Monday, March 31, 2014


Boston, MA, March 26, 2014– The Strike 3 Foundation announced that it will host its second annual Sip Happens food tasting and wine pairing on May 19 at the Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St, Boston, MA.   Proceeds will benefit the organization founded by Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow that heightens awareness, mobilizes support, and raises funding for pediatric cancer research and treatment.  To date, the organization has raised over $2,000,000 and disbursed over $1,100,000 to worthwhile research and treatment centers locally, and across the US.

Sip Happens will begin with a VIP reception at 6:30PM, with general admission doors opening at 7:00PM.  Sponsorship commitments thus far have been confirmed from Armand De’Brignac Ace of Spades Champagne, Foley Family Wines, Tito’s Vodka, Beam Global, Nestle Waters, Samuel Adams, The Fireplace Restaurant, New England Charcuterie, Citizen’s Public House, Hungry Mother, Georgetown Cupcakes, and The Improper Bostonian.  Further participants are expected.

Photos of Craig Breslow are here.

Executive Director and event co-host Craig Breslow offered his excitement about the event, “Last year, Sip Happens raised over $100,000 and was attended by a an impressive roster of corporate and private supporters.  Additionally, we received overwhelming support from my Red Sox teammates.  We expect an even more successful event this year with experience, better brand awareness, and increased momentum in our corner. I have learned to be able to count on my teammates and the city of Boston to support meaningful causes.”

Director of Business Operations and Development, and co-host Kelly Breslow added “Sip Happens has quickly become a signature Boston event.  We are working diligently behind the scenes to ensure a memorable evening, but the success of this, and any fundraiser, boils down to the generosity and support of the community.  We greatly appreciate the contributions of participating vendors, donors, and sponsors, and look forward to May 19 with tremendous excitement.”

For more information on food, beverage, or corporate sponsorship opportunities, please email Kelly Breslow.

For individual ticket purchases, please go here.

About Strike 3 Foundation

The Strike 3 Foundation is a charitable agency recognized by the IRS under 501 (c)(3) that heightens awareness, mobilizes support, and raises funding for pediatric cancer research.  Founded in 2008 by current Major League Pitcher and Yale graduate Craig Breslow, Strike 3 has donated over $500,000 to Yale University Children’s Hospital as a founding sponsor of Connecticut’s only Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation Program.  Additionally, the organization has supported deserving research and treatment centers across the country including the Children’s Hospital and Research Center Oakland, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and the Conquer Cancer Foundation.  Strike 3 also funds a Boston based research project annually.  Offices are located in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, and California, and is headquartered in Connecticut.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Music Maker Relief Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit, which supports traditional, southern musicians who are living in poverty, is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2014. Music Maker has assisted hundreds of artists with emergency aid and performance opportunities, and their label has released 166 albums since Tim and Denise Duffy founded it in 1994.

Taj Mahal, Music Maker advisory board member and strong advocate of the organization, said, "Through the efforts of the Music Makers Relief Foundation, these amazing people and artists have been able to live dignified lives. In many cases they were rediscovered during their golden years by Tim and Denise Duffy, then given the joy of new recognition by their families, peers and fans world-over!"

Music Maker has planned a series of events to commemorate the anniversary:

+ April 4 – Kickoff event at The Crunkleton, Chapel Hill, NC featuring Ironing Board Sam.
+ April 14 – Performances by Ironing Board Sam and David Bryant at the Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, MS.
+ July – August 2014 – We Are the Music Makers museum exhibit on view at New York  Public Library
+ September 15, 2014 – Release of We Are the Music Makers: Preserving the Soul of America's Music book on Nautilus Press
+ September 30, 2014 – Release of 2CD set 'We Are The Music Makers.'
+ October 3 – Official Launch of We Are the Music Makers exhibit at the Arts Center in
Carrboro, NC.
+ October 3 – 4 – Music Maker Reunion Weekend in Carrboro and Hillsborough, NC.

