My Top Ten Folk Bands of 2014

Folk music has deep routes stemming from country backgrounds. Since the 1950’s, there have been many people that has taken the country sound to the next level. Here are the top ten country folk bands since those times.

Number Ten: Beirut

This band played a mixture of indie-rock and world music, with the basis of folk music. Originally started as a solo project by creator Zach Condon, in 2006 it became a band and took off. Many of their albums have international influences, like The Flying Club cup, which had a French feel to it.

Number Nine: The Albion Band

This British band officially came out in 1971 and since then had brought wonderful music to their admiring fans. Ashley Hutchings, the bass player,was said to be the most popular out of the group and led them to recognition in folk music. Most of their music was mostly consisted of the British style folk rock.

Number Eight: The Civil Wars

Although broken up, their music still rings through many of their fans ears. Started in 2008 the band consisted of the duo, Joy Williams, and John Paul White. They definetely had a huge influence on folk music, winning four Grammy’s during their career. They broke up in 2014, so imagine if they just kept going!

Number Seven: Old Crow Medicine Show

This band has been growing in popularity. An American string band, they came out of Nashville, Tennessee by storm, adding some new fans of folk music. Sticking to their country routes, many appreciate its staying loyal to the folk music sound while still being able to add the spice of punk rock many love today.

Number Six: Fairport Convention

This fiery band mixes the classic sounds of folk music, with the funky electric sounds. Started in 1967, they had a strong impact on English music, and has since held a great fan base. They became so popular, they hosted the Cropredy Festival, a very popular event in the UK.

Number Five: Fleet Foxes

This American indie folk band came out in 2006 and has since been rising. The band started in Seattle, Washington. They really started to become popular in the late 2007’s, and has managed to gain popularity at a fast rate, managing to get the album of the year in Billboards Critics Choice!

Number Four: The Avett Brothers

From out of Concord, North Carolina, the Avett Brothers managed to combine an immense number of sounds into their folk music. They created their own unique style attracting many in its path. The band consists of two brothers, Seth and Scott Avett. Since the year 200 when they came out they have been influencing folk music, I and Love and You being one of their most popular albums.

Number Three: The Kingston Trio

This American folk band mixed pop music with their sounds, and was said to influence the folk revival of the late 1950’s and 60’s. The group consisted of Bob Shane, Dave Gaurd ( high school friends ), and Nick Reynolds and other members followed. The team came out of Palo Alto, California, and has since made an impact on mid-20th century folk.

Number Two: Peter Paul and Mary

This trio came out on the scene in the 1960’s, and ever since has been a fan favorite. Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey, and Mary Travers the song writers wanted to be at the top, and were. Their album was listed in Billboard Magazine at the top 10 for ten months. Mary Travers passed in 2009, but Peter and Paul still sing as a duo under the group name.

Number One: Simon and Garfunkel

It was a close fight, but this duo took the win. They were considered one of the most popular artists of the 1960’s. Their break through came in 1966 when they came out with The Sound of Silence which sold over a million copies. The band has broken up and reunited multiple times, and officially called it quits by 1970, but even with their rocky career managed to be one of the most popular folk bands in folk music.

There’s no doubt that these artist took folk to the next level. Many people today listen to folk music regularly, and the numbers are still growing.

Winning poker players vs luck and downswings

Cool infographic made by boom town bingo highlighting the ups and downs of winning poker players. I personally love to play poker on my down time. At one point in my life I played semi seriously and considered a career in it. Instead of poker I chose to pursue a career in music. Both choices have a lot of ups and downs. In music the stakes might even be higher. Musicians and bands tend to either “make it” and do very well or have to fund the passion themselves at a loss.

Winning Poker Players Vs Luck Variance and Downswings


Have you considered Musicians Insurance?

costs of being in a bandMusicians carry expensive, valuable equipment everyday. These instruments are the core to their art, and in many cases their living. Accidents and theft are unavoidable. Having the right coverage will prepare the everyday instrumentalist from the inevitable.

Types of Coverage

There are many different protection plans when it comes to musical instruments. Many think it is just overall protection, when it really gets more specific. Each instrument may have their own liability, and musicians need to protect their investment.

