I'm going to tell you what Folk Music did for me...
I used to be a Rock and Roller to the core. I used lots of distortion on me guitar, and played electrics exclusively. I played in bars, clubs, and what-have-you, and what I can tell you is, even in the rehearsal room, it GOT TOO F**KIN' LOUD!
This was my reasoning initially for switching to a softer, and more dynamic type of playing. Then, I noticed that through the din, the soul and meaning of my music had gone as well.
Needless to say, this would not do. I stopped, I quit/broke up my Rock band, and my Bass player and I started doing Acoustic gigs. I started, through some of the influences I had, to listen to some other things like Country Blues, older Country, like Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, and Bluegrass like, you guessed it, Bill Monroe.
I then took a closer look into some people I was already listening to like Dylan, Havens, etc.
My influences became more varied, and focused on a different genre. A type of music that I'd always heard as 'Folk' music. Meaning music from the folks by the folks about the folks. Of course, some of these were stories passed down from generations. Most of these musicians interpreted the music their own way. Like Blues songs are adapted, and sometimes twisted to suit who played them.
So... in short... I now write from the point of view of myself, and things that people I know experienced. 'Reality' music, as Chuck 'Tarheel' Hemrick would call it... 'Folk' music, as most people understand it to be.
- Chris Nightbird Childs