Spring is a time of new beginnings, warmer weather, and more time spent outside. As you venture out this springtime, here's a look at five albums which embody the light, hopeful newness of springtime energy.
The International Bluegrass Music Association presents awards for achievement in bluegrass music each year during a ceremony at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. Here's a look at the nominees and winners of the 2012 IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards.
"House of the Rising Sun" has been covered by just about everyone to ever pick up a guitar. But what is the song originally about, who wrote it, and where did it come from? Here's a look at the basic history of this iconic American folk song.
Check out the nominees (and winners) in the folk and Americana categories, for the 2011 Grammy Awards. Listed here are also folk and Americana artists nominated in other catgeories.
Nothing says "Merry Christmas" better than a group of people singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" together. But where did this song come from? What's "figgy pudding" and is it really delicious enough to merit the demand laid out in this song? All these questions and more are answered in this folk song history of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."
"We Gather Together" is one of the most popular songs about American Thanksgiving. Learn more about the song's history, who's recorded it, and what the full lyrics are. Check out this folk song history of Thanksgiving classic "We Gather Together."
Everyone knows great holiday songs for Christmas and Hannukah, but Thanksgiving songs are a little harder to come by. Learn the story of one of the best loved Thanksgiving songs - "Over the River and Through the Woods" with this brief history.
Written in 1931 by Florence Reece, "Which Side Are You On?" has been used by activists in many of the last century's American movements, from labor to civil rights, feminism, and even Occupy Wall Street. Learn more about the story behind "Which Side Are You On?" and the artists who have recorded it.
The 2011 Americana Music Awards were handed out at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., during the 12th Annual Americana Music Festival and Conference, Oct. 12-15, 2011. This year's nominees for the Americana Music Awards included long-time favorites like Buddy Miller and Lucinda Williams, as well as newcomers like Mumford & Sons and Sarah Jarosz. Check out the 2011 Americana Music Awards nominees and winners.
"Guantanamera" is widely considered one of the most popular folk songs from Cuba, and that nation's most patriotic song. Learn more about "Guantanamera" and when and why it's been sung in America, with this brief folk song history.
"We Shall Not Be Moved" is a traditional American folk song whose lyrics probably stretch back to the slave era, although there is no indication of when the song was written or who wrote it. It has been used in worship as well as several socio-political movements. Learn more about "We Shall Not Be Moved."
John Henry is a legend of American folklore and American folk music. Learn more about the music which has been inspired by and attributed to one of the American labor movemnet's greatest legendary heroes. Here's a look at the folk song history of John Henry.
A look at one of the most memorable American folk song anthems from the Civil Rights movement - "We Shall Overcome."
The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards will take place on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011, with a portion of the awards ceremony being televised on CBS. Though the folk and Americana categories will not be shown on TV, the nominees still deserve a good amount of recognition. Check out my predictions for who will win in the folk and Americana categories at the 2011 Grammy Awards.
The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards will be presented in ceremonies held on Feb. 13, 2011, with a portion of the awards ceremony scheduled to air on CBS. Following are a list of the nominees in the folk and Americana categories for 2011, as well as a list of folk and Americana artists nominated for Grammy Awards in other categories.
The 2010 International Bluegrass Music Awards were handed out in Nashville, Tenn., during the annual IBMA Conference and World of Bluegrass, Sep. 27-Oct. 3, 2010. Check out a full list of this year's nominees for the 2010 IBMA Awards.
"Big Rock Candy Mountain" is an American folk song sung from the point of view of a hobo dreaming about an ideal world. Learn more about the story of the lyrics to "Big Rock Candy Mountain" and the history of this great American folk song.
The 2010 Americana Music Awards will be presented at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., on Sep. 9, 2010, during the 11th Annual Americana Music Association Conference and Festival. Here are a list of nominees for the 2010 Americana Music Awards.
It is a tradition in American folk music to borrow the melodies of already popular songs and write new lyrics for them. So it is no surprise that Francis Scott Key's poem, "The Star-Spangled Banner" (c. 1814), was sung to the tune of an already popular English drinking song.
South by Southwest (SXSW) is one of the biggest weeks for the music industry in this country, as hundreds of bands and artists converge on Austin, Texas, for five days of absolute insanity. I won't be there this year but, if I were going, the following are the artists I would make sure not to miss.
In 2010, the Grammy Awards re-designated the folk and Americana categories, so that Contemporary Folk and Americana were two separate area for the first time in Grammy history. Bluegrass also fell under the new American Roots category. The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards were awarded in ceremonies held Jan. 31, 2010. Here's a look at the nominees and winners in folk, roots, and Americana music for the 2010 Grammy Awards.
The International Bluegrass Music Association gathers each year in Nashville, Tenn., to celebrate bluegrass music, discuss issues facing the bluegrass community, and to honor its membership with an awards and honors ceremony at the Grand Ole Opry. The 2009 conference and Fan Fest will be held Sep. 28-Oct. 4, 2009. The awards ceremony will be held on Oct. 1, and following are the nominees and winners for 2009 IBMA Awards and Honors:
The Americana Music Association held its 10th Annual festival and conference in Nashville this September 16-19, with a Sep. 17 awards ceremony at the Ryman Auditorium. Buddy Miller, who received five nominations from the AMA, was musical director of the ceremony. Singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale hosted.
Open Mic Nights are a great way of meeting other musicians, scoping your local community of folksingers, and just staying in good form as a performer. In New York, I found open mic nights to be an essential part of getting acquainted with the scene and learning how to get booked around town. There are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of clubs all over New York, but this list will keep you busy at least six days a week.
Seattle's open mic circuit is growing by the minute. Seattle has a burgeoning folk and roots music scene, and you can find plenty of opportunities to join not only open mic nights, but also community jam sessions, song circles, hootenannies and song swaps. Here's a guide to the open mic scene in Seattle, Wash.