Mudcat Café message #2515089 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #116964   Message #2515089
Posted By: Little Hawk
14-Dec-08 - 02:17 PM
Thread Name: Why folk clubs are dying
Subject: RE: Why folk clubs are dying
Well....there's also an interesting subculture of hobbyists who get together over their common interest, which is building plastic model kits of planes, ships, armoured vehicles, figures, etc...and they are also mostly people in their 50s and over. The reason for it is similar. Plastic model kits were something that EVERY young boy (and a few girls) built in their spare time back in the 1950s and 60s and into the 70s. Those were the days long before Nintendo and computers, so kids liked building models. Some of the same people who were kids back then liked the models so much that they have continued building them ever since...so it became an adult pursuit as the decades went by. It's mostly middle-aged adults who build models now. Why? because they loved models in their youth, when the local hobby shop was in its heyday. They'll all be gone in another 20 years too. So what?

Okay...so us folkies got to love folk music when the local folk club and the folk scene was in its heyday. That was from about 1958 to 1972. The scene remains...just as any other scene does...because of the lingering affection of people remembering the days of their youth, and there are always a few new young people who also become attracted to various past trends, so it never dies out entirely....but it's not the mainstream anymore.

A folk club now is just that....a "club" for people...a place where a few local people get together with their friends to relax and share in a common interest. If they have a more informal attitude to the music than you do, that may bother you, but if you want to be part of that scene then you either have to put up with it, or else BECOME the change you wish to see. In other words, YOU learn to play some stuff really well, without screwing up any of it, and get up there onstage and do that. It should give you much satisfaction, and it should entertain other people as well. You will be personally building the future for the kind of folk club you want.

You have to understand that after a certain age when friends get together with other friends they may become a lot less demanding of performance perfection than they were in the days of youthful ambition. They're no longer trying to conquer Mount Everest, you see. Mountain climbing is for the young.

(I might add, though, that some people go on being very competitive and perfectionist no matter how old they get...and from them you will get that standard of professionalism you are expecting.)

So take the good with the bad. There's gotta be stuff happening in the folk scene that you would like too. Try going to a major folk festival in the summer. You will see some absolutely amazingly good performances there, I guarantee it.