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Best Folk Artist 

Cassie Morgan

If folk music is to remain vital, evolving and yet faithful to a timeless tradition, then it needs more artists like Cassie Morgan. Though she probably prefers to be backed by the percussion, banjo, bass and glockenspiel of the Lonely Pine (and would probably prefer not to be saddled with the folk label to begin with), Morgan can silence a chatty room with one breathy syllable, one shivering guitar strum. Her voice bears an earthy grace, with the faintest trace of twang, and her recordings (to date, one EP of five songs; an album is due soon) betray an otherworldly presence that connects her to the core truths of folk music: melodic integrity, sonic intimacy and lyrical mystery.

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