One of the greatest things about folk music is ability of audiences to actually grow fonder of artists as they mature. Even though we love younger musicians who are embracing traditional music, new releases from our favorites can really get us excited. June Tabor’s new album with Oysterband, Ragged Kingdom, serves up a collection of songs that struck a nerve with fans and earned the collaboration three BBC Folk Awards (with another for Tabor for Folk Singer of the Year). The music is like a fine wine – it only gets better with age.
The Chieftains are celebrating 40 years of performing and they have never been known for letting grass grow under their feet. Their new release, Voices of Ages, welcomes many musicians that weren’t even close to being born at the time the band came together for its first performance. Guests include the Punch Brothers, the Decemberists, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Imelda May, the Secret Sisters, Low Anthem and the Civil Wars.
Not every band is lucky to make it to 40 years. Little Blue Egg was released under the shingle of Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer but, as most people know, Dave Carter (the impossibly talented songwriter) left this world in 2002 at age 49 – much too early. His partner Tracy Grammer discovered a cache of unreleased demo tapes and these new songs keep alive a great folk duo, even if it is for just a little while longer.
Woody Guthrie also died much too young. In his 55 years, he forever changed the musical landscape of America. He captured the truth in folk music and left behind one of the greatest artistic legacies of the 20th century. A group of contemporary musicians – Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker, Yim Yames – have created New Multitudes. The collection (initiated by Nora Guthrie) adds tunes to Woody’s early lyrics in honor of Guthrie’s centenary.
More music added to the library from across the generations: