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View Full Version : Recommend me some Folk Music,please.


Shirley Ujest
04-15-2005, 01:51 PM
I have a cd from a friend (http://www.maynardmusic.com/) that I've had for years which every time I listen to Annie I just go, " I need to get some more contemporary folksie music."

so, I finally remembered and decided to ask the music mavens here that are so much cooler and hip than I will ever be.

ultrafilter
04-15-2005, 02:06 PM
If you don't mind something fairly melancholy and not in English, I highly recommend Ulver's Kveldssanger. Be aware, though, that it's their only folk album; their other works are different.

poeticyde
04-15-2005, 02:16 PM
I am a recent convert to the cult of Ethan Daniel Davidson (http://www.ethandanieldavidson.com/edd-start.htm).

Horatio Hellpop
04-15-2005, 02:18 PM
The real action in the Folk scene is local (any locality will do) guys at the Open Mic Night who sell their CDs after their set is over. I don't want to dis the many fine recording artists from the Folk idiom, but one of Folk's defining qualities is that you're most likely to hear a folksong for the first time live, sung by someone you're at least vaguely personally acquainted with. Pop is something you hear first on the radio, by someone you'll probably never meet or hear live. That said:

John Prine just blows me away every time I hear his stuff. Prime Prine is his "greatest hits" album from the early 70s. His most recent, I think, is In Spite of Ourselves, duets with the cream of country/folk queens (mostly Iris deMent) on the theme of middle-aged romance.

LifeOnWry
04-15-2005, 02:20 PM
" I need to get some more contemporary folksie music."



Check out Eddie From Ohio. (http://www.efohio.com/)

Me, I'm more into old/traditional stuff myself, but my friend Sarah turned me on to these guys and I like 'em a lot.

Robot Arm
04-15-2005, 02:21 PM
If you're open to some very literate wit with your music, grab anything you can find by Uncle Bonsai (http://www.yellowtailrecords.com/ub/ub.htm) (except possibly Sponge Boy). You'll have to look hard. And if you like that, there are side projects Mel Cooleys and Electric Bonsai Band.

John Wesley Harding's also very good, I recommend Her Comes the Groom and John Wesley Harding's New Deal.

I've only bought one Christine Lavin CD so far, but it's excellent. I should start looking for the rest of her music.

koeeoaddi
04-15-2005, 02:24 PM
Has to be contemporary? Well, okay. Try

Living with Ghosts by Patty Griffin -- She's been covered by the Dixie Chicks (Let Him Fly) but is much better all by herownself. An almost flawless CD.

Too Long in the Wasteland by James McMurtry -- Check this one out if only for "Talkin' at the Texaco." It has a slight twang to it, but it's forgivable. Great stuff.

Raise Your Head by The Poozies -- Try this for some Celtic flavor. Lovely harmonies. Not a bad song on it.

You could also try Dar Williams, Jonatha Brooke, Patty Larkin, Beth Orton, Shawn Colvin & Bruce Cockburn.

I know you said contemporary, but if you like this stuff and you're feeling adventurous, set your way-back machine for 1960-something and check out some Joni Mitchell, Incredible String Band, Phil Ochs, Peter Bellemy, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Nick Drake, Pentangle, Doc Watson, Dave Van Ronk, Steeleye Span, Karla Bonoff and Wendy Waldman.

Hey Biffy the Elephant Shrew, who'd I miss?

Annie-Xmas
04-15-2005, 02:29 PM
Richard and Mimi Farina (www.richardandmimi.com) are my favorite.

pinkfreud
04-15-2005, 02:44 PM
I heartily recommend Kate Rusby (http://www.katerusby.com/) and Loreena McKennitt (http://www.quinlanroad.com/homepage/index.asp?LangType=1033).

AuntPam
04-15-2005, 02:55 PM
Small Potatoes
Bridget Ball (an actually GOOD sensitive singer-songwriter)
Christopher Shaw

Mike Esposito's great albums on resonator/ National steel guitars

Woods Tea Company
John Gorka (not my taste, but very contemporary)
Susan Werner (not her most recent album, which is GREAT, but not exactly folk)

Heartwood
Blue Plate Special (snarky, super songwriting in a Cajun/bluegrass theme)

Schooner Fare

Hugh Moffat
Full Frontal Folk

John MCCutcheon

All highly recommended by self, who has run sound for many of these folks at folk concerts in New Jersey.

