Sunday, September 13, 2009

American Folk Rock

Buffy Saint Marie -Codeine
In 9th grade my favorite thing to read about was the history of folk rock. I was always amazed that Buffy St. Marie had faded into the background when clearly she was the one everyone wanted to be back in the early 60s. Buffy was a Canadian born on the
Piapot Cree reservation -she is known not only as a musician but also as a composer, visual artist, pacifist, educator and socialactivist. Her songs have been covered by zillions of folk musicians and I even enjoy rocking out to the songs of her later career.

Bonnie Raitt- Angel From Montgomery
Most people my age know Bonnie Raitt for her later career but she was also very active in the Cambridge,MA folk scene in the 60s. She grew up as Quaker, playing the guitar and eventually learning from blues legends such as Howlin' Wolf, Sippie Wallace, and Mississippi Fred McDowell. In 1967 she started school at Radcliffe, majoring in African Studies, with the intent of movie to Tanzania to help end colonialism. However her music career took off and these days she uses that as a platform for political change.

Nina Simone- House of the Rising Sun
Nina Simone is far too much of a genius to fit in one category. She's actually probably more
of a blues or jazz singer. However she did do a bunch of folk songs and since everyone was ripping her songs
left and right I put her in this section. Apparently Bob Dylan got the idea to cover this song when he was opening
up for her on tour.

Joan Baez - Silver Dagger
Joan Baez has one of my favorite voices. Joan is also a life long activist and has dated everyone from
Bob Dylan to Steve Jobs

Joni Mitchell- California
I once listened to an hour long program on NPR of some guy talking about how he'd written his thesis/book about Joni Mitchell being THE musical genius
of our time. He had me pretty convinced by the end of the program.

Odetta -Live at the Newport Folk Festival
Odetta was known as "the voice of the civil rights movement", she was also an incredible important part of the folk rock movement- creating a
bridge between early blues, jazz, and spirituals and the folk revival movement of the '60s.

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