What is folk music? If we’re gonna use the term we need a definition, don’t we? According to Wikipedia:
“The original meaning of the term ‘folk music’ was synonymous with the term ‘traditional music’… the term ‘traditional music’ was given its more specific meaning to distinguish it from the other definitions that ‘folk music’ is now considered to encompass. Folk music can also describe a particular kind of popular music which is based on traditional music … In American culture, folk music refers to the American folk music revival…”
While Fiddlefreak prefers the original meaning, many people think folk music is ANY music played on acoustic instruments, especially by singer-songwriters (most of which is anything but traditional). In any case, if you lock it up in a museum, trad music will wither and die from lack of water and sunlight. American traditional music has deep enough roots to survive almost anything, and yet thrive. For example, a rock band might invite a legend of traditional bluegrass to sit in on a recording session.
The Raconteurs and Warner Brothers have just released a video of the band recording their song “Old Enough” live on acoustic instruments in a church, with bluegrass mandolinist Ricky Skaggs and country singer Ashley Monroe. Jack White (with the hat and black hair) never ceases to amaze me, from the his genesis in The White Stripes to the movie Cold Mountain to his collaboration with Loretta Lynn. Yeah, it’s a rock song, but dang it, this is also freaking folk music, so put that in yer pipe and smoke it. (Thanks to the Bluegrass Blog for turning me on to this one!)
GALLERY: View photos from the video shoot.
NEW VIDEO WITH RICKY SKAGGS
ORIGINAL VIDEO “OLD ENOUGH”