New Jersey Folk Revival Music – History & Tradition

New Jersey has been home to numerous milestones that have shaped folk revival music as an art form. Garden State’s folk revival music heritage begins in the Colonial era with local musicians singing bawdy tunes in taverns, and continues to the magical sounds heard throughout the Pine Barrens; to the “guitar mania” phenomenon that unfolded in the 1800s; to the first studio recording made by Woody Guthrie; to early concert performances by Bob Dylan and Joan Baez; to thirty-nine installments of a public television show featuring Pete Seeger; to cultural programs sponsored by community organizations; to the romance of open-mic nights at village coffeehouses.

Folk revival music in New Jersey continues to evolve as a “living history” that builds upon time-honored traditions. The Garden State is home to the New Jersey Folk Festival and the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival—two annual events that have attracted thousands of fans during the last 40-plus years.

The book documents the Garden State’s vast contributions to this musical genre and examines the effects of folk revival music on local history and culture, as well as how it has changed lives—those on stage and those in the audience.

Michael C. Gabriele

About Michael C. Gabriele (North Jersey Author)

Michael C. Gabriele

Author Michael C. Gabriele lives in Clifton, NJ, and, during the last seven years, has written three books for Arcadia Publishing/The History Press: “The Golden Age of Bicycle Racing in New Jersey;” “The History of Diners in New Jersey;” and “New Jersey Folk Revival Music – History and Tradition.”

He’s currently “on tour” throughout the Garden State, doing book talks and programs for various libraries, historical societies, museums and civic organizations.

A lifelong New Jersey resident, Gabriele is a 1975 graduate of Montclair State University and has worked as a journalist and freelance writer for four decades. He’s a member of the executive board of the Nutley Historical Society and serves on the advisory board of the Clifton Arts Center.