Contemporary Folk Music for Your Listening Pleasure

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for something a little different in your music listening? Check out our blog for some great contemporary folk music recommendations! From up-and-coming artists to classic folk tunes, we’ve got something for everyone!

The Revival of Folk Music

The folk music scene has seen a resurgence in recent years, with a new wave of contemporary folk musicians bringing the genre to a whole new audience. If you’re looking for something a little different to add to your musical repertoire, here are some of the best contemporary folk albums to check out.

The New Folk Movement of the 1950s and 1960s

In the middle of the 20th century, a new interest in traditional American folk music developed. This was partly due to the work of musicologist Harry Smith, who compiled a massive anthology of folk songs called the Anthology of American Folk Music. The anthology was released by Folkways Records in 1952, and it had a profound influence on the folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s.

The most famous figure of the folk revival was Bob Dylan, who began his career as a traditional folk musician before moving into more experimental territory. Dylan’s work had a major impact on the direction of popular music, and he is often credited with ushering in the era of “singer-songwriter” music. Other important figures of the folk revival include Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Odetta, and Simon and Garfunkel.

The folk revival brought attention to many forgotten or overlooked aspects of American musical traditions, such as Appalachian ballads, blues, and Native American music. It also sparked an interest in world music, leading to the popularity of artists such as Ravi Shankar and Nadir Khan. The movement did not last long, but its impact is still felt in many areas of contemporary music.

The British Folk Revival of the 1960s

The folk music revival of the 1960s brought the traditional music of Britain and Ireland back to popularity. Artists like Bob Dylan and The Beatles popularized folk songs from the British Isles, and the genre began to influence pop music. The British folk revival was a period of intense creativity, with new bands and artists emerging all the time. Here are some of the most influential figures from the era.

The Beatles
The most popular band in the world, The Beatles were influenced by British folk music from an early stage in their career. George Harrison was particularly interested in the genre, and he introduced traditional songs like “Blackbird” and “I’ve Got a Feeling” into the band’s repertoire. The Beatles also recorded several traditional songs for their 1968 self-titled album, also known as “The White Album.”

Bob Dylan
A hugely influential figure in both folk and rock music, Bob Dylan emerged from the Minneapolis folk scene in the early 1960s. His nasal voice and unique songwriting style won him a devoted following, and he became one of the most important voices of his generation. Dylan’s work was highly political, and he often wrote protest songs about social injustice and war. He is also credited with sparking the “countercultural revolution” of the 1960s.

Joan Baez
A contemporary of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez was a highly influential figure in the folk music revival. A talented singer and songwriter, Baez was known for her beautiful renditions of traditional folk songs. She also wrote several protest songs that spoke out against social injustice, racism, and war. Baez was an active participant in the civil rights movement and anti-war protests of the 1960s, and she continued to be a relevant force in social activism throughout her career.

Contemporary Folk Music

Contemporary Folk Music has something for everyone. It is a great way to relax and enjoy the simple things in life. The music is usually acoustic and often uses traditional instruments. Contemporary Folk Music is a great way to connect with your heritage.

The American Folk Revival of the 1970s

In the United States, the folk music revival became a part of the counterculture movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Weavers, a folk music quartet formed in 1948, were blacklisted during the McCarthy Era. The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem were an Irish folk music group who found popularity in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. Joan Baez was one of the most popular and influential folksingers of her time. Dylan’s song “The Times They Are A-Changin'” became an anthem of the social change for which 1960s youth were known. Simon & Garfunkel’s album Bridge over Troubled Water (1970) topped charts around the world and won five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year; it sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.

The British Folk Revival of the 1970s

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was a British folk music revival. This was a time when new bands and artists began to emerge, influenced by the traditional music of their homeland. These artists took traditional songs and gave them a contemporary twist, making them more accessible to a wider audience.

Some of the most popular bands and artists from this era include Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, Pentangle, and Bert Jansch. Their music is still popular today and continues to influence folk musicians all over the world. If you’re looking for some contemporary folk music to add to your collection, check out these bands and artists!

The Contemporary Folk Movement in America

The contemporary folk music scene in America is a thriving community of singer-songwriters and musicians who are keeping the tradition of folk music alive and well.

The contemporary folk movement began in the 1950s and 1960s, when a new generation of folk musicians began to experiment with the traditional sounds of folk music, incorporating elements of other genres like rock, pop, and jazz. This new sound was sometimes referred to as “folk rock” or “jazz-influenced folk.”

Some of the most famous artists of the contemporary folk movement include Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Simon & Garfunkel, The Byrds, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and James Taylor. These artists brought folk music to a wider audience by incorporating it into popular culture through their music.

The contemporary folk scene continues to grow and evolve, with new artists emerging all the time. If you’re looking for some great contemporary folk music to add to your collection, here are just a few of the many artists worth checking out.

The Folk Music of Today

Unlike the music of the past, contemporary folk music is marked by its diversity. It crosses all genres, from traditional to pop, and everything in between. This type of music is also more reflective of our society today, with artists singing about topics that are relevant to our lives. If you’re looking for something new to listen to, give contemporary folk music a try. You might just find your new favorite artist.

The Americana Movement

The Americana music movement is a reaction to the perceived artificiality and shallowness of mainstream country music. It takes its name from the magazine that was one of the first to document and promote the genre, spurred on by the critical success of several albums that merged traditional folk with country, blues, rock and other forms

Americana music is rooted in the traditional music of America, including folk, blues, bluegrass, old-timey music, gospel and more. But it also includes elements of more contemporary genres like rock, indie and alternative. In addition to being a musical genre, Americana is also sometimes used as a catch-all term for anything that’s considered down-to-earth or authentic.

The Americana music movement began in the 1980s and ’90s as a reaction to the overproduced and formulaic sound of mainstream country music. Artists like Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and Lyle Lovett were making records that incorporated traditional folk, blues and other genres into their own unique blends

In recent years, Americana has become one of the most popular genres in music. Thanks to artists like Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers and The Avett Brothers, Americana has found a whole new generation of fans.

The New Folk Movement

The New Folk Movement is a music genre that began in the early 1960s with the aim of reviving the traditional folk music of the early 20th century. The movement started in the United States and quickly spread to other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. New Folk performers often use acoustic instruments and sing traditional folk songs, as well as original compositions. The style is sometimes also referred to as Contemporary Folk or Traditional Folk.

Some of the most popular New Folk artists include Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, and James Taylor. Dylan and Mitchell in particular are often credited with helping to revive interest in folk music during the 1960s. The New Folk Movement had a significant impact on popular music and culture throughout the world and continues to influence performers today.

The Indie Folk Movement

Over the past decade or so, there has been a growing movement in the music industry towards what is known as “indie folk.” Indie folk is a type of music that often combines elements of traditional folk music with modern, independent sensibilities. This can result in a sound that is both familiar and new at the same time.

Some of the most popular indie folk artists of today include Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, and Iron & Wine. These artists have helped to bring this genre of music to the mainstream and have shown that it can be both commercially successful and artistically valid.

If you’re looking for something new to listen to, be sure to check out some of the great indie folk music that’s out there today!

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