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young folk tradition undermining folk

McMullen 22 Jun 07 - 01:09 PM
John MacKenzie 22 Jun 07 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,wordy 22 Jun 07 - 02:07 PM
The Sandman 22 Jun 07 - 02:26 PM
Les in Chorlton 22 Jun 07 - 02:30 PM
BB 22 Jun 07 - 02:43 PM
Scooby Doo 22 Jun 07 - 02:52 PM
Leadfingers 22 Jun 07 - 03:07 PM
GUEST,wordy 22 Jun 07 - 03:13 PM
stallion 22 Jun 07 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,mg 22 Jun 07 - 03:31 PM
Ythanside 22 Jun 07 - 03:31 PM
The Borchester Echo 22 Jun 07 - 03:37 PM
Sugwash 22 Jun 07 - 04:04 PM
GUEST 22 Jun 07 - 04:07 PM
The Sandman 22 Jun 07 - 04:52 PM
concertina ceol 22 Jun 07 - 05:29 PM
RTim 22 Jun 07 - 05:36 PM
oggie 22 Jun 07 - 05:49 PM
GUEST,Geordie-Peorgie 22 Jun 07 - 06:12 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 22 Jun 07 - 06:56 PM
GUEST,wordy 22 Jun 07 - 07:01 PM
Darowyn 22 Jun 07 - 07:03 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 22 Jun 07 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz 22 Jun 07 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 22 Jun 07 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 22 Jun 07 - 07:38 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Jun 07 - 07:41 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 22 Jun 07 - 10:08 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Jun 07 - 03:14 AM
The Borchester Echo 23 Jun 07 - 03:15 AM
Dave Earl 23 Jun 07 - 03:42 AM
The Borchester Echo 23 Jun 07 - 03:47 AM
Dave Earl 23 Jun 07 - 03:56 AM
Folkiedave 23 Jun 07 - 04:11 AM
mandotim 23 Jun 07 - 04:12 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 23 Jun 07 - 04:26 AM
concertina ceol 23 Jun 07 - 04:58 AM
Ruth Archer 23 Jun 07 - 04:59 AM
Dave Earl 23 Jun 07 - 05:09 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 23 Jun 07 - 05:16 AM
GUEST,Uncle Boko 23 Jun 07 - 05:27 AM
The Sandman 23 Jun 07 - 05:37 AM
Malcolm Douglas 23 Jun 07 - 05:51 AM
Songthrush 23 Jun 07 - 06:37 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 23 Jun 07 - 06:43 AM
The Borchester Echo 23 Jun 07 - 06:47 AM
The Borchester Echo 23 Jun 07 - 06:53 AM
George Papavgeris 23 Jun 07 - 06:58 AM
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Subject: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: McMullen
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 01:09 PM

As a young folk musician of only 18, i will admit that i have ambitions, and i hope to make some sort career in folk music. However i would be fully content playing in small clubs for small fees and touring the pubs for the rest of my life as long as im having fun and meeting new interesting peole, i couldnt give a badgers back for money.

However i believe all this rubbish about folk degrees just makes folk music mundane. Its a fast track to stardom in which some people(not all) probbally never understand the enjoyable social aspect of meeting wide generations of people to devlop socially.

My point is emphasied in a post i found on a wesbite i discovered recenlty i am sure some of you have seen it.

Could young tradition contribute to the demise of folk clubs?

Here's the text of a press release that recently came my way...

Stratford sees an explosion of Young Talent
BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2007

On Saturday 14 October 2006 the Civic Hall in Stratford-upon-Avon will be filled with the sounds of some the best up and coming young talent performing folk, roots and acoustic music as part of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2007. BBC Radio 2's Mike Harding Show has invited 12 of the many soloists, groups and duos that entered this prestigious competition to attend a Semi-final Weekend in Stratford- upon-Avon.

On Saturday evening at 7.30pm the Semi-finalists will take to the stage in a public Audition Concert where the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award judges will choose acts to go through to the Final to be held in London on 1 December 2006.

Tickets for the Audition Concert are free and open to everyone but booking early is advised as numbers are limited. To reserve a ticket please contact the Civic Hall on 01789 207100.

These young performers are all aged between 15-20. They will spend the weekend learning new skills from high profile musicians Robert Harbron and Eliza Carthy and be taught the tricks of the music trade, immersing themselves in making music and song.

The finalists will be announced on Mike Harding's show on Wednesday 18 October, 8-9pm on BBC Radio 2 and the Final can be heard on BBC Radio 2 on Wednesday 6 December, 8-9pm.

The winning act from the Final will record a session to be broadcast on BBC Radio 2's Mike Harding Show, appear at three top UK festivals - BBC Radio 2 Cambridge Folk Festival, Towersey Village Festival and Fairport's Cropredy Convention and receive a year's free membership to the Musicians' Union.

