800-ZZOUNDS (800-996-8637)
When you call, mention priority code 201-NJLR
close [x]
Available Hours (EST):
  • Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri 7:30AM - 11:30PM
  • Sat, Sun 9:00AM - 10:00PM
Email Print
 
Sign up to receive our All Access Pass newsletter!
 
Guitars, Amps, and Effects Bass Guitars, Amps, and Effects Keyboards and MIDI Recording Computer Audio and Software Live Sound/PA Drums DJ Equipment Accessories Downloadable Sheet Music Other Musical Instruments and Equipment
Customer Kudos "zZounds just makes it so convenient with the easy pay terms and supreme customer service. 5 STARS all the way!" Customer on November 14, 2016
Meet the people and instruments that shaped the sound of folk music.

Folk Music's Transatlantic Journey

From England's rolling hills to America's majestic mountains, no music spans space and time quite like folk. What started out as an oral tradition in both nations was transformed by the influence of acoustic guitars and other folk instruments, resulting in a varied style which keeps evolving to this day.
Early Americana/British Isles
Early British folk music was the province of the shanty sailor song and industrial-era labor music. It wasn't until the end of World Wars I and II that a folk revival, spurred on by skiffle groups, added guitar into the mix and transformed formerly sung-only pastoral songs into modern statements heard through the music of The Watersons, Shirley Collins, and Ewan MacColl.

In America, folk shared the same agrarian roots as its British sibling. In mountain-mining communities, early Eastern-European immigrants and African-Americans introduced dulcimers, banjos, autoharps and accordions to sung stories of yore to create the earliest taste of Americana folk, as heard in the music of the New Lost City Ramblers and the collected field music of Alan Lomax.
Breedlove Crossover OO Mandolin (with Gig Bag)
or 6 payments of $74.84
Free 2-Day Shipping
Fender Blues DeVille Harmonica
Play as You Pay on orders $249+
Free 2-Day Shipping
Martin 00015SM Acoustic Guitar (with Case)
or 12 payments of $141.59
Free 2-Day Shipping

Meanwhile, traveling cowboys on the prairies of the American Midwest and Rockies sat fireside, strumming acoustic guitar stories of lost love/cargo that were simple hybrids of existing folk traditions. This new type of country-western music was created by slowing down blues music and combining it with that Appalachian vocal sound, as heard in the music of Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Marty Robbins.
Washburn B9 Banjo
or 6 payments of $41.50
Free 2-Day Shipping
Martin D16RGT Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar (with Case)
Like New
$1,319.00
Save 42%
or 12 payments of $154.92
Free 2-Day Shipping
Folk Goes Electric
This first era of folk revivalism was important. However, after a while, a younger generation more removed from folk's industrial birth began to feel it was their time to mold their own tradition.

The introduction of amplification and other sonic influences electrified this period. English artists like Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span were re-imagining traditional folk songs into modern rock epics. Meanwhile, Celtic-minded artists like Donovan, Alan Stivell, and Horslips were using 12-string acoustic guitars, harps and alternate tunings (alongside electric instruments) to mutate another distant tradition into a new pastoral sound that painted fantastic aural vistas.
Guild M-120E Westerly Collection Acoustic-Electric ...
Like New
$539.95
Save 43%
or 8 payments of $93.75
Free Ground Shipping Free Ground Shipping
Fender Vintage Reissue '65 Princeton Reverb Guitar ...
Like New
$904.95
or 12 payments of $83.34
Free 2-Day Shipping
Vox AC30C2 / AC30C2X Guitar Combo Amplifier (30 Watts, ...
Like New
$1,004.00
Save 34%
or 8 payments of $137.50
Free 2-Day Shipping

As British traditions changed, American groups that had once tried to rock out on folk music were now looking back fondly at their musical heritage. The rise of Americana, roots rock, and country rock -- as heard in the songs of The Byrds, The Band, and Townes Van Zandt -- was due to an ongoing musical re-examination of uniquely American sounds. Acoustic folk instruments were now combining effortlessly with tasteful clean electric guitar sounds to create a new style that wasn't quite traditional and spoke to more modern tastes.
Fender American Special Telecaster Electric Guitar ...
Like New
$824.95
or 12 payments of $83.34
Free 2-Day Shipping
Fender Vintage Reissue '65 Deluxe Reverb Guitar Combo ...
Like New
$804.95
or 12 payments of $91.67
Free 2-Day Shipping
Is It Folk?
As time progressed, so did the ambitions of these new folk artists. Not content with just reimagining tradition, they set about creating their own legacy. In doing so, they stretched ideas of what modern folk could be.

