Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post Reply
Jirin
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 2510
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:12 am

Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Jirin » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:26 pm

Obviously you guys are TOTALLY IGNORANT AND PREJUDICED!

Either that or you have opinions of your own that differ from mine, one of those two. :D

I've been discovering a lot of folk lately, but newer folk coming out like Anais Mitchell and Black Prairie and old school folk like Roy Harper and Townes Van Zandt. Some of it is coming among my favorite music, but I notice that the folk legends are much farther down the acclaimed list than the legends of other genres. Why do you think critics don't pay folk as much attention as other genres? The folk I've been discovering lately is some of the most emotionally imminent music I've ever heard.

DocBrown
Full of Fire
Posts: 1246
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:15 am
Location: Edmonton, Canada

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by DocBrown » Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:18 pm

Good question. Could it be that folk is so diffuse and widely available that few great performers rise up to the level of universal acclaim?

Jirin, you might be interested in this link this weekend; live streaming from the Edmonton Folk Festival Stage 6. In about a half hour it will be a workshop with Basia Bulat, Vance Joy, Dan Mangan and Lucius which will be my highlight of the weekend.

Edit: Well it appears that the performance I just touted will NOT be streamed. Sorry!
Last edited by DocBrown on Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Bruce
Full of Fire
Posts: 1232
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:36 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Bruce » Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:37 pm

Jirin wrote:Obviously you guys are TOTALLY IGNORANT AND PREJUDICED!

Either that or you have opinions of your own that differ from mine, one of those two. :D

I've been discovering a lot of folk lately, but newer folk coming out like Anais Mitchell and Black Prairie and old school folk like Roy Harper and Townes Van Zandt. Some of it is coming among my favorite music, but I notice that the folk legends are much farther down the acclaimed list than the legends of other genres. Why do you think critics don't pay folk as much attention as other genres? The folk I've been discovering lately is some of the most emotionally imminent music I've ever heard.
I think folk is far more acclaimed than lots of other genres, such as doo wop, rockabilly, garage, disco, easy listening and polka.

User avatar
Live in Phoenix
Full of Fire
Posts: 1126
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:50 am

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Live in Phoenix » Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:45 pm

Folk might by & large be perceived as contrary to the coolness of "sex, drugs, rock & roll." Perhaps similarly, New Age music isn't blowing up on this site, either. (My mother would get a lot of folk/New Age-ish instrumental music that didn't sound bad.)

Jirin
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 2510
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:12 am

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Jirin » Sat Aug 09, 2014 12:46 am

Bruce wrote:
Jirin wrote:Obviously you guys are TOTALLY IGNORANT AND PREJUDICED!

Either that or you have opinions of your own that differ from mine, one of those two. :D

I've been discovering a lot of folk lately, but newer folk coming out like Anais Mitchell and Black Prairie and old school folk like Roy Harper and Townes Van Zandt. Some of it is coming among my favorite music, but I notice that the folk legends are much farther down the acclaimed list than the legends of other genres. Why do you think critics don't pay folk as much attention as other genres? The folk I've been discovering lately is some of the most emotionally imminent music I've ever heard.
I think folk is far more acclaimed than lots of other genres, such as doo wop, rockabilly, garage, disco, easy listening and polka.
True. 'Folk-rock' is very acclaimed. Disco also has some pretty acclaimed singles though.

If you can recommend some artists of the genres you listened who you believe deserve to be listed among the classic rock greats I'd love to check them out. But folks like Roy Harper, Townes Van Zandt, and Bert Jansch came in the same period of time as the classic rock greats, many of whom revere them as legends. Bert Jansch opened for Neil Young the first time I saw him and Roy Harper is in a Zeppelin song title.

I think some of the genres you listed were also genres tied to specific pop movements that only lasted a few years. Folk has been around for centuries.

User avatar
Bruce
Full of Fire
Posts: 1232
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:36 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Bruce » Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:22 am

Jirin wrote:
Bruce wrote:
Jirin wrote:Obviously you guys are TOTALLY IGNORANT AND PREJUDICED!

