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Alternative Folk Awards

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Acorn4 23 Dec 11 - 08:09 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Dec 11 - 08:53 AM
Acorn4 23 Dec 11 - 09:22 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Dec 11 - 09:28 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 23 Dec 11 - 09:38 AM
dick greenhaus 23 Dec 11 - 09:42 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Dec 11 - 10:23 AM
evansakes 23 Dec 11 - 12:37 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Dec 11 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,Um Ah Mum-Ra 23 Dec 11 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,Folknacious 23 Dec 11 - 03:14 PM
Spleen Cringe 23 Dec 11 - 03:29 PM
evansakes 23 Dec 11 - 04:09 PM
Reinhard 23 Dec 11 - 05:03 PM
Bobert 23 Dec 11 - 05:26 PM
Big Al Whittle 24 Dec 11 - 03:18 AM
GUEST,Dominic Stewart 24 Dec 11 - 09:35 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Dec 11 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,Folknacious 24 Dec 11 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,STM 24 Dec 11 - 12:29 PM
Les in Chorlton 24 Dec 11 - 01:01 PM
Big Al Whittle 24 Dec 11 - 01:01 PM
Big Al Whittle 24 Dec 11 - 08:06 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Dec 11 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 25 Dec 11 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 25 Dec 11 - 10:20 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Dec 11 - 01:48 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 25 Dec 11 - 02:58 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Dec 11 - 03:06 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Dec 11 - 03:33 PM
GUEST,Folknacious 25 Dec 11 - 06:10 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Dec 11 - 09:26 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 26 Dec 11 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 26 Dec 11 - 05:48 AM
Continuity Jones 26 Dec 11 - 08:28 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 26 Dec 11 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,STM 28 Dec 11 - 12:29 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 Dec 11 - 01:45 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 Dec 11 - 02:00 PM
Continuity Jones 28 Dec 11 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,STM 28 Dec 11 - 06:32 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 Dec 11 - 07:09 PM
John P 29 Dec 11 - 07:31 PM
Big Al Whittle 29 Dec 11 - 08:43 PM
Howard Jones 30 Dec 11 - 04:47 AM
Big Al Whittle 30 Dec 11 - 05:33 AM
Big Al Whittle 30 Dec 11 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 30 Dec 11 - 08:09 AM
Howard Jones 30 Dec 11 - 08:17 AM
Continuity Jones 30 Dec 11 - 08:41 AM
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Subject: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Acorn4
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 08:09 AM

I don't think that anyone else has posted this, but just out of interest there are some interesting names here:-

Spiral Earth Awards


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 08:53 AM

Spirella used to make ladies corsets - perhaps an offshoot...


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Acorn4
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 09:22 AM

I expect they'll get lots of support then!


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 09:28 AM

yes indeed! I bet their cups overfloweth.....

Seriously though, who are they?


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 09:38 AM

A fine show from the Folk Police stable! Nice one, Spleen...


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 09:42 AM

alternative to what?


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 10:23 AM

Answering myself - this is who they are.

http://www.spiralearth.co.uk/

I notice they advertise folk clothing - I must get some. No wonder I never got taken seriously as a folk singer. I never had folk clothing. I bet all these years that's what gave me away as a ne'er do well. No folk clothing.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: evansakes
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 12:37 PM

Interesting combination of popular and downright obscure.

No indication how the shortlist is arrived at though. Suspicious or what?

The voting panel is a mystery. I suspect shenanigans, subterfuge, infamy and all manner of nasty deeds. I think an IMMEDIATE investigation is called for.

What do we want? NAMES !

When do we want 'em? NOW !



ps Only joking, Iain! :-)


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 01:39 PM

Yes and pictures of ladies in corsets would be nice. If they've got any left from when they sold corsets. Like this.

http://www.corsetiere.net/Spirella/Corsetiere/Fitter.htm

It would be interesting to know how the move to folk music came about.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: GUEST,Um Ah Mum-Ra
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 03:11 PM

It's interesting that the voting is open to the "public" whoever they may be. I hope they print a complete list of everyone who voted and if any of them works for the BBC they should be sacked.

