Oh hi! Basic Folk is a podcast with honest conversations between authentic musicians and Cindy Howes (that's me!).

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To better know her subjects, Howes approaches interviews with warmth, humor and insightful questions. This 'cast fosters the community of musicians discovered through Cindy's connection to Boston's wicked special folk scene and beyond.

It could be said that this genre last experienced popularity in 1990’s/early 2000’s: Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin, Ani Difranco, Gillian Welch (and also some men, too, haha). Since then, up and coming musicians of this caliber are still creating great music, but many are not household names.

As a seasoned curator of music, Howes will introduce you to what’s next in the folk world and give you deeper insight on artists that you might not know or are just getting to know. Thanks for checking it out!

Basic Folk 17 – Amy Ray

By Cindy Howes | March 14, 2019 | 1 Comment

Amy Ray, one half of the legendary folk rock band Indigo Girls, is known for her strong Southern roots, fierce devotion to all types of music, her activism and (unbeknownst to her) her image as a gay fashion icon (and how she uses her clothes as an activist)… or should I say institution. We talk … Read moreBasic Folk 17 – Amy Ray

Basic Folk 16 – KT Tunstall

By Cindy Howes | March 7, 2019 | 1 Comment

KT Tunstall is an open-hearted Scottish dreamboat. The singer/songwriter and I were both at Brandi Carlile’s Girls Just Wanna Weekend in Mexico where we made a plan (via Twitter and then through official channels) to record an interview. KT is my absolute favorite person to interview. She is a master at the art of conversation … Read moreBasic Folk 16 – KT Tunstall

Basic Folk 15 – Emily Saliers

By Cindy Howes | February 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls graciously joins me on Basic Folk this week. An iconic figure in modern folk rock, Emily gets into it about the history of her guitar playing, expanding her horizons on her first solo album (Murmuration Nation), her dedication to hip-hop and reflections on Indigo Girls, which was released 30 years ago … Read moreBasic Folk 15 – Emily Saliers

Basic Folk 14 – Peter Mulvey

By Cindy Howes | February 21, 2019 | 4 Comments

Peter Mulvey‘s music is emotional, rousing, gritty and real. The Milwaukee singer songwriter has been at it since the late 1980’s playing in the streets of Dublin and Boston before starting his career proper in the early 1990’s. Mulvey’s upbringing was with liberal parents who are in love with science and activism and fully supported … Read moreBasic Folk 14 – Peter Mulvey

Basic Folk 13 – Rachel Sumner

By Cindy Howes | February 14, 2019 | Comments Off on Basic Folk 13 – Rachel Sumner

California native and Boston resident Rachel Sumner had an early interest in classical music that lead her to pursuing a career in film orchestration. After switching gears at Berklee College of Music, Rachel became interested in bluegrass thanks to discovery the music of Hazel Dickens And Alice Gerrard. Eventually, she met her future bandmates of Twisted … Read moreBasic Folk 13 – Rachel Sumner

Basic Folk 12 – Mark Dignam

By Cindy Howes | February 7, 2019 | Comments Off on Basic Folk 12 – Mark Dignam

  This week we have Irish singer/songwriter Mark Dignam on the podcast. Mark grew up in the outskirts of Dublin, Ireland. It was in Dublin where he gained his experience as a performer by busking around town with well-known folk singer, Glen Hansard. Dignam brought his love of music to Pittsburgh, PA where he continues to … Read moreBasic Folk 12 – Mark Dignam

Basic Folk 11 – Maya de Vitry

By Cindy Howes | January 31, 2019 | Comments Off on Basic Folk 11 – Maya de Vitry

Singer/Songwriter Maya de Vitry is on the podcast this week! Maya was a former member of the string trio The Stray Birds, but now she has stepped out on her own with her first solo album, Adaptations. de Vitry grew up on 7 acres of rolling green in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Even from a small age … Read moreBasic Folk 11 – Maya de Vitry

Basic Folk 10 – Eleanor Buckland of Lula Wiles

By Cindy Howes | January 24, 2019 | Comments Off on Basic Folk 10 – Eleanor Buckland of Lula Wiles

Originally from a rural Farmington, Maine, Eleanor Buckland of Lula Wiles grew up playing fiddle in her family’s jams. This week on Basic Folk, Buckland talks being a fourth generation musician, her rock guitar father, and the basements tapes she has from her grandma, legendary bluegrass player, Bettie Buckland. As a kid, Buckland’s violin took … Read moreBasic Folk 10 – Eleanor Buckland of Lula Wiles

Basic Folk 09 – Alex Stanton of townsppl

By Cindy Howes | January 17, 2019 | Comments Off on Basic Folk 09 – Alex Stanton of townsppl

Hi! Welcome to Alex Stanton week! Alex is a Pittsburgh born and bred singer/songwriter who heads up the band townsppl. Growing up Stanton spent a lot of time hanging out where all the cool kids wanted to be, on the set of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. His mother worked in the art department for the show … Read moreBasic Folk 09 – Alex Stanton of townsppl

Basic Folk 08 – Anais Mitchell

By Cindy Howes | January 10, 2019 | Comments Off on Basic Folk 08 – Anais Mitchell

Anais Mitchell is about to hit Broadway with Hadestown! But first! The Vermont songwriter is on Basic Folk. Her folk opera, Hadestown, set to open at the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway March 2019. Anais tells me about her childhood on a sheep farm in Vermont, growing up without a TV, and her parents brushing … Read moreBasic Folk 08 – Anais Mitchell