Previous winners include Tim van Eyken who now has a successful solo career having been a regular member of Waterson:Carthy, exciting Celtic group Uiscedwr who have performed at many of the UK's festivals and Scottish fiddle player Lauren MacColl, who has recently been seen performing with BBC Radio 2 Horizon Folk Award 2006 winner, Julie Fowlis.

What's significant about this is the drive by the BBC to promote young folk talent and there's no doubt that a generation of impressive young singers and musicians are keeping traditional music alive and accessible to younger audiences. Not just the BBC, but many organisations are working hard to keep the average age of active folk performers lower than 65!

One regular source of newblood performers is the University of Newcastle's folk and traditional music degree whose teaching staff includes Kathryn Tickell, Catriona MacDonald and Alistair Anderson. I often find myself referring to this course when writing up background details of guest artists for the Warwick Folk Festival programme.

Many of these talented youngsters are nurtured almost from birth, sometimes by parents who are themselves professional folk artists. It does raise a nagging doubt in my mind - are these youngsters being fast-tracked into folk stardom?

Many older generation folk (and non-folk) performers will extol the virtues of working the clubs and developing a professional status through experience and the University of Hard Knocks. My impression (but I have no solid evidence for this) is that many of the 'bright young things' do not have a lot of experience of travelling the country and playing the folk clubs - at least the smaller ones - but often step straight into the circuit of larger and concert-style folk venues.

Yes there are many exceptions and yes most young folksingers have some experience of folk clubs and folk sessions. Spiers and Boden come to mind as two young musicians who have hosted excellent sessions and haven't fallen into the trap of presenting themselves as instant superstars. But there is a concern in my own mind that many young performers see their musical careers as pop stars playing the larger festivals and arts centres while traditional folk clubs miss out. They can't afford to book them or have to charge pretty high admission - concert-style prices.

I took part in a Singers Night at a folk club in Coventry recently. The organiser was convinced that the club would be closed by Christmas because of falling audience support and higher fees charged by guests. Most of the people there (and there weren't many of us) were over 40 and the one young singer who turned up sang from a repertoire of old Beatles and Searchers songs (which was good to hear but not what they teach at the Univertsity of Newcastle I suspect!).

It seems to me that while the new industry of young folk talent is keeping folk music alive - i.e. making sure that the old songs and tunes are still being played and heard - it is also a possible factor in the demise of the informal, low-budget, backroom-of-the-pub folk clubs





stacey

theres no doubt the degrees and awards keep folk music alvie, and i will be the biggest hypocrit entering this years award, but a degree? i find that a little extreme and ridiculous and unfair and and and and to many ands lol


what ya think.

stacey mcmullen


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 01:20 PM

Well Stacey I agree, the younger generation seem too long on technical brilliance, and too short on the charisma front, but I am technically what is known as 'An old fart' so I may be jaundiced in my viewpoint.
I just don't see so many 'entertainers' these days, where are the Derek Brimstones, the Johnny Silvos, and all the others who served their apprenticeship on the folk circuit at about 30/- a night, (£1.50 for the youngsters)
There seems to be an upsurge of big 'clever' groups the like of Bellowhead whom no folk club could ever afford to book. There are too many festivals now, all booking from the same small group of 'Folk Superstars' who never play clubs any more in most cases, as they get a good enough living doing the festivals.
I think what I'm saying is there's not enough 'hungry' performers out there, but oddly there's not enough venues for them to get work in either.
Giok


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 02:07 PM

In my copy of the MU mag today a big article on "new" folk says the Waterson/Carthy/Van Eyken axis employ a PR agency!!
What that costs a year I can't imagine but now we know why they are the only ones we ever see in magazines, documentaries etc. PR agencies are employed to keep you in the public eye. Not too many of the good pros who work the clubs can afford that, or would want it.
There are too many festivals booking the same acts, because those acts have this sort of back up. The young ones coming on the scene undoubtedly aspire to having a PR agency, an Agent, a good Accountant, a record label, a press cutting agency, and a chauffer, but they can't all get it.
Those that do will have personality and talent and be different in a way that appeals to people. The younger ones would do well to study the approach to an audience of some of the old pros, but I don't think that's part of the university courses that churn out fine players, good business people, but uncharismatic and formulaic performers of a catalogue, that by its very nature,resists change.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 02:26 PM

Music has to come from the soul, technique can be taught,but technique without soul is not music.
Last night I heard Kate rusby on the wireless,She sang in tune ,the instrumentation was very interesting,but she did not sound interested in the song she was singing,she might as well have been singing about her shopping,the rendition was completely soulless.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 02:30 PM

One of the things I got from my post about the collapse of clubs was the very wide spectrum of folk events that are available and the massive amounts of talent that moves about.

Although we may have to travel, it is possible to experience evrything from small singers sessions with small gems to the biggest festivals with anybody you can name.

