Folk Music News & Blog Posts


As Memorial Day here in the States always falls on a Monday, it's become a 'thing' for us here at MBM to try and capture its essence by sharing some meaningful music with you.  This year the honor of trying falls to me, and I've ...

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A Walkin’ Chunk a Mean-Mad: Pretty Boy Floyd & Robin Hood

I love a good man outside the law
 just as much as I hate a bad man inside the law. -- Woody Guthrie (1940) Legend On October 22, 1934, Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd – a bank robber suspected by the FBI as ...

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Guy Carawan, photo by Heather Carawan

Guy Carawan Passes

Folksinger, civil rights activist, folklorist and organizer Guy Carawan passed away this past Saturday evening, May 2nd, at age 87. A dear, gentle and thoughtful man, Guy was a powerful and key figure in championing southern music and culture, and ...

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Uncredited cover image of Russell Freedman's "The Life and Death of Crazy Horse"

Where A White Man He Does Like He Pleases

The title for today's post comes from a line in Eric Taylor's "Deadwood," the third song we'll explore. New songs about old stories I have been helped before by poet Meena Alexander's notion that poetry reconciles us to the world. It does not make us accept ...

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Kathy Moser

Kathy Moser: Doing Her Part for Earth Day

& WFDU-FM's TRADITIONS playlist for April 19, 2015 Over the years I've had many guests on the program who are more than just singers or songwriters. These dedicated artists are also activists and educators who help enlighten their audiences while they ...

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The Ballad of the Jealous Lover of Lone Green Valley - Thomas Hart Benton, 1934

My First Murder Ballad

We thought it might be fun this week to share with you some of why we do what we do in this blog.  Each of the writers here has their own story about hearing their first murder ballad. Each of ...

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Recent Reviews <<< click for all reviews ... or a cover below for a specific one.

Video of the Week

The wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks of a few weeks ago, followed closely by the Boko Haram slaughters in Nigeria, set our minds to thinking about the right musical response to the seemingly endless violence perpetrated in the name of religion. It strikes us that this is not solely the domain of Islamists who shame their own scripture by their violent misinterpretations of it's meaning ... but the result of ignorance meshed with the absolutism of fundamentalist thinking propelled by the corrupt power-driven politics of all such twisting of dogma. Holly Near hit the nail perfectly on its head in her song "I Ain't Afraid" (published in Sing Out! v.47#3), so we share this live performance of the anthem, with Holly joined by the terrific duo Emma's Revolution" and an inspired audience from Marblehead, Mass. If you really want to stop terrorism, start by not being afraid!