When Nonesuch Records celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, with festivals at London's Barbican Centre and New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Kronos Quartet joined forces with four labelmates – Sam Amidon, Olivia Chaney, Rhiannon Giddens and Natalie Merchant – to perform a concert entitled Folk Songs. The group later recorded the songs, most of which are traditional with contemporary arrangements, with Doug Petty as the album's producer. In addition, the album includes the instrumental "Last Kind Words" by Geeshie Wiley.
For more than 40 years, San Francisco's Kronos Quartet – David Harrington and John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello) – has combined a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually re-imagine the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the world's most celebrated and influential ensembles, performing thousands of concerts, releasing more than sixty recordings, collaborating with many of the world's most eclectic composers and performers, and commissioning more than 900 works and arrangements for string quartet.