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Is the Tradition Safe

selby 08 Oct 99 - 01:32 PM
Alice 08 Oct 99 - 04:02 PM
Magpie 08 Oct 99 - 05:00 PM
Alice 08 Oct 99 - 06:41 PM
selby 09 Oct 99 - 01:21 PM
Alice 09 Oct 99 - 04:08 PM
Graham Pirt 10 Oct 99 - 06:13 AM
Art Thieme 10 Oct 99 - 10:41 AM
Sam Pirt 10 Oct 99 - 12:05 PM
Mudjack 10 Oct 99 - 01:07 PM
j0_77 10 Oct 99 - 01:21 PM
selby 10 Oct 99 - 01:31 PM
Jack (Who is called Jack) 10 Oct 99 - 03:53 PM
MAG (inactive) 10 Oct 99 - 08:13 PM
Barbara Shaw 10 Oct 99 - 08:45 PM
catspaw49 10 Oct 99 - 09:40 PM
Brad Sondahl 10 Oct 99 - 11:04 PM
Ian Stephenson 11 Oct 99 - 07:40 AM
GeorgeH 11 Oct 99 - 08:00 AM
Wotcha 11 Oct 99 - 11:43 AM
Tony Fisher 11 Oct 99 - 01:29 PM
Magpie 11 Oct 99 - 01:48 PM
katlaughing 11 Oct 99 - 01:59 PM
GeorgeH 12 Oct 99 - 06:27 AM
Alice 12 Oct 99 - 12:39 PM
Peter T. 12 Oct 99 - 03:32 PM
Sam Pirt 13 Oct 99 - 05:12 AM
GeorgeH 13 Oct 99 - 06:48 AM
Ian Stephenson 13 Oct 99 - 08:22 AM
Art Thieme 13 Oct 99 - 11:58 AM
GeorgeH 13 Oct 99 - 12:55 PM
Frank Hamilton 13 Oct 99 - 12:56 PM
selby 13 Oct 99 - 01:23 PM
Graham Pirt 13 Oct 99 - 02:39 PM
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Subject: Is the Tradition Safe
From: selby
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 01:32 PM

I am fully aware that the Cafe is a global meeting house. So with that in mind I would like to find out if globaly the tradition is carrying on and are the young carrying it on. My own kids 11 & 9 play instrument & are very much into the tradition The eldest plays fiddle, writes tunes, dances and is fast becoming a storyteller. The youngest plays melodian & is currently learning keyboard with a aim to playing my accordian (i'm not supposed to know that). In GB there has been lots of things done by lots of paople so that the tradition I beleive is in safe hands.

Is this the case throught Mudcat land? Keith


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Alice
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 04:02 PM

In Montana, the playing of trad music is mostly connected to old-time fiddlers (and there are kids playing) and blue grass music - not really trad (there are kids playing). It seems like bluegrass is taking over old-time, which really annoys my uncle who plays fiddle. Old music is nurtured by the Old Time fiddlers association, contests, and county fairs, etc. The public schools are not involved as far as I know. If parents are into the music, their kids are given instruments to play. We are not a bluegrass family. My son has learned to play fiddle songs from our Irish session, - King of the Fairies, Aran Boat, Donegal Mazurka, and on the harmonium, The Rights of Man, Butterfly. He is studying classical violin, but a couple of years ago he wrote these tunes inspired by the session. He is 12.
Ryan's Tune and the Grasshopper click here

Alice Flynn


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Magpie
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 05:00 PM

Hello Alice

Trad music in Norway is not a big hit. In fact, at some point, it almost died out. 'Round the mid 1850's there was a great national and cultural revival, and at least some of our trad music was salvaged. When it was taken up again, it was done largely by puritans, who selectively chose only the "seriuos" stuff, and most of the more humourous songs and tunes were lost. Due to this, I think, we tend to be more partial to Irish music, which has got the whole repertoire, ballads, humourous songs, lively dance music And very sad songs of oppression and war.

