Folk Music News & Blog Posts

Indian Ford Bridge (now demolished) over the Spoon River in Fulton County, Illinois (original photo by Thomas J. Foley - Historic American Engineering Record, edited)

Spoon River Murder Ballads

"At first I suspected something" Tucked in between covers of Bruce Springsteen's "Johnny 99" and Norman Blake's "Billy Gray" on Mark Erelli and Jeffrey Foucault's excellent murder ballad compilation, Seven Curses, is the short, mysterious "Tom Merritt." It is a song of suspicions, ...

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Folkfinds: Harriers of Discord and Mark A Pierce's Gold Watch and Chain

  This week's duet is a first-time collaboration between Mark Pierce of North East England and Californian Aimee Oliver. Mark is a folk hobbyist with a keen ear for American old-time and British traditional music; Aimee, as Harriers of Discord, frequently ...

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Podcast: In The Fam
Episode #15-40 | airing 9-30-15

There is a long standing tradition of family performers in folk music. Many of the classic old-time country bands such as the Carter Family were comprised of family members. Many traditional musicians learned by osmosis through attending dances and being ...

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The tear blindit his ee - The story of Sir Patrick Spens

The ballad "Sir Patrick Spens" is one of the oldest ballads in western Europe. It tells the story of a king who seeks the best and most experienced sailor in his kingdom for a dangerous and certainly life threatening journey. ...

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Folkfinds: Swamp Lightning's Carved In Stone

  Swamp Lightning, yet another terrific duo, is one of a handful of acts trying to make a thoroughly contemporary interpretation of American folk & traditional music. Drew Ford and Angel Attew have a delightfully expansive view of what constitutes folk, ...

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Podcast: A Chill In The Air
Episode #15-39 | airing 9-23-15

It’s been one of the warmest summers on record up here in the Northeast. The change to Autumn weather will be most welcome. The Fall is my favorite time of the year. It takes so long to arrive and then ...

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Video of the Week

For the incomparable Roy Zimmerman, his guitar, voice and keen sense of satire are as sharp as a scalpel in the hands of a gifted surgeon ... and what better targets of that skill than the reality-impaired parade of buffoons clamoring for the title of "most deluded" as we enter the silly season, a literal barrel of fear merchants scrambling to "save us all" from partisan horrors they've been hallucinating for the past six-and-a-half years ... otherwise known as the modern Republican Primary season. We'll make you a deal: We'll stop calling them clowns, when they stop acting like 'em.