I would also include the Dillards in the list. Back Porch Bluegrass, Pickin' and Fiddlin', Wheatstraw Suite, Tribute to the American Duck, Roots and Branches to name a few.
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Philjolet, I hope you enjoy Appalachian Journey as much as I do, it is one for the ages. As for slower paced music of this genre, I can't think of anything off hand. Most of what I enjoy is of the upbeat variety. You might want to try Amazon again and when you are looking at these albums scroll to the middle of the page and browse the "customers who bought this item also bought" for different suggestions.
Rel2, I will check out the Dillards recordings, I am not familiar with them.
Here's a Bill Monroe box set that covers his whole career.
A must have for anyone wanting to dive into bluegrass music.
Modern bluegrass favorites are Alison Krauss, Nickel Creek, Ricky Skaggs and of course, the "Appalachian Journey" and "Appalachia Waltz" albums. I also want to give a recommendation to Ralph Stanley.
"Folk" music is difficult to define. I think Woody Guthrie, Odetta, Pete Seeger, early Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash are all great choices, but some people do not like these artist being called "folk musicians". As many might know, "Folk" can create long arguments. :)
I know that it's been played too much and received a tremendous amount of attention, but the soundtrack to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" is an excellent collection of songs that cover this genre. I feel it has earned it's popularity and I highly recommend it.
Ballan, Agreed, folk music is difficult to define these days. The albums I mentioned originally are certainly a hybrid of sorts and were written with obvious outside influences derived from a variety of music genres. I don't think any of these would even be considered traditional folk, at least not by definition. Maybe I should have titled the thread "Progressive folk recordings to die for"?
Have to agree with several already listed.
These may be from a different point of view, but great music & excellent recordings.
Jorma Kaukonen - Blue Country Heart
Bill Frisell - Nashville
Hank Dogs - half smile
Bela Fleck - The BlueGrass Sessions
Kevin Desabrais - Nothing but the Road
Jerry Douglas - anything he plays on
I would get the 3 "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" CDs. First is a 3 CD set [ be sure to get the remastered one, the original was unlistenable compared to the LPs] the second a single CD and the third a 2 CD set. Everyone from Mother Maybelle to Johnny Cash to Ray Acuff to whoever. I hate to admit that I am old enough to have heard Bill Monroe when Vassar was playing violin with him. Also check out the "Old and in the Way" recordings. Besides the original there are several others with alternate takes and different material that Garcia and the gang did at a local club in the 70s. Supposedly they met Vassar at the airport in California; he knew the others but knew nothing about Rock, on their way back he saw a large billboard with a Dead ad and said " Jerry, there's your picture up there" He had no idea who he was except that he was a good musician. Crooked Still is good also, their live CD has the best sound but is hard to get. I have a LOT of folk, too much to short list.
A few classics come to mind:
Death on the Mountain (Bill Watkins)
This Ring Will be My End (Loyd Turner and Family)
Mama's Grave (Dusty Mountain Boys)
City of Stone (Del McCoury)
The Hangin' Tree (Cecil Hawkins)
Our Love Died Tonight (The Pine City Ramblers)
...these are the best, but the genre is full of them.
If you like the blend of classical virtuosity and American traditional music, I've Gotta add the stuff Mark O'Connor has released under his own name. 30 Year Retrospective is good one that covers the whole gamut of his work. Heros is him playing w, you guessed it..... Another must have is David Grisman and Danial Kobiliaka, Common Chord.
For something a little different from what you describe, try John Fahey. His creative slide guitar compositions, which rest in traditional songs but play to modern sensibilities, may not be the type of music you're seeking, but they're contemporary American folk music that crosses genres. Definitely worth a listen if you're not familiar with him.
Doc and Merle Watson, Down South
Doc Watson, Old Timey Concert
Ricky Skaggs, Bluegrass Rules
New Grass Revival, Too Late to Turn Back Now or Grassroots (greatest hits)
Allison Krauss and Union Station, Live
Del McCoury, Del and the Boys
Emmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers, Live at the Ryman
Tony Rice, Cold on the Shoulder
Garcia, Grisman, Rice, The Pizza Tapes
Anything by David Grisman, Tony Rice, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas. S'all good, as we say.
Tony Furtado, Beyond Reach (banjo--now he plays blues dobro)
Bluegrass is really best live even though it's one of my favorite genres to listen to on my system. Go to MerleFest in N Wilkesboro, NC for the hottest lineup of live bluegrass. April annually. You could see any or all of the above musicians (who are still living, of course).
Enjoy the journey!
The Steeldrivers- both of their cds are excellent
The Infamous Stringdusters- all of their discs are great
Old Crow Medicine show- more pop oriented songs, but great fun
Brian Sutton- guitar player with Chris Thile and Mark O'Connor. Sutton's solo efforts are worth checking out.
Railroad Earth- bluegrass oriented "jam band" Their most recent self titled cd is great. I also like their live disc "Elko".
Swampwalker, I actually own several Mark O'Connor albums, American Seasons is one I especially like. 30 Year Retrospective I have not heard but will check out for sure. Another album I really enjoy is "The David Grisman Quintet", got it on vinyl and its excellent. I'll definitely check out Common Chord.
Hey.. all great titles you listed.
A few suggestions for you.
1/ Music For Two.. Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer. It comes with a 45 documentary DVD that is a must see.
2/ Chris Thile.. All Who Wander Are Not Lost
Terrific instrumental CD with Jerry Douglasw, Bela Fleck and a few others guesting.
3/ The Punch Brothers Antifogmatic.
Chris Thile's band.
Get the deluxe edition with 2 CD's and a performance DVD.
4/Jens Kruger.. The Bridge
Thanks for the thread