Mudcat Café message #2531911 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #117504   Message #2531911
Posted By: Ruth Archer
05-Jan-09 - 07:17 AM
Thread Name: Folk Music: Recommendations For a Newby
Subject: RE: Folk Music: Recommendations For a Newby
"And yes, that does sound unbelievably ill educated."

No, it really doesn't. I've been involved in folk music of various kinds and breeds for more than 20 years, and my own awareness of "the English tradition" really opened up only about 5 or 6 years ago. It was consolidated by my first visit to the (sadly demised) National Folk Festival 3 or 4 years ago, where the light just went on for me, same as it did for you. The National was probably the best festival in England for focusing on traditional music, and it was probably the place where I realised that unaccompanied singing was a respected tradition in its own right, and not something you simply did if you couldn't find a guitarist to play with you! And I wouldn't have even gone to The National if it wasn't right down the roasd from where I worked and if Waterson:Carthy hadn't been playing, so a whole damascene conversion may have been avoided... :)

I think there are fewer "entry points" for traditional, unaccompanied singing. or at least a lot of them fly under the radar of the more commercialised folk scene, so it's possible to potter quite happily in "folk music" for quite a long time without even developing a meaningful awareness of traditional song. I think music is different - there are a lot of music sessions around, and I tapped into those very early on. It isn't as easy to stumble upon traditional singing sessions out in the community, away from certain festivals, etc.

But I'm ever so glad I did! I daresay you are, too.