Folk music is on the rebound, folks.

The American folk revival, which started in the 1930s and 40s but peaked in the 1960s, led to the rise in popularity of artists like powerhouses Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary and Woody Guthrie. Though many of these aforementioned artists are still popular in today’s culture, the movement itself has died down some, with many of today’s artists tending towards the more popular country and pop genres.

Patty Griffin, Anaïs Mitchell and Sara Watkins break this mold.

All three of these women are integral members of the folk music scene in its present state, and each brings a unique voice to the genre. Currently, the trio of artists is forming the Use Your Voice 2016 tour, a tour working with the League of Women Voters to increase female voter registration and activity.

Over the years, Griffin has collaborated with artists like Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin and the Dixie Chicks on various tracks and albums. She took home the Grammy award for Best Traditional Gospel Album with her critically acclaimed 2010 release of “Downtown Church.”

Watkins, a skilled fiddler and percussionist, is best known for her work as a founding member of the award-winning progressive bluegrass group Nickel Creek. Consisting of Watkins, her brother Sean and mandolinist Chris Thile, the trio won the Grammy award for Best Contemporary Folk album in 2003 for their album “This Side.” Their cover of Pavement’s “Spit on a Circle” helped them gain popularity outside of the folk genre, especially in indie rock. She has also toured with The Decemberists as a percussionist while Nickel Creek remained on hiatus from 2007-2014.

Mitchell may not yet have the same illustrious history tailing behind her as Griffin or Watkins do, but she is slowly rising through the ranks, as many describe her as the queen of modern folk music. Her music consistently receives favorable reviews and is often compared to certain renowned voices like Bob Dylan. She has also worked with Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon on tracks like “Wedding Song.”

The Use Your Voice 2016 tour comes to the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on Sunday, March 6 in partnership with the League of Women Voters.



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