Take a deep dive into the massive & diverse Folkways collection with a cappella tracks from around the world. From sea shanties, sorrow songs, and yodels to ballads, work songs, songs of worship, and much more, Folkways Goes... A Cappella showcases the vibrantly creative ways that people sing.
When you listen to anything released by Arhoolie Records, you’re hearing the heart of a community being sung into life. Chris Strachwitz, Arhoolie’s founder who passed away earlier this year, was one of the 20th century’s most enthusiastic and prolific documentarians of traditional music, whose …
Celebrate the first buds of summer with Smithsonian Folkways. Each playlist from this bi-monthly series features 25 diverse songs and sounds - including deep cuts and long-time favorites - from the Smithsonian Folkways catalog.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’ve collaborated with the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum to curate a playlist celebrating women’s diverse voices, unique perspectives, and endless perseverance. The tracklist features voices like Angela Davis, Barbara Dane, Fannie Lou Hamer, …
In celebration of Black History Month, Dom Flemons curates this playlist featuring songs and sounds that showcase Black love and joy, including "Slow Dance With You" from his upcoming album, Traveling Wildfire.
Explore and learn about the world of sound and music found in the Smithsonian Folkways collection from the comfort of your little device. A Field Guide to... North Carolina was curated by Steve Weiss of the Southern Folklife Collection and Interim Music Librarian of UNC Chapel Hill.
Curated by Pharis & Jason Romero, a journey through one man’s banjo obsession. Jason moves slowly through the deep and beautiful forest of North American banjo music, meeting the greats and the obscure along the way.
Explore and learn about the world of sound and music found in the Smithsonian Folkways collection from the comfort of your little device. A Field Guide to... Appalachia was curated by Smithsonian Folkways head curator Jeff Place.
What a joy to look through the Folkways catalogue! I picked a lot of music that’s really influenced me, music from my own regional and cultural backgrounds, and some songs from people who mentored my friends.
I've spent a great deal of time sifting through old recordings of Black vocal music over the past two years. Fond as I am of our instrumental performances, there's a special magic that happens when we reach for harmony together without an established chord structure to guide us.
As a record label proprietor trading in diverse repertoire, there is no greater influence or inspiration than Folkways. For those of us releasing archival and new works in the remote ‘folk’ world, we are all standing on the shoulders of this giant.
I first learned about Smithsonian Folkways through my dad's record collection. He had picked up a number of those records while working as a gigging folk musician around the Virginia and D.C. area in the 60's and 70's.
I tend to listen to more guitar music than other types, even though I make a very conscious effort to include a lot of different sounds in my listening, the sounds that the guitar is capable of are still my favorite. Today these are my essential guitarists, making sounds with the instrument that …
The initial inspiration for this playlist was the work of one of my heroes, the recordist Tony Schwartz. There was something in the stillness and isolation of Covid that drew me back to his street recordings of New York specifically.
This mix is all Caribbean music, with a focus on stringed and melodic instruments and only including music from the islands, no continental countries on this playlist. I love this music so much, and have been doing a deep dive into Caribbean history...
I love making playlists. Always have. Total mixtape kid growing up with an unhealthy allegiance to the movie High Fidelity through my college years. Putting this together for Folkways’ Spotify page is a real honor.
I can’t tell you how excited I was to make this playlist. Mining their vast catalogue, I chose many of my favorites from their repertoire and placed them alongside various other songs that not only have inspired me, but that I feel are a continuation of those same traditions.
On this list is a title borrowed by Yo La Tengo, original versions of songs I first heard covered by pre- and post-punk bands, and a pork chop number that’s not the one that Michael (“Mike”) Hurley did.
I decided for this mix I would concentrate on some of the more bizarre recordings in their catalog, as well as digging deep into the Cook Laboratories archive which has thankfully been acquired by Smithsonian Folkways. Hearing these sounds out of context are fascinating on the basis of their …
Sometimes it’s the warm hum of folk records with socialist leanings that really soothes the spirit, other times it’s the romantic serenades of Luiz Bonfa & his trusted guitar. Take a break from the noise with a collection of tracks that offer us a glimpse of comfort and verity in time uncertain.
Before commodification took over, we had a wealth of truly unique women and men creating eerily beautiful songs that dealt with all matters of peril and uncertainty, of faith and fear, and of life and death.
I think this playlist is an accurate depiction of the music I listen to on any given day- some new some old, all hovering around folk with storytelling at the center. All of these songs have been crucial to my development as an artist.
Just hearing these voices from other lands and languages (and other times) I find hugely reassuring and encouraging. All these humans, all getting on with what they do. And so beautifully. Highly inspiring.
Because of the size of the catalog, and the humbling idea of “choosing my favorites” from such a large field of work. I figured I’d approach it in one of two ways. One, to pick a favorite subsection…and delve deeply into that specific group of records. Or, jump around, picking favorites from a …
Folk songs of all kinds, from all over the world, stories and funnies told and sung by men, women, and children, from all kinds of different backgrounds is what you’ll encounter on this compilation. I hope that you’ll enjoy listening to these gems.
As I was gearing up to write new music for my debut on the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, I was delving into the music of my youth, while at the same time discovering music new to my ears. This playlists is some of that music that perhaps influenced my writing.
Traditional Appalachian music may have reeled us in, but everything from early experiments in electronic music to Lappish Joik songs of Northern Norway to field recordings of an office fax machine to the sweet sad panpipes of Quecha music of Peru - keeps us agape at the vast creativity and …
The Grateful Dead, celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2015, have inspired a passionate and enduring fan base that stretches around the world. The band’s repertoire reveals myriad influences from traditional American (and a few non-American) genres, and band members frequently cited Folkways …
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