Either that or you have opinions of your own that differ from mine, one of those two. :D

I've been discovering a lot of folk lately, but newer folk coming out like Anais Mitchell and Black Prairie and old school folk like Roy Harper and Townes Van Zandt. Some of it is coming among my favorite music, but I notice that the folk legends are much farther down the acclaimed list than the legends of other genres. Why do you think critics don't pay folk as much attention as other genres? The folk I've been discovering lately is some of the most emotionally imminent music I've ever heard.
I think folk is far more acclaimed than lots of other genres, such as doo wop, rockabilly, garage, disco, easy listening and polka.
True. 'Folk-rock' is very acclaimed. Disco also has some pretty acclaimed singles though.

If you can recommend some artists of the genres you listened who you believe deserve to be listed among the classic rock greats I'd love to check them out.
The Five Keys are regarded as the greatest R&B vocal group of all time by the hard core fans of what you know as "doo-wop" yet they only have one song that is listed here on the site. The Flamingos have one ranked song and two bubbling under songs, and their legendary "Flamingo Serenade" album (4 stars on Allmusic) is not listed at all. probably the most highly regarded album of the genre. The Moonglows are a top 5 vocal group with that crowd and only have one song that is listed on the site. The Solitaires are a top 10 vocal group in that genre and are not mentioned at all on the site. The Ravens are a legendary vocal group that was the first ever "doo wop" group and they are not mentioned at all on the site. The Spaniels made dozens of killer records but only have one song mentioned on the site.

As for rockabilly Charlie Feathers is right up there with Carl Perkins, Elvis on Sun and the Johnny Burnette Trio, but he only has one bubbling under song and it's only been there since the latest update. If you want to discover the cream of rockabilly check out this list I did for DDD:

http://digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/best_ ... billy.html

The greatest polka act of all time, Frankie Yankovic, has one song bubbling under the top 6000.

User avatar
Rob
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 2618
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:53 pm
Location: Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Rob » Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:12 pm

Folk when not mixed with rock gets only a bit of acclaim here, but that goes for many genres. There is more blues than blues rock if I'm correct. Country is mostly carries on the shoulders of a few giants (Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, perhaps Willie Nelson), although there seems to be a minor revival. When we get to it, there are a lot of genres that get the short-rift here. I mean, a lack of hip-hop comes up now and then, but compared to much electronic, prog-rock, dance, blues, country, folk, new age, reggea and what not hip-hop isn't doing to badly. Rock, singer-songwriter, alternative and indie stuff and soul go over the best it seems.

Folk is a genre I love very much and I would love to learn more beside the usual names. But even legends of the style, like Pete Seeger aren't exactly big on the AM lists. Hell, even Woody Guthrie has still only one song listed.

It's interesting that new age came up here, too. It's a genre I only have a passing familiarity with, but do take a liking too. However, it's also a style that puts more people off than any I know of. It seems that a lot of people link it to new age religions and can't see it separated from it. It's also horribly uncool (perhaps folk is too), so there's that. I would like to know more, however.

User avatar
Bruno
Full of Fire
Posts: 1307
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:33 pm
Location: São Paulo, Brasil
Contact:

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Bruno » Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:00 pm

Yep, besides New Age, disco and doo-wop, I believe that some pop songs and modern r&b are also underestimated.

Jirin
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 2510
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:12 am

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Jirin » Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:03 am

Rob wrote:Folk when not mixed with rock gets only a bit of acclaim here, but that goes for many genres. There is more blues than blues rock if I'm correct. Country is mostly carries on the shoulders of a few giants (Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, perhaps Willie Nelson), although there seems to be a minor revival. When we get to it, there are a lot of genres that get the short-rift here. I mean, a lack of hip-hop comes up now and then, but compared to much electronic, prog-rock, dance, blues, country, folk, new age, reggea and what not hip-hop isn't doing to badly. Rock, singer-songwriter, alternative and indie stuff and soul go over the best it seems.

