Enjoy these special thematic playlists from the National Folk Festival! While we continue to be limited in what we can get out and enjoy together, every month the National Folk Festival will be curating exemplary performances from some of the nation’s finest traditional artists, calling attention to what these diverse traditions share in common, and what makes them distinct yet indelible to American culture.


Juke Joints, Honky-tonks, and Downhome Dance Halls

A rockin’ juke joint on Chicago’s Southside, a packed floor in a dancehall on the bayous of southwestern Louisiana, or a swaying roadside honky-tonk in Texas—each offers its working-class communities the chance to take their minds of life’s troubles or celebrate its moments of joy. Immersed in familiar sounds, people seek out good times with friends, romance, or a release from the stresses of life and work. When these artists hit the bandstand, playing distinctively American music that has been trusted across generations, spirits soar, feet hit the dance floor, and memories wash over the room.


1. Deacon John’s Jump Blues (jump blues)
2. Dale Watson (honky-tonk and country)
3. Diunna Greenleaf (Texas blues)
4. BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet (Cajun)
5. Cephas & Wiggins (Piedmont blues) 
*Piedmont blues legend John Cephas passed away in 2009
6. Hot Club of Cowtown (western swing and hot jazz)
7. Los Texmaniacs (conjunto tejano)
8. Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials (Chicago blues)
9. Marcia Ball (boogie-woogie piano)
10. The Harris Brothers (Appalachian blues songsters)
11. Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie (zydeco)
12. Super Chikan & the Fighting Cocks (Delta blues)

Don’t forget to check back next month for a new playlist.

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