Director and Producers Chris Simon and Maureen Gosling met over thirty years ago while working with world-renowned documentarian Les Blank. After successful collaborations with Blank over 20 years, Simon and Gosling pursued their own projects. Gosling directed and produced Blossoms of Fire a feature documentary on the Isthmus Zapotecs of southern Oaxaca. Simon produced and directed four independent documentaries including the award-winning Down an Old Road and My Canyonlands. Gosling and Simon re-united for This Ain’t No Mouse Music! because of their love of music and cultures that Chris Strachwitz brought to the forefront to audiences around the world – and to share the vision of their longtime friend and colleague.
Chris Simon: After receiving an MA in Folklore & Mythology from UCLA, Chris Simon spent 15 years as producer (as well as sound engineer and editor) for renowned documentary filmmaker Les Blank. She is credited as co-filmmaker on six of Blank’s film including the classic Gap-Toothed Women and Marc and Ann. In 1996 she created her own company, Sageland Media, which specializes in telling stories from the American West. In addition to This Ain’t No Mouse Music!, her independent documentaries include Down an Old Road: The Poetic Life of Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel about the poetry of Wilma McDaniel and the Okie migration; My Canyonlands about explorer Kent Frost and the fight for Canyonlands National Park; Red Alexander: Shipwright and Folk Artist about an artist’s life on the Oakland Estuary and I Hear What You See: The Old-Time World of Kenny Hall about one of the most influential musicians in old time music. She has won numerous awards through the years for her work including three Emmys, an award from National Geographic for the best film on archaeology, and a nomination for a British Academy Award. Simon’s work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the California and Utah Humanities Councils and numerous private foundations.
This Ain’t No Mouse Music! Synopsis:
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. In the United States 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 independent label, Arhoolie Records, introduced Cajun music from Louisiana, Tex-Mex from Texas, and Blues from the country into the living rooms of the world. These recordings revolutionized the sound of music around the world. 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. Features: Chris Strachwitz, Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, Flaco Jimenez, Michael Doucet, Richard Thompson, Santiago Jimenez, Jr., The Pine Leaf Boys, the Treme Brass Band, No Speed Limit, and others.
March 12, 2015: Madison-Morgan Cultural Center Madison GA
March 13, 2015: City of Hapeville Hapeville GA
March 14, 2015: The Tennessee Valley Art Association/Ritz Theatre Sheffield AL
March 17, 2015: Western Carolina University Cullowhee NC
March 19, 2015: Robinson Film Center Shreveport LA
March 20, 2015: Union College Barbourville KY