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Folk Rock

When folk singer Bob Dylan shocked the world in the sixties by strapping on an electric guitar and making rock albums like Highway 61 Revisited, a funny thing happened. Well, actually, several funny things happened — but by far the biggest of them all was folk rock.

In Dylan's wake, several groups — most from California and many covering Dylan's songs — sprang up out of nowhere and began ruling the pop charts. Among the most noteworthy were the Byrds, the Mamas and the Papas, the Lovin' Spoonful, and Buffalo Springfield.

Although each sounded distinct from one another, what they shared were vocal harmonies and songs which melded elements of both folk as well as rock with often politically-charged lyrics. Soon the sound would morph into the psychedelic rock of bands like Jefferson Airplane.

Hence, folk rock.

By the seventies, folk rock had again evolved — this time into the mellow-rock of singer-songwriters like James Taylor, Carole King, and Harvest-era Neil Young. Today, folk rock endures in the form of modern-day artists like Conor Oberst and Seattle's Fleet Foxes.

You'll find folk-rockers blogging about it online at sites like Zero G Sound.

About Glen Boyd

Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ, released in May 2012 by Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard Publishing. He is a former BC Music Editor and current contributor, whose work has also appeared in SPIN, Ultimate Classic Rock, The Rocket, The Source and other publications. You can read more of Glen's work at the official Neil Young FAQ site. Follow Glen on Twitter and on Facebook.

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