About FolkWords Reviews
'FolkWords Reviews' - listening to and commenting on the latest releases and folk music. That includes everything covered by the 'broad brush' of folk. From famous names and the long-established to that huge raft of music that exists below the 'mountain top' of success - often only scaled by a few artists.
FolkWords wanders through the folk world. We listen to musicians, bands, songwriters and singers - the 'established' doing new, the 'new' doing different and those just doing their own thing. When we find something good we'll let you know. Alternatively, when you find something good that you think deserves wider exposure let us know. If you're someone we should listen to then tell us or if there's an artist you want us to hear send us a link to their site.
If you define your folk as acoustic or electric; traditional or nu, medieval or folk rock; Americana, bluegrass or country; progressive, psychedelic, punk or thrash. If your folk influences come from the West, the East and any points in between. However your influences ebb, flow and coalesce to create new, different, familiar or strange threads of folk. And however you weave those threads into the rich tapestry of folk music - talk to us, we'll listen.
What you'll find in FolkWords reviews:
The place to find new reviews: Latest Reviews
Contact us at FolkWords:
Album ready to launch? Send us a copy: Contact
Sending material for review: Review Submissions
Doing something in folk? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
FolkWords Review Policy:
Submit material for review: FolkWords reviews albums, EPs and DVDs - not singles. We only review 'new' material - older releases are rarely 'news'. So if you decide to send us a recording that's a year or so old it's unlikely that we'll devote space to review it. We are pleased to receive downloads (please read the paragraph below) or hard copies at our online or 'earthbound' addresses, which you will find on the 'Contact' page on the FolkWords web site.
What to send: We will listen to hard-copies or downloads. However, due to the distortions of mp3 samples if you have a CD please send that for peference. A hard copy also means the reviewer can review the entire package from 'sounds-to-artwork'; also there's usually more artist/ band information and frequently lyrics as well. Where artists' work is only available through download please send us an accompanying email with artist information, details of musicians involved, instruments played, track listings and lyrics (if available).
What you'll get: If we think the music is good we'll say so - if we don't, we won't. We reckon there's enough negativity in the world without adding more. If we don't have some constructive observations to offer we won't say anything at all - so if we really don't like it, it's unlikely we'll write about it.
Two requests: 1. Please don't send us material that's 'as old as the hills' - just because you've found us on the web and fancy another review of an old album doesn't mean we'll review it. 2. Please don't let your PR agency send us multiple emails constantly asking if we received their press release, intend to review your album or chasing us for a publication date. Everything we receive is considered - and we do mean everything - it takes time and not everything makes it on to the site.
Our guarantee: FolkWords reviews are free, honest, unbiased, fair, written without influence and without corporate contamination, and we're happy to stand by what we write. All submissions are reviewed on an 'as received' basis, so sometimes there's a bit of a backlog. Never fear if you've sent it to us and we've received it, we'll listen - and if we like what we hear we'll post a review.
Please note: FolkWords is unable to return any material submitted for review.
"When any song makes the tenuous and sometimes perilous journey from the writer’s head into hundreds of others and remains, it’s because there’s an infectious hook or a captivating melody but often it’s because the lyric either tells a story or makes a point. That statement can apply equally to music from three hundred years ago or to music written yesterday. Some stories and themes remain immutable whatever happens in the world.
"Although ‘the point’ of a traditional song often transcends the paths of time to remain relevant in the modern world that doesn’t mean that writers must remain there. They don’t have to restrict themselves to the past – there are just as many tough social, political and economic themes today. And if there was ever a time when songwriters could find a wealth of material to work with then ‘today’ is certainly right up there with the best. Countless songs in ‘the tradition’ record injustice, oppression, destitution, violent death and foreign wars. However, folk lyrics could just as easily decry today’s issues: the reckless financial abandon of bankers, the deadly spectre of nation-crippling strikes, futile foreign wars, the unfairness of public sector cuts, student loans or home repossessions. Take your pick there’s surely enough to choose from."
Tim Carroll - 2011
"Is music produced for commercial gain or because it has something to say? The jury remains firmly out on that question. There’s the divide between commerce and art. There’s as much of a split between style and belief. Some remain overtly committed to music for commerce rather than to music to communicate or music for art. Is this musical prostitution or simple common sense?"
"Music purely for commercial gain invariably fits into the ‘popular’ bracket; and that includes every level of popular – from rock ballad to rap. The equation also includes the use of music as a ‘star vehicle’. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that many use music as a vehicle to achieve stardom. Some make it clear that they want the fame not the need to make music: “I have no ties to the music. I just want to be famous.” With these emotions the desire to be ‘famous’ overcomes all others. Those who think that way would probably be just as happy making their name as acrobats if they had the talent and if acrobatics was the route to fame. Perhaps a programme called ‘The Acrobatic Factor’ would make that idea a reality – not a serious suggestion."
Tim Carroll - 2010
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