I am considering taking this very seriously indeed.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: GUEST,Folknacious
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 03:14 PM

It looks suspiciously like the nominating panel is the Spiral Earth editor, a chap called Ian Hazlewood according to the web site. Still, it says that the public get to vote on his nominations, unlike the Mojo Folk Album of the Year where its all decided by one person, Colin Irwin, and the Songlines Albums of the Year where its all down to two editors - no public in either case. Against all these, the BBC's 100+ and fRoots 300+ all sound like models of democracy and respectability. Its a mystery to me, decent bloke though Irwin seems to be, why the Mojo one in particular gets so much kudos given to it each year. In the end I suppose its whether your favourite gets nominated or wins. Some of those Spiral ones seem a bit odd, especially "group".


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 03:29 PM

From the Spiral Earth news page: "The list of nominations has been decided by the Editorial team and contributors to Spiral Earth, the awards celebrate the wide range of music we cover and have featured on the site over the past year, always grounded in folk and roots but willing to go wherever it takes us." Hope that clears that up.

Personally, I think they have exceedingly good taste...


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: evansakes
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 04:09 PM

Some of those Spiral ones seem a bit odd, especially "group"

Precisely....what sort of nomination process excludes the most popular folk group in the UK over a period of MANY years (and the biggest festival draw too). On what basis exactly? Do none of the nominating panel actually LIKE this group? Difficult to believe don't you think?

Or are there sinister forces at play here? I wonder? The plot thickens.

If only there was a ruthless and ambitious muck-raking journalist prepared to take up the cause maybe we'd get to the bottom of the matter


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Reinhard
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 05:03 PM

More from the Spiral Earth news page: "Then the 'Trad Song' category has gone, 'sacrilege!' you scream, but there are just so many good albums full of trad material coming out that it seems academic to pick just four renditions."

In other words, "we'll ignore what's really happening in the folk world because we'd much more like you to vote for the best unknown folk group."


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Dec 11 - 05:26 PM

Gillian Welch rocks...

B~


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 03:18 AM

My final for nominations

http://www.harwayeslingerie.com/shop_by/brand/playtex?gclid=CMyw3--hmq0CFUUPfAodYFhsmg


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: GUEST,Dominic Stewart
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 09:35 AM

I think that Mudcat should run a folk awards. Except you'd spend too long arguing over"Mudcat", "Folk" and "Awards" to get it off the ground. Nevermind, just keep on having a go at all the others, eh.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 10:21 AM

Look Dom = put it another way

! Best songwriter Big Al Whittle
2. Best Folk Duo No Fixed Abode
3. Lifetime Achievement Award Derek Brimstone
4. Best folk artist Jack Hudson


Its bollocks, isn't it? You want to join up with the bumkissers and sycophants. do so, and Merry Christmas to you. Pull a cracker and think about every bugger who puts in a lifetime of artistic endeavour, or flogs hopelessly round the low paid gigs of England with no recogntion, from those who have the power to confer it.

Thatcher used to call it the politics of envy, and say everybody who was poor richly deserved it and should get on their bike.

The folkworld has been Thatcherite in principle since time begun. Thatcher only bankrupted and closed down British manafacturing industry. the movers and shakers of the folkworld have shut down a whole artistic movement - and all the real folk of England have voted with their feet. A scale of disaster, Thatcher could only dream and fantasise about.

And a happy new year.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: GUEST,Folknacious
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 12:25 PM

If only there was a ruthless and ambitious muck-raking journalist prepared to take up the cause maybe we'd get to the bottom of the matter

Send for Gemma Kidney. Or the Fake Sheikh. Or Tintin . . . A stop to this must be put!


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: GUEST,STM
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 12:29 PM

To the poster above: I'm not quite sure what your post is trying to say or achieve. Are you suggesting that the people who are currently making money and getting recognised gigs on the folk scene haven't put in a "lifetime of artistic endeavour or flogging hopelessly around the low paid gigs of England"?

This may not be what you're trying to say at all, but for some reason I couldn't make much sense of it- can you clear it up for me please?


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 01:01 PM

Yer, go on then ................ I'll hold coats

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 01:01 PM

Okay lets put it this way. Go to any folk festival in England. The songwriters session. No ones there. theres ALWAYS some bloke or woman (someone you've never heard of) turns up and sing some songs which absolutley knock your socks off. Thats it you never hear of them again - and never from the mainstage.

