Re-thinking My Folk Song Fears

I’ve been cautious in my gigs about not singing too many of the folkier songs for fear of sounding like the group in the movie, “Mighty Wind.” Sure, I’ll lace the playlist with tunes like “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “This Land is Your Land” – but not too often.  But, then again, it’s amazing how many bands and popular artists cover the older folk songs. Take Woodie Guthrie’s song “Deportees (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos).” It’s about as 1960’s as it gets. And yet it’s been covered by everyone from Old Crow Medicine Show, Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and Nanci Griffith to Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen. I have to figure that, if performed properly, a song like this one can work fine even outside a coffee house with peanuts on the floor.  So get ready to hear a few more folk song gems.

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