I only miss hearing great songs, since it takes a lot if sifting to get to the bottom of that. Maybe loud rock changed the scene so much that some people forgot what mattered; I mean I think it's still the songs and the unity that matters. One thing Odetta said was important and Pete Seeger lived by was the idea that everyone must sing along. Now that's a tradition that will be lost if we let it and I will much regret that. I myself, who never sing traditionals or spirituals with the audience, I sit and think nowadays about what is lost without the singalong (because of Odetta I am aware of it firsthand), and wonder if I should try it someday ... (please don't request it of me just yet, I've got to work it up first).
Your music covers a lot of different styles. Do you consider yourself either a folk singer or folk student?
I might consider myself a bit of a folk student at best, though I might get left back a couple times. ... I will continue to be enthralled by the tradition both for its political influence and artistry.
How accepting is the “traditional” folk community to crossover artists or artists from other genres?
My first foray into being accepted, just as a person, and also as an artist, was by royalty: Odetta. So I can say I believe that the true folk are accepting folk.
What has been the highlight of any festival you attended?
I remember at the Appel Farm Festival in New Jersey seeing Richie Havens live [in 1997, when Peyroux also performed]. Like being zapped with a stun gun.