Folk Music that isn't, quite...


Sr. Regulator
Staff member
Sr. Regulator
Slightly more fey and less of a beat - Sandy Denny with Fotheringay


John Watt

I haven't seen any mention of a traditional folk song that isn't a song, but is an instrumental.
This is a traditional folk song instrumental that isn't quite a traditional folk song instrumental.
I have to admit, if you're the type of YouTube watcher who looks at comments,
to see if the video you are watching is something you want to keep on watching,
it is unfortunate you can't do that here.
Let me advise you that this video is almost unwatchable and un-listenable.
This man is playing an organ that's so gaudy it's oh my goddy.


Ella Beck

Here's a celtic rock band from the 1970's playing an old tune with a modern groove.

Thanks, Taggart - I admit, I'd never heard of the Horslips, even though they're right out of My Era! :)

That's certainly the grooviest King of the Fairies that I've ever heard.

Searching for another example of Celtic Rock - rock music based on Irish/ Scottish folk music - I came up with this video. The music is quite witty, and the visuals are beguiling.


Ella Beck

This is a fiddle tune that I play called 'Seaweed on the Yellow Shore' - look what a trendy commercial New-Age affair that Celtic Woman makes of it, with hunky bodhran players. :D


Ella Beck

My fiddle teacher sent me this link for a book that examines the distinction between folk music and art music, or more particularly, how and why people started making the distinction.


John Watt

Here's another distinction between folk music and what else it can become.
"Fire and Rain" by James Taylor is one of the most popular folk songs ever written in North America.
I hope there isn't any dispute about it being a folk song that is sung by a folk singer.
I'm getting off on this because I'm always updating older lyrics with new millennium content,
and if I was doing this song and changing the lyrics it really wouldn't matter much.
But here we have James Taylor doing that himself to his own song.
Is it still a folk song? Does having the original message subverted by a new attitude towards entertainment,
a progressive thing, or is James experiencing his first seniors' moment by becoming playful with it?
He was very serious when he used to sing this song, his heroin habit being a big part of his reputation.
He's looking good, he's on a national television talk show, and Stephen Colbert is one of my favorite hosts.
If only he could have given it a more funky rhythm, and then the transformation would be complete...
even some raggae... some people do change, that's'a for sure.


Ella Beck

Here's Steeleye Span's Version of a Child Ballad, The Knight & the Shepherd's Daughter, Child 110. The words passed down through oral tradition before being written down, and it has all the structural marks of a traditional ballad - but the strong beat & electric bass guitar mark it out as 'progressive' or 'rock folk'.


Ella Beck

Johnny Cash taking an Australian classic, and turning it into cross-cultural entertainment.
I like Johnny Cash, but oh, this makes me squirm! :D



New member
I love the sound of his 'electric fiddle', its really musing when you discover a new music genre and you actually love it