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the UK folk revival in 2010

Jim Carroll 24 Dec 09 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,De Bono 25 Dec 09 - 01:36 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 25 Dec 09 - 04:06 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Dec 09 - 04:07 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Dec 09 - 04:23 AM
The Sandman 25 Dec 09 - 04:25 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Dec 09 - 04:27 AM
Jack Blandiver 25 Dec 09 - 05:18 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Dec 09 - 05:24 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Dec 09 - 05:59 AM
Jack Blandiver 25 Dec 09 - 06:21 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Dec 09 - 07:18 AM
The Sandman 25 Dec 09 - 08:14 AM
Old Vermin 25 Dec 09 - 09:19 AM
GUEST,S O'P (Astray) 25 Dec 09 - 10:03 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Dec 09 - 10:04 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Dec 09 - 10:11 AM
The Sandman 25 Dec 09 - 11:22 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Dec 09 - 11:45 AM
Aeola 25 Dec 09 - 03:10 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Dec 09 - 08:19 PM
Suegorgeous 25 Dec 09 - 10:30 PM
Jim Carroll 26 Dec 09 - 04:07 AM
Richard Mellish 26 Dec 09 - 05:26 AM
GUEST,John Tucker 26 Dec 09 - 05:37 AM
The Sandman 26 Dec 09 - 05:37 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Dec 09 - 06:43 AM
The Borchester Echo 26 Dec 09 - 06:56 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Dec 09 - 06:58 AM
Will Fly 26 Dec 09 - 07:13 AM
Bonzo3legs 26 Dec 09 - 07:14 AM
Will Fly 26 Dec 09 - 07:16 AM
Les in Chorlton 26 Dec 09 - 07:17 AM
The Borchester Echo 26 Dec 09 - 07:20 AM
GUEST,John Tucker 26 Dec 09 - 07:22 AM
Will Fly 26 Dec 09 - 07:29 AM
The Sandman 26 Dec 09 - 07:35 AM
Bonzo3legs 26 Dec 09 - 07:39 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Dec 09 - 07:43 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Dec 09 - 07:55 AM
theleveller 26 Dec 09 - 08:08 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Dec 09 - 08:28 AM
Bonzo3legs 26 Dec 09 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,John Tucker 26 Dec 09 - 11:21 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Dec 09 - 12:23 PM
Bonzo3legs 26 Dec 09 - 12:51 PM
Phil Edwards 26 Dec 09 - 01:11 PM
theleveller 26 Dec 09 - 01:12 PM
Phil Edwards 26 Dec 09 - 01:15 PM
The Borchester Echo 26 Dec 09 - 01:24 PM
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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Dec 09 - 08:14 PM

Cap'n - even if I hadn't visited one club - visited a few actually - I could get some indication from what put up on Mudcat on a regular basis.
I have read here that not only are standards unnecessary, but are undesirable as they put off the less talented.
The list I gave at the end of my last posting came as a description of what went on in a club.
I have heard - interminably that there is nothing wrong with reading your way through a crib sheet on stage, with an audience singing along with a guest singer whether invited to or not, and to ask them not to is arrogant, with eejits popping their cheeks while someone is singing, that it's ok to encourage singers who can't make two notes relate to each other to stand up in front of an audience, that an evening of folksongs is BORING, that long ballads are BORING........
You ask how te clubs can be improved - clear out some of this shit and you might make a start.
I've told you a tiny part of what happens here and how it's been made to happen - tell my how anything I've described is either untrue or invalid.   
You don't like my answers - sorry - don't do answers to order,lets here some of yours.
So far, all I've heard is the scrape of deckchairs being rearranged on the Titanic.
Happy Christmas,
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: GUEST,De Bono
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 01:36 AM

I've never heard such bigoted shit in my life does this tosser know anything about FOLK music? Talk about being stuck up ones own proverbial arse!


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 04:06 AM

Quote about workshops from further up the thread:

"I don't know how it happened, but the folk scene seems to be regarded by some as a form of education rather than entertainment - probably because the number of teachers and ex-teachers in folk clubs, who can't break the habit of telling people what to do and think."