Fortunately, there are a few young and incredible talented people who have done some very good recordings and concerts during the past few years. It has done a lot for our own trad music, but not nearly enough.

We don't have such a tragic history of oppression and war, as for instance Ireland has, and I think that that's part of the reason too. Music, like language, is basically what makes a country's identity. When a country is under oppression, language, religion and music are often the first things banned by the oppressors. And of course, that makes it all the more important for the people oppressed to keep and fight for their music, religion and language. We've just been too comfy up here to really understand how much of our identity is tied to music, and for that reason, we've let ourselves loose it.

I hope more young trad musicians will be given the opportunity to bring out their music. We need them.

Magpie


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Alice
Date: 08 Oct 99 - 06:41 PM

Magpie, there is a wonderful accordion player from Norway whom I met when she was here studying at the University. She played a beautiful Norwegian tune called (loose translation) the girl from the hills. She also did a rousing Whiskey Before Breakfast. She was in a band in Norway that had won first place in a competition. I recorded her playing, and would love to get the music for The Girl From the Hills. The musician's name is Rannveig Djonne. The tune starts out slowly in the first half, then picks up the tempo in the second half.


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: selby
Date: 09 Oct 99 - 01:21 PM

alice I have collected Ryans tune and look forward to playing it Keith


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Alice
Date: 09 Oct 99 - 04:08 PM

Here is another tradition being passed down in Montana.
Billings Gazette article, Oct 8, 1999

Handing it down, old and new

LAME DEER - Jay Old Mouse cradles a handmade Northern Cheyenne flute in his large but nimble hands, caressing the wood while he explains the significance of the instrument.

The Cheyenne courting flute, as it is called, is supposed to generate a kind of audible love potion, certain to tickle the ear and soften the heart of any woman who hears it. But the flute was, and still is, used for prayer as well, and for healing.

"The music is so haunting and soothing that it would make the pain go away," Jay says.

Jay admits he didn't know much about the traditional instrument until five or six years ago when his grandfather, Douglas Glenmore, whose Indian name is Black Bear, offered to teach him the art of making authentic Cheyenne flutes.

"It goes way back to a guy named John Turkey Legs," Douglas says. "He's a Cheyenne." Douglas is sitting at a kitchen table at Jay's house in Lame Deer, tucked into a valley on Lame Deer Creek a few miles south of its junction with Rosebud Creek. "This has been with the Northern Cheyenne people for many years," Douglas says, nodding at a collection of his and Jay's handmade flutes.

John Turkey Legs flourished in the late 1800s, Douglas says, and he passed his knowledge down to Grover Wolf Voice, who passed it down to Douglas when Douglas was 25. Grover's knuckles were going bad when he decided to transmit his knowledge, Douglas says. For his own part, Douglas, 80 now, can't remember why he chose Jay, nor why he chose him when he did.

As Jay recalls it, "He just came up to me one day and said, 'Do you want to learn how to make the flute?' And I said, 'Sure.'"

Jay is a certified carpenter, which made it easier to learn, but it still took Douglas about two months to walk him through the process, step by step, of making the traditional courting flute. The wood is cut from aromatic cedar trees on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, and each flute features a carving of an elk on it. The elk itself bears little icons representing the sun and the moon.

Douglas never used anything more than a pocketknife, sandpaper and a rasp to make his flutes, but Jay offers no apologies for using a router, a lathe and a table saw. What's important is the finished product, he says, and his flutes look just like his grandfather's. Jay, 31, has created 40 flutes since learning how. He has sold some of the flutes and given others away.

He also taught himself to play, and has performed at a graduation ceremony, weddings and funerals on the reservation. He is thrilled when young people get interested in the flute, which he is convinced can be used to help them "find the good way," the traditional Cheyenne way of doing things.

"This to me is like church to some people," Jay says. "That's how much respect I have for it."

Jay, who has worked as a carpenter, football coach, mechanic, truancy officer and bus driver, works on the flutes whenever he can find the time, usually at night. The more experience he gains, the more gratitude he feels toward his grandfather.

