Mudcat Café message #3183427 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138735   Message #3183427
Posted By: GUEST,Shimrod
07-Jul-11 - 06:26 PM
Thread Name: Do purists really exist?
Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
"A non-traditional folk singer came into her place and screamed at her VERY obscenely for half an hour because she told him she wouldn't book him, and why. This was, at the time, one of the very few places in town that focused on traditional music. There were numerous places for him to play, but he felt that any place that said folk music had to automatically book him because he played folk."

I'm not surprised at this sorry tale at all. I suspect that it gets to the heart of what discussions like this are really all about. In the 50s and 60s there was a brief fad for a form called Skiffle followed by a guitar-based, Dylanesque commercial form to which was applied the label 'Folk'; this was/is widely popular - and there's no reason why it shouldn't be (although I'll put my cards on the table and say that it doesn't particularly appeal to me).

At the same time there evolved a less commercial, grass-roots movement based on traditional Folk music, and two of the leading lights/prime movers in this latter movement were Lloyd and MacColl. The latter was an inspired but controversial figure who was associated with a club which once had a policy which demanded that people who sang at that club should only sing songs from their own region. There were perfectly good reasons for this - which have been discussed, at great length, before. Nevertheless, this (now long defunct) policy has caused apoplexy, in some circles, ever since.

I suspect that this on-going apoplexy about a prehistoric policy, and all of this constant droning on about purists, is because 'Folk' singers, who probably either don't like, or can't see the point of, traditional based Folk, think (like the singer in the story above)that they should have unrestricted access to the clubs based on traditional Folk.

At the same time there have been, in the long history of the Post-War Revival, a few silly buggers who have said things like, "you can't bring that guitar in here" and "you're singing it wrong" etc. Such people should be dealt with by giving them a good, hard slap!