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Where Have all the Folkies Gone

Jim Carroll 07 Feb 19 - 03:56 AM
Will Fly 07 Feb 19 - 08:28 AM
Vic Smith 07 Feb 19 - 10:52 AM
Jim Carroll 07 Feb 19 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,JHW 07 Feb 19 - 12:00 PM
Jim Carroll 07 Feb 19 - 12:35 PM
GUEST 07 Feb 19 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Akenaton 07 Feb 19 - 02:26 PM
G-Force 07 Feb 19 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,Peter 07 Feb 19 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,akenaton 07 Feb 19 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,FloraG 08 Feb 19 - 02:58 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Feb 19 - 03:24 AM
GUEST,Rigby 08 Feb 19 - 03:47 AM
Mr Red 08 Feb 19 - 04:13 AM
Will Fly 08 Feb 19 - 04:41 AM
Howard Jones 08 Feb 19 - 04:42 AM
GUEST,John from Kemsing 08 Feb 19 - 06:14 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Feb 19 - 06:25 AM
GUEST,akenaton 08 Feb 19 - 06:41 AM
GUEST,Peter 08 Feb 19 - 07:35 AM
Big Al Whittle 08 Feb 19 - 07:45 AM
GUEST,akenaton 08 Feb 19 - 08:15 AM
GUEST 08 Feb 19 - 08:28 AM
GUEST,ake 08 Feb 19 - 08:45 AM
Andy7 08 Feb 19 - 08:46 AM
GUEST 08 Feb 19 - 08:51 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Feb 19 - 09:57 AM
Big Al Whittle 08 Feb 19 - 11:22 AM
Jim Carroll 08 Feb 19 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,JoeG 08 Feb 19 - 12:00 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Feb 19 - 12:09 PM
Big Al Whittle 08 Feb 19 - 01:10 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Feb 19 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,Rigby 08 Feb 19 - 01:29 PM
GUEST 08 Feb 19 - 01:44 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Feb 19 - 01:47 PM
Big Al Whittle 08 Feb 19 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,Rigby 08 Feb 19 - 02:08 PM
Big Al Whittle 08 Feb 19 - 02:39 PM
Big Al Whittle 08 Feb 19 - 02:39 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Feb 19 - 03:07 PM
Big Al Whittle 08 Feb 19 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,Rigby 08 Feb 19 - 04:54 PM
Big Al Whittle 08 Feb 19 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,akenaton 08 Feb 19 - 05:13 PM
Stanron 08 Feb 19 - 05:46 PM
Big Al Whittle 08 Feb 19 - 05:46 PM
Andy7 08 Feb 19 - 06:23 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 08 Feb 19 - 06:36 PM
Big Al Whittle 08 Feb 19 - 07:10 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Feb 19 - 03:56 AM
Big Al Whittle 09 Feb 19 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,Peter 09 Feb 19 - 08:03 AM
Big Al Whittle 09 Feb 19 - 08:22 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Feb 19 - 10:03 AM
Big Al Whittle 09 Feb 19 - 11:04 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Feb 19 - 11:19 AM
Big Al Whittle 09 Feb 19 - 12:12 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Feb 19 - 12:19 PM
Dave the Gnome 09 Feb 19 - 01:37 PM
Jim Carroll 09 Feb 19 - 02:48 PM
GUEST 09 Feb 19 - 03:11 PM
The Sandman 09 Feb 19 - 05:34 PM
Big Al Whittle 09 Feb 19 - 05:51 PM
Dave the Gnome 10 Feb 19 - 03:13 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 19 - 03:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Feb 19 - 04:34 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 19 - 04:47 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 19 - 05:20 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Feb 19 - 07:13 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 19 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,patriot 10 Feb 19 - 08:56 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 19 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,patriot 10 Feb 19 - 11:30 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 19 - 11:51 AM
Little Hawk 10 Feb 19 - 12:02 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 19 - 12:10 PM
Dave the Gnome 10 Feb 19 - 01:14 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 19 - 01:20 PM
Dave the Gnome 10 Feb 19 - 02:36 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 19 - 02:43 PM
Stringsinger 10 Feb 19 - 02:51 PM
Stringsinger 10 Feb 19 - 02:55 PM
Jack Campin 10 Feb 19 - 03:12 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Feb 19 - 04:24 PM
Jack Campin 10 Feb 19 - 07:51 PM
GUEST,Observer 10 Feb 19 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,ripov 10 Feb 19 - 08:52 PM
GUEST,FloraG 11 Feb 19 - 02:57 AM
Little Hawk 11 Feb 19 - 03:01 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Feb 19 - 03:15 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Feb 19 - 03:22 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Feb 19 - 04:16 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Feb 19 - 04:42 AM
GUEST,kenny 11 Feb 19 - 05:01 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Feb 19 - 05:19 AM
The Sandman 11 Feb 19 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,kenny 11 Feb 19 - 05:43 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Feb 19 - 06:15 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Feb 19 - 08:12 AM
Vic Smith 11 Feb 19 - 08:28 AM
Will Fly 11 Feb 19 - 09:09 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Feb 19 - 09:16 AM
Jack Campin 11 Feb 19 - 09:25 AM
Iains 11 Feb 19 - 10:35 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Feb 19 - 10:58 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Feb 19 - 11:26 AM
The Sandman 11 Feb 19 - 11:40 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Feb 19 - 12:05 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Feb 19 - 01:40 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 Feb 19 - 01:53 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 Feb 19 - 02:03 PM
The Sandman 11 Feb 19 - 02:39 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Feb 19 - 02:41 PM
The Sandman 11 Feb 19 - 02:57 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Feb 19 - 03:05 PM
The Sandman 11 Feb 19 - 03:15 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Feb 19 - 03:31 AM
The Sandman 12 Feb 19 - 04:02 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Feb 19 - 04:37 AM
GUEST,JHW 12 Feb 19 - 04:46 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Feb 19 - 04:49 AM
The Sandman 12 Feb 19 - 05:04 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Feb 19 - 05:35 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Feb 19 - 05:48 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Feb 19 - 06:08 AM
GUEST,Jim Bainbridge 12 Feb 19 - 06:32 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Feb 19 - 07:12 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Feb 19 - 08:28 AM
Jack Campin 12 Feb 19 - 09:00 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Feb 19 - 09:31 AM
The Sandman 12 Feb 19 - 09:55 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Feb 19 - 10:54 AM
Little Hawk 12 Feb 19 - 11:39 AM
leeneia 12 Feb 19 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 13 Feb 19 - 05:44 AM
GUEST,irish lad 15 Feb 19 - 01:07 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 19 - 01:14 PM
The Sandman 16 Feb 19 - 02:52 AM
GUEST,irish lad 16 Feb 19 - 05:17 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Feb 19 - 06:54 AM
theleveller 16 Feb 19 - 07:02 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Feb 19 - 07:07 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Feb 19 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,irish lad 16 Feb 19 - 09:17 AM
leeneia 16 Feb 19 - 10:52 AM
GUEST 16 Feb 19 - 01:16 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 03:56 AM

I missed these when they first appeared (the end of 2017 and a later response)
I thought a discussion of it might cut through some of the acrimony that has arisen whenever the subject is raised
Jim Carroll

