85 episodes

Basic Folk is a podcast with honest conversations between musicians and Cindy Howes, a well-versed public radio host and music curator. Cindy approaches interviews with warmth, humor and insightful questions. This podcast fosters the folk community and showcases a genre that is often misunderstood. Ironically, Basic Folk features complex conversations about the human experience witnessed from an artistic angle. Cindy’s definition of “folk” is extremely broad, so you’ll hear interviews from KT Tunstall, Livingston Taylor, Amanda Shires and many more.

Basic Folk American Songwriter

    • Music Interviews
    • 5.0, 45 Ratings

Basic Folk is a podcast with honest conversations between musicians and Cindy Howes, a well-versed public radio host and music curator. Cindy approaches interviews with warmth, humor and insightful questions. This podcast fosters the folk community and showcases a genre that is often misunderstood. Ironically, Basic Folk features complex conversations about the human experience witnessed from an artistic angle. Cindy’s definition of “folk” is extremely broad, so you’ll hear interviews from KT Tunstall, Livingston Taylor, Amanda Shires and many more.

    Basic Folk 79 - Tami Neilson

    Basic Folk 79 - Tami Neilson

    Big hair, big sound, big personality, big feelings is New Zealand's-by-way-of-Canada's Tami Neilson. A part of her family's Neilson Family band, Tami's been performing and touring since she was a young kid. She and her two brothers spent their childhood's on the road with their parents: playing fairs, churches, dance halls, morning television shows all while tucked tightly into the family caravan. Not only does she gives a run-down of what the sleeping arrangements in the trailer was like, Tami's bed doubled as the kitchen table by day, she paints a picture of how her parents gave her a front row seat to the music industry. The band was opening for Kitty Wells and Johnny Cash and winning awards left and right. Tami took the practice of hustling with her after she moved to the bottom of the globe (New Zealand) where she slowly but sure established herself in the country music world. 16+ years after the move, she has a wonderful family with two boys and has become an absolute staple to the New Zealand music world. After establishing some success in her new country, Tami suffered a great loss. Her father had been a true north in her life and music, he suddenly died a few years back and Tami is pretty candid about how his death and his influence have impacted her life. Tami's known for her incredible beehive hairstyles and awesome handmade stage outfits, that she has been showcasing in her very excellent YouTube series "The Tami Show." We talk about expressing herself and empowering other women through her appearance and music. Another funny thing about this interview is that my power kept going out, so after a while, I had to do the interview by candlelight. So romantic. Tami's music, personality and laugh are all at once rowdy, sweet and unforgettable. Thanks Tami for appearing on Basic Folk!

    • 52 min
    Basic Folk 78 - Ruth Merenda (The Mammals)

    Basic Folk 78 - Ruth Merenda (The Mammals)

    Ruth Merenda of The Mammals on Basic Folk!

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Basic Folk 77 - Caitlyn Smith

    Basic Folk 77 - Caitlyn Smith

    Nashville songwriter Caitlyn Smith has written for Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton, Meghan Trainor & John Legend, Garth Brooks, and many more in her work as a staff songwriter in Music City. The dream has always been to be a performer, however, she was rejected by label after label. The labels would love her songs, so much so, that they would take her songs for their female acts. Raised in small town Cannon Falls, MN, Caitlyn's parents supported their talented daughter from an early age and even offered her college fund money as a loan for her first album. After the young musician produced three albums and paid back the loan, she set her sights on Nashville and earned that job of songwriting for other musicians. about a decade after hearing NO so many times from labels, she went back to her DIY roots and recorded an EP of songs that she created just for herself in her own style. As soon as that was released, the opportunities started appearing. Caitlyn realized that in order to make the leap from being a songwriter to a performing songwriter, she needed to follow her own creative arrow and stop writing songs for other people. That being said, she does continue her work as a staff songwriter. It works a different muscle than her own writing, which she goes into detail about in the episode. We also talk about her complicated feelings on Nashville, the Country music industry, raising a family and lifting up other female performers while doing it. Also, after we finished this interview, I started up a super interesting conversation about dry shampoo and general hair care, which I'm sad we didn't get on tape because Caitlyn had some great advice. *~*~*Dry shampoo and Caitlyn Smith forever *~*~*

    • 49 min
    Basic Folk 76 - Grace Pettis

    Basic Folk 76 - Grace Pettis

    Grace Pettis on Basic Folk!

    • 1 hr 27 min
    Basic Folk 75 - Jake Blount

    Basic Folk 75 - Jake Blount

    Jake Blount on Basic Folk!

    American Songwriter Podcast Network: https://americansongwriter.com/american-songwriter-podcast-network/

    • 54 min
    Basic Folk 74 - Pete Bernhard (The Devil Makes Three)

    Basic Folk 74 - Pete Bernhard (The Devil Makes Three)

    Pete Bernhard of The Devil Makes Three on Basic Folk!

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
45 Ratings

45 Ratings

Tina Bobeana ,

So freakin' good

As a folk musician myself, I love Cindy's approach to these interviews. She seems to have a way of making the musician's interviewed very comfortable. She asks very interesting questions and I love love love her casual tone. Plus, she picks the best people to interview. Thank you Cindy for giving folk lovers some really fun behind the scenes yumminess to chew on.

Tdnbunny ,

The best

Cindy is the best. This podcast is the best.

Edie Carey ,

Cindy rules

I admit I've known Cindy for years, and I'm also featured on the podcast, so hell yes, I'm biased...but the truth is she is one of the smartest, most insightful interviewers out there. She really does her homework and asks truly interesting questions -- aaaand she's totally hilarious. One of the most enjoyable interviews I've ever done, and I'm loving listening to her interviews with so many of my songwriting heroes. Go, Cindy! 🙌🏼🙌🏼

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