Hear the Best New Folk Music with Fresh Cuts Friday

Welcome to our new weekly feature, meant to highlight some of the incredible music Folk Alley’s own Cindy Howes will be playing on her weekly Fresh Cuts playlist. Each week, in this space, we’ll give you a taste of her selections by featuring five songs she’ll be spinning, and then you can head to the Folk Alley app or straight to the Fresh Cuts playlist and crank it up.

Bonnie Raitt, “Just Like That”

Bonnie Raitt is back with a tremendous album of beautifully written songs, which will surprise nobody who has followed her storied career. This tune, the album’s title track, feels like it’s been around forever. It tells the story of a woman whose life is flipped around by grace. Chills abound.

Dietrich Strause, “How to Be Invisible”

On his fifth studio album, You and I Must Be Out of My Mind, London-by-way-of-Boston-based singer-songwriter Dietrich Strause sings his way through the common themes of love and loss, hope and desire. “How to Be Invisible” tackles the kind of disillusionment many must have encountered during the past couple of years, wondering how to move forward with any meaningful steps.

Vieux Farka Toure, “Flany Konare”

The latest album from Vieux Farka Toure, Les Racines, doesn’t drop until June 10, so consider this one a bit of a bonus track. The album sees the beloved Malian guitarist digging back into his musical roots. According to a press release, the lead single is “a reminder to make time for love and to give your respect to love, for without it everything else we do loses its meaning.”

Abbie Gardner, “Only All the Time”

Red Molly Dobroist Abbie Gardner is coming at us with a new solo album that features this song inspired by Dolly Parton’s “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?” In the tradition of one song answering another, Gardner’s emotional vocals wrap around the admission that Dolly is never far from many people’s minds.

Oumou Sangare, “Kanou”

Beloved Malian singer-songwriter Oumou Sangare returns five years after her last album, with Timbuktu. Recorded during a period when she was caught in New York and then Baltimore during Covid lockdown, the album swirls with Sangare’s empowered musical prowess. “Kanou” is a languid love song heavy on the emotion and swinging on its groove.

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