The folks at the Music Maker Relief Foundation are celebrating their tenth anniversary in a way that reflects their support of blues musicians and original artists: house parties. The Hillsborough-based nonprofit is throwing a party and fundraiser on June 19 and asking others to throw some of their own house party/fundraisers as well.
The group's motto, "Keeping the bluest of the blues alive," means helping blues artists pay their medical bills as well as helping them record their works.
The organization does not receive any government funding or endorsements, so individual donations and CD sales are the primary sources of their annual budget.
It is also worth noting that Music Maker received a good chunk of national press in the last couple of months with articles in the Christian Science Monitor, founder Tim Duffy appearing as "Person of the Week" on ABC with Peter Jennings, and a profile of the organization in the New York Times.
The June 19 bash (appropriately on Juneteenth, also known as African-American Emancipation Day) is at Music Maker headquarters in Hillsborough and has a heck of a lineup. Blues guitarist Lee Gates, singer Macavine Hayes, Winston-Salem's own Captain Luke, and Whistlin' Britches will perform. Music begins at 8 p.m., and the party is BYOB. Space is limited.
For more info on the bash or setting up your own house party for the foundation, visit www.musicmaker.org or give 'em a call at 643-2456.
New from North Elementary
Chapel Hill band North Elementary is gearing up for a new release and a set of tour dates next month. Carrboro label Sit-n-Spin Records will release Lose Your Favorite Things, the second full-length by North Elementary on the label. The band will play dates in the Carolinas with Cub Country in July, winding up at Go! Room 4 on July 24 for their CD release show with Cub Country and Work Clothes. After that, it's on to more East Coast dates through the late summer and into fall, with a seven-inch in the works as well as some demos for sale at the gigs.
Once Lose Your Favorite Things is released, the band's debut album, Out of Phase, will be free to download at their Web site, www.northelementary.com. Sit-n-Spin also has an updated site worth checking out at www.sit-n-spinrecords.com .