Musical Holiday Gifts

The Music Maker Relief Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps the true pioneers and forgotten heroes of Southern music gain recognition and meet their day to day needs, is offering a catalog of gifts that combine great music with donations that help artists who are national treasures but who have fallen through the cracks for one reason or another.

"We do this for the betterment of the musicians' lives and for the preservation of our culture, " explains Tim Duffy, the founder and director of Music Maker Relief Foundation.

Philanthropic music lovers can choose a variety of presents, all of which include the collectable Music Maker Treasure Box. "This box of recordings is something we've wanted to share for a long time -- 41 out of the 53 recordings have never before been released, " explains Duffy. "It's like nothing else out there -- a mix of blues, R&B, Native American, old-time country, singer- songwriter, folk, jazz and spoken poetry. It comes with a 36-page book of photographs, notes, a poster and guitar pick."

* Even the smallest gift level includes the Music Maker Treasure Box, a donation in the gift recipient's name and a year's subscription to the Music Maker Rag.

* The medium level includes all of the above, plus the holiday CD "Cool Yule" from Cool John Ferguson or any MMRF CD of your choice.

* The most generous gift includes all the presents above plus the Music Maker Record Club (four releases throughout the year), beginning with Birmingham's Adolphus Bell's "One-Man Band, " then one new CD every three months.

All gifts help the foundation's programs: Musical Sustenance (grants to meet basic life needs and emergency relief); Musical Development (grants and services for recipient artist professional development); and Cultural Access (preservation and proliferation of Southern musical traditions).

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