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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
blt Folkies vs Singer/Songwriters (89* d) RE: Folkies vs Singer/Songwriters 03 Jan 01

These threads are tricky--I read all of this one twice and went back to read the one in defense of singer/songwriters before noticing that most of this thread dates from July 1999. My perspective, having thought of my own self as a folksinger and a songwriter for many years, is the folk process is only visible from a distance. The more detailed and rigid I get about the songs, the melody, the notes, the steps, the further I am from understanding. This discussion appears to have some of that myopia. One example of this is my recent experience with open mikes in New England (I now live in Oregon, but I spent the last two years in New Hampshire). Open mikes can be many things--frustrating, rough, poorly organized, incredibly spontaneous, chauvinistic, boring, rich, clique-ish, eclectic--but, after many nights on the open mike trail, I have to say that they are generative in the true sense of the folk process. And it is this constant creativity, like a kind of upwelling, that becomes folksong. These threads do the exact same thing, only through narrative. We are involved in the folk process constantly, whether we like it or not. It's not a commercial product, like a capo or a set of strings, no one owns the rights--folk music, folk song, the folk process--all are much bigger than I am. For me as a songwriter, I have chosen to be in the upwelling--indeed, the upwelling has really chosen me for I don't seem to be able to write anything except using traditional forms, and as a singer, I find traditional music has profound meaning to me. I also am drawn to contemporary songs, but they are almost always the ones that have a traditional chording or melody to them. blt

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