Basic Internet Resources for the Folk Music
Here's a list of internet essentials that every self-respecting
online folk fan should have on hand:
- If you want to use your computer for listening to music,
you'll need two basic software programs - it's easy to get, easy
to use, and it's all free:
1. For streaming audio, from radio stations to the soundclips
on artists' homepages, get the latest version of Real Audio's
Some browsers may already bundle this. For more info see my article.
2. To listen to MP3s that you download from the net, get WinAmp (PC) or
(Mac). For more info. on the revolutionary MP3 format see my article "How
to Use MP3." For commercially available software, see the MP3
- To find concerts in your area - or on your travels - use Musi-Cal,
the online concert calendar. You can search by artist, city or venue - and
you can even get them to e-mail you regularly. For details on advanced use,
see my article on how to use Musi-Cal.Also
check the links to other online calendars.
- Join a mailing list that suits your interests. Most come in digest form,
so you only get one message a day - and each digest of 1-20 messages includes
an index of topics to speed up your perusal.. For general discussions, there's
the Folk_Music List. Find out who's
got the buzz - this week. Many of the more popular artists have their own
lists that are easy to sign up on.
- If you love traditional music, you have to check out
Digitrad - an on-line, downloadable
database/application that puts words and synthesized melodies
to hundreds of songs at your fingertips. If you're a Mac user,
though, watch out - the download version crashes my system (OS
8.5) though the online version works fine.
- Check out the news and features of these top publications: Dirty Linen
features one of the most complete listings of tour schedules. Sing
Out! has documented traditional, topical and just plain
good songs since the 50's, including sheet music and instrumental tab.The
UK's Folk Roots maintains
a more global perspective - and prints the most candid reviews. Also be sure
to check out this site's newsletter, Fenario, which includes monthly collections
- Bookmark the All
Music Guide (AMG). This encyclopedia of music, compiled by
knowledgeable experts, consists of well-written biographies of
every musician of note in all genres, and includes detailed discographies
rating each album. Also a good place to buy online.
And of course, bookmark this site, http://www.balladtree.com,
the biggest interactive folk resource on the net.
Hugh Blumenfeld, Editor
© 2001 Hugh Blumenfeld/The Ballad Tree