FreeWheelin' Music Safari

Listmania – My Top 10 All-Time Favorite Folk Artists…….

I have tried to stay away from lists on this blog. The main reason is that I find it very hard to rank artists. I think that’s because my favorite is always the one that I’m listening to at the moment and also that I know I’m going to forget someone. This list actually is a list of the “Roots” of my folk music listening. These are the artists that have been with me for the whole ride, from vinyl to 8 track, cassettes, CD and the iPod. Should there be a woman or two on the list probably maybe Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins Emmylou Harris, probably but these guys are the core!! This is the first hopefully of several posts that will become pages on my site. Let’s see there’s the top branches, artist that I love from the 80s and 90s and then the leaves from the 2000s! How about songs?? I don’t know if I can go there!! Anyway let me know who I forgot and then maybe I need to expand the list!!





Tom Paxton

Tom Paxton

I could fill this whole table with my favorite Tom Paxton songs. Tom can make me laugh make me sad and make me think. I made a quick playliat Spotify and here are the six songs I put on it….”Leaving London”,”Outward Bound”,”Talking Vietnam Pot Luck Blues”, I Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound”, “Cindy’s Cryin'”Here’s one of my favorites


Jerry Jeff Walker

Jerry Jeff Walker

 Jerry Jeff Walker aka Jacky Jack was born Ronald Crosby in New York. When I first heard his music he was a folk singer. From the moment I heard “Mr. Bojangles”,” “Ramblin’ Scramblin;”,



John Prine

 A while back someone posted on Goggle+ in reference to one of my posts that he never met a John Prine song he didn’t like, and for the most part I agree! I don’t think there are many better debut albums than John’s. And on most nights I work at Target near the end of the night “Illegal Smile” usually rattles around in the jukebox of my mind!Listen to: “Hello in There”, “Unwed Fathers“, “It’s a Big Old Goofy World”


Phil Ochs2

Phil Ochs

 Did you notice the absence of Bob Dylan?  I was a Dylan fan for several years. His Greatest Hits 1 & 2, Nashville Skyline and others are in my vinyl collection. But when it came to the songs that spoke to me as a left-winger in the 60s and 70s Dylan played second fiddle to Phil!Listen to: “Flower Lady“, “Outside of a Small Circle of Friends“, “Changes


Tom Rush

Tom Rush

 Whoa! What is Tom doing way down here! You can probably take the top five on this list mix them up in any order and I would agree with it. I have listened to Tom since the late 60s and the album that started it all was The Circle Game, which may be the top album on my list of all-time favorite albums!! He gets points for releasing a great album What I Know after a 35 year hiatus, but also losses points for it being that long!!Listen to: “Urge for Going”,”No Regrets”, :Child’s Song”, “What I Know”


Steve Goodman

Steve Goodman

 My second favorite all-time debut album my just be Steve Goodman’s self-titled album. I wore that baby out in college! Great songs full of warm, love, and humor. What a loss it was when Steve died so young!Check Out: “City of New  Orleans”, “My Old Man”, “Turnpike Tom” and “Yellow Coat”


Harry Chapin

Harry Chapin

 Speaking of leaving us too soon, Harry we still miss you!! Harry was always my wife and my musician to go see in the early years! One of the first concerts we ever went to together us to see Harry at the Great Southeast Music Hall in Atlanta. Great show! Was waiting for him to whip out a gun during “Sniper” such passion and emotion. Forget “Cat’s in the Cradle”Check out – “Mr Tanner”, “A Better Place to Be”, “Mail Order Annie”. “Corey’s Coming” and of course “Circle” “All my life’s a circle sunrise to sundown…..”


Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen

 My first introduction to the music of Leonard Cohen was the song “Suzanne” and at once I was captivated by the imagery created by his poetry. The first date I went on with my wife was to see the movie McCabe and Mrs Miller. I’m glad my future father-in-law didn’t realize or care that a young college boy took his daughter to see a movie about a gambler and a hooker. Leonard’s music fit that movie perfectly!Check out: “Suzanne”, “The Stranger Song”, “Joan of Arc”. Chelsea Hotel”


Jesse Winchester

Jesse Winchester

 Way back when, my then girlfriend, now wife told me to listen to Jesse Winchester, that he was really good! I did, she was right!! I have been a fan ever since. I  am s glad that I finally saw him in concert a few years ago. I never got to see Steve Goodman or Phil Ochs before they pasted away. Jesse wrote some of the simplest and yet beautiful songs.Listen to::”Mississippi, You’re on My Mind”. “If You Need Someone”, “I Turn to My Guitar”, “That’s What Makes You Strong”



Eric Andersen

 Eric Andersen’s “Is it Really Love at All” and “Thirty Boots” both have a place on my list of all-time favorite songs. In the liner notes for Violets of Dawn Andersen wrote:”Leonard Cohen once came up to me and said ‘I’m a poet and never thought of writing songs until I heard ‘Violets of Dawn’ and then I began to write songs…Kris Kristoffersen liked my sexy songs, my love songs…It helped him write the kinds of things he did in Nashville like ‘Help Me Make it Through the Night”. Good enough for me!!Check out: “Thirsty Boots”, Violets of Dawn”, “Dusty Boxcar Wall”, “Memory of the Future”


Enhanced by Zemanta