Friday, April 23, 2010

Some News & Such!

Have been too busy to squak lately - so here goes: Am off to Louisiana to visit friends and check out the celebration for Sammy Rimington during second week end of Jazz Fest - plus other good musical events. Jazz Fest is just getting out of hand and too many big stars! It ain't what it used to be - but then what is? Will be back in a week but then return to New Orleans for the ARSC (Association for Recorded Sound Collections) annual gathering there and will give a presentation that Saturday about song catching in sw Louisiana over the past 50 years!
I think this went out and was posted by mistake - anyway here goes some more:
Friend and folklorist Alan Govenar's new book LIGHTNIN' HOPKINS has just been released and you can get a copy in a few days at the Down Home Music Store! It's an excellent book with many good photos well printed on glossy in the center and a discography of his recordings. It's well researched and Alan interviewed a lot of folks still around who remember Poor Lightnin' - I gave him my two cents worth and Minnie Phillips really tells about her really amazing experiences with the man! It's the only book on Lightnin' and every blues freak ought to read it! Since Sam was such a prolific recording artist and for every label which came around looking for him, the emphasis is a bit heavy on the various sessions - but there is plenty of history, early life and getting to Houston and of course many folks talking about him and interviews - especially that with Les Blank early on was great! I was just a fan of his and never really pestered Lightning about all that background - but enjoyed hanging around with him and meeting Clifton Chenier and once recording the whole Hopkins family, traveling to Europe with him for Lippman & Rau's American Folk Blues Festival, the West Coast, and even Newport - although I missed the big fight there between Alan Lomax and Mr. Grossman who managed Bob Dylan who had plugged his guitar into an amp! My hangover that day was too horrible to get out of bed - but when the gang came back to the barracks - Willie Dixon and Howling Wolf and Lightning etc - all told me about the Big Fight - oh well, you can't be everywhere - especially when you had to get booze for Lightning and I got a bottle of peach brandy for myself! What a killer!
The Arhoolie Foundation has just been blessed to receive the good news from the NEH (National Endowment for the Humities) that we are getting over $ 200,000.00 under the "We the People" program which will allow us over the next three years to complete the digitization of the rest of the 45 rpm discs in the Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican American recordings which we have been working on for many years! Thanks to Adam Machado who wrote the grants and keeps in touch with the folks there and also thanks to our loyal digitizer, Antonio Cuellar who has listened to just about every one of these thousands of discs!!
Stay tuned cause Arhoolie will celebrate it's 50th Anniversary later this year - even though it seems to be the last round-up for the CD format! What a shame - the stupid inventors are never happy with anything that's really good - they always invent some new crap to keep the peons poor and begging for more to feed their addiction to the latest junk!!! But LPs and real records are making a come-back - even 78s are still the real thing but the collectors only want the rarest of the rarest - keep your turn tables folks, and don't waste your money on yet another stupid TV format or the latest Piss-pod! Enjoy Life while you can! Later - Chris