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Preview: About.com Folk Music: Most Popular Articles

About.com Folk Music: Most Popular Articles



These articles are the most popular over the last month.



Published: Sun, 12 Mar 2017 11:43:13 +0000

 



50 Best Folk Music Artists of All Time

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Here's a look at the 50 best singer/songwriters, artists and bands in the history of American folk music, from the 1940s through the 60s until today.



What Is Folk Music?

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

What is folk music? This may be a topic on which scholars, fans, and artists will never entirely agree, but that's only because folk music is subjective to the people to whom it means something, by definition. Learn more about what folk music is, and what it has been in American history.



How is Folk Music Different From Country?

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

What's the difference between folk music and country? Learn more about the history of when country and folk music parted ways.



Wondering What a Folk Song Is? Here's the Answer

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

The folk song is one of the most functional, portable, adaptable and accessible arts of human history. Learn more about American folk music.



10 Essential Songs from the Civil Rights Movement

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Songs inspired and encouraged the civil rights movement in America (1950s-'60s). These ten earned their place as essential anthems and ballads.



Bob Dylan and Joan Baez: The King and Queen of...

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Folk music singers Joan Baez and Bob Dylan wowed audiences whenever they dueted in live concerts. Backstage the pairing was not always so melodic.



60 Best Songs of the 1960s Folk Revival

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

The 1960s folk revival churned out a lot of great songs. Here are the 60 best, listed alphabetically by the artist's first name. If you don't see a song that you think belongs on this list, please drop your vote in the folk music forum.



The Fascinating History of American Folk Music

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

History of American folk music, from topical and protest music to folk-pop, indie roots, Americana, bluegrass, and other forms of acoustic music.



The 5 Best Banjo Songs Ever

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Learn more about the banjo with this list of five essential banjo tunes, for folks learning to play or those who just love the twangy sound.



The Story Behind the Song: Guantanamera

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Originally written



The 10 Best Bluegrass Artists of All Time

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Learn more about American bluegrass music with this list of essential bluegrass artists.



"This Little Light of Mine"

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Learn the history of this folk song - the lyrics, who recorded it and its connection to the Civil Right movement.



Profile of the Carter Family Tree

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

The Carter Family is one of the most influential families in traditional folk and country music, from the original family band lineup through to the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Learn more about the musical contributions of the Carters with this introductory family tree.



A Closer Look at Bob Dylan's 'Protest' Songs

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

From his debut at the 1963 Newport Folk Festival to his performance at Martin Luther King Jr's freedom march in Washington, D.C., Bob Dylan spent most of 1962-63 writing



Folk Music and the Civil Rights Movement

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Learn more about the height of the civil rights movement with this look at civil rights and folk music.



The 10 Best Guitars for Folk Musicians

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

The acoustic guitar remains the most prevalent instrument in Folk music. Here is a list of the guitars most commonly employed by Folk's greatest players.



"I've Been Working on the Railroad" - Traditional

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" >countless folksingers (famous and completely



Important Albums of the 1960s Folk Revival

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Learn more about the 1950s-1960s folk music revival with this list of important albums, spanning 1952-1965 including Bob Dylan, the Weavers, more.



What's the difference between folk and acoustic...

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >First off, what



All About the Folk Revival

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

The folk revival of the 1960s is often the starting point of fascination with the style for many contemporary folk fans.



Folk Song History of 'Camptown Races (Do Dah)'

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

A history of preeminent American songwriter Stephen Foster's 1850 folk song.



Bob Dylan's Motorcycle Accident: The Whole Story

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

For years following the accident, there was a lot of controversy about its plausibility. Did it really happen? Was Dylan making it up just so he could take a much-needed rest? One rumor even held that the accident was a cover, and that in reality Dylan went into rehab to kick drugs. Even today, the crash is still hotly debated, with fans and scholars still referring to Dylan's career in terms of “Pre-Accident” and “Post-Accident.”



The Story Behind the Song: Michael Row the Boat...