"He chose me and I'm very thankful for that because this is a very important part of Cheyenne culture," he says. It's a part of the culture he looks forward to transmitting.

"When my day comes, whenever that is," Jay says, "I'm going to have to go find a young man and pass it on."


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Graham Pirt
Date: 10 Oct 99 - 06:13 AM

Magpie

You have a wonderful band (amongst others) in norway called Chateauneuf Spelemannslag who are all young musicians. They visited the UK in the summer and gave some great concerts. They were part of the Folkworks Summer School which is for both adults and youths. As far as the youth in the UK is concerned it has never been healthier. There are groups throughout the country from organisations such as Folkworks and Youthquake who are performing at festival across the country. Only this weekend we have the semi-finals of the National Young Folk Musician run by the BBC. Anyone who saw "The Pack", "AAAAG", "No Strings Attached" or any of the other bands at the festival will have no doubt that the tradition is safe. The recognised performers such as Liza Carthy, Nancy Kerr and James Fagan as well as many others are now moving beyond being the youth (sorry!) because they are in their twenties. We're now talking about very good musicians between 15 years and 20 years who have learnt their skills from some of the greatest players in the country which includes people approaching the end of their own century such as Will Atkinson, the great harminica player from Northumberland who can play tunes he got from his grandfather before the first world war - that's how the tradition grows. I'm sure Keith (Selby) will agree with this. He's doing his own part with his own family.


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Oct 99 - 10:41 AM

YES! But use a c....m!!


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Sam Pirt
Date: 10 Oct 99 - 12:05 PM

YES, YES, YES, YES, our tradition is safe, BIG time. I have just come back from the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Semi-finals that ran over the full weekend. There were 12 groups there that ranged from solo artistes to groups (like 422 the group I am in along with Ian Stephenson , another mudcatter). The standard of musicianship and sining blew my brain out. The contestents came from all over England ( Brighton to Shetland Ireland) Belive me our tradition is safe!!!!!! We had some really cool sessions that ROCKED!!!

Cheers, Sam


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Mudjack
Date: 10 Oct 99 - 01:07 PM

Art,you beat me to it...safe tradition.You rascal you...
Mudjack


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: j0_77
Date: 10 Oct 99 - 01:21 PM

Who knows - I used marvel at the diversity of bands at festivals and the qualtiy of material. There is a flip back to Guitar music and song though Bluegrass still claims center stage. Oddly a by product of this trend is a revival of Clawhammer Banjo in some acts - a good thing IMHO.

I joined a jam in OK city with the OSW this weekend and noticed the popularity of good solid old fashioned Guitar backings.

What is a tradition? Woody Guthrie adopted what he found in Country/Folk to his own thing, the material is still there.


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: selby
Date: 10 Oct 99 - 01:31 PM

Well done sam hope you did well in the competion as you obviously enjoyed the experience. Am i picking up the vibe that the tradition is a uk thing? and that ours is SAFE. Keith


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Jack (Who is called Jack)
Date: 10 Oct 99 - 03:53 PM

One thing that will help that the total amount of traditional music available in recordings is higher than its been. Even if interest in the tradition wanes for a while, as long as there is a readily available source library, it will come back, as long as it is good. Look at the swing/ballroom dance revival. Be honest. Anybody out there who would have predicted 5 years ago that a mambo would be a top ten music video on MTV/VH1/MUCH.


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 10 Oct 99 - 08:13 PM

Yesterday I heard (on our local NPR folk show, of course)Dolly Parton's version of "Silver Dagger" -- off a new all-bluegrass album called "The Grass is Blue" -- and it was fine, fine, fine. There was never any doubt that the woman can sing.

and yes, I love her girl group albums with Emmy Lou and Linda.

Another thread said something about being big enough to go back and do what you love.


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 10 Oct 99 - 08:45 PM

I'm not sure the tradition is safe here in Connecticut.