Austerity bites - but is that all?
Rod Stradling editorial Musical Traditions Magazine (end of 2017)
There can be very few of us in the UK who are not feeling the combined effects of the Tory Government's austerity programme and the fall in the Pound's value engendered by their disastrous Brexit Referendum ... very few people that I know, anyway. Sales of unimportant things like CDs of traditional music and song are, of course, being seriously effected. But I have been surprised by the extent to which they have fallen. None of the CDs I've published in the last two years have sold more than 50 copies! To put that in perspective, sales from 1998 to 2015 (before austerity really kicked in) averaged about 145 sales per CD released. Sales of CDs released since 2015 have averaged about 40 sales per CD.
The one piece of data that really surprised me relates to our 2-CD set of Sam Larner, published just before Christmas, 2014. In November 2016 I got the very welcome news that it had won The Folklore Society's Non-Print Media Award 2014 - 2016. But upon checking, earlier today, I discovered that this superb set of CDs, containing 67 songs from one of England's finest singers, many of which have never been available before, has sold just three copies since gaining that prestigious award. I'm sure I'm not alone in wondering "Is it really worth all the effort?"
I've had one single CD of Bob Lewis and Bob Copper, one double CD of early American music and song and, in a couple of weeks, another CD-ROM of Vaughan Williams' collecting work in Norfolk, released this year. And I hope, a double CD of Freda Palmer for release in 2018. Once that little lot is published, I suspect I'll need to do some hard thinking about the future. Because I'm not at all sure that it's Austerity that's entirely to blame.
Every time I publish a new CD, I send out some 1,500 email messages to everyone who's bought an MT CD or Download in the past, announcing the new publication. The interesting result is that almost half of the resultant sales seem to come from people who've never bought one before! (Or, to be realistic, people who have changed their email addresses, or whose names I don't recognise). So, maybe not half, but a significant number of new purchasers. What does this imply? From reviews, and from comments in various emails I've received over the years, I do know that people think that our CDs are pretty damn good. So why aren't many former purchasers buying the new ones? Have they all died?
It seems that we are in a new, and very different 'folk scene':
Today's young 'folk' enthusiasts seem to be primarily interested in newly composed songs (and tunes) rather than traditional ones. What's 'folk' about that?
The EFDSS seems to be almost entirely interested in this new 'folk' music - EDS now contains almost nothing related to traditional music and song.
Despite continued interest in, and playing of, traditional music - at the ECMW and several similar events and numerous sessions - there seems to be no similar enthusiasm for traditional singing.
This is quite unlike Ireland, where every county, and many cities, have regular, well attended, 'singing circles' and song weekends - most of which are entirely devoted to traditional singing.
Dance bands playing traditional music in a more-or-less traditional style (without bass'n'drum) are finding it harder and harder to get gigs.
Many of the regular dance or ceilidh events have closed, or are considering it.
Yet at festivals that still include dance events, you'll find them thronged with enthusiastic young dancers. Where do they get to dance the rest of the year?
Finally - we've lived here for 23 years, yet whenever we've been to gigs in the area to see people like Lynched, Chris Wood, Furrow Collective, Eliza Carthy, etc, the audience is mainly our age ... yet almost entirely unknown to us!
Someone I know recently wrote a complaint to the BBC about the lack of coverage of English Traditional Music (as opposed to Irish, Scots or American folk music) and questioning whether the BBC should give reasonable coverage to our national music. The response was either hilarious or appalling, depending on your frame of mind. "There have been numerous programmes on the BBC relating to folk music, most recently on BBC Four in the programme 'Folk Britannia'. There is also a number of radio programmes that play folk music including 'Radio 2's Bob Harris Country'."
Folk Britannia you may recall, was aired in 2006 - 11 years ago! - and Radio 2's Bob Harris's Country covers American music. Checking the track listing of the 2 DVDs of the three hour Folk Britanniaprogrammes, I find just Harry Cox and John & Jill Copper among those who might be described as English traditional, plus Ewan MacColl, Bob Davenport, and Martin Carthy who might be described as English traditional style. All the rest are 'Irish, Scots or American folk music' - the genres specifically excluded by the questioner!
This is a very strange world we now live in - and not just politically!
Rod Stradling

Re: 'Austerity Bites' editorial
I've just had the following from someone who's just bought a copy of Just Another Saturday Night, Sussex 1960 (MTCD309-0) - Ed.
Dear Rod,
I very much sympathise with your evaluation of the younger end of current folk scene, but wanted to offer myself as an example of how all is perhaps not too glum? I am 'only' (ha!) 35, but am very much committed to real traditional singing. I came to it from a background of studying traditional singers in Bulgaria when I was at university, and a desire to find out whether we had anything similar closer to home. I found out that we most certainly did when I came across the recordings Percy Grainger made of Joseph Taylor.
Since then its been a slow process of following leads into what has felt like a lost world. I have very little interest in (though nothing against) the contemporary folk scene, though to be honest, I've never really felt inspired to investigate it too much. Instead, I've taken most of my inspiration from the sort of field recordings you have devoted yourself to making publically available, various printed and online resources, and amazing friends from Ireland (and further afield) where, as you say in your article, there is so much more value attached to traditional singing.
I don't sing in public very often. When I do, it is within events that are more part of the art/performance scene than any branch of the music world (where funnily enough, I think people are much more open minded about listening to someone sing a long song with no accompaniment), or those rare occasions when you're at someone's house for dinner, they ask you to sing, and it somehow feels like the right moment. Predominantly though, I just sing at home, in the kitchen!
Please don't lose heart. Your efforts to make rare and indescribably precious singing available to a wider audience really are filtering down through the generations, even if it might not seem like it sometimes.
Regards,
Phil Owens 14.2.18


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Will Fly
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 08:28 AM

It's a complex topic, and I'm sure there are many reasons for Ron Stradling's complaint. I don't think for one minute that austerity has much to do with lack of CD sales. There are now so many ways of getting music - downloading, streaming, etc. - that the physical CD as an object is less important.

Take Spotify as an example. I've just looked up Walter Pardon and found two albums by him, plus inclusions of him on other album compilations. I can listen to all of it for free if I want to. I should add that I never rip off music from Spotify, but pay for it if I want it permanently - which doesn't involve buying a CD. Just one example.

As to taste, and whether interest in traditional English (as opposed to Scottish, Irish, etc.) is waning, I couldn't say, and I'm probably too old to guess at a younger generational outlook. The young people I meet at our local sessions - in their twenties - play all sorts of stuff, including very traditional material, contemporary in-the-style tunes by people like Chris Wood, and whatever takes their fancy. And they play to a very high standard.

From my own experience of playing for dancing in a ceilidh band, I see little lessening of interest - as we get bookings regularly, though mainly for functions. The ebb and flow of bookings varies with the wedding and party seasons, but we play as much as we want to, and always to full houses. Mostly we have drum and bass with us, but not always - depends on what the client wants. But it's always fun. And when we're not playing for dancing, there are innumerable sessions and singarounds, as well as folk clubs - too many to fit in sometimes. I'm talking Sussex here - can't speak for anywhere else at the moment.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Vic Smith
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 10:52 AM

The rate of collapse of the physical forms of all media has accelerated in recent years - people go to the likes of Netflix et al for their films rather than buying actual DVDs, they download games for their Playstations et al rather than buying the physical object and their music comes from download. This is just to emphasise what Mike said above is his opening sentence. The effect on the retail sales of these objects has been devastating. A few years ago we lost the amazing Borders shops and now we are losing HMV. A very rare thing for me, I went to a boot sale recently and saw a man selling good recent film DVDs 5 for £1. It's becoming that you can't give them away.
It's not quite an even across-the-board decline, however. Music that might be regarded as transient is undergoing the most rapid decline. The turnover of the names at the top of pop and rock is more rapid than ever. Music bought by buyers who feel that they are buying a product that they might still want to listen to in ten years time, are bearing up. The big areas for this are nostalgia and the specialist musics - jazz, folk, country, world music. The exception is the very sad decline in classical music sales which is now confined to their own specialist labels, the big boys have withdrawn from this area years ago.
In terms of our own specialist area, Ian Anderson of fRoots reports no decline in the numbers of albums being sent to him for review but a big change from company releases - the Topics and Greentrax of our world - to own label, often crowd-funded releases. Distribution a problem? Not a worry, we will sell them on gigs. Increasingly these album are of all-round higher technical quality. Every time I go to folk club these days there is a merchandising table which is crowded at the interval and at the end of the evening. People get a chance to talk to their heroes, perhaps get the booklet autographed and be invited to sign their name & email up to the artists' circular lists and everyone is happy.
I can't prove it, but I would bet that the majority of folk CDs are now sold at live performances. The trouble with the CDs that Rod sells is that they do not fall into this category. I'll only mention some of the names of the singers whose albums I have been involved in the production of for Rod's Musical Traditions label like Pop Maynard, Daisy Chapman, Bob Copper, Lizzie Higgins - none of them are around for people to hear their exquisite live performances any more.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 11:50 AM

Rod stradling makes a number of points, inability to sell CDs being only one
In particular, he mentions the abandoning of folk song by EFDSS and a disinterest in traditional English folk singing in the clubs
I've attempted to discuss this only to be told that nothing is wrong on the club scene   
His correspondent describes having to sing at home among a small circle of friends
Frankly, I believe something has gone seriously wrong and, if not addressed soon, things will only get worse
The club scene is not alone of course - I've attempted to air my views on the New book thread
I was appalled to learn that only three Sam Larner CDs were sold, especially as we bought one of them
It is people like Sam, Harry, Walter and the rest who gave us our inspiration - I have no idea who will do so in the future
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,JHW
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 12:00 PM

There's too much in these posts to read it all but I wouldn't say CD sales are representative or even matter much.
A lot of Folkies don't turn out any more because they're dead. Many may make a value judgement - is it worth it. Did it used to be better or did we just think so because we were younger?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 12:35 PM

