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Books

Generational Solidarity: Folk Band the Weavers and the Damages Done by the Red Scare

Wasn't That a Time digs into the Weaver's empathy for the working class struggle, which was weaponized and politicized against them by the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Recent
Books

Joni Mitchell Biography 'Reckless Daughter' Is Lush and Complex

All sides of the mosaic, mercurial, brilliant music legend Joni Mitchell appear in David Yaffe's definitive biography.

Books

Bob Dylan's 'The Nobel Lecture' Requires a Tolerance for Sentimentality

Are Dylan's thoughts the dismissible ramblings of an insecure autodidact still trying to impress the professors?

Reviews

Festival: The Criterion Collection

They just don't make documentaries like Festival anymore.

Music

Ye Banished Privateers - "I Dream of You" (video) (premiere)

Swedish pirate folkers, Ye Banished Privateers tease new album with lyric video.

Music

Last Call at Folk City with Dominic Chianese

As the MC at New York's leading folk music venue, Chianese introduced many of the era's best-known and most influential figures.

Music

Regina Carter: Southern Comfort

Southern Comfort triumphantly celebrates traditional and classic music associated with the south.

Interviews

"Crumbs on the Trail": A Conversation with Nora Guthrie About Her Father, Woody Guthrie

With a newly uncovered collection of songs Woody Guthrie recorded for the government, his daughter Nora talks about who he really was, what she learns from the scholars that come in, and how Woody could write five songs a day.

Music

Mark Lanegan: Imitations

Imitations proves once again that even after four decades in the game, Mark Lanegan is not an artist content to conform to expectations, but one that will continue crossing borders to indulge his muse.

Music

Anaïs Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer: Child Ballads

These tales of witchery and honor, curses and transformations, were old when Child first collected them.

Music

John Condron: ...If Any or At All

Those who see John Condron perform live will get a firm grasp on the excitement and contemplative growth associated with the era that belonged to folkies carrying guitars through city cafes and small town bars. …If Any or At All is a sonic postcard representing that experience and presenting Condron’s thoughts and talents to anyone willing to take the musical and spiritual ride.

Music

Trembling Bells and Bonnie "Prince" Billy: The Marble Downs

The collaboration between Trembling Bells and Bonnie "Prince" Billy is peopled with underwear-clad angels, sinister demons, Johnnie Walker, Merge Haggard, the Grim Reaper, ruined livers and dead anniversary flowers. It sounds dour, sure, but beyond that, the record is damn fun.

Music

Daisy McCrackin - "Ladykiller's Wife" Video (PopMatters Premiere)

Overlapping images powerfully bleed into each other as McCrackin’s melodic tones and expressive lyrics echo and emphasize the dreamy ambiance of “Ladykiller’s Wife”.

Music

Various Artists: Whaur the Pig Gaed on the Spree

The singers throughout the album, in universal folk song tradition, take on the voices of the poor and the pressured, which are the voices of themselves.

Books

The Tragically Hip Hippies of Yorkville, Toronto, in 'Making the Scene'

This book astutely charts the transformative effect of Yorkville as a community, revealing it be a place that was greatly changed over the course of a few scant years.

Music

Great Big Sea: Safe Upon the Shore

Great Big Sea is, at its heart, a party band, and there is pretty much one thing that its music is a soundtrack to in Canada: drinking your face off.

Music

Pete Seeger... Un Hombre Sincero

These two documents transport listeners and viewers back to the heart of the civil rights era and reaffirm Seeger's creation of a truly global music of conscience that can transcend the limitations of its local translations.

Books

'Cigar Box Banjo' Is a Nice Parting Gift From One of Canada’s Most Talented Writers

Cigar Box Banjo is less a memoir than it is an epitaph: Paul Quarrington wanted to be taken seriously as a bluesman, less so as an author.

Music

Race in America, Race in Music: Different Trains, Same Two Tracks

It's an American pop music creation myth: that blues and folk music developed along two distinct tracks, with their own distinct traditions, divided along racial lines. The truth is, of course, far more slippery and complicated.

Music

Carrie Newcomer: Before & After

What starts as a comforting, peaceful collection of songs becomes vaguely and unfortunately workmanlike after more than 10 tracks.

Books

Like a Boyd on a Wire

PopMatters talks to Joe Boyd, a man at the center of the folk, rock and blues scenes of the 1960s who lived to tell the tale. "The whole notion of folk music and an appreciation of things that are more rural and more traditional and more rustic than our lives are now is the privilege of the middle class."

Music

Vusi Mahlasela: Guiding Star

Though its 16 tracks vary in subject, style, and dynamic, each seems to be an unadulterated cry from Mahlasela's soul.

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