城市民谣始于七十年代，把黑人布鲁斯、爵士乐甚至雷吉音乐元素融入进来。保罗·西蒙和阿特·加芬克尔这个二重唱组，用高超的吉他弹奏，美妙的嗓音让城市民谣进入了和谐的技术的时代。以前民谣中的抗议之声由一种“蓝领摇滚”表达。美国城市民谣在八十年代又有了传人——崔西·查普曼（Tracy Chapman），另一位是苏珊娜·薇格（Suzanne Vega）。
Urban Folk was a movement of singer/songwriters in the '80s that grew out of punk rock. Urban folk musicians were initially inspired by punk rock but they performed solo, either with an acoustic or electric guitar. Urban folk was extremely political — the songs had basic melodies and direct, angry lyrics. Though there was only a small handful of urban folk musicians, they made a significant impact in the mid-'80s.