Go count the clubs, members, magazines audiences ... we have lost
Remember the time you could go to the clubs and be guaranteed to hear folk songs
If you have to ask you were part of a different scene than I was]#
That you can't be bothered to read the posts says what needs to be said, I think - there certainly isn't too much to read as far as Im concerned - hardly enough
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 02:25 PM

I think its time to get the music back on the street like we see in the Irish festivals....Its about connecting with the public again, that's what folk and jazz should be about....getting people dancing, singing and listening live.
Dave Hum the banjo player spent most of his life performing on the street, another was Jim Mckillop the fiddler.
I stumbled on this group from "N'Orlins" who push street performance although they seem to have a large following.
Tuba Skinny


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Akenaton
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 02:26 PM

Sorry that was me.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: G-Force
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 02:33 PM

We also stumbled upon Tuba Skinny in the street in New Orleans, and bloody marvellous they were too.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 02:37 PM

Rod exagerates about the "abandoment" of folk song by EFDSS, or maybe things have changed since his post over a year ago. The high profile ACE funding is for "new" music, which is an Arts Council rather than EFDSS failing, but across the board the society is covering all its bases although it should shout a bit louder about what it is doing on the education side both directly with young people and in supporting teachers.

I agree with both Jim that there are a lot of clubs where you are lucky to hear one or two traditional songs in a night. This isn't universal but I seldom go to my local club for that reason.

With regard to singing the big thing seems to be the proliferation of "folk choirs". As a listener I find the arrangements smoothed out and uninspiring but a lot of people seem to prefer the format to risking being the one standing out in a folk club chorus.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 02:58 PM

Yes G force I've become a big fan.....these folks are great musicians, but its about a lot more than musical ability, its about connecting with the people.....they are just so attractive, so committed.    Folk music used to be like that!


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 02:58 AM

My new car does not have a CD player - or tape deck. I can get downloads from a memory stick. Could this partially account for the problem for CD sales?
Flora G.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 03:24 AM

I think the appalling level of sales are indicative of a disinterest - even hostility towards traditional singing
I've been experiencing the same while trying to find a hope for an archive that took a few of us a lifetime to put together
There has never been so much good traditional song and music available for the asking yet there is little sign that it is being taken up
We haven't even scratched the surface of the masses of information that was recorded from our older generation of singers
I found a new Harry Cox song last month - I thought I'd heard all his songs but there it was on the Lomax site - a dirty song we recited as a poem as kids in the schoolyard - one that was found by an early collector who wrote down the tune but refused to write down the words (and made a point of saying so in the Folk Song Journal) because it was "unsuitable for public ears"
Our collections are full of this stuff and, if folk song is to survive, it needs to be passed on and made use of - the only reason I can see of that not happening is disinterest
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Rigby
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 03:47 AM

I am sure that CD sales are down in all genres. The most recent US number one album sold only 800 copies that way. That's not to do with Brexit or austerity, just changing patterns of consumption.

But I agree there's an issue. It's frustrating when people who are really good performers of traditional songs choose to make mediocre singer-songwriter albums instead.

Where I live, there is a long-established folk club that programmes a wide variety of music including some very good traditional acts. However, when they have open stage nights, it's rare to hear any traditional material at all. People who were frustrated with this set up a second folk club to create an environment where traditional music could be heard. I went there for the first time in ages last week, and it too seems to have fallen prey to tedious cover versions and uninteresting confessional songwriting. Maybe it's inevitable. I certainly can't complain, as I haven't contributed anything on the organisational front.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Mr Red
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 04:13 AM

where have all the Folkies gone?
Gone to festivals everyone.......................

When will they ever yearn?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Will Fly
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 04:41 AM

People arrive at their particular musical destination by many varied routes and for their own personal reasons. Traditional music - meaning both songs and tunes - is no different. My own route to traditional music, covering a period of 50+ years, has been through the music itself - intriguing chord progressions, dozens and dozens of beautiful melodies, the joy of playing these melodies with other musicians - rather than through songs. Just the way it was and is. I'm less interested in folk songs or ballads and stories in song form, and I'm not interested in them as social documents. I'm very interested in social history, mainly through family history research, but not that of the folk songs.

So - an example of disinterest in folk song, I suppose.

By contrast, three of us sat round a table in a quiet pub in Shoreham-on-Sea (West Sussex) on Wednesday night last - guitar, tenor guitar, fiddle and mandolin - and for two and a half hours without a break went through about 25-30 tunes. Lovely traditional tunes and a few contemporary tunes written in the idiom by excellent players like Andy Cutting and Chris Wood. A glorious evening, with no cash, but free beer provided by the landlord, who loved it. And this points up the divergence between folk songs and folk tunes. The latter, unlike the former, can seamlessly incorporate the old and the modern without any infighting about it being "folk" or not - they're just tunes. The "folk process" in fact, as local variants of those tunes thrive. So we can pair "Jacky Tar" and "The Flowers Of Edinburgh" just as easily as we can pair "Trip To Pakistan" with "Glen Kabul", or "Tripping Up Stairs" with "Jump At The Sun". No problems whatsoever - and the music thrives, judging by the number of places round here where we can get to play it.

We can bewail an apparent disinterest in folk song - and disinterest in any form of music will strike from time to time over the years - but other forms of traditional music are very much alive and well.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Howard Jones
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 04:42 AM

I think that true traditional singing has always been a minority interest even among folkies. Some (including some Mudcatters) are open scornful about it. I believe most people are attracted to folk music by hearing modern revival performers, and on first hearing traditional singers can sound too rough-and-ready compared with modern singers. It is a very different aesthetic from modern interpretations and takes time and careful listening to come to appreciate. It was much easier when you could be in the room with the singers and experience the full force of their personalities, but sadly many of them are no longer with us.

I started going to folk clubs around 1970. All I knew was revival folk sung by young(ish) people with guitars and the occasional more exotic instrument. For a long time I was under the impression that traditional folk singers had all died out around the time of Cecil Sharp, and apart from a couple of rare survivals such as the Coppers and Fred Jordan there was no 'real' folk song left. I was completely unaware that only an hour up the A12 from where I lived there was still a relatively thriving traditional music community. My first visit to an English Country Music Weekend in Suffolk was a revelation.

Most younger folkies won't have that experience or be exposed to traditional singing, unless they deliberately seek it out. However they're about as likely to own a CD player as my generation was to own a cylinder gramophone. I think Rod's admirable efforts are caught between serving an older generation (who generally prefer to own a physical item and have the technology to play it) and a generation who are more used to streaming music for free.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 06:14 AM

AK,
    Oh, for more of that in the streets.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 06:25 AM

"I think that true traditional singing has always been a minority interest even among folkies"
AI agree with that, but this is the first time in over a half a century when I've had cause to doubt whether it has a future other than to spend the lext generation or so locked in a cupboard
The btreayal by EFDSS and the shennanigans by the New Age researchers has only addded to that doubt
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 06:41 AM

Yes John, I think that's how to start a new revival, take the music back to the people don't for them to come to us.
These street performances encourage people to participate even if its just dancing or clapping in time.....I remember that excitement from the folk music of the early sixties when the hard travellin' men only cared about getting a bed a drink and spreading the word.
That jazz group get a big kick when the "audience" show their appreciation of their performance......I love it!!


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 07:35 AM

My new car does not have a CD player - or tape deck. I can get downloads from a memory stick. Could this partially account for the problem for CD sales?
Flora G.

Mine does but I can't play Rod's CDs on it. Either he uses disks that are thicker than standard or paper labels that make them too thick for a front loader (I am not at home and can't check at the moment)

I would be quite happy without a CD player in the car, I have hours of music ripped to my phone and just use the Bluetooth connection on the sound system. Much safer than changing a CD on the motorway.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 07:45 AM

Could it possibly be something to do with the way you have conducted yourselves?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 08:15 AM

:0)


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 08:28 AM

What happened to CD sales and what happened to the one true way in folk singing are two very different and completely unrelated questions.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,ake
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 08:45 AM

I think most of them disappeared up their own arses.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Andy7
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 08:46 AM

I happily pay to see lots of different folk performers each year, so in that way I'm financially supporting the folk genre. And worth every penny it is too!

But I almost never buy their CDs afterwards. I've already heard the songs once, live ... that's usually enough for me! I own very few CDs that I'd ever want to sit down and listen to all the way through. Usually there are just 1 or 2 outstanding tracks at most.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 08:51 AM


But I almost never buy their CDs afterwards. I've already heard the songs once, live ... that's usually enough for me! I own very few CDs that I'd ever want to sit down and listen to all the way through. Usually there are just 1 or 2 outstanding tracks at most.