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >History of "Michael



Discover Folk Music's Greatest Female Musicians

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Women in folk music run the gamut from singer-songwriters to blues guitarists, alt-country crooners and activist protest singers. Learn more about women in folk music, from the legendary trailblazers to the hottest up-and-coming female folksingers. From Janis Ian to Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez to Ani DiFranco, this is a list of some of the most important women in American folk music.



Bob Dylan Timeline

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Little did Bob Dylan know, in 1961, that he would end up writing some of the world's most celebrated anthems. What follows is a timeline hitting the peaks and valleys of Dylan's epic and ongoing five-decade career.



How Bobby Zimmerman Became Bob Dylan

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Back in the late 1950s, rock 'n' roll royalty's most distinguished names were typically terse, snappy two-syllable appellations that shook, rattled, and rolled off DJs' tongues like so much cool. For a young rocker like Bob Dylan, the name Zimmerman just wasn't gonna cut it. Read more about how Bobby Zimmerman became Bob Dylan.



How To Write a Folk Song

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Advice for songwriters - Quick tips on how to write a great contemporary folk song (though the same idea applies to any style of music).



Top 10 Best Moments in Bob Dylan's Early Career

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Bob Dylan is one of the most influential singer/songwriters ever, whether you're looking at Folk, Pop, or Rock. His career has enjoyed several twists and turns that have kept fans (and often Bob himself) on their toes. If you don't have the patience for Scorsese's very long Documentary on Dylan, have no fear. I'll sum it up for you by ticking off the ten biggest moments at the start of his career.



Background and History of Patriotic American...

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Here's a look at the background of some of the most popular and memorable patriotic American folk songs.






Wondering What a 'Dobro' Is? Here's the Answer

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

This acoustic instrument was added to the Bluegrass band line-up by Lester Flatt in the 1950s. Learn more.



Joan Baez's Best Songs

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Joan Baez has been one of the most ardent activist-folksingers in the history of the craft, and an inspiration to many other artists and fans alike. If you're just learning about Baez's work, here's a playlist of essential Joan Baez songs to help get you started.



All About the Seeger Family Tree

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

From Charles Seeger's fascination with American folk music to his children's proliferation (and some would say darn near perfection) of the craft, to the budding careers of his grandchildren, here's a look at the Seeger family tree.



Who Wrote and Recorded "If I Had a Hammer"?

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Who Wrote and



Bluegrass and Folk Music Instruments

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

folk music instruments, musical instruments, american folk music, americana, roots music, bluegrass instruments, jug band instruments, old time music instruments, banjo, harmonica, jew's harp, musical jug, spoons, washboard, washtub bass, guitar



Important African-American Folk Music Artists

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Learn more about African-American history and Black History Month by listening to the music of these great African-American folk music artists.



All About the Guthrie Family Tree

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Woody Guthrie was inarguably one of the most important singer-songwriters in the history of contemporary folk music. But his family has followed suit with their insightful, ruminative, and often humorous story-telling songs. Learn more about the Guthrie Family with this quick family tree.



History of an American Folk Song: "We Shall...

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >"We Shall Overcome"



Great Mandolin Players in Folk and Bluegrass

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Mandolin is one of the most popular instruments in American folk music and bluegrass. Learn more about the instrument by learning more about all the great artists who have played it through the years. Here's a list of some of the greatest mandolin players of folk and bluegrass music.



"Yankee Doodle" - Traditional

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >"Yankee Doodle"



"Scarborough Fair" - Traditional/Simon and...

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

A history of the traditional folk song, covered by Simon and Garfunkel in the 1960s.



Bluegrass Music from Foggy Mountain Boys to...

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

A brief history of the American bluegrass music, from the Foggy Mountain Boys to Nickle Creek.



