8:00pm, Thu 28 March, 2013
Blue Beat, NSW

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Event Details

Bluesfest is honoured to bring this authentic Southern blues experience back to Australia and proud to be taking these musicians on the road from Bluesfest's Byron Bay home for the first time. A living history of blues and roots, on stage and kickin' it one more time.

The performers of the Music Maker Blues Revue are the embodiment of Southern USA's blues and roots tradition, the bedrock of popular music in the 20th century that still resonates in the 21st. They have been brought out of retirement, obscurity, local gigs, and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and restored by the non-profit Music Maker Foundation to their rightful place in the limelight once again.

Reminiscent of the way the Buena Vista Social Club musicians were brought into the spotlight after years of inactivity, with no loss of passion, integrity and musical brilliance, the blues, soul, gospel and roots musicians and singers supported by the Music Maker Foundation are equally a revelation.

Featuring the intense electric guitar playing of Pat 'Lady Guitar' Wilder, a player and singer to rival Sister Rosetta Tharpe; Major Handy's original zydeco with the funkiest basslines, where New Orleans meets Memphis; Dr Burt's otherworldly lonesome Alabama blues; and Ironing Board Sam, who's slow burning, raw gospel take on Somewhere Over the Rainbow is part lament, part celebration - a perfect, poignant signifier for the metamorphosis that the Music Maker Foundation has brought to these musicians' lives.

The vagaries of life on the road, being in the right place at the wrong time (in the words of Dr John) means that Pat Wilder, Ironing Board Sam, Dr Burt and Major Handy are not household names. But greatness is not about celebrity and fame. It's about being able to plug in to the tradition, and create something fresh, unique and exciting out of it. That's what these musicians have been doing all their lives, and it's what they're still doing.

This is a rare and quite probably unique opportunity to witness these amazing musicians, in a traditional revue-style show designed to inspire and entertain. Anyone even remotely interested in popular music of the last 100 years should see it!


"Far too often true musical pioneers become forgotten heroes and the music they played such a part in creating is forgotten along with them. Music Maker Foundation is fighting the good fight to keep the blues and southern roots music alive and pay homage to these incredible musicians. This inspired and inspiring non-profit North American organization is dedicated to giving back to the roots of American music. After truly moving, humbling and beautiful performances over the years at Bluesfest, we knew 2013 would be the year to take this incredible Foundation on the road. This year for the first time we'll be taking The Music Maker Blues Revue to Sydney and Melbourne, featuring boogie woogie legend Ironing Board Sam, guitar slinging siren Pat Wilder, Alabama bluesman Dr. Burt and zydeco giant Major Handy, with Albert White, Nashid Abdul Khaaliq and Ardie Dean".

Since 1994, Music Maker has worked with more than 300 artists. Each artist presents to the world a singular voice that exemplifies an unbroken narrative stretching back to the birth of popular music's collective cultural heritage. Over 100 Partner artists are featured, representing genres ranging from Country-Gospel to Electric Blues. Music Maker is a non-profit organization that works with these artists to sustain their day-to-day needs, build their careers, document them and present them to the world.

"Get ready for non-stop shredding guitars, soaring vocals and tight rhythms pulling you out of your seat and on to the dance floor," says Tim Duffy, Music Maker Founder.

Ironing Board Sam, singer, songwriter and piano player, was a house musician on the first televised African-American music revue called "Night Train" and then became one of the best-loved entertainers on the Crescent City's music scene.

Dr. G. B. Burt plays his twelve-string guitar with his own special tuning, morphing his guitar into the raw sound similar to that of an organ or a piano accompanying his haunting vocals. "At 72 the door has opened for me" he says, and when we hear his music, he reciprocates by opening the door to a totally traditional, totally original musical world.

Pat Wilder's musical foundation is rooted in jazz, rock, R&B, blues and gospel and is "one of the most exciting blues guitarists/vocalists to come out of the bay area in a long time." - Lee Hildebrand, San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Major Handy's 40-year career in music, playing the accordion and the guitar, has seen him touring much of the world and fronting many of his own bands. With his career long and varied, Handy is not sure how many 45s were released under his name, but it was not until late 2009 that he released the album Zydeco Feeling and began to gain international attention.

Albert White, from Atlanta, G.A., has toured Europe with the Music Maker Blues Revue and frequently plays festivals with former band-mate Beverly "Guitar" Watkins. 

Nashid Abdul Khaaliq, is one of the great versatile bass players, graduating from Berkeley College of Music, playing bass with Muddy Water's son Big Bill Morganfield as well as releasing an incredible Jazz album.

Ardie Dean has drummed for Ernie K-Doe, Bo Diddley, Jerry McCain, Greg Allman, Taj Mahal, and Henry Grey since he began playing the blues in 1969.

Music Maker


Should online tickets be unavailable for sale in the purchasing section above, please contact the venue on (02) 9328 4411 for ticket availability.

For all Dinner bookings, please contact the venue on (02) 9328 4411 prior to purchasing tickets in the section above.

MUSIC STARTS around 8.00PM

This venue is 18+ recommended, so if you are under 18 and would like to come to the show, please call (02) 9328 4411 for further information.

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