Comfort music for troubled times

Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers, Phillip Phillips…even the names have a comfort level to them. They are all over pop radio with this simple folk sound that echoes the roots of all acoustic music. Ever since someone stretched some strings over a hollow block of wood many moons ago, making stories and feelings come to life by a warm fire; we have been doing this. From the surface stuff I have heard, this is not protest folk music of the 60’s coming back. Pete Seeger is still doing that, even though he must be about 100 years old by now. This is something else. This new roots music does share some of the vibe of old Irish folk music but the angst and isolation is more inclusive as we make our shared way through uncertain waters. This is about people wanting music that makes them feel better instead of worse. This is music that warms the soul instead of starting it on fire.