The Arhoolie Foundation has teamed up with Little Village Foundation to produce “Working From Home,” a video series of mini house concerts recorded live by traditional musicians trying to make it through the current public health crisis doing what they do best. Please join us in supporting these working musicians by donating directly to them through the links provided. We will match the first $500 in donations to each.

This week’s episode features Cajun dynamo Wilson Savoy at home in Lafayette, Louisiana, bringing you a little bit of everything — from traditional Cajun accordion and fiddle to rockin’ Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles tunes on the piano. The guy can sing, too. Hope you enjoy.

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Donate directly to Wilson Savoy:
(Together, AF & LVF will match the first $500 donated)

Wilson Savoy was born into a musical family in Eunice, Louisiana, and grew up surrounded by Cajun music among other styles. His father, Marc Savoy, is a well-known Cajun accordion player and maker, his mother Ann Savoy is an accomplished guitar player and singer, and his brother and older sister are also Cajun musicians. As a teenager, under the spell of Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles, Wilson fell in love with rock n’ roll and blues piano, and taught himself to play. A little later, he picked up one of his dad’s accordions, and later still, Cajun fiddle. 

In the mid-2000s, Wilson formed a Cajun band called the Pine Leaf Boys, recording two albums for Arhoolie, three for his brother’s Valcour label, one for Lionsgate, and one Live at New Orleans Jazz Fest, garnering four Grammy nominations along the way In 2012 he won a Grammy in the Regional Roots category for the album “Courtbouillon” with local legends, Wayne Toups and Steve Riley. He has also appeared on three Arhoolie albums as a member of the Savoy Family Band. 
Wilson has travelled to over 30 countries, playing music in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Malaysia, Latvia, Macedonia, Italy, Denmark, Germany, France, England, and elsewhere, including two U.S. State Department tours with the Pine Leaf Boys. He was a guest actor on HBO’s “Treme” and had a guest appearance with Sean Penn in “All the King’s Men”. 
Today, Wilson lives in Lafayette, LA, where he spends his weeks renovating and building houses around town, and his weekends playing with the Pine Leaf Boys. He recently finished restoring and converting an historic building downtown into a new venue called The Hideaway Lounge, which will have indoor and outdoor dining, a small music stage outside for quaint concerts, and a larger stage indoors for dance bands. Allons a Lafayette! 

Statement on the passing of Chris Strachwitz

Arhoolie Records Founder
July 1, 1931 – May 5, 2023

We celebrate the life of our founder, friend, and great record man Chris Strachwitz. He died peacefully at home in Marin County, CA, surrounded in his last days by dear friends and family. Over his 91 years, Chris captured the music that represents the best “down home music” the world has to offer.

He was at the forefront of nearly all the roots revivals over the last 60 years including blues, zydeco, Cajun, Norteño and Tejano music. His drive to document traditional music helped introduce the nation to our diverse musical heritage. He had the foresight to save music that might have otherwise been lost to obscurity and played a role in strengthening cultural traditions through his records, films, and most recently the Arhoolie Foundation. He cared for those around him, fought for royalties and recognition for Arhoolie artists, and provided counsel to countless musicians, writers, film makers, and academics.

Plans for a public celebration of his life will be announced in the coming weeks. Today we’re thinking of all that Chris brought to our lives and the lives of the musicians and fans with whom he shared his passion.