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What is psych folk...?

GUEST 03 Oct 10 - 07:16 PM
Richard Bridge 03 Oct 10 - 05:25 PM
GUEST 03 Oct 10 - 02:54 PM
Richard Bridge 03 Oct 10 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 03 Oct 10 - 08:04 AM
Jack Blandiver 03 Oct 10 - 07:04 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 10 - 07:00 AM
GUEST 03 Oct 10 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 10 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 10 - 06:57 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 10 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 10 - 06:55 AM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 03 Oct 10 - 05:29 AM
Paul Burke 03 Oct 10 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 03 Oct 10 - 04:31 AM
Emma B 02 Oct 10 - 04:08 PM
GUEST,Tim the guest 02 Oct 10 - 03:40 PM
theleveller 02 Oct 10 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,Spleen Cringe 02 Oct 10 - 12:47 PM
Art Thieme 02 Oct 10 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,John Miles of Smiles 02 Oct 10 - 12:10 PM
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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 07:16 PM

All good! I'm a new user of Mudcat so I thought that this sort of knowing question might be a good way to work out how broad the appetites of members are!

I agree that psych-folk has become acceptable shorthand for 'skewed pastoralism' in (mainly) transatlantic musics; it's a textural or atmospheric descriptor, and rarely connotes a direct link to 'folk traditions' in the way that many might still like to see the term 'folk' confined to.

John Barleycorn reborn is a good shout in terms of new(ish) British exponents, and re-establishes the connection with the Current 93 axis too. These are all great companion compilations that showcase the (mainly) US side of things:

http://boomkat.com/cds/20477-various-digitalis-gold-leaf-branches
http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/549-golden-apples-of-the-sun-compilation/
http://therealnittygritty.blogspot.com/2009/01/various-by-fruits-you-shall-know-roots.html

The latter gave us the name for the first instalment of a (hopefully!) annual bash that we've organised at Cecil Sharp House on 30th Oct:

http://www.milesofsmiles.co.uk/


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 05:25 PM

Pretension, supra.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 02:54 PM

Hi Richard! Care to expand?


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 02:25 PM

Hmmm, Pseud's Corner is alive and well.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 08:04 AM

And for some truly seminal Psych Folk you don't have to venture too far from the cultural comfort zones!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yBvhIC8d5U


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 07:04 AM

Basically Psych Folk is music touching at any point upon the Folk Aesthetic with reference to the more expansive, improvised & ethnically inspired territories associated with Psychedia - although maybe less Lysergic acid diethylamide than Psilocybe semilanceata. So all of the above (I actually passed on the ISB's 'U' double CD reissue for £3 yesterday in Fop, much preferring my original vinyl; I went for Miles Davis' 'Big Fun' for £9 instead!) and more besides: Popol Vuh, early Kraftwerk (up to & including the very pastoral 'Autobahn', but try their third album 'Ralf & Florian' first) Peter Bellamy (especially on 'Merlins Isle of Gramarye' & 'Oak Ash & Thorn') Sarah Clitheroe (whose 1976 set of field-recorded supernatural Child Ballads 'Seven Years a Tongue to the Warning Bell' has yet to be equalled), Daevid Allen (his acoustic trilogy of 'Good Morning', 'Now is the Happiest Time of your Life' and 'N'existe Pas' is very worthy in this respect, but check The Owly Song for some of the finest pysch folk ever). Then of course there's Michael Hurley, and the Holy Modal Rounders school of things, which is an entire psychedelic folk cosmos of its own.

For my money, however, the acid-drenched freely improvised modal medieval alchemical Druid dronings of the Third Ear Band is psychedelic folk at its very highest. Coincidentally, I've just bunged a very rare Sounds of the 70s live set from July 1970 across to Luca Ferrari which you can access freely via the equally expansive (and potentially minbdblowing) but entirely official Third Esar blogspot Getto Raga. Last year I edited some images from hereabouts to the Third Ear Band's 'Eternity in D' from a 1971 live session. This features a more electric sound, but is still replete with the chilling improvised interplay between oboe & violin which typifies their particular (and peculiar) approach. Miles Davis fans will immediately spot the influence of 'Bitches Brew' (the basic riff is ripped off wholesale) but might tale heart that the bass player here is Paul Buckmaster who was a noted influence on Miles's thinking at this time. Check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bfj0oOv240M

Today, Folk Police notwithstanding, the best of Pysch Folk might be found on John Barleycorn Reborn - A Discovery of Dark Brittanica - two further couble CD sets coming soon I believe...


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 07:00 AM

Me again above


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 06:59 AM

And finally as a real treat, one of my favourite ever singers (just listen to that voice!). If you don't click on any of the other links, click on this one. This song also shows that the Hammond organ is a severely underused instrument in folk music...

