Discovering Folk Music

Front Cover
ABC-CLIO, 2010 - History - 181 pages
0 Reviews

From indigenous music to Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen singing "This Land Is Your Land" side-by-side at the pre-inaugural concert for our first African American president, folk music has been at the center of America's history. Thomas Jefferson wooed his bride-to-be with fiddle playing. Stephen Foster captured the mood of our country in transition. The Carter Family adapted music from across the pond to Appalachia. Paul Robeson carried folk music of many lands to the world stage. Woody Guthrie's dust bowl ballads spoke to the common man, while Sixties protest music put folk on the map, following the Kingston Trio's hit, "Tom Dooley."

Folk music has evolved with America's changing landscape, celebrating its multi-cultural traditions. From Irish step dancers to rap, parlor songs to Dixieland, blues to classical, Discovering Folk Music presents the genre as surprisingly diverse, every bit the product of our national melting pot.

Demonstrating continuing relevance of folk music in our everyday lives, the book spotlights an amazing array of personalities, with special emphasis on the folk revival era when Dylan, Baez, Odetta, and Peter, Paul and Mary sang out. These and others influenced such contemporary performers as Shawn Colvin and Ani DiFranco. Those on today's "fringes of folk" scene continue to look to these deep roots while embracing alternative sounds.

Included are interviews with such legendary artists as Janis Ian, Tom Paxton, and Jean Ritchie. Nora Guthrie, Woody's daughter, also weighs in. Discovering Folk Music is a ground-breaking look at 21st-century folk music in our rapidly changing digital world, family friendly while ripe for rediscovery by the Woodstock generation.


What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Chapter 1 What Is Folk Music? Beyond Kumbaya
A Cultural Mosaic
50 Years On
New Folk to AntiFolk
Chapter 5 The Power of Song
Chapter 6 Guitars Harmonicas and Banjos Oh My
Photo Section
Chapter 8 Folk Alive Front Porches to Festivals
Tom Paxton to the Abrams Brothers
The Times They Keep AChangin
Selected Resources
A Folk Continuum

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Stephanie P. Ledgin is an international award-winning photojournalist whose 35-year career has spanned publications, recordings, and museums.

Bibliographic information