Exploring American Folk Music

  • by Kip Lornell
  • Narrated by Michael Rene Zuzel
  • 15 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Exploring American Folk Music: Ethnic, Grassroots, and Regional Traditions in the United States reflects the fascinating diversity of regional and grassroots music in the United States. The book covers the diverse strains of American folk music - Latin, Native American, African, French-Canadian, British, and Cajun - and offers a chronology of the development of folk music in the United States. A chapter includes detailed information about the roots of hip hop. Exploring American Folk Music also introduces you to such important figures in American music as Bob Wills, Lydia Mendoza, Bob Dylan, and Muddy Waters, who helped shape what America sounds like in the 21st century.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Outstanding Musical Journey!!!!

Would you listen to Exploring American Folk Music again? Why?

Great narration, along with a good story. So much information, there are chapters, I would like to hear again.


Who was your favorite character and why?

Being a lover of the Blues, I enjoyed learning of the blues roots, and how it has transformed much of America's music. I like Mexican music, as well, and enjoyed gaining a better understanding of how it has evolved.


Which scene was your favorite?

Each chapter has it's highlights. I enjoyed re-living the birth of Bluegrass, and the musicans who put each of their interpretations to it. You just can't beat "Orange Blossom Special" and "Foggy Mountain Breakdown".


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Folk music is alive and well in America.


Any additional comments?

I really appreciated such an energetic narration about music in a way I had never heard it presented before. Mostly, we hear music that is presented and promoted by mass media. From this book I have learned that there are many musical styles which are regional and specific to groups. For example, in South Carolina there is a style of music called Beach Music with a corresponding dance called the "Shag", that I am familiar with. Each region and ethnic group tends to have particular styles of musical expression they relate with. The interesting thing is how this music blends and evolves between groups and regions. Some of the Caribbean islands favor Country and Western as it's most popular music. In Samoa you may hear Latin Dance night at the club. This has been a real nice journey into music from Folk to pop. Very well done job by the author and narrator. If you are a music fan and want to learn more about American music and it's folk roots - get this book!

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- Kindle Customer

Exploring American Folk Music

I first have to say that this was simply a treat to listen to. This book not only laid out the groundwork for American folk music from it’s very foundation or roots, it put in the cornerstone as well. This was an incredibly detailed look at the origins of our musical culture as it is to this day.

Kip Lornell provided extensive research drawing from numerous examples along with at least three subsequent examples of the origins, styles, and evolution of each genre of American folk music. I was utterly impressed and learned a lot of nifty things about folk music and music in general that I didn’t know before.

There were several musicians who may have easily been put to the back burner and been forgotten about during folk music’s evolution or the Folk Revival. A few of my favorite topics in the book were about the Native-American music and the border stations where Wolfman Jack became a DJ. From hymns, blues, gospel, zydeco, family and community gatherings, military songs, working songs, campfires, and traveling songs; it’s all covered in this great audiobook.

“Exploring American Folk Music” was a wonderful listen and a great audiobook for music lovers, and more specifically American folk music lovers. I think it’s safe to say that American folk music is a melting pot of wonderful and diverse musical influence from all over the world.

Overall, this audiobook was superb. I would definitely recommend listening to this one.
About the narrator: Michael Rene Zuzel did an outstanding job narrating this book. It was just right. Not too fast or too slow. He spoke clearly with a steady pace and he showed interest in the subject with his own upbeat cadence which was suitable for the content. I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook.
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- Teresa

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-12-2014
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks