drive to King’s gospel piece "Lord, I’m Good For Something." His other lead, on "I Don’t Know What To Do", is a moody number cut from much the same cloth as his cousin’s efforts. This is one of those rare albums where the listener enjoys the sensation of sitting in on a private gathering of friends playing and singing with and for one another. -Jim Dekoster, Living Blues
Albert White: Soul of the Blues $12.00
Albert began playing guitar at an early age. His uncle, the legendary Piano Red, noticed that Albert was actually playing self-made chords on a ukulele at the age of nine. Red sent Albert to take lessons from his guitarist, Wesley Jackson. Albert and his friend Marion Smith were soon camped out in front of juke joints, playing and singing for tips. In early 1962, Albert became the bandleader for Piano Red’s “Dr. Feelgood and the Interns.” Red had scored a hit with his song “Dr. Feelgood” and dressed his band in intern jackets and nurses uniforms. One of the “nurses” was Beverly “Guitar” Watkins who became a lifelong friend to Albert. When Red disbanded, Albert joined the “Tams” from the late 60’s to the early 70’s, and by the mid 70’s, joined Hank Ballard and the midnighters. In recent decades, Albert’s own sound emerged, gigging with musicians in Atlanta, Georgia. Albert is currently touring the globe with the Music Maker Revue with his blues that makes everybody “Feel good." -Ardie Dean
Benton Flippen: Fiddler's Dream $12.00
Benton Flippen (b.1920) stems from an extremely influential generation of old-time musicians, who forged their own strongly-unique styles in the 30s and 40s. This group of men from Surry County, NC (Fred Cockeram, Tommy Jarrel, Earnest East and Kyle Creed) has inspired generations of old-time music enthusiasts. The Fiddlers Conventions where these men performed in total obscurity during their youth, continue to occur today and Benton continues to perform. He has performed for square dances during these conventions and, in 2006, at the internationally celebrated Mt. Airy Fiddler's Convention, he stood as the sole survivor of this fraternity. In Fiddler's Dream, Benton leads his band, the Smokey Valley Boys (which he formed in the 60s, disbanded in '85, and reformed at the turn of the century), strong with the help of his young apprentice Andy Edmonds.
Beverly "Guitar" Watkins: Back In Business $12.00
Here is Beverly "Guitar" Watkins, previously heard from as one of Dr. Feelgood's interns, decreeing herself "Back In Business." This is a highly charged record by this powerful performer. -CD Baby Reviews I met Beverly when she was playing on the streets of the Underground in Atlanta. She put on a tremendous show and was obviously a star. We started booking package shows and Beverly consistently tore down the house. She came up under Piano Red and cut records with him back in the 50s and 60s. She plays low-down, hard stompin', railroad-smokin' blues. She'll tell you, "people are impressed to see a black woman play like a man." -Tim Duffy, MMRF President
Beverly "Guitar" Watkins: The Feelings of Beverly Watkins $12.00
Lemme tell you, she's still in business alright and if you listen to her new album, she'll make the blues your business. "The Feelings of Beverly 'Guitar' Watkins" is a ticker-tape parade showcasing this lady's talents far and wide through dirty guitar playing that Cool John Ferguson better watch for, singing and shouting that would make a preacher sweat, and songwriting whose poetic sophistication cannot be overstated. This lady'll put the triple whammy on you. Her haunting poeticism and guitar playing is nowhere more apparent than in the sobering response to what's been happening in the Middle East, "Baghdad Blues," yes, the same popular song featured on Sisters of the South. The inclusion of a synthesizer and saxophone on many of the other tracks certainly gives this album more layers than your typical blues jam. They give it a funkier feel, pleading with you to "Get Out on the Floor." Then there are the classy and sassy soulful slow jams like, "As I Was Walking" and "Just Make Believe." "Melody Midnight Cruise" is reminiscent of the post-Clyde McPhatter Drifters. "Right Don't Wrong Nobody," "Late Bus Blues," and "D Harp Blues" all reinforce the loving blues notion flowing freely from Ms. Watkins. "Sugar Baby Swing" gives a wink to that swinging cousin of the blues. However, I must admit, my favorite song on the album is the final track, "Jesus Walked the Water." This infectious bluesy gospel shuffle shines a little light into even the darkest corner and can be described as nothing less than a musical smile. It is one conveyed in a carefree faith that leads the leaping listener through this eclectic album, ending it on the perfect high note. -Mark Coltrain
Beverly "Guitar" Watkins: The Spiritual Expressions $12.00
The Spiritual Expressions of Beverly "Guitar" Watkins stems from her dedication and commitment to her faith. Her live shows have always featured gospel music but this is Beverly’s first gospel album. When she is not traveling, Beverly can be found at her church every Sunday, singing and playing the guitar. The Spiritual Expressions… mixes Beverly’s trademark guitar playing with traditional gospel songs to create an album that is reflective at times and feet stompin' at others.
