Mandolin enthusiasts Mumford and Sons have been on top of the world the past couple of years, dominating rock-driven radio with a folk sound that apparently touches the hearts of hard-rock bros around the world. Given that they have an apparently winning formula, one wouldn't expect them to change i ... More >>
Forty-seven years ago this week (wow!), a '60s folk icon by the name of Bob Dylan made his third and final appearance at the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, R.I. It was a highly anticipated set -- Dylan was the de facto leader of the American folk-music revival at the time, and his folkie flock ex ... More >>
Arthel "Doc" Watson, one of the all-time virtuosos of Appalachian guitar and a beloved figure in both the bluegrass and Americana communities, passed away Tuesday night Wake Forest Baptist
Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., a statement a statement on his Web site www.docsguitar.com said. He was ... More >>
Levon Helm doing what he loved in Woodstock, N.Y., in 2004Levon Helm, the Arkansas-born icon of Americana music, passed away Thursday afternoon after a long battle with throat cancer, his family said on Helm's Web site.
"He has loved nothing more than to play, to fill up the room with music, lay do ... More >>
Lead BellyIt's the last week of classes for most of us who are still in school, which means that next week is finals time. We here at Rocks Off feel your pain -- it's hard trying to cram for five finals on only 60 milligrams of Adderall. Hell, we have two projects due tonight by 7 p.m. and we ... More >>
Dave Alvin alerted us via Facebook shortly ago that British guitar master Bert Jansch has died. Jansch, who along with his band Pentangle was at the forefront of the '60s British folk movement, was 67. According to the Associated Press, the cause of death was lung cancer.
The Scottish-born Jansch o ... More >>
That fact that the CD Bob Dylan in Concert: Brandeis University 1963 (Columbia/Legacy) exists at all is something of a miracle. Dylan's brief but energetic seven-song set as a low-billed performer at the school's folk festival came to light only recently via a battered tape box found in the a ... More >>
Today, April 11, is the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan's first professional show, an opening slot for John Lee Hooker at Gerde's Folk City in Greenwich Village. It's also the golden anniversary of Nazi military Adolf Eichmann's war crimes trial beginning in Israel, but that's not really that sunny ... More >>
Mark C. AustinTonight at Warehouse Live you can catch Robert Ellis & the Boys with Mason Lankford and the Folk Family Revival, all for free. Ellis and his gaggle of musicians are ramping up activity ahead of their weekly Whiskey Wednesdays debut at the new-era Fitzgerald's on September 29.
... More >>
It's an odd thing to think about, but imagine seeing the Beatles on American television for the very first time. Imagine how different they looked from any other musician making popular music in the early 1960s. Or think about Bob Dylan, going electric at Newport, how scandalous it would have bee ... More >>
Sing Folk Songs to Bug the Liberals (1964, Greenleaf)The 1964 presidential election was a pivotal point in our nation's history. After years of the liberal leadership and acronym names of JFK and LBJ, Republican Senator Barry Goldwater sought to take the country in a new direction ... More >>
All too often, the "folk singer/songwriter" label is a warning shot, promising pseudo protest music, self-indulgent hippie strumming, mid-tempo banality, coffee shops in Boulder, sometimes all four at once. Elvis Perkins is not that kind of singer/songwriter.
For Perkins, the label is merely a desc ... More >>
When author and New Yorker journalist Alec Wilkinson first approached folk-music icon Pete Seeger about writing an expansive biography, the modest performer - who turned 90 years old Sunday - demurred. Seeger instead challenged him to pen a tome that "could be read in one sitting." The result, based ... More >>