Mudcat Café message #2584710 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119211   Message #2584710
Posted By: GUEST,Tom Bliss
09-Mar-09 - 11:55 AM
Thread Name: Tom Bliss Article -So long and thanks
Subject: RE: Tom Bliss - So long and thanks
I'm sure Sunray's a great club, Bob, and I'm sorry I never got there, but I'm not talking about a few less able singers in an existing audience. I'm trying to encourage a really wide view, because I think I see a long term trend developing. The joining-in end of the folk movement is fine and healthy, and the pay-quite-a-bit-for-a-good show end is fine and healthy. But the wonderful compromise upon which the movement was founded, with its balance between participation and performance is, in places, creaking - and if it cracks, and the movement fragments, there could be long term detrimental effects at both ends.

This compromise, in which guest artists are welcomed by loyal club supporters who trust the organiser's judgement and turn out even if they won't get a sing, is still in great shape in many clubs. But not as many as once. And if every club becomes full of people who are not interested in guest nights, while they also remain unattractive to people who love folk music but don't like clubs (I have a few hundred on my mailing list for the record), then that compromise will die.

This may be inevitable, but if it is we'll need some other ideas to fill the gap and re-connect the two ends of the folk world - such as, perhaps, a bigger hall circuit, house concerts, fee-paying open mics, more folk on TV and lots of ideas we haven't had yet.

I'm want people to think hard about all of it.