Mudcat Café message #3187752 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138735   Message #3187752
Posted By: John P
14-Jul-11 - 05:49 PM
Thread Name: Do purists really exist?
Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
Steamin' Willie, my point, which I made very clear, is that you were complaining about being told that you shouldn't enjoy the music you enjoy. Here's your quote again, for you to contemplate: . . .wondering if I am allowed to enjoy it because some prat keeps saying folk is about . . .

I'm not saying that purists don't exist. I'm saying that the idea that anyone gives a damn about what you enjoy listening to exists only in your head. I'm saying that making that kind of comment indicates that you don't get what we're talking about and that you are setting up a straw man so you can have something to bitch about. Also, calling someone a prat because they define the word "folk" differently than you do is uncalled for.

I'm also not trying to get you to shut up (another conversation that's only taking place in your head?). I'm trying to get you to talk about what's actually being talked about. The fact that someone disagrees with you about the definition of folk music doesn't mean anything except that someone disagrees with you about the definition of folk music. One of the big reasons that discussions about the nature of folk music often turn nasty is that people like you apparently believe that people who disagree with you are trying to control you in some way.

While not a purist in any pure sense of the word, I regret that singer-songwriters refer to their music as folk. I understand, however, that the world has moved on and that "folk" now refers to multiple genres of music and is therefore less useful as a descriptor than it used to be. I switched to "traditional folk" for a long time, but found that this caused people to think I'm a traditionalist, which I'm not. Also, I've heard young songwriters talk about enjoying "traditional folk, like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell" (!!). I've started using "ethnic folk" when I have to give a description of what I do because it separates it adequately from the generalized folk label but doesn't carry as much connotation of me being some kind of hide-bound traditionalist.

Please continue to enjoy whatever music you enjoy!