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Folk Music Thrives on XM Satellite Radio's "The Village"



Updated January 23, 2007
I’ve always enjoyed folk music and it runs in my family: when I was a teenager I was in a folk-rock band and my brother, Roger Deitz, has sung folk music professionally for a long time.

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 XM’s "The Village"/channel 15 and am pleased to say it deserves high marks. It’s low-key yet the blend of old and new folks songs keeps the listener moving forward and never bored.

But, don’t 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 (I’m 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.

Dylan Shines

Then there’s "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 I’m 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: it’s uniquenesses cradles every word he speaks and helps to create a listening experience solely individual. Plus, it’s 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 Dylan’s previous accomplishments weren’t enough, this just proves he’s 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.

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