Listener's Circle Vol. 36

by Music Maker Recordings

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about

Dear Listener’s Circle,

In 1991 I was living with my wife, Denise in a small house in the back of a used car lot in Winston-Salem, NC. I had recently met the great Guitar Gabriel. One of our favorite pastimes was driving around and visiting his old musical buddies.

One day Gabe directed me up about 50 miles of back country roads to Walnut Cove, NC where we stopped at a Gas Station and Gabe pulled out his guitar and began to play. Soon a few African American customers were sitting around us enjoying the bottle of sweet wine we had purchased. Gabe inquired about his old friend Preston Fulp and we learned we were just down the street. When we pulled up to his house and 80-year-old Preston was sitting outside under his carport playing his guitar.

Preston weaves stories of his life through both secular and sacred songs. He was a gentle soul, and he loved our frequent visits. He joined us as part of our first Music Maker Blues Revue at the Charlotte Jazz Festival later that year. He even took his first trip out his county in 50 years to perform in Charleston, SC.

In 1993, he told me the doctor told him they had to amputate his leg. Preston told the doctor he came into this world whole and would leave that way. He had utterly no concern for his imminent passing. His deep living faith left all who met him impressed. He was just such a sweet, sweet man.

Preston made his first recordings at the age of 78 and died a few months later in October 1993. These recordings, made with my humble gear, remind me what Music Maker is all about. Helping give voice and access to some of the most talented yet hard to discover musicians—the folks who helped create the backbone of our American Music.

There is a wonderful movie by Harvey Kartel entitled Shadrack. Preston Fulp’s music is featured at the very end of this moving film of an old slave who walked from Alabama to Virginia to die on the plantation in which he was raised.

- Tim

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released December 19, 2019

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Music Maker Recordings Hillsborough, North Carolina

The Music Maker Relief Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit, was founded to preserve the musical traditions of the South by directly supporting the musicians who make it, ensuring their voices will not be silenced by poverty and time.

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