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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
lucky_p This Forum & American Folk Music (100* d) RE: This Forum & American Folk Music 02 Sep 04

Folk music performance in America has its home primarily non-commercial establishments: churches, community organizations, art centers, etc., and some backrooms of bars. I don't really understand why this is so, and have been wondering about this for years -- I believe the young people really listened to it -- to wit, it was on MTV or the radio -- they would love it. Witness the commercial rise in America of Tracey Chapman and Suzanne Vega, both of whom got their start in backrooms of bars.

I think it's very hard for folk music, particularly traditional folk music, to find a home in America because we live now in an increasingly techno video time filled with flashy loud imagery. Folk music is the antithesis of that: it speaks to low tech intimacy around the camp fire, it speaks to deep yearnings for community, for the pleasures of working together for a goal, rather than all important rugged individual/master of the universe. In short, it is inherently a low tech, hand made genre; and we live a time that values high tech, machine made culture.

I don't know what the answer is. I do think that the world would be a far better place with more folk music and less gangsta rap. More folk music and less Madonna. More folk music and less Britney Spears.

For our friends across the pond: here are a few American beauties in the field of folk music (all have web sites): Robin Greenstein, Jack Hardy, David Roth (not David Lee Roth), Richard Shindell.

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