Music Maker Blues Revue: it’s a name many of you may not be familiar with. But when you see them perform this fall, it will be a name that you won’t forget. The Revue is put on by the non-profit Music Maker Relief Foundation and provides an outlet for poverty-stricken southern artists 55 years and older. Through this program, they have the ability to share their talent outside of their local communities.
One of the main principles of the foundation states that if an artist is plagued by poverty, they do not have the proper resources to focus on their music. Aside from providing these artists with an opportunity to perform and advance their sound, the foundation also aids the artists with grants to sustain their basic needs and help them advance their musical careers. The non-profit aims to preserve southern musical tradition by supporting the artists that keep it alive.
The Revue has four staple musicians: Albert White on the guitar, Ardie Dean on the drums, Nashid Abdul on the bass, and Lil’ Joe Burton on the trombone. Additional members come and go, bringing different styles of southern music with them. The Revue spans over many of the traditional genres of southern music–blues, jazz, funk, soul, R&B, and everything in between—creating an eclectic, powerful, nonstop performance. They’ve been playing since the early 1990s, and have grown in popularity thanks to their infectiously entertaining shows. They have had the pleasure of performing at various festivals both nationally and internationally.
Admittedly, I had never heard of Music Maker Blues Revue until I heard them announced for Roots N Blues N BBQ. But after a quick Google search, I came across videos of their live performances. After watching them, I can say with certainty that I will be in attendance come September. The insane amount of talent is obvious after the first few seconds of hearing them play. Shortly after that I realized that head bobbing was going to be irresistible.
Apparently, the crowds felt the same way. The band members’ rollicking performances seamlessly transition from one musical style to another, all while they are freely moving and grooving. They inspire this same level of grooviosity (a word I made up specifically because of the Revue) in their audience members.
If you choose to see the Music Maker Blues Revue (and let’s be honest, why wouldn’t you?), you will be rewarded with an incredible musical performance by the people who embody southern tradition. We at Roots N Blues N BBQ are thrilled to have them, and we hope that you will love them as much as we do.