Folk is a genre I love very much and I would love to learn more beside the usual names. But even legends of the style, like Pete Seeger aren't exactly big on the AM lists. Hell, even Woody Guthrie has still only one song listed.

It's interesting that new age came up here, too. It's a genre I only have a passing familiarity with, but do take a liking too. However, it's also a style that puts more people off than any I know of. It seems that a lot of people link it to new age religions and can't see it separated from it. It's also horribly uncool (perhaps folk is too), so there's that. I would like to know more, however.
Folk is only uncool when you call it 'Folk'. People love it when you sneak it into other stuff. The Band prove that.

Richard Buckner is a folk singer from the 90s I discovered by accident thinking a review for a reissue was a review for a new album. But his album Bloomed is quickly rising to my all time list. There must be tons of other folk gems like this hiding around the 1000-2000 range in Henrik's list.

I would add jazz to the list of genres that get critic love. As long as the album was recorded by somebody active before 1960, of course. No love for Ambrose Akinmusire.

Jazz is the one genre where you get more critic love being before 1960 than after.

@Bruce

Just added all the bands you listed to my list. Got any good delta blues recommendations? All I've ever really heard from that movement is Robert Johnson.

User avatar
Mattceinicram
Different Class
Posts: 496
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:26 am
Location: Indiana when home. Minneapolis, Minnesota during college

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Mattceinicram » Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:52 am

This is the question I always ask for metal.
Check out my music review blog! Matt and Music! mattandmusic.blogspot.com

User avatar
BleuPanda
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 3256
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:20 am

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by BleuPanda » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:20 am

Critics treat metal like it's in an entirely different field of music, which is really weird. Anytime I see it mentioned it's in a specialty list, unless it's the one big metal album of the year (i.e. Sunbather or or AWLWLB).

User avatar
Bruce
Full of Fire
Posts: 1232
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:36 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Bruce » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:27 am

Jirin wrote: Got any good delta blues recommendations? All I've ever really heard from that movement is Robert Johnson.
I'm not that big on pre-WW2 blues. But in later stuff there's:

Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup
Howlin' Wolf
Muddy Waters
Elmore James
Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller)

User avatar
Bruno
Full of Fire
Posts: 1307
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:33 pm
Location: São Paulo, Brasil
Contact:

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Bruno » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:46 am

Bruce wrote:
Jirin wrote: Got any good delta blues recommendations? All I've ever really heard from that movement is Robert Johnson.
I'm not that big on pre-WW2 blues. But in later stuff there's:

Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup
Howlin' Wolf
Muddy Waters
Elmore James
Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller)
Great stuff! :music-listening:

Jirin
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 2510
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:12 am

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Jirin » Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:03 pm

Mattceinicram wrote:This is the question I always ask for metal.
The only thing that keeps me from getting into metal really is that I find the growl vocals offputting. I'm a fan of some of the more melodic metal.

When I listen to metal recommendations based on rateyourmusic I tend to have trouble finding variety in the genre. I like stuff like 80s Metallica that has virtuosic guitar playing and some kind of pop structure. And I like it when other more melodic genres are blended with metal, like I was a big fan of a Dalriada album a few years ago. Just, if I go to rateyourmusic.com and listen to the stuff that big metal fans are rating the highest, it all blends together to me. All technique and no energy. Of course, I would love to hear recommendations. :)

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 5216
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Henrik » Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:36 pm

Jirin wrote:virtuosic guitar playing and some kind of pop structure
If you haven't listened to Iron Maiden's "The Number of the Beast" album, and "Hallowed Be Thy Name" in particular, you have a great time ahead.
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

User avatar
Mattceinicram
Different Class
Posts: 496
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:26 am
Location: Indiana when home. Minneapolis, Minnesota during college

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Mattceinicram » Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:32 pm