One reason why I rip them. With a lot of CDs each track is good in its own right but there is too little variation to make it worth listening for 40 or 50 minutes in one go. Randomised among tracks from a bunch of other CDs the variety is just right.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 09:57 AM

"I'm financially supporting the folk genre."
Not really Andy - if you have to pay to listen to folk song you are supporting the performer
Very few modern paid 'folk singers' of any description put anything back into the music - a few maybe, but gone are the days of singers working with lesser experienced singers
Ewan and Peggy threw their home, library, archive, use of recording equipment open to wanabe singers for nearly ten years - I don't know many others who did that, yet MacColl is ritually dug up and given a kicking thirty years after huis death
Funny old world - funny old values
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 11:22 AM

we all pass on what we can. it must be obvious to you that different people mean different things when the term 'folk music ' comes up.

you may feel you own the absolute truth on the matter, but really that's part of the problem.

You've made it exclusive.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 11:42 AM

"different people mean different things when the term 'folk music ' comes up."
Doesn't matter what people make it mean Al - unless they have a consensus on what theyy think it means, it means what it means - folk = belonging to 'the folk sun, played, and probably made by them - that is what it has been documented as when applied to song, music, dancing storytelling, lore.... and any other related discipline.
couple it with traditional (as it should be) and you have the people's music that has been passed through a process, adapted, changed to suit wherever it lands   
Far from it being "exclusive" it is the most democratic, publicly owned art form there is - it belongs to 'the folk', 'the common people' - 'the masses' -or rather - it belongs to nobody
We use anguage to communicate with each other - if we decide words mean whatever somebody wants them to mean we stop talking to each other
What do you think would happen if you suddenlt decided you wanted to call the music you perform 'jazz' or 'classical' - or 'chamber music' - or hip-hop'...?
I reckon you'd find yourself on a trades description charge
Why should folk be any different - that's the label that was stuck on our product in 1846 - it's our logo
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 12:00 PM

It might be ' the most democratic, publicly owned art form there is - it belongs to 'the folk', 'the common people' - 'the masses' -or rather - it belongs to nobody' but 'traditional' folk however you define it is a minority interest and I am all for those artists who try to attract new audiences by making it more interesting. Otherwise it will die out when we all die out! :-)


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 12:09 PM

"but 'traditional' folk however you define it is a minority interest and I am all for those artists who try to attract new audiences by making it more interesting."Can you explain how you make a word based narrative musical form "more interesting" by drowning out the words with usually loud electronic accompaniment
The only thing you are doing to folk song is using it to create something something else, which you are quite entitled to do
It's a little arrogant to claim that makes it "more interesting" - who is it more interesting to - not me
It would be nice to put more bums on seats but in the end, it's a specific and well established music that counts - not arses
We really were here first and we put the years in to get the music to where it got
Nobody's asking you to like it, but that's what it is
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 01:10 PM

it won't die out, because everyone needs to make music.

folk music won't die out as long as there are folk. its an essential function of being a folk. like breathing, eating, dancing, and reproduction.

what's sad is that in other countries they freely acknowledge how folk music feeds into , and is an essential part of the indigent culture.

half the stuff on spanish radio sounds a bit like flamenco
blues singers acknowledge the relationship between their music with rap and jazz.

anyone with ears not actually constructed of oak can spot how folk music feeds in to The Beatles and Oasis, and yet only in England was this blank incomprehension as to how such music found its way into folk clubs.

The mistake was to exclude the folk. If now you feel excluded, it is hardly surprising.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 01:23 PM

"it won't die out, because everyone needs to make music."
Nobody needs to make any specific type of music Al
Unfortunately, while music is in the hands of a massive, profit-making industry we will remain passive recipients of our music, so what we do have we need to take care of and cherish
If you want to see how cose to extinction our music has become I suggest you compare what was happening in the seventies and eighties and calculate how music and what we have already lost
The times I was in Barcelona, Seville and the White Mountains I heard largely American inspired pop
I was told when we were in Hungary and Czechoslovakia that their traditional music was being swapled out of existence by Western pop and was in the hands of only a few elderly people
Twenty years ago they were saying the same about Irish music (there was more of it in London than in Ireland then
A few people, like Nicholas Carolan devoted their lives to bulding a foundation and now it's booming
That's the only way to do it - the establishment takes the attitude if you can't sell it it's not worth keeping
I'm sure you are as aware of that as I am
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Rigby
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 01:29 PM

Speaking for myself I have no interest in maintaining the purity of the tradition. I like what some of the revival singers did with English song, and I like their entirely non-authentic guitar accompaniments. I love me a good bit of folk-rock and some people have done fascinating things blending folk and electronica. And there are some songwriters who have produced excellent original material that draws on traditional song.

But what bothers me is when you go to an evening of 'folk' music and nothing appears to have any connection to the tradition. All too often 'folk' just ends up meaning 'music played on acoustic instruments'.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 01:44 PM

"But what bothers me is when you go to an evening of 'folk' music and nothing appears to have any connection to the tradition. All too often 'folk' just ends up meaning 'music played on acoustic instruments'".
Exactly. Bothers me too.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 01:47 PM

"Speaking for myself I have no interest in maintaining the purity of the tradition."
Me neither, but I do have an interest in preserving it as an important art form
I worked with MacColl, who used the tradition to create over three hundred new songs and managed to preserve the integrity (not the purity) of the traditional songs he sang
He used the tradition to create the radio ballads, to update mummers plays and put on theatrical performances
Peggy experimented with accompaniments without impinging on the narrative of the songs she and Ewan sang
They were far more experimental that any other folk artists I have ever met yet they fall under the description "purists" - work that one out
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 01:58 PM

well we're not going to sort this out. however you've heard my solution to your problem often enough.

The Gallagher brothers of Oasis fame have always named the Dubliners as one of their main influences. That's one of the directions folk music has gone. And when a kid turns up at your folk club singing the theme song to the Royle family - he's really only a spit and a fart away from roots singers.

The whole point about the purity of folk music - it never was pure.   The ploughman took his memory of a song and reworked it. how many hands did Henry martin pass through before it became the Lofty tall ship, or vice versa...who knows?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Rigby
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 02:08 PM

Maybe you have a more sensitive ability to detect traditional influences, then, because I don't hear them in the music of Oasis.

There are distinctive melodic and lyrical features that are characteristic of English, Scottish and Irish traditional songs, and these just aren't present in the pop covers and so on that I hear. What Oasis song has a burden rather than a chorus, for example?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 02:39 PM

despite having attended folk clubs - many of them claiming to specialise in English folksong since 1964 - I have no idea of what you speak.

Well done you have found a basis on which to exclude me from this discussion.

This is the spirit of exclusivity which leads to Jim looking woebegone and saying - not my fault guv',


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 02:39 PM

despite having attended folk clubs - many of them claiming to specialise in English folksong since 1964 - I have no idea of what you speak.

Well done you have found a basis on which to exclude me from this discussion.

This is the spirit of exclusivity which leads to Jim looking woebegone and saying - not my fault guv',


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 03:07 PM

"The Gallagher brothers of Oasis fame have always named the Dubliners as one of their main influences. "
Neither of which are traditional by nature of course
Luke was a fine solo singer back in the day, but he sacrificed his talent (and eventually his voice) by following the pennies
I was in the Singers Club one night when it was just paing up when the Dubliners waked in
Ewan and Luke threw their arms around each other like long lost brothers and they sat and talked for a couple of hours with pat and I sitting in
Luke admitted what I have just said
I agree totally with Rigby - even if you don't know how to define a folk song you know one when you hear it
Ewan and Peggy gave Joe Heaney a bed for a few days in 1964 and spent hours interviewing him - 'some of the results can be heard on Topic's 'Road from Conemara'
Part of the interview was to play Joe recordings from all over the world, some traditional, some not
When Joe was asked to identify which was which he scored nine out of ten - not bad for a rural dweller from the arsehole of the West of Ireland
Jowe was so steeped in the sound of hist traditional music that he could identify it in other cultures - I doubt if the Gallaghers could claim that and even if they could it didn't show in their singing - folk singing should be like wearing an old coat - once you've worn it a few times it becomes part of you
I never get 'woebegone' Al - I've got my folk to keep me warm
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 04:46 PM

Well I think there are many elements of traditional music in what the Dubliners do. I admire them.

