Ardie Dean – 2018 Inductee

Ardie Dean Strutzenberg was born and raised in Humboldt, Iowa and has been keeping blues time since 1969. He started out with Homesick James and then paid his dues on the Chitlin’ Circuit —leading the band for R&B singer Chuck Strong. Dean then became a disciple of Winston-Salem-based bluesman, Guitar Gabriel who was instrumental to Music Maker’s founding. He has been with Tim Duffy and Music Maker ever since. Dubbed the “Stand up Drummer,” Ardie is both a gifted entertainer and drummer.

Dean has served as the Musical Director of Music Maker Blues Revue since 1991. The Music Maker Relief Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit, was founded to preserve the musical traditions of the South by directly supporting the musicians who make it, ensuring their voices will not be silenced by poverty and time. Music Maker will give future generations access to their heritage through documentation and performance programs that build knowledge and appreciation of America’s musical traditions.

In addition to his recordings with Guitar Gabriel, Ardie has produced a wide array of records for Music Maker, including Big Ron Hunter, Jerry McCain, Sweet Betty, Alabama Swim, Little Freddie King, and others.

As a musician, Ardie has played at Carnegie Hall, alongside Guitar Gabriel and Tim Duffy in the original “Brothers in the Kitchen.” He has also played the Limestone Correctional Facility near his home outside of Huntsville, Alabama. In his almost 50 years in the blues he has also played with Ernie K-Doe, Bo Diddley, Jerry McCain, Greg Allman, Taj Mahal, and Henry Grey but, “more importantly,” in his words, “I have played around the world with the best, the “Music Maker Revue.”  In 2017 Ardie was inducted in the Alabama Blues Hall of Fame.