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In the Immortal Words of Woody Guthrie, "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You"

Mon, 07 Apr 2014 20:09:33 +00002014-04-07T20:09:33Z

It's been nine years since I started building this site for the About.com network, so it is with a bittersweet heart that I now bid it adieu.

When I began working on this site back in 2005, the millennial folk music boom was so brand new, we didn't even know it was really happening yet. But, in the years that have passed since, American folk and roots music have come to dominate so many areas of popular music. I hope whoever finds their way to this site from this day forward will find a plethora of introductory information and great new artists to ease their way into an appreciation of traditional American music. Folk music is one of the most vibrant, versatile, and timeless ways we have to communicate. We've taken folk songs with us through every moment in American history, and I have no doubt we will continue to carry them - or rather seek their help to carry us through.

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New Spin on 'Basement Tapes'-era Bob Dylan Songs, from T Bone Burnett and Friends

Thu, 27 Mar 2014 12:19:51 +00002014-03-27T12:19:51Z

(image) T Bone Burnett is no stranger to high-profile folk-and-Americana-infused projects. From his involvement with O Brother, Where Art Thou? to Nashville, the collaboration between Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, and ...

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Emmylou Harris Memoir Due in 2015

Sat, 22 Mar 2014 07:37:58 +00002014-03-22T07:37:58Z

(image) According to Billboard Magazine, Emmylou Harris is working on a memoir covering her four decades in the music industry, from her time singing with the late, great Gram Parsons, through her solo career and her innumerable collaborations since. Considering her incredible career, which has won her more than a dozen Grammy Awards and an induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Her HoF status notwithstanding, Harris has dabbled in areas of music far beyond the confines of what's popularly considered country music. She has taken up folk songs just as often, has collaborated with everyone from Parsons to Rodney Crowell, Patty Griffin, and beyond. And, next month, she'll re-release her hugely celebrated album Wrecking Ball, this time with a DVD and two additional discs of recorded material.

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Pickathon Announces Full 2014 Lineup

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 09:12:26 +00002014-03-19T09:12:26Z

(image) Yesterday, I shared that Nickel Creek has joined the lineup for the 2014 Pickathon Indie Roots Music Festival in Happy Valley, Ore., just outside of Portland. They're not the only eyebrow-raising band on the lineup this year. They join the legendary X, as well as Jonathan Richman, Jolie Holland, Blind Pilot, Gregory Alan Isakov, Valerie June, Robbie Fulks, Angel Olsen, Della Mae, the Sadies, Mandolin Orange, and many more.

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Nickel Creek Discography

Tue, 18 Mar 2014 14:35:07 +00002014-03-18T14:35:07Z

(image) News broke this week that Nickel Creek would be making an appearance at two of the finest folk and roots music festivals in the land this summer - Pickathon and Newport. (They'll also be at Telluride, which I've never personally been to, but trust everyone who tells me it's one of the best.)

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Folk Song History: "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"

Fri, 14 Mar 2014 10:22:21 +00002014-03-14T10:22:21Z

(image) I'm not personally a big fan of the sport of baseball, though I did grow up rooting for the Yankees (don't hold it against me) and watching spring training games near my hometown in Central Florida. I am, however, a great big fan of traditions and cultural habits, so the parts of the baseball game that always pleased me was the food that goes hand-in-hand with it (hot dogs, peanuts, cracker jacks), the seventh inning stretch (one of the few times everyone in any room gets up and stretches together, in any context in the U.S.), and when the pre-recorded organ chords pipe through the speakers telling us all it's time to engage in a good old American sing-along.

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What Is a Folk Song?

Wed, 05 Mar 2014 06:04:17 +00002014-03-05T06:04:17Z

(image) It's almost a cliche within folk music circles to try to argue about what constitutes a folk song. For Baby Boomers, folk music has a social conscience and is often political, always acoustic, and sees its forbears as Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan. For milennials - the people who are making sure "folk music," whatever that is, remains relevant - a "folk song" tells a story and is made with a kind of grassroots spirit, regardless of if it's electric or acoustic, religious or political, or about completely vague ideas (being young, having ideas, searching). Who's right?

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Artists to Watch: Cahalen Morrison & Eli West

Tue, 04 Mar 2014 16:27:33 +00002014-03-04T16:27:33Z

(image) A couple of weeks ago, when I shared my picks for artists you need to watch from this year's Folk Alliance International schedule in Kansas City, Cahalen Morrison & Eli West were one of the first outfits that came to mind. Their remarkable dexterity on their instruments and close, intuitive harmonies straddle the line between contemporary and traditional issues. More Louvin Brothers than Welch & Rawlings, their pairing is deceptively simple and remarkably haunting. If you've yet to hear Cahalen Morrison & Eli West, perhaps now is the time to become acquainted. The Seattle-based duo just dropped their third full-length album, I'll Swing My Hammer with Both My Hands, which was produced by folk and bluegrass darling Tim O'Brien. Check out this full profile for more info on that effort and more.

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New Disc on the Way from Jolie Holland

Wed, 26 Feb 2014 11:26:46 +00002014-02-26T11:26:46Z

(image) Full disclosure: I'm a big fan of Jolie Holland. From her time with the Be Good Tanyas to her various solo albums, pulled from her early demos. She's an exquisite multi-instrumentalist, able to leap from guitar to violin to piano with equal proficiency. Her melodies are catchy, her lyrics are heavily nuanced and poetic, and her arrangements are surprising, complex, and haunting.

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DelFest Lineup to Include Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, String Cheese Incident, More

Mon, 24 Feb 2014 12:17:16 +00002014-02-24T12:17:16Z

(image) Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have joined the 2014 lineup for DelFest, which takes place Memorial Day Weekend in Cumberland Maryland. They've joined a lineup that includes String Cheese Incident, Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby with Kentucky Thunder, Yonder Mountain String Band, Hot Rize, Carolina Chocolate Drops, the Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, and more.

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