Sing Out! February/March 1966
vol. 16, no. 1.

Brief article by Gordon Friesen. p. 11.

Mimi and Dick Fariņa are making sense out of a state of affairs that was beginning to border on the ridiculous. In the last couple of years the folksong revival in the U.S. got so out of hand that every which kind of music was being, as it were, dumped into an immense bin labelled "Folk!" Under the banner of "Folk Festivals" promoters began presenting in one big soup such previously considered disparate music as city blues, country blues, jazz, country & western, bluegrass, funk soul, rock-and-roll, folk-rock, topical protests songs.

People started to ask questions. How much of all this is really "folk music?" Is any of it? Does this development represent the anarchy of collapse? Or might it just be that the merging of all this music is leading toward a dynamic qualitative change in which everything will be fused into a blazing new, a "super" folk music?

The work of the Fariņas indicates that the last question may ultimately earn an affirmative answer. They are assimilating the various forms (though by no means all of them), experimenting, shaping them to their own ends and creating a very exciting musical product. It is easy to see why the Farinas were received as among the very top performer-creators at Newport this past summer.

Both are extremely good instrumentalists. Richard, a playwright and novelist, is the writer of the husband-and-wife team, and the poetic quality of his lyrics flows smoothly even in such purely topical songs as "Birmingham Sunday." Mimi's voice, some critics say, is superior musically to that of her sister, Joan Baez. In their early 20's, Richard and Mimi met and were married in 1963 in Paris, where she was studying dance and he was a street singer.

Back to Articles