Written by the Duffys, the book features over 65 photographs taken by Tim Duffy over the past 20 years of artists he has worked with, along with the stories and songs of these musicians. Tim Duffy's previous book, Portraits and Songs from the Roots of America, was released in 2002 and sold 15,000 copies.

A 20th Anniversary compilation album will also be released on the Music Maker label in September 2014. The 44-track collection includes Taj Mahal, Guitar Gabriel, John Dee Holeman, Etta Baker, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Leyla McCalla, Ironing Board Sam, and many others, with over two hours of music.

The traveling exhibit will include photographs from the book alongside field recordings and music from Music Maker's archive and will lead viewers on a journey of discovery through the often-overlooked artists of the American South.

Watch a video about Music Maker's mission.

"Early on, while studying with tremendous blues musicians throughout the South, I realized that our nation's musical traditions were suffering from starvation and underemployment," says Tim Duffy. "We founded the Music Maker Relief Foundation as a nonprofit in 1994 to preserve America's music by directly supporting the people who make the music. We get gigs for those that want to perform, guitars for those who want to play, and feed the hungry. Our initial grassroots effort to meet the needs of a handful of blues musicians in Winston-Salem, NC, has grown to assist hundreds."

Their talents were hidden by poverty, but they did not ask the Duffy's for money – they wanted work. The Duffys created a model of support focused on helping the artists they encountered meet basic needs so they could concentrate on their art – you can't play your guitar at a gig if you've pawned it to pay for heat. While assisting with day-to-day essentials, Music Maker staff work with an artist to develop booking materials such as an album and photographs, and work to get them gigs around the world. A priority for the Duffys was also to document these artists' music for future generations, and their extensive field recordings are archived at the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


The seeds of Eden Brent's 'Jigsaw Heart' were planted decades ago. Country music great Hank Cochran, who grew up in neighboring Isola, MS had fans in the Mississippi Delta of his home, including her parents. Brent says, "In the mid-sixties, Daddy and Mama went to Nashville to record a demo, and Hank met with them and listened to a couple of Mama's songs."

The themes of Cochran's music provided a roadmap for Brent's own music. Of his hit "I Fall To Pieces" and her original song "Jigsaw Heart,' she says, "'The two songs share a common theme so it was natural for me to record the album in Nashville. I liked the title 'Jigsaw Heart' because the two words are contradictory and when thrown together evoke a very visual image, exactly the kind of image that country music and the Nashville sound express so perfectly." Brent recorded her new Americana masterpiece 'Jigsaw Heart' at Ben Fold's Ben's Studio, which was originally constructed in 1964 as RCA Victor Nashville Sound Studios. The studio has also hosted recording sessions by Chet Atkins, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, Tony Bennett, George Strait, and The Beach Boys, among many others.

Fellow Mississippian Tommy Polk contributed the slow-burning "Tendin' To A Broken Heart" and he has written for country and blues starts alike, from Martina McBride and Crystal Gayle to Irma Thomas and Bobby "Blue" Bland. Brent sees a connection between the genres, saying, "I've always loved the honesty that blues music and country music share, that pure raw emotion that both so easily communicate. Everyone understands the message. It's music for everybody no matter what side of town they live on or what kind of job they have or where they did or didn't go to school. That kind of music came from my home in Mississippi, and Nashville made it famous."

Friday, March 21, 2014

Music Maker Relief Foundation artwork

About Music Maker Relief Foundation & MMRF Timeline

Music Maker Relief Foundation, Inc. is a tax exempt, public charity under IRS code 501(c)3. Music Maker aims to keep our Southern culture vital by directly supporting senior (over 55) American roots musicians in need, expanding their professional careers, and providing with basic life needs so they can focus on their art. Music Maker also assists Next Generation (under 55) artists in the development of their professional careers. Since the organization’s founding in 1994, Music Maker has assisted hundreds of musicians who represent the traditions of Blues, Gospel, Old-Time String Band, Jazz and more. Music Maker’s programs ensure the talents of these cultural treasures are accessible so that our rich musical heritage can be shared with the world and preserved for future generations.

