But, until the advent of Satellite Radio, the only place you could find folk music on the dial was usually Public Radio - in little snippets of hour-long shows scattered here and there around the programming week.
I recently spent some quality time listening in on XMs "The Village"/channel 15 and am pleased to say it deserves high marks. Its low-key yet the blend of old and new folks songs keeps the listener moving forward and never bored.
But, dont let the easy sound of "The Village" fool you: the topics and content of the music spans the spectrum of emotion and thought from angry political messages to the introspectiveness of love and life itself. While listening to "The Village", I rediscovered my passion for folk music and the artists who make it the music of the people.
The mix of classic songsters like Judy Collins, Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and newer contemporary artists (Im still learning who they are) are painted like a portrait across this channel thanks to Program Director, Robert Aubry Davis and on-air personality Mary Sue Twohy.
Then theres "The Theme Time Radio Hour" with Bob Dylan, heard Thursdays at Noon ET with various encores during the week. The show I listened to recently featured songs about "Hair" and Im still humming "Bangs" by The Might Be Giants. I never heard the song before Dylan played it but instantly fell in love with it. It's this kind of discovery which makes radio fun again.
Dylan possesses a voice made for radio: its uniquenesses cradles every word he speaks and helps to create a listening experience solely individual. Plus, its so liberating to hear a radio personality comfortable and self-assured in weaving together songs from 6 decades ago or last year in a flawless stream of musical consciousness. If Dylans previous accomplishments werent enough, this just proves hes in a constant state of re-invention.
"The Village" pays proper tribute to the folk music genre. If you're a fan of folk - either new or classic - then you'll certainly want to check it out.