How We Helped:Music Maker Relief Foundation helped Boo Hanks obtain a passport, purchased a new trailer for him and provides him with a monthly stipend for prescription medicine. The organization has also gifted him with acoustic guitars and recorded his two CDs, in addition to booking him shows throughout the Southeast and in Belgium.
More about Boo:
James Arthur “Boo” Hanks is an acoustic Blues guitarist, who began 75 years ago, with roots in the Piedmont string band and Blues traditions. He saved money for his first guitar by selling packets of garden seeds and it was with this guitar that he began picking out the same old-time songs he heard his father playing after long days in the tobacco field.
As a young man in the 1940s, Hanks earned pocket change playing guitar at barn dances with his cousins accompanying him on mandolin and spoons. His rich musical repertoire reflects his multi-ethnic heritage (his ancestors were white, African American, Ocinneechee Indian and family folklore believes they are descendants of Abraham Lincoln’s mother Mary Hanks.)
Today, Boo Hanks lives in Virgilina, Virginia, just over the North Carolina border, a stones throw from the rolling hills where he was born. Drawing from the deep musical well of his region, Boo Hanks showcases his virtuosity in the driving time and delicate finger-style guitar of the classic Piedmont Blues made famous by Blind Boy Fuller.