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It’s the holidays, and we know that will mean a lot of traveling for many of our supporters. We’d love to revisit some of our favorite stories of traveling with artists in the spirit of hitting the road, the skies, or the rails!

A number of years ago the Music Maker Blues Revue was honored to perform a series of shows in France. Essie Mae Brooks, an elderly gospel singer from Georgia, was with us and it was her first trip abroad.

When we went to pick up Essie Mae for the trip, she had two huge suitcases and one was so heavy it took two of us to load it into the van. After traveling to our third hotel, we carted this extremely heavy case to her room and I asked Essie what made the bags so heavy. Essie said, “well, my beaded gowns weigh a great deal, and this other one is so heavy because it is full of canned goods.” I said, “Canned goods?” Essie replied, “You told me the food here was going to be different so I came ready, but you were wrong, the food here is wonderful!”


I asked to see what she brought and when we opened her suitcase we found cans of beans, potted meats, ravioli and much more. I asked Essie if I could just spread the canned goods around and eat them up, as we we were getting tired of toting it around.

For the next three days, Eddie Tigner, Adolphus Bell, Macavine Hayes, Captain Luke, Ardie Dean, Sol Creech, Albert White and I all dined on good old American food washed down with good old French Cognac.

Happy Travels from Music Maker!

– Tim Duffy

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