This post is dedicated to ten folk artists that have had the most impact on me in my life. They may not be in your top ten but are some folks I truly enjoy listening to!
10 The Lumineers-Quite an enjoyable group, although not necessarily the most complex musically, they have a way with their lyrics that draws you into their music.
Favorite Songs: Stubborn Love, Ho Hey, Submarines, Classy Girls
9. The Avett Brothers-First saw them on the Grammys back in 2010 and recently saw them live in concert. Although I don’t feel as connected to their music anymore, they feature smooth chord progressions to go along with a story.
Favorite Songs: I and Love and You, Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise, Ill With Want
8. Of Monsters and Men-I had heard this group many times before but never knew who it was. They have some fantastic progressions and the singers play off each other very well.
Favorite Songs: Little Talks, King and Lionheart, Dirty Paws, Lakehouse
7. The Tallest Man on Earth-This is one of those groups that is hit or miss for me. Some of their songs are amazing and others just don’t do it. The good ones justify how highly I rank them, their better songs really had an impact in my own playing. In a way the style reminds me a lot of a younger Bob Dylan
Favorite Songs: Love is All, Little River, The Dreamer, It Will Follow The Rain, 1904
6. Mumford and Sons-This is one of the groups that really got me interested in listening to and playing folk music. There is something about them that really separates them from most other artists. I would say the passion they have for music and the songs they write is spectacular.
Favorite Songs: White Blank Page, Timshel, Little Lion Man, I Will Wait, The Cave
5. Iron and Wine-Personally one of my favorite groups, they write beautiful melodies and have the instrumental and the vocals that perfectly fit.
Favorite Songs: Flightless Bird, American Mouth, Naked As We Came, Jezebel, Dearest Foresaken
4. Simon and Garfunkel-Although some may consider this group classic rock, I always found them more of an extension of the folk scene, or at least the songs that they played. Many seemed to be ahead of their time and truly speaking to social justice issues in a way that most other artists couldn’t do.
Favorite Songs: The Sound of Silence, Bridge Over Troubled Water, The Boxer
3. The Head and the Heart-One of the other groups I stumbled upon as I started listening to Folk music. I think they have some of the best harmonies out there and the songs are truly a pleasure to listen to. They also provide quite a memorable live concert.
Favorite Songs: Rivers and Roads, Down in the Valley, Lost in my Mind, Sounds Like Hallelujah
2. Glen Hansard-Glen was probably the first modern folk artist I listened to after watching his film “Once” back in 2007. His music has both inspired me and helped me get through some rough periods in my life. Writing both breakup songs as well as uplifting ones, there is a song that can reach you in his portfolio. If there is one artist I would recommend investing time into from this list it would be him. The type of genuine thought and effort put into his music is unparalleled.
Favorite Songs: High Hope, Bird of Sorrow, Say It To Me Now, I Have Loved You Wrong
1. Bob Dylan-Although this may seem cliche, Dylan has had an enormous impact on my life and the music scene. The delivery and the lyrics he wrote may very well have transformed the way a generation viewed music and society in general. Even today, many of the songs he wrote remain relevant.
Favorite Songs: A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, Tangled Up In Blue, Mr. Tambourine Man, Simple Twist of Fate
What are your favorites? Share your thoughts below!