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Best Folk Punk Bands

Photograph of the blog post author, Annika Hope

Annika Hope


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Folk Punk music is popular because it often features relatable lyrics about personal struggles, social justice issues, and anti-establishment themes, set to upbeat and energetic melodies that are easy to sing along to. Additionally, the DIY ethos of Folk Punk appeals to many fans who appreciate the authenticity and sincerity of the music. Today, we will be discussing the best folk punk bands, so we better get going!

Folk Punk Bands

What Is Folk Punk Music?

Folk punk is a genre of music that combines elements of traditional folk music with punk rock. It often incorporates themes of social and political activism.

Folk punk music emerged in the 1980s as a fusion of folk music and punk rock. It was characterized by its DIY ethos, political lyrics, and use of acoustic instruments such as acoustic guitar, banjo, and accordion. Some of the early pioneers of the genre include bands like The Pogues, Violent Femmes, and Billy Bragg. Folk punk has since evolved and continues to be a popular subgenre of punk rock.

What Do You Need To Start Folk Punk Bands?

To start a folk punk band, you will typically need musicians who can play instruments such as guitar, banjo, mandolin, and accordion, as well as a vocalist. You will also need equipment such as amplifiers, microphones, and possibly a PA system. Additionally, having a unique sound and style, as well as a passion for the genre, can help set your band apart and attract fans.

Best Folk Punk Bands

Who are the best folk punk bands and have you heard of them all? Come on then, who is first on the list? 

Against Me! – Folk Punk Bands

Against Me! is a punk rock band from Gainesville, Florida, known for their politically charged lyrics and energetic live performances. They were formed in 1997 and have released several critically acclaimed albums over the years.

Mischief Brew

Mischief Brew was a folk punk band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, known for their politically charged lyrics and energetic performances. The band was active from 2000 until the death of their lead singer and songwriter, Erik Petersen, in 2016.

Days N’ Daze

Days N’ Daze is a Houston-based American band that plays folk punk, which they call “H-Town Thrashgrass.” They have been active since 2008 and follow a DIY approach to recording, producing, and promoting their music.

The Pogues

The Pogues were a British Celtic punk band formed in 1982. Their music blended traditional Irish folk with punk rock, and their lyrics often dealt with themes of working-class life, love, and drinking. The band’s most famous member was lead singer Shane MacGowan, known for his distinctive voice and heavy drinking. The Pogues released several successful albums in the 1980s and early 1990s, including “Rum Sodomy & the Lash” and “If I Should Fall from Grace with God.” They disbanded in 1996 but reunited for occasional performances in the following years. The Pogues are considered one of the most influential bands in the Celtic punk genre.


AJJ (formerly known as Andrew Jackson Jihad) is an American folk punk band formed in Phoenix, Arizona in 2004. The band consists of Sean Bonnette (vocals, guitar), Ben Gallaty (bass), Preston Bryant (keyboards, guitar), and Mark Glick (drums). Their music often tackles political and social issues, as well as personal struggles and relationships. They have released multiple albums, including “People Who Can Eat People Are the Luckiest People in the World” and “Knife Man,” and have gained a dedicated fanbase for their unique sound and honest lyrics.

Defiance, Ohio

Defiance, Ohio was a folk punk band from Columbus, Ohio, active from 2002 to 2012. The band’s music was characterized by a DIY ethos, incorporating elements of punk rock, folk, and indie rock. Their lyrics often addressed political and social issues, and they were known for their activism and involvement in various social justice causes. Defiance, Ohio released several albums and toured extensively throughout their career, becoming influential figures in the folk punk scene.

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys is an American Celtic punk band formed in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1996. The band consists of lead vocalist Al Barr, bassist and backing vocalist Ken Casey, guitarist James Lynch, drummer Matt Kelly, mandolin and banjo player Tim Brennan, bagpipe player and tin whistle player Josh “Scruffy” Wallace, and accordion player and keyboardist Jeff DaRosa. They are known for their energetic live performances and their fusion of traditional Irish folk music with punk rock. Some of their most popular songs include “I’m Shipping Up to Boston,” “The State of Massachusetts,” and “Rose Tattoo.” They have released nine studio albums and have been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards.

Violent Femmes

Violent Femmes is an American folk punk band formed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1981. The band consists of singer/guitarist Gordon Gano, bassist Brian Ritchie, and drummer John Sparrow. Their self-titled debut album, released in 1983, became a cult classic and included the hit songs “Blister in the Sun” and “Add It Up”. The band continued to release albums throughout the 80s and 90s, with notable hits including “Gone Daddy Gone” and “American Music”. They have been credited with influencing the development of alternative rock and have a dedicated fanbase. The band has experienced some lineup changes over the years, but Gano and Ritchie remain the core members.

The Dreadnoughts

The Dreadnoughts are a Canadian folk punk band from Vancouver, British Columbia. They were formed in 2006 and are known for their high-energy shows and fusion of punk rock and traditional folk music. Their music often features instruments such as accordion, mandolin, and fiddle, and their lyrics often touch on themes of drinking, love, and rebellion. Some of their most popular songs include “Polka’s Not Dead,” “Gintlemen’s Club,” and “Roll Northumbria.” The band has released several albums and has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe.

Flogging Molly

Flogging Molly is an Irish-American punk rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1997. Their music is a fusion of traditional Irish folk music and punk rock, with lyrics that often address political and social issues. The band’s lineup consists of Dave King (vocals, acoustic guitar, bodhrán), Bridget Regan (violin, tin whistle), Dennis Casey (electric guitar), Matt Hensley (accordion, concertina), Nathen Maxwell (bass guitar), Mike Alonso (drums), and Spencer Swain (mandolin, banjo). Flogging Molly has released several critically acclaimed albums, including “Swagger,” “Drunken Lullabies,” and “Float,” and has become known for their energetic live performances.

Folk Punk Music Festivals

There are plenty of festivals that cater to folk punk. Folk punk music festivals are events that showcase musicians and bands that blend elements of folk music and punk rock. Some popular folk punk festivals include Muddy Roots Music Festival in Cookeville, Moonrunners in Chicago, Stoop Fest in Lansing, Compost Heap in Denver and Punx in the Woods in Wenatchee National Forest in Washington.

Summary – Best Folk Punk Bands

That was our article about the best folk punk bands, but I feel that we have only scratched the surface, so please do keep listening to this style of music. It will make your day, I assure you.


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