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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Howard Jones The current state of folk music in UK (2105* d) RE: The current state of folk music in UK 02 Nov 19

Jim, I must challenge your constant denigration of guest clubs as "little more than mini-concerts for stars and passive bums-on seats".

You seem to forget, or to be unaware, how unusual your own background is. Most of us didn't have the benefit of advice from the leading figures in the folk revival. We didn't have workshops, discussion groups or do breathing exercises, because there was no one with the knowledge and expertise to run them. We didn't have nearby pubs full of Irish fiddlers. My folk education was almost entirely in the folk clubs, and much of that I had to pick up by observation rather than discussion.

When I first started, my education came from watching the guests. There were the ones I picked up ideas, repertoire and inspiration from. Getting up to sing in front of them made my want to get better. The club was where I got to buy their records from which to learn new material. Without the guests, it would have just been the same crowd of regular floor singers, most of whom were in the same situation. We needed that regular exposure to new, different musicians to develop our own music.

I think that where clubs nowadays are in the doldrums it is because their singers don't get that exposure to new ideas, new songs and better technique. We need more guest clubs, not fewer.

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