Coverage can range from an assortment of instruments, like the classical flute or violin. Each instrument can have their own protection plan. So if you had a guitar you would chose guitar insurance, and whatever policy you choose is up to you.

Certain companies have certain liability plans, so it is important to research that company and get a good understanding of what it has to offer. Generally, plans include accidental damage, loss, and theft. This is very beneficial to the average musician, especially those who teach music classes or lessons because the chances of your students dropping an instrument is much higher. something to consider is transporting equipment, some companies might offer a better deal than others with regards to car insurance policies.

Some special plans include an extended warranty on your instrument. Many instrumentalists plan on keeping their tools for extended periods of time. Your equipment can malfunction, as most things do. Sometimes a one or two year warranty from the store isn’t enough, or may run out. For reasonable prices, you can ensure that your apparatus can be easily replaced. Make sure that if you are looking into this plan, they replace your broken instrument with a new one.

Studios can also be protected. Since many musicians rely on this environment to create their music, it is very beneficial to be covered. There are a vast number of liabilities to owning a studio, fires can occur or damaged equipment. Many protection plans have reasonable quotes for great coverage. Since studio equipment is very expensive, it is a good investment.

Many who are in the career of making music perform. Events can be covered with liability insurance. This is usually a short-term policy, and bought on special occasions. This protects against any property damage or bodily injury while the event dates are in effect. This saves much financial loss and performers can do there job without worrying about potential risks.

Musicians insurance is a wise investment for anyone who is in the career. Some plans even include bundling where the artist can combine health and dental insurance for their family and themselves, but that depends on the company. What plan you should choose depends on your needs. Teachers running classes may need higher protection more than someone who just bought a guitar for decoration. Either way, it is up to you.

Should you consider Musicians insurance?

If you are a professional musician your instruments are your livelihood. Even if you are semi-professional and music is not your full-time job you still rely on your instrument to continue playing gigs at night. If they are stolen or damaged and you are a member of a band it will effect the band’s bookings if you cannot replace your instrument straight away.

Many musicians have pieces of equipment stolen as they are unloading the van or car at a venue where they are playing and certain thieves target these places when they know there is a gig on.

Classical musicians who play in orchestras possess instruments that are not only beautiful but extremely valuable. Old violins and cellos are priceless and would cost a lot to replace.

An ordinary household goods policy would not cover the cost of these valuable items and you need to find an insurance company that specialises in musicians insurance. Instruments and equipment belonging to professional band members spend days, if not months on the road and the top boy and girl bands have followers who spend hundreds of pounds on tickets. To them losing one of their instruments would be like losing a limb.

Specialist firms now offer different types of insurance according to the type of musician you are. These include

  • Instrument and Equipment insurance covering musical instruments, gear, computer hardware and software.
  • Studio liability for musicians owning their own recording studio. Covers injury or damage to instruments or equipment for anyone using the studio.
  • Band insurance covers all types of bands, rock, jazz, classical and music groups. Covers instruments, gear for special events including lighting, event cancellation.
  • Workers comprehensive insurance is intended for anyone working in the music industry if they suffer an injury whilst at work.

Classical pianists often insure their hands for thousands of pounds in the event of injury or illness which prevents them from playing any more as they not only lose their livelihood, they also have to give up the only career they know and love.

With band insurance and insuring your hands and fingers quotes vary according to need and how famous the musicians are. Generally instrument and equipment insurance policies start at around $150 per annum.

Studio insurance is far more expensive and policies start around $425 per annum depending on how big the studio is and how much it is used, whether it is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week or if it is just used in the evenings or weekends.

The music business is so complex these days with musicians being taken to court over copyright or royalty issues it is wise to take out insurance for every possible liability.

Managers of professional bands may not be musicians themselves but they are generally the fall-guy if anything goes wrong and can even find themselves sued by disgruntled musicians.

If band members write their own songs and then the band splits up or one or more members leave the break-up can lead to disputes over copyright and cost the musician or musicians who loses the law suit thousands of pounds. That is why it is best to take out a policy with a reputable music industry insurance company who will have every eventuality covered in the policy.