Hear Me Howling! Blues, Ballads, & Beyond

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.

Gallery: Random Notes, Rock's Hottest Photos

From The Archives Issue 1123: February 3, 2011
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