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John Dee Holeman – Piedmont Blues

John Dee Holeman – Piedmont Blues Musician

John Dee Holeman is an American Piedmont blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. His music includes elements of Texas bluesR&B and African American string-band music. In his younger days he was also known for his proficiency as a buckdancer. 

Holeman was born in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Although, he’s from Hillsborough, he’s has been based out of Durham, North Carolina since 1954.  Inspired by Blind Boy Fuller, Holeman was singing and playing guitar at local parties and other events by the time he was in his mid-teens. By his mid-twenties he had bought his first electric guitar and relocated to Durham, where he played with the pianist Fris Holloway. The duo became adept at the Juba dance, also known as the hambone or buckdance.  

At 90 years old, this gracious, gentlemanly artist has made a living and then some. He has performed at the National Folk Festival, at Carnegie Hall, and has made overseas tours. In 1988, he is awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, still proud of the certificate signed and given to him by then-President Ronald Reagan. His skill as a guitarist, singer and buck dancer have carried him far beyond his small-town and country roots.  It was his skill as a guitarist that first set him apart.  For more info on this artist, click here

The Photographer – Timothy Duffy

Tim has been recording and documenting artists since the early age of 16, when he became interested in ethnomusicology. After earning a BA from Friends World College and MA from the Curriculum in Folklore at the UNC.  Tim and his wife Denise founded Music Maker in 1994 to assist traditional musicians in need. Tim works very closely with partner artists on a daily basis while also overseeing program operations. His work with Music Maker, Tim is recognized by ABC Evening News as the “Person of the Week” in April 2004. In 1999, he is the Living Blues Producer of the Year. Tim also received honors from National Resophonic Guitars and the NC Folklore Society. Since Music Maker’s founding he has produced more than 151 albums, produced two films, and has presented dozens of traditional Southern musicians at prestigious venues around the world.  Credits: https://musicmaker.org/

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