Good point Sean!!!
Steve, feel free to become a member and lose that guest handle. Dylan is a good example and I agree with your points. Tom Paxton, Stan Rogers, Phil Ochs, Pat Sky, Si Kahn, Lennon/McCartney for that matter and a ton of others have written excellent material that will enter the standard "TRAD" song list over time. In some of our long winded discussions on "What is Folk" around here, many points of view are well and strongly upheld. But for me, a lot of it is more semantical than serious differences. A point that most tend to agree to is what some refer to as the "Navel Contemplator" songwriter who is thrown into the "Folk" classification but does no trad stuff, doesn't really pay much homage to what has come before, and writes songs that are so personal that no one but them can sing them with any meaning.
Sure folk has a future, but it will still be up to us to use the same technology that has closed some doors, to open up others to continue the "folk process" and the "oral traditions" in some additional ways now available. Its still a small market and a bit of the hard scrabble life for folk music, but its still alive and the tradition continues in some untraditional ways.