If you haven’t spun Bishop Dready Manning’s record from us yet, you’re really missing out. The guy’s got all the soul, personality and authenticity you’d want in a blues and gospel man. If you have been dropping your needle onto it and love what you hear, we just want to make sure none of you forget the great work Music Maker Relief Foundation—the group that put this stellar album out—does every single day.
10% of all proceeds made from Manning’s album goes to the foundation but we hope your own contributions to their mission go beyond just that. At their core, the foundation is about preserving and delivering living history—namely, the voices of the people most responsible for keeping America’s musical bedrock alive. Lord knows, as each day just gets crazier, it’s good to anchor ourselves in our roots—those sorts of anchors are exactly what Music Maker want to get into your hands.
The nonprofit puts out a lot of great blues—if you liked Manning, make sure to check out some of their other great artists in this vein like Cora Mae Bryant and Jahue Rory—but it doesn’t stop with just that genre. Maybe you like your blues more plugged in, in which case you should give Ironing Board Sam and Robert Lee Coleman a listen. Or maybe you want some more outright gospel music—go for The Branchettes and The Glorifying Vines Sisters then. Or perhaps you’re after some legitimate Native American songcraft; they’ve got that too with Pura Fe and The Deer Clan Singers.
Their catalogue goes far deeper than any of those recommendations too. You could spend hours sampling and buying the music this nonprofit qua label puts out and still have a near endless reservoir to dip into. But then again, that’s sort of the beauty of the art Music Maker traffics in. The traditions they keep alive are the sort you just can’t get tired of. The blues may follow a pretty ironclad structure but it comes alive in new ways depending on who’s playing it.
The foundation actively seeks out these sorts of artists, long after many labels probably have an unspoken policy of ignoring them. Once it gets a hold of them, they make sure to promote their music and pay it forward too. They help them perform for people who don’t usually get to see live music, give their artist monthly stipends for food, medical care and housing, and provide free access to music and musical education to those who can’t afford it. Long story short: they’re an all-around national treasure.
So if you enjoyed this month’s record, consider showing your appreciation to the people who made it possible. There are a lot of ways to do so. You can donate directly to the foundation—maybe even set up a monthly recurring donation, if you really love what they do. Buying their beautiful records—inside and out—is another great way to help out with their work. They’re always on the lookout for volunteers too!
We hope you’re enjoying Bishop Dready Manning’s album enough to give back to these guys! They’re doing great work and we hope you think so too!