BleuPanda wrote:Critics treat metal like it's in an entirely different field of music, which is really weird. Anytime I see it mentioned it's in a specialty list, unless it's the one big metal album of the year (i.e. Sunbather or or AWLWLB).
Yes, I get pretty frustrated when metal is completely ignored by EOY lists. It's a genre of music that many people enjoy, why should it not be taken seriously? There have been quite a few fantastic metal albums of 2014 this year and "The Satanist" will probably be the only one with enough acclaim to make it on the next update.
Check out my music review blog! Matt and Music! mattandmusic.blogspot.com

User avatar
Rob
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 2618
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:53 pm
Location: Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Rob » Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:23 pm

Mattceinicram wrote:
BleuPanda wrote:Critics treat metal like it's in an entirely different field of music, which is really weird. Anytime I see it mentioned it's in a specialty list, unless it's the one big metal album of the year (i.e. Sunbather or or AWLWLB).
Yes, I get pretty frustrated when metal is completely ignored by EOY lists. It's a genre of music that many people enjoy, why should it not be taken seriously? There have been quite a few fantastic metal albums of 2014 this year and "The Satanist" will probably be the only one with enough acclaim to make it on the next update.
Don't be surprised if even that doesn't make it. Even that one's current acclaim comes more from metal lovers I believe.

irreduciblekoan
Different Class
Posts: 303
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:48 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by irreduciblekoan » Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:56 pm

One thing Bruce has been correct about again and again (though he probably doesn't communicate it as nicely as he should) is that rock gets wayyyyy too much acclaim compared to the other genres on AM. But then, if we think about it, there are probably far more rock albums in the world than other types of music, so it's probably simply more visible to critics and the public.

User avatar
Romain
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 4063
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:25 pm
Location: Lyon, France

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Romain » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:14 pm

irreduciblekoan wrote:One thing Bruce has been correct about again and again (though he probably doesn't communicate it as nicely as he should) is that rock gets wayyyyy too much acclaim compared to the other genres on AM. But then, if we think about it, there are probably far more rock albums in the world than other types of music, so it's probably simply more visible to critics and the public.
Of course Acclaimed Music touch only a little bit of the world's music, but it's not a problem. I always hope to see more type of music represented (japanese, indian, argentina, etc...) but, whatever, Henrik does with the lists it received.

So, for me Folk music is completly overrepresented here because it's not a genre I am used, like our Friend Enstein said "Everything is relative". ;)

If all the actual world music is 100, Allmusic focuses on maybe 5% of this music (and Bruce maybe 10% of these 5% :mrgreen: )

User avatar
Pierre
Keep On Movin'
Posts: 1902
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:21 pm

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Pierre » Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:22 pm

To me, the higher proportion of rock stuff on AM than any other genres simply stems from the fact that there are more lists produced by rock journalists included than from publications covering other types of music, this in turn being due to the higher quantity of rock outlets compared to the rest.

Folk in itself IMO is generally rather well-received by rock publications compared to other genres, but that may be for a small sample of folk artists, them being Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, to a lesser extent Joan Baez, etc. And they probably benefit from the fact that they played a major role in rock history. Same goes for hip-hop artists, at first glance they look like they are well-represented here on AM, but I believe that a few of them are extremelly well-rated while others can be happy if they can squeeze in a song. And if you consider electronic music, metal, jazz, country, etc., their number dwindles even further. I'm not sure we can actually blame rock critics for that, after all these genres do not enter into their usual scope.

I may admit that in France, folk itself is not really well-received IMO. That's due to the fact that French folk artists such as Hugues Aufray, Maxime Le Forestier, etc. have quickly and often mixed their style with middle-of-the-road music and their lyricism has become more pedestrian over the years, while others such as Québec singer Félix Leclerc, and in France Georges Brassens or Graeme Allwright are considered to belong to the chanson style (not counting Alan Stivell who is considered Celtic music). That's a curious fact I've never really understood, how those guys draw the line really puzzles me.

