10 Best Folk Albums

Folk music may not be the most popular genre in today's music, but these 10 best folk albums will show how artists of the genre have influenced countless others. The many genres of folk music, including folk rock, psych folk, and indie folk, show the diversity of this classic genre of music. Enjoy the diversity and similarities between these many folk artists in these 10 best folk albums.

  1. "Anthology of American Folk Music" by Various Artists. The "Anthology of American Folk Music" is an incredible compilation from 1952, covering many folk and blues songs from the previous decades. With the incredible amount of songs organized into 3 volumes and introducing many artists that were not so well known, this is undoubtedly one of the 10 best folk albums.
  2. "Dust Bowl Ballads" by Woody Guthrie. This album certainly deserves recognition as one of the 10 best folk albums and Woody Guthrie as one of the best folk artists. "Dust Bowl Ballads" was Guthrie's first album, filled with songs about his experiences during the Dust Bowl era.
  3. "The Times They Are a-Changin'" by Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are a-Changin'" is a song filled with stories and heavy issues, like poverty and racism. Filled with incredible folk vocals and melodies, this is certainly one of the 10 best folk albums.
  4. "The Essential Pete Seeger" by Pete Seeger. This album features a compilation of many of Pete Seeger's best loved tunes. Pete Seeger, a notable folk legends, shines on this stellar album with songs like "Wimoweh (Mbube)," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?," and "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy."
  5. "Harvest" by Neil Young. With such classics as "Heart of Gold," "Old Man," and "The Needle and the Damage Done,"Harvest is surely one of the 10 best folk albums. His vocals, harmonica, guitar, and piano playing are distinctive and quite memorable on this impressive album.
  6. "Not a Pretty Girl" by Ani DiFranco – Ani DiFranco's "Not a Pretty Girl" is filled with lovely folk harmonies and lyrics like the beautiful "32 Flavors." The album was one of DiFranco's bigger hits, and rightfully so with it's wonderful collection of songs.
  7. "The Best of" by Lead Belly. This album contains some of Lead Belly's best loved tracks like "In New Orleans (House of the Rising Sun)" and "Where Did You Sleep Last Night." This Lead Belly album, featuring the folk artist on his signature 12 string guitar, is one of the 10 best folk albums.
  8. "Joan Baez in Concert, Part 1" by Joan Baez. This album is a collection of Joan Baez's 1962 concerts. The album is one of the 10 best folk albums, featuring Baez's remarkable soprano voice on songs like Anne Bredon's "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" and Malvina Reynolds' "What Have They Done to the Rain."
  9. "Cripple Crow" by Devendra Banhart. Devendra Banhart, a leading artist of the so called "freak folk" genre, as well as the psych folk and New Weird America genres, released this beautiful album in 2005. Utilizing various folk styles, including Venezuelen folk, Banhart created one of the 10 best folk albums.
  10. "Sung Tongs" by Animal Collective. Animal Collective is also associated with the freak folk and psych folk genres. With their infusion of art rock, pop elements, and various folk styles, Animal Collective brings folk to new dimensions through their "Sung Tongs" album.
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