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Folk Music News & Blog Posts

William Sydney Porter (aka O. Henry)

The Old Texas Misstep

Introduction The folks at Frets magazine taught me a valuable lesson back in the 1980s; they taught me that writing can be a dangerous vocation. This is particularly the case in the Lone Star State where I learned that carrying a ...

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Rest in Peace Johnny Winter

Texas blues icon Johnny Winter has passed, according to a statement from his representative. The Grammy-winning guitarist was 70 years old. By the age of 15, Winter, a native of Texas, had begun his own band and was a fluent multi-instrumentalist ...

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Folk Music, Radio and Racism: A History of Lessons Learned

It seems that with every passing day, a new story dealing with racism emerges. We have all read about the words that came out of the mouth of L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling as well as rancher Cliven Bundy, and ...

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Rod Kennedyphoto by Jim Dirden

Kerrville Folk Fest Founder Rod Kennedy Dies

We received word earlier today that Rod Kennedy, music lover, impresario and founder of the Kerrville Folk Festivals, passed away this morning in Kerrville, Texas, at 84. As anyone who ever visited his Quiet Valley Ranch, amidst the dust and blazing ...

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Jeremiah Birnbaum and friends at NERFA One-Day in NJ
Photo by Brian McCloskey

A Day in New Jersey with NERFA

When musicologists first began collecting folk songs, they found themselves studying the communities and the kinship the songs had with the common people in the localities they were examining. In the early 20th century the study of folk songs took ...

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Jesse Winchester Passes

We're sad to report that songwriter, singer and guitarist Jesse Winchester died on Friday, April 11th, 2014, after a long battle with cancer. Jesse first appeared with a debut album produced by Robbie Robertson of The Band. It had a ...

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Video of the Week

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter (born May 6, 1937, died April 20th, 2014) was an American middleweight boxer. In 1966, police arrested Carter for a triple homicide in the Lafayette Bar and Grill in Paterson, New Jersey. Police stopped Carter's car and brought him and another occupant, John Artis, to the scene of the crime. There was little physical evidence. Police took no fingerprints at the crime scene and lacked the facilities to conduct a paraffin test for gunshot residue. None of the eyewitnesses identified Carter or Artis as the shooters. Carter and Artis were tried and convicted twice (1967 and 1976) for the murders, but after the second conviction was overturned in 1985, prosecutors chose not to try the case for a third time. Carter's story inspired the 1975 Bob Dylan song Hurricane. From 1993 to 2005, Carter served as executive director of the Association in Defense of the Wrongly Convicted.