Column

The Reading Room

Writing about writing about music.

Henry writes about music and music books for ND, The Bluegrass Situation, Country Standard Time, Publishers Weekly, and more.

The Reading Room

Writing about writing about music.

Henry writes about music and music books for ND, The Bluegrass Situation, Country Standard Time, Publishers Weekly, and more.

The Enduring Saga of the Newport Folk Festival

It seems this question of, "What is folk?" is very similar to the debates about what is Americana and it seems like the genres are almost interchangable. I remember when I first heard Phil Ochs' song, "Gas Station Woman" back before I aprreciated country music I wondered why in the hell he was doing a country song. Years later when John Prine came on the scene you would find him in the folk section of record stores but he sure sounded like country to me which is true of many artists now called Americana.

Another good Reading Room Henry!

Food for thought on the political aspect of folk music, but when Bill Kirchen is taking a ride on the Telecaster, I'm not thinking about politics...even in the versions of "Hot Rod Lincoln" where Commander Cody makes it political by saying the cops stopped him for speeding and thought because of his long hair that he was a "Commie pinko weirdo fag"...but "Hot Rod Lincoln" is just just about going fast, in a car and on guitar..."they handcuffed me and took me to jail, called my daddy to raise may bail, said son, 'you know you're gonna drive me to drinkin' if you don't stop drivin' that Hot...Rod...Lincoln!"  That is not folk music, IMO...