Mudcat Café message #3183203 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138735   Message #3183203
Posted By: Jim Carroll
07-Jul-11 - 01:32 PM
Thread Name: Do purists really exist?
Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
"You confined yourself to one type of music"
Of course we did - shouldn't all folk clubs, jazz clubs, Irish music sessions.... confine themselves to what they claim to be?
The music we presented was varied enough to be interesting and to draw in regular and sizeable audience for the period of its existance - our guest included English, Irish, Scots, American, Bengali, Italian.... any music which we felt fitted our job description.
We used the tradition as a base for what we did - as did most of the clubs right up to the eighties.
Unlike a few of them, we included accompanied songs and newly composed songs in a certain style - as did most clubs right up to the eighties.
We were a policy club which had a clear enough idea of what folk music was, if not by definition "we recognised it when we heard it", as did most of the clubs right up to the eighties
We didn't include "talking horse/snigger snogwriter" singers among our guests or residents and if they came looking for bookings we expected them to take the trouble to find out what kind of club we were to make sure our audiences would appreciate what they did - for their benefit as well as ours.
We were a folk club; we presented folk songs and our audiences turned up to hear what we put on in large enough numbers to make what we did worthwhile.
We certainly didn't dicourage anybody who didn't conform - we encouraged them to do it somewhere else.
Can I assume from your rections that if somebody came along hauling a Steinway and asking to be given a booking for his performances of Rachmaninov, you'd all be dragging out your booking forms and begging him to sign on the dotted line - if not, why not?
Shimrod's last line sums it up far more economically than I could.
"I would expect such a song to be inspired by tradtional songs and not by modern, commercial pop/rock songs."
We were a FOLK CLUB; we believed we knew what folk music was (still do) and if ever we were ever in doubt we could drag a book off the shelf and double-check, or compare what we did with recordings of Walter Pardon or Belle Stewart or Joe Heaney or Kali Das Gupta or Willie Scott or - or - or.... or any of the many hundreds of singers who sang what we believe to be folk song.
When clubs stopped honouring their committment to the audiences and took away their right to choose what music they wished to listen to, that's when the audiences, media presence, literature, specialist shops and record companies... everything we had worked to achieve, disappeared like a puff of smoke.
Can I also presume that if you object to what we did, you also disgree with companies like Topic, Free Reed, Folkways, Argo, Blackthorn... were also doing? More or less the same as we were as I remember.
If anybody can offer an alternative "folk music" to the one we were presenting - please feel free to do so - nobody has so far.
Jim Carroll   
PS I must apologise for my delay in replying - got trapped in a session full of young pipers, most of them in their teens, playing music that would stand yor hair on end - do you have any message to pass on regarding what they should be doing rather than wasting their time playing purist crap?