Find your spot Stacey and give it all you can

Cheers

Les


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: BB
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 02:43 PM

Giok says that 'there's not enough venues for them to get work in either'. That may be so - certainly there are less and less clubs booking guests - but many of the young pros. are pricing themselves out of the market that *is* there.

When we started booking guests for our first series of guest nights, I approached several 'young' acts so that we could ring the changes not only in styles of music, but in the age of the performers, thus hoping to attract some younger people into the audience as well as having the chance to celebrate the brilliance of some of their music. Some were too expensive for us even to contemplate, although we are paying reasonable fees - well, reasonable enough for the likes of John K. or Pete C. anyway. Others, interestingly, didn't even respond to my e-mails - perhaps they just don't want to work in clubs, as has been indicated above.

Certainly, I don't think there is a better place to learn how to interact with an audience - but perhaps that scares some of them. Perhaps they find it easier to face the 'faceless' large audience than the immediacy of one which is just feet away and therefore 'in your face', to use a popular modern expression.

In a TV programme the other night, Lenny Henry was talking about 'doing his apprenticeship in the clubs', and bemoaning the fact that younger comedians seem not to do so. I have to say, that produced a smile of recognition on our faces, as it is what so many have been saying about this generation of folk musicians.

Stacey, I'm really glad that you recognise the fact that folk music is first and foremost a 'social' music in which the generation gap doesn't, or didn't used to, exist. It was the music which was important, and the older people who were around when I was first involved in it were those who had the knowledge and experience, so were, to an extent, revered and their friendship was valued. I regret the fact that there is a much more narrow age range in the clubs than there used to be, certainly in many of the clubs that I attended.

I hope we all get a chance to meet you, Stacey, in the clubs, and festival sessions and singarounds, and that you manage to make a living with the music that you, and the rest of us, love. Spread the word amongst your peers that this is what it's all about so that there are more like you.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: Scooby Doo
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 02:52 PM

Llantrisant Folk Club has special nights for the up and coming young talent of today.It goes down well too.



Scooby


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: Leadfingers
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 03:07 PM

BB has it right - It seems to me that a lot of these VERY talented youngsters get to the 'Specialist' Folk Universities and hone their technique to perfection , then when they finish they dont want to work small venues , but only Art Centres and Festivals , who can afford to pay 'Silly' Money ! The result is that the youngsters DONT see young acts booked into their local club , so dont go ! This HAS to be a major reason for the Ageing of the Folk Audience .


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 03:13 PM

would it be fair to say that many of these young hoping-to-be pros actually are concert performers? Whereas the clubs encourage communication between performer and audience, humour and chorus singing and general good timiness?


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: stallion
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 03:19 PM

Ok you guys, my experience of one of these fast tracked young "stars" was his reply to an honest comment, I suggested that he was not enjoying his first set, this was answered by a tirade of abuse and shouting and being called a nobody, " I have a degree in folk music, who do you think you are talking too!, you're a nobody, you know nothing". Well he may have an opinion, but I had paid to get in and I was being short changed, indeed I nearly left at the interval. What forty years going around the clubs has given me are a lot of friends and an appreciation of everyone's endeavour. I think Newcastle should teach it's students a little humility. I overheard Alan Ayckbourn once say that he would rather employ someone who had done a season in Pitlochry than someone straight out of RADA, I feel that doing the "porridge" is necessary if only to make the graduates less unpleasant.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 03:31 PM

It sounds like you will do well. I would recommend that you have a backup trade or profession..teaching if you enjoy it..summers off...or carpentry, dental hygiene, whatever...mg


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: Ythanside
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 03:31 PM

Stacey, folk audiences are a pretty savvy bunch; they can differentiate between PR 'puff' and the genuine article. They are also traditionally appreciative and supportive of youngsters and newcomers using them as sounding boards, for without this flow of new blood the entire live folk scene would grind to a halt.
Fast-tracking and college degrees, regardless of their validity, are no substitute for serving your time in front of the only people who matter, the audience. Today's headliners didn't just drop out of the sky, and the polished performances they deliver were developed and honed by their discovery of what worked for particular audiences and what didn't.
Go to it, Stacey, and when I see you strutting your stuff at some club or festival I'll say hello.
Best of luck, lady,

Ythanside


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 03:37 PM

McMullen/Stacey or whatever you are called

Since you are 18 you are doubtless looking at higher education opportunities. After all, these days you have to get a degree in something in order to become anything at all, so why not one on trad music (if you are good enough). The Newcastle course has a very high entrance standard and is performance-based. What it is emphatically not is a 'fast track to stardom'. Your inverted snobbery against it is rather hard to comprehend. Such a qualification would get you, at the very least, a job at the lowest rung of some musbiz company in order to get by while touting for gigs.

As for the YFA, any fule kno that Smoothops/MH are a load of wankers. But the 'contestants' take the opportunity to spend a weekend playing and inter-reacting together. And they'll use any resulting publicity to promote their own careers. I know many fine and successful musicians who have come through this mill. And they (mostly) weren't 'winners'.