We just got back from playing bluegrass and folk music for 6 hours at a volunteer services center fundraiser, and most people there had ever before heard any of our songs. Many people came up and told us they enjoyed it. The little kids danced down front by the mics. It was a joy to play this wonderful music for a good cause.

However, we're the only ones around doing this sort of thing in this particular corner of the state. What about the other 20,000 or so people in town who didn't come to the event? Will any of them ever hear Banks of the Ohio or Soldier's Joy? Will any of their children hear acoustic instruments up close with real people singing old-time songs? Will any of them know the songs sung by our ancestors?

Some of them may never get that chance, and won't even know what they've missed. There are undoubtedly kids who think the only music is MTV and canned TV soundtracks.

Funny that I should get home and find this thread, after Frank and I were just discussing the very idea on the ride home. We've resolved to do what we can, someday when we have MORE TIME, to bring more folk music to school age kids. They deserve it, and the tradition needs to be carried on.


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Oct 99 - 09:40 PM

Barb Shaw...I knew I loved you.............

Before I had to take this hiatus for health reasons (about to end thankfully), I had quit the dulcimer fests and the "preaching to the congregation" stuff. It becomes a bit tiresome arguing over instrument construction and song heritage, although I still like a little "personal education" now and then. I got to doing street fairs, craft shows, and school programs and let my passion for what I loved show...Kids especially buy off on that passion and enthusiasm, and if they walk away with a new thought, a little tradition, or a stick dulcimer...we both won.

Go out and do more in situations where the music is less known and the converts will help keep the tradition safe. And challenge your friends who bitch about MTV and "kids today" to do the same. We talk a lot around here about what is folk/traditonal, blah, blah, blah, ad infinitum....and we're just splitting hairs and "preaching to the congregation"............You and Frank keep doing your thing and do it in some different venues and have your bluegrass buddies do likewise...........and the tradition will be safe, and in good hands.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Brad Sondahl
Date: 10 Oct 99 - 11:04 PM

Although I'm into lots of traditional music and instruments, and got that way in high school, my kids are into computers, and don't care a lot about music. I think this may be common today--music was more important generally in my youth--now it's just one choice... http://www.camasnet.com/~asondahl/music.html


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Ian Stephenson
Date: 11 Oct 99 - 07:40 AM

YES YES YES I agree with my other half -Sam pirt. I too was at the Young trad. weekend and it blew my mind completely. And this is just from britain who can afford to get to the competition and know about the competition. It reinforced the idea that whatever you think you are best at, there is ALWAYS someone younger doing it better, maybe your niche is fingerpicking guitar, bass on the accordian, singing, or whatever but there were people this weekend who I'd never heard of, who would have wiped the floor with many concerts from the major UK festivals. The fact that you son't know if the tradition is safe is no indication that if you haven't seenit, it doesn't exist.
I thought I knew all the young folk performers in the uk, going to so many events and competitions, festivals, young peoples workshops, but I had never met these amazing musicians, so what chance has anyone else got? The scottish folk scene seems somewhat cut off from ours, and I am simply talking about large scale artist crossover. Maybe these people are famous in scotland?
I certainly don't know, But I KNOW the tradition is safe.
Ian


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: GeorgeH
Date: 11 Oct 99 - 08:00 AM

Glad we have two Young Folk semi-finalists in this thread; there's not much more to be said, really, in answer to the subject line. My daughter's band were in the semi-finals last year, and came back equally enthused.

However, guys, let me put a question to you which Roy Bailey raised at Sidmouth this year: why is it that the young folk performers seem much more heavily involved in the tunes, and show almost no interest in songs dealing with "social" issues, which have played so large a part in the Folk revival (at least in the UK)?

Perhaps Roy's got it wrong, but it does strike me that even where younger performers DO sing, the songs they choose rarely address "social" questions.

And do let us know if you got through to the finals!

G.


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Wotcha
Date: 11 Oct 99 - 11:43 AM

Barb: Connecticut Yankees have nothing to fear with the likes of Mystic Seaport , it's sea music fesitval, Forebitter, and the Ancient Mariners to name but a few.

