The term "folk music" can encompass just about anything, from Appalachian balladry to Delta blues to itinerant musicians of the western Sahara to early hip-hop to hippie singer-songwriters. For our purposes, let's define folk music as acoustic-based traditional music that made its way from the British Isles to America (most famously the South and Appalachia, as well as less renowned locales like Nova Scotia) back in the days when there was no United States or Canada, just a bunch of smelly farmers. Over time this stuff mingled with traditional sounds from Africa, France and even Germany. It also crossed paths with parlour music, a 19th-century form of pop music. By the mid-20th century America was home to a number of folk traditions, including old time, Cajun music, country blues, gospel and bluegrass. Nearly all this stuff was and is made by and for working-class rural types using a combination of voice, guitar, percussion, banjo and other stringed instruments. All this, of course, changed after the folk revival and folk-rock explosion of the 1960s. Nowadays, folk music is as much a general mindset transcending class, color and geography as it is a set of identifiable genres.