And as for the 'f*lk clubs' as a viable place to work, just what century and upon which planet are you existing? They're well-finished, past their sell-by. The vast majority offer you unrealistically and insultingly low fees that probably don't even cover your fuel, nowhere to change and tune and no accommodation. You're faced with a drive home of several hours and thus an inability to work the next day.

Think again. There are other venues, better for the music and for you.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: Sugwash
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 04:04 PM

One of the best acts I've seen in years is Jim Causley. He's personable, has a quite wonderful voice, knows and cares about the material he performs and is wonderfully entertaining to boot. Jim's studied traditional music at university; if he is an example of what the universities are producing, then I'm all in favour. Conversely I've come across other graduate folk artists who have left me cold.

That said, I've seen acts who have not had the 'advantage' of a degree course who have delighted me with their love and knowledge of the tradition. I've also seen similarly untutoured acts who have left me wondering how they make a living from 'folk' music.

Where the reality of folk degrees lies I'm not sure. Will they damage the tradition, I strongly doubt it. I can only hope that there are more Jim Causleys about to graduate and enrich us with their performances.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 04:07 PM

Stacey, Bonnie Lass!

Listen te Giok & BB etc.

De ye want te be an entertainer or de ye want te be a 'star' of festival, Art Centre and Lavvie Door?

Aye, gettin' yasel' a profession is a good idea - Not te faall back on but te keep ye busy while ye're settin' up the round of clubs and pubs that'll book ye every 18 months to two years.

Then during that time get aroond and hone yer act. Not just the music and songs but the 'entertainment' factor.

Ye divvent hev te be a comic but ye divvent want te bore yer audience te death either

There's neebody can tell ye how te dee it - ye just hev te watch the others and not only see what works but see what dizzen't work (for them) and see if ye can use it aall te your advantage.

Aah think if ye ask anybody who 'works the pub & club circuit' the'll tell ye that they started by 'borrowin'' other peoples intros, patter etc and eventually developin' their own stuff.

Aah'm sure if ye ask 1000 folk performers about turning pro 999'll say "Get a job" - The other one'll ask ye to ensure that if you use any of their songs to be sure to register with PRS & MCPS.

Best of luck, Petal! I reckon ye've probably got what it teks to mek it on the folk circuit.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 04:52 PM

I mentioned Kate Rusby earlier,the song was I courted A Sailor.Kate Rusby HAS Potential,unfortunately all the while she is being overhyped,she runs the danger of believing her publicity.,she will not improve, until she exercises some musical self criticism.
A good starting point for her might be to listen to early Anne Briggs,MaddyPrior or better still Jeannie Robertson[now there was a really good interpreter of a story,someone that could always bring a song to life].


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: concertina ceol
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 05:29 PM

are you for real? inverted snobbery? havn't got the talent to get there yourself?

Jim Moray might fit into the box you are describing but to my knowledge he didn't go to Newcastle. Graduates of the course that I am familiar with do not fit with your description.

Still there is no excuse for anyone to talk to an audience member the way stallion was talked to, that is shocking.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: RTim
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 05:36 PM

I am reminded of when I worked in Computing. Whenever we got a new, wet behind the ears "Computer Graduate" - we would have to wean them into the REAL world of Computing and not let them continue with all their high flown theories taught by tutors who had never working in the real world!
I also remember seeing the Kings of Cauldicot (spelling?) in their early incarnation - at a Festival, not a club room - with a bar and drinkers, etc.. They were great musically - but their stage presense was non-existent. Very self orientented and full of private jokes that left the audience cold.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: oggie
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 05:49 PM

If you have to make your living from what you do, be it folk, comedy or craft (my own business), regretably it is a "business", you don't work you don't eat and your house is on the line. How you go about earning that living is "business". If you ignore the clubs, fine if you have enough work from other sources but will they (or the clubs) always be there? You need a portfolio of work and places to work. In my case I do markets, schools, enviroment centres, the odd festival. Not all traditional outlets for what I do but part of the "business". Waterson/Carthy employ PR? good luck to them, they have a living to earn and for them it works.

On Desert Island Discs Ernie Wise was confronted with the fact that to many people Eric was the "show" he was "business". His reply was interesting, "Yes, I don't have a problem with that, people forget that it is "show business". Without the business there is no show".

The same applies in the folk world, clubs have to make a profit, artists have to make a living, unsuccessful festivals cease to be.

We make not like the way of the world but we have to work within it or get a job and become a semi pro who makes money through their music. That is not to denigrate those who do that, some of the best and most professional performers I have seen had day jobs and in the current climate it may well be the way forward. In which case a Degree in Folk Studies et al may NOT be the best way forward.

All the best

Steve Ogden


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: GUEST,Geordie-Peorgie
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 06:12 PM

That wez me back there an' aall - Cookie probs again!

Anyroadupwards! Give me entertainment every time!

