Music Makers

Portraits and Songs from the Roots of America

Edited by Timothy Duffy

Foreword by B.B. King

208 pp., 10 x 7.25, 142 halftones

  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-5170-5
    Published: January 2019
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-5700-2
    Published: January 2019

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When he was in graduate school in the late 1980s, Timothy Duffy began documenting the "roots" music styles of largely forgotten southern musicians in a series of field recordings. Recognizing that too many artists working in these traditions--blues, R&B, hillbilly music, and other now increasingly popular forms--had been either ignored or taken advantage of by mainstream record labels and music media and were living in poverty as a result, Duffy established the Music Maker Relief Foundation to help these forgotten pioneers meet their basic needs and nourish their souls by committing their gifts to archival recordings and reviving performance careers. This book, available for the first time in paperback, features photographs, biographies, interviews, and lyrics from sixty-six real and rooted originals such as Beverly "Guitar" Watkins, Cootie Stark, Mudcat, Macavine Hayes, and Drink Small. The music of America exists in these largely forgotten artists who link us back to our earliest history.

About the Author

Timothy Duffy and his wife, Denise, are cofounders of the Music Maker Relief Foundation. They live in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

For more information about Timothy Duffy, visit the Author Page.


"By documenting the faces and the deep, soulful eyes of the people who make the music I love, these photographs preserve a dimension of blues culture that could easily be lost forever."--B.B. King (from the foreword)

"A fabulous project--real evidence that the music I have always loved is alive and well."--Eric Clapton

"A labor of love and honor for the blues, and all its loudly unsung old-timers."--Pete Townshend

"Music Makers is an essential document of roots music in America. It is alive with the voices of these great musicians, and a pure pleasure to read and ponder."--Rosanne Cash

"Not only are the faces saved for us to look at with gratitude and amazement, but the souls are there too. The photographs capture much more than a detailed, carefully posed image would--it is the simplicity and sincerity of these images that so moves me."--Sally Mann

"Music Makers is a rich portrait of contemporary blues artists and their worlds. This beautifully illustrated book reminds us of how much blues performers enrich our lives through both the wisdom and the sheer pleasure embodied in their music."--William Ferris