Friday, August 14, 2009

What Is Folk Music?

Considering the variety of music presented at the Philly Folk Fest, one wonders, what is folk music? Steve Klinge, writing in the Inquirer, gives us one definition from Colin Meloy of The Decemberists:
"Most people, when they hear the word folk music, just assume it's any sort of pop-derived music that features an acoustic guitar centrally," he says. "That's the late-20th-, early-21st-century definition of folk music."
Steve, who is also a WVUD DJ, reports that The Decemberists will perform their new progressive rock flavored concept record, The Hazards of Love, in its entirety at the afternoon concert. The title is taken from a 1963 EP with the same title by British folkie Anne Briggs, one of the leaders of the folk revival of the 1960s.
The category of folk music has grown and changed enormously since then. Folk Fest has included more and more young performers in recent years. As I say every year, the most exciting music is usually from someone I've never heard before.


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