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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

Americana for the Fourth of July

(0) Comments | Posted July 4, 2015 | 4:52 PM

2015-07-03-1435888210-9393458-BumperJacksonsblog.jpg Bumper Jacksons. Courtesy of Bumper Jacksons.

I've never been a huge fan of the category of "Americana" music. Don't get me wrong, I like the music, it's the category that seems made up to me. (In my day, we had folk, country, and...

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Recordings From Music Maker Relief Foundation (and a Free Album!)

(2) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 12:11 PM


Music Maker Relief Foundation artist Dr. G. B. Burt. Photo by Tim Duffy. Courtesy of Music Maker Relief Foundation.

Public folklorists like me often advocate for traditional arts, and for individual traditional artists. We try to increase funding, support, and participation in the...

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New Stirrings at Spoutwood Farm

(1) Comments | Posted April 24, 2015 | 4:04 PM

2015-04-24-1429861711-5244941-aubergine.jpg The Aubergine Dancers are regular performers at Spoutwood Farm's May Day Fairie Festival. Photo by Gina Montanarelli-Myers. Used with permission.
With Faerie wing and dragon horn We'll bless the day that you were born We'll thank your father's father And your mother's mother...
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Celtic Canadian Connections

(1) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 1:58 PM

2015-03-28-1427517911-9438399-MoxieBlog.jpg Irish Band Moxie. Photo by Colin Gillen. Courtesy Moxie.

Before Irish-American Heritage Month ends, I should mention some recent albums and activities with Irish connections. My own onstage activities on St. Patrick's Day were unusually well publicized this year: as part...

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The Lomax Connection

(0) Comments | Posted March 20, 2015 | 1:27 PM

2015-03-20-1426830146-302288-LomaxWard.jpg Wade Ward listening to playback with Alan Lomax at the Ward home in Galax, Virginia, August 31, 1959. Photo by Shirley Collins. AFC Alan Lomax Collection. Used by Permission.

As I've mentioned before, 2015 is the centennial year of the...

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Traditude: Traditional Music With a Twist

(2) Comments | Posted March 13, 2015 | 10:02 AM

2015-03-13-1426235947-7127862-MelisandeDivanblog.jpg Mélisande. Photo courtesy of Mélisande.

A couple of weeks ago, I returned from the Folk Alliance International conference with an earful of tunes and a bagful of CDs. At the conference I noted a particular orientation to traditional folk music that...

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Lead Belly: Songster of Mythic Proportions

(1) Comments | Posted March 6, 2015 | 5:29 PM

2015-03-06-1425651589-996025-LeadBellySmithsonianFolkwaysCollectionBox.jpg Photo Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways

Following their 2012 success with Woody at 100, the folk music wizards of Smithsonian Folkways chose an even more ambitious project: a box set to represent the influential songster Lead Belly, a friend of Guthrie's who...

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Carlos Núñez Concert Honoring Alan Lomax's Spanish Fieldwork

(1) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 11:21 AM

2015-02-28-NunezShowSmall.jpg Carlos Núñez band (Carlos Núñez, Pancho Álvarez, Stephanie Cadman, and Xurxo Núñez) in concert at the Library of Congress, August 19, 2014. Photo by Valda Morris for the American Folklife Center. The photo is a work of the U.S. government, and is in...
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Hot Albums Before Folk Alliance 2015

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2015 | 12:15 PM

2015-02-18-ALT3Blog.jpg The Alt: Eamon O'Leary, Nuala Kennedy, John Doyle. Courtesy of The Alt.

As usual at this time of year, I'm heading off to the annual Folk Alliance International Conference, the world's largest gathering of the folk music industry and community. I'm...

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The Alice Tarot: More Than Just a Pack of Cards

(9) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 4:19 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 | 4:24 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 | 12:14 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 | 12:41 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 | 11:01 AM

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 | 3:50 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 | 5:32 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 | 4:12 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 | 1:44 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 | 2:05 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 | 12:10 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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