Masyn’s Blues Crawl Experience

inUncategorizedon July 29, 2014


Several weeks ago I got to attend my first out-of-town music festival with Music Maker – the 14th annual Blues Crawl in the charming downtown area of Southern Pines, NC. Having been the first time I experienced arranging more than 10 of our artists to perform at the same time, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but I was excited to see what was in store.

After collecting a few of the artists and loading up Ironing Board Sam’s van with gear, we headed out of Hillsborough feeling a little sweaty and eager to get the night started. I luckily had the opportunity to drive down with James “Bubba” Norwood whose 50+ years of drumming with legendary musicians led him to join Music Maker, now he regularly plays alongside Cool John Ferguson, Ironing Board Sam and other MM artists. During the entire drive there and back not one moment was left without a tale of his experiences with music all over the globe. He told countless stories about performing with Ike and Tina Turner, The Monkees, Albert King, and even Little Richard!


Music Maker Staff during crawl set up! (That’s me second from the right.) Photo by Al Daniels

We arrived at our destination just in time for a home-style BBQ dinner kindly provided by the Sunrise Theater, where everyone had time to eat and chat a little. Afterward we got down to business and started setting up at the nine different venues artists would perform at, all scattered throughout downtown. While performances were getting started I drove Ironing Board Sam’s van from venue to venue making sure all the artists were situated and prepared to play.


When everything was finally set in place we had plenty of time to walk around and enjoy the music and talk to the artists. Each performance spot had a unique atmosphere and crowd that fit just right with the musical vibe: Cool John Ferguson rocking out to a dancing audience in O’Donnell’s Pub; Lakota John and Kin keeping it laid back at Eye Candy Art Gallery; Big Ron Hunter and The King Bees jamming to an energetic packed full house on the patio of The Jefferson Inn; John Dee Holeman and Tad Walters grooving in the hip coffeehouse Cup of Flow. All the artists were greeted with constant enthusiasm and applause from the audiences – in other words, it was pretty obvious everyone was having a good time.


By about one in the morning the buzz throughout Southern Pines began to die down so we packed up to hit the road back home. Looking back on the night now, I can say that not only did I enjoy the music from a phenomenal group of artists but also getting to know them on a personal level, for every musician that came contributed their own special character to the event.

— Intern Masyn



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