Living Blues Magazine writes, "North Carolina's Music Maker label has been digging up obscure and blissfully eccentric blues and traditional music characters for most of their 17-year existence."

1991 – Tim Duffy invited to archive his field recordings and photographs at the Southern Folklife Collection.

1994 – Music Maker Founded in Winston-Salem, NC.

1994 – Our first donation! 2 pallets of Ensure purchased for elderly artists.

1994 - Guitar Gabriel and Willa Mae Buckner perform at Carnegie Hall.

1995 - Eric Clapton meets Tim Duffy at Cello Studios; the two record The MS Blues.

1997 - Tim Duffy Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award by National Guitars.

1998 – Winston-Salem Blues Revival, a 42-city tour, launches Music Maker around the country with blues legend Taj Mahal.

2001 – Music Maker relocates to Hillsborough, NC.

2002 – Music Maker releases the book Portraits and Songs of the Roots of America.

2004 – Tim Duffy named person of the week on ABC News with Peter Jennings.

2005 – DixieFrog Release The Last and Lost Blues Survivors sells 20,000 copies in France.

2006 – Music Maker Blues Revue begins tours through Europe yearly.

2006 – Music Maker Blues Revue invited to Byron Bay Blues Festival yearly.

2007 – Toot Blues Documentary released.

2008 – Music Maker buys a permanent residence for the organization in Downtown Hillsborough.

2012 – Music Maker awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to present a music series in Chapel Hill, NC.

2012 – Music Maker and supporters help purchase a new home for artist Precious Bryant.

2012 – Partner Artist Ironing Board Sam plays to over capacity crowd at New Orleans Jazz Fest.

2014 – Music Maker celebrates 20th Anniversary with a launch of a new book and museum exhibit, We Are the Music Makers.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Icypoles clips

Gold Flake Paint (March 5, 2014)

The 405 (March 4, 2014)

Melbourne's Icypoles (Ex-Architecture In Helsinki) Ready US Indie Pop Debut

'My World Was Made For You' (May 6 / Highline Records) is the debut album from The Icypoles, four gals who call Melbourne home but would just as easily fit into a Bande à Part dance scene or be happily serving cherry pie at Twin Peaks' Double R Diner.*

Produced by Haima Marriott (Architecture in Helsinki), My World Was Made For You is a collection of thirteen taut tunes to take you through a lover's landscape of playful celebrations, pensive reflections and dreamy feelings.

With heart bedazzled on sleeve, The Icypoles revel in the fun and fertile relationship zone bookended by flirting and commitment: "Staying Home" laments a smitten crushee's love-drunk inability to leave the house, whereas "Settle Down" sobers things up somewhat and provides the pragmatic ultimatum, "Our lives together will have to wait for the right time." "Babies" goes one step further, pondering the cycle of life, and may well be the most startlingly earnest thing to happen to pop music since The Shaggs hatched their Philosophy of the World.

Having become a familiar fixture on Melbourne's inner-north stages, and with two previous releases (2009's Getting Ready cassette and 2011's Promise to Stay 7" EP), The Icypoles' musical adventures can be traced back to the early 00s, with half the band finding their formative footing playing horns in Architecture in Helsinki.

Eschewing that band's off-the-wall maximal approach, however, The Icypoles set raw sentiment to the most bare-boned of arrangements: clear, wistful female vocal harmonies give way to playfully crafted bass, guitar and percussion interplay, like if Phil Spector were stripped of his Wall of Sound and started producing Marine Girls 45s.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

*Hell, they even conjure up a cover of the TV show's sultry ballad "Just You!"

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Icypoles "Babies," from 'My World Was Made For You'

The Icypoles photos


Eden Brent – the Mississippi chanteuse and piano mistress called "irresistibly fresh" by – will make her New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival debut May 2.

