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Folk Stories

49 stories found. Showing page 1 of 2.

Motor City Five: The five worst gigs ever of the Two Man Gentleman Band

By Metro Times music staff

Published: 10/6/2010

Types: Music, Folk

NYC buskers-gone-haywire who've created a multi-album career by staying drunk on banjos, be-bop, Mills Brothers and punk spirit, and have enough chutzpah to raise the ghost of Harry Von Tilzer!  Dylan and Willie love 'em; they're the most hell-raising act you'll see all year. Here Andy Bean gives u...[MORE]

For the sake of the song: Three decades in, singer-songwriter Jere Stormer can do what he wants

By Brett Callwood

Published: 9/22/2010

Types: Music, Folk

For 15 years, the Concert of Colors has celebrated much of the musical diversity that the Detroit area can offer, and it has become a highlight of the city's summer schedule. In recent years, the climax of the event has been the Don Was Detroit All-Star Revue, which sees the Was (Not Was) man assemb...[MORE]

This year's man: But first he takes Manhattan ...

By Travis R. Wright

Published: 5/6/2009

Types: Music, Folk

"Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." — Leonard Cohen February 19, 2009:Leonard Cohen's set to appear on an American stage for the first time in 15 years. We're in New York City — anyplace else would be blasphemous, right? The...[MORE]

Jonesin' for song: One Michigan dude every music fan should know about. Period.

By Brian Smith

Published: 3/4/2009

Types: Music, Folk

Aw, shit. It's a frigid Monday afternoon and songwriter-singer Matt Jones is at tonight's show venue in Columbus, Ohio, but its doors are locked. The joint's closed. Of course it is. Think about it: If you're some unknown dude out peddling your tunes, 35 cities in 37 days — road-dog style ...[MORE]

He shall overcome ...

By Bill Holdship

Published: 1/28/2009

Types: Music, Folk

If you caught the recent Obama inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial, you probably saw an overjoyed Pete Seeger leading the audience in a rousing rendition of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land." Seeger has received numerous awards over the years — a Kennedy Center honor, a Life...[MORE]

Twins, longing

By Chris Handyside

Published: 12/24/2008

Types: Music, Folk

Loretta and Julie Lucas have been making music together since forever — literally. They're twin sisters with a shared love of musical expression, and the Sisters Lucas appear to have the sort of telepathic bond that can make jams truly sing. The two have made a name for themselves around...[MORE]

Saturday still looks fine: Local indie popsters' solo 7-inchers

By Aaron Shaul

Published: 10/22/2008

Types: Music, Folk

Nothing's been said about an official hiatus. But since last year's release of the career-defining LP, Fill Up the Room, Saturday Looks Good to Me has significantly quieted down. Band mainstays Fred Thomas and Scott Sellwood have been spending their time cultivating solo musical projects via n...[MORE]

On the Download: Baby, let me be your one-man band ...

By Chris Handyside

Published: 8/13/2008

Types: Music, Folk

Now that Deastro's gone all big-band on the scene (with a rumored record deal), it seemed like an appropriate time to virtually visit with some of the ne'er-do-wells that populate that special place of DIY-by-yourselfness, aka the one-man band. (Sorry, ladies, there just aren't that many examp...[MORE]

Folkies on the side

By Charles Maldonado

Published: 6/20/2007

Types: Music, Folk

There's nothing special about any particular diner. They all seem to have the same basic elements: counter, cheap food, smoke-stained walls and, inevitably, one gravelly voiced waitress who's been there way too long. And Steak Hut, the little greasy spoon near the corner of Lafayette and Trumbu...[MORE]

Outshining Britney: Christina Aguilera’s countdown to classy

By Serene Dominic

Published: 4/4/2007

Types: Music, Folk

When it suddenly seems like game over for the pop-dance tarts, Christina Aguilera has somehow managed to snag all the props. She used to be two steps behind rival and Mouseketeer co-star Britney Spears, so much that her career seemed like a series of reactions to Britney's. But while the star ...[MORE]

Bill Kirchen’s Telecaster thunder: Ann Arbor-born twanger’s been putting dieselbilly in his hot rod Lincoln for over 40 years

