Hear the Best New Folk Music with Fresh Cuts Friday

A new year is upon us, and we’re excited about all the great music that will be coming our way in 2023. To kick it off, we’re going to take one last peek back at the year we leave behind, to share some music you may have missed.

Some of this week’s Fresh Cuts radio show with DJ Cindy Howes is pulled from our 2022 Listener Poll results. Some of it was released too late in the year to make anyone’s list. Some of it peers forward to albums these artists are ready to drop in the coming weeks.

Scroll down for some highlights or tune in to hear Cindy spin some “Fresh Cuts” every Friday! You can hear it on the Folk Alley app or website, or by asking your Alexa to “play Folk Alley.” The weekly Fresh Cuts radio hour, every Friday, at 2 p.m. Eastern/ 11 a.m. Pacific. (Or, if you can’t make it for the live show, click on the Fresh Cuts stream on the FA app or website anytime that works for you.)

Justin Hiltner – “1992”

This incredibly moving song imagines banjoist and singer-songwriter Hiltner being born in a hospital at the same time as a gay man is dying from AIDS. It is the title track of his album 1992, which dropped December 9.

Town Mountain – “Comeback Kid”

Asheville, North Carolina-based bluegrass band Town Mountain returned in October with an album full of their signature lower Appalachian style. This song, in particular, grapples with the reality of trying to make a living in the music industry, where some nights you play to almost nobody.

Nic Gareiss & Allison de Groot – “Banging Breakdown”

This song from Nic Gareiss & Allison de Groot’s 2022 visual album, The Thrill, is a wonderful example of the way they used music and dance to respond to the archives of musician/dancer Hobart Smith, born in 1897 in Saltville, Virginia.

Hurray for the Riff Raff – “Life on Earth”

This recording, released Dec. 21, 2022, was made in New Orleans’s Esplanade Studios, while Segarra played their song “Life on Earth” backed by local heroes Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Sunny War – “Higher” (Featuring David Rawlings)

War’s new album, Anarchist Gospel, isn’t due out until February 3, but she released this single from it last year—a duet with esteemed guitarist David Rawlings.

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