Feed Your Ears: Avant Folk

There was a time in the sixties when being into folk music was cool. Then there was a long, long time when it wasn't. Now, it seems, folk is back with the guitar front and centre. This post focusses on American artists; the British scene is seeing a similar resurgence but in a rather different way.

Let's start with the very low-key, improvisational Texas duo Charalambides:

Here's Badgerlore, "the great tribal council of the so-called 'Freak Folk' movement", a sort of supergroup of people you've probably never heard of including Ben Chasny (a.k.a. the awesome Six Organs of Admittance) and Tom Carter of the aforementioned Charalambides:

Here are the Sun City Girls, channelling psyched-out Americana and bad whistling:

Here's the excellent Seattle-based guitarist who calls himself Sir Richard Bishop, founder member of the Sun City Girls, merging a very eclectic blend of influences with total commitment:

Finally, one that has no guitars on it and is British rather than American but that I couldn't resist anyway. Here's the avant garde vocalist Phil Minton, accompanied by legendary pianist Veryan Weston, doing a very personal interpretation of the traditional song "The Cutty Wren". For an idea of what the lyrics are about start here.