As a festival compere of some small experience (Fareham, Winchester, Guernsey, Solent & Broadstairs) aah hev watched bands on stage without a thought for the 'payin' public', sittin' there smilin at one another or just gazin' off into space until their bodhrn/mandola/guitar/whistle/pipe solo comes up and then their eyes close and the' gan for it - Then the' come oot of the solo and gan back inte space - nee time for the audience and nee in-between songs banter with the crowd

One massive exception is Last Night's Fun - But they aall did their groundwork in the clubs etc.

Does anybody remember Bill Jones? She wez ganna be massive until people caught her act at festivals and she didn't seem te be able te speak to anyone across the footlights - Where is she noo? What a waste!

Anyway, Stacey - If you're canny at what ye dee and CAN dee a bit of amusin'/informative/witty banter ye'll dee alreet! But keep practicin' how te say "De ye want fries wi' that" Just in case (Joke, Honest!)


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 06:56 PM

Just of few thoughts from an ole' American living in Canada reading your posts...
I don't want to get in your way, and most of you seem to be from the U.K.,
But just to tell you all I think this is just great. It's like watching a storm brewing
overseas, like a new Tsunami of creativity being born.
On a quiet night, when you're alone, look in the mirror into your own eyes
and into your soul. Then ask yourself the question, " do I really want to do this?"
And when the answer comes, as it must from The Great Spirit that guides us all...
Do THAT. Don't worry about degrees, financial aid, or whatever...
If being a Folk Artist is your dream, pursue it. Or as someone so aptly put it, "what would you do with your life if you knew you could not fail?"
God Bless...
bob


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 07:01 PM

well Bob, over here in the UK the Great Spirit on the folk scene is usually whisky...single malt.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: Darowyn
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 07:03 PM

I remember the last episode in the BBC Folk Britannia series, in which it suggested that the real next generation of folk music is already out there, well away from the Folk Clubs and Academic world.
I saw a young band last weekend, on the same bill as me, who call themselves a folk funk band. This was at a local festival.
I doubt there is anyone on here who would admit them to the Folk category. The line-up was, Drums, Bass guitar, Electric guitar and the singer played Electro Acoustic. The Bass player played real Bootsy Collins style funk.
I spoke to them the following Monday, and it seems that the folk influence they are following is the attack and anarchic energy of the Pogues. That is the tradition from a 17 year old's standpoint.
Their repertoire included a superb version of Outkast's "Hey Ya".
Of course they would never consider playing a folk club, bu tthey go down a storm in any young rock venue. They are right in the mainstream- and they are not the only ones!
Dare I suggest that is where folk is supposed to be? The young generation are making the new folk in their own way, for their own audience.
Folk Britannia was right the real young tradition, as opposed to the academically hot-housed, is already out there.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 07:08 PM

And as for high standards of entrance - I encountered one of these and her pushy mother at a music shop on Durham market, and it was abundantly clear that they didn't know their arses from a hole in the ground as far as music or musicianship was concerned. They were much more exercised by trying to establish who I was and who I knew - some bloody hope!
Traditional music is older and far more durable than this consumer society nonsense. If universities want to offer courses in musicology, folklore, music history or whatever, fine. It won't make you a traditional musician any more than standing in a garage will turn you into a car.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 07:21 PM

wordy: Ha Ha. LOL. I guess we are all guided by SOMETHING. Life is long...
Make sure your choice of guide doesn't destroy your liver...
They say that which we focus on expands...
So maybe if your thoughts are LESS about single malt whiskey and MORE "single"
about MUSIC (let thine eye be single), you won't have to worry about "the young folk
tradition undermining folk." It will thrive..
All the best from over here to over there...
bob


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 07:37 PM

Diane Esaby said: "And as for the 'f*lk clubs' as a viable place to work, just what century and upon which planet are you existing? They're well-finished, past their sell-by. The vast majority offer you unrealistically and insultingly low fees that probably don't even cover your fuel, nowhere to change and tune and no accommodation."

Diane, I know we've had this argument on another thread, but for Stacey's benefit it is worth stating that most folk clubs *do* offer acceptable and often generous accommodation (usually in private homes), and if you accept a fee that doesn't make a decent profit, never mind cover the fuel expenses, that's you're own lookout. I'm not bothered about a changing room, myself.

There isn't a living to be made in folk clubs alone, but the number of younger performers that seem to do gigs in such places would suggest that they still form a valuable part of the mix. And as BB said above, they are a good place to learn about actually interacting with an audience, rather than playing at it.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 07:38 PM

"Diane Esaby said"

Oops: 'Easby'


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 07:41 PM

keep up the undermining ....its the job of the young.

does anyone feel undermined?

You have to deal with the world you grow up in, its not ours - take care of business as best you can. I don't think there are blueprints for success (artistic or commercial) ...you just have to do what seems right. You may get it wrong, most of us do. But you learn a lot ....having a go.