A former highlight of WWOZ's Piano Night during JazzFest week, Brent made her acclaimed 2010 album 'Ain't Got No Troubles' in the Crescent City. For her new release 'Jigsaw Heart' (May 6 / Yellow Dog Records), she traveled to Nashville, TN to record with renowned producer Colin Linden (Lucinda Williams, Lindi Ortega). The resulting album is an artistic high-water mark for the Mississippian, her piano-pounding prowess counterbalanced with vocals and songwriting that recall a grittier Norah Jones in their emotional depth.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Eden Brent "Everybody Already Knows," from 'Jigsaw Heart' (Yellow Dog)


Kickstarter Campaign Launched to Fund Project, Ends March 31

Buckwheat Zydeco has always been at the forefront of introducing zydeco music to new audiences: The Louisiana icon and musical legend was the first zydeco artist with a major label record deal, the first on a national television show, the first to work with rock superstars, the first with music in a national television commercial. Now he aims to be the first to create and present an online video series with zydeco at the center.

Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural, Jr. and long-time collaborator, Ted Fox, will create a YouTube video series called Buckwheat’s World, and just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund it.

Buckwheat’s World will be a fresh new way to showcase Buckwheat Zydeco’s music and present a behind-the-scenes look at the richness and enchanting character of southwest Louisiana culture. In addition to new, live musical performances from the band, Buckwheat’s World episodes will feature slice-of-life scenes of Dural doing what he does every day. He might be working on one of his vehicles, tending his menagerie of animals, boiling crawfish, hanging out with friends and band mates, fishing on the bayou, taking care of Buckwheat Zydeco business. All the things that make up Buckwheat’s World will be shot and directed by Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker, celebrated documentary filmmakers who got their start in Louisiana with such classics as “Yeah You Rite!” and “Louisiana Boys—Raised on Politics”.

They’ve won two Peabody Awards and kept audiences laughing and thinking with such films as “American Tongues”, “Vote for Me” and “People Like Us." Their latest film “Getting Back to Abnormal," about New Orleans politics, will be on the POV series on PBS July 14.

Kickstarter has been very supportive of the project. It just made Buckwheat’s World its “Project of the Day,” and it has been a Music Staff Pick. The campaign is ongoing and ends on March 31.

Buckwheat Zydeco also started a new side career as a blogger for the Huffington Post. His first post called, “Mardi Gras Is The Flip Side of the Blues,” posted recently.

Friday, March 14, 2014


A Little

Eden Brent’s piano playing and singing style ranges from a
melancholic whisper to a full-blown juke joint holler. She’s
simultaneously confident and confiding, ably blending an earthy
meld of jazz, blues, soul, and pop as she huskily invites listeners
into her lazy, lush world.

That world lies just north of Greenville, Mississippi on the two-lane
Highway 1, which follows the twists and turns of the river through
fecund swampland, time-forgotten plantations, and blink-andyou’ll-
miss-‘em communities like Rosedale, Beulah, and Stovall
before it dead ends into Highway 61 just south of Onward.
It was there that Brent was able to develop her gutsy vocal-andpiano
chops via family sing-a-longs and a 16-year apprenticeship
with the late blues pioneer Boogaloo Ames, who ultimately dubbed
his protégé “Little Boogaloo.”

