Best Music Store for Folkie Hippies

Down Home Music

If the musty smell of a room full of LPs makes you tingle, if the twang
of a banjo or balalaika stirs your heart, you probably already know
about the roots-music cornerstone of the Bay Area: Down Home Music in
El Cerrito. Practically right across the street from Guitar Center,
where teen rock-star hopefuls massacre Green Day songs on Fenders, the
modest, windowless storefront emanates a sweet bluegrass sound. Opened
in 1976 by roots recording icon Chris Strachwitz, who had been running
his own Arhoolie Records label since the early Sixties and is
responsible for creating a mammoth archive of folk music that would
otherwise be lost to history, Down Home has become a meeting point for
fans of many types of music: first blues, then bluegrass, Cajun,
Tejano, and world music. Arhoolie still records them all, and Down Home
deals in them all, with an extensive collection of CDs and LPs, as well
as books, magazines, DVDs, and ephemera for sale or trade. In this year
of layaways, bartering, and backyard victory gardens, there’s no better
time to visit Down Home and get back to roots.


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