In the Folk Alley MEMBER Spotlight: Joy Cipriano

Our 2024 Spring Fund Drive is underway! Are you a member? SHOULD you be a member? Well, if you listen to Folk Alley and if you appreciate the unique mix of music you hear, 24/7, the answer is a resounding yes. Please donate today!

This spring, we wanted to spend some time honoring the people who make Folk Alley possible: our generous members! Members have been supporting Folk Alley with voluntary financial contributions since we first started streaming back in 2003. We rely on the support of our members, many of whom have been supporters from the very beginning.

All month long, you’ll get to know some of Folk Alley’s most devoted members. We’re so glad to have the chance to shine a spotlight on the folks who really matter — our members, who make Folk Alley possible for all of us!

This week, get to know Joy Cipriano!

Where do you listen to Folk Alley and how did you discover it?

JC: Where do I listen to Folk Alley? EVERYWHERE!!!!! I have it on every device I own. I listen at the Y, on a walk, at work, at home, in the car. I take it wherever I go!!!! I started listening to Folk Alley in late 2003, early 2004. I was hooked from the start!!!! I was not supposed to stream music at work, but the IT Director turned me on to Folk Alley – and he was an even older “Folkie” so I figured I was ok and I could always blame him! 😊 I fell in love at first listen and have never stopped.

How long have you been listening to folk music — and what do you love about it?

JC: I have been a “Folkie” since middle school when our family attended the folk mass at a seminary in Washington, DC. The brothers would come to our house on Saturday evenings for a family dinner and play music. Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Pete Seeger, Leonard Cohen, Joan Baez were all “regulars.” I was drawn to the words and stories as much as the guitars. And I was all about the protest songs and civil rights music and defending others that were treated poorly. Those touched my heart and soul. Fifty plus years later, I am still a devoted “Folkie.”

Folk Alley gives me all that music. I hear the oldies but goodies. I hear people on Folk Alley before pop channels or TV late shows discover them – like Tracy Chapman, Mumford and Sons, Rhiannon Giddens. And Folk Alley keeps offering me new music and artists that I am discovering and enjoying so much – like Joy Oladokun, William Prince, Jaimee Harris… I open a stream and suddenly I am in Africa or Brazil or Japan or Jamaica – I go around the world with Folk Alley without ever leaving my desk.

If you were trying to convince someone to support Folk Alley as a new member, what would you say?

JC: Folk Alley is my addiction and I can’t get enough of it. I have to contribute to keep the music that I love so much a part of my life. I need Folk Alley. And donations help make that happen!

If someone has a love of music – all kinds of music – then I would say to give Folk Alley a chance. Go to the many streams. Listen, not just to one song, but enjoy days of hearing the different styles and artists that come through Folk Alley. If you find yourself going back to Folk Alley again and again (which I believe people will), then donate – it doesn’t matter how much! But the more you enjoy, the more you want to keep the music coming.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

JC: Thank you to everyone helping to keep this music alive. Thank you to all the artists who still make this very special kind of music. Folk music did not die with the ’60s. It is alive and well on Folk Alley!!!!


See below for some of Joy’s favorite songs! She says: “My favorite songs depend upon how I feel at the moment! And that changes day to day, sometimes minute to minute. Thankfully, Folk Alley has a wonderful number of streams and I can go from one ‘feeling’ to the other and listen to the stream that fits my mood! I do know that I always enjoy listening to:

“Diamonds and Rust” — Joan Baez

“I love almost anything by Joan Baez…but especially this one.”

“Someone Else’s Prayer” — Mary Chapin Carpenter

“Both Sides Now” — Joni Mitchell

“Both Sides Now” — Judy Collins

“Carolina in My Mind” — James Taylor

“If We Were Vampires” — Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

“I dearly love my husband and this one speaks to the kind of love that is learned by decades, not the first years.”

“Fast Car” — Tracy Chapman

“So much of her music I love and discovered through Folk Alley! I have worked with the homeless and developed housing options for people with behavioral health issues who are homeless and this song is something I see in way too many women I have worked with over the decades. It breaks my heart every time.”

“Who Knows Where the Time Goes” — Sandy Denny

“When You Miss Someone” — William Prince

“I just started to listen to him, thanks to Folk Alley!”

“April Come She Will” — Paul Simon

“I’ve Just Seen a Face” — The Beatles 

“This is the only bluegrass song I can think of that I really love.”

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