Big Ron Hunter: The Great Unknown $12.00
In this album, Hunter's light-toned mewl seems to straddle the line between his natural upper range and an effortless falsetto (think of a pop-style Skip James minus the existential terror), and his lyrics manage to be both deeply personal and universally themed. On the McCartney-esque "Play Your Cards Right" he intersperses feel-good bromides (“spread love all in my heart/ ‘til it’s time to part”) with vivid reminiscences of a downhome childhood. "Not Gonna Stress Myself" and "Through My Eyes" (the latter featuring pianist Dave Keys laying down patters that would sound appropriate on an early-era Billy Joel outing) find him offering unpretentious, almost ingenuous-sounding life lessons, sounding more like a youthful new-folk troubadour than a 55-plus-year-old self-styled bluesman. -David Whiteis, Living Blues The Great Unknown proves Hunter's mastery of the blues and folk niches. He is a fierce guitar player and a soulful bluesman. Please check out Hunter's first Music Maker Release.
Boo Hanks: Pickin' Low Cotton $12.00
Boo, a descendant of Abraham Lincoln on his mother's side, is the greatest Piedmont Blues rediscovery in many years. He sings and plays guitar very much in the manner of the legendary Blind Boy Fuller. Boo has just begun to pursue a career with his music, which, up until now, he has performed only for his family and friends. At the age of 79, this is Boo's first recording.
Boo Hanks & Dom Flemons: Buffalo Junction $12.00
**This item is currently out of stock. Hanks, one of the most important ‘discoveries’ in recent blues history, grew up sharecropping in Vance County, N.C., where he learned to play guitar from his father and from listening to Blind Boy Fuller on a wind-up gramophone. After partnering with Music Maker he went from being heard only in his community to playing for thousands at shows and festivals across the South, at the Lincoln Center and in Belgium, and opening for the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Flemons, who won a Grammy in 2011 with the Drops, was at the Music Maker office the day Hanks first arrived, and their friendship and collaborations grew from that first jam session over the next six years. Hanks’ and Flemons’ new album Buffalo Junction, named for Hanks’ hometown in Virginia, features upbeat, country blues that crosses generational lines. The album highlights Hanks on the guitar and vocals, while Flemons plays a variety of traditional instruments such as the jug, harmonica, bones and also sings backup vocals. The Illinois Entertainer calls Buffalo Junction, "Fascinating, important, a singular musical experience, and required listening for blues, folk, and musical history fans alike featuring dazzling picking." Hanks is a partner artist of Music Maker, while Flemons is a Next Generation Artist. Through Next Generation partnerships, MMRF fosters the continuation of Southern traditional music among younger generations of musicians. Buffalo Junction is a collaborative album that does just that.
