Who I Am
Hey there! I'm Maggie Rainwater. 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 visit the "What I do" page instead. 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.
Here's a photo - taken by my sister, Mynda - of Mom, Dad, and me performing together in 2015.
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.
...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. So 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.com. 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 host all my clients' sites on Wix.
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.
A group jam to finish off an Open Mic Night. Photo by my sister Mynda.
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 - and soon I had clients approaching me to promote their events as well. I did freelance street teaming and social media management as often as I could, and at the beginning of 2018 it paid off. I was hired to come on board at HoosierDevil!
Founded in 2013, HoosierDevil was originally an artist and event management agency run by my good friend Steve Johnson. 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.
Through working with Steve, I was able to continue growing my media and promotion skills while also learning new things. As 2018 came to a close, Steve decided to pursue full-time opportunities outside of the music industry. He believed in me and the goals I had for myself in the industry and offered me the opportunity to move forward with my work using the HoosierDevil name. And while I don't have any connections to Indiana or Duke, I think it's pretty darn catchy.
Me (center) with Steve (right) and Americana singer-songwriter Danny Burns (left) at a show HoosierDevil presented at the Grey Eagle in January of 2019.
Now, as we enter 2021, I'm going into my third year as owner and operator of HoosierDevil Music, LLC. 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. Publicity campaigns for ClayBank, Darren Nicholson, and Songs From the Road Band. Being on site with the Earl Scruggs Music Festival team last year 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...
Today, I provide design and promotion services to a wonderful group of clients. I keep my client list small in order to provide the personalized, dedicated service that I pride myself on. I love what I do, and I love sharing it through the HoosierDevil social media channels and site.
Thank you for taking the time to read about me and my work! If you're enjoying the content here, please sign up for my mailing list and follow HoosierDevil on social media at the links below. I'd love to hear from you - visit the "get in touch" page to say hey!
with Lonesome River Band
Sometimes I still play my own music for fun!