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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Comebacks? They're our specialty.

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Major Handy Makes A Comeback - 7 Years After Katrina  
Major Handy
Major Handy on the beach in Australia, his first tour with MMRF
The road back from disaster for a Bluesman
At MMRF, we have many artists who have played only for their home communities before partnering with Music Maker, and many whose careers have been derailed due to an obstacle. In Major Handy's case, that obstacle was Hurricane Katrina, followed by Hurricane Rita. Major and his wife, Frances, had a successful career playing on Royal Carribbean cruises that left from New Orleans. Their Zydeco act was beloved by cruise-goers, and they made a good living from gig fees and CD sales.     

When Hurricane Katrina hit, Major had just been booked for all Saints home games in the Superdome. Those gigs, and of course, any cruises scheduled to leave from New Orleans, were canceled. Major still had some income in Lafayette, where the couple lived, from gigs and his body shop. After Hurricane Rita, those incomes dried up too. The couple was forced to cut costs, and dropped their health insurance. Soon after, Frances was diagnosed with lymphoma.

Frances recently sent us a note, which you can read here, detailing their story. It is familiar to so many Music Maker musicians, for whom a natural disaster like Katrina meant the end of a once thriving career. Making their way back takes years, if it's even possible without support. Major and Frances were on their own for seven years, before partnering with Music Maker this fall. Major has just returned from his first tour with the Blues Revue in Australia. Frances writes, "I wanted you to know our story, since that is what the Music Maker Relief Foundation is all about.  You have been a God send to us and I know that Major and I will be such an asset for MMRF ... I am feeling hopeful, encouraged and excited about the future!!!  Thank you Tim."

Please make your gift today to help us get artists back to work, while preserving Our Southern Roots for future generations. Your gift will be matched up to $80,000, if you give before June 30th. 

Dr Burt and Drops
Dr. Burt by Gregg Roth
Drink Small
Fresh from AU, Dr. Burt performs with Drops

Dr. Burt joined the Carolina Chocolate Drops to perform at Dartmouth on April 9th, and also gave a lecture.  Despite spending two weeks touring another continent with the Blues Revue, Dr. Burt was ready to go for his performance up North! Check out more photos of the great event here!
Diggin': "What Can A Man Do?"
Australians really do love Dr. Burt - he just got back from traveling with the Blues Revue, and all the reviews were raves. Margot was inspired to explore his music after viewing the photos of the Dartmouth gig - and wrote this week's diggin' on a classic Dr. Burt tune. Check it out! 
Keep up with Music Maker's gigs
Do you need to boogie woogie? See who's playing in your area! You never know when a Music Maker artist will be rolling through your town. Check out the Tour Calendar.

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