2010: Dutch Author Alex van der Tuuk Visits the Grafton House of Blues







Photos by the GENIUS Alicia Wade!



Angie Mack Reilly and Alex van der Tuuk have been working together to preserve the Paramount Records legacy since 2004.  With Alex in the Netherlands and Angie in Grafton,  they have had to share thousands, (if not millions) of emails over the years.  Together, they have accomplished much.  Finding out what happened to the Father of Ragtime Guitar after he recorded for Paramount was one of them.

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Read about us finding Arthur “Blind” Blake’s grave


Childhood Dream


Please listen and ponder these lyrics as they apply to your own life.  What was your dream as a child?  It’s never too late.  That’s what I have to tell myself.

Mind you, I wrote and recorded this song about 20 years ago.  I didn’t have live musicians.  So I made it happen…laying down 17 layers of instruments in my Korg N264.

I would love to record this with acoustic instruments and live musicians.  Oh!  And a kick ass choir!

Sometimes, in order to “find” our authentic selves, we need to go back and think about what we were like as children.  What made us dream?  What did we enjoy playing?  What was our personality like?  What felt good?  What did NOT feel good?

Childhood Dream by Angela Mack

Written and recorded in Grafton, WI circa 1999

Remember the dream that you dreamed when you were young?

Remember the passion that burned your heart?

You used to believe…..you used to dream

Yet the current of this world carried you away

It’s never to late to dream again

It’s never to late to follow your passion

Why spend the rest of your life in something that your heart just isn’t in?

Here it calling (3x) ……your childhood dream

I remember the songs that I sang when I was young

I remember the people that I believed to be there

I sang with my heart……I sang with soul

with my pretend microphone in hand, I could reach the world!

Did you know that my original dream was to be a pro female baseball pitcher?  But when I saw that, back in the 70s, women didn’t get to “play on TV” like the men did.  I didn’t think that was fair.  Syo I went into music.

I grew up at 310 W. 9th Street in Sterling, Illinois.  My family took me to St. John’s Lutheran Church.  I liked it there.  I played in the bell choir, helped my mom teach Sunday School, hung out with the youth group and found glimpses of a light that I couldn’t quite explain.

My pastor asked me to lead the music in Sunday School.  I was shocked to be asked.  Then honored.  Then scared.  I didn’t know how to play an instrument!  So I had to “quick learn the auto harp”.  And so I did.


Praying at the Piano

For me, sitting at the piano is like a prayer. As a musician and composer, I communicate with my hands. I sing from my spirit. I release my emotions in a way that is more socially acceptable for women. Through the piano.

“Let Me See You Lifted Up” was really written as a prayer from me to my Higher Power which is Jesus Christ. I recorded it in my townhouse living room in Grafton, WI with a digital recorder, keyboard and microphone.

A good part of my spiritual life has consisted of service. When we are serving others, we aren’t in the realm of “me”. My service has been my worship.

My spiritual journey has been like many journeys. There have been huge struggles to overcome along the way. Yet I always knew that I could release the fullness of my emotions in prayer. I have wept face down on the floor. I have run around a room with joy.  I have stared into space mindlessly tinkering on a piano key.

I have always enjoyed reading the Psalms because they are full of King David, his songs (Psalms), his intense and changing emotions, his burning passion to serve God and the drama which encompassed his life.   I can relate to David.  That is why I named my eldest son, “David”.  P

Breaking Racial Barriers Through Music Education



Photos by Deb Kranitz of the News Graphic 2008

“Angela is a professional, highly organized tour guide.  On more than one occasion she has specialized tours for my middle school students studying the blues.  She provides interesting, easy to understand information and works well with my students.  I will continue to hire Angela for these services.”  –Sarah Plamann, Musical Director and Choreographer at Kettle Moraine High School

In 2009, Sarah was Angela Mack’s client for a Paramount Guided Walking Tour for her students at St. Marcus Lutheran School in Milwaukee

Musician. Writer. Pioneer.

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