Joe Heaney - Pete Coe flogged me the double cd. About ten years back at one of Alan Bell's Folkus Weekends> I couldn't make much of it, but I liked the idea of it I spent a week or two putting the Ballad of Una Bhan into a song.

We are what we are. And I thought one at least of Joe's stories was worth retelling. But I could only do it in my own way. I need to sing in the world I inhabit - just like Joe did.. From what I've read about his career -tours of America etc - he probably made a damn sight more out of music than most of the poor bastards 'chasing the pennies'.

You are imposing a formality on the nature of folk music which is utterly counter productive - and really is based on some desire to give it middle class respectability and status.

As Bob Dylan said in one of his songs, The cops don't need you...No government, Irish, English, Chinese has anything to contribute to folk music, which is basically anarchic in nature.

I suppose a cynic would point out Woody Guthrie's songs that the government commissioned. But in my book, music created chasing pennies doesn't preclude it from being folk music.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Rigby
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 04:54 PM

"You are imposing a formality on the nature of folk music which is utterly counter productive - and really is based on some desire to give it middle class respectability and status."

No!... this is completely arse backwards.

No-one's imposing anything on folk music. It's the other way around. People hear that folk music strikes the ear in a distinctive way and analyse it in a bid to understand what gives it that character.

What you find is that there is a loose set of traits that is characteristic of a folk tradition. No one song within that tradition will have all of those traits. Some might have very few. It's a set with fuzzy boundaries. But it's still a real set and it maps onto our immediate reaction to hearing folk songs.

The music of Oasis doesn't trigger the same experience, because it doesn't have those same characteristics.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 05:06 PM

well all artistic experience is subjective in nature.

Oasis is not my favourite music, but I think maybe you need to listen to some more varieties of folk music. the connections are there.

I can see songwriters using the elements they have learned from Oasis to write songs about their lives sometime in the future - if it hasn't happened already.

You simply cannot speak for what may inspire an artist at some future time.

being prescriptive in the way you are, earns you nothing but an empty folk club - and sad little threads saying where have all the folkies gone.

they've voted with their feet.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 05:13 PM

In think Al is right, Oasis and some other "pop" groups and singers have a gritty emotional edge to their writing and singing which compares to a lot of contemporary folk and even some traditional.
I remember watching Arcade Fire putting a torch to the Glastonbury crowd, and thinking, this is folk music.
The tradition is a different genre and In feel the only hope is to put it to sleep for a few decades, to be rediscovered when we are in the mood for social history.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Stanron
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 05:46 PM

I like the distinction between folk music and traditional music. I have most difficulty with the idea of traditional music. I tend to go with the idea that traditional music is, or was, a construct of middle class insecurity. Perhaps even labeling music as traditional stops it being folk music. It is possible to maintain the distinction and also recognise commercial music as something else again.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 05:46 PM

we have this sodding stupid argument at every juncture.

i can remember someone saying there was no connection between George Formby and Blind Blakes stuff - even though the chord sequences are identical.

Oasis's music, I admit I don't know very well.

But from the tradition.
I should say it takes:-

modal approach to singing (the Manchester accent somehow seems to contain a drone string), the anthemic type choruses, the lyricism, the metrical putty approach that is there in every ballad,
its there in the accompaniments - those haunting open strings...


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Andy7
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 06:23 PM

"I agree totally with Rigby - even if you don't know how to define a folk song you know one when you hear it"

Who do you mean by the 'you' in "you know one when you hear it", Jim?

I strongly suspect that you mean yourself, and not me! :-)


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 06:36 PM

"We really were here first and we put the years in to get the music to where it got"

That's quite a claim. Where would we have been without you Jim?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 07:10 PM

well i don't want to belittle or question Jim's achievements

but I do know, I've tried as hard as I could running folk clubs , trying to perform and write music. And by and large - people have thought of what I do as folk music. Even when I haven't been performing 'folk' - people have thought they discerned elements of folk music in what I did.

I'm sure it makes no difference in the history of mankind. however having the artistic validity of what one has spent ones life doing is just rubbing it in that the middle and upper classes really do call the shots, and tell us what our own culture consists of.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 03:56 AM

"Where would we have been without you Jim?"
Don't twist what I say Hoot - I said "we" and in doing so I was referring to those who found folk song, decided it was important and worked at it, not those who came along later and decided they would rather do something else with the folk clubs that the first lot had worked so hard to set up
Why personalise it?

"Who do you mean by the 'you' in "you know one when you hear it", Jim? "
You too Andy?
I believe folk song has a recognisable uniqueness - the example I gave was a Sean Nós singer from the est of Ireland who shows himself capable of picking out traditional songs other languages
Anybody who has listened to MacColl's 'Song Carrier' programmes knows that he begins with two examples - an Azerbajani (I think a muezzin) singing an elaborate piece, which he then links to Irish singer, Paddy Tunney
Then he plays a Spaniard singing Canto Hondo and links it to Margaret Barry, an Irish street singer - the cultures are different but all have recognisable similarities, MacColl argues that it is the fact they are from traditional cultures that cause those - it's always worked for me

The sound of folk song is, of course, not the only thing that goes into the making of a tradition - there are many hundreds of works by people who have been researching the subject over the centuries to more than establish the fact - folk song is unique, it is different from any other art form
The "we" are those who believe that uniqueness is important and still relevant
Personalising things has become a way of avoiding argument, the favourite being "Jim's (or whosever's) definition"
I don't have a personal definition of folk song - there is a nearly two centuries old definition of "folk" which I believe still works
That's the one that identified the songs that established the folk revival and continued to do so till a few decades ago - we chose the clubs we went to because we knew more or less what music we would find there
That no longer applies and the term folk has become meaningless when applied to folk clubs
Can you tell be what I will find relating to folk when go to a folk club now? - I doubt it
Can you give me a workable alternative definition that will allow me to choose what I am seeking at a folk club? - if you can you will be the first

The folk scene has been subjected to a hostile takeover and an important art form has been put at risk
There was a danger of that happening in Ireland a few decades ago - hard work on the part of groups of dedicated people have turned that around and guaranteed an at least two generation survival of Irish traditional music and youngsters are now streaming into the music for the love of it
Can any of you say the same?

What is your definition of the music you are offering as "folk"
Once more - can we please stop personalising this and cut out the insulting ?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 07:40 AM

'Can you tell be what I will find relating to folk when go to a folk club now?'

folk perchance....


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 08:03 AM



'Can you tell be what I will find relating to folk when go to a folk club now?'

folk perchance....

Depends on the club, you won't know until you get there. I know "folk" clubs where you would be lucky to hear one traditional song in a night and others where contemporary material will be unusual. Its a bit like kissing frogs to find a prince.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 08:22 AM

I was referring to folk, the species....


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 10:03 AM

"folk perchance...."
There should be no 'perchance' about it - not if the club scene is to survive
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 11:04 AM

make your mind up...you just pronounced it dead...defunct..subject of an unfriendly takeover by alien beings....no longer extant....thing of beauty gone forever...... attacked by sinister fifth columnists, working for the enemy.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 11:19 AM

I've never pronounced folk song "dead" - I have said the present scene has abandoned it
I believe there are still enough dedicated people around to reboot the scene, if I didn't I wouldn't waste my time talking to people who neither know or care about folk song
Why do you distort and misrepresent what I say Al - it really is beneath you
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 12:12 PM

i know...i'm a little tinker when i get going...


