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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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Showing posts with label Atlanta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Atlanta. Show all posts

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Since You Been Gone - Big Maceo

Big Maceo Merriweather (March 31, 1905 – February 23, 1953) was an American Chicago blues pianist and singer, active in Chicago in the 1940s.
Born Major Merriweather (or Merewether) in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, he was a self-taught pianist. In the 1920s he moved to Detroit, Michigan and began playing parties and clubs. In 1941, a desire to record led him to Chicago where he met and befriended Tampa Red. Red introduced him to Lester Melrose of Bluebird Records, who signed him to a recording contract.

His first record was "Worried Life Blues" (1941), which promptly became a blues hit and remained his signature piece. Other classic piano blues recordings such as "Chicago Breakdown", "Texas Stomp", and "Detroit Jump" followed. His piano style developed from players like Leroy Carr and Roosevelt Sykes, as well as from the Boogie-woogie style of Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons. He in turn influenced other musicians like Henry Gray, who credits Merriweather to helping him launch his career as a blues pianist.

His style had an impact on practically every post World War II blues pianist of note. His most famous song, "Worried Life Blues" is a staple of the blues repertoire, with artists such as Eric Clapton featuring it regularly in concert. "Worried Life Blues" was in the first batch of songs inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame "Classic Blues Recordings - Singles or Albums Tracks" alongside "Stormy Monday," 'Sweet Home Chicago," "Dust My Broom," and "Hellhound On My Trail."

His career was cut short in 1946 by a stroke. Poor health and a lifetime of heavy drinking eventually led to a fatal heart attack. He died on February 23, 1953 in Chicago, and was interred at the Detroit Memorial Cemetery in Warren, Michigan.

His sparse recordings for Bluebird were released in a double album set as Chicago Breakdown, in 1975. They have since been reissued on a variety of labels.

In 2002 he was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

On May 3, 2008 the White Lake Blues Festival took place at the Howmet Playhouse Theater in Whitehall, Michigan. The event was organized by executive producer, Steve Salter, of the nonprofit organization Killer Blues to raise monies to honor Merriweather's unmarked grave with a headstone. The concert was a success, and a headstone was placed in June, 2008.
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chicken Raid returns to Atlanta!

Music Maker Logo
Chicken Raid is back in Atlanta, honoring Mr. Frank Edwards!

Frank Edwards
Mr. Frank Edwards
March 24th and 25th the Northside Tavern in Atlanta will host the annual Chicken Raid in honor of Mr. Frank Edwards!

Performers include Essie Mae Brooks, Mudcat, and a Music Maker Blues Revue featuring Albert White, Roy Lee Johnson, Jim Ransone, Beverly Watkins, Eddie Tigner, Tommy Brown, and Robert Lee Coleman!

The Blues Revue will play Saturday - and both days the party goes from 3pm to midnight. If you're in Atlanta don't miss out! More info at
Diggin': Sweet Betty's music explored by Christie Ray

Sweet BettyUpon listening to Sweet Betty's "Everybody Needs Love" for the first time, I could tell from just the opening few notes that she must have been influenced by gospel music at some point in her life. Betty was raised listening to her mother sing in church, and has been singing blues and gospel ever since. "Everybody Needs Love" features Betty's powerful voice against a backdrop of the piano and saxophone. I could almost see the church choir swaying to the sound of her voice as I listened.

Sweet Betty's soulful vocals, combined with the mixture of blues, gospel and jazz of the piano, saxophone and drums, had me tapping my foot and singing along from the opening verse. The idea that everybody needs love might not be a new concept to us, but Sweet Betty's powerful interpretation of the idea is refreshing and invigorating. "Everybody Needs Love" is on Betty's album "Live and Let Live," recorded by Music Maker in 2004.

-- Christie Ray

Christie Ray Harrison, a Raleigh, N.C. native, is another great Music Maker intern attending UNC. She is completing a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and will graduate this spring.


Sweet Betty- Everybody needs love

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Still time to buy tix for Capitol Blues!

Capitol Blues Night March '12
Don't miss this great show - MMRF artists
Ironing Board Sam, Captain Luke, Big Ron Hunter, and Shelton Powe will be at Clyde's of Gallery Place to rock out from 7pm to 10pm on March 27th.

Tickets are $100 and include beer and wine, hors d'oeuvres, and
an awesome evening of blues!

Proceeds from the event will directly benefit the elderly and impoverished Blues musicians
throughout the South who are served by Music Maker. Buy your tickets here - don't wait, they're selling fast!
Macavine on the beach in Spain
Photo of the week

Macavine Hayes in Spain

by Tim Duffy

See Leyla McCalla in Carrboro on Friday
Leyla McCalla
Leyla McCalla, with Cary Morin, will open for Celtic band Lunasa at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro on Friday 3/23! Leyla's sultry vocals and rhythmically lilting cello will be complimented by Cary's guitar, ensuring a memorable evening for the audience.

Don't wait, get your tickets today!
Upcoming Shows: Click here for more info on upcoming events

3/22 - Leyla McCalla - The Hamilton, D.C.

3/23 - Leyla McCalla - The ArtsCenter, Carrboro, N.C.
3/23 - Big Ron Hunter - The Eddy Pub, Saxapahaw, N.C.
3/24-25 - Chicken Raid - Northside Tavern, Atlanta, G.A.

3/27 - Ironing Board Sam, Captain Luke, Big Ron Hunter, Shelton Powe - Capitol Blues Night, D.C.

3/29 - Ironing Board Sam - Art with a Heart, Washington D.C.

4/07 - Ironing Board Sam - The Whiskey, Durham, N.C.

4/13 - SOOTS 6th Annual Blues Review featuring John Dee Holeman, Tad Walters, & Justin Robinson & the Mary Annettes

4/13 - Ironing Board Sam - The Depot, Hillsborough, N.C.

4/14 - Big Ron Hunter - North Dakota Museum of Art

4/21 - Music Maker Blues Revue - Shakori Hills Festival, N.C.

4/27 - Cool John Ferguson, Captain Luke, and Shelton Powe - Havelock Blues Festival, N.C.

4/27 - Guitar Lightnin' Lee, Leyla McCalla - New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

4/28 - Carolina Chocolate Drops - New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

4/29 - Ironing Board Sam - New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

5/11 - Music Maker Blues Revue - Back Porch Music, Durham, N.C.

5/11 - Ironing Board Sam - The Depot, Hillsborough, N.C.



Music Maker Relief Foundation, Inc. helps the true pioneers and forgotten heroes of Southern music gain

recognition and meet their day to day needs. We present these musical traditions to the world so American culture will flourish and be preserved for future generations.