Tales From The Road: Our Alabama Travels

October 13, 2022 In August, Music Maker Foundation took a field trip to Georgia and Alabama to meet, document, and discover a few of America’s musical treasures. And eat our fair share of barbecue.

New Triangle Churners Explore Their Heritage and Bring Inspired Small-Batch Ice Creams to Town

July 6, 2022 Ice cream can (and should) be enjoyed year-round, but the official start of summer signals an excuse to make ice cream a part of your daily dairy routine. Who would want to meet a friend for a pint of beer on a hot day when there are so many enticing spots to grab a pint of the best frozen treat? Small-batch, handmade ice creams from Auntie’s Ice Cream, Bold Batch Creamery, and Elaka Treats stand out in a crowded market.

A New Season At Transplanting Traditions Community Farm

February 2, 2022 As a teenager, Hsar Ree Ree Wei hated when her parents, Zar Ree and Lion Wei, dragged her to their farm to help weed, hoe, and harvest produce. A decade later, fresh out of college, Wei—who goes by Ree Ree—still dislikes the heat and the physical labor of fieldwork. “Some days when I’m not working, [my mom] will force me to go, but I still go with an attitude,” Ree Ree laughs. But for as much as she dreads picking green beans, Ree Ree is excited to be the incoming executive director of Transplanting Traditions Community Farm, the same place where her parents started growing on a small plot of land over 10 years ago, and where they still farm today for a CSA with over 50 members.

LOUD WOMEN DIY Guides: Getting creative with your band tees

September 24, 2021 In three words or less, artists can brand themselves and send messages both political and lighthearted, encompassing their music, attitude, and perspectives. We usually think of merch as a form of advertisement, but the following items take out self-reference and overt branding. What does it mean when the words on a t-shirt are out of context? No image, no artwork, no tour dates? It seems counterintuitive to the promotional role of merch for an artist to decidedly avoid calling attention to themselves, handles or hashtags. But, you can make something striking, eye catching, stylish, and LOUD, without blowing your budget or being a narcissist (two conflicts artists face). 

Take the Harmonica, Tell the World How You Feel

August 10, 2021 When Charles Burroughs was only 8 years old in Tampa, Florida, he was picked on by his peers because of a speech impediment and chose not to speak at all to avoid the incessant bullying. Over a much needed summer break, Charles went to visit his great-grandfather in Plains, Georgia, a musician who simultaneously blew harp and strummed a handmade guitar formed from an orange crate and broomsticks. That summer, Charles’ great-grandfather gave him a harmonica and told him, “I want you to take this harmonica and tell the world how you feel.” 

The Blues is a Universal Feeling

April 13, 2021 Ring up Benjamin Tehoval and you might be taken aback by the thick, jovial French accent on the other end of the line. When you listen to Benjamin’s one-man-band take on the classic Roosevelt Sykes song “44 Blues,” you could reasonably assume he had deeper roots in the South, or had at least lived less than 4,000 miles away for some significant period.

The Adventures of Langhorne Slim at the Strawberry Mansion

January 29, 2021 Whether performing in a synagogue or at a music festival, Langhorne Slim never fails to captivate audiences with his stories, songs, and sweat-filled struts through the crowd like Moses parting the Red Sea (in white overalls). And even without his intimate live performances to accompany this release, Slim’s Strawberry Mansion invites us along his introspective journey. The double album suspends time and place brimming with imagination-filled and prayer-like lyrics. With a lust for past and present lives, Slim’s seventh album Strawberry Mansion drops today.

Food Waste Feast Co-founder Mei Li Gives Kitchen Scraps a Second Life

September 21, 2022 Margaret and Irene Li are on a mission to reduce food waste—and they’re bringing eaters along for the ride. The sisters are the cofounders of the project Food Waste Feast, a website, blog, and educational resource that has found a cult following around the country and between Margaret’s home base in Cary and Irene’s home base in Boston.

A Cary Micro-bakery Selling Filipino Sweets Is Small—But It’s Found a Large, Devoted Following

April 27, 2022 In parking lots across the Triangle, you’ll find Peanut Dela Cruz warmly greeting customers. Some regulars have, by now, become friends; other shop customers are first-timers. All, however, receive beaming smiles and hugs as the Cary baker hands out bags of coffee cookies and Ube Latte buns from the trunk of her gray Hyundai.

Jame Felice: A Real Talent and Hometown Hero

December 15, 2021 We were eager beavers to talk to James Felice of the Felice Brothers, but we were also nervous nellies. You know what they say about meeting your heroes. But it turns out that James is harmless as a bumble bee and humble as a tumbleweed.  “I don’t think anywhere we’ve ever recorded has had an actual proper bathroom,” he says about the self-made, bare bones journey of the brother band. We talked to one half of the Felice Brothers, James, as his brother Ian is a self proclaimed “avoider of eye contact.” 

Evergreen: The Durham Green Flea Market

December 8, 2021 Every weekend at 1600 East Pettigrew Street in Durham, you can find an authentic, delicious breadth of Latin foods that can be found nowhere else in North Carolina—or at least, not all in one big parking lot. Without breaking the bank, you might, in just one visit, try freshly fried pork rinds, walk 20 feet and have a loroco pupusa, then round the bend and round out your feast with a refreshing agua fresca. The Durham Green Flea Market, which has been open since 2008, offers your typical flea market wares—stalls with electronics, household items, and used clothing are all on offer—but it’s the smells that waft through La Pulga (literally “The Flea”), as regulars call it, that truly transport visitors. But this beloved mainstay of Durham’s Hispanic community has recently been the subject of closure rumors, making the future of La Pulga and the more than 100 businesses that operate there uncertain.

Lang­horne Slim’s lat­est album hon­ors Philly’s Straw­ber­ry Man­sion neighborhood

May 18, 2021 Listening to the instrumental title track of Nashville-based singer/songwriter Langhorne Slim’s 2021 release Strawberry Mansion, one might think it describes a fantastical place. In a way, Strawberry Mansion, the neighborhood perched east of Fairmount Park in North Philadelphia, is just that. When the album came to the attention of lifelong Strawberry Mansion resident Tonetta Graham, director of the Strawberry Mansion Community Development Corporation (CDC), her response was, “Really? OK! I appreciate [my neighborhood] being lifted up like that!” In homage and reflection, both Graham and Slim speak to how this neighborhood finds its own way to be fruitful and thrive in the face of adversity.

The Timelessness and Modernity of Amythyst Kiah

May 19, 2021 Chattanooga-born musician Amythyst Kiah is simultaneously rooted in tradition and steeped in modernity. She speaks more to the living history of American music than any other artist I know of. Her songs trace generations of culture passed down and sometimes passed over, and her voice poetically, anthemically reclaims every part of her own identity and history. 

A Conversation with Emily May of Decadent West

July 31, 2018  “I spend so much time wishing that I could do that [be a full time artist], but I do still like to think of art as something that I’m getting away with. I like to have a day job for something to complain about. I never want art to be the thing I complain about. I like that it’s an escape rather than something I have to do to pay the bills. There are also so many artists or writers who had standard careers so that they could be as weird as they wanted in their art,” Emily May.

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