But, you might say, my audience isn’t chiefly composed of rustic farmers or old folks: how will my audience respond to folk music? The answer lies in how you adapt and deliver those traditional songs. The same traditional ballad can please grandparents at a town fair, young rockers at a punk show, or singer-songwriter fans in an urban café. Same song, different delivery. Dare to believe in the message of the songs, and deliver them the same way you’d deliver your original songs—take them seriously, and use modern vocal styling and instruments. The effect can be quite striking: a two-hundred-year-old ballad can take on new life. Many traditional folk songs have simple musical structures, so you can play them simply or adapt them to your musical tastes, turning them into anything from heavy metal to experimental jazz. If you’ve been turned off folk music by hearing corny, old-fashioned or sloppy renditions, then take on the challenge of giving the songs better treatment.