Mudcat Café message #1999612 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #99963   Message #1999612
Posted By: Peace
17-Mar-07 - 03:06 PM
Thread Name: It isn't 'Folk', but what is it we do?
Subject: RE: It isn't 'Folk', but what is it we do?
I have often gone to pubs where Irish music is sung to listen to the singers and drink coffee. I like the music, the melodies and the words. I tolerate some of the songs so I can enjoy the others.

I would not cross the street to hear someone singing "The Log Driver's Waltz" or "The Black Fly song" unless I knew the singer to be someone with excellent phrasing/someone from whom I could learn to improve my own skills in the craft/art. I would travel a few hundred miles to hear The Rankin Family because of their musicianship, harmonies and songs--which go all the way from rock to Irish Gaelic trad music. Fact is, I am less interested in the category than in the songs themselves and the presentation by the performers. I do not know where those who like things in categories would put Susan Aglukark. Her I'd go listen to. And The Dixie Chicks. And Bob Ryszkiewicz (a Montreal-based bluesman with great phrasing and aspects of drama in his material). But the fact is I wouldn't cross the street to hear Robert Johnson because I don't think he was all that good.

Some of the songs presented in trad performances are tired, like some of the newly-written songs by people who want to be songwriters. Trad doesn't not equal good anymore than modern equals good. Of course, the converse holds true. Unless you have done something brilliant and new with an arrangement of "Greensleeves", thanks but I don't want to hear it for time 861. This speaks only for me. I've listened to people like Louis Killen, The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, Richie Havens, John Lee Hooker, Lonnie Johnson, Janis Ian, Joni Mitchell, PP and M--all up close and personal. Frankly, it's the music, writing and performances I enjoyed. As for the categories, I really don't care.