MusicMaker Artists

Since 1994, Music Maker has worked with more than 300 artists. Each artist presents to the world a singular voice that exemplifies an unbroken narrative stretching back to the birth of our collective cultural heritage. Over 100 Partner artists are featured on our website, representing genres ranging from Country-Gospel to Electric Blues. Music Maker works with these artists to sustain their day-to-day needs, build their careers, document them and present them to the world.

Adolphus Bell

Adolphus explains, “I got my guitar and I was playing and both my feet was going with the music. And it was like something hit me: go put some drums on them feet!" | Read More»

Alabama Slim

“I grew up listening to the old blues since I was a child. Them old folks would get to moanin’ while they worked, and I just started moanin’ with them.” – Alabama Slim | Read More»

Albert Smith

Albert Smith was a lovely, soft-spoken man, and a powerful blues shouter and barrel-house pianist. He was the inspiration to countless young musicians such as Drink Small | Read More»

Albert White

Albert White is no stranger to rhythm and blues, since he began playing guitar at a young age in the late '50s after becoming fascinated by the Blues. | Read More»

Algia Mae Hinton

Algia Mae Hinton is an innovative woman who has survived and created anew under all circumstances. | Read More»

Ardie Dean

Ardie Dean’s infectious happy-spirited charisma drives the Music Maker Revue. He is a world-class drummer who has been with Music Maker since 1991. | Read More»

Ben Payton

Payton, of Jackson, Mississippi, is an acoustic blues artist with strong roots in the Delta. | Read More»

Benton Flippen

Benton Flippen starting playing banjo in his early teens and picked up the fiddle when he was about eighteen. His wife Lois recalls that he even sang a few songs when they were courting. | Read More»

Beverly “Guitar” Watkins

If you’ve never seen a blues lady who can play her guitar behind her head, belt out songs and roll over to sweet gospel, you’ve never been in the house when Beverly “Guitar” Watkins was on stage. | Read More»

Big Boy Henry

Before his first marriage, Richard "Big Boy" Henry made a fair name for himself as a powerful singer and versatile guitarist on the thriving Carolina blues scene. | Read More»

Big Ron Hunter

Big Ron Hunter has the kind of voice that carries warmth and tenderness and is truly his own, embodying everything that’s raw, pure and beautiful about the blues. | Read More»

Bishop Dready Manning

Besides his tremendous musicianship of guitar and harmonica, Bishop Dready Manning is a powerful singer and songwriter. | Read More»

Boo Hanks

Boo Hanks saved money for his first guitar by selling packets seeds and it was with this guitar that he began picking out the same songs he heard his father playing after long days in the tobacco field. | Read More»

Bubba Norwood

Known mostly for his association with Ike and Tina Turner, James "Bubba" Norwood has anchored the rhythm section for a “who’s who” of blues, soul, and R&B greats. | Read More»

Captain Luke

Luther Mayer, known as “Captain Luke,” is one of the most versatile and entertaining musicians and is blessed with a natural deep baritone. | Read More»

Carl Hodges

Carl Hodges, In true songster tradition, performs old blues, country, and gospel songs sung with his old-time vibrato laden voice. | Read More»

Carl Rutherford

Carl Rutherford's unique songs showcase his unique blend of twang, old time gospel numbers, and harrowing mining songs, making him an American original. | Read More»

Carolina Chocolate Drops

The Carolina Chocolate Drops are a group of young African-American string band musicians that have come together to play the rich tradition of fiddle and banjo music in Carolina’s Piedmont. | Read More»

Cary Morin

Cary Morin is a brilliant guitarist, heartfelt songwriter and soulful singer whose music gives us pause to reflect on life’s great rewards | Read More»

Cedell Davis

Cedell Davis plays guitar using a table knife in his fretting hand in a manner similar to slide guitar, resulting in a welter of metal-stress harmonic transients. | Read More»

Chicago Bob Nelson

Chicago Bob Nelson’s singing and playing is in prime form; he plays the Blues the way it was meant to be played-from the heart. | Read More»

Clyde Langford

Clyde Langford learned guitar from Joel "Thunder" Hopkins as a boy and grew up listening to the songs on the radio, imitating them and putting his own spin on them. | Read More»

Cool John Ferguson

“It didn’t matter where the music came from. I just learned it all – TV themes, blues, R&B, jazz, gospel – it all came in my ears and through my hands.” – Cool John Ferguson | Read More»

Cootie Stark

Cootie Stark was one of the last authentic Piedmont blues guitarists/singers and provided a direct link to a South long gone. | Read More»

Cora Fluker

When Cora Fluker sang and preached her voice sounded like a saxophone. She was featured on the Sisters of the South Dixiefrog release and was part of the Winston Blues Campaign. | Read More»

