May 6, 2015, 6:30pm
Film and discussion at the Goethe-Institut (see below for details),
Organized by the German Historical Institute, the Goethe-Institut, and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Roots music icon Chris Strachwitz is a detective of deep American music—music that is the antithesis of the corporate “mouse music” dominating pop culture. Since 1960, he has been the guiding force behind legendary Arhoolie Records, bringing Cajun music out of Louisiana, Tex-Mex out of Texas, blues out of the country—and into the living rooms of Middle America. He also brought rural musicians to Europe, introducing wildly enthusiastic audiences to the rhythms of bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins, Zydeco king Clifton Chenier and others.
Born a German count, Strachwitz fled his homeland after WWII at age sixteen. In the United States, he discovered, and pursued, a musical landscape that most Americans missed. He takes his audience on a hip-shaking stomp from Texas to New Orleans, Cajun country to Appalachia, as he continues his passionate quest for the musical soul of America.
The documentary This Ain’t No Mouse Music! The Story of Chris Strachwitz and Arhoolie Records had its world premiere at the 2013 South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, TX and has since won a number of prizes and awards. Director/producers Chris Simon and Maureen Gosling met thirty years ago while working with world-renowned documentarian Les Blank. They each have struck out on their own since those days. Maureen directed and produced Blossoms of Fire, a feature documentary tribute to the Isthmus Zapotecs of southern Oaxaca, and has also edited many documentaries for PBS. Chris Simon produced and directed four independent documentaries, including the prizewinning Down an Old Road and My Canyonlands, and has made numerous other films for non-profits.
Join us for a film screening and discussion with Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz and archivist and curator Jeff Place (Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage). A reception follows the discussion.
For more information on the documentary, see thisaintnomousemusic.com
USA, 2013, 92 min., Directors: Chris Simon and Maureen Gosling