The Five Best Folk Music Groups You’ve Never Heard Of

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


We all know and love the big names in folk music. But what about the lesser known groups? Here are five of the best folk music groups you’ve probably never heard of.

The Duhks

The Duhks are a five-piece band from Manitoba, Canada that plays a mix of old-time, bluegrass, and Celtic music. The group is anchored by singer Jessee Havey and banjo player Leonard Podolak, who founded the band in 2001. The Duhks have released four albums, the most recent of which, “Your Daughters & Your Sons,” was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Folk Album.

The Stray Birds

The Stray Birds are a folk music group from Pennsylvania, United States. The group is composed of three musicians, Oliver Craven on guitar and violin, Maya de Vitry on guitar and mandolin, and Charlie Muench on double bass.

The group’s sound has been described as “a mix of traditional instrumentation with contemporary lyrics”, and their influences include Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Sam Cooke, Gillian Welch, and Patsy Cline.

Red Molly

Red Molly is a trio of female singer-songwriters and guitarists based in the Northeast United States. The band has been described as ” rootsy Americana with a modern twist.” They have released six studio albums and one live album, and their music has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and Car Talk.

The band was founded in 2000 by guitarist and singer-songwriter Carolann Solebello, who was later joined by bassist Abby Newton and drummer Shawna Caspi. guitars, clawhammer banjo) to paint beautiful pictures with their music and lyrics. Their harmonies are stunning, and their songs will stay with you long after you’ve heard them.

If you’re a fan of folk music, or just looking for something new to listen to, definitely check out Red Molly.

Della Mae

Della Mae is an all-female bluegrass band that formed in Boston in 2009. The band has released three albums, the most recent of which, This World Oft Can Be, received a Grammy nomination for Best Bluegrass Album.

The members of Della Mae are no strangers to the folk music world; they have all toured and recorded with other artists before coming together to form their own group. But it is their unique blend of voices and instrumental talents that sets them apart from other bands in the genre.

Della Mae has been praised for their high energy live performances, and they have appeared on several major television and radio programs, including NPR’s Fresh Air and CBS This Morning.

The Greencards

The Greencards are an Americana group from Austin, Texas, who have been making music together since 2002. The band is made up of four members: two Australians (Kym Warner on mandolin and Carol Young on bass) and two Americans (Eamon McLoughlin on fiddle and Tyler Burkum on guitar). The Greencards’ sound has been described as “a fresh take on traditional bluegrass” and “a blend of country, folk, and rock.” Their music has been featured on television shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Nashville,” and they have won multiple Grammy Awards.

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