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9781797222288

Arhoolie Records Down Home Music

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9781797222288

  • ISBN10:

    1797222287

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2023-11-14
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books

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Summary

A visual storytelling celebration of American roots music in its rich variety through unseen and newly scanned photographs by the founder of the legendary Arhoolie Records.

Founded in 1960 by Chris Strachwitz, the one-man operation Arhoolie Records eventually produced more than four hundred albums during more than forty years in operation, exploring the far corners of American vernacular music—blues, gospel, Cajun, zydeco, hillbilly, Texas-Mexican norteño music, and more.

From the very beginning, Strachwitz brought his camera along with recording equipment as he met and recorded now-legendary artists such as Lightnin’ Hopkins, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Clifton Chenier, and Big Joe Williams. This book collects more than 150 of his best, most intimate, and exciting images—many never-before-seen—each with rich captions by Strachwitz and award-winning music journalist Joel Selvin, along with a substantial 20,000-word essay by Selvin about Arhoolie, Strachwitz, and the music.

INTIMATE AND AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHS: Although Strachwitz would always self-deprecatingly claim that the photographs he took while meeting and recording musicians were strictly documentary, and *maybe* of some use for a record sleeve later, they are much more than that. Lyrical, candid, real: His rapport with the musicians and their families is glowing and evident in these photographs.

RIVETING MUSIC HISTORY PHOTO BOOK: These are never-before-seen photos, and photos like you’ve never seen before. Every image is from freshly remastered scans, and the authors dove deep into the Arhoolie archives to uncover images almost no one has had the chance to see.
 
CRUCIAL AMERICAN MUSIC AND CULTURAL HISTORY: Strachwitz’s wide-ranging interest and unbridled enthusiasm for all sorts of roots music led to his crisscrossing the country from artist to artist based on recommendations, rumor, tips, radio broadcasts—the result being a portrait (in sound for the label, and image in this book) of vital American music in a wide range of genres. He has rich stories for each photograph and artist.
 
AN INVALUABLE DOCUMENT: Arhoolie fundamentally shaped our understanding of American music. Renowned music writer Joel Selvin has not only worked with Strachwitz to draw out the stories behind the photographs, but he has contributed an invaluable long-form essay about Arhoolie, Strachwitz, and the label's cultural legacy to anchor this incredible book.

Perfect for:
  • Fans of American roots music, including the blues, folk, Cajun, Creole, zydeco, Mexican American border music, and more
  • Fans of Lightnin' Hopkins, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Big Mama Thornton, Lydia Mendoza, Clifton Chenier, Flaco Jiménez, Mance Lipscomb, Narciso Martínez, Big Joe Williams, and the other fantastic artists whose records Arhoolie released over the years
  • Birthday, holiday, graduation, or anytime gift for musicians and music lovers
  • Collectors of music history, American cultural history, Black history, and music photography books

Author Biography

ARHOOLIE RECORDS
Founded in 1960 by Chris Strachwitz, the one-man operation eventually produced more than four hundred albums during more than forty years in operation, exploring the far corners of American vernacular music—blues, gospel, Cajun, zydeco, hillbilly, Texas-Mexican norteño music, and more. The label’s first release by Mance Lipscomb came at the peak of the folk movement and instantly introduced the Arhoolie imprint as the home of authentic down-home music. “Maybe every six months someone’ll come through with an album, an Arhoolie album of Fred McDowell,” Keith Richards told Rolling Stone in 1971. “And you’d say: There’s another cat!” Arhoolie released landmark albums with Lightnin’ Hopkins, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Clifton Chenier, Big Joe Williams, and many others. The label recorded extensively in rural Louisiana, and his recordings with Clifton Chenier and BeauSoleil with Michael Doucet not only helped modernize Creole and Cajun music but actually sold a few records for the label.

Strachwitz pioneered the study of Mexican American music since recording Los Pingüinos del Norte for Arhoolie in 1970. He won a 1986 Grammy award for his recording with Texan accordionist Flaco Jiménez. With filmmaker Les Blank, he produced the classic documentary Chulas Fronteras in 1976. On subsidiary labels such as Blues Classics and Old Timey, Arhoolie reissued important historic recordings by long-forgotten masters of American music, from western swing out of Texas in the '30s to deep Southern blues from the '40s and '50s. Since the first album, Arhoolie has existed to throw spotlights on true American music. The Smithsonian Institution acquired the Arhoolie label in 2016, and the Arhoolie Foundation has been making digital versions of Strachwitz’s immense collection of Texas-Mexican records (said to be the largest in existence) available on the internet, extending his mission of preserving and promoting the often-hidden but rich musical heritage of this country.
 
CHRIS STRACHWITZ
With his ceaseless enthusiasm and diligent efforts to dig out the genuine folk music he loved, Chris Strachwitz produced an incomparable body of work over a half-century of running Arhoolie Records. While inevitably reflecting his own unique perspective and following his particular passions, he nevertheless mapped out the subtext of modern American music with his vast recordings of vernacular music. With an immigrant’s acute eye for American culture, Strachwitz mined the dusty shelves of this country’s musical life for some of the most vibrant and robust music to be found on records anywhere. His genial but irascible character and tireless appetite for the real deal were captured in the 2014 documentary This Ain’t No Mouse Music by filmmaker Maureen Gosling. He celebrated his 91st birthday in 2022.
 
JOEL SELVIN
The longtime San Francisco Chronicle pop music columnist first wrote about Arhoolie Records in 1970; his 2008 profile of Strachwitz won a journalism award. He has written more than twenty books about pop music.

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The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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