Folk rock is influenced by many things; war, peace, and protest, hard times, heartbreak, social justice, coal mining, trees…you name it, it’s probably appeared in a folk rock song somewhere at some time. The styles of folk rock that emerge reflect much the same; rockabilly, country, americana, a cappella roots and acoustic roots all shine through the sonic layers to show the many influences that musicians find and bring to their music-which brings me to Darwin. Charles Darwin.
From here, follow the fine and rather tenuous thread of logic to Shrewsbury, England where you will find the Shrewsbury Folk Festival (Charles Darwin was a native of Shrewsbury over a century ago). The Shrewsbury Folk Festival, which will take place in August of this year brings you to The Darwin Song Project, an event of the festival where folk musicians come together to, well, sing about Darwin.
This March, 8 folk artists convened for a week at the 350+ year-old home where Darwin was born in South Shropshire to write songs that, as the website states, “have a resonance and relevance to the life of Darwin.” These artists will re-group to perform their songs in August during the festival. Now, while it is too soon to tell, methinks it may happen that these songs find their way to the interwebs as free downloads (eventually), especially if one considers the potentially “educational” aspect of them that might make their release more liberal than otherwise, but only time will tell… they’re working on the live cd now. In any case, the line-up of contributing artists includes the marvelously talented Mark Erelli (who I have a not-so-secret musical crush on), Rachael McShane, Stu Hanna, Jez Lowe, Emily Smith, Chris Wood, Karine Polwart, and Krista Detor. So, if you find yourself in Shrewsbury this summer, check out the festival and tell me how cool the Darwin songs are, then buy me the cd, because I feel like it probably won’t be one of the most requested imports this fall, even if it should be. Now go evolve!