Not as much as the folks who do nowt. They know everything and have nothing to learn. You will hear many of them, every day on mudcat, giving you the benefit of wisdom gained by years of doing nowt.

Best of luck Stacey.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 10:08 PM

As one who has been there and done all that, and am now finished with the music except for the listening, albeit in the USA, this is fascinating. I feel privileged to view you all from afar---almost like a deceased one who has been allowed to take my computer to some other dimension or afterlife hangout where I can go on line and hear you all as clear as a bell.   I know you are speaking English, but...

...why can I not understand you at all?

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 03:14 AM

Its cos we never went to university and studied folk music, Art.

The dazzling panorama of a life, nay a career; upholding the great traditional values of getting a decent agent and accountant and the right package together for the era in which we live....it was simply never laid before us.

Its the way its done these days, and who's to say they're wrong. Its what lies at the root of why folk music is SO popular these days.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 03:15 AM

inverted snobbery? havn't got the talent to get there yourself?

Not sure whether (and if so why) this was aimed at me but my degree was in something quite different, long ago before the Newcastle course was available. Had it been, yes I likely would have taken it. My remark about inverted snobbery was for the OP but might just as well apply to the person delighting in the name of 'stallion' who adheres apparently to the Louis Armstrong school of definitions.

Jim Moray is not a graduate of Newcastle but of the Birmingham Conservatoire, where he produced Sweet England for his finals dissertation. Nowadays in Bristol it is he who is spearheading an 'alternative' music venue, far removed from the past-sell-by 'clubs. This year, Newcastle is only onto its third generation of graduates from a four-year course, and it just didn't exist for him at the time. Whoever remarked that Jim Causley (+ Emily Portman & Lauren McCormick), collectively DTI, are some of the Best Things to come out of it so far, was right. And not only them but Crosscurrent, half of the Witches, Ellie Skinner, Simon Stephenson, Julian Sutton, and a load of others who I'm not altogether sure if they are actually on the course or just hang out with the students.

Brian Peters: you know very well what type of club I'm talking about. There are a few good ones left, but as for the bulk, you've been there and so have I. You may be able to dispense with a changing room and you don't need somewhere quiet to tune, but what about the player of stringed things, or the 16-year-old young woman who's told to 'just do it behind the bar?' And no, you shouldn't accept a fee that doesn't cover costs. That's why an increasing number of acts simply cannot afford (even if they wanted to) to do clubs who are behaving as though it was still 1975. It is the organisers who are unprofessional, not the artists.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: Dave Earl
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 03:42 AM

"Jim Causley (+ Emily Portman & Lauren McCormick), collectively DTI, are some of the Best Things to come out of it so far,"

Don't know if it's wot you were thinking of Diane but I said something very much like that in the other thread.

To restate my case.

I think that the younger generation who take the Tradition(s) forward (perhaps using modern instruments and styles)are to be commended for keeping it alive. I happen to like Spiers and Boden, Bellowhead, Devil's Interval and the Witches of E. They contribute things in a different way from my fellow club singers and I but I don't see that as a bad thing. Just not the way I do it.

Oh and the clubs in my area do book the likes of the above from time to time and so do the Art Centres and Concert Hall/Theatre type venues.

So I don't think it is a matter of "undermining" more a matter of building on it.

We older peeps won't be here for ever and we need the youngsters for the future.

Dave


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 03:47 AM

Wot I was thinking (but not writing) was TDI (The Devil's Interval) not the Department of Trade & Industry (which might have a Morris team to match that of The Lord Chancellor's Department . . . maybe).


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: Dave Earl
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 03:56 AM

Yes Diane

I worked that one out (all by myself)

Dave


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: Folkiedave
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 04:11 AM

I mentioned Kate Rusby earlier,the song was I courted A Sailor.Kate Rusby HAS Potential,unfortunately all the while she is being overhyped,she runs the danger of believing her publicity.,she will not improve, until she exercises some musical self criticism.
A good starting point for her might be to listen to early Anne Briggs,MaddyPrior or better still Jeannie Robertson[now there was a really good interpreter of a story,someone that could always bring a song to life].

You may not have noticed Cap'n but Kate Rusby is a BIG star.

Whether you like her or not is irrelevant and since her career has been extremely successful in terms of headlining big folk festivals she has been a great success. In money terms, record and video sales she is a massive success and I bet if she never worked again she would probably be able to have a very comfortable life.

That is her choice and nothing to do with you and I, you don't have to buy her records or go to festivals where she is appearing (unless you are booked yourself of course).

Now purely as a matter of interest - how do you know she didn't listen to those singers you mention? She comes from a folk family.

The folk music scene is far bigger than it ever was, and my belief if that if you are any good you will "make it".

Knocking the Folk Degree (hardly a route to stardom - one of my friends who did it is working in the kitchens at the Iona Community - (!)) does not respect those who did it, and are doing it. And any of them who think it is a road to stardom will I suspect become very disillusioned.