Captain Luke: One of These Days $12.00
A veteran of the local "drink house" circuit in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Luther "Captain Luke" Mayer sings in a gravelly bass/baritone. Surprisingly, his vocal phrasing-as well as his tendency to segue into spoken passages and then back again into a melody line-sometimes invokes Lightnin' Hopkins, an association accentuated by the inclusion of Short Haired Woman, a longtime Hopkins mainstay, on this set. Mayer also strips B.B.'s Angel of Mercy theme down to its bare-boned essence with a riveting solo acoustic performance, again invoking Lightnin' with his phrasing. But he's far from "just" a bluesman; in fact, he sounds at least as influenced by country music as by blues. This versatility no doubt held him in good stead during his heyday, when he was required to provide entertainment for listeners with diverse tastes. (You Keep Me) Hangin' On is not the old Supremes/Vanilla Fudge pop standard but a countrified version of a ballad that's previously been recorded by Ann Peebles and Joe Simon, among others. Come Back To Me likewise sounds as if it was hatched in a honky-tonk rather than a juke. On these offerings, Mayer's sidemen provide him with low-key but richly textured country-folk backing. Old Black Buck, credited to Mayer himself, harks back to early folk styles, both African American and white-it wouldn't sound out-of-place in a Carolina Chocolate Drops set. His take on Taj Mahal's Farther on Down the Road (unrelated to the Bobby "Blue" Bland standard), in contrast, is buttressed by a gently burbling funk patter, and it's rich with emotional immediacy and understated but elegant sophistication. -David Whiteis, Living Blues
Captain Luke and Cool John Ferguson: Live at The Hamilton $12.00
Captain Luke's voice like honey dripping on hot chocolate and the beautifully stunning guitar of Cool John Ferguson breathe new life and nuance into this set of old songs. In 2012, Tom Meyer and Bart Farrell invited their friend Captain Luke (84) to perform a special show at The Hamilton, a new venue they opened just three blocks from the White House. Captain Luke, from Winston-Salem, NC, used to sing locally with the legendary 5 Royale’s in the 50s. And for the last 60 years, he has been king of Winston-Salem's drink-house milieu. Cool John Ferguson from Beaufort, SC is a youngster by Music Maker’s standards, a living bridge between his Gullah heritage and the psychedelic rock and roll and R&B of his childhood. When these two Carolina men join together onstage, jaws drop. -Tim Duffy, MMRF Founder
Carl Rutherford: Turn off the Fear $12.00
Here is grandfatherly Carl Rutherford's devastating take on "The Old Rugged Cross" and other jewels that showcase his unique blend of Buck Owens-style twang, old time goospel number and harrowing mining songs, making him a true American original. -CD Baby Reviews
Carolina Chocolate Drops: Dona Got a Ramblin' Mind Vinyl 12" $15.00
The Carolina Chocolate Drops are an African-American string band based in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Rooted in the traditional music of the foothills and mountains of North and South Carolina, this unique string band is made up of two Carolina natives, Rhiannon Giddens (b.1977) (banjo, fiddle, voice) and Justin Robinson (b.1982) (fiddle, voice) as well as a songster from Arizona, Dom Flemons (b.1982) (guitar, banjo, jug, harmonica, snare & voice). In this album, The songs on the record touch on ancient blues and country, but to align what the CCD do with either of those branches would be an error. Songs like "Ol' Corn Likker" and "Black-Eyed Daisy" evoke a time and place far removed not only from the present but from contemporary notions of what those genres signify. When the trio plays "Dixie," you're listening not to a patriotic rebel anthem but a yearning, mournful moan. And the purity of Giddens' solo a cappella vocal on "Little Margaret" belongs to an era when music was not something to be sold but something from the soul. The Carolina Chocolate Drops have stated that they are on a mission to keep this tradition alive, and that they do. But they do so not from the staid position of lecturers on ethnomusicology or as strident sociopolitical posturers but as musicians truly in love with this disappearing slice of Americana, more specifically a little known slice of black Americana. That they do it with zeal as well as respect, and that they have the talent to back up their knowledge, is why it works on its own merits, not merely as a historical study.