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Folk Music News & Blog Posts

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

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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Unfinished Business

Unfinished Business

The weekend prior to Pete Seeger’s passing at the age of 94, an ironic, and in retrospect, provocative call came from Oscar Brand. This before I had any knowledge of Pete’s illness. “Hello Roger, this is Oscar. I’m calling to ...

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Honoring the Past and Carrying Traditions Forward

Honoring the Past and Carrying Traditions Forward

Back in 1971, the late Harry Chapin created a notable song called “Circle.” Originally written for his brother Tom’s TV show “Make a Wish,” the song has entered our folk canon partially due to the powerful lyrics describing a life ...

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Ron Olesko

Welcome to the New Folk Music Notebook

“We propose to devote ourselves to the creation, growth and distribution of something new, yet not so new, since its beginnings have been visible, or rather – audible, for some years now. We call it ‘Peoples Music’ “ Those words were ...

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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.