But good workshops are NOT about "telling people what to do or think", they are about sharing ideas, insights and experiences with one's fellow performers. But then the 'anything-goes-in-a-folk-club-it's-all-folk-music' cult or sect are terrified of anything that smacks of thought or analysis. They can't resist coming out with paranoid nonsense about being 'ordered' to do or think this that or the other. Watch my mouth, I'm only going to say this once: NO-ONE can ORDER you to do or think anything, you are entirely free to attend or not attend workshops, it's completely your choice.


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 04:07 AM

"does this tosser know anything about FOLK music?
A little bit - how about you?
I'll show you mine if you show yours.
Season's greetings
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 04:23 AM

Nah, sod it
Not in the mood the be mood to be polite this morning.
on't bother sowing me yours - try;
http://www.folkmusic.net/htmfiles/inart558.


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 04:25 AM

I can only speak from my own experience.
I have had some great nights in folk clubs over the last year,admittedly I was guesting they were not singers nights.
I have also had frustrating nights at Irish Sessions[last night was an example]where a female guitarist was attempting to accompany a fiddler, and hadnt realised the fiddler had changed key on the second tune, and carried on regardless,[avoidable if accompanists would listen and play quietly if not sure].
Where musicians are not listening to each other and speed the original musician up.,again it is courtesy to let the original musician dictate speed and style
to be fair,I have not encountered that sort of thing in Folk clubs, at Stockton folk club the musicians all play along at the beginning of the night, and seemed pretty together.
on the question of crib sheets, personally, I would rather not perform than use them, but I did hear one singer give a surprisingly good version of The Whitby Whaler from a crib sheet.
workshops of the kind run by Lewes[sat] Folk Club, give people the opportunity to learn and improve, and that benefits the whole of the Folk Scene.
I would like to see more tuition available on a national basis[not just from Comhaltas,because, their remit is solely Irish Music]
if there was a national organisation offering tuition on a national basis,in English/Scottish/Welsh traditional Song/tunes,that[imo] would be useful.


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 04:27 AM

Sorry - sticky keyboard -try again!
Not in the mood the be mood to be polite this morning.
Don't bother showing me your's - the music's worth more than that.
Try
http://www.folkmusic.net/htmfiles/inart558.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 05:18 AM

Just to get that link right: http://www.folkmusic.net/htmfiles/inart558

Respect where respect is due. I suspect that when our friend De Bono asks does this tosser know anything about FOLK music? he means what happens in the name of Folk Revival rather than Folk Tradition, which are, of course, two entirely different things - the latter is cultural heritage of world importance, the former is a faked up fantasy of interest to a dwindling number of enthusiasts.

Jim is ever fond of quoting my litany of genres that might occur as Folk Music in a Designated Folk Context. I might add that right now my earlier optimism in this respect has darkened to an all-consuming despair that has had me avoiding nebulous anything-goes folk clubs for the past three months and looks set to continue into 2010. Just as I won't use the word Gay to mean joyful, I will not use the word folk to mean Traditional.

Happy Xmas ane an' a'


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 05:24 AM

Cap'n,
Hope I've sorted the keyboard problem.
Any individual is capable of becoming a good singer - if they are prepared to put the work in.
It is helpful to be able to work with others and get their feedback, and I've always found people in clubs more than ready to give advice and practical help. If clubs are serious about caring for the music the onus is really on them to help new singers - and not by encouraging them to 'prctice in public' which is all too often the case.
God save us all from the Comhaltas method of teaching for competitions, which has led them to creating a standardised "right" way to sing or play in order to score points - and what do points mean - Points mean prizes.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 05:59 AM

Sorry missed S'O'P's posting.
Whatever flights of fancy SO'P cares to take us on with his non-definition romp (never amounted to more than a list of differing and apparently random musical genres as far as I can see), the fact remains that in order to be persuaded to get up off their bums and go along to the local folk club, people have to know what they are being offered. A badly performed magical mystery tour might persuade the odd punter to poke a nose round the door, they might even bring their mates along a second time for a laugh - rather like the Sunday day trip to Bedlam; but it isn't going to attract the long-term performers and listeners that the music desperately needs to survive.
I know this from seeing the audiences dissipate in the eighties in London, and from the fact that concentrating the mind on the music over here has turned the situation round dramatically, so that we can be confident that it will survive for at least another two generations.
Trying to rewrite, or even throw away the dictionary drove most of our audiences away and persisting with the chaos that was left behind ain't going to bring in any replacements.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 06:21 AM

