Let the guitar sing – a folk music playlist

Liv Greene – “Wishing Well”
-If you’ve been a fan of folks like Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch, you’ll want to take a listen to Liv Greene. She’s the real deal. This is folk Americana music at a high level. The vocal is solid, the strings sing brightly, and the whole composition comes together with a timeless style. This line, “everybody’s got their way to cope, be strong.” It’s a great tune of a time of trial.

Gone Gone Beyond – “Coast”
-This ain’t your grandaddy’s folk music. In fact, the genre blend of Gone Gone Beyond is exactly what makes them stand out. There’s a fusion of traditional string work, timeless vocals, and then some electronic/modern elements in the production that put it in a new category. That said, the human voices do a great job of capturing that authenticity that we all crave. If there was ever a sound for the coming generations who crave the real thing, this is it. I’m excited for this subgenre to catch on.

Nan Macmillan – “Sapling for August”
-Sometimes I hear a voice that just makes me stop typing and listen. Nan Macmillan has one of those voices. The composition here with the guitar and piano reminds me of the church music I grew up on. Hearing this timeless style infused with beautiful, rich, literary lyrics fills my heart. I find this such a delightfully wholesome track; please listen and share. It’ll fill you with the good stuff.

India Electric Co. – “Statues”
-Years ago a friend introduced me to the progressive sounds of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. It was like I was looking into a kaleidoscope of sound. I had never heard anything like it. Similarly, India Electric Co. brings forth a wide range of complex sounds and rhythms in this new piece “Statues.” It’s got a sense of moving energy in the backing while the lead vocal screams of urgency. The full composition will make a lot of new fans for this emerging band.

Noah Reid – “Hold On”
-I’m a sucker for a good piano singer songwriter. Noah Reid won me over right away. The phrasing and melody are pitch perfect on this track. Reid’s message seems to be one of hope and perseverance. It’s about seeing through a difficult time until things get better. The sincerity in his vocal is really what wins it for me; the piano is great, but the meaning of the piece is incredibly powerful. “I’m singing yesterday’s songs wishing I could be with you tonight.” <—- Just listen.

Waiting for Smith – “Long life”
-This is a rambling folk song that you really need to hear. It’s about indecision, I guess. It’s about making good decisions with your life, I think. It’s mostly about uncertainy, maybe? I can’t quite tell. Jokes aside, this is a really nice folk rock tune with an ambling beat and an inspiring message about finding your own way. I’m surprised there aren’t vocal harmonies, at least on the chorus, but the lead vocal fills the room enough for me. “It’s a long life to sing a sad song.” Cheers to that, mate!

William Fitzsimmons – “Angel from Montgomery”
-This classic tune from John Prine has been covered by some impressive artists over the years. It usually has a “fill the bar room” energy to it, but Fitzsimmons doesn’t really DO that. Instead, it’s got the characteristic atmospheric and quiet style about it. I can’t help but think the recently passed John Prine is looking down on us with that big grin of his loving all these tributes. This is one of the best we’ve heard. It’s ok to cry, fam.

Taylor Kopp – “Hometown kid”
-The acoustic work on this tune is absolutely outstanding. I was thrilled to hear that Kopp’s vocal was also quite good. The combination, though, is some beautiful alchemy that comes together for a timeless folk style. Kopp’s lyrics feel like they could have come from any era. It’s about heartbreak, in a way, but it’s also this expressive almost musical mourning through the guitar. I admire the sincerity of this track; it’s an absolute treat, friends.

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