American Routes assists Grammy nominated Arhoolie 50th Anniversary Box Set
January 13th, 2014 ~ ‘They All Played for Us’—The 50th Anniversary of Arhoolie Records nominated for a Grammy in the “Best Folk” recording category has a lot of great performers on it: Ry Cooder, Taj Mahal, Santiago Jimenez, Linda Ronstadt , Laurie Lewis, Country Joe, the Campbell Bros, and Los Cenzontles as well as Louisiana artists like Treme Brass Band, Michael and David Doucet, Marc Savoy with Anne Savoy and sons.
American Routes did the artist interviews and stage-hosted the concert held over three days in February, 2011 at the Freight & Salvage Club in Berkeley, CA. We used the interviews and the recordings of the concert to produce an American Routes special heard nationally on July 4th in 2012.
Arhoolie was founded by German emigre Chris Strachwitz back in 1961 with a field recording devoted to Texas blues songster Mance Lipscomb. Over the years Arhoolie produced great records by Zydeco King Clifton Chenier, Cajun modernists BeauSoliel, Mississippi Fred McDowell, “the Lark of the Border” Lydia Mendoza and many more.
Nick wrote a dedication in the accompanying booklet to Arhoolie and Chris Strachwitz, who had a major influence on his musical tastes. Quotes from the American Routes interviews augment extensive notes by Grammy-winning writer Adam Machado and fine documentary images of the players by Michael Melnyk.
Dr. Nicholas Spitzer Awarded the Center for Louisiana Studies' 2013 James Williams Rivers Award
January 2nd, 2014 ~ The recipient of the 2013 James William Rivers Prize in Louisiana Studies is Dr. Nicholas Spitzer.
Dr. Spitzer is the producer and host of “American Routes” and a professor of Anthropology and American Studies at Tulane University in New Orleans. The Rivers Prize selection committee specifically cited Dr. Spitzer’s significant contributions within the field of Louisiana folklore as evidence of his deservedness of this award.
The James William Rivers Prize in Louisiana Studies was established to honor persons who have contributed or rendered, recently or over the course of their careers, outstanding scholarly study, work, or teaching about the culture, history, art, architecture, crafts, flora, fauna, music, literature, law, performing arts, or geography of Louisiana or about its people. The Rivers Prize was established with private funds donated in memory of Mr. Rivers, a New Orleans architect and graduate of USL (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette), who died in 1991.
JAMES WILLIAM RIVERS PRIZE WINNERS
A. Hays Town
Joy J. Jackson
Barry J. Ancelet
Mary Louise Christovich
Ernest J. Gaines
Samuel Wilson, Jr.
Glenn R. Conrad
Louisiana Public Broadcasting
Frank de Caro
James Lee Burke
Jay D. Edwards & the Fred B. Kniffen Cultural Resources Laboratory
Carl A. Brasseaux
Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
Elemore Morgan, Sr. & Elemore Morgan, Jr.