5 Reasons to Listen to Folk Music (by Artists)

It deals with dirt

“I had no songs in my repertoire for commercial radio anyway. Songs about debauched bootleggers, mothers that drowned their own children, Cadillacs that only got five miles to the gallon, floods, union hall fires, darkness and cadavers at the bottom of rivers weren’t for radiophiles. There was nothing easygoing about the folk songs I sang. They weren’t friendly or ripe with mellowness. They didn’t come gently to the shore. I guess you could say they weren’t commercial”-Bob Dylan, Chronicles, Vol 1

It offers hope in the dirt

The note of hope is the only note that can help us or save us from falling to the bottom of the heap of evolution, because, largely, about all a human being is, anyway, is just a hoping machine, a working machine, and any song that says, the pleasures I have seen in all of my trouble, are the things I never can get — don’t worry — the human race will sing this way as long as there is a human to race.
The human race is a pretty old place.-Woody Guthrie, 

It’s meant to be felt

People used to say my music was too difficult or too obscure, and I never set out to be difficult or obscure. I just set out to write what I felt as honestly as I could, and I am delighted when other people feel a part of themselves in the music.-Leonard Cohen

I think it was T.S. Eliot who talked about good poetry being felt before it’s understood. I believe that. There are some bands where I love their lyrics but I don’t have a clue what they’re on about.-Marcus Mumford

Rap and Rock aren’t enough

The thing about rock’n’roll is that for me anyway it wasn’t enough … There were great catch-phrases and driving pulse rhythms … but the songs weren’t serious or didn’t reflect life in a realistic way. I knew that when I got into folk music, it was more of a serious type of thing. The songs are filled with more despair, more sadness, more triumph, more faith in the supernatural, much deeper feelings.-Bob Dylan

It transcends

Art is … a reflection of a greater divine creation. There really is no separation.-Sufjan Stevens

The books of the holy bible never say but one time just exactly what God is, and in those three little words it pours out a hundred million college educations and says, God Is Love. – Woody Guthrie

Bryan Daniels

 

 

Happy Birthday, Bob Dylan (71) – You Got To Serve Somebody

Happy birthday to one of the pioneers of bare bones singer-song writing folk music that was supplemented only by no frills acoustic guitar. Ever since high school I’ve appreciated Dylan’s brutally honest,  sometimes enigmatic, always timeless voice.

Much of his music has strong spiritual overtones. Some may say overtly “Gospel.” Maybe none are so strong and anthemic as “You Got To Serve Somebody”:

In his early musical years Dylan moved from an infatuation with the Little Richard type Rock and Roll towards the mellower Woody Guthrie-esque folk music of old. His explanation:

The thing about rock’n’roll is that for me anyway it wasn’t enough … There were great catch-phrases and driving pulse rhythms … but the songs weren’t serious or didn’t reflect life in a realistic way. I knew that when I got into folk music, it was more of a serious type of thing. The songs are filled with more despair, more sadness, more triumph, more faith in the supernatural, much deeper feelings.

I feel ya Bob. Happy Birthday.

Bryan Daniels