Friday, May 22, 2015

Unsung heroes of roots music to perform at 2015 Newport Folk Festival Sunday, July 26

Music Maker Relief Foundation is pleased to announce a performance by pioneers of Southern Roots music at Newport Folk Festival on Sunday, July 26th. The show, called “Music Maker Relief Foundation Hosted by Dom Flemons,” will bring together musicians across folk genres for “three hours of the most authentic, rooted and dynamic Southern artists you’ve never heard,” says Tim Duffy, Music Maker’s founder and Executive Director.

Multi-instrumentalist, GRAMMY Award-winner and Carolina Chocolate Drops’ founding member Dom Flemons will host the performance featuring Daptone Records gospel trio The Como Mamas, keyboard player Ironing Board Sam, Piedmont blues guitarist Boo Hanks, rhythm and blues guitarist Albert White, trombone master Lil’ Joe, bassist Nashid Abdul, drummer Ardie Dean and Music Maker Founder Tim Duffy.

Watch: Newport Lineup Teaser Video from Music Maker here:

This will be the first performance at Newport Folk Festival for all the artists save Flemons, who has taken the stage at the festival twice before.

Dom Flemons is best known for founding the Grammy award winning Carolina Chocolate Drops and more recently for reviving the songster tradition.

Watch: Dom Performs “But They Got It Fixed On Right” on Folk Alley.

The Como Mamas, all granddaughters of Miles Pratcher, who was recorded by Alan Lomax in the 1950’s, share raw Mississippi gospel, with soaring harmonies unencumbered by instrumentation. The trio has releases on the Daptone label and has been spotlighted by Wax Poetics.

Watch: The Como Mamas “On the Battlefield”

Ironing Board Sam, 76, has been playing for over 55 years, and his powerful, soulful voice and remarkable piano prowess remain undiminished. Sam is the new celebrity spokesperson for Faultless Spray Starch and will be releasing a record on Big Legal Mess in September.  He was profiled on PBS Newshour last year and performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival earlier this year.

Watch: Ironing Board Sam on “The Night Train” in 1965.

Boo Hanks, is the greatest Piedmont Blues rediscovery in many years, whose style is reminiscent of the legendary Blind Boy Fuller. At 85 years old he has performed at prestigious venues all over the US and abroad, including the Lincoln Center. His most recent album, Buffalo Junction, was a collaborative project with Carolina Chocolate Drops co-founder Dom Flemons and was reviewed positively in the Washington Post.

Watch: Boo Hanks & Dom Flemons.

Albert White began playing guitar in the late 1950s with his legendary uncle, Piano Red, and his group “Dr. Feelgood & the Interns.” Since, Albert has performed with Joe Tex, The Tams, Ray Charles, Elvin Bishop, and others.

Trombone player Lil’ Joe’s career began in 1964 with the late, great, Junior Wells.  He has appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, Midnight Special, Soul Train and toured with B.B. King for ten years. Joe is known for his heart-wrenching solos and tasteful high-energy performances.

Tim Duffy, co-founder of Music Maker Relief Foundation, has spent his life recording and documenting and performing alongside the greatest unheralded roots musicians of our time. An accomplished guitar player in his own right, Duffy has backed up many Music Maker artists on stage during the last two decades.

Nashid Abdul, a graduate of Berklee College of Music, played with Muddy Water's son Big Bill Morganfield. On his incredible jazz album and through performances around the globe, Nashid showcases his musical versatility and smooth six-string bass skills.

Ardie Dean has been keeping blues time since 1969. He started out with Homesick James and then paid his dues on the Chitlin’ Circuit leading the band for R&B singer Chuck Strong. Dean has been performing and managing with Tim Duffy and Music Maker since the organizations’ founding twenty years ago.

Tim Duffy said of the invitation to perform at Newport, “I grew up listening to Pete Seeger, and we are so deeply honored to have Music Maker pay tribute to him on the ‘For Pete’s Sake’ stage. The authentic Southern artists presented in our show are those whose musical traditions are at the very heart of American culture. Music Maker works with these artists to help them share their music with the world, and what better stage to make their voices heard than the finest folk festival in the world.”

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