Pete Seeger once described the political folk singers of the 1960s as “Woody’s Children,” a tribute to the great Woody Guthrie who inspired them. Ochs, Dylan, and others realized how much they owed to Woody, and were not shy about showing their gratitude. Likewise, when a new generation of political musicians came after Phil, they too acknowledged their debt to him. So to carry on the tradition of recognizing those who were their musical inspirations, these are some artists who might be called “Phil’s children.”
Eric Andersen (born February 14, 1943) is an American singer-songwriter, who has written songs recorded by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Linda Ronstadt, Grateful Dead and many others. Early in his career, in the 1960s, he was part of the Greenwich Village folk scene. After two decades & sixteen albums of solo performance he became a member of the supergroup Danko/Fjeld/Andersen. Since the late 1990s, he has resumed his solo career. Andersen is still recording and performing live in Europe, Japan and North America.
Jello Biafra (born Eric Reed Boucher; June 17, 1958) is the former lead singer and songwriter for San Francisco punk rock band Dead Kennedys, and is currently a musician and spoken word artist. After he left the Dead Kennedys, he took over the influential independent record label Alternative Tentacles, which he had co-founded in 1979 with Dead Kennedys bandmate East Bay Ray. Although now focused primarily on spoken word, he has continued as a musician in numerous collaborations.
Stephen William “Billy” Bragg (born 20 December 1957) is an English singer-songwriter and left-wing activist.His music blends elements of folk music, punk rock and protest songs, and his lyrics mostly deal with political or romantic themes.
Harry Forster Chapin (December 7, 1942 – July 16, 1981) was an American singer-songwriter best known for his folk rock songs including “Taxi,” “W*O*L*D,” “Sniper”, “Flowers Are Red,” and the No. 1 hit “Cat’s in the Cradle.” Chapin was also a dedicated humanitarian who fought to end world hunger; he was a key participant in the creation of the Presidential Commission on World Hunger in 1977. In 1987, Chapin was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his humanitarian work.
Tracy Chapman (born March 30, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter, known for her hits “Fast Car” and “Give Me One Reason”, along with other singles “Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution”, “Baby Can I Hold You”, “Crossroads”, “New Beginning” and “Telling Stories”. She is a multi-platinum and four-time Grammy Award-winning artist.
Ani DiFranco born Angela Maria DiFranco; September 23, 1970) is an American singer, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, poet and songwriter. She has released more than 20 albums and is widely considered afeminist icon. DiFranco has received positive feedback from critics for much of her career.
Disappear Fear (stylized as disappear fear) is an American indie pop/indie folk/Americana/world beat band formed in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1987.
Stephen Fain “Steve” Earle ( (born January 17, 1955) is an American rock, country and folk singer-songwriter, record producer, author and actor. Earle began his career as a songwriter in Nashville and released his first EP in 1982. His breakthrough album was the 1986 album Guitar Town. Since then Earle has released 15 other studio albums and received three Grammy awards. His songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash,Waylon Jennings, Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Shawn Colvin and Emmylou Harris. He has appeared in film and television, and has written a novel, a play, and a book of short stories.
Greg Greenway (born in Richmond, Virginia) is an American folk singer/songwriter. Currently living in the Boston area, he is part of the folk scene there. His humorous song “Massachusetts” was included on the “Car Talk” radio program.
Evan Greer is a radical genderqueer singer/songwriter, parent, and community organizer based in Boston. (S)he writes and performs high-energy acoustic songs that inspire hope, build community, and incite resistance! At 25 years old, Evan tours internationally as a musician and facilitates interactive workshops to support movements for justice and liberation. Wielding an arsenal of fiercely radical songs that vary in style from pop-punk poetry to foot-stompin’ bluegrass singalongs, Evan has been honored to collaborate, tour, and share stages with artists as musically diverse as Pete Seeger, Immortal Technique, Billy Bragg, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Pamela Means, Against Me!, The Coup, Anne Feeney, Oi Polloi, State Radio, Leftover Crack, Emma’s Revolution, The Mammals, Defiance Ohio, Holly Near, Chumbawamba, and Vicci Martinez (featured on NBC’s “The Voice”.)
John Wesley Harding
Wesley Stace (born 22 October 1965) is a folk/pop singer-songwriter and author who has used the stage name John Wesley Harding. Under his legal name, he has written four novels. He is also a university teacher and the curator of Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders.
Kim & Reggie Harris
Kim and Reggie Harris are two singers, songwriters, storytellers, educators, historical interpreters and cultural advocates.
David Rovics (born April 10, 1967) is an American indie singer/songwriter. His music concerns topical subjects such as the 2003 Iraq war, anti-globalization and social justice issues. Rovics has been an outspoken critic of former President George W. Bush, the Republican Party, John Kerry, and the Democratic Party. Rovics is critical of the United States government’s policies and claims that the “U.S. government’s foreign policy represents U.S. corporate interests” and that “the U.S. government does not like democracy either at home or abroad.
Dar Williams (Dorothy Snowden Williams, born April 19, 1967) is an American singer-songwriter specializing in pop folk. Hendrik Hertzberg of the The New Yorker has described Williams as “one of America’s very best singer-songwriters.”She is a frequent performer at folk festivals and has toured with such artists as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Patty Griffin, Ani DiFranco, The Nields, Shawn Colvin, Girlyman, Joan Baez, and Catie Curtis.
Roy Zimmerman (born October 7, 1957) is an American satirical singer-songwriter and guitarist whose self-proclaimed leftist-slanted commentary is primarily focused on social issues and politics.