Mudcat Café message #2795821 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #125998   Message #2795821
Posted By: Jim Carroll
24-Dec-09 - 03:11 PM
Thread Name: the UK folk revival in 2010
Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
"We don't all live in Miltown Malbay either."
Nope, you don't, but I do, and I can go out at least four nights a week and hear excellent traditional music played to a good standard within a mile from my door. Here, youngsters from around 14 years old upwards are flocking to play, I would reckon there are something between 75 to 100 of these living in the immediate area. Should I decide not to brave the elements and stay at home instead, I can listen or view on radio or television, good programmes on traditional music and song, sessions and serious documentaries, most nights of the week.
On a personal level I can be (and have been) taken seriously by regional and national art groups who will fund up to (and over) 10,000 for any responsibly applied for folk music project.
Lots more where that came from, so I'll leave it there for now.
The secret? Well, no secret really, just simple common sense. People here have realised that you are not going to be taken seriously, not attract audiences, not pass on the music to the next generation, unless you respect the music you are playing, the people you got if from, and your potential audiences, enough to make a reasonable job of what you do.
This means applying standards above "wanting to be a performer," (remind me who suggested that one) and making sure your that musicians can play their instruments well enough, and your singers can remember the words without a crib sheet, can hold a tune, and can (at the very least) give the impresson that they understand and are enjoying the songs they are singing.
Please don't tell me that non-standards are not a feature of many UK clubs - I've experienced them personally and recently, and I've read them argued for interminably on this forum, from you and from many others.
Anything less than reasonable standards is the kiss of death for folk and any music (or any other artistic or creative endevour) and an insult to the intelligence and the judgement of any potential audience.
It has also helped that if a session is described as "traditional" you are not going to have to sit though interminable and badly sung "Blues, Shanties, Kipling, Cicely Fox Smith, Music Hall, George Formby, Pop, County, Dylan, Cohen, Cash, Medieval Latin, Beatles, Irish Jigs and Reels, Scottish Strathspeys, Gospel, Rock, Classical Guitar, Native American Chants, Operatic Arias and even the occasional Traditional Song and Ballad", as was proposed on this forum as a definition for folk music not too long ago.
Jim Carroll