Does Folk Music HAVE to Make a Difference?

After I mailed the last Folk Alley Chat, I had a couple of listeners E-mail me to say that they felt, especially with everything that is happening in the world, that folk music should be more responsive and responsible. They cited artists like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger who built repertoires out of songs that represented the working poor and downtrodden. And then came Dylan’s introspection, and folk music changed forever. So, what’s the answer? More songs about war and the plight of the poor or music that touches a universal truth about who we all are deep inside? Should musicians be honor-bound to carry a torch for the less fortunate to be considered Folk?

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