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What's New In the Adirondacks

Adirondack Folk Music For Virgin Ears

If you're like me, you know nothing about folk music - especially Adirondack folk music. The traditional music of the Northeast fiddles with an identity crisis, a mesh of nations coming together forming many Adirondack sounds and very few know where they originated.


First off, what does Adirondack folk music sound like? A sweet mix of Northern Ireland work songs with homemade musical traditions of England, Scotland, Canada and the rural New York lumberjacks in the 1800s makes a blend of Celtic energy and the hard knock life of the Adirondack woodlands.

Pioneers to the land played with anything they had. Guitars, fiddles, voice and even beer bottles were used as communal gatherings invited traveling peddlers, laborers and trappers to tell tales from all points of America and Europe. These are songs of spectrum emotion and act as a living diary connecting the then to the now, an ode to the early Mohawk Indian social songs from the region.

Thumbnail image for 12119204146_528c586ba2_c.jpgFolk music in the Adirondacks is well and thriving.

  • The recent 2013 PBS documentary Songs to Keep highlights the major work of Marjorie Lansing Porter who recorded the traditional sounds of Adirondack folk music in the 40s and 50s and connects the modern folk community with its predecessors.
  • The DIY-styled folk community concludes the Adirondack summers with an annual folk music festival in Schroon Lake. A community favorite, the folk music festival marries folk acts from the North Country, Vermont and beyond with local craftsmen and artisans.

Of course the best way to experience Adirondack folk music is to listen to it yourself. What are some of your favorite local folk musicians?

Check out our events guide for live folk music in the area>>

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