Smithsonian Folkways

In a sign of how music can cross social divides, the banjo, an instrument of African origin, became integral to the folk music of Southern whites. Classic Banjo collects tracks from the Folkways label by black and white musicians Read more

Album Reviews

Finland is home to a flourishing circle of improv jazz musicians. The latest CD from that floating cadre opens in fractured waltz time; one could imagine a couple, weary from sleeplessness and liqueur, dancing clumsily around the tiny floor... Read more

Album Reviews

An enduring cross-cultural exchange occurred in 19th-century Texas when Mexicans heard the accordion-powered polka of Central European immigrants and made the music their own. On their latest CD, the Grammy-winning Tex-Mex... Read more

Album Reviews

<p> The Silk Road was the ancient trade route from China through the Caucasus in the era when caravans carried commerce and culture across the world. <em>The Music of Central Asia Vol. 10</em> (released by Smithsonian Folkways) is the latest in a.. Read more

I Hate Hollywood

Pete Seeger turns 93 in May, but he already seemed like an elder when he played Maine's Bowdoin College in 1960. His earnest and rather studious approach to folklore may seem unfashionable nowadays, yet Seeger was a brave and significant fo... Read more

Album Reviews

East Los Angeles' Quetzal opens its latest album on an almost traditional note with a tuneful nod to Mexico, but the Spanish lyrics about ecological devastation aren't from the usual Norteño songbook. From there, the bilingual band moves Read more

Album Reviews

Although vampires have enjoyed a recent resurgence, zombies remain the Facebook generation’s monster of choice. They’ll be celebrated in all their brain-eating glory at this Saturday and Sunday horror film convention, which will feature a s... Read more

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