The thing I love about Bad, in particular, and Claire Hawkins, in general, is that although she works in a folk idiom, her songs are bang up-to-date. No old folk cliches, fingers-in-ears, no tales of farmers’ daughters getting into a fix, no sixteen-verse sing-alongs, not a hey-nonny, for-de-roll or a by-your-leave in sight. This is folk music as a new pop music.

And that gives her the best of both worlds. The integrity, authenticity and weight of history of folk coupled with the infectiousness and accessibility, not to mention the commerciality of pop music.

That’s how you keep folk music relevant.

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