I am however confident that by addressing themselves to The Tradition musicians & singers might create something worthwhile, even in the name of Folk, however so debased the word. I don't see this happening in folk clubs where the folk orthodoxy more-or-less guarantees a demographic that insists on MOR mediocrity (just look at some of the posts on CS's ballad thread) - but I do see it happening elsewhere, which is a reason to be cheerful on this Xmas morn.

My resolution for 2010 - Hear no Evil!!! (Io Io Io)


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 07:18 AM

"however so debased the word."
S'O'P.
I've got bad news and I've got bad news.
We've got the research; we've got the documentation, we've got the recorded (aural and literal) proof in exaples and analysis, and in our case (Pat's and mine) we've got thirty odd years fairly intensive field research.
None of this makes anybody automatically right and is open to discussion, but in order to so, you need to produce your own work rather sitting in your armchair pontificating.
You've already said you 'don't do research', but I'm afraid if you are ever going to produce anything other than hot air it's a case of: "Io Io Io" it's off to work you must go.
Jim Carroll
Disp


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 08:14 AM

If clubs are serious about caring for the music the onus is really on them to help new singers - and not by encouraging them to 'prctice in public' which is all too often the case.[quote]
I think you will find that that is the purpose of workshops,the LEWES[Sat]club put on a variety of different workshops,some instrumental and some vocal.
something that other clubs would do well to emulate.
apparently the folk club that used to be run by Red and Myra Abbott, in the sixties [leigh on sea or possibly Southend ]used to do just that.
Forthcoming workshops in 2010 -Lewes[Sat]Folkclub.
27th.Feb        Coope Boyes & Simpson        Vocal harmony
27th.Feb        Georgina Boyes        Folklore (participatory talk)
27th.March        Ben Paley        Fiddle
17th.April        Shirley Collins        Traditional song masterclass
18th.April        Shirley Collins        Traditional song masterclass
24th.April        Issey Emeney        Melodeon
22nd.May        Joe Penland        North Carolina song & social history
5th.June        Mike O'Connor & Barbara Griggs        Cornish traditional tunes from source manuscripts
6th.June        Mike O'Connor        Songwriting in the tradition
10th.July        Karen Tweed        O'Carolan's music (any instrument)
18th. Sept        Moor Music        Dartmoor music (any instrument)
9th. Oct        John Adams        Village Music Project (any instrument)
10th.Oct        Chris Coe        Ballad forum
31st. Oct        Martin Carthy        Guitar
13th.Nov        Frankie Armstrong        Singing & vocal techniques
20th.Nov        Tim Laycock        Concertina (all systems)


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Old Vermin
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 09:19 AM

Diverting onto Shimrod's point about the presence of teachers in folk, may I perhaps make a couple of observations?

There is a pretty fair proportion of teachers in general population - you are more likely to meet a teacher in most gatherings than say an actuary, blacksmith or carpenter.

Teaching was - and I say was - possibly the perfect day-job for a folkie. Relatively short hours and long holidays. Work that was being constantly in front of an audience of a sort. Brain work and performance. Enough spare time to rehearse and gig. The possibility of symbiosis - the music, song and dance feed back into the classroom. So for a generation or so, that worked. I understand that Carolyn Robson, Peter Coe and Sting among many others have taught in schools.

Most of that observation comes from my wife. She taught. Retired. Misses teaching children but not the bureaucratic nightmare of the English state system nowadays. The job changed. Far too many hours, and far too much drudgery over pointless paperwork. She is strongly of the opinion that the school-teaching path into folk paid professionalism has gone.

Schweik, dear chap - thanks for the reminder on the Lewes workshops. Just a question of being good - or confident - enough to go to workshops.

Right, that's me kept out of the way for half-an-hour as instructed.

Merry Christmas, one and all.


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: GUEST,S O'P (Astray)
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 10:03 AM

One of these days, old man, you might actually bother to read what I say instead flying off the handle.


