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Whats the difference between Country and Folk ?

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Showing 26-43 of 43 posts in this discussion
Posted on Apr 10, 2011 1:55:31 PM PDT
Mr Columbus says:
The lines between genres and sub-genres have been crossed, broken, ignored, blurred to the point where no one will ever be able to give a suitable answer. If you enjoy listening to something, don't sweat over the "genre". If you don't enjoy it, try not to dismiss or disrepect it (although that can be hard at times). Beauty is in the ear of the beholder.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2011 6:24:56 PM PDT
M. Walker says:
That would be considered Folk. The difference between the two has to do with the structure of the song. Country music is basically centered around the blues structure of I, V, VI (i.e. Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues", Merle Haggard's "Okie from Muskogee", or even Willie Nelson's "Crazy" or "The Night Life" [Willie's a little more complex than the other guys, but the basic idea of the blues is still found]) It really is fair to say that Country Music is white people trying to sing the Blues, and it's true, Country music really is heavily influenced by the Blues. After song structure the main defining difference is instrumentation. Folk songs are more closely related to old Irish ballads, structurally speaking, and of course they tend to provide a commentary [not always political]. Instrumentally they are very similar, and that is why they are confused and interchangeable...

The best artist to look at to get a feel for the difference between all of these is John Denver. This album represents country
This here best represents Folk

And to hear what Western music sounds like look for John's Wrangell Mountain Song or Wild Montana Skies. Country comes from the Southeast traditionally, whereas Western music comes from the Southwest (imagine that). Country is usually simpler, while Western music tends to drive on steel guitars, big band type arrangements that comes rather close to swing.

Hope this helps.

Posted on May 25, 2011 10:06:58 PM PDT
R. Pini says:
I have read and understood ( I hope) all the above. I would like to add that while FOLK music bears no specific geographic connotation ( every county or area of the world has its own 'Folk' music or songs), when we say 'Country' Music we think primarily of America. Or do we? I know I do, at any rate.

Posted on Jun 23, 2011 12:34:09 AM PDT

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2011 1:17:48 PM PDT
C. Batty says:
Elvis wasn't a country singer.

As for Denver, where is the twang? Not just vocally but in the instruments and production as well?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2011 1:19:05 PM PDT
C. Batty says:
Country includes black folk traditions (banjo anyone), as well as hispanic and cajun styles as well as rockabilly, punkabilly and punk.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2011 2:02:03 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 25, 2011 2:02:45 PM PDT
Hinch says:
Elvis wasn't specifically a country singer, but he recorded several country albums. His music also included rock, gospel and blues.

John Denver is classified as an American singer/songwriter. His career started in folk music.

Academy of Country Music;

1974 Album of the Year for "Back Home Again"

American Music Awards;

1975 Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist
1976 Favorite Country Album for "Back Home Again"
1976 Favorite Country Male Artist

Country Music Association ;

1975 Entertainer of the Year
1975 Song of the Year for "Back Home Again"

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2011 2:12:39 PM PDT
Hinch says:
You are correct!

There are black, Hispanic and Cajun artists in country music, as well as black, Hispanic and Cajun influences.

The first performer on the Grand Ole Opry was a black man.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2011 2:14:19 PM PDT
Hinch says:
Dylan is a song and dance man.


In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2011 2:19:28 PM PDT
Hinch says:
Country doesn't include black, cajun, folk, rockabilly, garage bands, and punk,
"except", "though", "there is some truth to that".


In other words, it does include all.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2011 2:55:07 PM PDT
I miss John
Your reply to Jim J. Donahue's post:
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In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2011 3:13:12 PM PDT
C. Batty says:
Not to mention the fact that you can find pretty much all of those influences on pretty much any George Strait album.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2011 8:37:13 AM PDT
Country / Western as labeled by officials ... Actually John Denver never considered himself a Country Singer but referred to being Western singer. I have always considered him a Western / Folk artist myself.... whatever he was a great artist, writer, singer....

Posted on Aug 12, 2011 11:46:45 AM PDT
Moonwandrr says:
I like to think Kate Wolf described "folk" when she wrote of the passing of Stan Rogers: "He took the stories of his people, and gave them back in rhyme."
However "country" is really only a prefix. Country-folk is defined by likes of David Mallett and Bill Staines, Country-Rock by the Eagles.
Somebody said Country-Western is all about self...the new labelled C/W certainly is, but if you want a dose of real, raw "country" check out Ian Tyson's album "All the Good 'Uns"

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2011 12:55:28 PM PDT
Love David Mallet, Saw him in Berkeley Ca. in '06.. He doens't come out West much.. He's a Mainer!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2011 10:23:11 PM PDT
Old Folkie says:
Merle Travis did a lot of coal mining songs in the 50's a song that comes to mind is (Dark as a Dungeon) that he wrote a haunting beautiful song. It was recorded by The Journeymen, a folk group at capital records. He has a whole album dedicated to coal miners.

Posted on Sep 8, 2011 10:42:26 PM PDT
Old Folkie says:
Folk music tells a story, whether it came over from Ireland, or was sang in the smokey mountains, or it champions a cause, anti-war, unions, human rights, children, politics, and the list goes on. It tells of lives saved and lives lost, it can be sad or up lifting and usually has beautiful instrumentals, banjo, and other stringed instruments. Been collecting it since 1958, it relaxes me after a stressful day. Country rock doesn't. By the way the first Grammy for country single was The Kingston Trio's Tom Dooley, mainly because they didn't have a folk award at that time. The trio jokes that they were a folk group that saved country music.

Posted on Oct 5, 2011 1:01:18 PM PDT
Cain Knobel says:
Country lyrical can the same as folk, and I know plenty of item sold as "folk" in the 60's and 70's that are just pop love songs. Folk to me is simple acoustic music with intelligent lyrics (even if not a story). Country isn't simple acoustic music. Add steel guitar or twin fiddles, etc. Just as Dylan went from folk to rock, many people to folk to country with little changed but the arrangements.
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Discussion in:  Folk Music forum
Participants:  27
Total posts:  43
Initial post:  May 12, 2010
Latest post:  Oct 5, 2011

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