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Josh Ritter is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, named one of the "100 Greatest Living Songwriters" by Paste magazine. He started out studying neuroscience at Oberlin College, but later switched[…]

Musical genres are almost impossible to classify.

Question: Where does folkrnmusic stand now as compared to the ‘60s?


Josh Ritter:rnWell, it’s, I think of folk music as anything you can sing in the car onrn thernway home.  That’s always been whatrnI think of because that’s—so whether you’re coming back from a Fleetwoodrn Macrnreunion concert, or whether you’ve got Mississippi John Herd on, or you rnknow,rnyou’ve got Gillian Welch, it doesn’t matter.  Folkrn is such a marketing term, you know.  And it’s rnnot—it’s so hard to quantifyrnor classify anymore.  I don’trnknow.  I mean, I always thoughtrnthat what I was doing was rock n’ roll with lots of words because I get rnthernfeeling when I’m playing that I’m not a part of any sort of—I feel like rnwhatrnI’m playing is rock n’ roll, although I don’t know why.  Andrn there’s no real reason to say that,rnbut I feel that the quietest music can be rock n’ roll—Beethoven is rockrn andrnroll.  So, you now, it’s hard tornsay. 


But I would say that folk music is in the same boatrn withrneverybody now.  You know, it’s likernin a world where you can go on Facebook and hear millions of people rnplayingrnmillions and millions of songs, and it’s hard to say what the community rnofrnmusic is anymore.

Recorded April 5, 2010
Interviewed by Austin rnAllen