There have been - at a guess - 60/80 students who have graduated so far - can anyone name more than ten?

Can I suggest that Stacy reads Jacey Bedford's advice on how to get gigs on folkwise? And good luck Stacey - plough your own furrow and don't take any notice of old farts like me.

And now - off to Handley Village Festival to watch some young artists like the Askew Sisters and Kerfuffle - none of whom did the folk degree. Although Hannah James is just finishing her first year and Sam Sweeney- now he is old enough - starts in September.

But there again it is Mudcat - don't let the facts spoil a good story.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: mandotim
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 04:12 AM

Just for the record; I've heard Stacey in a folk club. Mansfield Folk Club, at the Brown Cow, I think? (Correct me if I'm wrong, Stacey.) He's a highly original, thoughtful performer with a balance of older songs and some very good ones of his own. For me, he is the very antithesis of the 'modern' young folk artiste. Quietly funny, able to engage an audience at several levels with either song or chat, and a damn fine musician to boot. Also very young and good looking. I hate the bastard.

My real point is; talent will find a way to express itself, and perhaps the best thing to do at the early stage is to try lots of different avenues for performance. Folk clubs are just one; others include sessions, festivals, 'open mike' events, house concerts, support slots for established artists and showcase events. Try them all, and don't worry about the odd 'bad fit' between what you do and the nature of the event. Even bad gigs help a performer to learn the business, and those artists who really sustain a career seem to have learned those lessons well; and are still learning.

Good debate Stacey, thanks for opening this up.
Tim (the old geezer with the wierd red mandolin!)


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 04:26 AM

"Brian Peters: you know very well what type of club I'm talking about."

Yes, Diane, I do, although we might disagree about the proportion. I also realise that my own attitude to changing and tuning facilities is a product of low expectations and might not be shared by everyone. Nonetheless, on the accommodation issue, I repeat that this is almost always offered by folk clubs as part of the deal, and is usually more than acceptable. And that if club fees didn't cover fuel costs they wouldn't get even semi-pro guests to turn out.

But this is off topic. And of course I endorse your praise of TDI.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: concertina ceol
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 04:58 AM

inverted snobbery? havn't got the talent to get there yourself?

aimed at Stacey

why can't this forum software be updated to something useful!

Have seen and enjoyed TDI, Crosscurrent, Damon O'Kane and Shona Kipling, and the Witches none of whom fit the box that Stacey wanted to put them in.

I know one person on the course quite well, he plays in sessions, for morris, and folk clubs and also does not match the mini superstar ego described.

I still can not believe the first post. A great deal of people going on the Newcastle course go as mature students and they have years of experience and grounding in the folk tradition. Just because it is not the route you have chosen doesn't make it fake or less valid than the route you have chosen.

Good luck with your journey Stacey - but take the plank out of your own eye before telling others about splinters in theirs.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 04:59 AM

Dave: is Sam doing the Newcastle degree then? Last time I talked to his dad I thought he'd decided against it. Something about a conversation with Chris Wood...

"It seems to me that a lot of these VERY talented youngsters get to the 'Specialist' Folk Universities and hone their technique to perfection , then when they finish they dont want to work small venues , but only Art Centres and Festivals , who can afford to pay 'Silly' Money !"

I like taking young bands for my venue. I recently took a 3-piece who had all done the Newcastle course, for the princely sum of £400. They got some more for doing a school workshop (something many of the Newcastle students are keen on and good at), and I sorted out some accomodation the night before because they had to be at the school at 11 am. They chose to drive back up to Newcastle after the gig.

If £400 for a 3 piece band that has travelled 4 or 5 hours each way to do your gig is "silly money", I guess I'm guilty as charged. But I'd have been frankly embarrassed to pay them any less.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: Dave Earl
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 05:09 AM

"take the plank out of your own eye before telling others about splinters in theirs."

Biblical references yet!

Matthew 7:5 I believe - well thats the original which is almost the same .

Point is perhaps we should all think along those lines.

This is not the God Slot it's the philosophical point made in that phrase.

Dave


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 05:16 AM

I heard a couple of the 'Newcastle Prodigies' the other night and, in spite of my rather low expectations, it was a good evening - excellent choice of songs, very professionally presented. There was even one of those 'spine-tingling moments' which are increasingly rare these days.

But (there had to be a 'but' - didn't there?), apart form the 's-t m' mentioned above, there was a certain bloodlessness about the evening - as though the performers were relying on their (undoubted) virtuosity. It was almost as if they were saying to the audience, "we're displaying our virtuosity - what more do you want?"

Well, actually I want passion and daring - a sort of 'tight-rope walking over Niagra Falls' scary quality; and if you can give me one 's-t m' I want more!

