I'm Maggie Rainwater.
I use she/her pronouns.
I'm 28 years old, but I always joke that I'm "going on 80."
I live in Black Mountain, North Carolina (that's just outside Asheville for all y'all who aren't from here).
I've worked in the music industry for approximately 10 years, and I've been a full-fledged business owner since the beginning of 2019.
When I'm not working on my business, I love:
playing/ singing folk/americana music (just for fun, though I used to gig occasionally)
going to shows & festivals (even when I'm not working)
traveling (record # of miles solo driven per day: 725)
thrifting & vintage shopping
What's in a name?
Yes, Maggie Rainwater is my real name.
Actually, my full name is Maggie Rahisah Rainwater-Budd, but that usually just confuses people even further. 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 was named after my great-grandmother, Maggie Rahisah. Rainwater is my mom's last name, and Budd is my dad's.
The long version, however, starts in 1949, back in the early days of bluegrass music...
My granddad's "real name" was Charles Johnson, but that's not what anyone called him as I was growing up. Papa was born outside Mt. Airy, North Carolina in 1919. He was one of thirteen children growing up in a musical family: when my granddad was a teenager, he and his older brother began playing shows as "Chuck and Slim, the Johnson Brothers." His music was put on hold when he joined the Marine Corps, but picked up again afterwards. It was during his time with a Winston-Salem group called the Blue Ridge Mountain Boys that my granddad's comedy persona took shape: "Little Jody."
You see, back then comedy was regularly included as part of a concert, and many bands had a comedian - including Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys, who featured Cedric Rainwater on bass and humor. In 1949, my granddad went to work for Flatt and Scruggs, 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. This is the part of my granddad's life that I find the most interesting. My friend Art Menius summed it up well:
"Besides lining up venues himself or accepting offers from promoters and schools, Jody also had to do the advance promotion work.
So besides playing their radio shows and gigs, Jody would go out ahead, postering for their upcoming gigs and using party line phones for promotion too."
This photo of my granddad was taken at WBTF in Raleigh in 1952.
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.
ain't nothin' gonna turn out right no how."
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, Bill Harrell and the Virginians, and East of Monroe.
Family Photo Album
click photos for descriptions!
...and then you have me.
I was named after my great-grandmother on Mom's side, Maggie Rahisah. Mom and Dad decided to give me both their names. So - as my granddad would say - "I said all that to say this:"
I guess you could say I'm named after two bass players.
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.
My grandfather, Jody Rainwater, sadly passed away in 2011 when I was eighteen. I feel fortunate to have grown up having him as a big part of my life, and he still inspires everything I do today.
In addition to my love for music, I also grew up with a love of technology that eventually turned into freelance work in web design and social media management. When my dad and several friends started the band East of Monroe, I was introduced to the web hosting and design platform I still use today: Wix. They'd started the site there and needed some help finishing it up and getting it operational. I fell in love with the Wix platform because of its blend of customizability and ease of use - and over a decade later, I build and host all my clients' sites there.
While living in Virginia, I spent five years at Something Different, a family-run country store and restaurant in my hometown of Urbanna. During that time, the business expanded exponentially: from a tiny country store on the edge of town to a full-fledged restaurant in the center of it. The new venue and additional space presented an opportunity that I'd wanted to explore for a long time: live music. At Something Different, I started and hosted the only open mic night happening in Urbanna at the time. Through community outreach and organic social media marketing, the open mic quickly grew into a full-house event that often featured an overflowing list of local performers.
While I loved the little music scene we'd brought together at Something Different, I dreamed of living somewhere filled with full-fledged concert halls and jam sessions and festivals. I longed to be part of a big community, one where I could hone my design and social media skills and help more artists and events get the word out about their music.
In the summer of 2016, I set out to find the right place. My Honda Civic and I traveled thousands of miles - from Virginia to Georgia to Colorado to Kentucky and everywhere in between - but I soon discovered that the place I was dreaming about wasn't all that far away. It was just a state over in the mountains of western North Carolina: Asheville. With its bustling acoustic music scene, beautiful mountains, and more festivals than I could shake a stick at, I quickly felt more at home in Asheville than I ever had before.
From Urbanna to Asheville
click photos for descriptions!
I officially began my life in western North Carolina in August of 2016. I took multiple jobs and threw myself into the Asheville scene - and whenever I wasn't working, I was out at shows and festivals. On one of my first visits to the Grey Eagle, I heard about their street team and immediately signed up.
"Hold on a second. What's a street team?"
Well, I'm glad you asked.
A street team is a group of people (or one highly motivated person) who "hit the streets" to tell people about upcoming events using concert posters, word-of-mouth advertising, and - one of my favorite things - organic social media marketing.
Soon I was on multiple street teams for multiple venues around town, as well as continuing to do freelance web design and social media management - and soon I had paid clients approaching me about promoting their music and events as well.
One of those folks was my colleague Steve, who started the business HoosierDevil in 2013.
Steve went to college at Indiana and graduate school at Duke, and he coined the business' name based on the mascots of his alma maters: the Indiana Hoosiers and the Duke Blue Devils.
Steve hired me to do promotional work and we worked together for about a year - before he decided to leave the music industry and pursue another career path. At that time, he offered me the opportunity to keep using the HoosierDevil name to establish and promote myself and my own work. So I did... and I've had my small but mighty LLC, Hoosier Devil, for about 2.5 years now! I've had so many amazing experiences but these are some highlights for me from the first two years: running pre-festival promotional campaigns and live on-site social media for the Chantilly Farm Bluegrass and BBQ Festival and Balsam Range's Art of Music Festival. Being on site with the Earl Scruggs Music Festival team at IBMA as they announced their inaugural festival. Getting the word out about pivoted online events with the Bands2Fans and White Horse Live series' during the COVID-19 pandemic... and more...
I really appreciated the opportunity to use an already-established name. I thought it was catchy and fun, and I loved the fiddle-playing devil that was part of HD's logo. However... I didn't go to school at Indiana or Duke, and black and red aren't my favorite colors. As I've grown as a business owner and my offerings and brand have evolved, I came to realize that it was time for a change.
In 2021, my business name officially became Rainwater Poster Co. - a name that I feel is a true reflection of who I am and what I do! When I decided I wanted to change my name, I knew I wanted it to reflect my personality and the area in which I work - turquoise is my favorite color and I also love the blues and greens of our mountains here in western North Carolina! And I wanted something that had a little bit of a fun vintage vibe to it.
When I signed five new clients in summer 2021 with my test branding, I knew I'd landed on the perfect name and branding for me. I'm excited to continue to offer design and promotion services as Rainwater Poster Co.!
As Art Menius wrote in his article on my Papa,"If they had electronic media such as Facebook and Twitter back then, Jody would not have been driving to Harlan County, Kentucky to put up fliers than trying to make it back over Black Mountain and through the Holston and Clinch River valleys back to Bristol." But it's because of Jody Rainwater's belief in and dedication to bluegrass music in its earliest days, and his hard work out on the road, that I&