Shelagh McDonald - Dowie Dens of Yarrow.

I'd wholeheartedly recommend the "complete works" double CD Let No Man Steal Your Thyme that came out a few years ago. Interesting backstory, too: Shelagh McDonald site

PS Apologies for the multiple posts, but for some reason MC wouldn't let me post this as a single message...


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 06:58 AM

Stone Angel - The Bells of Dunwich. An obscurity whose lo-fi production values do little to detract from a lovely, song with obligatory psych folk flute. Don't be put off by the slow build up.

Caedmon - Sea Song. The albums a not that great mish-mash of too many influences and they were essentially from the Christian folk-rock sub-genre, but this song is their stone classic. Some blistering and unexpected fuzz guitar, too.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 06:57 AM

Bread, Love and Dreams - Brother John. They tended towards the proggy end of psych folk but this is a simple and beautiful song from their best album, Amaryllis.

Trees - The Garden of Jane Delawney. Generally most folk rock than psych folk, but this is a classic of the genre.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 06:56 AM

Tudor Lodge - Willow Tree. The easily scared can start from one minute in. From the "heavy on studio production" end of the genre.

COB - Eleven Willows. COB's Moyshe McStaff and the Tartan Lancers of the Sacred Heart" is probably one of my all time favourite albums and definitive proof that Clive Palmer was the real genius in The Incredible String Band.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 06:55 AM

Forest - Graveyard. Possibly the psych folk motherlode. Hard to believe, but this group started as an unaccompanied trad trio in thrall to The Young Tradition and the Watersons...


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 05:29 AM

Hi Shimrod - I'll do you a compilation CD! Of course, the vast majority of psych folk has nothing to do with traditional music (though some would say - and who am I to disagree? - that some traditional music fits happily into the psych folk canon, possible examples being Shirley Collins' "Power of the True Love Knot" as well as plenty of individual songs, suggesting of course, that psych folk is all in the mind - BOOM! BOOM!). What psych folk does suggest to me is that it's possible to have pastoral acoustic music that is neither traditional folk, solo singer songwriter stuff nor syrupy acoustic pop.

Pete, not sure I could sit through an entire Heron album (I have a double CD that is to say the least patchy) but I have to say that Lord and Master is a wonderful song.

Tim the Guest... sorry, but that song you linked to was dreadful! Coming back at you with this. True psych folk genius! Caravan by Dulcimer


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 05:20 AM

Psych folk?

Jung but Growing.
Reich Jung Sailor.
Follow me Down to Karlov.
Analyst Gordon....

BTW Shimrod, do you? (no handwaving now...)


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 03 Oct 10 - 04:31 AM

I don't know how we can possibly discuss such a nebulous term as 'Psych Folk' when there are so many obtuse people around who insist on pretending that they don't know what 'Folk' or 'Traditional' mean!


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: Emma B
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 04:08 PM

One of 'those' coincidences -

I was listening to devendra banhart's "when they come" accompanying a video celebrating nonviolent protest earlier as today, Gandhi's birthday, was declared International Day of Non-Violence by a vote of the United Nations General Assembly
you tube link


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Tim the guest
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 03:40 PM

You want to know what psych folk is? Very simply, in it's truest form it is this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KL1M9yDwrzY


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: theleveller
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 02:49 PM

Ha...at this very moment just listening to Heron. What a coincidence.


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 12:47 PM

Just my opinion, but...

Broadly, pastoral psychedelia from the late sixties and early seventies (or more recent music that plays close homage to that sort of thing), often with a vaguely folky vibe and a folklorish or elf-tastic bent to the lyrics.

Classic examples would be The Incredible String Band, Forest, Dr Strangely Strange, Comus and Mellow Candle (though the last stray into folk rock territory). Contemporary examples might include the wonderfully and frighteningly prolific Kitchen Cynics

Gerald Van Waes' psychedelic folk homestead is as good a place as any to start.

Art, when are you going to bring out a joke book? Actually, on second thoughts don't answer that! ;-)


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Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 12:21 PM

Alas, the practitioners of this are all referred to as Psycho-ceramics.

Commonly, they are called Crackpots!

Art


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Subject: What is psych folk...?
From: GUEST,John Miles of Smiles
Date: 02 Oct 10 - 12:10 PM

There was a curiously unresolved writers' discussion on this topic at the Ian Anderson-arranged 'Ghosts from the Basement' Village Thing retrospective at Cecil Sharp House last week.

What do people think of the term?

What do people think of the idiom?

What do people think in general?

Grateful for your thoughts!


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