I’m Dreaming of a Folk Christmas

Article written by on Monday, Dec 20, 2010 in General,Media,On The Web

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, does folk music play a part in your Christmas celebration? What’s on your folk Christmas wish list? I’ve been looking around for Christmas music in various folk styles. If you’re doing the same, has a Christmas folk music series that might give you some ideas. Richard Gillmann’s Seattle Folk Music Page lists Christmas music you may not have thought of as folk music — for instance, Ernest Tubb’s version of “Blue Christmas!” Even has a Christmas folk music list all put together. It’s fairly short, but convenient for a busy shopper. At the top of the list is the Seeger family’s collection, American Folk Songs for Christmas, a 2-disc set containing 53 songs in all.

My Christmas folk collection is tiny but growing. Light of the Stable, by Emmylou Harris, was the first folk Christmas album I acquired. I’ve had it for quite a few years now and enjoy listening to it every time. Mary Chapin Carpenter’s Come Darkness, Come Light: Twelve Songs of Christmas is a warm, beautiful, low-key mixture of original and traditional Christmas songs. Odetta’s Christmas Spirituals CD is a joy to listen to. And the child’s reading of the Christmas story in “Dickens’ Dublin” on Loreena McKennitt’s Parallel Dreams album was a pleasant surprise. This year I added the mostly instrumental Christmas Grass CD, by various artists including several name performers. It’s calming for my long work¬†commute and it has a lively version of Joy to the World.

If you enjoy listener-supported folk music radio, Folk Alley is holding its holiday contribution drive. What better way to make folk music an important part of your Christmas?

If you’re looking for last-minute gift ideas for folk-related books rather than music, what about Ralph Stanley’s autobiography, now in paperback? Reviews can be found in the Bluegrass Journal and USA Today. Or Lawrence Epstein’s Political Folk Music in America from Its Origins to Bob Dylan, released earlier this year?

Folk music is alive and well in many forms. Enjoy your choice of folk music this Christmas.

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Warren Fahey Wins Australia Council Music Award

Article written by on Tuesday, Apr 20, 2010 in Awards,People

At the recent National Folk Festival in Canberra, the Australia Council for the Arts presented the Don Banks Music Award to folk artist and publisher Warren Fahey. The award is given only once to a particular artist. Among Fahey’s many accomplishments are the founding of the Larrikin folk music label and the Folkways music retail business, the writing of numerous books and the collection and recording of bush folk songs and folk stories….

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Rounder Records Acquired by Concord Music Group

Article written by on Sunday, Apr 18, 2010 in Music Industry

Concord Music Group, home of an already-wide variety of jazz, rock, pop, R&B, world and classical music, recently announced its acquisition of Rounder Records, the roots label whose better-known artists include Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Rounder was celebrating its 40th year in business this year.

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MIAL Award Given to Caroline Herring

Article written by on Tuesday, Apr 13, 2010 in Awards,Concerts,General

Southern folk singer Caroline Herring was recently given a 2010 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award in the Popular Music Composition category for her album Golden Apples of the Sun. Herring will be performing at the All Good Cafe in Dallas on Friday evening.

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Old Settler’s Music Festival April 15-18

Article written by on Saturday, Apr 10, 2010 in Concerts,Festivals

The Old Settler’s Music Festival will be held Thursday, April 15 through Sunday, April 18 near Austin, Texas. Among the scheduled artists are Green Mountain Grass, The Joe Ely Band, Jimmy LaFave, The Wronglers, Ruthie Foster, The Special Consensus, Mindy Smith, Elizabeth Cook and many others including Patty Griffin with Buddy Miller.

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Fat Man & Little Boy: The Atomic (Music) Duo

Article written by on Sunday, Mar 07, 2010 in Releases,Reviews

Fat Man & Little Boy’s new album The Atomic Duo has been in my CD stack for a while now; I enjoyed listening to it on a Thanksgiving trip, so that tells you. I wanted to share it with you in case you had not already read a review of it elsewhere. Although this is technically their first album together, I hesitate to call it a debut album because these two are not new to the music business….

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Musical Life of Bob Dylan on Open Salon

Article written by on Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 in On The Web,People,Reviews

In case you haven’t already seen it, there is a series in progress over at the Open Salon site about Bob Dylan and the musicians who influenced him. Three posts so far, all thought-provoking for anyone interested in early folk music and blues. The author plans to take this through ten posts in all over a period of several months. If you start with the introductory post it contains links to the others.

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Haitian Music Recordings by Alan Lomax May Benefit Earthquake Victims

Article written by on Sunday, Feb 28, 2010 in On The Web,Releases

Music historian Alan Lomax recorded folk musicians not only throughout the southeastern United States but also in various other countries. During the mid-1930s he made extensive recordings of musical performances in Haiti. The recordings….

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