History and Overview of Folk Rock

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Check out a brief history of Folk Rock, its artists and characteristics



10 Most Influential Folk Music Artists of All...

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

American folk music encompasses all kinds of styles, from political protest music to bluegrass and traditional country, topical songs, love songs, feminist songs, death ballads and beyond. The style has been heavily influenced, though, by some major artists who have come along and left a lasting mark on the field of folk music. Here's a look at some of the most influential American folk artists.



New York Open Mic - An (Incomplete) Listing

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Whether you live in NYC or are just visiting and want to hit up open mic night, here's a look at some of the New York City's nightly open mics.



Who Were The Weavers?

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Learn more about seminal folk music supergroup The Weavers, with this introductory bio and profile, including recommended albums and MP3s.



Folk Music Guitar Greats

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Whether you're a fan of guitar or a student, here's a look at ten of the most influential guitarists in American folk music history.



Essential Mardi Gras Songs

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Mardi Gras would be no fun without the incredible music of New Orleans. Learn more about the NoLa celebration with this list of Mardi Gras songs.



Best Folk Music Albums

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Folk music spans a wide variety of artists. These folk music albums are not only the best place to start for new fans, but are a good primer for fans looking to expand their existing collection.



Famous Folk Music Duos

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

From Simon & Garfunkel to the Indigo Girls and Shovels & Rope...folk music duos make some of the best contemporary folk music.



Indie Folk

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Indie folk (also occasionally called lo-fi indie) is characterized by a slew of up-and-coming bands who pull influence from traditional and contemporary folk music, classic country, and indie rock. Learn more about indie folk, including recommended artists and albums.



Bob Dylan's “Hurricane”: The Story...

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Although Dylan played the song every night during the Rolling Thunder Revue tour in 1975, he dropped “Hurricane” from his live set after the Night of the Hurricane II benefit in January 1976 and hasn't performed it to this day. It's every diehard Dylanite's deep-seated fantasy that someday, somehow, he or she will be in the front row when Dylan finally decides to shake the tree. Readore about Dylan's song



Ani Difranco - Biography and Profile

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Ani Difranco is one of the most prolific and respected artists in contemporary American folk music. With 20 years and nearly 20 albums under her belt, tireless touring, and a record company all her own, Ani DiFranco has inspired and influenced countless artists. Learn more about Ani DiFranco, including recommended CDs, MP3s, interviews, concert reviews, and more.



Classic Anti-War Protest Songs

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Learn more about the rich history of protest music in American folk, with this list of essential protest songs.



Protest Songs Against the Iraq War and George...

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

List of protest songs written about the George W. Bush administration, the War in Iraq, and other millennial political issues.



Alison Krauss and Union Station

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

A prodigious fiddle player and protege of Bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe, Alison Krauss and her band Union Station are one of the hottest and most talented bluegrass music groups around.



Best Folk Music of the 1990s

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

The 1990s were a vibrant, versatile time in American folk music, as alt-country and the folk-punk realm both picked up steam and changed the face of contemporary folk music. Meanwhile, artists that had been around for decades also continued to put out excellent records and keep their hats in the ring. Learn more about contemporary folk music with this look at the 15 best folk, bluegrass, and alt-country albums of the 1990s.



Essential Pete Seeger Songs

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

One of the best ways to learn more about the music Pete Seeger made, is to learn to sing the songs he sang. Here are some of the essentials.



All About Protest Music

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Protest is remarkable for many reasons, but mostly for the fact that it helps people realize they're not alone in feeling a spirit of dissent against certain injustices, whether on a personal or more overarching governmental level. Learn more about American protest music, topical folk songs, political folksingers, and protest singers.



History of African-American Folk Music

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Learn more about the influence of African-American music on the evolution of American folk music, with this brief history.



Open Mic Nights in Seattle

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Seattle has a burgeoning folk and roots music scene. Here are opportunities to join not only open mic nights, but also community jam sessions and song swaps.



10 Essential Folk Music Singer-Songwriters

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

From Woody Guthrie to Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell to Ani Difranco, here's a look at ten of the best American folk music singer/songwriters of all time.