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 10:04 AM

Cap'n; as much as I have admired the Lewes programme of workshops (from afar unfortunately) I see little there that resembles anything ongoing for beginners - not saying there isn't anything, just that it doesn't appear appear on that list.
A number of clubs we have been involved with have had long running workshops specifically planned so they could cater for non or new singers who wanted a start. Some of these have proved pretty successful over the years.
They were structured in such a way that they could be diverted into other channels for the rest of us when there were no newbies around. The London Singers Workshop, which existed in parallel to at least three clubs we helped organise, ran for nearly twenty years; we set up a magnificent sound archive, and a reasonable library for the use of its members, which proved invaluable - (wonder where the Bronson is now?)
I have been giving the subject of teaching some thought lately as it keeps cropping up over here.
While I believe that singing can be learned, I'm not sure it can be taught, at least not without creating insurmountable problems.
Maybe the subject for a separate thread once the season to be inebriated is over?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 10:11 AM

"One of these days, old man, you might actually bother to read what I say instead flying off the handle."
And one of these days you might consider phrasing your lanuguage in such terms as not to give the impression that it had just gone over the wall from Pseuds Corner.
Have sought a rationale behind your pronouncements and edicts, even requested same on occasion -alas, in vain.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 11:22 AM

Jim,
certain things can be taught, breath control,singing exercises,vocal warm up exercises.,exrcises to extend vocal range etc.
advice in the art of performing, gaining confidence,Alexander Technique etc
advice can also be given,guiding people towards certain singers,MacColl is a good place for beginners to listen to Ballads,plus certain traditional singers, Cox,Tanner, Pardon,Larner,Taylor,to begin with.,I suppose the more that are listened to the better.
perhaps suggesting that certain singers are more likely to be successful with certain kinds of songs,getting singers to take a note so that they pitch correctly, etc.
some singers may always have limitations,but to get them to be aware of what they are more likely to be successful with,
for example, a particular singer may be very good at shanties,but not good at story songs,of course the singer must have respect for the adviser.,but the adviser can give guidelines as to how to improve interpretation of story songs.
[imo]Ballads are the most difficult songs to perform well.


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 11:45 AM

Would like to go into the methods used in teaching at greater length, but not sure that this thread is the place and that 25th December is the time.
One of the problems with being 'taught' to sing is the tendency towards imitation.
I am interested in finding out the experiences of others, but maybe at a later date.
Am not sure I agree with you abouut ballads - in many ways the stories are so concise that they virtually sing themselves as long as you have put the basic groundwork in beforehand. The real problem with them can be the length - but that's often as much a problem with the listener as it is with the singer.
More later - eat well and don't get pissed
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Aeola
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 03:10 PM

Well Jim C. you are quite ( vociferate ) about Folk singers 'Generally 'but I think you should be aware that a lot of people are quite happy to go along to a folk club and listen, join in, or participate. You know , enjoyment!!


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 08:19 PM

"a lot of people are quite happy to go along to a folk club and listen, join in, or participate. You know , enjoyment!!"

I wonder why some people consider doing a thing well a contradiction to enjoying something; perhaps someone can enlighten me? Personally the greatest pleasure I ever got from singing was when it worked, both for me and for the audience.

Favourite quote, from interview we did with MacColl:
"Now you might say that working and training to develop your voice to sing Nine Maidens A-milking Did Go or Lord Randall is calculated to destroy your original joy in singing, at least that's the argument that's put to me from time to time, or has been put to me from time to time by singers who should know better.
The better you can do a thing the more you enjoy it. Anybody who's ever tried to sing and got up in front of an audience and made a bloody mess of it knows that you're not enjoying it when you're making a balls of it, but you are enjoying it when it's working, when all the things you want to happen are happening. And that can happen without training, sure it can, but it's hit or miss. If you're training it can happen more, that's the difference. It can't happen every time, not with anybody, although your training can stand you in good stead, it's something to fall back on, a technique, you know. It's something that will at least make sure that you're not absolutely diabolical
The objective, really for the singer is to create a situation where when he starts to sing he's no longer worried about technique, he's done all that, and he can give the whole of his or her attention to the song itself she can give her or he can give his whole attention to the sheer act of enjoying the song."

