Folklife is all about traditions: creating new ones and appreciating the older ones. That’s why I’m so pleased to be a part of the Roots & Branches CD series. It continues a long tradition of sharing music with the public, but has evolved over the years to include emerging artists in a wide variety of musical genres (and brought to you on more convenient audio sources).
Pictured here, alongside the latest Roots & Branches compilation, is a Folklife recording on an LP from 1977. Like Roots & Branches Volume 4, only 1,000 copies were made, and just like today, all sales benefitted the Festival.
The 1977 recordings were made in partnership with KRAB radio, a much-loved community radio station whose tradition is kept alive today by Jack Straw Productions. You can click on the image at right to see a larger image of the track listing.
Though much has changed in terms of audio recording technology and album releasing, the heart of Folklife recordings remain the same. And the liner notes are just as true today as they were in 1977:
“Begun in 1972 as a prototype for regional folk festivals around the United States, [Northwest Folklife Festival] presents people ‘doing what they do to entertain themselves , and making things for their own use.’ It is unique as a grass-roots, all-volunteer festival, put on and for the everyday folks who appear in it, and s the largest event of its kind in the country. The Folklife Festival demonstrates that the traditional arts are for all people regardless of age or background, are non-commercial, and in their normal context are practiced in the home and community.”
–Kelli Faryar, Programs Manager research paper on nelson mandela