Cora Mae Bryant

Cora Mae Bryant was a blues scholar; her house was a blues museum. She could tell you everything one needed to know of the old blues. | Read More»

Cueselle Settle (Mr. Q)

A self-taught pianist, Cueselle Settle "Mr. Q" has fashioned his own sound by mixing the piano styles of Art Tatum, Earl Hines and Oscar Peterson interspersed with songs by the Ink Spots. | Read More»

Dave McGrew

McGrew’s lyrics speak of fragmentation and isolation. He wrote in the Northwest with roots in the Southern musical tradition before finally coming to North Carolina. | Read More»

David Butler

David Butler's father was a blues pianist in the same neighborhood that Ray Charles grew up as boy. David has clung tightly to the old blues of his father’s generation. | Read More»

David Johnson

David Johnson carries a pocketful of harmonicas in different keys with him at all times and on Saturday afternoons plays with a a white rock band. | Read More»

Deer Clan Singers

Together, the Deer Clan Singers are singers and educators. They travel to native schools, centers, festivals and perform abroad singing Tutelo-Tuscarora and Iroquois Social Dance Songs. | Read More»

Dom Flemons

Dom Flemons is a true modern Songster engaging audiences with personalized interpretations of folk, blues, early jazz and rock, country, and original material. | Read More»

Dr. Dixon

Dr. Dixon growls, buzzes, and dances on his harp with a raw power, all the way from the muddy Delta to electric Chicago. | Read More»

Dr. G.B. Burt

Dr. G.B. Burt plays at twelve-string guitar with his own special tuning, morphing his guitar into the sound of two guitars - what he calls the sound of an organ or a piano. | Read More»

Drink Small

"They call me the blues Doctor ‘cause I can play all the styles, bottleneck, ragtime, Piedmont Blues I can tear them up, Chicago Blues; I am the blues Doctor." - Drink Small | Read More»

Eddie Tigner

Eddie Tigner plays the piano with a smooth, strong base that rolls along below the weave of the soulful notes of the upper registers. For him, the piano is not just an instrument; it’s a place to be. | Read More»

Elder Anderson Johnson

Elder Anderson Johnson spent his career preaching and playing his steel guitar on the streets of America. | Read More»

Elder James Goins

Elder James Goins' and his wife Mother Pauline's music is a combination of the ancient African musical traditions and the early African American gospel traditions coming together. | Read More»

Ernie K Doe

Ernie K Doe’s music was some of the best New Orleans music especially his vocal style and the way he raised his notes at the end of the line. | Read More»

Ernie Vincent

New Orleans own Funk'n Blues living legend Ernie Vincent is mounting a powerful resurgence in the Crescent City as of late. A product of New Orleans rhythm and blues, Ernie Vincent has been on the music scene since the mid 1960's, playing r&b/funk and collaborating with the likes of Ernie K-Doe, King Floyd, Tommy Ridgley, Oliver Morgan, Irving Bannister, Eddie Bo, Jessie Hill and more | Read More»

Essie Mae Brooks

Essie Mae Brooks is a powerhouse gospel singer born in 1930 in Houston County, Georgia. She began singing and writing gospel songs as a girl and has never stopped. | Read More»

Etta Baker

Baker’s music reflects the openness in which she learned to play. African-American blues, white country picking and English fiddle tunes erupt in her unique style of finger work on both guitar and banjo. | Read More»

Eugene Powell

Of all the Mississippi Delta musicians of his generation, Eugene Powell is the last still-active performer who recorded pre-war and always remained in the state | Read More»

Frank Edwards

Frank Edwards traveled extensively through the 1930s by bus or train, “hoboing” when he had to while he learned his trade as a street musician. | Read More»

George Conner

“Birmingham” George Washington Conner moved from Alabama to Chicago and stayed there close to 30 years where he had his own blues club, "The Place." | Read More»

George Daniels

George Daniels can really sing the blues and is a deep blues guitar and harp player, treasuring and nurturing the old ways in which he was raised. | Read More»

George Higgs

George Higgs was a moving singer, powerful harp blower and had a gentle, propulsive guitar style that made for engaging listening | Read More»

Guitar Gabriel

You may know Guitar Gabriel as Nyles Jones, under which he recorded a highly acclaimed LP, My South, My Blues, in 1970. . | Read More»

Guitar Lightnin’ Lee

Guitar Lightnin’ Lee, a multi-talented rhythm and blues purist, has defied all rational logic by assembling his band with a bunch of veteran rock and rollers half his age. | Read More»

Harvey Dalton Arnold

Harvey Arnold is a singer, guitarist and North Carolina-native who has a passion for the | Read More»

Haskel “Whistlin Britches” Thompson

Haskel "Whistlin Britches" Thompson has an amazing spirit and exudes utter joy when he sings and he can pop and click his tongue like a bushman. | Read More»

