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Michael Stock’s PageWLRN public radio presenter, Michael Stock, writes for FLORIDAMUSIC.ORG about South Florida's folk and acoustic music scene, and will keep you updated on new folk music CD releases.
If you live in the Palm Beaches, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami or the Florida Keys you can listen to Michael's Folk and Acoustic Music show every Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 PM EST on WLRN, 91.3 MHz. If you are anywhere else in the world then listen on-line at: http://www.wlrn.org
Folk and Acoustic Music
The reason I love folk music is because I understand it. It includes a wide variety of music (just about everything except 'pop'), but what I like most about it are the political songs. Songs that opens up your mind, encourages you to looks at new perspectives and might even challenge your way of thinking. For some folks, it is too much of a challenge. Every time I answer the phone after I play one of these, lets say 'Fahrenheit 9/11' fan type folk songs, I worry it is a complaint. The ratio is about 1 to 3, but those few complaints hurt.
The presidential election is just a few months away and I have been getting a lot of political music for airplay on my radio show. As much as I like these songs, I don't think they persuade you to change your vote. All the political music I get is anti-Bush and anti-war. You are not going to hear these songs anywhere else. I presume that at least a quarter of my listeners are fans of President Bush and at least another quarter would not like to hear anything political (there are at least another quarter who don't want to hear bluegrass, but that's another column). This is not a new debate, Sing-Out magazine had a revolt from the non political folkies in the early 60's.
It was just a couple of weeks ago a listener called and asked why I don't play any songs that show the other side of the war in Iraq, and I said the only songs I know pro war were written to defeat Hitler. Another listener was amazed that I had the courage to play these songs. I, personally could take the heat, but our licensee is a little more sensitive. Of course, no matter what songs I play, political or not, it has to be good. That, is what I believe, will keep you listening.
On the radio this coming month, I plan to interview 3-time finalist in the South Florida Folk Festival Songwriting Contest, Bob Malone. Also, Bob Lind, a seasoned musician who had success a number of years ago with 'Elusive Butterfly'. There are also a couple of quality specials I will try to fit in, one examining the archives of Alan Lomax, and another looking at Cuban music in Florida. And I will always consider requests.