Originating from the 20th century, folk music is a composition of simple, acoustic-based music and lyrics that elevate common people and everyday events into mythic status. Traditional folk music is transmitted orally and often cannot be traced back to its composers, though the genre has evolved greatly over the years.
Although many countries have their own folk music in their native tongue, this genre often refers to American and British music that has been passed through generations. Contemporary folk bands take inspiration from traditional songs and can typically include fusion genres such as roots, electric folk, indie folk and folk rock in their work.
American singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie, known for producing many traditional, political and children’s songs, was one of the earliest recording artists of folk music. Other prominent names include The Weavers, Pete Seeger, and Bob Dylan, who relied solely on original material for his second album. This marked the beginning of modern folk, where folk bands wrote and performed their own music.
Australian Folk Bands
Early Australian folk music started from the bush music of the 18th and 19th century, when European immigrant workers sang about the harsh ways of life in Australia, including themes of war, drought, flooding rains, isolation and loneliness. By the 1950s and early 1960s, a big folk music revival had taken place among the burgeoning youth culture. At this time, folk music took on a broader outlook – although it still had its roots in the political left and union movements.
Contemporary Australian folk bands include Angus & Julia Stone, The Waifs, John Butler Trio, and The Paper Kites. All of these bands have fused a number of genres in their work, including indie rock-folk, acoustic, and indie-pop. Other Australian folk bands also incorporate a number of folk sub-genres in their work, such as folk rock, indie folk, pop folk, traditional folk, experimental folk, and roots.
No matter what type of folk music you’re into, you’re sure to find great folk bands you’ll love with Rainnbow. Get started today!