If you can see anything wrong with that, I'm buggered if I can.

Another aspect, if that's not enough.
Some of us are quite keen to see the next generation get the same enjoyment out of the music that we have been lucky enough to - that depends on the clubs surviving which, in turn depends on new, fresh audiences turning up..... take it as far as you want.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 25 Dec 09 - 10:30 PM

I ate well AND got pissed *hic* :)

Look forward to any thread on teaching/learning. I really wish there was something ongoing near me. Tried to make this happen once with a local teacher, but it came to nothing. Which reminds me - I must pester her again...and Bath Folk Club...


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 04:07 AM

Cheers Sue!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 05:26 AM

> Look forward to any thread on teaching/learning. <

Me too.

However someone has already pointed out the difference between workshops such as the Lewes ones, that seem to be (correct me if I'm wrong, Valmai) aimed at experienced singers and musicians, and those (much rarer) aimed at getting beginners started on the ladder. Sometimes mixed-ability works, but generally it's better if all are at a similar level.

Anyway, let's have that thread, when Jim or someone is ready to kick it off.

Richard


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: GUEST,John Tucker
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 05:37 AM

Folk Music is alive and kicking in clubs up and down the country! People of all standards from beginners to pros are coming in each week to perform wonderful songs by the classic masters of the genre - Bob Dylan, Ewan MacColl, Joni Mitchell, Richard Thompson, Donovan, Billy Bragg and lots more. There are also lots of really talented people writing and performing their own material. You don't need training for folk music, you are getting confused with CLASSICAL music old chap!


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 05:37 AM

One of the problems with being 'taught' to sing is the tendency towards imitation.[quote ]
fair point, [as regards style]which is why it is better to expose people who wish to improve to as many good singers as possible, and let them develop themselves.
but good breathing technique can be taught,as can the art of performance,extending vocal range, warm up exercises [etc].
suggestions can be made about repertoire.
however many people imitate without being taught, case in point isSuibhne O P, who is noticeably influenced by Peter Bellamy,I can think of another singer who hasa noticeably influenced style,neither were taught by P Bellamy


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 06:43 AM

John Tucker
"You don't need training for folk music,"
Oh dear! Always the bridesmaid, never the bride!
Of course you need (not necessarily training), but at the very least, work to master the basics of singing - any singing, unless you are going to demote it to its most mundane and artless.
I can see a number of people on your list who would have benefited greatly from a good dose of 'training' in order to improve the ability and understanding of the singing of folksong - but that's another argument.
"you are getting confused with CLASSICAL music old chap! "
Not me old chap - talked to too many traditional singers about what went into their singing - how about you?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 06:56 AM


you are getting confused with CLASSICAL music old chap!


Many a musician can do both or more, being versed in the different techniques. In common is practice and more practice, and NOT in public.


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 06:58 AM

PS
And by the way, whatever you or I may think of their singing, it is deeply insulting to everybody on your list to suggest that what they are doing is so simple and artless that you don't have to put any effort (work) into singing it - old chap.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 07:13 AM

The voice is an instrument, like any other and, to use it properly and at its best, technique and practice make it sound better.

If you take any instrument other than the voice, you wouldn't expect to be able to play your way competently through a repertoire of folk tunes without a decent understanding of the basic technique and plenty of practice. And you would surely want to master, say, half a dozen tunes before performing them in public? I've been playing guitar and other fretted instruments for over 40 years and have earned money from doing so. However, I took up the violin some months ago - mainly to play traditional tunes in sessions - and one of my first acts was to find a good teacher so that my fingering and bowing technique would be correct from day 1. She's an excellent player and teacher, and my fortnightly lessons have been inspirational and unmissable.

Why should the voice and vocal performance be any different? I'm a great believer in encouraging people to join in at sessions if they can, and to get to grips with playing and performing music in public. But I'm also a believer in encouraging beginners to improve their performance at every opportunity - they will get more pleasure out of doing so and so will their audience. The way to improve technique and performance is through good mentors, lots of practice and through listening.


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 07:14 AM

If all you are going to do is argue about performing folk music, no wonder it doesn't progress as it might.

I'm off to digitise Albion Country Band at the Howff on 29/12/1972, and listen to some very good playing indeed!


