Hope, Beauty, And Community Bring Us Resilience
Wednesday, July 29, 2020, 4:10pm
What gives us resilience? It’s a pertinent question these days, with our country dealing with the twin crises of the coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism. While no recipe exists for resilience, we can find the ingredients all around us — beauty, hope, community. All these ingredients come together in one of the tracks from Simply Folk’s 40th anniversary CD, "My Bird Can Sing," by Willy Porter and the Carpe Diem String Quartet .
Elizabeth Cotten's Legacy Continues Beyond Her 80-Year Musical Career
Wednesday, July 1, 2020, 12:15pm
Years ago, a friend of mine, Skip Jones, taught me the song "Freight Train." Little did I know that Elizabeth Cotten was an incredibly influential musician, whose work, including "Freight Train," would be the inspiration for countless musicians that I enjoyed.
Folk Music From Our Neighbors To The North
Thursday, June 25, 2020, 11:20am
Our neighbors from the north have been sharing their folk music riches with us here in the United States for years. Now seems like a good time to say "thank you," with Canada Day, the country’s national holiday, coming up on July 1.
As Time Changes And Flows, Songs Do Too
Thursday, June 4, 2020, 12:30pm
Bob Dylan wrote, "The times they are a changin'." But when it comes to folk music, the music itself can change over time with what some people call the "folk process." A song can be passed along from person to person, band to band, with each musician putting their unique spin on the music. Over time, the song begins to change.
The Legacy Of Lead Belly Remembered
Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 12:00pm
A member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Favorite musician of Kurt Cobain. The person that Woody Guthrie called the greatest folk singer ever. The musician whose recording of "Cotton Fields" changed the life of Bob Dylan. The performer without whom the Beatles wouldn’t have existed. Lead Belly was all that and more.
'You Can Do This Hard Thing' — Carrie Newcomer's Music Encourages Us In Difficult Times
Thursday, April 30, 2020, 10:25am
We’re all doing hard things these days, whether facing exposure to COVID-19 as a frontline worker, dealing with unemployment or just not being able to see family and friends. Doing something difficult was a theme back in June 2015, when musician Carrie Newcomer performed her song "You Can Do This Hard Thing" in WPR’s Madison studio.
Musical Comfort Food Is Good For The Soul Right Now
Wednesday, April 22, 2020, 10:00am
In this time of the coronavirus, social distancing, and economic hardships, a little comfort food is a welcome treat. And if it’s nutritious as well, all the better. The same works for music, too.
Celebrating 50 Years Of Earth Day In Story And Song
Thursday, April 16, 2020, 10:55am
Earth Day started 50 years ago this April 22! A half century of activism around this annual celebration of protecting the planet’s environment finds its roots in Wisconsin and the people who have shaped the environmental movement over the last two centuries.
Singing Songs About Women Who Create A Better World
Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 5:10pm
March is Women’s History month, and thus good time to remember those women who, through the power of their hard work, intellect and creativity, came up with solutions to problems and developed innovations that made our world better.
Covering Some Of Folk Music's Most Famous Women Songwriters
Friday, February 28, 2020, 5:00pm
It’s been said that history is written by the victors. In truth, however, history is written by, well, the writers! And as March is Women’s History Month, I thought it would be good to focus on female writers, or more specifically, female songwriters.
Take A Tour Of The Blues, The Source For So Much American Music
Thursday, January 30, 2020, 1:15pm
The blues are the rootstock of so much American music. From rock 'n' roll, soul and folk to country, R&B and jazz and beyond, it would be hard to spend a day anywhere in the U.S. and not hear blues or the music that was influenced by the blues.
On Centenary Of His Birth, Folk Legend Pete Seeger Remembered For Musical, Social Contributions
Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 12:00pm
In a time of division in our world along political, religious, economic and philosophical lines, the 100 th anniversary of Pete Seeger's birth is a chance to honor someone who, as he once said, "sang for everybody."
Folk Music That Fits The Season
Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 10:30am
Christmas music, it seems, is everywhere this these days, from all-Christmas music radio stations to the background tunes played in the local grocery store. But there are a lot of celebrations taking place this time of year, and the music — especially folk music — embraces a wide range of traditions and communities.
The Past Is Present On 'Songs Of Our Native Daughters'
Thursday, December 12, 2019, 10:20am
Part of the inspiration for the 2019 album "Songs of Our Native Daughters" came from a tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. that Rhiannon Giddens took with her daughter.
Folk And Country Music Share A Common Rootstock
Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 5:50am
Folk music and country music have danced together over the last century, sometimes closer, sometimes farther apart, and no one knows that better than country music historian Bill Malone.