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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Howard Jones Where Have all the Folkies Gone (187* d) RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone 08 Feb 19

I think that true traditional singing has always been a minority interest even among folkies. Some (including some Mudcatters) are open scornful about it. I believe most people are attracted to folk music by hearing modern revival performers, and on first hearing traditional singers can sound too rough-and-ready compared with modern singers. It is a very different aesthetic from modern interpretations and takes time and careful listening to come to appreciate. It was much easier when you could be in the room with the singers and experience the full force of their personalities, but sadly many of them are no longer with us.

I started going to folk clubs around 1970. All I knew was revival folk sung by young(ish) people with guitars and the occasional more exotic instrument. For a long time I was under the impression that traditional folk singers had all died out around the time of Cecil Sharp, and apart from a couple of rare survivals such as the Coppers and Fred Jordan there was no 'real' folk song left. I was completely unaware that only an hour up the A12 from where I lived there was still a relatively thriving traditional music community. My first visit to an English Country Music Weekend in Suffolk was a revelation.

Most younger folkies won't have that experience or be exposed to traditional singing, unless they deliberately seek it out. However they're about as likely to own a CD player as my generation was to own a cylinder gramophone. I think Rod's admirable efforts are caught between serving an older generation (who generally prefer to own a physical item and have the technology to play it) and a generation who are more used to streaming music for free.

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