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Stephen D. Winick
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Stephen D. Winick is an expert on folksong and folk music. As a music journalist, he has hundreds of articles and reviews to his credit. He was one of the the original editors at the All-Music Guide, and worked on the four printed editions of that book. He has also written for Music Hound Folk, Music Hound World, Dirty Linen, and Sing Out! In the academic world, he serves as the longtime convener of the Music and Song Section of the American Folkore Society, and as one of the contributing editors to the Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd edition. He has written definitive articles on several songs, including “Reynardine,” “The Leaving of Liverpool,” and “Kumbaya.” He has M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania, and is also an expert on verbal folklore, with published articles on legends, riddles, folktales, and especially proverbs. He works as the writer and editor at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. He can be found on the web at

Entries by Stephen D. Winick

The Alice Tarot: More Than Just a Pack of Cards

(9) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 5:19 PM

All Images of The Alice Tarot, including individual cards, are copyright Baba Studio, used by express permission of Baba Studio. The photo of Stephen Winick wearing the Hierophant's smoking cap is copyright Stephen Winick and used by permission.

Are you a...

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Hungary for Music: Folk and Electro-Folk From Hungary

(7) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 5:24 PM

2014-09-14-Blog.jpg The Parliament Building in Budapest is one of Hungary's iconic sights. Photo by Stephen Winick, 2014.

It's no coincidence that most of the best-known Hungarian composers loved folk music; the country has unusually rich and deep folk...

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Electrifying the Folk

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 1:14 PM

Pennsylvania's Marah at work. Photo courtesy of Marah.

I've always loved European-style folk-rock, also known as electric folk: the application of electric instruments and rock techniques to traditional songs. It's a style you can find here in North America, as well as in Britain...

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Farewell, Fair Ladies: American Roots by Women

(0) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 1:41 PM

2014-09-01-quebes.jpg The Quebe Sisters Band, 2014: Hulda Quebe, Penny Lea Clark, Sophia Quebe, Katy Lou Clark, Grace Quebe. Photo by Stephen D. Winick

Lots of discs have appeared in my box lately on which great women musicians take on tunes and songs stemming from...

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Czech Folk-Rock: Catching Up With Čechomor

(0) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 12:01 PM

2014-07-18-marketa_navratilova.jpg Photo courtesy of Čechomor

Several years ago, I interviewed the Czech folk-rock band Čechomor for the magazine Dirty Linen. I kept in touch with them for a while, but in the intervening years, it's been hard to get my hands...

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Gothic, Baroque and Mostly Folk: Music from Central Europe

(2) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 4:50 PM

2014-07-11-Euphorica_promo_photo_03.jpg Euphorica. Used by Permission of Euphorica.

I spent two weeks in June wandering around Prague and Budapest, seeing the sights and looking for folk and folk-inspired music. I came back with a satchel of CDs, some of which I'll share here in a...

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Killer Legends Available on DVD and iTunes

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 6:32 PM

2014-07-05-KL_HERO_001_colorsm.jpg Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills on the trail of legends in Killer Legends.
Used by Permission of Joshua Zeman.

Good news for folklore enthusiasts and legend trippers: Killer Legends, a smart, scary documentary I discussed when it was first aired back...

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Nord Encore: Recent Canadian Folk Releases

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 5:12 PM

2014-06-23-photocouleurs.jpg De Temps Antan. Photo Courtesy of De Temps Antan.

Here's a rundown of recent Canadian releases, many of which I picked up at the Folk Alliance conference back in February. Let's begin with a big event in Canadian folk reissues: Borealis's...

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Killer Legends Brings Legends to Life

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 2:44 AM

A few months ago, filmmakers came to my workplace and interviewed me at length about four contemporary legends for a new documentary. That documentary, Killer Legends, airs this Sunday, March 16, on the Chiller Network. It promises to be an entertaining, informative and slightly...

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Living Traces of Wales at Folk Alliance 2014

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 3:05 PM

Calan. Used by permission of Calan.

Take your pick: Welsh music is either the poor stepchild of the Celtic world, or its best-kept secret. It's less mainstream than the Irish and Scottish scenes, and less of a novelty than Breton and Galician music....

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The Wheel of Time: Old Songs and Tunes from Folk Alliance 2014

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 1:10 PM

Larry Hanks and Deborah Robins. Used by permission of Larry Hanks and Deborah Robins.

The wheel of time turns, a year goes by, and once again I'm writing about CDs that people put into my hands at the annual conference of the...
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A Garland of English Folk, Old and New

(1) Comments | Posted October 14, 2013 | 2:23 PM

The Young Tradition. Photo used by permission of Fledg'ling Records.

Startling news from the world of English folk: a new album by the superstar' 60s singing group The Young Tradition. It's startling not because they don't deserve to be active,...

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Clannad's Nádúr and Other New Celtic Recordings

(4) Comments | Posted August 26, 2013 | 3:10 PM

Clannad. Photo by Tim Jarvis. Used by permission of ARC Records.

There's no bigger news in Celtic music than the first new studio album by Clannad in 15 years. The Grammy-winning family band from Donegal began the trend of backing...

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Eurotrad: European Roots Music Recordings

(0) Comments | Posted August 9, 2013 | 11:45 AM

Kardemimmit. Used by Permission of Kardemimmit

In addition to the American and Canadian folk I often encounter, I've been writing for years about European music, from Finland to Spain and everywhere between....

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Lot's Wife, Noah's Ark and Rogues Gallery: Sea Music Recordings

(2) Comments | Posted July 31, 2013 | 6:07 PM

Clipper Ship Three Brothers, 2972 tons: The Largest Sailing Ship in the World. This hand-colored lithograph was published by Currier & Ives in 1875, and is therefore in the public domain.

In the folk world, "Sea Music" or "Maritime Music" refers to the work...

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The Faerie Month of May: Faerie Festivals and May Celebrations

(4) Comments | Posted April 21, 2013 | 4:17 AM

Rob and Lucy Wood, owners of Spoutwood Farm, were the Spoutwood Farm May Day Faerie Festival's King and Queen of May in 2011. Photo by Stephanie Hall; used by permission of Stephanie Hall

Last year at Maytime I wrote about my region's...

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More Canadian Finds From Folk Alliance 2013

(3) Comments | Posted April 15, 2013 | 3:35 PM

Le Vent du Nord. Used by Permission of Le Vent du Nord.

Revisiting the stack of CDs I brought back from Folk Alliance 2013 reveals that there are more interesting Canadian acts I haven't shared with readers yet -- which is fitting,...

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Favorite Finds From Folk Alliance 2013: The Americans

(2) Comments | Posted April 5, 2013 | 12:54 PM

Spuyten Duyvil. Used by permission of Spuyten Duyvil.

I'm back with more reviews of material I picked up or heard about at the Folk Alliance International meeting. This time, I'm writing about Americans, so let's start with some real Americana, and one...

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Favorite Finds From Folk Alliance 2013: The Brits

(1) Comments | Posted March 21, 2013 | 4:02 PM


My second rundown of folk recordings I picked up at this year's Folk Alliance meeting focuses on musicians from Britain, who were there in force this year. I'll start with the only band here that's technically British, 9Bach,...

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Favorite Finds From Folk Alliance 2013: The Canadians

(2) Comments | Posted March 7, 2013 | 2:56 PM

Every year in February, Folk Alliance International brings together folk musicians, promoters, labels, organizers, agents, managers, DJs, journalists, and other folk lovers, for a giant trade show and music showcase. I've been attending for years in my two roles as a government folklorist and a

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