By Brian J. Bowe

Published: 2/21/2007

Types: Music, Folk

Bill Kirchen's life changed dramatically that day in late-'60s San Francisco when he traded his Gibson SG for a Fender Telecaster.Kirchen's unsure of the guitar's exact age, though he knows it was made in the late '50s. Over the 40 years he's had it, it's seen some road wear — most of the...[MORE]

Folk you

By Eve Doster

Published: 1/24/2007

Types: Music, Folk

In many ways, the advent of the Internet, affordable home recording equipment and independent distribution have helped to save music. By taking the stewardship of the musician's future out of the hands of CEOs and by putting it back into the public realm, today's musician will find it a heck o...[MORE]

Head Cheese

By Metro Times music staff

Published: 1/10/2007

Types: Music, Folk

Not only does Emily Haines not fit the model, she doesn't want it. Knives Don't Have Your Back, the first solo album from the Metric vocalist and member of Toronto's Broken Social Scene, wears its piano hush like so many singer-songwriter albums. Its melodies are elegant sketches, perfect for ...[MORE]

Handmade happiness: This Christmas, Mittenfest celebrates home-brewed music, community and literacy

By Johnny Loftus

Published: 12/20/2006

Types: Music, Folk

Mittenfest's handle is inspired by our state's famous shape. But the daylong event with music from more than a dozen acts nestled in the thriving Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti folk and indie pop scene also counts Christmastime among its inspirations, and winter, which brings the kind of chill that mitte...[MORE]

Myth, mirth and fresh water: Is rock ready for these literate northlanders?

By Johnny Loftus

Published: 11/8/2006

Types: Music, Folk

Novi sprawls just west of the freeway tangle where I-96 meets I-275 and M-5. The usual retail, entertainment and residential features straddle Grand River Avenue as it runs through the suburbs on its northwestern meander toward Lansing; Novi really is the typical middle-American suburb. And ye...[MORE]

Transformer: Activist and publisher Tom Ness became the hyper-sexual femme songwriter Steffie Loveless. What now?

By Brian Smith

Published: 9/13/2006

Types: Music, Folk

Stephanie Angeline Loveless is knees-first on the center of her made bed, grinning coyly, comfortable in around-the-house lacey boxers and a purple baby-girl T. She removes from a wrinkled paper bag a gadget that looks like a prison built for a gerbil — curved and straight hard plastic bars...[MORE]

Idolizing Pearl Jam: With Clive Davis as sugar daddy, Pearl Jam is ready to reach out and touch America again. But instead of another glacial album, it might be quicker to submit Eddie Vedder directly to Simon, Paula and Randy.

By Serene Dominic

Published: 5/17/2006

Types: Music, Folk

The dynamic of music as a shared experience is lost on you iPod people. TV, food, X-Box games, porn, IV needles — you manage to share the love there. But music? That's something you use to shut humanity out. Ask a hundred people to name their favorite recording artist and you'll have to a...[MORE]

Head Cheese

By Metro Times music staff

Published: 5/3/2006

Types: Music, Folk

Annie Palmer writes calico love songs. On Wake Up Son, her debut EP, she explores her subjects head-on, plain and tall, embroidering modern melodies onto the rootsy sensibility that comes with her Tennessee upbringing. It's a sound much closer to Laura Cantrell's neo-traditionalism than any so...[MORE]

Romancing the shtick: He's more than a song and dance man, but will the girls understand?

By Johnny Loftus

Published: 4/26/2006

Types: Music, Folk

With his mess of curls, baby face and wardrobe of mismatched thrift store formal wear, Lance Romance is every bit the street-level showman. He looks as if he could be the director of a guerrilla theater company or a subway busker or a comedian at the DMV. And, in a sense, he's all of those thing...[MORE]

Bob’s back pages: A glimpse into sundry Dylan books filling shelf space

By Brian J. Bowe

Published: 4/5/2006

Types: Music, Folk

Trying to figure Bob Dylan out is a tough task — just ask the man himself.In a 1984 European press conference, Dylan told reporters: "I don't think I'm gonna be really understood until maybe 100 years from now. What I've done, what I'm doing, nobody else does or has done. When I'm dead an...[MORE]