My kids already know the chorus of a few shanties and they'll carry on the folk tradtion well into the next century.

The tradition, by the way, is alive and well in Kuwait (we have some incredible talent with expat exiles out here -- met a songwriter the other day and even another shanty soulmate from Liverpool). I'll let you know about Cornwall later ...

Cheers, Brian


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Tony Fisher
Date: 11 Oct 99 - 01:29 PM

This is my first attempt to post on a Mudcat thread. As a quick intro, I'm a Brit from the N Midlands, just on the border between Derbyshire & S Yorkshire. I'm that most unhappy of men, who love singing but can't sing!

Contrary to the enthusiasm shown by my compatriots, I'm worried that the tradition is getting lost, at least in the UK: 1) 30 years ago, when I was a student at Manchester, England, England, there were thriving folk-song, folk-dance and Morris clubs; now (I believe) the Morris side has died and the -dance & -song clubs have had to amalgamate for lack of members. 2) Chesterfield, a town of c100K souls, can barely support a folk-dance club: typically we get an attendance of 10 people, not infrequently 6, and there are no young folk – minimum age 50. 3) I've 3 teenage kids: the only one who shows any interest in the music that moves my soul (and which I'd give my right arm to be able to make) will only admit to liking it provided I don't let on to her friends -- folk-music is apparently very uncool.

Nice to be with you, folks. Tony


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Magpie
Date: 11 Oct 99 - 01:48 PM

Welcome Tony!

Don't fret! In one way or another, you are probably able to play or sing music. You probably just haven't found your instrument yet. Can't sing? Could Janis Joplin or Louis Armstrong? Did it bother them? Or us? Keep trying, find someone who can teach you. Enthusiasm and love for what you do is the most important.

Good luck!

Magpie


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Oct 99 - 01:59 PM

Welcome, Tony and glad you've joined us! DOn't despair. During teenage years it is totally uncool to admit to liking anything your parents like. A few years from now, when they are living on their own, you may get a call like I did from my son, first, and then my oldest daughter, asking me for copies of the music they grew up listening to. Made my heart sing to know they came back to their "roots". Yours will, too, I'll bet.

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: GeorgeH
Date: 12 Oct 99 - 06:27 AM

Watch it Kat/Kat! Our last concert had an audience of over 200 and more than half were teenagers - and loved it!! (But yes, it's often as you describe). And, Tony, the other side of the picture you paint is the amount of folk/roots music now happening in Arts Centres - and even in larger venues (if Steeleye/Fairport are your taste!!)

G.


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Alice
Date: 12 Oct 99 - 12:39 PM

Good to have you here, Tony. The Mudcat will fill in with cyber-community support where you may not find it locally. I'd agree with the rest who say that there is a returning interest in folk music, or what some call "world music" in general.

Alice Flynn in Montana


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Peter T.
Date: 12 Oct 99 - 03:32 PM

Welcome to Mudcat, Tony, glad to have someone from that beautiful countryside where you live. I used to be in the theatre, and actors were always saying that theatre was about to die, and I always argued that human beings are wired for live theatre -- it is indestructible, though a few more postmodern plays and I may give it a second thought. I think the same thing is true for folk music -- all the teenagers I know (and I teach at university) are driven by a desire for authenticity which is hopelessly confused by the commercial marketing of pseudo-authenticity to sell everything from jeans to cars. If you can break through that confusion, it all connects. They come at last alive. That is the hard part today, but corporate imitation remains the sincerest form of flattery. When the last marketer is strangled in the guts of the final demographic specialist, folk music will still be around. So I think (my 2 cents)!
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Sam Pirt
Date: 13 Oct 99 - 05:12 AM

Well what a weekend, 422 ARE THROUGH to the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Finals. Thanks a lot Selby and GeorgeH for wishing us well. By the way GeorgeH what band does your daughter play in as I was in the semi-finals last year as well last year as well?

