A provocative article in the NY Daily News has taken a biggish stick to the current group of musicians sometimes called folk rock or indie rock.
The writer Jim Farber draws a line from the 40′s folk groups of the 40′s through to the current day as using acoustic instrumentation, and using the folk form to exound and explore more intimate and ‘authentic’ issues than some other musical genres.
And then he blasts the most prominent ‘folk’ group of today Mumford & Sons who performed at the Barclays Center last month, as embracing a kind of frat house cameraderie in their music rather than a more fully felt emotional engagement.
His article is good in that it accurately in my opinion comments on the common characteristics of what is currently called folk rock with previous folk music, a genre in which New York musicians excelled especially those of the 60′s and 70′s who gathered in Greenwich Village.
I think he does a disservice to groups like The Lone Bellow from Brooklyn who in both the way they sing and in their use of their instruments show a clearer musical and instrumental relationship back to the Woody Guthries of yesteryear.
So is he right about Mumford and & Sons? Music wouldn’t be music unless people did their own thing and that’s what they’re doing. It’s popularity now may not be enduring but people like it so it speaks to us now in a way that resonates. Music wouldn’t be music unless it was inclusive. COMMENT on whether you like current NYC folk music.