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 12:19 PM

Stop denigrating the Travellers Al - that is my friends you are talking about !
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 01:37 PM

I don't have a personal definition of folk song - there is a nearly two centuries old definition of "folk" which I believe still works

I am genuinely intrigued, Jim. I am well aware of the 1954 definition, which I agree with apart from a couple of minor things. What definition was in existence in the early 1800s?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 02:48 PM

"What definition was in existence in the early 1800s?"
The term 'folk' was first used in 1846 by William Thom, antiquarian to identify people's culture - folklore in particular.
It wasn't a definition - it was an acknowledgement that 'ordinary' people had a separate culture worth identifying and was later applied to song and music
'54 has always been a red-herring,nobody has ever argued that it doesn't need updating - I seldom refer to it, if ever
As far as I am concerned, traditional and folk are two inseparable terms - two sides of the same coin
'Folk refers to the people who almost certainly made, took ownership, adapted, re-adapted and distributed the songs, stories and music; tradition refers to the process the songs underwent to become 'folk'
The term folk was taken up by Sharp and Co at the beginning of the 20th century and has continued to be used in the way it was first coined up to the present day, the last major use of it being the release of 'The J M Carpenter Folk song Collection', recently made available on line
The use has never included pop songs, music hall songs, stage songs... etc., unless they have been subjected to the folk process
God alone knows where loud, amplified, non narrative modern music fits into the picture and untl somone produces a fully accepted alternative definition, that is the one we are stuck with
'54 was never more than an attept to clarify the earlier one
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 03:11 PM

Ha! I am actually laughing. That very broad definition includes everything you claim it doesn't. Of course music hall, pop songs and modern amplified non narrative music are all literally part of the people's culture. Of course they are. That is exactly what they are. What they are separate from is classical music and church music (often the only kind of music you see discussed my so-called music historians). Where they fall into the picture is: music that you arbitrarily don't like and so exclude from your personal definition.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 05:34 PM

have been helping a few people in my neighbourhood to learn instruments and learn trad tunes and songs[ on a n unpaid basis] and have been cheered up by the fact that there are people that are interested.
THE 1954 DEFINITION IS FLAWED, to include football chants and such that no one in their right mind would want to listen to outside of the context of a foofball match. example the song sung by Notts county foolball fans[ i understand there might be more than one] to the tune of old smokey.For those who haven’t heard it, to the tune of ‘Old Smoky’, it is simply;

“I had a wheelbarrow, the wheel fell off, I had a wheelbarrow, the wheel fell off, County, County, County”


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 05:51 PM

you must send me the chords


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 03:13 AM

Thanks Jim but I am still confused. At 09 Feb 19 - 03:56 AM you say "there is a nearly two centuries old definition of "folk" which I believe still works" then at 09 Feb 19 - 02:48 PM, referring to what William Thom said in 1846, you say "It wasn't a definition - it was an acknowledgement that 'ordinary' people had a separate culture worth identifying..." going on to comment "'54 has always been a red-herring,nobody has ever argued that it doesn't need updating - I seldom refer to it, if ever".

Sorry to Labour the point but this is important if we want to stop the hours of endless arguing. You often say you can no longer go to a folk club and hear folk song. I, amongst many, disagree with that and say we can go to many folk clubs and always hear folk music. Is it just that your definition of folk is as you state at 08 Feb 19 - 03:07 PM "even if you don't know how to define a folk song you know one when you hear it" and is different from that of some others?

If you think 1954 is a red herring and 1846 is not even a definition, then how do you, personally, define a folk song other than you know one when you hear it?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 03:31 AM

"Of course music hall, pop songs and modern amplified non narrative music are all literally part of the people's culture."
Folk songs have always been regarded as those made, remade and adapted and passed on from community to community
Our oral traditions died with the advent of manufactured entertainment, the radio and eventually television - we became recipients of our culture rather than participants in it
Spend any time in a community that still has emnents of a folk tradition and you will find that the people who were around when it was active regarded the songs and tunes as "ours" - Norfolk, West of Ireland, Travellers
Walter Pardon, the last of the large repertoire singers, recorded hours for us, carefully explaining the difference between hisw "old folk songs" and "the modern stuff" (early twentieth century pop and Victorian Parlour Ballads mainly)
Mary Delaney, a blind Travelling woman with a large repertoire of traditional songs and ballads, also had a repertoire of Country and Western songs which she refused to sing to us "they're not Travellers songs" she told us
Tom Lenihan, West Clare small farmer, went on at length explaining not only what the "old traditional stuff" was but how he felt it needed to be sung
The greatest myth in folk song research is the claim that traditional singers didn't think about their songs and didn't discriminate between the traditional songs and anything else they might have picked up
The sad fact is that too many researchers were more interested in the songs as artifacts that they were of how the songs fitted into people's lives - they collected the songs without the information that came with them and assumed there was none to be got
If everything is folk song then there is no need to discriminate between the songs people sing - we may as well give 'The Birdie song' or Abba's 'Waterloo' Roud numbers - that's what 'the folk' are singing nowadays
Sorry - no cigar
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 04:34 AM

So, to save any further argument, what is your definition of folk song then, Jim?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 04:47 AM

"So, to save any further argument, what is your definition of folk song then, Jim?"
I've given it several times Dace - the lat time half a dozen postings up
If you cant be bothered reading it I really can't help - sorry
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 05:20 AM

There y'go again
"54 has always been a red-herring,nobody has ever argued that it doesn't need updating - I seldom refer to it, if ever
As far as I am concerned, traditional and folk are two inseparable terms - two sides of the same coin
'Folk refers to the people who almost certainly made, took ownership, adapted, re-adapted and distributed the songs, stories and music; tradition refers to the process the songs underwent to become 'folk'
The term folk was taken up by Sharp and Co at the beginning of the 20th century and has continued to be used in the way it was first coined up to the present day, the last major use of it being the release of 'The J M Carpenter Folk song Collection', recently made available on line
The use has never included pop songs, music hall songs, stage songs... etc., unless they have been subjected to the folk process
"
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 07:13 AM

Ok, got it, Jim. I am happy with that and I assume from your last line that it does include "pop songs, music hall songs, stage songs.." that have "been subjected to the folk process."

If that is the case then there are many such songs that have been given the folk treatment by different communities and clubs while in other communities they have not been given the same treatment. That is where it gets complicated and contentious. In my old club, for instance, the song "Blue Moon" was given the treatment and over the course of 20 or 30 years it has become, as far as Swinton is concerned, a folk song. IE a song of the Swinton Folk community. I have now moved to Skipton where the song is not a folk song, but others like it may be.

Complicated init! Little wonder the discussions are seemingly endless :-)

PMd you about another matter BTW.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 07:30 AM

"I assume from your last line that it does include "pop songs, music hall songs, stage songs.." that have "been subjected to the folk process.""
That goes without saying Dave - ad children's adaptations of modern pop songs and tele adverts
What happens in folk clubs is irrelevant though - change for change's sake is as irrelevant as simple repetition and folk clubs don't count as communities any more than do concert halls that put on adaptations of folk songs by Vaughan Williams, George Butterworth or Percy Grainger
Now if a bunch of kids got hold of Bue Moon.... different kettle of dingbats
One of the fature of songs in print or performed on stage is that they tend not to change or be adapted - they tend to remain as first heard.
Print had the same effect - we spoke at length to singers who had learned from ballad sheets (the later form of broadside) who told us that they regarded the version in print as the right one and unalterable
On e other hand, they had no problem with filling out songs they already knew with verses from print
I's not really complicated, just a bit detailed, but once ou get the hang of it it makes sense and it really is agreat fun sorting out one from the other
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,patriot
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 08:56 AM

But why would a 'folk' singer bother to differentiate these categories in the first place and worse still, be guided by these arbitrary divisions, which are obviously an objective judgement anyway, or so this discussion seems to indicate?
n interesting discussion, yes, but a good song is surely a good song so why not just get on with the singing and let the ethnomusicologists worry about it?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 10:11 AM

"But why would a 'folk' singer bother to differentiate these categories in the first place"
Because they are different - why wouldn't they ?
The old crowd actually had their own categories for their songs - Walter Pardon called his folk songs "folk songs", Tom Lenihan called them "the old tradition"
Blind Traveller, Mary Delaney referred to hers as "my daddies songs" - she knew around a hundred, when we recorded her father he knew about six.
Mary used her title as a description of the type of song she sang, not where she'd got them from
Another Traveller, Mikeen McCarthy went further and described different ways of singing his songs - one way to sell his ballad sheets on the streets and in the fairs, another way to sing them in the pub and, most important to him, the "fireside songs" which were sung on the sites among friends and family

A good song is only a good song if you like it and it does
something for you
Nothing to do with ethnomusicology - it's my experience that, even if well past their prime the older singer brought something into their songs which most younger ones never managed - conviction - they sang their songs with a lifetime of familiarity behind them
If you can't learn from that you really are missing out
The success of the present Irish scene was built on the fact that there were enough of the older generation still around to learn from and enough sensible youngsters to realise that fact and sit down with them to listen to what they said and did
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,patriot
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 11:30 AM

Yes but if you say your folk/traditional songs are different, you need to draw lines and I really cannot see why!
Any sensible singer in any genre makes a subjective decision about whether a song is 'good' for his or herself & I agree that it 's 'good' only if it means something/strikes a chord, however you define it.