Really traditional arrangements, but great style: Scott Ainslie.

Strictly for fun: Lou and Peter Berryman--and what fun it is--they sold out two shows at the Cornelia Street Cafe in NYC last year, after promising the owner that they could do so without ANY local advertising whatsoever.

You probably can't find a lot of these in your local CD outlet, and sometimes not even at Amazon.com. Check out a local folk website on line and look for links to the sites that specialize.

mailman
04-15-2005, 03:00 PM
Check out the Be Good Tanyas. They are three women from Canada who do beautiful, sparse arrangements of traditional American folk songs. Simple harmonies, a sweet honest live sounding, real sounding band. Their first album Blue Horse, will not leave your CD player for weeks. I promise.

plnnr
04-15-2005, 03:05 PM
Visit the web site for "The Folk Sampler," which is a public radio program devoted to folk music (including contemporary). It is broadcast out of Siloam Springs, Arkansas (which I've actually visited - pretty country).

stpauler
04-15-2005, 03:14 PM
I'll second recommend these for sure:
The Be Good Tanyas (and Po' Girl too)
John Wesley Harding
Dar Williams
Jonatha Brooke
Patty Larkin
Beth Orton
Shawn Colvin
Joni Mitchell
Nick Drake
Christine Lavin (and as part and parcel The Four Bitchin' Babes)

Firsties on the following:
Cheryl Wheeler
Josh Rouse
Bic Runga
Indigo Girls
Catie Curtis
Connie Kaldor
Ferron
Greg Brown
Hart Rouge
Iris Dement
Janis Ian
Jesse Denatale
Jill Sobule
Jim White
Keren Ann
Kings of Convenience
Nanci Griffith
Ray LaMontagne
Slaid Cleaves
Stacey Earle
Steve Earle
Gillian Welch
Kasey Chambers

stpauler
04-15-2005, 03:19 PM
Visit the web site for "The Folk Sampler," which is a public radio program devoted to folk music (including contemporary). It is broadcast out of Siloam Springs, Arkansas (which I've actually visited - pretty country).
You can also check out WUMB (http://www.wumb.org/home/index.php) which is a folk radio station out of Boston which has streaming broadcasts online too.

OtakuLoki
04-15-2005, 03:36 PM
I'll second many of the great artists already mentioned, especially Christine Lavin, Nanci Griffith, John Gorka, Indigo Girls. For interesting samplers (a bit dated, but still good, I think) try Christine Lavin's On a Winter's Night (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000003V0/qid=1113597393/sr=2-3/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_3/103-9571370-7903067), and When October Goes (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000003TQ/qid%3D1113597340/sr%3D11-1/ref%3Dsr%5F11%5F1/103-9571370-7903067).

I'd also reccomend Trout Fishing in America (http://www.troutmusic.com/bio.htm).

Shirley Ujest
04-15-2005, 04:05 PM
These are great!

I think I've seen trout fishing in america before. Probably here. I think I just may be ready for them now.

Eddie from Ohio has a great sound.

NAF1138
04-15-2005, 04:08 PM
All of the above are great recomendations. The only thing I would add is Bright Eyes's new album "I'm Wide Awake its Morning." Not everything Connor does is of equal quality, but this is currently one of my favorite albums. (Warning: Connor has a...nontraditional voice. I like it, obviously, and so do many others, but I have heard it refered to as the worst voice in modern american music. YMMV)

GorillaMan
04-15-2005, 04:09 PM
Try the Warsaw Village Band. Good stuff on CD - although far better live, should you get a chance.

OtakuLoki
04-15-2005, 04:57 PM
Oh, one more that I just remembered, Meg Davis (http://www.megdavis.com/). She is more filk than folk, but still very, very good. One of my favorite songs of all times is on her 20th Anniversary Captain Jack and the Mermaid album.

Scarlett67
04-15-2005, 05:10 PM
Waterbug Records (http://www.waterbug.com) offers several excellent folk music sampler CDs for just $5 each, and also has links to the Web sites of dozens of Waterbug and independent musicians.

Usual disclaimers, etc. (I have seen several of these artists perform live and own all of the samplers, and they're all pretty good.)