There no one there because the powers that be (mags, arts council, tv, radio, popularity chart) are always flogging to death the same old, same old.

What made the 1960's buzz was not the Beatles and Stones but the thirty or forty other British bands which came up with hit records of genius. And they only got heard of because, Denmark St (the power on that demesne) lots its grip for a while.

Frankly we need a similar cataclysm in the world of folk music.

Wasting my sodding energy restating this stuff once more - why do I bother.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Dec 11 - 08:06 PM

'. Are you suggesting that the people who are currently making money and getting recognised gigs on the folk scene haven't put in a "lifetime of artistic endeavour or flogging hopelessly around the low paid gigs of England"?'

Bloody right! that's exactly what I'm saying. Most of the buggers couldn't handle a tough shitty audience to save their lives. They haven't paid their dues. And that means they haven't looked within themselves and said - what CAN I do? Because mediocrity has got them by, with their army of protectors and huff puffers.

They haven't got that gravel in the guts which is part of folk music. there still isn't a producer in England who can make a guitar sound as big as a cathedral like Lennie Waronker could do forty years ago. Its the difference between Poor Old Horse by the Albions and He'll have to go by Ry Cooder. One is a folk music people could sing along and freak out to, ones a tarted up museum piece.

I can remember thirty years ago saying to Paul Downes - the trouble with the Albion Band is that they all play their stratocasters like loud acoustic guitars.   Its as if Hendrix and Zappa had never lived.

There are fourteen year old kids who have a clearer idea of what a Gibson Les paul or a telecaster can do than the average folki musician.

The schism between English folk and English folk music has never been wider. We don't live in a bloody village any more - deserted or otherwise.

there really is no excuse for endlessly promoting mediocrity. Nul points!


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 08:23 AM

Look! Its christmas. i take back everything, I've said. It was just mean.

My new years resolution will be to just think deep resentful thoughts, and never say a word!


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 09:30 AM

Obviously you had some spectral visits in the night eh, Al? The Ghosts of Folk Past, Folk Present and Folk Future bemoaning (no doubt) how good old-fashioned Mudcat bonhomie has become so thin on the ground these days that it's now acceptable to open a thread just to shit all over the hard work of others because it doesn't fit into some fecked up folk-fuzz MOR easy-listening straight-jacket that was well past its sell-by date 40 years ago but still persists in its righteous decrepitude & bitter grudgeful bileousness... For shame, I say.

S O'P (Spending Xmas day alone as his wife has to work leaving him with a back so bad he can barely hold the copy of Mare Nostrum she gave him this morning before set off much less take it to the hi-fi and play the bloody thing... mutter, mutter. But am I down hearted? Not a bit of it - not with things like this still rising to the surface to keep my spirits dancing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyqY9fUpTek&feature=related

Joy to the world!)


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 10:20 AM

Looking at the OP I see the intention of this thread was esentially a positive one, however so hijacked it has become. My apologies to the OP, but one can only take so much, especially in this season of good will toward men...


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 01:48 PM

Nah! Its just that I'm getting on and I'm fed up with talking to a brick wall. Spent most of my life working with ethnic music and frankly - you can't pass on your insight - not to people who are wedded to the idea that there is a hierarchy - and that they will be better off listening to a folk star reading the telephone directory, than someone's natural creative efforts.

these altercations take too much out of me - and I'm convincing no one.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 02:58 PM

you can't pass on your insight

That's not what's important though, is it? The important thing is ditching the righteousness, doing what we do to the very best of our ability, honesty, integrity and humanity and allowing (encouraging / facillitating / supporting) others to do likewise. If, in the process, something of you gets passed on then that's cool - if not, then that's cool too. The rootedness of music is more important than what might survive of it surely? Everything's cool; there's no brick wall, no conspiracy, and no hierarchy. And all music is down to our natural creative efforts, be it working with traditional material or writing your own. And all music is ethnic.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 03:06 PM

To be honest, I'd rather expend my energy supporting those who are excluded. Perversity maybe, but I'll always line up with the discriminated against and oppressed. And frankly - I don't give a shit if its done from sheer malice - or as I imagine - middle class solidarity - I've met too many of the oppressed talented not to believe they exist.

Please don't I haven't seen what I have seen.

