The Existence and Destruction of Folk Music
Read senior Peter McStravick's article for The Crusader.
Like most musical styles, folk's derivative draws from the roots of a particular group of people or an area, in this case, the southern-American working class (at least for the purpose of this article). One could even say that all styles come into existence from a revolutionary uniqueness. When brought away from these familiar settings, does the style still exist despite being driven for other purposes? For clarification: is folk music still folk when a popular band from England emulates the aforementioned style?
Personally, I believe that the "folk" title is bestowed too liberally because it is a filler word for a rather fashionable new style. Amidst a crazy music world where the popular scene is hoarded with many different styles and artists discontinuing a themed anthem this decade, this return to "folk" has sparked a large following. Bands like Mumford and Sons, Avett Brothers, Dave Matthews Band, and American Idol-born Philip Phillips have been presented with the title "folk" without too much hesitation, when maybe a new term should be used to categorize their styles rather than recycling an American classic. When you hear the term used in its original context, regarding an actual folk artist from the past, names like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, or Robert Johnson come to mind, where their music is a clear by-product of their environment via the Americana-folk style. Essentially, the idea of folk is referred to as a group of people from their respective town and/or family; the original folk music was directly connected with their home (making it appropriate for Phillip Phillips to title his new single "Home"). Even going further into history to folklore stories, peasants developed music distinctive to their homeland because it was a way of audibly presenting themselves publicly.