John Dee Holeman & The Waifs Unite in Support of Music Maker Relief Foundation

At the invitation of Music Maker founder Tim Duffy, bluesman John Dee Holeman met with Australian folk/rock band The Waifs to record 11 tracks in support of the Music Maker Relief Foundation, an organization in place to aid impoverished blues musicians. Of the experience, Vikkie Thorn of The Waifs said, “When John Dee picked up that guitar and started playing it was the most natural thing in the world. Not something you thought about, or planned, or crafted. Just something you felt, as natural and easy as taking a walk.” The collaboration, John Dee Holeman & The Waifs is slated for release June 27.
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A storyteller, dancer and blues artist, Holeman has played with musicians who learned directly from Blind Boy Fuller, one of the most influential Piedmont blues players of all time. Holeman, a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage fellowship and a North Carolina Folk Heritage award, is an expressive guitarist drawing from both Piedmont and Texas guitar styles.

Comprised of Josh Cunningham (guitar), Vikki Thorn (harp, vocals), Ben Franz (bass), Dave MacDonald (drums) and Donna Simpson (guitar, drums), The Waifs are true road warriors. Touring constantly for the last 10 years, the band has become a festival favorite both in the U.S. and abroad. Upon hearing The Waifs recently at the Newport Folk Festival, Bob Dylan invited the band to tour the U.S. with him.

Established in the early 1990’s by Tim and Denise Duffy, and with an advisory board that includes B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Dickey Betts, Derek Trucks and Taj Mahal, the Music Maker Relief Foundation seeks to aid blues musicians living in extreme poverty who need food, shelter, medical care, and other assistance. Music Maker’s mission is to give back to the roots of American music and affirm to the artists how much the inspiration they have delivered to the world is appreciated. Programs include: Musician Sustenance—grants to meet basic life needs and emergency relief; Musical Development—grants and services for recipient artist professional development and career advancement; Cultural Access—supports the preservation and proliferation of American musical traditions; and New Orleans Musician’s Fund—assistance to musicians affected by Hurricane Katrina. Please visit for more information.

For more information, please contact Krista Williams, Jaime Rosenberg or Carla Sacks at Sacks & Co., 212.741.1000,, or