I promise from henceforth to keep quiet about it.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 03:33 PM

should read

Please don't tell me I haven't seen what I have seen.

just this last month - I had to comfort sanjay brain after he'd read what someone said about him on mudcat. 18 years old . started a website honouring Gerry Lockran when he was 13.

Don't tell that bloody middle class arrogance - I know what folk music is, YOU don't! doesn't exist. I've lived with it for about forty years abusing me every bloody chance it got.

Bugger 'em. i'm too tired and old to talk about it any more though.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: GUEST,Folknacious
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 06:10 PM

Man overboard!


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Dec 11 - 09:26 PM

glub! glub!


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 26 Dec 11 - 05:37 AM

I've lived with it for about forty years abusing me every bloody chance it got.

Thirty-five years for me - or is it 36? In which time I've been happily exploring the Outer Limits of Folk fully aware that not everyone will get it (though I've been getting top reviews since 1983) largely because of the MOR Easy Listening Folk-factor which is complete anathema to my particular thang. There are significant exceptions to this of course, but I like my Folk Americana gruff, rough & trad, or else out there in the Alt Country belt with Welch & Rawlings, The Holy Modal Rounders and Michael Hurley. Ever heard Michael Hurley, BAW? He's a legendary cult singer-songwriter with real soul; as pure a drop as Jim Eldon - his songs that cut straight to the heart although around here he's usually dismissed as being 'weird' (more folk Marmite I guess). Try this anyway:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ku10PThPn8

The old songs draw me in though as being more vivid & immediate & altogether more musical than most things being written today; too many messages, sentiments, agendas, meanings... I'm waiting for the Grayson Perry of Folk to show up - maybe they already have & I missed them - but for a working class nostaligically inclined old hippy prog punk medieval free improvising traddy nudging into his 50-something years then I'm just happy to take each day as it comes.

Agree with you about Zappa and Hendrix though, and the kids who gather in the music shops of Liverpool & MCR at weekends to whom their legacy is now is second nature. I've seen 13-year-old girls who could give Steve Vai a run for his money & once I listened to a young bassist in L'pool trying out (appropriately enough) a Hofner HCT500-1 and I was weeping, man! He could have only been 14, and he was playing the most amazing modal things you wouldn't believe. This is Living Traditional Ethnic Music in the context of culture & community & individual genius. Whatever Ghosts of Folk Future have in store for us, I'm more than happy that MUSIC is in good hands. Best we ageing farts can do is BE GLAD that the song well & truly has NO ENDING & get on with our own shit accordingly.

S O'P (on the Second Day of Christmas already Limbering up for some New Year Resolutions - at least as far as my bad back will allow... fetch me my lumber roll!)


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 26 Dec 11 - 05:48 AM

Michael Hurley - Cars, Jars & Guitars.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 26 Dec 11 - 08:28 AM

I consider it a bit of a mystery as to why Michael Hurley isn't more recognised. Some of his albums - Long Journey, Parsnip Snips, Sweetkorn, Armchair Boogie, etc etc - are amazing. I don't really get the Too Weird thing with him either, he doesn't seem weird at all, just perfect. The story about one of his albums being rejected because he was playing mouth trumpet on it perhaps suggests that for some people, anything slightly different is just too weird.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 26 Dec 11 - 12:38 PM

Hurley's something else, isn't he? But there was a thread on him here a while back which echoes a lot of the more folkie sentiments I've picked up on over the years. I think it's something in the folk gene - that grudgeful, resentful, small minded conservative puritanical mindset one runs into mostly in the more MOR provinces, out-posts & colonies of the Folk Scene. Anyway, here's a classic salve for all your Xmas indulgences & one of my favourite songs of all time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZA7OT3Ib5I


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: GUEST,STM
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 12:29 PM

Big Al Whittle...obviously it's difficult to respond on forums like this, for a number of reasons, such as not being able to hear the "tone" of what is written, not knowing the person personally and not having a clear, universal definition of "folk music".

However, I might have a bit of good news for you (or bad, if you're the bitter and jealous kind), but I can assure you that of almost every "big" folk performer I know, every single one of them has really grafted for their "right" to be as successful and popular as they are. This means years of unpaid gigs, years of learning their instrument/style/songs/history, learning aurally from others (usually in clubs like all of us here seem to do) travelling up and down the country for little or no money, playing to people who don't appreciate their genre, playing to people who heckle/shout abuse/threaten/laugh/belittle, putting in hours and hours of admin, self-promotion, handling their own accounts/expenses/wages/etc.

