The Music Maker Foundation
The Music Maker Relief Foundation was founded by Tim and Denise Duffy to ‘help the true pioneers and forgotten heroes of Southern music to gain recognition'. Their supporters include BB King, Eric Clapton, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Ron Wood, Lou Reed and Pete Townshend. Bluesfest is proud to once again bring three of the Foundations superb artists to the Bluesfest stage.
Little Freddie King began working with Music Maker in 1998. Born in McComb, Mississippi in 1940,Freddie is a self-taught guitarist with a unique country-style of blues he calls "Gut Bucket Blues." He moved to New Orleans at the age of 17 and began a musical career, playing constantly. Little Freddie King became a charter member and an annual attraction at the New Orleans Jazz Festival and toured Europe with Bo Diddley, Texas Alexander and John Lee Hooker in 1976. His 1970 recording titled "Harmonica Williams and Little Freddie King" is believed to be the first electric Blues album recorded in New Orleans. He has recently released the album "At Home in the New Orleans Musicians' Village"on the Music Maker label. Prior to that his collaborative album with New Orleans artist Alabama Slim, "The Mighty Flood," inspired by their experience during Hurricane Katrina, was also released on the Music Maker label.
Cool John Ferguson of Beaufort, South Carolina has been performing blues with his unique left-handed guitar style for over fifty years. His influences include the Gospel music of his youth and the electric blues he encountered as a young musician. A strong collaborator, Cool John has put his guitar behind artists that include BB King, Taj Mahal, Kenny Wayne, Beverly Guitar Watkins and the Stylistics, and he was twice honored as Most Outstanding Guitarist of the year by Living Blues Magazine.
Pat Wilder, of San Francisco, California, has a style rooted in jazz, rock, R&B, blues and gospel. She began playing the guitar as a teen after her mother encouraged her to develop an interest in any instrument besides the one she was pursuing - drums. Her earliest musical influences came from Wes Montgomery and Taj Mahal. As a friend of the family, Taj Mahal provided the ultimate inspiration in her childhood - it was from him that she received her first guitar. Wilder has shared her talent with many great musicians, such as Linda Tillary, John Lee Hooker, Jr., Angela Bofill and many others.
Guitarist Albert White, a Music Maker Partner Artist since 2000, currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia and plays on the local music circuit. During his 50-year tenure as a Blues and R&B musician, Albert has performed with Joe Tex, The Tams, Ray Charles and many more. Since beginning work with Music Maker, Albert has released his album, Soul of the Blues, and toured with the Music Maker Revue throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia.