This week, Music Maker Relief Foundation announced the release of Boo Hanks‘ & Dom Flemons‘ Buffalo Junction. This album is the result of a partnership between Piedmont-style blues guitarist Hanks and Flemons, who in 2011 won a Grammy Award and played the Newport Folk Festival with his group the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
Hanks worked the tobacco fields near his Virginia home for the majority of his 83 years.
In 2006 he began a partnership with Music Maker Relief Foundation that led to opportunities such as opening for the Chocolate Drops and playing the Lincoln Center. Hanks met Flemons on the day he arrived at the Music Maker Relief Foundation office, and the two have remained friends. Their collaborative album, Buffalo Junction, which will be available today, June 19, was named for Boo Hanks’ hometown and features upbeat, country blues that crosses generational lines.
The album highlights Hanks on the guitar and vocals, while Flemons plays a variety of traditional instruments such as the jug, harmonica, bones and also sings backup vocals. The album was recorded when Music Maker Founder Tim Duffy and Flemons went to visit Hanks at his home in Buffalo Junction, leading to the album’s title.
Dom Flemons said of the recording experience: “Boo Hanks is a treasure. His vocal and guitar phrases are something so unique and forgotten in the modern world of folk and blues. He an absolutely engaging songster and it has been a pleasure to have played with him for several years and to be a part of this album which will hopefully present his music to a much wider audience.”
Hanks has been a Music Maker Partner Artist since 2006, and up until that time his music was only heard by those in the communities close to his Virginia home. Since beginning work with Music Maker, he has performed all over the country, and developed a professional friendship with Music Maker Next Generation Artist Flemons. Through Next Generation partnerships, MMRF is able to foster the continuation of Southern traditional music among younger generations of musicians. Buffalo Junction is a collaborative album that does just that.
Dom Flemons with Carolina Chocolate Drops, have been involved with both the Folk Festival in Memphis, The Americana Festival in Nashville as well as making in store appearances at Grimeys New and Preloved Music when in Nashville.
Listen: Boo & Dom, “Girls Are Crazy About Me”
– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN firstname.lastname@example.org