English artists like The Pentangle, Michael Oldfield, and John Martyn saw the rise of progressive rock and took it as a cue to experiment with longer arrangements. Fusing jazz, classical, and world music with complex melodies that sometimes saw acoustic instruments treated with guitar effects -- this was the start of progressive folk. Other artists like the Incredible String Band, Amazing Blondel, and Comus created a neo-folk sound by refusing effects and tapping into even more obscure musical traditions.
Ibanez ES2 Echo Shifter Analog Delay Pedal
Like New
$139.95
Save 34%
or 4 payments of $37.50
Free 2-Day Shipping
Fender FM-52E Concert Tone Acoustic-Electric Mandolin
or 6 payments of $50.00
Free Ground Shipping Free Ground Shipping

American artists were evolving in a different way. Bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers, Little Feat and The Marshall Tucker Band were fusing Americana and country rock to fashion a new type of "Southern" rock. True to an "open-road" spirit, they were able to improvise and electrify audiences that were in danger of being forgotten by other genres.

Out on the coasts, new singer-songwriters and groups like America, Jackson Browne and Paul Simon were exploring inner feelings unlike the "music of the people" folkies of before. They were creating a more commercial folk style that could be intricately exciting, yet simple and personally relatable. Eventually, this style would help bring about other genres like Soft-Rock, Adult-Contemporary, and Alt-Folk as heard in the music of Bon Iver, Mumford and Sons, and Ed Sheeran.
Gibson 2016 Les Paul Traditional T Electric Guitar ...
Like New
$1,814.00
Save 47%
or 12 payments of $183.25
Free 2-Day Shipping
Fender American Standard Jazz Electric Bass, Rosewood ...
Like New
$994.95
or 12 payments of $100.00
Free 2-Day Shipping
Modern Tradition
Computers, synths, and samplers are seldom considered folk instruments -- yet groups like Boards of Canada, Four Tet, and This Mortal Coil challenge notions of what folk should be. Folktronica groups use modern instruments to hint at the spirit of the past through loops and sonic effects. Meanwhile, groups like The Pogues, The Feelies and The Violent Femmes refuse to ignore the rabble-rousing songs of the past and enliven their present versions by adding punk spirit and sound.

As the meaning of "folk" becomes even more blurred, recall how earlier folkies like Leo Kottke and John Fahey were using a simple 12-string acoustic to create music that reached beyond any folk tradition and struck a uniquely homespun chord. It's this fundamental thought -- to try different things out with the barest of tools -- that still drives musicians like Michael Gira of Swans through Sharon Van Etten and Espers to create new traditions that will expand the curvature of the folk horizon.
Fishman Aura Spectrum DI Acoustic Pedal
or 6 payments of $58.33
Free 2-Day Shipping
BizRate Customer Certified (GOLD) Site
Questions? Our gear experts can help!
800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
When you call, mention priority code 201-NJLR. Llame Gratis en Español: 800-460-7976
Lunes-Viernes de 9AM a 5PM EST
Customize Search Results for Your Location
Follow zZounds on:
Shop with those who respect your privacy — we do. Copyright © 1996-2016, zZounds Music, LLC. Terms of use apply.
close [x]What is this?
A temporary customer reference number is assigned to each customer only while they are shopping on zZounds.com. If you call our customer service department for assistance, this number makes it easier for us to answer any questions you have about products, services or purchases.
 
close [x]
Available on
orders $59+
learn more

Need it now but short of cash? All we need is the first payment up front and the rest in easy monthly payments!

Fast approval.
We approve everyone, with very few exceptions, as long as we can verify your identity.
No interest. Ever.
It's just as if you paid the whole amount up front!
No paperwork. Nothing to track.
No application to mail or fax, no bills to pay. We automatically charge the payments to your credit card.