Whether it's folk, traditional, blues, jazz, hiphop or whatever has absolutely nothing to do with it.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 11:51 AM

"you need to draw lines and I really cannot see why!"
You don't need to draw lines, the lines are already there
Different types of songs rattle different boxes
You have no more right to tell me I shouldn't think about my songs any more than I have to tell you you should
As far as I'm concerned, our folk songs are inseparable from the social history and information they carry
If I wanted to know the details of The Battle of Trafalgar I would go to the Naval Records or the detailed research
If I wanted to know how it felt for a farmworker to be torn up from his roots, pressed into the Navy and stuck into the middle of a lethal battle I would go to the folk songs - that's why they were made
Same with the Transportation songs - a transportation ballad can tell me far more in a few minutes than a learned book on the enclosure can tell me in 300 pages
Our songs are full of this sort of information - from social misalliance to enforced marriages arranged to further the aims of families rather than the feelings of the people effected   
These are interesting songs if you're interested in that sort of thing
If you're not then I suggest you're looking in the wrong place
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 12:02 PM

Gentlemen? Just a little aside here, a momentary departure from the ongoing deep discussion...

One doesn't see all that many rotary telephones these days either for some reason, specially the old black ones, and lava lamps have also become rather rare. Disturbing, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 12:10 PM

We've got a working black phone in our lobby - always hated lava lamps
If you are suggesting that fopl song is no longer relevant then perhaps you are on the wrong thread
Mustt go - got a load of Shakespeare, Dickens and Hardy to burn before it goes dark
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 01:14 PM

Bit different with "Blue Moon". It had already undergone changes via Man City football supporters. Our club residents also inserted the tube into "Nancy Whisky" as a middle right (ish). When one of our club members, a staunch Man City supporter, passed away, her husband asked the residents to do a fuller version of "Blue Moon" at her wake and the rest is, as they say, the folk process :-)

There are many other such stories at our club and I am sure it is the same elsewhere.

These are the type of things that make sure it is never as straight forward as "this song is folk, that one isn't". Provides hours of fun in these debates but does not help to define anything!


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 01:20 PM

If you stretch these things you could make them folk, but they're pale shadows of the main corpus
Change is no more traditional creation than is forgetting the words
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 02:36 PM

Not sure what you mean by "been subjected to the folk process" then Jim. If a folk club community cannot subject a song to the folk process but a football crowd or children can, I am stumped :-( Still, we have at least a partial agreement so I am happy to leave it at that.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 02:43 PM

If a folk club community cannot subject a song to the folk process but a football crowd or children can
Not important to argue about tonight


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 02:51 PM

Hi Jim,

Big Al has hit upon the answer. A folk tradition can't just be an audience and a performer. There has to be an active involvement in it to justify its importance.
By this I mean that people have to be educated to appreciate traditional music and
that kind of education has to contain the ability of young people to participate not just in listening but active performance of this music. There must be classes or instruction that teach people to sing and play this music for it to survive. I am involved in a Folk School that does just that. There are many folk song and music schools throughout the world. Some examples come to mind such as the Scoil Eigse in Drogheda county Louth put on by the CCE. Folk Festivals will sometimes offer classes.

In short, if people can own the music by participation in the performance, it will survive

The danger lies in academic elitism that weeds out participation..

Frank


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 02:55 PM

Jim, if you want English Trad music to survive you're going to have to teach people how to do it.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 03:12 PM

I don't see "academic elitism" as a problem - every academic involved in folk music I've ever met has been uncondescendingly enthusiastic about passing on what they know to all comers. Passing knowledge on is their day job, so they think about how to do it and retain their sensitivity to younger people's situations and interests.

The real dead weight is amateurs who learned everything they know decades ago and have no memory of or interest in what it's like to be new to traditional music.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 04:24 PM

you don't see many academics down the folk club. on mudcat, they tend to be a bit hoity toity.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 07:51 PM

Someone's got one fuck of a chip on their shoulder.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 08:14 PM

Don't know about the rest of you. I got "into" folk music", for that read songs, by the love of its ability to tell a story, sometimes a story of major importance and at other times something much lighter, but both in their own way equally important and significant.

Pity the rest of you argue so vehemently with Jim, he certainly knows where the heart and soul of the folk music genre exists - hint it is not with wannabe pop artist singer/songwriters.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 08:52 PM

Is some of the problem not with the folk clubs - in an upstair room, keeping themselves seperate from the community? So how can the average punter ever hear "folk music"?
I'm not a singer but a fiddler. And many pubs (though certainly not all) are happy enough to let me sit in a corner, or in the garden, and play for a while.
A few years ago I was in Oxford, in a pub garden on a beautiful warm afternoon. my son went to get the beers, and I sat and played. And a little girl came over and danced, till the beer arrived and we went back to talking. I hope she will always remember doing that. Isn't that the way music should be. And does it matter a damn what genre the music is? Isn't the important thing that people get involved in it? Surely that's what "folk" really means.

I believe we have two things to attempt. One is on the academic side, to keep alive the original music, words, style of performance, instruments - and the other the use of this marvelous wealth of material asa base from which to continually produce things new. Surely both fall into what we call "The Tradition"?

And Al, I think it's the folk clubs, not the academics, that can be a bit hoity-toity! We see many academics at sessions, not always the greatest performers, but usually with a big input to the music.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 02:57 AM

In Kent we not only have the Broadstairs, Rochester and Tenterden festivals, but a number of singing morris sides, who dance a bit, and then take the music/ singing into the pub. Although not compulsory, they encourage all members to do a turn, or just join in with the songs someone else is leading. It would be hard not to have heard some folk music in Kent.
As for folk clubs, I think the most interesting is the Dartford one. They moved into a room in the working mens club, where the beer is modestly priced and the manager was wise enough to think ' real ale'. The format is to have a guest every week. The attendance is about 100 people a week, half of whom turn up regularly. Members of the club sit on the working mens committee, and the non folkie locals like the choice of beers.
I think that to answer the original ' where have all the folkies gone' might be 'in Kent'.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 03:01 AM

Actually, folk music will always be relevant to me, but there are many different varieties of it, of course...so what I think of as "folk music" might be a bit different from what another person thinks about it. On the whole, though, it has always been my favorite type of music.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 03:15 AM

"Jim, if you want English Trad music to survive you're going to have to teach people how to do it."
Frank
I don't believe folk singing can be 'taught' but I do believe it can be learned - it really has to be a joint effort
MacColl, Seeger and the Critics Group mooted the subject for nearly a decade and produced a mass of study material in the shape of recorded group discussions and working sessions - theoretical and practical work, voice, singing and relaxation exercises.... all up for grabs if only there was the interest
Our personal archive alone covers the British, Irish and American oral Traditions - our own personal field recordings contain many hours of source singers talking about their art

I've recently been dipping into other archives - Lomax, Wilgus, School of Sottish Studies, Helen Hartness Flanders.... all on line and listenable to... virtually untapped resources of songs, music and information
It's been my experience that the best way to 'teach'folk singing is to get a bunch of folk-loving folkies together and create an atmosphere where they can discuss each others singing critically (positively and negatively) - once you get over the initial nervousness of the idea that people are not going to tell you that your singing is the best thing since sliced bread everybody present begins to learn and develop.
That will never happen, of course, while people chase their tails deciding what folk song is
When the Irish decided what Irish Traditional music was here in Ireland 'A Thousand Flowers Bloomed' and the music was guaranteed another two generation lease of life - youngsters in their thousands are now flocking into the music and playing it as well as I've ever heard it played - there's a lesson to be learned there, I think

'Participation' has to fit in with the understanding that, like any other art form, to participate requires a degree of dedication and commitment
I believe anybody can sing - to become a singer needs work - the more work, the better the singer

Dave
Folk songs aren't written, they evolve and are absorbed - you can no more plan to write a folk song than you can a hit-song
You can only make your song and see what happens to it
That's why I put a large question mark over football songs
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 03:22 AM

Al
"on mudcat, they tend to be a bit hoity toity."
There are very few 'academics' on Mudcat - I don't know any personally and the few I have dipped into, like the ones who put up useful lists of ballads and sources, I've always found extremely useful
We wouldn't have a pot to piss in if people hadn't got off their bums and done the work
You really need to deep-fry that chip on your shoulder and swallow it with a dash of salt and vinegar
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 04:16 AM

Folk songs aren't written, they evolve and are absorbed

Precisely the point I made over 'our' version of Blue Moon!