Interestingly, the 's-t m' came when one of the performers sang on her own (for most of the night they had performed as a duo). Please remember that the classic performances of British trad. song have usually involved a single, unaccompanied singer. Personally, I think that the 'band' phenomenon is partly responsible for the bloodlessness - everyone wants to be in a f..king band these days - but in a band it's easy to hide behind the other performers and never really give of yourself.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: GUEST,Uncle Boko
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 05:27 AM

"As for the YFA, any fule kno that Smoothops/MH are a load of wankers"

I love it!!

I'll report on the Blackmore's Night gig tomorrow, but I won't be allowed to tape it because it says so!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 05:37 AM

foklie dave ,Kate Rusby is a big star,SO WHAT,That doesnt mean there isnt room for improvement in her singing.
She has been well promoted,She has acquired good technique[breath control,and good intonation],but as far as I am concerned she sings with complete lack of understanding of the storyline.
if she has listened to any of the singers I mentioned it doesnt show.
the point is good technique can be learned[on a degree course or from a teacher],but singing from the heart is something youve either got or havent,and learning stage craft,is best done by going out at folk clubs and festivals[observing people like HughieJones, Brimstone ,JohnForeman,RoyHarris]and then doing it,in other words,Practical experience.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 05:51 AM

'McMullen' makes some good points.

Performers need to pay their dues, and not expect to be treated as 'special' because they've done a course, however good it may have been. If it turns into a 'fast track' to Arts Council type fees, then it will certainly lead to resentment, and perhaps also an over-inflated sense of personal importance. I'm quite sure that the people who run the Newcastle course (all of whom, so far as I know, came up the hard way) would be very uncomfortable if their protegés were to behave in the arrogant fashion described by 'stallion'.

Who exactly was that person? I think we should be told (provided, of course, that the reference is accurate). I've noticed that people usually only start listing their degrees when they have been challenged on something and can't provide an adequate answer.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: Songthrush
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 06:37 AM

I was appalled by the behaviour of a group of students from Newcastle during a folk club session at Sidmouth last year, this particular threesome were booked to do two spots during the evening, they arrived in the company of a very "big" name half way through the first half and made as they say an entrance. They listened to some of the floor singers (well they were in the same room so I assume they were listening ) and then they were called upon to do their spot, which although not entirely to my taste was adequate, they then committed a cardinal sin of singing a song that the last floor singer had sung. I must admit I left after the first half . If there is anyone here who teaches on the Newcastle course can I recommend that they teach good etiquette and respect for other performers because without that they may be brilliant but they will succeed in alienating much of their audience.

Viv, who is not a performer


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 06:43 AM

Hi Stacey,

More alert posters have already said most of what I would have written in response to your initial observations. However, here are a few words of encouragement for you - and any others of your generation who are following this thread.

"The crime of being a young man, which the honourable gentleman has, with such spirit and decency, charged upon me, I shall neither attempt to palliate nor deny; but content myself with wishing that I may be one of those whose follies may cease with their youth, and not of that number who are ignorant in spite of experience." (William Pitt, 1741).

Anyone from my generation (the bus-pass generation, that is) who looks back honestly on the follies – musical or otherwise – or their own youth has probably got quite a lot to feel embarrassed about.   But making mistakes and being embarrassed by them is an essential part of the learning process. No pain, no gain.

Unfortunately, the fast-tracked young whiz-kids of the Folk Nouveau scene are doing their learning under a spotlight. Some of them may be irritatingly bratty at times – but weren't we somewhat similar when we were their age? Those of us who were able to make our juvenile mistakes in relative obscurity should show a little more patience and tolerance to today's young hopefuls.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 06:47 AM

It seems to me, on the contrary, extremely odd that a 'floor singer' taking part in a session to which a named act had been invited, chose to do a song that said act was known to have as part of their repertoire.

Normal polite behaviour would have been to have checked first if the act (whether from the Newcastle course or not, provenence is not important) intended to do that particular song and if so, to do something else.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 06:53 AM

The above was addressed at 'Songthrush' of whom the line:

if I had an arrow in my hand
And a bow bent on a string


springs to mind.

Such spiteful jealousy towards students going through great hardship to study what they love is entirely unwarranted.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 06:58 AM

I don't know, Diane, in principle I agree but all floor singers don't know the repertoire of all "named acts", especially one that is presumably a comparatively new trio. But to repeat a song just sung by anyone is definitely bad manners, even if it is your own.

At the same time, Songthrush, and though it's hard to judge as I wasn't there, I'd generally cut the youngsters some slack in terms of behaviour. They are young, and carry some of the baggage of youth (enthusiasm being some of it, high spirits too, often peppered with an as yet undeveloped ability to put oneself in other people's shoes); I made quite a few behavioural "faux pas" in my younger days (and not only then!), and learned on the way. Call it part of the learning process.


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Subject: RE: young folk tradition undermining folk
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 07:01 AM

Mike of Northumbria, you put your finger on an important issue with your last paragraph. Excellent point, and one we'd all do well to remember.


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