News – U.S. National

Dan Hicks, Eclectic Acoustic Artist, 1941-2016

Dan Hicks, a swinging eclectic San Francisco Bay Area-based acoustic singer-songwriter and bandleader, who described his music as “folk jazz,” died February 6 at his Mill Valley home. He was 74 and had been battling liver and throat cancer for two years. [To continue reading this article, click on the headline.]

Arts Presenters, Performing Artists Converge on New York City, Jan. 15-19

Several thousand people are expected to converge on New York City, Jan. 15-19, for the annual conference of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP). Now in its 59th year, the global performing arts marketplace and conference will feature more than 1000 artist showcases, a large EXPO Hall featuring nearly 400 exhibitors, networking opportunities galore, daily plenary sessions and keynote speakers, and a wide array of professional development workshops and forums. Plenaries and select sessions will live stream free for industry professionals, artists and the public. [To continue reading this article -- including a listing of folk and roots artists who will be showcasing their talents -- click on the headline.]

Rachael Kilgour Wins NewSong Contest

Rachael Kilgour, a Duluth, Minnesota-based singer-songwriter, was named the grand prize winner of the 2015 NewSong Contest after performing, along with eight other artists, during a music showcase and competition finals held January 7, 2016 at Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium in New York City. [To continue reading this article and view a couple of videos, click on the headline.]

Bill Keith, Banjo Player and Stylist, 1939-2015

Bill Keith, a noted five-string banjoist who introduced a melodic style of playing the instrument and designed a specialized type of tuning peg that bears his name, died Oct. 23 at age 75. [To continue reading this article, click on the headline.]

Theodore Bikel, 1924-2015

Acclaimed actor and folksinger Theodore Bikel, best known for his performance as Tevye in the Broadway hit Fiddler on the Roof, died at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California on July 21, 2015. He was 91. [To continue reading this article, click on the headline.]
Remembering Jean Ritchie, 1922-2015

Remembering Jean Ritchie, 1922-2015

Jean Ritchie, the Kentucky-born folksinger, songwriter and song collector who helped to popularize hundreds of traditional Appalachian ballads and spur the so-called folk revival of the mid-20th century in the U.S., died June 1, 2015 at her home in Berea, KY. Ritchie, 92, was surrounded by members of her family, who sang at her bedside during her last hours. [To continue reading this article, click on the headline.]

Six Kerrville New Folk Winners Named for 2015

David Berkeley (Santa Fe, NM), Wes Collins (Chapel Hill, NC), Amy Kucharik (Somerville, MA), Tom Meny (Buda, TX), Anna Tivel (Portland, OR) and Becky Warren (Nashville, TN) have been named as winners in the 2015 Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Competition for Emerging Songwriters. The six winning songwriters were chosen from among hundreds of applicants following performances May 28-29 by 32 finalists during the New Folk Concerts held as part of the Kerrville Folk Festival in the Texas Hill Country. [To continue reading this article and see a photo of the winners, click on the headline.]
Guy Carawan, Folk Musician and Musicologist, 1927-2015

Guy Carawan, Folk Musician and Musicologist, 1927-2015

Guy Carawan, a folksinger, musician, ethnomusicologist and activist perhaps best known for introducing the anthemic protest song “We Shall Overcome” to the American civil rights movement during the 1960s, died in his sleep May 1 following a lengthy illness. He was 87. [To continue reading this article, click on the headline.]
Folk Alliance International Hosts Conference, Releases White Paper on Copyright & Royalties

Folk Alliance International Hosts Conference, Releases White Paper on Copyright & Royalties

Folk Alliance International (FAI) has released a white paper entitled Understanding Copyright, Royalties and Practical Applications in Folk Music. Prepared by the FAI board of directors’ advocacy committee and staff, and aimed at helping to foster understanding of this complex issue among the nonprofit organization’s membership, the paper will be presented on Friday, February 20, during the 27th Annual International Folk Alliance Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. To continue reading this article -- which also includes a preview of the conference, winter music camp and music fair -- click on the headline.
Grammy Award Winners Named In American Roots Music Field

Grammy Award Winners Named In American Roots Music Field

The 57th Annual Grammy Awards were presented Feb. 8 in Los Angeles, California. Prior to the televised ceremonies from the Staples Center, awards were given to winners in a number of categories -- including those that comprise the American Roots Music Field. Rosanne Cash was the big winner, capturing three of them. [To continue reading this article, click on the headline.]

Revered Folk DJ Gene Shay Retires

Gene Shay, who has brought folk music to radio listeners in Philadelphia and beyond for more than 50 years, signs off as host of The Folk Show on WXPN 88.5 FM on Sunday, February 1. His last show airs live from 3-6 p.m. EST (with a rebroadcast at 8 p.m. EST) and streams online at xpn.org. Shay will be feted one month later during a March 1 gala musical celebration produced by his friends at Sing Out! and featuring performances by artists who have appeared on his show. [To continue reading this article, click on the headline.]
Top Albums, Songs, Artists of 2014 (FOLKDJ-L)

Top Albums, Songs, Artists of 2014 (FOLKDJ-L)

New York-based female Americana roots trio Red Molly had the most-played album (The Red Album) on folk radio during 2014, while Indiana-based singer-songwriter Tim Grimm had the most-played song (“King of the Folksingers”), according to charts compiled by Richard Gillmann from radio playlists submitted to FOLKDJ-L, an electronic discussion group for DJs and others interested in all folk-based music on the radio. Pete Seeger, the American folk music icon who died last January at 94, was the most-played artist. [The 2014 year-end FOLKDJ-L charts, which are based on reported airplay by 184 different radio DJs, are posted on AcousticMusicScene.com with permission. To view them, click on the headline.]