Folk Music

Recently I’ve found myself in a real folk music kick, all sorts of good stuff like Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie and Townes Van Zandt (who, admittedly, might be more considered country).  It is all wonderful stuff, andis kind of a fun departure from my regular preference for indie and classic rock.

As I may have mentioned on some previous post or another I am quite a big music lover.  Growing up my dad instilled a huge love of classic rock in me, andby my high school years I was listening to just about anything I could find, amassing a huge collection of music in the process (I think I currently own, as in physical CDs, about 120 albums, plus, easily, another 300 or so albums as MP3s).  With my love of music, has long been the fantasy of being able to write and play my own songs.

I don’t think I would find too much trouble with the writing of songs, especially considering I could probably reference a lot of my collected poetry (yes, I write poetry and rather enjoy it).  I also think that I have a semi-decent singing voice, not professional albeit, but I can hold a tune with my normally bass/baritone (more towards the bass end) voice.  The hard end would be instrument playing.  I have very minor skill with both guitar and piano, but not enough to really play any good songs.  I used to be a lot better at drumming, but it has been several years since I last sat at a drum set so I am sure I am rusty as hell.  Personally I have wanted to buy a mandolin, and teach myself how to play that instrument for quite awhile now.  The only thing is that mandolins, even the lower end,more massed produced ones, aren’t cheap,a ndso I want to be certain that I really intend to learn how to play before making the purchase.  I would love, if I get a mandolin, to learn how to play a lot of my favorite folk songs on it, in particular “Mrs. McGrath” a traditional Irish folk song which has been performed by the likes of Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen (on the amazing album “We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions” – if you haven’t ever heard it you should check it out, it is wonderful!).

But yeah, folk music, pretty much any kind, though most specifically the stuff from the British Isles and American Appalachian and dust bowl tradition, is all awesome.  It is wonderful music and has had a huge influence on later musical developments.  It is cool too ,because it seems that folk is having a bit of a resurgence in more mainstream popularity, especially with musicians like Springsteen and The Decemberists including it in some of their performances.  Great stuff

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~ by Nathaniel on April 13, 2009.

2 Responses to “Folk Music”

  1. For what it’s worth, beyond all the folk music I’ve been listening to of late, I’ve also been pretty impressed with The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ new album “It’s Blitz!” Good stuff there. Just saying.

  2. I learnt guitar with an Oasis chordbook and worked my way from there…I was lucky when I started playing the mandolin, as it’s tuned the same as a violin, which I took lessons for in primary school. I find it easy to play, but be warned: it annoys some people when you’re learning because it’s so high pitched…
    Anyway, good luck 🙂

    http://www.youtube.com/user/cablez0mbie I put some of my songs up here.

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