Women folk: Detroit’s all-girl old-timey outfit surprises

By Eve Doster

Published: 3/1/2006

Types: Music, Folk

The Syreens can find the soft touch in even the toughest critic. For starters, they're one of the few all-female roots music outfits you'll see around town. And they also go great with biscuits and gravy. It's Sunday morning at the Steak Hut in southwest Detroit, and the greasy spoon is standin...[MORE]

Digging the roots

By Monica Price

Published: 12/14/2005

Types: Music, Folk

While many Detroit area musicians continue to wax poetic about the ’60s, Nick Schillace rhapsodizes about the songs of an older, darker decade. When asked about his influences, the 35-year-old guitarist, teacher and musicologist name-checks Depression-era country, blues and folk artists li...[MORE]

Christmas Kryptonite: Can anything new produced by Santa and his elfin laborers compete with our memories of loathsome music from Christmases past?

By Serene Dominic

Published: 12/14/2005

Types: Music, Folk

Each year, many critics ritualistically wrap up that season’s Christmas music. That it’s become a chore to do so in 2005 isn’t because of the serious dip in quality holiday fare. Quite the reverse — it’s because Christmas music has gotten too “acceptable” and...[MORE]

Head cheese

By Metro Times music staff

Published: 11/16/2005

Types: Music, Folk

Florida native Adrienne Young has come a long way since her 2003 debut, Plow To the End of The Row. Playing banjo and backed by her band, Little Sadie, Young fashions a mix of old-timey Americana, bluegrass and folk, much like Alison Krauss. With her latest, The Art of Virtue, Young continues ...[MORE]

What’s the freakin’ deal?: The broken boundaries of freak folk and Six Organs of Admittance

By Johnny Loftus

Published: 10/5/2005

Types: Music, Folk

There are all kinds of hyphenates living on the indie fringe. Post-whatever blabber metal, pre-soaked punk fuzz — the names vary. Basically a vaguely fresh sound is concocted in some bedroom or bar, and it’s just unique enough to warrant the message-board thread that argues over what ...[MORE]

Freak so unique: What are the great freak folk records of yore? Here are some to start:

By Metro Times music staff

Published: 10/5/2005

Types: Music, Folk

John Fahey – Yellow Princess (Vanguard, 1969), America (Takoma, 1971): The pioneering progressive folk guitarist has had an unquestioned influence on the contemporary freak folk scene, in particular the exploratory guitar work of Ben Chasny. Vashti Bunyan – Just Another Diamond Day ...[MORE]

A direction home: Lucinda Williams traces the heart and soul of her decimated homeland

By David Lee Simmons

Published: 10/5/2005

Types: Music, Folk

I’m going back to the Crescent City Where everything’s still the same This town has said what it has to say Now I’m after that back highway And the longest bridge I’ve ever crossed over Pontchartrain. — “Crescent City,” Lucinda Williams, 1988   Lucind...[MORE]

Open and shut

By Eve Doster

Published: 6/29/2005

Types: Music, Folk

Mama's not the only one with a squeezebox, and daddy may be glad he can't sleep at night. But businessmen looking for a quiet stay at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn this week are in for a surprise. As part of 2005 American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Festival, hundreds of accordionists and...[MORE]

Mitten state mythologists: Sea shanteys, Iron Maiden, and literate tales of Michigan living? You bet. And it could be the best record you hear all year.

By Gary Blackwell

Published: 6/1/2005

Types: Music, Folk

The five guys of Ann Arbor’s Great Lakes Myth Society are seated around a table in the Garden Bowl bar, nursing beers. It’s a Tuesday evening and the gents — clad rather anomalously in button-down shirts and brightly colored ties — are relaxed, talkative and gearing up for a gig later that night. I...[MORE]

Living protest: For his 70th birthday, genuine American rabblerouser Utah Phillips brings it all back home

By Eric Waggoner

Published: 5/4/2005

Types: Music, Folk

Ready? Here’s how it went. Several years back, Utah Phillips — folksinger, storyteller, raconteur, 51-year card-carrying member of the International Workers of the World, and ceaseless labor advocate — wrote a song called "The Orphan Train." "The Orphan Train" grew out of Phi...[MORE]

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