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This Ain't No Mouse Music!

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Documentary - music

DVD: Available Now
Consumer Advice:

Infrequent coarse language

Run Time:
92 minutes



Chris Simon & Maureen Gosling

Chris Strachwitz
Ry Cooder
Bonnie Raitt
Taj Mahal
Flaco Jiménez
Michael Doucet
Richard Thompson
Santiago Jiménez Jr.
The Pine Leaf Boys
the Treme Brass Band
No Speed Limit, and others!
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Roots music icon Chris Strachwitz is a detective of sounds, an archaeologist of deep American music, the antithesis of the corporate 'mouse music' that dominates the American ear. Born a German count, Strachwitz fled his homeland after WWII at 16. Here, he discovered, and shared, a musical landscape that most Americans missed.

For the last fifty years, he has carried his tape recorder from sharecrop shacks to roadside honkytonks, from cantina dives to wild Blues clubs. His recordings on his indy label, Arhoolie Records, brought Cajun music out of Louisiana, Tex-Mex out of Texas, Blues out of the country - and into the living rooms of middle America.

These recordings revolutionized the sound of American music. In This Ain't No Mouse Music! filmmakers Chris Simon and Maureen Gosling join Strachwitz for a hip-shaking stomp from New Orleans to Texas, Cajun country to Appalachia, as he continues his passionate quest for the musical soul of America.


It’s impossible to look at the history of blues, Cajun and Zydeco music without looking at Chris Strachwitz’ role. He’s a monumental figure – Bonnie Raitt

[This Ain't No Mouse Music!] whets your sonic appetite and makes you want to find out more about these often wonderful sounds - FILMink

Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal are among the musicians who speak about the importance of Strachwitz's work as a producer. As the publisher of Country Joe McDonald's "Fixin to Die Rag," he was able to open a record store in the northern California town of El Cerrito, Down Home Music where the moto is painted in the side of the wall: "This ain't no mouse music."… "Chris was interested in recording music people listened to, not music that he needed to capture before it disappeared," Gosling told Billboard, drawing a distinction between Arhoolie and the work of folklorists such as Alan Lomax… There are about 70 songs in the film, 30 of which Strachwitz controls the publishing. "We watched the film with Chris for him to go over the music,"Gosling says. "We made the ultimate artistic decisions -- he did try to produce us like he tries to produce everything -- and he helped us focus on the music that was important to him, like a specific Lightnin' Hopkins song that he fell in love with when he was 16." -, Phil Gallo

[Click to read full review]

This is one of the best films from the festival [Hotdocs 2013]… Not only is Chris’ passion for life, music, and discovery infectious, but the consistently stunning music will fill your mind for days after… Mouse music is a term referring to any music without heart or soul, packaged sound that companies churn out to make a quick buck. In simple terms, mouse music is anything that Chris Strachwitz doesn’t like, and he’s a man who has an ear for talent. Every name Strachwitz mentions in the film is an artist that will speak to music fans. Chris has an amazing ability to find the true artists that can create a song that will touch your soul, and the film is full of outstanding musical numbers… - Toronto Film Scene

[Click to read full review]

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