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http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/4ac24f853c9282ee7936f6232b021c2b800795ad.jpg Hear Me Howling! Blues, Ballads, & Beyond

Various Artists

Hear Me Howling! Blues, Ballads, & Beyond

Arhoolie
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January 25, 2011

Listen to Country Joe and the Fish's "I Feel Like I'm Fixing to Die" and Fred McDowell's "Shake 'Em On Down"

German-born roots-music fan Chris Strachwitz founded Arhoolie Records in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1960 — a blues and folk boomtown on the verge of psychedelia. This deluxe-hardback book with four CDs covers Arhoolie's first decade as Strachwitz records the action at local gigs and in studio and living-room sessions: stark blues by Lightnin' Hopkins, Fred McDowell and Skip James; the prophetic ferment in the Berkeley folk community, including rare tracks by guitarist Perry Lederman and singer Barbara Dane; and early rumblings of the Fillmore spirit by Country Joe and the Fish, guitarist Jerry Hahn and the Joy of Cooking. It is the sound of a scene — and a great label — being born.

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