I thought it may be nice for you to actually know what you're talking about in future, instead of making and preaching wild and inaccurate assumptions about people you've probably never even had a conversation with, let alone have the right to spread absolute shit about on the internet...

You talk about people who you meet in sessions who are talented but don't make it...well, maybe it's them who haven't tried hard enough. I know plenty of talented musicians- genius musicians in fact- who, unfortunately, lack the hard work, self motivation, drive, and multitude of skills it takes to be a self employed musician- basic maths and english skills, a knowledge of businesses, a knowledge of the law, who can drive, who are confident, who are socially able, blabla, etc. etc... it's about more than just being a good musician or having a good voice- otherwise we'd all be at it!


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 01:45 PM

Yeh you're right. never had a conversation with a folksinger...... now you come to mention it.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 02:00 PM

Perhaps we should have one of those chatlines for folksingers - like the chatlines for priests on Father Ted......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pGcE7IvCTs


Hi there! if you want to hang out with folksingers your own age, looking for fun, or maybe something more ......


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 03:34 PM

"
You talk about people who you meet in sessions who are talented but don't make it...well, maybe it's them who haven't tried hard enough. I know plenty of talented musicians- genius musicians in fact- who, unfortunately, lack the hard work, self motivation, drive, and multitude of skills it takes to be a self employed musician- basic maths and english skills, a knowledge of businesses, a knowledge of the law, who can drive, who are confident, who are socially able, blabla, etc. etc... it's about more than just being a good musician or having a good voice- otherwise we'd all be at it

"

Does their Maths / English skills make them a better 'Folk Musician'? Or better at getting their name known?

Folk music is mostly hokum anyway nowadays, give or take some crusty old bugger somewhere or other. It's just a sub-sect of the music business and these awards are just part of that business. And getting one's name known is all part of the business. Not sure if it makes them 'better' though.

Business, business, business.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: GUEST,STM
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 06:32 PM

I didn't say it made them better musicians because they can do maths and english, etc, but we were talking about musicians in a specific context; folk scene, self employed, and "deserving recognition".

I mean, personally, I think I'm more beautiful than Jordan, and more suitable to being a model but do I have the drive, ambition, care, sense and intelligence to make it all come together, to pull it off? No. It doesn't need to be pointed out that the more effort you put in, the more successful you will become, unless you're very lucky.

If you want to be a good musician= practice music everyday, love your instrument, listen carefully, study hard, etc.

If you want to be a successful musician who earns a decent living and gets some recognition= do all of the above, learn about business, work your way through the crappy gigs, the crappy people, the crappy money, do your maths, english, etc...


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Dec 11 - 07:09 PM

It would be fascinating to know the precise nature of how you managed to acquire all this vast insight into the world of thefolk musician.

My career (such as it is) is precisely documented on my website - together with my meagre achievements.    STM - I'm sure I should be able to work out who that is, but I can't.

Anyway I wish you luck, and trust you will never encounter those people or circumstances that might disturb such a sunny view of the world of folk music and its practitioners.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: John P
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 07:31 PM

We wouldn't have to worry about who was and wasn't noticed for various folk awards if we stopped treating the playing of music as a competitive sport. Every time we say someone is the "best" we are also saying that everyone else isn't. Seems dumb to me, especially since musical success (as in getting money and getting noticed) is more a matter of ambition than of musical skill or relevance.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Dec 11 - 08:43 PM

No no ! I really disagree.

Its about this - there have beenthese things called folk clubs. A sort of artistic movement. The first song I tapped out for myself was Where have all the flowers gone - 1963. C Am F G7.

And I've been part of that movement ever since.

Now this artistic movement has produced geniuses.

However because some bastards think they know what folk music is. Some truly brilliant people who would have inspired the awe of the world have not even made it past first base. That is why some of us are really pissed off.

