An Introduction to Lesser-Known Folk Singers

The Homegrown Music columnist writes about every aspect of musical instruments and do-it-yourself entertainment. This issue covers his introduction to lesser-known folk singers, including Lenny Anderson Kate Wolf and Jim Post.

| September/October 1982

Homegrown Music shares information on musical instruments and do-it-yourself entertainment, this issue covers an introduction to lesser-known folk singers, including Lenny Anderson Kate Wolf and Jim Post. 

Marc Bristol—a homegrown musician who performs regularly throughout the Pacific Northwest—began sharing his knowledge of do-it-yourself entertainment with MOTHER EARTH NEWS  readers back in MOTHER issue 50. Marc's columns have touched on everything from access information for recorded music to detailed instructions on how to make your own instruments. Marc is interested in hearing any suggestions, comments, or questions you may have about the subject of do-it-yourself music, and he'll try to write about requested topics in future columns. Address your correspondence—for this column and this column only—to Marc Bristol, Dept. TMEN, Duvall, Washington. 

"I guess all songs is folk songs," Big Bill Broonzy once commented. "I never heard no horse sing 'em."

That's one of my all-time favorite quotes. Yet regardless of the fact that we are all "folk", I suspect that most people think of that particular kind of music — and of the artists who perform it — in somewhat more narrowly defined terms.

I, for instance, perceive a "folk singer" as someone whose repertoire includes mainly traditional tunes and/or topical songs that deal with political, social, or simply very personal views and feelings. Folk music is often considered less commercial than "pop", too . . . but that can't be considered a hard and fast distinction, because sometimes material not specifically intended to have "top 40" appeal does strike a chord in the hearts — and pocketbooks — of the masses. (Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" and Tim Hardin's "If I Were a Carpenter" are two examples.)

In any event, I think most of MOTHER's readers will agree that — as a rule — popular songs have less depth and significance than do folk tunes. And because the best sellers tend to continually present the same old stereo-typed attitudes, rather than individual beliefs and emotions, there's more variety in folk music, too.

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