Arhoolie Records 50th Anniversary Celebration - Arhoolie Foundation benefit
Sunday, February 6, 2011, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)Los Cenzontles, Suzy & Eric Thompson, Country Joe McDonald, Campbell Brothers, Savoy Family Band, Taj Mahal $75.50 advance / $85.50 at doorPurchase tickets online
February 06 8:00 pm

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Arhoolie Records throws the party of a lifetime, with panels (see link to Arhoolie’s website for time & locations), discussions, fantastic regional foods, a “second line“ parade Saturday 4 pm with the Tremé Brass Band, plus three amazing concerts with proceeds benefiting the Arhoolie Foundation. The weekend of amazing music wraps with a show to end all shows, featuring Los Cenzontles, Suzy & Eric Thompson, Country Joe McDonald, Campbell Brothers, Savoy Family Band, and Taj Mahal, emceed by the illustrious Nick Spitzer, host of the popular public radio program American Routes.

Two of the Bay Area's most versatile musicians, Suzy & Eric Thompson have a repertoire that stretches all the way from old-time Appalachian breakdowns to classic blues and Louisiana Cajun dance music. Eric's flatpicking is famed for its purity of tone, speed, and soulfulness; Suzy is a powerful singer and an award-winning fiddler. Singer-songwriter, historian, and infamous rockin' rabble-rouser, Country Joe McDonald has been a substantial figure on the landscape of American culture for the past four decades, ever since his band, Country Joe and the Fish, rose to fame performing at demonstrations against the war in Vietnam. Campbell Brothers present a powerful dose of African-American gospel music with electric steel guitar. The brothers, pedal steel guitarist Chuck and lap steel player Darick, present a compelling, rich variety of material from the African-American Holiness-Pentecostal repertoire with a twist: the growling, wailing, shouting, singing and swinging voice of the steel guitar. The Savoy Family Band plays honed-down, hard-core Cajun music laced with earthy sensuality, reviving the old tunes and innovating within the music's deep roots. Playing with the tight-knit intensity that can only be found in close family ensembles, the band features Marc and Ann Savoy, plus their sons, Joel and Wilson. Composer, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist extraordinaire Taj Mahal is one of the most prominent and influential figures in late 20th century blues and roots music. Though his career began more than four decades ago with American blues, he has broadened his artistic scope over the years to include music representing virtually every corner of the world—west Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the Hawaiian islands and more. What ties it all together is Taj's insatiable interest in musical discovery, his deep, rich voice, and his beautifully vibrant playing.

Los CenzontlesFounded by Chris Strachwitz in 1960, Arhoolie Records is one of the premier roots record labels, with the best in blues, Cajun, Zydeco, Tex-Mex/Tejano, gospel, jazz, country, bluegrass, and regional music from around the world. Through the years, Chris has recorded both known and obscure artists, and brought their music to wider audiences. Among the notable musicians who have recorded for Arhoolie are Big Mama Thornton, Flaco Jimenez, Clifton Chenier, Lightning Hopkins, Rose Maddox, and many more.

The entire event is a benefit for the Arhoolie Foundation, a public, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the documentation, preservation, and dissemination of authentic traditional and regional vernacular music, while recognizing the sustaining role this music plays in local communities: "Despite neglect and exploitation, local and regional traditions still symbolize and sustain many communities. Each ballad, blues, fiddle tune, hymn or dance form reaffirms communal spirit and builds pride." To learn more about the Arhoolie Foundation, visit

For afternoon panel and film details visit the Arhoolie Records website. These events are free for any evening ticket holders and $5.00 for the general public.

Full schedule of Arhoolie Celebration events.

Listen to tracks from Los Cenzontles, Suzy & Eric Thompson, Country Joe McDonald, Campbell Brothers, Savoy Family Band:


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