LARGEST GATHERING OF MUSIC MAKER ARTISTS TO DATE FEATURES IRONING BOARD SAM, BEVERLY “GUITAR” WATKINS, JOHN DEE HOLEMAN, BOO HANKS, ROBERT LEE COLEMAN, LITTLE FREDDIE KING, AND MANY MORE

PANEL DISCUSSION OCTOBER 3 WITH UNC’S WILLIAM FERRIS

NEW ACCLAIM FROM THE NEW YORKER, WALL STREET JOURNAL, THE NATION

Music Maker Relief Foundation’s 20th anniversary celebration will begin with a Homecoming Weekend October 3-4. October 3rd William Ferris, Phd will moderate a panel discussion preceding the opening of the We are the Music Makers! exhibit  and a Music Maker Blues Revue performance featuring Beverly “Guitar” Watkins, Cool John Ferguson, Captain Luke and more at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC.

October 4 will mark the largest MMRF artist gathering ever with food, music and celebration featuring over forty artists. The performance will take place 2pm to 8pm at the Old Murphey School in Durham, NC. Among the many performers (full list at bottom with hometowns) are:

+ Ironing Board Sam – This “legendary” (Billboard) piano man and three-time veteran of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has a new album ‘Ironing Board Sam & The Sticks,’ which is streaming at Billboard.

+ Beverly “Guitar” Watkins – This Atlanta guitar hero’s story of going from opening for James Brown and Ray Charles to working at a car wash was featured in the Wall Street Journal ahead of her recent Lincoln Center performance.

+ John Dee Holeman – This NEA National Heritage Fellowship award winner has recorded with Taj Mahal.

+ Boo Hanks – After making his debut album at the age of 79, the Washington Post praised his “irrepressible personality [and] propulsive push.” The lifelong tractor driver and Piedmont blues master recorded a session for Time Out New York.

+ Robert Lee Coleman – This guitarist was a member of the JBs and recorded with James Brown on such songs as “Hot Pants” and “Make It Funky.” Paul Reed Smith personally granted him a PRS guitar after hearing his playing.

+ Little Freddie King – This multiple New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest and Ponderosa Stomp veteran is one of New Orleans’ reigning bluesmen.

October 3 will see a panel discussion with Music Maker artists, moderated by folklorist and author William Ferris, PhD. Friday evening Music Maker will officially launch its exhibit, We Are the Music Makers with a performance by Cool John Ferguson, Ironing Board Sam, Beverly “Guitar” Watkins, and more. All of these events take place at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro, NC.

Recent events have included a museum exhibition, Lincoln Center performance. New book “We are the Music Makers” comes out September 15 on Nautilus Press while new 2CD set ‘We are the Music Makers’ comes out September 30. The New Yorker recently ran a playlist of Taj Mahal’s favorite songs from the Msuic Maker catalogue.

MMRF was included in Eric Alterman’s news and notes column in the Nation.

Here is a complete list of artists performing at the Homecoming at the Shared Visions Retreat Center in Hillsborough, NC October 4 along with list of their hometowns:

Big Ron Hunter – Winston-Salem, NC
Boo Hanks _ Buffalo Junction, VA
Captain Luke – Winston-Salem, NC
Cool John Ferguson – Beaufort, SC
Ironing Board Sam – Hillsborough, NC
John Dee Holeman – Hillsborough, NC
Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen – Salisbury, NC
Pura Fe – Durham, NC
Shelton Powe – Atlanta, GA
Tim and Susan Wells – Cedar Grove, NC
The Branchettes – Raleigh, NC
Beverly “Guitar” Watkins – Atlanta, GA
Drink Small – Columbia, SC
Eddie Tigner – Atlanta, GA
Robert Lee Coleman – Macon, GA
Dr Dixon – Atlanta, GA
David Bryant – Covington, GA
Algia Mae Hinton – Middlesex, NC
Lil’ Joe – Atlanta, GA
Nashid Abdul – Atlanta, GA
Albert White – Atlanta, GA
Ardie Dean – Huntsville, AL
Bubba Norwood – Carrboro, NC
Lakota John and Kin – Pembroke, NC
Harvey Dalton Arnold – Burlington, NC
Lightnin’ Wells – Fountain, NC
Deer Clan Singers – Pembroke, NC
Lee Gates – Racine, WS
Major Handy – Lafayette, LA
Alabama Slim – New Orleans, LA
Little Freddie King – New Orleans, LA
Little Pink Anderson – Vermillion, SD
Dave McGrew – Curlew, WA
PeeWee Hayes – Milwaukee, WI
Gerald Robinson – Winston-Salem, NC
Tad Walters – Raleigh, NC
Jeffrey Scott – Culpeper, VA