Ever since Bob Dylan
went electric at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, folk artists have been reaching outside the traditions and conventions to experiment with technology. Suzanne Vega recorded an entirely electronic folk album that experimented with synthesized sound (99.9 Fahrenheit Degrees
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). Ani DiFranco
has done numerous experiments with pedals, vocoders, and other electronic effects.
It's been argued that the old traditional folksingers of yore didn't use electric instruments simply because they weren't available at the time. Folk music is all about being accessible and using the instruments and tools you have at your disposal—whether they're acoustic or electric instruments, djembes or drum machines.