The Best of LA Folk Music

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Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Check out our latest blog post highlighting the best of LA Folk Music!

The Best of LA Folk Music: The Troubadours

The Troubadours were a Los Angeles-based folk music group, active in the 1960s and 1970s. The group was founded by David Blue and John Stewart, two of the most important figures in the LA folk scene. The Troubadours were one of the first American folk groups to achieve commercial success, and their influence can still be heard in today’s music.

The Troubadours’ sound was a unique blend of traditional folk, country, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll. Their songs were often catchy and upbeat, with clever lyrics that reflected the concerns of young people in the 1960s. The Troubadours were also known for their political activism; they were outspoken opponents of the Vietnam War, and their music often reflected their social and political beliefs.

The Troubadours’ success inspired other Los Angeles-based folk groups, such as The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield, to achieve commercial success. The Troubadours’ influence can also be heard in the work of today’s folk musicians, such as Conor Oberst and Jeff Tweedy.

The Best of LA Folk Music: The Byrds

The Byrds were a prominent American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple line-up changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn (known as Jim McGuinn until mid-1967) being the sole consistent member. Although they only managed to attain the huge commercial success of their peers during a brief period in the mid-60s, The Byrds are today considered one of the most influential bands of their era. Their signature sound blended elements of folk music, country music and pop music, which helped to create the genre of folk rock and set them apart from other groups of the time. The Byrds were also one of the earliest adopters of the electric 12-string guitar, which gave their music a distinctive jangle that became synonymous with the California sound.

The Best of LA Folk Music: The Mamas and the Papas

The Mamas and the Papas were a leading force in the California Sound, a musical genre associated with the Los Angeles area in the 1960s. The group was made up of John Phillips, Denny Doherty, Cass Elliot, and Michelle Phillips. The Mamas and the Papas were known for their close harmonies, imaginative lyrics, and their iconic sound.

The Mamas and the Papas released six studio albums between 1966 and 1968, including three platinum-selling albums: If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears (1966), The Mamas and the Papas Deliver (1967), and The Mamas and the Papas (1968). The group’s hits include “California Dreamin'”, “Monday, Monday”, “I Saw Her Again Last Night”, “Dedicated to the One I Love”, “Go Where You Wanna Go”, “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, and “Words of Love”.

The Mamas and the Papas were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

The Best of LA Folk Music: The Beach Boys

There is no mistaking the sound of The Beach Boys. It is California personified, a sound that has become synonymous with the image of surfer culture and the laid back lifestyle of Southern California. The Beach Boys began as a garage band in 1961, when brothers Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, along with their cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine, started making music together in their parents’ garage. From these humble beginnings, The Beach Boys would go on to become one of the most successful and influential bands of all time.

The Beach Boys’ sound is immediately recognizable: Brian Wilson’s genius for pop songwriting, coupled with the group’s innovative harmonies and surfing-themed lyrics, created a unique musical style that was both fun and emotionally resonant. The Beach Boys’ songs captured the carefree spirit of adolescence and the longing for something unattainable; they were both catchy and complex, summery and wistful. Even as the band members aged and began to explore more serious subjects in their songwriting, they never lost touch with their sunny roots.

The Beach Boys’ impact on popular music is incalculable. They popularized the use of intricate vocal harmonies in pop music, and their pioneering work in studio experiments laid the groundwork for subsequent generations of artists to develop new ways of creating music. They also helped to create the “California sound” – a laid-back, sun-drenched musical style that would come to be associated with Southern California in the minds of people around the world.

Whether you’re a casual fan or a diehard enthusiast, there’s no denying that The Beach Boys are one of the most important and influential bands in American history. If you want to learn more about their story or just enjoy some great music, check out our list of the best Beach Boys albums – you’re sure to find something you like!

The Best of LA Folk Music: The Doors

Back in the day, the Los Angeles music scene was fertile ground for a lot of different genres. One of the most iconic and influential bands to come out of LA was The Doors, and their sound – a blend of folk, rock, and blues – was unique and groundbreaking. Today, their music is still revered and appreciated by fans all over the world.

The Best of LA Folk Music: Love

Los Angeles is known for many things, and one of them is its vibrant folk music scene. There are so many great artists making beautiful music in this city, and it can be hard to know where to start.

If you’re looking for some of the best LA folk music out there, look no further than this list. From heart-wrenching ballads to upbeat anthems, these songs will make you fall in love with LA all over again.

– “The Ballad of Lucy Jordan” by Marianne Faithfull
– “LA Woman” by The Doors
– ” Morrissey Rides a Greyhound Bus” by Robyn Hitchcock
– “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” by Wilco
– “California Stars” by Billy Bragg & Wilco

The Best of LA Folk Music: Buffalo Springfield

Buffalo Springfield was one of the most influential folk bands of their time, and their music is still beloved by fans today. The group was formed in 1966 in Los Angeles, and they quickly became a fixture on the folk scene. They were known for their catchy tunes, social conscious lyrics, and tight harmonies.

The members of Buffalo Springfield were all talented musicians, and they had a unique sound that set them apart from other folk bands. They released three studio albums during their short time together, and each one is filled with great songs. If you’re a fan of LA folk music, then you need to check out Buffalo Springfield.

The Best of LA Folk Music: The Flying Burrito Brothers

The Flying Burrito Brothers were a country rock band, best known for their influential 1968 debut album, The Gilded Palace of Sin. The group was formed in Los Angeles in 1968 by Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman, both of whom had previously been members of the Byrds.

The Flying Burrito Brothers are often credited as being one of the earliest and most important groups in the development of country rock, a subgenre that combines elements of both country music and rock and roll. The band’s sound was a unique blend of Parsons’ “cosmic” lyrics and Hillman’s “jangly” guitar work, which helped to pioneer the genre.

The Gilded Palace of Sin, which was recorded in just two weeks, is considered to be one of the classic albums of the country rock genre. The album featured such songs as “Sin City”, “Wheels”, and “Hot Burrito #1”, which became one of the band’s signature tunes.

Although they only released three studio albums, the Flying Burrito Brothers were a hugely influential band, helping to pave the way for such subsequent country rock groups as the Eagles and Poco.

The Best of LA Folk Music: The Eagles

TheEagles are a folk music group from Los Angeles, California. The group was formed in 1971 by Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner. The Eagles are considered one of the most influential bands of their time. Their greatest hits album, “Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975)” is the best selling album of all time in the United States. The Eagles have won five Grammy Awards and have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Best of LA Folk Music: Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne is a folk singer from Los Angeles, California. His music is a mixture of folk, rock, and country. He is best known for his songs “Running on Empty” and “Somebody’s Baby.”

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