A note from your friend Jeff Konkel at Broke and Hungry Records:
Greetings, friends. I'm doing a little volunteering on behalf of the Music Maker Relief Foundation. As many of you know, Music Maker is a true force for good in the blues world. The nonprofit organization provides much needed financial support to traditional blues artists throughout much of the southern United States. Their subsidiary, Music Maker Records, is responsible for some of the finest traditional blues albums of the last 15 years.With the holiday season now upon us, the Music Maker Relief Foundation is launching a Holiday Gift-Giving Campaign. Details are below. I hope some of you will continue participating in this great program. You can check of some gifts from your holiday list while helping to preserve the music we all love. Thanks for your consideration!MUSIC MAKER RELIEF FOUNDATION LAUNCHES HOLIDAY GIFT-GIVING CAMPAIGNProgram aims to connect music lovers to raw, forgotten world of American roots music while benefiting the artists who create it (HILLSBOROUGH, NC) – In recent weeks, economic woes have finally spread from Wall Street to Main Street. Yet for many traditional blues and roots artists, hard times are nothing new. Many live at or below the poverty line, struggling to cover even basic living expenses. To help address the dire needs of these musicians, the Music Maker Relief Foundation has launched the Music Maker Holiday Gift-Giving Campaign at www.musicmaker.org. Through this campaign, individuals can purchase select packages of Music Maker products as gifts for their blues-and-roots-loving friends and family, while at the same time benefiting the very artists responsible for the music.A portion of every dollar spent on the Music Maker Holiday Gift-Giving Campaign goes directly to artists in needs. Most of the artists served by the foundation are at least 65 years old and have an average income of $8,000. Funds raised by the foundation are used to support the artists’ basic needs, including housing, utilities, transportation, food and medical expenses. Additionally, the foundation supports musical development of artists through grants and services aimed at professional development and career advancement.“The blues are spiritual – a tradition that¹s been passed down from generation to generation,” said Music Maker’s founder Tim Duffy. “Music Maker’s aim is to preserve the musical integrity of the artists who have contributed so much to the blues yet never received recognition because they were never recorded. Our mission is to support these artists and deliver their message to the world.”The Music Maker Relief Foundation’s holiday gift giving campaign offers four basic packages at price points to match all pocketbooks: $20, $45, $75 and $145. By participating in the Music Maker Gift-Giving Campaign, both the giver and recipient will receive a one-year subscription to the quarterly Music Maker Rag. Contents of various gift packages are as follows: $20 – Package includes Heritage, the latest CD from the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a group of young African-American stringband musicians playing in the fiddle and banjo tradition of the Carolina Piedmont region.$45 – Package includes the aforementioned Carolina Chocolate Drops CD and a copy of Last & Lost Survivors, a two-CD multi-artist compilation featuring more than two-and-a-half hours of music. Artists include Guitar Gabriel, Captain Luke, Cool John Ferguson, Pura Fé, John Dee Holeman, Etta Baker, Cora Mae Bryant, Drink Small, Cootie Stark and many more. $75 – Package includes all of the above-listed items, as well as a copy of Music Makers: Portraits and Songs, a beautiful hardcover book charting the remarkable story of Music Maker through words and pictures. The book profiles 70 musicians and includes 160 black & white photos over the course of its 208 pages. Included with the book is a companion CD featuring 23 tracks by Music Maker artists.$145 - Package includes all of the above listed items. In addition, recipients will receive membership in the Givin’ It Back Record Club, which includes a new Music Maker CD every three months for a year.To learn more about the Music Maker Relief Foundation or to sign up for the holiday gift giving campaign, visit the organization online at www.musicmaker.org.