Mudcat Café message #2595968 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119547   Message #2595968
Posted By: Jack Blandiver
24-Mar-09 - 06:47 AM
Thread Name: 1954 and All That - defining folk music
Subject: RE: 1954 and All That - defining folk music
Looks like we're straying back into realms of subjective idealism here. The whole point of this thread was to look at the Objective Reality of what was being done In the Name of Folk, and whether or not that was compatible with the the 1954 definition. If you want ideals then by all means start another thread - call it: The Folk Police: What Should be Happening in Our Folk Clubs or even worse What Used to Happen in Our Folk Clubs but Doesn't Now, or worse still Why What I Do is Proper Folk and What Anyone Else Does Isn't. And I'm not too bothered about a discussion of standards either - least of all from someone who felt it necessary to dismiss my singing of a traditional ballad as being somehow akin to bad pop music.

I only listen to folk music in singarounds & clubs; I steer well clear of Folk Celebrity (with few exceptions) and anything that involves PA systems (on account of my damaged hearing*) and on those rare occasions I do listen to folk at home, I listen to the so-called Source Singers. One of my favourites is Mrs Pearl Brewer, as recorded by Max Hunter in 1958; her singing of The Cruel Mother (Here) I regard as damn near definitive & yet I'm sure many here would disagree, and well they might. I don't go to a singaround to judge people on their weaknesses, rather I go to appreciate them on their strengths - even the strength of having the balls to get up and sing a song in the first place. The fact that here in 2009 people are still doing it is cause for celebration, & celebrate I jolly well will; I go to get pissed and have a ball. I like a laugh & enjoy the crack (as we Northumbrians say) even though all my songs tend to be serious traditional songs & ballads, sung seriously too. However bad my singing is judged to be I reserve that right to sing what I am moved to sing and must, therefore respect that right in others too.

* I blame the Pink Fairies for this, one of their numerous farewell tours, circa 1975, which has made it painful for me to endure loud music ever since. Coincidentally, it was around that time I first started wandering into Folk Clubs; for respite likely. It's worse now, so when over-amplification is involved I tend not to bother.