Basic Folk is a podcast with honest conversations between musicians and Cindy Howes, a well-versed public radio host and music curator, and guest host Lizzie No, a talented singer/songwriter.
Basic Folk approaches interviews with warmth, humor and insightful questions. This podcast fosters the folk community and showcases a genre that is often misunderstood.
Basic Folk features complex conversations about the human experience witnessed from an artistic angle. Our definition of “folk” is extremely broad, so you’ll hear interviews from Amythyst Kiah, Tom Rush, The Lumineers and many more.
Basic Folk is dedicated to showcasing the best in folk and roots musicians including BIPOC musicians who have been excluded, or felt like they did not belong, in the folk world. Both Cindy and Lizzie bring unique perspectives to our honest conversations and are dedicated to changing the landscape and the gatekeepers of the folk music community.
With the release of her debut album, 'Hard Won,' in March 2017, singer-songwriter, harpist, and guitarist Lizzie No established herself as one of the most exciting new voices in contemporary folk music. Billboard Magazine called the album “simultaneously understated and fervent.” She followed up the album with the release of “Sundown,” a benefit track for Black Lives Matter.
Building on the songwriting prowess displayed in her critically acclaimed debut album, Lizzie No is unsparing in the stories she tells on her new album 'Vanity,' released August 2, 2019. The nine songs on ‘Vanity’ are epic tales of ego, featuring narrative shifts within vividly crafted characters. No embodies characters ranging from a handsome egoist in “Narcissus” (which Rolling Stone called a "crisp alt-rock gem") to a broke songwriter waiting for her big break in “Pity Party,” to a bitter and isolated rocker on “Loyalty” who rants that the crowd has left him behind. Inventive arrangements written in collaboration with co-producer Nick Rapley elevate the record to shimmering heights, alternating between swaggering grooves and intimate clarity.
Lizzie has showcased at Americanafest, South by Southwest, and the Mile of Music Festival. Classical arrangements of her songs have been performed at the Louisville Orchestra's Festival of American Music and the Downtown Chamber Series. She is also a winner of the American Songwriter Magazine Lyrics Contest.
Learn More About Lizzie at www.lizzieno.com.
CINDY HOWES is passionately motivated to connect communities through meaningful music. Cindy has been a fierce folk music advocate for over two decades. She began broadcasting at just 14, at Walpole High School’s 10 watt radio station, which led her to seek a degree in Media Arts at Emerson College. Driven to secure a place on WERS’ hallowed airwaves, Cindy ended up hosting and running the station’s folk program, The Coffeehouse, for most of her tenure at Emerson. Her resume also includes WBOS, WBUR, WBZ, and WYEP. She spent ten years at WYEP hosting The Morning Mix and then The Evening Mix. Since 2014, she’s been hosting online at Folk Alley, an online radio station that's part of The Freshgrass Foundation, which joyfully connected her with folk music again. Folk Alley, WYEP and WERS are public radio stations deeply involved in community and advocating for music fans and musicians alike. Cindy’s has thrived at this intersection and knows how to bring music fans and music creators together in many different ways.
At the dawn of the COVID Pandemic, Cindy found herself at historic Club Passim in Harvard Square as their Marketing Manager in a time of crisis. This position not only reunited her with a community she's been a part of for 20 years, it also put her on the front lines of connecting musicians with listeners. She spearheaded live streaming innovations for Passim as well as conceptualized and created The Passim Emergency Artist Relief Fund (PEAR Fund), which handed out micro grants to musicians suffering from lost income due to the pandemic. In 2018 Cindy launched her own music podcast: Basic Folk, featuring honest conversations with under the radar folk musicians.
In addition to her radio and marketing work, Cindy has worked in playlist curating for restaurants and retail stores. She’s familiar with many different genres of music: folk, rock, world, hip-hop, blues and more.
Learn More about Cindy at www.cindyhowes.net.