“People's Picks” is a new monthly playlist series curated by musicians and other prominent friends of Folkways. Guest curators delve into our collection of recordings “of, by, and for the people” and create a personal take on what the music means to them.
Routes to American Musical Treasures
by Kate Hanks
Folkways curator and archivist Jeff Place’s playlist illustrates the depth of American bluegrass, old, and other instrumentalist masters....
Growing Up: Musical Memories of a California Childhood
by Kate Hanks
For a younger perspective on the National Heritage Fellows, an American Folk program intern picks her standout songs...
American Latino National Heritage Fellows
by Daniel Sheehy
The Latino National Heritage Fellows reflect major areas of musical accomplishment in Latino USA, including flagship regional traditions such as Tejano, New Mexican, Puerto Rican, and...
Sound Introductions: Meet the National Heritage Fellows
by Cliff Murphy
This playlist is the first in a series promoting the 2017 Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s program American Folk: Celebrating the NEA National Heritage Fellows...
A Polyrhythmic Tour with Wild Belle’s Elliot Bergman
by Elliot Bergman
Whether in the sparse reggae-influenced beats of sibling-duo Wild Belle or in the expansive horns of “post-afrobeat” band NOMO, Elliot Bergman...
Sounds of California
by Betto Arcos
California is a land of musical riches. After all, the so-called Golden State has been a destination for immigrants from all over the world...
World-Expanding Sounds with Sylvan Esso
by Sylvan Esso
Indie pop duo Sylvan Esso has garnered both critical and popular acclaim for their expert pairing of gentle folk vocals with textured electronic production...
Behind Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Roots of Will Oldham
by Will Oldham
Will Oldham’s career has never strayed far from American folk mythology. Long before he was known as the offbeat troubadour of Palace Brothers, Palace Songs, Palace Music, and Bonnie “Prince” Billy fame...
Singing Soul Food
by The Southern Foodways Alliance
The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. We are a member-supported nonprofit institution of the Center...
The Black Twig Pickers’ Picks
by The Black Twig Pickers
The Black Twig Pickers are an emergent Appalachian old-time string band from Virginia and North Carolina who draw inspiration from both traditional and experimental sources...
Zooglobble Approved Folkways Songs for Kids
by Stefan Shepherd
Stefan Shepherd of Zooglobble knows good kids’ music when he hears it. He’s been writing about “music you and your family can sing, dance, and groove to” on his acclaimed site Zooglobble...
Warren Defever’s World of Sound
by Warren Defever
Detroit-based musician and producer Warren Defever’s music and engineering work has intersected with Smithsonian Folkways since he first heard recordings of Woody Guthrie as a child...
A Southern Songs Playlist
by Valerie June
Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Valerie June grew up in Tennessee, between the small towns of Humboldt and Jackson, moving to Memphis after finishing high school...
An Introduction to A Dissident Gardens Audio Companion
by Jonathan Lethem
Writer Jonathan Lethem's books almost always offer a lesson in the pop culture of their place and time, even while his characters can straddle the line between parody and dead-on representation...
Selections from BRI's Virginia Traditions Series
by Daniel Bachman
The nine albums in the Virginia Traditions series (recently acquired from the Blue Ridge Institute) feature indelible recordings of the state’s traditional music spanning the 1920s through the 1980s...