Biography of John Carter Cash

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

John Carter Cash is the son of June Carter and Johnny Cash, and has proven to be adept at carrying on the family business of making music. In addition to being an accomplished singer-songwriter in his own right, John Carter Cash is also a highly respected producer in the folk and Americana worlds. Learn more about John Carter Cash with this introductory bio and profile.



Cat Stevens - Biography and Profile

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Learn more about Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) with this biography and profile, including recommended albums and songs.



Essential Arlo Guthrie Songs

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Arlo Guthrie is a different kind of songwriter from his father Woody Guthrie, but no less of an American treasure. His music has spanned and influenced generations of songwriters. Learn more about Arlo Guthrie's gift with this introductory look at five essential Arlo Guthrie songs.



Bob Dylan

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Bob Dylan is the king of changing styles, and one of American folk music's most prolific and influential singer/songwriters.



Bill Monroe

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Learn more about the man credited with starting American bluegrass - mandolin master, extraordinaire Bill Monroe.



Essential Folk Music Labor Songs

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Folk music has a long relationship with labor struggles, and particularly labor unions. Here's a peak at some of the most notable, most fun, and most poignant labor tunes in Folk history.



Essential Bluegrass Pickers

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

From the innovators who spun bluegrass into being back in its earliest days, to the imaginative innovators who continue to keep bluegrass alive and relevant, the genre is replete with full-throttle, hugely talented instrumentalists. Here's a look at a few of the players whose work helped define the genre, and those who are helping it stay strong for generations to come.



Essential Ani DiFranco Songs

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Learn more about Ani DiFranco with this list of some of her very best songs, from protest songs to love songs and beyond.



"John Henry"

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

John Henry is a legend of American folklore and American folk music. Learn more about the music which has been inspired by and attributed to one of the American labor movemnet's greatest legendary heroes. Here's a look at the folk song history of John Henry.



The 1965 Newport Folk Festival Controversy

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

When Bob Dylan went electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, it would be the biggest artistic statement of Dylan's career, soarking a controversy that still haunts him to this day. Read more about this breakthrough moment in American folk and rock history.



The Best Pete Seeger Cover Songs

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Learn more about Pete Seeger's remarkable influence on American folk music with this list of songs he wrote or popularized, recorded by other people.



Patty Griffin's Best Songs

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Learn more about Patty Griffin through these, some of her best songs and essential recordings.



Lester Flatt

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Lester Flatt is often considered one of the greatest bluegrass artists of all time. As an early member of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys and then through nearly 20 years of collaboration with Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt made an indelible mark on American bluegrass.



Carlene Carter

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Carlene Carter is carrying on the legacy of her incredibly talented family, making music which straddles the line between folk and country and endearing her story to a new generation of listeners. Check out this bio and profile for more information about Carlene Carter.



Greg Brown

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Folk-blues troubador Greg Brown is best known for his low, grumbly voice and smooth, poetic lyrics that knock you silly.



Essential Alison Krauss Songs

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Learn more about Alison Krauss with this look at some of her best songs, wiht and without Union Station.



Try Alternate Tunings

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Alternate guitar tunings are a surefire way to pop your strumming hand out of a creative slump.



Patty Griffin Songs - All About Patty Griffin's...

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Patty Griffin certainly isn't the first artist—and by no means the first folk singer-songwriter—to have penned a tune inspired by Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. But this song, from her 2007 album 'Children Running Through,' has made waves throughout the music community.



Anais Mitchell

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Anais Mitchell is perhaps one of the most talented lesser-known singer-songwriters at work in the folk realm. Her 'Hadestown' folk opera has been impressing audiences all over the world and, in 2012, she'll release a new album as a follow-up. Learn more about Anais Mitchell with this introductory bio and profile.



All About Folk Legend Pete Seeger

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Learn more about Pete Seeger with this introductory bio and profile, including recommended albums and MP3s.



Essential Bob Dylan Albums

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Bob Dylan has been one of the most dynamic artists in the history of modern American music. Here's a look at five of Bob Dylan's best albums.



