Funding sought for New Lost City Ramblers film

New Lost City RamblersSuzy Rothfield Thompson, who has been working on a documentary film about the New Lost City Ramblers (NLCR) for the past year, is seeking additional funding to enable completion of a film about the ground-breaking group.

The film includes a mixture of archival footage and photos, interviews, recently shot footage and music. It is not only about Mike Seeger, John Cohen, Tom Paley and Tracy Schwarz, but also includes footage of many of the traditional musicians with whom they have performed, recorded, filmed and are otherwise documented — including Maybelle & Sara Carter, George Landers, the Balfa Brothers, Libba Cotten, Roscoe Holcomb and Hazel Dickens. Some of the recent footage was shot in Berkeley, CA, either at the Freight & Salvage or at the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention.

This hour-long film has been made on a shoestring budget of $200,000, but it transpires that there is an additional $25,000 in unanticipated finishing costs needed and Ms. Thompson is seeking financial assistance for that purpose.

She suggests a couple of ways that you can help:

1) A tax-deductible financial contribution (made to the tax-exempt non-profit Arhoolie Foundation) – donors of $1,000 and up have the option of receiving a credit at the end of the film.

2) Help me to get in touch with the folks that you know personally who you think would be able and willing to support this film.

This could work one of two ways: either you contact your friends and share this information with them, OR share your contact information with me and I will contact them directly, using your name as a reference.

Please let me know if you have any ideas, suggestions or question; you can email me:

If you would like to make a financial contribution, please make your cheque payable to the Arhoolie Foundation and enclose a note saying that your donation is earmarked for the NLCR film.

The Arhoolie Foundation
10341 San Pablo Ave
El Cerrito CA 94530

The phone number is 510-525-7471 and the contact person is Tom Diamant.

It is hoped that the film is completed and ready for release by spring of 2009, just in time to coincide with the 50th Anniversary NLCR box set to be released by Smithsonian Folkways.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.