One firm believer in the rule that folk music should be depressing is Joni Mitchell. Elsewhere in the International House of ZZYZX is my review of her album Hejira. In addition to her ode to roadtrips, Joni wrote many other amazing albums, many of which are suitable for moods in which you just do not want to get out of bed.
I attended a progressive high school in my youth. One year someone sang "The Queen and the Soldier" during a talent show. I asked her who the song was by; the artist's name was Suzanne Vega. Throughout the next 2 years, it was rare for her self titled cd to not be in my cd player. While I am not a big fan of some of her newer stuff, her early material will always hold a soft place in my heart. If you ever get a chance to get copies of her early bootlegs when she used to tell stories do so. The "Marlene on the Wall" story is amazing
Another thing that happened when I was in highschool was that my friend Steve Waldman told me about a band that was kind of like the opposite of Suzanne Vega. While Suzanne Vega saw darkness and romaticized it, these women, who called themselves The Indigo Girls thought that lightness, while "(having) a call that's hard to hear," is also valid. As a result of (1) coming from Steve whose taste I trusted immensly (He was the one who introduced me to Joni Mitchell) and (2) having them compared to my current favourite performer, I had to run out and get their self titled album. I didn't yet know about the Dark Amy vs Light Emily split. I didn't know yet about their fun loving but kind of obessive fans such as moosejuice, Eggie May/Dragonfly, and piquet- all of whom would tell me that they are not obsesssed :).. However, I would soon learn much more about them than I would ever want to know. :) If you didn't like the official page by the way, there are other Indigo Girls pages. For example there's Kid Fear's Indigo Girls page and the Lifeblood Indigo Girls Collection
Other people I like at times: