I saw at an early age that through singing one could stand up for the rights of the many. What I realize now is that I longed to do something for the greater good through singing and that this was a part of what the folk movement and protest song genre accomplished.
Yarrow credits his half-century of performing with Peter, Paul and Mary for giving him a platform that allows him to address global issues -- the Middle East and climate change, among others -- at the highest levels. At least as important, his musical legacy affords him credibility with kids.
Saying the unsayable in his wickedly funny, well-observed folk songs, Wainwright is profane, smart, poking received wisdom in the eye and then grabbing your heart with a tender and devastating truth about life and love, mistakes and mystery.
It's no coincidence that most of the best-known Hungarian composers loved folk music; the country has unusually rich and deep folk traditions, and many modern Hungarians are fully aware of the treasures of their heritage.
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 and Europe.
Last week I put up one of my silly tongue-in-cheek HuffPost offerings: I Am the Coolest, Hippest Uncle in the Whole World. It's gone ever-so-slightly viral thanks to Hozier retweeting my tweet -- and tossing up one of his own.
Čechomor marked their 25th year as a band in 2013, and they celebrated with another live concert and recording project, their most ambitious in a career of ambitious projects: a massive outdoor concert in the stunning medieval town of Český Krumlov.
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 series of posts.
I recently did a post on the Ezzie Films "For the Love of the Music: the Club 47 Folk Revival" and in researching for the story found the history behind Kingswood Records, the label responsible for the unique soundtrack of the film, was as interesting as the movie itself.
The 1960s folk music scene was a chapter in a long story, one that began decades earlier and that continues today as a new generation of singers and songwriters connect -- directly and indirectly -- to the burgeoning progressive movements that are rippling across the country.