“Music school taught me to think, but Boogaloo taught me to boogie-woogie,” says Brent, who appeared
alongside her mentor in the 1999 PBS documentary Boogaloo & Eden: Sustaining the Sound and in the 2002 South
African production Forty Days in the Delta.
Where most 21st century roots musicians merely emulate their heroes, Brent and Ames were both “soul mate and
road buddies,” says lifelong friend (and acclaimed journalist) Julia Reed. “She was a young white woman of
privilege and he was an aging black man in the Mississippi Delta, but theirs is a phenomenal story of mutual
admiration and need.”
Yet much more than the blues flows through Brent’s talented hands: Critics laud her “Bessie Smith meets Diana
Krall meets Janis Joplin” attitude, compare her to jazz/pop dynamos Norah Jones and Sarah Vaughn, and wax
effusively about her “whiskey-smoke” voice, which serves as a constant reminder that Greenville, nestled into a
bend of the Mississippi River, is located a few hundred miles north of New Orleans.
Whether booked as a solo artist or bandleader, Brent’s performance is fresh and spontaneous, often filled with
audience requests and participation. Her unshakable talent and her carefree demeanor have taken her across the
country and around the world, with appearances at the Kennedy Center, the 2000 Republican National
Convention, the venerable Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and tours of South Africa and Norway under her belt.
Since launching her career, she’s won the Blues Foundation’s 2006 International Blues Challenge, and was a 2004
inductee on the Greenville Blues Walk. Sharing a bill with B.B. King, Brent performed at the 2005 presidential
inauguration, and solo, she’s appeared at the British Embassy and at the My South celebration in New York.
She’s also burnished her reputation via appearances on the public radio program Beale Street Caravan, at festivals
like the Waterfront Blues Festival, Edmonton Blues Festival and the annual B.B. King Homecoming, and aboard
the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise.
But the 2009 Blues Music Awards cemented Eden’s place as one of the fresh voices propelling this vital
American music forward. She was nominated in four categories, winning both “Acoustic Album of the Year”
and “Acoustic Artist of the Year” honors (joining Buddy Guy, B.B. King, and Janiva Magness as the only multicategory
winners for the year). As Chip Eagle, publisher of Blues Revue, BluesWax, and Dirty Linen says, “in
Eden’s huge playing and singing you can hear the ghosts of Mississippi in a duet with the future of the blues.”

Thursday, March 6, 2014



Jambase is exclusively streaming the entire new Nick Moss Band album 'Time Ain't Free' (Blue Bella Records / March 18), calling it "a high-water mark for the Chicago-based band," continuing, "The album's 14 tracks will have you tapping your feet along and dropping your jaw at Moss's many blistering guitar solos." Meanwhile, the Nick Moss Band is launching a 27-date national tour, starting in its hometown of Chicago, IL.

Tavis Smiley recently had Moss and Michael Ledbetter on his Public Radio International show, calling the band "top tier."

The Band can rip searing solos, but they are more than guitar heroes. Moss leads a band that's rooted in rock & roll tradition. In listening to 'Time Ain't Free,' you'll find a New Orleans rhythm and blues syncopation here, a gospel piano part there, a stab of Cream-esque guitar here, an R&B-influenced chord change there, a train beat here, a greasy Isaac Hayes groove there, and a stinging West Side Chicago blues lick here.

The Nick Moss Band also made its national television debut last month on WGN.

The Nick Moss Band Spring Tour:

3/7 - Chicago, IL - House of Blues
3/8 - Chicago, IL - Rosa's Lounge
3/12 - Lincoln, NE - Zoo Bar
3/13 - Kansas City, MO - Knucklehead's Saloon
3/14 - St. Louis, MO - Cicero's
3/15 - Milwaukee, WI - Linneman's Riverwest Inn
3/18 - Kankakee, IL - Moose Lodge
3/20 - Chicago, IL - Uptown Lounge
3/21 - St. Paul, MN - Wilebski's Blues Saloon
3/23 - Lake Geneva, WI - Studio Winery
3/27 - Bethesda, MD - Bethesda Jazz & Blues
3/28 - Bethlehem, PA - 2nd Story Blues
3/29 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
3/30 - Collinsville, CT - Bridge Street Live
4/2 - Rochester, NY - Dinosaur BBQ
4/3 - Syracuse, NY - Dinosaur BBQ
4/4 - London, ON - London Music Hall
4/5 - Barrie, ON - Violet's
4/8 - St. Georges, DE - Country Store
4/11-12 - Roanoke, VA - Blue 5
5/17 - Excelsior Springs, MO - Wabash BBQ
5/30 - Ventura, CA - Yolie's
5/31 - Arcadia, CA - Arcadia Blues Club
6/5 - San Francisco, CA - Biscuits & Blues
6/7 - Point Arena, CA - Arena Theater
6/13 - Seattle, WA - Highway 99 Blues Club
6/14 - Yakima, WA - Yakima Blues Festival
8/17 - Thornton, NH - White Mountain Boogie N' Blues Festival

Monday, March 3, 2014

Kristin Mueller 'Deserts & Long Trails'