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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.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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