The Music Board

Music Board posts from 2000. The music board was the precursor to the Can We Talk and It’s all about the Music forums which became so popular on the later message boards.

Music Board Posts

Sample Post from the Music board archives

What’s the diff between folk & country music?
Posted by old dan on February 28, 2000 at 01:08:20:

Of course in the gigging world about $500 a night, but how do you tell them apart? Instrumentation? Phrasing? I’m not sure. I’m writing/recording a song that sounds country to me, but it’s just me and an acoustic guitar. I’m looking for a John Prine or Steve Goodman type feel. I’ve always thought of them as folk singers but John Prine had a song on CMT (Country Music Television) a while back. Is there a difference between folk and country music?

One Follow Up:

Boy, you could well write a doctoral dissertation on that. A lot of country artists sing folk music, and vice versa. A lot of both tunes have been appropriated either way. Garth Brooks’ main influence was James Taylor.

The way I see it, country sprang from bluegrass and southern Gospel, which sprang from traditional, or folk, music. So, Johnny Cash is a country-folk-rockabilly artist. So is Merle, and many others too numerous to mention.

A lot of folk music seems to lean on storytelling. Go to and listen to Roger McGuinn’s “Folk Den”. Stuff ranging from Sea Chanties to barge songs from the Erie Canal. I’ve seen John Prine, John Hiatt, Tom Petty, and others on CMT’s “Jammin’ Country” (possibly one of the most refreshing video programs going).

Now, put a steel in it and sing about cheatin’ or drinkin’ and you’ve got country. But not just cheatin’ or drinkin’. Like Steve Goodman wrote, “I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison”. I guess it’s just what you call it.

Tear the genres down!