Anyway, I have one more thing to say: I guess people will always be disappointed to see their own favourite styles being less acclaimed than the rest, and as this thread demonstrated folk is not alone in this boat. As I said first, there's a logical reason why rock seems over-acclaimed compared to the rest, but I understand it can be frustrating. When I see a Fleetwood Mac album called "Tango in the Night" bubbling under when actual tango albums are summed up to a lone entry for Astor Piazzolla, or albums by Scott Walker and Beirut which are inducted while they stole part of their esthetics from French chanson which itself is only represented by one or two albums and, thankfully since the last update, a few dozens of songs, it sure pisses me a bit.

o.m.
Let's Get It On
Posts: 260
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:56 am

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by o.m. » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:01 pm

Sadly a listener's poll :

http://www.folkalley.com/lists/index.php?listid=1

The 100 Essential Folk Songs
Song -Written OR Performed by

This Land is Your Land - Woody Guthrie
Blowin’ in the Wind - Bob Dylan
City of New Orleans - Steve Goodman
If I Had a Hammer - Pete Seeger
Where Have All The Flowers Gone - The Kingston Trio
Early Morning Rain - Gordon Lightfoot
Suzanne - Leonard Cohen
We Shall Overcome - Pete Seeger
Four Strong Winds - Ian and Sylvia
Last Thing On My Mind - Tom Paxton

The Circle Game - Joni Mitchell
Tom Dooley - The Kingston Trio (Trad)
Both Sides Now - Joni Mitchell
Who Knows Where The Time Goes - Sandy Denny
Goodnight Irene - The Weavers (Trad)
Universal Soldier - Buffy St Marie
Don’t Think Twice - Bob Dylan
Diamonds and Rust - Joan Baez
Sounds of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel
The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - Gordon Lightfoot

Alice’s Restaurant - Arlo Guthrie
Turn, Turn, Turn - The Byrds (Pete Seeger)
Puff The Magic Dragon - Peter, Paul and Mary
Thirsty Boots - Eric Andersen
There But For Fortune - Phil Ochs
Across The Great Divide - Kate Wolf
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down - The Band (Robbie Robertson)
The Dutchman - Steve Goodman
Matty Groves - Fairport Convention (Trad)

Pastures of Plenty - Woody Guthrie
Canadian Railroad Trilogy - Gordon Lightfoot
Ramblin’ Boy - Tom Paxton
Hello In There - John Prine
The Mary Ellen Carter - Stan Rogers
Scarborough Fair - Martin Carthy (Trad)
Freight Train - Elizabeth Cotton
Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan
Paradise - John Prine
Northwest Passage - Stan Rogers

And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda - Eric Bogle
Changes - Phil Ochs
Streets of London - Ralph McTell
Gentle On My Mind - John Hartford
Barbara Allen - Shirley Collins (Trad)
Little Boxes - Malvina Reynolds
The Water is Wide - Traditional
Blue Moon of Kentucky - Bill Monroe
No Regrets - Tom Rush
Amazing Grace - Odetta (Trad)

Catch The Wind - Donovan
If I Were a Carpenter - Tim Hardin
Big Yellow Taxi - Joni Mitchell
House of the Rising Sun - Doc & Richard Watson (Trad)
Kisses Sweeter Than Wine - The Weavers
Tangled Up In Blue - Bob Dylan
The Boxer - Simon and Garfunkel
Someday Soon - Ian and Sylvia
500 Miles - Peter, Paul and Mary
Masters of War - Bob Dylan

Wildwood Flower - Carter Family
Can The Circle Be Unbroken - Carter Family
Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound - Tom Paxton
Teach Your Children - Crosby, Stills Nash & Young
Deportee - Woody Guthrie
Tecumseh Valley - Towns Van Zandt
Mr. Bojangles - Jerry Jeff Walker
Cold Missouri Waters - James Keeleghan
The Crucifixion - Phil Ochs
Angel from Montgomery - John Prine