Gadfly
04-15-2005, 05:23 PM
Nick Drake, Nick Drake, and Nick Drake. His three pre-mortem albums are absolutely stunning: Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter, and Pink Moon. Those albums can also be gotten for seven to nine bucks each. Pick them up.

elfkin477
04-15-2005, 05:35 PM
All of the above are great recomendations. The only thing I would add is Bright Eyes's new album "I'm Wide Awake its Morning." Not everything Connor does is of equal quality, but this is currently one of my favorite albums. (Warning: Connor has a...nontraditional voice. I like it, obviously, and so do many others, but I have heard it refered to as the worst voice in modern american music. YMMV)

I like Bright Eyes too. And he does have an...interesting voice.

Shirley Ujest, ever heard "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair" by The Twilight Singers? It's billed as a "soul-folk cover". If you like something like that I could probably suggest others you'd like, like the aforementioned Leonard Cohen's son Adam Cohen for example, Ben Lee for another.

Skywatcher
04-15-2005, 05:46 PM
Both Kevin Johnson (http://www.rocknrolligaveyou.com/) and Mike McClellan (http://www.cia.com.au/thorpe/mike/) have been performing for at least 30 years but - being from Australia - they're pretty much unkown in the US.

mlerose
04-15-2005, 05:47 PM
Canadian folk singer Stan Rogers is my favorite. He's dead, but his CD Home in Halifax (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000003BU3/qid%3D1113605304/sr%3D11-1/ref%3Dsr%5F11%5F1/102-3375779-3520149) is AWESOME.

Skywatcher
04-15-2005, 05:50 PM
Eva Cassidy (http://evacassidy.org/eva/) died of cancer at the age of 33, before she had a chance to hit the big time. I heartily recommend her Songbird (http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=1327615) CD.

Waterman
04-15-2005, 06:14 PM
I have a cd from a friend (http://www.maynardmusic.com/) that I've had for years which every time I listen to Annie I just go, " I need to get some more contemporary folksie music."

so, I finally remembered and decided to ask the music mavens here that are so much cooler and hip than I will ever be.
As you can tell from the wide array of responses this is a pretty open question. Do you have any particular genres (within folk) that you're looking for or are there any particular types that you like or dislike more than others?

You also specifically request contemporary. What do you consider contemporary (I would not, for example, call John Prine contemporary as most of his better work is 30 years old now)?

That being said, I would also recommend the following:
Carrie Newcomer
Burns Sisters
Iris DeMent
Dave Alvin
Tom Russell
Richard Thompson (of Fairport Convention fame and an awesome guitar virtuoso)

Twoflower
04-15-2005, 06:23 PM
A second for John McCutcheon (http://www.folkmusic.com/)

silenus
04-15-2005, 06:34 PM
Mary Chapin Carpenter

wonderwench
04-15-2005, 06:37 PM
A lot of good suggestions!

For older folk, I really love Tom Rush - The Circle Game is wonderful (Urge for Going is my favorite track).

More recent folk music on my iPod:

- eastmountainsouth
- Mindy Smith
- The Waifs
- Libby Kirkpatrick

satogata
04-15-2005, 08:43 PM
and knowing that you like her, here are some related suggestions (at least in my mind, as her music has a contemporary country feel to it too):

First, I'd recommend Ani DiFranco (http://www.righteousbabe.com/ani/index.asp) (click here (http://www.righteousbabe.com/ani/words.asp) for audio samples). She's incredibly diverse, forges her own path yet pays homage to classic folk roots, and has a very recognizable style. If you like Ani, you will also probably like Laura Love (http://www.lauralove.net/frames.html).

Ani and Laura aren't quite so country-influenced, but recent albums by The Nields (http://www.nields.com/) are, particularly Love and China. (click here (http://www.nields.com/discography.html) for samples.) Alison Krauss and Union Station (http://www.alisonkrauss.com/) are also heavily country-influenced, with fantastic dobro, lyrics, and musicality across the board. A fantastic sampler of this type of music is the O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00004XQ83), if you're looking for a place to dip your toe.

Some of Annie's lyrics remind me a bit of Susan Werner's (http://www.susanwerner.com/) and even (as previously mentioned) Carrie Newcomer's (http://www.carrienewcomer.com/). They both have ravishing voices, and Susan's Time Between Trains and New Non-Fiction , as well as Carrie's The Gathering of Spirits, are highly recommended.