Cheers, Sam


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: GeorgeH
Date: 13 Oct 99 - 06:48 AM

Congratulations and good luck in the finals, Sam.

Jennie's in "Staircase E".

Who were you performing with last year?

G.


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Ian Stephenson
Date: 13 Oct 99 - 08:22 AM

What a Small world!
I think that in a way Roy Bailey is right.
Its more likely to be to do with the fact that young people don't seem to have as strong opinions until they leave Uni or maybe during uni, but because competitions stop generally at 20 or 21 years of age, the spotlight seems to ignore the young 'ens with more life experience. Maybe! Me and Sam and our band are more enthusiastic about folk music than ever before now! We just got into the Folk award finals which means that we are going to London for a weekend in december. Good thread!
Something I know about at last!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Art Thieme
Date: 13 Oct 99 - 11:58 AM

Those of you in Australia, Canada, Ireland, England, anywhere---please try to imagine a situation where your own special traditional songs that you exalt -- the story songs of your history--the outback songs--songs of Lawson and Banjo and the unknown shearer's bards--songs done by MacColl and A.L. Lloyd--Lou Killen, Dan Milner, the Black Family, the Copper Family, the McPeake family------just about anything with your history involved--the semantic word-pictures that show us, vividly, where we came from and even how we got to the place called here and now----these songs are so invisible except in a few wondrous places like the F.S.G.W. Getaway and certain (but definitely not all) festivals that entire generations have been unaware of the songs for so long, due mostly to monetary engineering of "pop" that they are not heard regularly enough to become respected or have it be known that they even exist. That is, and possibly always has been, the situation with the native traditional songs of the U.S.A. We in the subculture called the U.S. folk revival have been insulated to a large extent from the mainstream popular music world. That was by choice, but we have often B.S.ed ourselves, by our very insulated musical existences, into thinking there's a huge world of interest in the musical gems we love. To my eyes, that surely isn't the case here in the United States.

You in places where an interest in your music is a normal thing, you ought to truly appreciate your situation.

You here in the U.S. who are in places that you've found where the music is appreciated (like Mudcat, the Getaway, the Old-Timey music world and the North-East scene)---BE THANKFUL FOR YOR GREAT LUCK!

We in the U.S.should all realize that to a large extent the Tradition we care about is not safe.

Love,

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: GeorgeH
Date: 13 Oct 99 - 12:55 PM

Ian - good luck in the finals. And as for your "Something I know about at last!" comment - I've been round here a couple of months and still don't have a clue what the Mudcat natives are going on about most of the time, but they seem a friendly bunch! (Approximate translation - "yes, I know what you mean").

G.


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 13 Oct 99 - 12:56 PM

Art, I second that emotion. It's like in Los Angeles, you know, when a Taco Bell becomes a historical monument.:) But this is the way it's always been I think. When the Midnight Special concerts were held at Carnegie Hall in New York during the 40's with the likes of Leadbelly, Josh White, Pete Seeger et. al. the crowds were never to capacity. And those audiences had never heard of the likes of Buel Kazee, Sleepy John Estes, Booker White or Texas Gladden. We're talking low numbers here in terms of record sales. I think one reason that the tradition might be safe is that it refuses to go away. Particularly if Art, Sandy or I and others have anything to say about it.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: selby
Date: 13 Oct 99 - 01:23 PM

Tony In your area you are not all that far away from a EXPLOSION in young people enjoying the tradition. If you can obtain a coby of the South Riding Folk News, I think you will find that they do things in the Hope Valley as well as at Kelham Island in Shefield. Keith


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Subject: RE: Is the Tradition Safe
From: Graham Pirt
Date: 13 Oct 99 - 02:39 PM

Tony

Welcome. I second Keith's (Selby) comments. There are a host of young musicians and singers down your way (in and around the Hope Valley) Keep listening -and who said you couldn't sing? Go for it! You're halfway there just wanting to.

Best wishes

Graham


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