Hey there! I'm Maggie Rainwater, owner and operator of HoosierDevil. Since you've reached my corner of the internet, I'd love for us to get to know each other a bit - and that requires me to tell you a story or two. If you'd like to skip straight to reading about my work, kindly scroll down to the "What I Do" section. Thanks for stopping by!
"Rainwater? Are you Indian?"
"Are you related to (insert random person who shares my last name here)?"
"Is that your real last name?"
That's right, folks: I'm Maggie Rainwater. Actually, my full name is Maggie Rahisah Rainwater-Budd. My usual response when people ask about my name is "would you like the short version or the long version?"
The short version is that I do have a little Cherokee blood in me somewhere... but it has absolutely nothing to do with how I got my name. The long version, however, starts in 1949, back in the early days of bluegrass music...
My granddad's "real name" was Charles Johnson, but you didn't hear many people call him that. Papa started with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys in 1949, originally just doing their booking and promotional work. Every now and then, he would join them on stage, appearing as bass player/comedian Cedric Rainwater's brother, Little Jody Rainwater. Later that year, Cedric departed the band, and my Papa stepped in full-time.
"Little Jody" spent three years on the road with Lester and Earl. Not only did he play bass, sing bass, and do the comedy routines - he also continued doing all the promotions and booking for the band. As you can imagine, all the hard work and traveling took a toll on my Papa, and he left the Foggy Mountain Boys in 1952. However, he spent his entire life supporting and promoting the music he loved. He worked for decades as a respected radio DJ and festival MC. He continued singing and playing, and he and his wife - my granny - Emma, could most always be seen attending bluegrass shows and festivals all up and down the East Coast.
Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, and the Foggy Mountain Boys, circa 1952. That's my granddad, Jody Rainwater, in the back with the goofy grin.
My mom was born Emily Charlene Johnson... but nobody calls her by that name either, because she legally changed her name to Charlie Rainwater. My mom is quite the accomplished DJ and MC herself, having worked alongside my Papa and on her own for multiple radio stations and events over the years. She is also a vocalist, guitarist, and my favorite duet partner. And let's not forget my dad, Billy Budd, better known as Mr. Bass Player. He lives and breathes the upright bass! Dad's performed with all sorts of cool people over the years, including Stoney Point and Bill Harrell and the Virginians.
...and then you have me. I was named after my great-grandmother on Mom's side, Maggie Rahisah, and Mom and Dad decided to give me both their names. I feel like they are a lot to live up to, and my goal is to be just a little bit of the music supporter and advocate that my granddad was, and keep my family's musical legacy going!
Here's a photo - taken by my sister, Mynda - of Mom, Dad, and me performing together in 2015.
Thanks to my parents and grandparents, I've been going to shows and festivals since before I was old enough to remember it! I grew up sharing my family's love of long drives, winding roads, banjo tunes, high lonesome harmonies, and all the great people that make up the music community. My family spent half our time in Richmond, Virginia - where I was born - and half over on the coast in Urbanna, Virginia. We moved full-time to Urbanna when I was about ten years old. There wasn't a lot of bluegrass going on there, so we continued to travel, and I started hitting the road on my own as soon as I got my driver's license.