Counterfolk arrived in the early 2000s in Boston to describe a style of music that emerged from within the Boston/Cambridge folk scene, but didn't quite fit the typical kitty-cat folk and stepped beyond the onslaught of Dave Matthews and Ani Difranco copycats.

Some have claimed it's similar to antifolk in much of its scope and attitude, but this is not clearly the case. Counterfolk is perhaps more reliant on content than on concept...the reverse being a common, though perhaps flawed, criticism of antifolk.

According to one outside observer, the distinction between counterfolk and antifolk is:

"okay, the geek's answer is ... antifolk was invented by this guy named lach in the lower east village in 1980something. he disliked the flavor of "folk" music in the 1980s ... everything sounded like tree-hugging new age garbage to his ears. if that was folk, he was antifolk. what meant was that he loved bob dylan, townes van zandt and phil ochs and odetta and all the hardcore stuff that came out of the weird, dark mountains in america and from the troubadour traditions in europe since the dawn of language or thereabouts.

counterfolk popped up in boston in 2000 or 2001 (only the counterfolk archivists know for sure). it seems to be more of a postmodern thing. less reactionary, overtly and maybe more of a moniker for moniker's sake. the cats making this noise are mostly about post-punk/post-grunge chunking rhythms, observations on the tilting socio-political mess all around us and the art-folk echoes of the mid-nineties (read: post-jim's big ego, post-moxy fruvous). they do sometime tend to rock."

Indeed, it appears that counterfolkers are more closely influenced by punk, new wave, grunge, and indie rock than any form, current or past, of folk music.

A bunch of counterfolkers got together and formed The Counterfolk Collective. This lineup originally included Joe Kowan, Leesa, Sophia Cacciola, Boys Suck, John Sage, and Bryan McPherson. Since its birth, John and Bryan have reduced their ties to the counterfolk movement.

Additional counterfolk trivia bit: Some have declared April as counterfolk month.

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