Plus the fact that the whole bloody situation reeks of the English class system.. two or three really bloody thick English journalists. one or two guys who had the brains to jump onto the media studies bandwagon, before we realised it was the racket to be in. And here we are in the present situation where they are giving out CBE's to people who think that just because you're English - you're not really clever enough to appreciate ( no chance of actually enjoying) what English folk music is.

the problem is that the most original artists aren't getting heard. Compromise, forelock tugging, and and gentility are buggering everything up everything.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Howard Jones
Date: 30 Dec 11 - 04:47 AM

Al, this is a regular rant of yours - indeed it seems that everything you post comes around to this. However your description of the folk scene is not one I recognise.

Yes, the perception is that most people involved in folk music are middle-class. Perhaps that's true - I am. However the people I've met through folk music come from all social backgrounds and walks of life, including a judge and travellers.

There are hundreds of clubs and festivals. Most of them are run on a part-time, not-for-profit basis by enthusiasts. Some of these have a fairly high profile, it's true, but I don't believe the folk scene is controlled by a small group. It may be true they are unwilling to take risks, but that is ususally because they don't have the financial margins.

I believe folk music is actually one of the most democratic genres. It's easy to get into - if you want to perform, just go along to a folk club and they'll let you. With cheap digital equipment and the internet, anyone can now make a recording and get it heard worldwide. Starting a folk club requires very little capital investment, so if you don't like what your local club is doing there are few obstacles to starting one yourself. There are thousands of clubs and hundreds of festivals, and I simply don't believe there is a middle-class conspiracy to prevent talented people from being heard.

Nevertheless, in order to break through it is necessary to do more than play good music. Perhaps these artists you say aren't being heard aren't very good at the marketing, the promotion and business elements that STM mentioned and which you were so dismissive of.

Some friends of mine started up a new band only last year. They've promoted themselves effectively, sending out hundreds of professional-looking leafletes and copies of a demo EP. They've also been prepared to work bloody hard, including hundreds of miles of travelling. However as a result they've had lots of gigs, and have just been listed as one of the busiest festival acts of 2011. They've now got a full CD out, and have been shortlisted for a couple of awards. It can be done, but it takes more than just musical talent (of which they've plenty).


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Dec 11 - 05:33 AM

love these guys

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpRB3OIZjVM

don't know 'em personally - but I've seen their gig a few times.

I believe there is activity like this all over England - people writing 'folk' music - real folks! Out there in pubs, open mics, singers clubs....Yet its like ordinary people don't bloody exist - as far all the polls and the media is concerned.   

And frankly I think it WOULD be nice if the middle classes - reliquished their hold on what they mistakenly perceive to be folk music - and thereby block and monopolise all the avenues of expression that are open to english people.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Dec 11 - 06:27 AM

Or perhaps the middle classes and their good taste could be given a channel like the third programme used to be for classical music - where they could preserve their traditions and good taste in isolation.

Its not just folk music. jazz and country music have this same wooden middle class suppository shoved up their jaxi.

Go to a jazz club, go to a country music club - the music that people sing along and dance to, is nowt like the stuff on the BBC.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 30 Dec 11 - 08:09 AM

where they could preserve their traditions and good taste in isolation.

It's you who needs the isolation, Al - you should start up your own perma-thread devited to your impotent whinging instead of inflicting it on threads such as this, thus ruining something that could have been very nice indeed. Shame really...


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Howard Jones
Date: 30 Dec 11 - 08:17 AM

You're right, the polls and national media aren't interested in the "ordinary" people - they're interested in the extra-ordinary, those people with more than ordinary talent which raises them above the rest of us, and gives them national and even international careers.

Of course there are lots of people making good music all around the country. But unless they play in folk venues, and unless they get off their arses and are prepared to travel to gigs anywhere in the country, they won't get noticed by the national folk media or the folk polls - and why should they? Why should the national media give space to a band that only gigs in its local area?

Of course its tough to break out and become nationally known. It takes determination and hard work, and usually a bit of luck. However once a band has made that breakthrough the media are usually pretty quick to pick up on something new.


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Subject: RE: Alternative Folk Awards
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 30 Dec 11 - 08:41 AM

Big Al - apologies if you've mentioned this already - but if you're in favour of Folk Awards of some kind, may I ask who'd vote for the winners? And indeed, who'd come up with the shortlist?

The reason I ask was prompted by that link you posted above. I thought they sounded not so good, see. A bit dull, maybe. So who'd choose? One man's goose, etc.


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