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Folk Music News & Blog Posts

over of the August 13, 1859 issue of Harper's Weekly illustrating the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

Ballads of the Mountain Meadow Massacre

In September of 1857, in a meadow about 300 miles south of Salt Lake City, a group of Mormon militiamen murdered 120 people. The victims were members of the Baker-Fancher wagon train, making their way from Arkansas to California. All ...

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Conversations with Death - 4 - Black Lung

A little less than a year ago we started a new series within Murder Ballad Monday called "Conversations with Death."  These brief, emotional posts allow us to explore songs that resonate for us in ways we find typical of our genre of choice, ...

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Legendary Folk DJ Gene Shay to Retire

Beloved Philadelphia folk music DJ and icon Gene Shay announced that he will be retiring from broadcasting. Shay has been an influential member to the folk music community for more than five decades. WXPN, a non-commercial, member-supported radio service out ...

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While the Whole World Sings

"Like there’s nothing going wrong" I first heard Hurray for the Riff Raff's “The Body Electric” through a National Public Radio article by Ann Powers last month: “The Political Folk Song of the Year.”  I appear to be rather late to ...

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Josh White Sr. and Jr.

Celebrating Josh White - Father & Son

WFDU-FM's TRADITIONS Playlist for November 30, 2014 As many readers will know, I wear two hats - one as the host of WFDU-FM's TRADITIONS and another as the President of the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. ...

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Murder Ballad Monday Joins Sing Out! in 2015

We're proud to announce that starting in January 2015, Murder Ballad Monday will become part of the Sing Out! family of blogs. About two years ago I did a sweep of Facebook, looking for every and any folk music related entity ...

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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!