As part of their World Arts Festival, area musicians'-help organization Music Maker Relief Foundation (see the Indy's Dec. 12, 2001, article, "Shaking Off the Blues," at www.indyweek.com) is presenting a music showcase and book launch at Carrboro's ArtsCenter Friday, Nov. 22, at 8 p.m. Featured performer and Durham native John Dee Holeman not only plays the blues, he dances them as well. An accomplished buckdancer, Holeman has strutted his fancy footwork at Carnegie Hall and enthralled audiences overseas as well. Holeman adds shades of R&B and jazz to his music, and his smooth vocal renderings of Piedmont blues and intricate finger picking guitar technique makes him one of the area's most popular blues performers. He's joined by Cool John Ferguson, who plays a wilder electric version of blues, often in the Hendrix style, and who generally plays behind Music Maker Foundation's Captain Luke. The Captain is a Brook Benton sound-alike who likes to wail soulfully on "Rainy Night In Georgia" and delivers a version of Tony Joe White's "Polk Salad Annie" that rattles the rafters. Blind former street singer and guitarist Cootie Stark's performances feature everything from gospel to soul to New Orleans rhythms.
This concert also promotes Music Maker's new book, Music Makers: Portraits and Songs from the Roots of America featuring over 200 photos and a 21 song CD. Celebrities like Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal and Eric Clapton have lent their support to the project and the foundation. --Grant Britt