Ironing Board Sam

A master showman and eccentric self-promoter, his memorable stage acts ranged from performing his blues show underwater in a 1,500 gallon tank to appearing on the streets of the French Quarter inside a giant eight-foot tall homemade wooden jukebox. | Read More»

J.W. Warren

J.W. Warren picked up his guitar at 16 years of age and created original story songs, using a jack-knife for a slide in a unique guitar style. | Read More»

Jack Owens

Jack Owens lived in the small town of Bentonia, Mississippi where he ran a juke joint on the weekends and played his guitar in a unique minor tuning that was all his own. | Read More»

Jahue Rorie

"When I first came to town, I played for three days against Guitar Gabriel... seeing who knew the most blues. He did put me down, but we always remained good friends.” – Jahue Rorie | Read More»

James “Guitar Slim” Stephens

“Blues will be popular as long as the world stands. It’ll take away any other musician you may come up with." - James "Guitar Slim" Stephens | Read More»

James Davis

James Davis' music stemmed from the fife and drum music, which is among the oldest African-American musical traditions | Read More»

Jerry “Boogie” McCain

Jerry "Boogie" McCain began recording in the early 1950s for the Trumpet label, making records of his unique blend of country swing and down-home blues. | Read More»

Jimmie Lee Williams

Jimmie Lee Williams first started playing electric guitar in 1957. He used to have to run people away from the house because they would try to stay and listen till the break of dawn. | Read More»

Joe Willie “Pinetop” Perkins

Pinetop Perkins started as a guitar player, but after being cut with a knife in his arm he switched to piano. After moving to Chicago, he joined Muddy Waters' band. | Read More»

John Dee Holeman

John Dee Holeman's playing and singing have that special feel like they’re pouring out as natural as breathing. A truly genuine and amazing bluesman. | Read More»

John Lee Zeigler

John Lee Zeigler plays the guitar left-handed, with the strings upside down, striking the bass strings with his index finger and the treble strings with his thumb. | Read More»

Lakota John Locklear

Lakota John Locklear picked up his first guitar at age 9. He was intrigued by the sound of the slide guitar, so he bought a glass slide and has been sliding ever since. | Read More»

Larry Shores

Larry Shores is now retired from hard labor, but is still on the road playing more music than ever in the grange halls and taverns of America. | Read More»

Lee Gates

Lee Gates' first cousin is blues legend Albert Collins, and you can hear the family influence in Lee's fluid guitar style and tone. | Read More»

Leyla McCalla

Leyla McCalla is exploring her roots and connecting with the culture by playing Haitian folk music, Troubadour music, which is known for using banjos and maracas. | Read More»

Lightnin’ Wells

Lightnin' Wells used his collection of country and blues recordings to develop his style of playing and singing using the guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, and harmonica. | Read More»

Lil’ Joe

Lil' Joe is well known throughout the United States for his heart-wrenching solos and high-energy performances. His uniquely versatile approach to traditional and contemporary Blues is legendary. | Read More»

Little Freddie King

Little Freddie King taught himself how to play guitar and soon after, he developed his unique country-style Blues or as he calls it “Gut Bucket Blues”. | Read More»

Little Pink Anderson

“I think feeling is the most important part of music…They can be the best musicians in the world, but if they have no feeling in the music, they don’t convey feeling. So, learn to feel…learn to feel yourself.” | Read More»

Lucille Lindsay

Lucille Lindsay is Guitar Gabriel's sister. When they were reunited after eight years, the pair immediately broke into a song Gabriel had written the day their mother passed away. | Read More»

Macavine Hayes

Macavin Hayes grew up on the family farm, where he and his 5 sisters and 5 brothers listened to the radio and played the music of Chuck Berry and Jimmy Reed. | Read More»

Major Handy

Major Handy is a Zydeco musician and blues accordion player who was born in 1947 in Lafayette, Louisiana. | Read More»

Marie Manning

Marie Manning sings powerful old-time gospel while her husband, Bishop Dready Manning, heads a Holiness Church and plays hard-driving guitar | Read More»

Mudcat

Mudcat is a tremendous slide guitarist, and most of all, a God-gifted entertainer. He was born to make people smile and enjoy life. | Read More»

Music Maker Blues Revue

The Music Maker Blues Revue celebrates legendary musicians, rooted in traditional Southern Blues. The Revue has received international press and recognition for its many performances in the States and abroad. | Read More»

Neal Pattman

Losing an arm in a wagon wheel at the age of nine didn’t slowed Neal Pattman at all. “66 years ago the Blues knocked on my door and they wouldn’t leave.” | Read More»

Nora Milner

Nora Milner belongs to the old Primitive Baptist church, where they make their music with their mouth and feet, not with instruments. | Read More»