Folk Song History of America the Beautiful

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >"America the Beautiful"



Folk Music Albums for Kids

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

From Pete Seeger to Jerry Garcia and beyond, here's a look at some of the best folk music for children.



Interview With Ani DiFranco About 'Red Letter...

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Ani DiFranco's 'Red Letter Year' CD was one of the most celebrated releases of 2008. Once the public had a few months to digest it, she was kind enough to take the time to chat with me about the media's fascination with her happiness, among other things.



Classic Folk Campfire Songs

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Whether you're camping in the summer or having a midwinter jam in your living room, here's a look at some classic sing-along campfire songs.



Lesser-Known Folk Rock Bands Like Mumford and...

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Ever since Mumford & Sons popped on the scene in the US, plenty of words have been spilled about some shocking new folk-rock movement. Meanwhile, in the folk world, we've been seeing new folk-rock bands pop up for years. From the ever-burgeoning Seattle music scene to folks pouring out of Toronto and even elsewhere in the UK, there is plenty of folk-rock love to go around, well beyond the incredible appeal of Mumford & Sons. But, if you like Mumford, you'll love these other bands.



Bob Dylan's Best Songs

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Diving into Bob Dylan's music catalog can be a little overwhelming. Check out this list of Bob Dylan's best songs for some tips on where to start.



Best Folk Music Documentaries

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

There are a lot of great folk music movies and documentaries in the world. Here's a look at seven of the best folk music documentaries.



Americana Music Characteristics and History

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Americana music pulls from all areas of the music that has defined American culture, from R&B to country, bluegrass to indie rock. Americana artists frequently pull from traditional and contemporary folk, bluegrass, country, alt-country, soul, gospel, and rock. While this may sound a bit vague or confluent, Americana artists and fans are content to say they know it when they hear it.



Joan Baez

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Inarguably the godmother of modern folk music, Joan Baaez is one of the most devoted singer/songwriter/activists.



"Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" - Traditional

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Based on the classic hymn. Folk Music.



Dave Van Ronk - Biography and Profile of Dave...

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Dave Van Ronk, often called the Mayor of MacDougal Street, was highly influential during the 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene.



Bob Dylan in Movies

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Throughout his career as a songwriter, Bob Dylan has appeared in more than a dozen films. From his own four-hour epic, Renaldo and Clara, to Martin Scorcese's documentary No Direction Home, to cameo roles in B-grade classics like Backtrack and Paradise Cove, check out this chronology of everything Dylan has ever appeared in on the big screen.



Songs about protecting the earth and its...

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Folk artists have been talking about the environment since long before there was a "green movement" to



Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash: Two Songwriting...

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

When it comes to creative freedom, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan have been two of the most historically defiant risk-takers among American singer-songwriters. Loyal only to the muse, it was inevitable that the paths of these two visionaries would eclipse. Read all about Bob Dylan's lifelong friendship with Johnny Cash here.



All About 'O Brother Where Art Thou'

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Profile and statistics about the Coen Brothers movie O Brother Where Art Thou (starrubg George Clooney) and its Grammy-winning folk music soundtrack.



The Most Influential Men of Folk Music

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

There is no such thing as men's history month. Rather than talk about why, I figured it was only fair to point out the great contributions men have made to American folk music. Since this site already contained a countdown of the important women, why not give equal mention to the men? So here you have it: my top ten picks of the most important men in American folk music.



Brandi Carlile Interview: The Story

2017-03-12T11:43:13Z

Singer/Songwriter Brandi Carlile and her twin collaborators Tim and Phil Hanseroth have been playing together for five years now; but with the release of the band's latest effort The Story, they're drawing in sold out crowds across the country. Carlile's summer tour takes her and the twins to pretty much every corner of the continental U.S. Despite the hectic pace of her schedule, in the midst of her tour with the Indigo Girls, Carlile was kind enough to take some time out for this interview.