FolkWorld Issue 34 11/2007; Article by Walkin' T:-)M

A Decade of Folk A Decade of Folk

A Decade of Folk

Folk Music Webzines

There are paper magazines about folk and world music. There are websites of print magazines. But are there any web only magazines in the internet?
Sandy Lopicic Orkestra, Concerto Magazine German Folk Rock, Dirty Linen Magazine Folk&Musik Magazine Hubert von Goisern, Folker! Magazine Mekons, fRoots Magazine Kepa Junkera, Interfolk Magazine Karan Casey, Irish Music Magazine Sofia Karlsson, Lira Magazine Spiers & Boden, Living Tradition magazine Pot, van Lienen & Baumgarten, Newfolksounds magazine Old Crow Medicine Show, No Depression Magazine Natalie MacMaster, Penguineggs Magazine Shane MacGowan, Rock'n'Reel Värttinä, Sing Out Magazine Trad & Now Magazine Terreneuvas, Trad Magazine
Indeed, there are trillions of sites covering specific genres or regions, but even after 15 years of the world wide web there is very little that covers the whole spectrum of traditional, folk, world and roots music.

On the other side of the Western Ocean RootsWorld is listening to the planet. It is a world music webzine from New Haven, Connecticut, that has been started in 1993 by Cliff Furnald. It might well have been the first music webzine at all. As RootsWorld boast, pretty much at the dawn of both internet publishing and the term world music. In those 15 years, RootsWorld has assembled an impressive archive, covering music from all over the world, be it traditional folk music, or jazz and rock hybrids. In 2001 Cliff Furnald started CDRoots, a retail web site for selling recordings otherwise not available in the U.S.

The musical focus of Green Man Review from Portland, Oregon, is on music in all its aspects from the truly trad to the latest innovations. Green Man provides reviews of CD's and books, live performances and even fantasy and mystery films. Its archives contain reviews of over 16,000 items, they claim, including over 9,000 CDs and more than 6,000 books. Green Man -- just like ourselves -- is proud of having no financial interests and receiving no monetary subsidies.

The British Musical Traditions for traditional music throughout the world had been a print magazine, first published in 1983 running to 12 editions before folding in 1994. On Christmas Eve 1996 Musical Traditions started again as a webzine. edited by Rod Stradling. Musical Traditions did also produce cassettes and CD's, featuring local singers from Suffolk and Sussex. A double CD of Irish sean-nos singer Joe Heaney produced by Musical Traditions has been published by Topic Records and Cló Iar-Chonnachta in 2000. Its catalogue has increased to over 40 CD's. Musical Traditions Records is also selling selected CD's from the Topic catalogue.

Pay the Reckoning

Musical Traditions' content is spanning the entire globe. The webzine contains over 200 main articles, 55 shorter enthusiasms articles, around 800 reviews, over 2,500 photos and over 1,300 sound clips. Musical Traditions noticed academics commenting that articles, reviews, etc. in the magazine are difficult to cite in academic works, and voiced a concern about the long-term security of the material because of the transitory nature of the electronic media and of the internet in particular.
This prompted Musical Traditions to regularly publish a CD-ROM based version of the webzine. Musical Traditions is presently examining to produce E-CD's which would contain articles with audio tracks of associated music. One proposal is Scott Skinner and other performers' 78rpm recordings.

FolkWorld, the Home of European Music, with both German and English content, is still the biggest webzine for folk, roots and world music from the German speaking countries. Probably the biggest in Continental Europe. Both Abwegslung, published by musicians Merit Zloch and Simon Wascher of the group Bilwesz, and Folkig started with reports and reviews from the German folk scene. The Tradivarium website by Viennese fiddler Stephan 'Stoney' Steiner of Hotel Palindrone provides a lot of information about the Austrian folk, roots and world music scene.

To conclude with, one thing is certainly true for any of those webzines, as Green Man points out:

We're very interested in reviewing releases of books, music, videos, and other things from both independent artists and major companies. It is generally picked up fairly soon by web search engines such as Google. It's far more likely than not that it will be ranked at the top of a search. A review or interview reaches readers everywhere -- be it right now or decades from now. We reach a quarter of a million or so unique readers every month; readers who attend concerts and buy books, DVD's and CD's!


We do not apologize for reviews that are not positive. If it's shite, we'll say so, period. If we say it's good, you know it's bloody good! As we've said, we don't have to do reviews just to sell product in order to underwrite our enterprise.

Photo Credits: (1) Sandy Lopicic Orkestra, Concerto Magazine, (2) German Folk Rock, Dirty Linen Magazine, (3) Folk&Musik Magazine, (4) Hubert von Goisern, Folker! Magazine, (5) Mekons, fRoots Magazine, (6) Kepa Junkera, Interfolk Magazine, (7) Karan Casey, Irish Music Magazine, (8) Sofia Karlsson, Lira Magazine, (9) Spiers & Boden, Living Tradition magazine, (10) Pot, van Lienen & Baumgarten, Newfolksounds magazine, (11) Old Crow Medicine Show, No Depression Magazine, (12) Natalie MacMaster, Penguineggs Magazine, (13) Shane MacGowan, Rock'n'Reel Magazine, (14) Värttinä, Sing Out Magazine, (15) Trad & Now Magazine, (16) Terreneuvas, Trad Magazine (from websites).

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© The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld; Published 11/2007

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