Othar Turner

Othar Turner was the leader of the Rising Star Fife and Drum Corps, the only Mississippi fife and drum band left in America. | Read More»

Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen

Since the age of six, Pat "Mother Blues" Cohen was surrounded by music. Her blues classroom was on the porch of her uncle’s house where one played the guitar and the other played the harmonica. | Read More»

Pat Wilder

Blues is Patricia Wilder’s self-described music style – real music about real people, living real. Wilder’s musical foundation is rooted in jazz, rock, R&B, blues and gospel. | Read More»

Paul Duffy

Paul Duffy has been a wandering poet since the 1970s and is a highly respected Texas songwriter and very active in the theater and music scenes. | Read More»

Pernell King

Pernell King is Guitar Gabriel's half-brother and has a beautiful smooth voice. He and his brother spent a good deal of time with one another, playing blues in Winston-Salem. | Read More»

Precious Bryant

"I was about nine years old when I started playing guitar. I was small, and my uncle, he had a large guitar and I used to drag it around." | Read More»

Preston Fulp

Preston Fulp was a tobacco sharecropper, moonshiner, and blues and old-time guitarist. He was the last original Piedmont blues musician from Winston-Salem. | Read More»

Pura Fé Crescioni

Pura Fé Crescioni is the founding member of a native woman's a capella trio, 'Ulali', and is recognized for bringing Native contemporary music to the forefront of the “mainstream” music industry. | Read More»

Red Rover

Red Rover savors singing, playing for friends and neighbors, and aims to spread joy to all. When they are not singing they are teaching young children. | Read More»

Reverend Perry Tillis

Blind from birth, Perry spent his youth learning from older bluesmen and as a young man he traveled throughout the South performing on street corners. | Read More»

Robert “Wolfman” Belfour

Robert Belfour has proved himself just as unique as the area he hails from. His deep blues style and husky voice earned him the nickname “Wolfman”. | Read More»

Robert Lee Coleman

Robert Lee Coleman has played guitar for the R&B legend Percy Sledge as well as for James Brown in his band, the JBs. | Read More»

Robert Thomas

Robert Thomas plays the blues simply but with great joy. His bold smile is for everyone, his speech is uncomplicated and void of cliche and cynicism. | Read More»

Rufus McKenzie

Rufus McKenzie reflects, “I learned my music through sadness and coming up hard. I had to wear white people’s worn out shoes. I had little clothes to wear.” | Read More»

Samuel Turner Stevens

Sam Turner Stevens made beautiful fretless banjos, fiddles, guitars, mandolins, wooden mallets, telescopes, windmills, and was an award-winning pool player. | Read More»

Shelton Powe

Shelton Powe plays in the Piedmont finger-style guitar tradition of his parents and elders. Listening to him play and sing, you find yourself back at the wellspring of the Carolina Blues tradition. | Read More»

Skeeter Brandon

This solid, block-like, blind man, has a powerful, flexible, southern drenched voice that comes from deep down in his gut. | Read More»

Slewfoot

Slewfoot and Cary Beckelheimer‘s voices mesh together with an easy, haunting grace, but it is their songwriting, both separately and together, that is most striking. | Read More»

Sol

Sol is a rare, one of a kind musician. His talent stretches from fiery rock to laid back jazz, and from funky innovative grooves to soulful ballads, always drawing on a deep background in blues. | Read More»

Sonny Boy King

Sonny Boy King is known as a one-man band as he often performs pounding out sparse rhythms on his drum set as he sings and plays his harmonica and guitar. | Read More»

Sweet Betty

“When Sweet Betty sings there is an inevitable roar of pleasure from the crowd!” -Bob Margolin | Read More»

Tad Walters

Tad Walters began playing the guitar at age 12 and picked up the harmonica at the age of 14. He is a part of Music Maker's Next Generation Artists program. | Read More»

The Branchettes

The Branchettes of Johnston County, North Carolina (Ethel Eliot and Lena Mae Perry) have been performing hymns and gospel songs together for well over twenty years. | Read More»

Todd Jones

As the sixth of eleven children, Todd Jones inherited his musical ability from his mother's side of the family. | Read More»

W.C. Minger IV

We knew W.C Minger IV as Wild Bill, and he came out east one spring and recorded his only album, Backtracking. | Read More»

Wayne and Max Henderson

Wayne and Max Henderson continue the long and great tradition of brother groups. | Read More»

Willa Mae Buckner

Willa Mae Buckner was a true performer, showcasing herself as a blues singer, burlesque stripper, contortionist and fire swallower. | Read More»

William Maxwell

Growing up, all William Maxwell had besides work was the blues. He would go to a juke joint with sawdust on the floor and dance to the jukebox. | Read More»

Willie King

Willie King created a non-profit organization called the Rural Members Association to teach the young people their heritage and what he calls “survival skills." | Read More»