Christmas in the Trenches - John McCutcheon
John Henry - Traditional
Pack Up Your Sorrows - Richard and Mimi Farina
Dirty Old Town - Ewan MacColl
Caledonia - Dougie MacLean
Gentle Arms of Eden - Dave Carter
My Back Pages - Bob Dylan
Arrow - Cheryl Wheeler
Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen
Eve of Destruction - Barry McGuire

Man of Constant Sorrow - Ralph Stanley (Trad)
Shady Grove - Traditional
Pancho and Lefty - Townes Van Zandt
Old Man - Neil Young
Mr. Tambourine Man - Bob Dylan
American Tune - Paul Simon
At Seventeen - Janis Ian
Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
Road - Nick Drake
Tam Lin - Fairport Convention (Trad)

Ashokan Farewell - Jay Ungar and Molly Mason
Desolation Row - Bob Dylan
Love Is Our Cross To Bear - John Gorka
Hobo’s Lullaby - Woody Guthrie
Urge For Going - Tom Rush
Return of the Grievous Angel - Gram Parsons
Chilly Winds - The Kingston Trio
Fountain of Sorrow - Jackson Browne
The Times They Are A Changing - Bob Dylan
Our Town - Iris Dement
Leaving on a Jet Plane - John Denver

:music-guitarred:

Jirin
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 2510
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:12 am

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Jirin » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:47 pm

Henrik wrote:
Jirin wrote:virtuosic guitar playing and some kind of pop structure
If you haven't listened to Iron Maiden's "The Number of the Beast" album, and "Hallowed Be Thy Name" in particular, you have a great time ahead.
I am a fan of that album.

I think one reason metal is less represented is that critics prize diverging from genres more than they prize excelling in genres, which is an inevitable effect of listening to every damn thing that comes out.

Bluegrass is another example. Alison Kraus can't get any acclaim unless Robert Plant is singing on her album. Then there's the whole jam band scene that doesn't show up on lists at all, but if you ask a Berklee grad it's the biggest, most vibrant scene there is.

User avatar
BleuPanda
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 3256
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:20 am

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by BleuPanda » Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:22 pm

Jirin wrote:I think one reason metal is less represented is that critics prize diverging from genres more than they prize excelling in genres, which is an inevitable effect of listening to every damn thing that comes out.
I think that's my biggest problem with lists. I'd take the album that perfected the formula over the one that created the formula any day, but the originator always gets more credit.

Jirin
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 2510
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:12 am

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Jirin » Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:16 pm

BleuPanda wrote:
Jirin wrote:I think one reason metal is less represented is that critics prize diverging from genres more than they prize excelling in genres, which is an inevitable effect of listening to every damn thing that comes out.
I think that's my biggest problem with lists. I'd take the album that perfected the formula over the one that created the formula any day, but the originator always gets more credit.
I kind of feel that way, although I also want the artist/performer to inject his/her unique personality into it rather than just following an existing formula. Like, you don't have to invent it, but make it your own.

Mindrocker
Let's Get It On
Posts: 167
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:00 am

Re: Why is folk less acclaimed than other genres?

Post by Mindrocker » Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:33 am

Agreed that Folk is kinda underrepresented, although the definition of the genre these days is generously wide. Artists like Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake are by many now considered folk, whereas in the past they were filed under the 'singer/songwriter' tag (yes the distinction between the two styles is very thin, pre-1965 Dylan is folk while post-'65 Dylan is singer/songwriter).


Anyway, a while ago I posted my favorite Folk & Folkrock list on RYM, might as well re-post it here.