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 07:16 AM

Well, presumably the Albion Country Band will do some good playing because they learned how to play well through practice and hard work? :-)


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 07:17 AM

The various Albions - did ever a band practice and rehears more than they?

Best wishes

L in C
PS bring you singing and playing gear down The Beech


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 07:20 AM

Albion Country Band at the Howff on 29/12/1972

And that is a very apt illustration of the point: Sue Draheim, a classically-trained violinist who has been mistaken for a real-deal Sligo fiddler who nowadays has a chair in a San Francisco symphony orchestra as well as playing in old timey bands.


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: GUEST,John Tucker
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 07:22 AM

Mr Carrol

Nowhere did I suggest that the material was artless or that no effort was required! I said that beginners and pros performed at folk clubs ( some who have no doubt received training). You do NOT require training to be able to perform at a folk club. You do however, need to put a lot effort and practice in though. To play classical music I'm sure that you do need formal tuition and lots of practice. There are certainly classical musicians that play folk & blues at folk clubs that I attend and they do not look down their noses at the untrained beginners. The folk clubs are friendly welcoming places for people of all abilities who share a love of MUSIC at all levels. Not a bunch of elitist snobs.


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 07:29 AM

John - with respect, I think a lot depends on how you define "training". I certainly agree with you on the question of effort and practice - which I think is training. Selecting the right key for your voice, understanding a bit how to breathe and where to sing from (stomach, etc.) to get projection and good pitch - all are also part of practice. If you don't know how to do these things naturally, then some tips from one more expert - and good solid listening to other (good) singers is also part of training.


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 07:35 AM

I have started a thread.
the voice is an instrument and needs to be practised in the same way an instrumentalist would practise his instrument.


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 07:39 AM

Albion Country Band at the Howff on 29/12/1972

And that is a very apt illustration of the point: Sue Draheim, a classically-trained violinist who has been mistaken for a real-deal Sligo fiddler who nowadays has a chair in a San Francisco symphony orchestra as well as playing in old timey bands.

Yes but she played "in the style" back then and was very good - Ashley never hired bad players!. Do you mean that she is chairlady of the SFSO or that she simply plays in it. I am unfamiliar with the verb "to have a chair in".


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 07:43 AM

Mr Carrol - I prefer Jim - Carroll if you must!
Training - work - teaching all the same thing, the amount of work required surely depends on the individual singers requirements and desires. It's up to the club organisers to decide whether they want or need to organise them and at what level.
I know that here in Ireland singing weekends are now organising singing classes, and that they are usually well attended, but then again, the standard of singing over here is far higher than it is in the UK for traditional events.
"You do NOT require training to be able to perform at a folk club."
Really - we are all blessed with pitch control, relaxation abilities, large enough ranges to handle any song in the repertoire, in order to have free access to that repertoire? Don't think so really.
"Not a bunch of elitist snobs."
Good singing means elitism - ah well!!!
My suggestion has always been to aim for a reasonable basic standard - can't see for the life of me how that in any way the friendly welcoming atmosphere of a club - as for 'all abilities - can I take it that you don't believe that being able to sing in tune and handle the full range of a song is not a necessity for singng in public?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 07:55 AM

"but then again, the standard of singing over here is far higher than it is in the UK for traditional events."
I meant to add - and a damn sight more friendly and welcoming than some of the cliquish freemasons lodges where the regulars sit in little bunches and ignore strangers, as I have witnessed and exoerienced on many occasions in the UK down the years
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: theleveller
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 08:08 AM

Well, I'm not sure folk music needs reviving; it seems full of life from what I see of it.

I think what we need to do is stop the pointless and unproductive arguments about what is folk music and to continue to perform and reinterpret traditional material and encourage those who are creating new folk music. In fact, pretty much what has been happening for quite a few years now.

Anyway, that's what I intend to do.


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 08:28 AM

Nice objective Leveller - as long as you can give me - or anybody, what I/they are looking for when they follow their 'folk club' noses and turn up on your doorstep.
I'd be interested to know how you propose to do that!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 08:49 AM

"but then again, the standard of singing over here is far higher than it is in the UK for traditional events."
I meant to add - and a damn sight more friendly and welcoming than some of the cliquish freemasons lodges where the regulars sit in little bunches and ignore strangers, as I have witnessed and exoerienced on many occasions in the UK down the years
Jim Carroll

Absolutely - with their heads bowed down and their little rules!!!!