We'll wait on your money so you don't have to wait for your gear!

When you checkout, just click the Play as you Pay checkbox to indicate which installment plan you wish to use.

close [x]
no minimum

learn more

Why fight traffic and pushy salesmen when we'll bring your gear straight to your home, free of charge?

zZounds free shipping is really free!
No hidden charges or hassles on returns.
Fast, reliable delivery
We have warehouses on both coasts, so most shipments arrive in 3 days or less.
We don't collect sales tax. Bonus!
Only NJ residents pay tax during checkout.
close [x]What is this?
A temporary customer reference number is assigned to each customer only while they are shopping on zZounds.com. If you call our customer service department for assistance, this number makes it easier for us to answer any questions you have about products, services or purchases.
close [x]

1. zZounds offers the industry‘s most musician-friendly payment plans

zZounds offers a variety of Play as You Pay installment plans that allow you to get the gear you want today. While our competitors might offer house credit cards that require you to fill out an application and pass a credit check, our payment plans are easy to get, simple to use, and, best of all, accrue zero interest. Unlike those house credit cards that can leave you vulnerable to exorbitant interest charges once the promotional period ends, we never have and never will charge interest when you take advantage of one of the zZounds Play as You Pay plans.

zZounds payment plans details »

2. zZounds guarantees the lowest price

Seen it for less somewhere else? Get it for less at zZounds. Simply click the “Seen it for less?” link on any product page and as long as we‘re not losing money, we‘ll beat any legitimate competitor‘s lowest price, usually within two hours. Want our best price even faster? Call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll provide you with a lower price on the phone. Also, if you purchase from us and later find the product for less elsewhere, call or email us within 45 days, and we‘ll refund you the difference.

zZounds.com price match details »

3. Nobody Beats zZounds‘ Fast & Free Shipping

At zZounds, we know you want your gear fast, and shipped to you free of charge. That‘s why we have absolutely free ground shipping on every single order shipped within the continental United States. This includes heavy and oversized items. No minimum purchase required. No exclusions. We also ship over 90% of our orders with FREE 2-day shipping. We pull it all off with our strategically placed, coast-to-coast warehouses.

zZounds.com shipping details »

4. zZounds makes returns super easy

Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund. It‘s just that simple. If you‘re not in love with what you bought, return it to zZounds within 45 days, and we‘ll promptly arrange for an exchange or a refund. No hassles. No hidden charges. And if a product‘s defective or damaged, call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll email you a prepaid shipping label so you can easily return it to us at zero cost to you.

zZounds.com return details »

5. zZounds delivers top-rated customer service

zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission.

zZounds.com customer service »
close [x]
Available on
orders $59+
learn more

Need it now but short of cash? All we need is the first payment up front and the rest in easy monthly payments!

Fast approval.
We approve everyone, with very few exceptions, as long as we can verify your identity.
No interest. Ever.
It's just as if you paid the whole amount up front!
No paperwork. Nothing to track.
No application to mail or fax, no bills to pay. We automatically charge the payments to your credit card.

We'll wait on your money so you don't have to wait for your gear!

When you checkout, just click the Play as you Pay checkbox to indicate which installment plan you wish to use.

close [x]
no minimum

learn more

Why fight traffic and pushy salesmen when we'll bring your gear straight to your home, free of charge?

zZounds free shipping is really free!
No hidden charges or hassles on returns.
Fast, reliable delivery
We have warehouses on both coasts, so most shipments arrive in 3 days or less.
We don't collect sales tax. Bonus!
Only NJ residents pay tax during checkout.
close [x]

A guarantee so solid, you never have to worry about price when shopping at zZounds

We'll beat any price
Simply click the Seen it for less? link next to the gear you want or call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
Got a coupon from another site?
Use it with us - we'll beat those prices, too!
Find a better price after buying from us?
No problem. We'll refund you the difference for 45 days, so you'll never regret buying from zZounds.

You'll still get the trustworthy service you've come to expect from zZounds, without paying more for your gear!