Folk Music The Best Folk Artists on NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts, Ranked  

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List Rules Vote up the best folk artists featured on NPR Music Tiny Desk Concerts

Which folk artists are the best that have been featured on NPR Music Tiny Desk Concerts? Now with over 400 performances Tiny Desk Concerts have become a popular way to intimately experience a musician or band and no other genre is more suited for this environment than folk music. There is a wide range of folk music within this selection of bands and artists, SsingSsing plays Korean folk while John Prine plays a slower and soulful side of the genre. Be sure to also check out Jenny and the Mexicats for a poppy Latin version of folk music. Easily accessible on YouTube, you can watch the entire line up of concerts right from Bob Boilen's tiny desk. 

Not every one of these artists and bands hold strictly to folk music but they either draw inspiration from, or reinvent, it. Don't forget to vote up your favorite folk artists and bands and see how they compare with fans from around the world.


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"Caravan of Fools"

"Summer's End"

"All the Best"


John Prine is an American country/folk singer-songwriter. He has been active as a composer, recording artist, and live performer since the early 1970s. Born and raised in Maywood, Illinois, Prine learned to play the guitar at the age of 14. Subsequently serving in West Germany with the U.S. armed forces, by the late 1960s he had moved to Chicago, where he worked as a mailman, writing and singing songs as a hobby. Becoming a part of the city's folk revival, he was discovered by Kris Kristofferson, resulting in the production of Prine's self-titled debut album through Atlantic Records in 1971. After receiving critical acclaim, Prine focused on his musical career, recording three more albums ...more on Wikipedia

Albums: John Prine, A John Prine Christmas, Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings, Aimless Love, Standard Songs for Average People, + more

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Esmé Patterson

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"No River"

"Wantin Ain't Gettin"

"Yours And Mine"

Esmé Patterson is an American musician from Denver, Colorado, who formerly was a member of the indie folk band Paper Bird. In 2012, Patterson began her solo career, releasing her first full-length album titled All Princes, I. In 2015, Patterson released her second full-length album titled Woman to Woman. In 2016, Patterson released her third full-length album titled We Were Wild. In late 2016, Patterson released a split 7" with William Elliott Whitmore. ...more on Wikipedia

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"Ship to Wreck"

Florence and the Machine are an English indie rock band that formed in London in 2007, consisting of lead singer Florence Welch, Isabella Summers, and a collaboration of other artists. The band's music received praise across the media, especially from the BBC, before they gained mainstream success. Specifically, the BBC played a large part in their rise to prominence by promoting Florence and the Machine as part of BBC Introducing. The band's debut studio album, Lungs, was released on 6 July 2009, and held the number-two position for its first five weeks on the UK Albums Chart. On 17 January 2010, the album reached the top position, after being on the chart for twenty-eight consecutive ...more on Wikipedia

Albums: Lungs, Ceremonials, Dog Days Are Over, A Lot of Love. A Lot of Blood, Live at the Wiltern, + more

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"Play God"

"Swan Dive"

Ani DiFranco is an American singer, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, poet and songwriter. She has released more than 20 albums and is widely considered a feminist icon. DiFranco has received positive feedback from critics for much of her career. Although DiFranco's music has been classified as both folk rock and alternative rock, she has reached across genres since her earliest albums incorporating first punk, then funk, hip hop, and jazz influences. She was one of the first independent musicians to create her own record label, a move that has given her significant creative freedom. From the earliest days of her career, DiFranco has lent her voice and her name to a broad range of social ...more on Wikipedia

Albums: Not a Pretty Girl, Living in Clip, Canon, Educated Guess, Fellow Workers, + more

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