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: GUEST,John Tucker
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 11:21 AM

Well said Mr Leveller! What exactly are you looking for Jim? Perhaps a club that plays/sings only material that you approve of and at a standard set by you? I always approach music with an open mind and welcome diversity. It's a small and shrinking world and we have to live together.


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 12:23 PM

None of this has any anything to do with either my approval nor my standards. I suggest that unless the clubs cease to allow themselves to be used as musical landfill sites, and unless what goes on there is performed to a basic standard, they will die. You have my suggestion of what those standards should be elsewhere on this thread, but here we go again - REMEMBERING THE WORDS, SINGING IN TUNE AND HAVING ENOUGH OF AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE SONGS TO BE ABLE TO CONVEY THEM TO THE LISTENERS.
As far as what material is presented - let's argue about definition if you want but if you give yourself a name - in this case 'folk', you commit yourself to a type of music - god knows, it's become wide enough to cater for a large range of tastes, but as far as I can see, not as wide as - (sorry S O'P - you shouldn't have provided the perfect example in the first place):
"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", most of which don't come anywhere the term 'folk'. Try pleasing all of the people all of the time and you end up pleasing no-one. I know this from bitter experience when two thirds of the club audiences disappeared in the 80s because folk clubs stopped presenting folk music, and basic standards were abandoned.
"It's a small and shrinking world and we have to live together."
What on earth does that mean - does that mean I can now go to a classical concert expecting east Anglian dance music, or to a recital of operatica arias and expect to enjoy an evening of Gordeanna McCulloch or Ellen Mitchell singing traditional ballads? If not, why not?
You seem to have gone silent on our earlier head-to-head; let's see how we do with this one.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 12:51 PM

REMEMBERING THE WORDS

Some folks cannot remember the words to songs so they have a piece of paper handy to remind them. Nothing wrong with that. Some folks cannot sing in tune but it's the taking part that matters - ask Martin Carthy, he says that the worse thing you can do to a folk song is not sing it, and so Jim Carroll a little of what you say is absolute bollocks.


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 01:11 PM

I suggest that unless the clubs cease to allow themselves to be used as musical landfill sites, and unless what goes on there is performed to a basic standard, they will die.

I doubt it, actually. I think what's far more likely is that clubs will flourish as "musical landfill sites" - I could name two local examples, both of which pack them in week after week. Quality is quite variable and anything goes in terms of material, but in its own terms it works. The audience consists mainly of performers and friends of performers; everyone who wants to can get up and do a turn; and at the end of the night somebody a bit more polished does a few numbers, and everyone goes home happy.

What you won't hear a lot of, at either of those folk clubs, is anything traditional. From my own experience, I'd agree with you that folk music in folk clubs is in a poor state (although it's doing quite nicely at a couple of local singarounds). But the clubs themselves seem to be flourishing.


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: theleveller
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 01:12 PM

"as long as you can give me - or anybody, what I/they are looking for when they follow their 'folk club' noses and turn up on your doorstep."

Oh, and I forgot to add - don't think you can please all of the people all of the time :)


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 01:15 PM

Some folks cannot remember the words to songs so they have a piece of paper handy to remind them. Nothing wrong with that.

Some people don't make sure they're on top of a song before singing it in public - and I think there is something wrong with that.


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Subject: RE: the UK folk revival in 2010
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 Dec 09 - 01:24 PM

unless the clubs cease to allow themselves to be used as musical landfill sites

Indeed yes, they must, and forthwith.

Far be it that I claim to speak for Dr MCMBE but I am absolutely certain he did not mean that tradarts should be churned out, unrehearsed, in public at karaoke standard. Crib sheets are unforgiveable, the ballad singer's role is to tell a story, not read out a synopsis. Learn the words, and the tune before even thinking of venturing out from your bedroom or shower. Surely (unless you actually enjoy making an arse of yourself in public), you owe that amount of respect to the music and to yourself.


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