01. VARIOUS ARTISTS - An Anthology Of American Folk Music (1927-1932)
02. BOB DYLAN - The Freewheelin... (1963)
03. BUFFY SAINT-MARIE - It's My Way! (1964)
04. PLANXTY - Planxty (1973)
05. The POGUES - If I Should Fall From Grace With God (1988)
06. JOHN FAHEY - Death Chants, Breakdowns And Military Waltzes (1963)
07. DAVEY GRAHAM - Folk, Blues & Beyond (1965)
08. JOHN RENBOURN - Another Monday (1966)
09. JOANNA NEWSOM - Ys (2006)
10. WOODY GUTHRIE - Original Recordings Made By Woody Guthrie (1940-1946)
11. JUDY HENSKE - Judy Henske (1963)
12. JACKSON C. FRANK - Jackson C. Frank (1965)
13. The POGUES - Red Roses For Me (1984)
14. SANDY BULL - Fantasias For Guitar And Banjo (1963)
15. JOHN JACOB NILES - American Folk And Gambling Songs (1956)
16. COMUS - First Utterance (1971)
17. ODETTA - Sings Ballads And Blues (1956)
18. The PENTANGLE - Sweet Child (1968)
19. The HOLY MODAL ROUNDERS - The Holy Modal Rounders (1964)
20. PETE SEEGER - Darling Corey (1950)
21. The BOTHY BAND - The Bothy Band (1975)
22. PHIL OCHS - All The News That's Fit To Sing (1964)
23. ROSCOE HOLCOMB - The High Lonesome Sound (1965)
24. FIVE HAND REEL - Five Hand Reel (1976)
25. DOCK BOGGS - His Twelve Original Recordings (1927-1929)
26. ODETTA - Tin Angel (1954)
27. SANDY DENNY - The North Star Grassman & The Ravens (1971)
28. DAVE VAN RONK - Sings Ballads, Blues And A Spiritual (1959)
29. BUFFY SAINT-MARIE - Illuminations (1969)
30. THIRD EAR BAND - Third Ear Band (1970)
31. DEVENDRA BANHART - Rejoicing In The Hands (2004)
32. JOAN BAEZ - Joan Baez (1960)
33. FAIRPORT CONVENTION - Unhalfbricking (1969)
34. TOM PAXTON - Ain't That News! (1965)
35. LEADBELLY - The Complete Works In Chronological Order (1939-1947)
36. JOHN FAHEY - Blind Joe Death (1959)
37. RICHARD & MIMI FARIÑA - Celebrations For A Grey Day (1965)
38. BOB GIBSON - Offbeat Folk Songs (1956)
39. HORSLIPS - The Taín (1974)
40. DOC WATSON - The Watson Family (1963)
41. The TALLEST MAN ON EARTH - The Wild Hunt (2010)
42. PEARLS BEFORE SWINE - Balaklava (1968)
43. RICHARD & LINDA THOMPSON - I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight (1974)
44. PETER, PAUL & MARY - Peter, Paul & Mary (1962)
45. MALICORNE - Malicorne (1974)
46. INCREDIBLE STRING BAND - The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter (1968)
47. BUELL KAZEE - Legendary Kentucky Ballad Singer (1928-1929)
48. SUNI MCGRATH - Cornflower Suite (1969)
49. AKRON/FAMILY - Love Is Simple (2007)
50. KOERNER, RAY & GLOVER - Blues, Rags And Hollers (1963)
51. The PENTANGLE - The Pentangle (1968)
52. TIR NA NÓG - Tir Na Nóg (1971)
53. PEGGY SEEGER - Courting And Complaint (1955)
54. FAIRPORT CONVENTION - What We Did On Our Holidays (1969)
55. The WATERSONS - Frost And Fire: A Calendar Of Ritual And Magic Songs (1965)
56. BOILED IN LEAD - Hotheads (1987)
57. The DUBLINERS - Now (1975)
58. SWEENEY'S MEN - Sweeney's Men (1968)
59. STEELEYE SPAN - Ten Man Mop Or Reservoir Butler Rides Again (1971)
60. DR. STRANGELY STRANGE - Kip Of The Serenes (1969)

And an honorable mention should of course go to the complete catalogue of Alan Lomax recordings.

Post Reply