Richard Shindell (http://www.richardshindell.com/) and, to a lesser extent, Lucy Kaplansky (http://www.lucykaplansky.com/), are also contemporary folkies who occasionally toe the line into country influences. I would more heartily recommend their earlier work (particularly Richard's Sparrow's Point and Lucy's Ten Year Night). Richard and Lucy were part of a one-CD folk "supergroup" with modern folk goddess Dar Williams (http://www.darwilliams.com/); their eponymous CD, Cry, Cry, Cry (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00000D9WD), contains incredible harmonies and is an excellent sampler of the writing of a broad range of modern contemporary folk artists.

If you like upbeat, fun and spunky, then the previously-mentioned Eddie From Ohio (http://www.eddiefromohio.com/) (click here (http://mp3.washingtonpost.com/bands/eddie_from_ohio.shtml) for some samples and a review). All four members are superb musicians, writers, and performers, and they are among the best folk-rock acts to see live. (Waving to all the fellow Ed-heads out there.)

I'm not sure quite how up your alley these other artists are, but I'd also recommend Patty Griffin, John Gorka, Voices on the Verge, Cheryl Wheeler, Indigo Girls, Jill Sobule, Carla Ulbrich, Nanci Griffith, Stan Rogers, Eva Cassidy, Cliff Eberhardt, Girlyman, Shawn Colvin, Greg Brown and Iris Dement, Catie Curtis, Kris Delmhorst, Disappear Fear, The Kennedys, The Story (and Jennifer Kimball and Jonatha Brooke solo), Chantal Kreviazuk, Erin McKeown, and Richard Thompson. Many of these are in the "gray area" of folk that crosses over to rock, jazz, country, alternative, or Simply Weird, but all of them are grand artists to give a try if you find yourself getting addicted a regular "Folk On!" fix. Happy listening!

Hunter Hawk
04-15-2005, 09:51 PM
I don't really listen to folk music any more, but I occasionally run into Laura Veirs (whom I suppose you could classify as alt-folk), and I rather like her music. Her voice isn't that great, but she's a good songwriter.

Spavined Gelding
04-15-2005, 10:06 PM
Canadian folk singer Stan Rogers is my favorite. He's dead, but his CD Home in Halifax (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000003BU3/qid%3D1113605304/sr%3D11-1/ref%3Dsr%5F11%5F1/102-3375779-3520149) is AWESOME.


Stanís brother Garnet Rogers (http://www.garnetrogers.com/) continues to work, doing some stirring, uplifting and at times emotionally shattering work. Still, itís hard to think of a contemporary (or nearly so) singer-song writer who has lifted the hair on the back of my neck like the first time I heard Stan, Garnet and the band do Barrettís Privateers. Garnet has done some great stuff with Archie Fisher, too.

Savannah
04-15-2005, 10:36 PM
If you like Richard Thompson, try Clive Gregson and Christine Collister.

Savannah
04-15-2005, 10:39 PM
Check out the Be Good Tanyas. They are three women from Canada who do beautiful, sparse arrangements of traditional American folk songs. Simple harmonies, a sweet honest live sounding, real sounding band. Their first album Blue Horse, will not leave your CD player for weeks. I promise.

And you won't get "the littlest birds sing the prettiest songs" out of your head!

Moe Mentum
04-16-2005, 01:43 AM
Neither one can be called contemporary, but I can't let a thread about folk music pass without at least mentioning The Weavers and Steve Goodman.

Sam Stone
04-16-2005, 03:32 AM
John Prine. You should own John Prine, his eponymous debut. It's an absolutely amazing album. Here's the track list:

Illegal Smile
Spanish Pipedream
Hello in There
Sam Stone
Paradise
Pretty Good
Your Flag Decal won't get You into Heaven Anymore
Far from Me
Angel from Montgomery
Quiet Man
Donald and Lydia
Six O'Clock News
Flashback Blues


Of these all but three or four are now standards that have been covered over and over again. One of the greatest debuts, ever.

kittenblue
04-16-2005, 12:38 PM
I'm a big fan of David Wilcox (davidwilcox.com) and Tanya Savory (sorealrecords.com)

St. Urho
04-16-2005, 03:44 PM
Kathleen Edwards (http://www.kathleenedwards.com) has some good stuff, too.