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 04:42 AM

"Precisely the point I made over 'our' version of Blue Moon!"
Then how can it be a folk song until it has 'evolved'?
Can't happen in a room among friends - it has to leave the nest and make its own way in the world
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 05:01 AM

To lighten things up a bit, Jim wrote : "School of Sottish Studies" . Now there's a Freudian slip, if ever I saw one ! :)


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 05:19 AM

One of my lesser ones Kenny - must add it to the growing list
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 05:28 AM

please, go off and sing some songs and play music its more productive than all this hot air.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 05:43 AM

I will if you will.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 06:15 AM

"please, go off and sing some songs and play music its more productive than all this hot air."
PLease don't interfere if you have no interest Dick
You'll be getting yourself a reputation as a 'folk policeman'
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 08:12 AM

"Blue Moon" did go out on it's own, Jim. To Maine Road initially. Then it came back as an evolved song to our club. Then it evolved some more!

Out of interest, if a song cannot evolve within the confines of the folk club community, how can some of Ewan MacColls songs have evolved into folk songs? Other than "The first time" and "Dirty old town" which other of his songs have 'made their own way in the world'?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Vic Smith
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 08:28 AM

The question is Where Have all the Folkies Gone?

I feel that this question arises because of the decline in the number of folk clubs and that the music now achieves a much lower profile in the mainstream media. I think that I have one of the reasons for this....

Laat night I was in a good old-fashioned village pub about five miles from where I live. There were about forty people there for the music and about a half a dozen at the other end of the pub.
There were 18 musicians there. The most common instrument (surprise, surprise) was the G/D melodeon, but there were also the three types of concertina, three fiddles, Northumbrian pipes, mandolin, octave mandola (that was me), flute, clarinet, whistles, a nycleharpa, a bassoon and only one guitar (thankfully because more than one guitar leads to clashing chords which I always find jarring).
The standard of musicianship was high; several of the better local morris musicians were there and there were six musicians that I had worked with either as a band member or as a dep. at barn dance gigs. The age range of the musicians was from the mid-20s to the mid-70s. Amongst the musicians there were two sets of father and son and two married couples. The tunes were almost exclusively English dance tunes with a heavy emphasis on the Sussex tunes of Scan Tester.... well, the nominal leader on the session is Will Duke and one of the concertinas that Will played last night was previously owned by Scan. There was one set of French tunes and one Swedish and there were eight songs, all traditional including a really well delivered ballad. We went round the table anti-clockwise with each person deciding what was next, either choosing 2 tunes to play together, or playing a party piece or singing a song.
This session has absolutely no profile. It never appears anywhere on print or the internet but word of mouth tells people that Will goes there on 2nd Sundays and that it is a good session. No money changes hands apart from buying drinks. It was a very satisfying ego-free evening to be a part of.
I know of quite a few sessions on this nature in my immediate area. I know of dozens in Sussex and I suspect that there are others that I know nothing of - perhaps I have heard them mentioned, but all share that very low profile. They don't publicise themselves because they don't need to.

Writing this, my thoughts turn to a town to the east of where I live, Hastings. There is no folk club in Hastings but you can hear quality folk, traditional and roots music every night of the week in a half a dozen or so pubs in the Old Town. There are English tune sessions, Irish sessions, bluegrass pickers, singarounds, a hugely popular weekly sea songs and shanties session. There is not a sizeable number of Irish or Irish heritage people in Hastings yet in recent years the mainly local Irish tune specialists have set up their own branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann with teaching and workshops and they even hold their own fleadh. There is a weekly 'Voices Only' session where you will hear songs ( mainly trad) and monologues and poetry. I doubt there is any town of comparable size where there are so many dance display sides; obviously their huge 'Jack In The Green' festival in May is a great stimulus for these.

I don't know if what I am aware of in my county is reflected in the rest of the country, but if what happens here is reflected nationally then they is still a great deal of traditional song and music that is being played that is totally under the radar. It could be that folk clubs are less important then they were because they have fulfilled their need. Both the local amateur or semi-pro enthusiast as well as the full time singers and groups don't need folk clubs as much as they did.

It could be that the success of folk clubs in giving a starting platform to singers and musicians now means that we no longer need them so much.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 09:09 AM

Vic, I couldn't agree more with your analysis and comments. On Saturday night, I was guesting at "Elsie's" out at Cowden Pound on the Kent/East Sussex border. A small pub, full of people, with the excellent Elsie's band as hosts and excellent local floor singers. An uproarious night and great fun.

Last night (Sunday), the monthly session/singaround was held in the George in my village, and there was hardly a spare seat in the (large) room. More guitars than other sessions, and a varied standard of performance - because we encourage beginners and people with different levels of confidence to join in - but also mandolins, harmonica, concertina and melodeon. The session, which I initially started, has now been runnning for 11 years and gets busier, with new faces, every month.

Tonight I shall be joining the company at the Charlwood - formerly the Greyhound" - in the Surrey village of Charlwood at the very end of the Gatwick flight path. This 'village singaround' was started over 40 years ago - by one Martyn Wyndham-Read - and has continued without a break but with some changes of venue since that time. Colin Gates, who has run the singaround for many years, comes from a family who have lived in Charlwood for hundreds of years, knows every field name and footpath in the village, and has tracked its history and happenings with wonderful songs - which are sung regularly and enthusiastically.

What with nights like these and the other sessions in my area, what more could I want? Some clubs have gone, but others spring up - but if they didn't, as you say, perhaps we don't need them as much.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 09:16 AM

"how can some of Ewan MacColls songs have evolved into folk songs? "
They didn't, and Ewan was always insistent on this fact - his sings never became folk songs
A couple of them ended up sung in very fragmentary form by Travellers but, as the Travellers singing traditions took a nose-dive when they all go tportable televisions this didn't go anywhere and MacColl said it.
We recorded bits Freeborn man but not enough to show it had taken root
Like with the settled Irish music, there has been a considerable rise in interest in instrumental music within the Irish Travelling communities, but that's in its early stages
First Time was turned into a pop song, which was why it caught on, but that never became a folk song and never will - it was a love song written for Peggy while they were apart
Repetition is not tradition otherwise the national Anthem and The Birdie Song would be a folk-song
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 09:25 AM

One MacColl number that has gone outside the folk club world is "Shoals of Herring", which has a pipe setting in the Scots Guards regimental tune book as "Shaoth Sgadan".

I wonder if the Army pays royalties to MacColl's estate. Or if they can go whistle until the PRS gets its own nuclear submarine fleet.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Iains
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 10:35 AM

"how can some of Ewan MacColls songs have evolved into folk songs? "
They didn't, and Ewan was always insistent on this fact - his sings never became folk songs

Does this mean that existence of the genre of contemporary folk is utter nonsense, despite it's well established genesis?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 10:58 AM

Didn't know that Jack
On par with the fact that after Ewan died and Peggy moved back to America their former home was rented out to a number of policemen who were horrified when the Local Council came along and stuck a Blue Plaque next to their front door commemorating a notorious 'Enemy of the People'
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 11:26 AM

Well I never! You learn something new every day. Thanks, Jim. If Ewan's songs are not folk songs then, does that mean that performing them at folk clubs is assisting the demise of folk music? If so, I'll give up trying to learn "Sweet Thames flow softy". Can't get the concertina accompaniment right anyway :-D


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 11:40 AM

The concertina acoimpaniment to it is easy


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 12:05 PM

May be for you, Dick. Not for someone like me with no musical talent!


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 01:40 PM

"If Ewan's songs are not folk songs then, does that mean that performing them at folk clubs is assisting the demise of folk music?"
You really have not been listening have you Dave ?
MacColl and those around him were not antiquarians who claimed that only folk songs should be performed on the scene - on the contrary, the argument was always that if this happened the clubs would be no mor than museums
MacColl used the tradition to create new songs - more than any other singer on the scene
Peggy produced 20 books of songs (around 20 songs per book) made up of contributions from singers and songwriters from all over the English-speaking world, as far afield as the US and Australia   
As far as I know, none of the composers claimed that they were writing real folk songs
The Singer, The Grey Cock in Birmingham and other clubs that followed suit created venues where traditional and newly written songs worked together in harmony because they were related in form
Ther was a strong encouragement to research and to set up workshops for new singers
A far cry from the present use of the term to cover anything from fifth rate pop to whatever people wished to call folk - a progressive experimental music based on traditional forms
While MacColl insisted he didn't write folk songs, he made sure that what he did write and sing didn't clash with the traditiona songs and ballads that dominated his, Peggy's and the rest of the residents' repertoires - Jack Warshaw, Sandra Kerr, Dick Sneel and Phil Colclough - all residents, wrote some excellent songs - a far cry from the cultural dustbin today's scene has been turned into
Even Bert Lloyd turned his hand to song-making on occasion
It was no accident that that none of Ewan's clubs were ever called 'folk clubs' though that's where you went to hear good folksongs well performed - they had a world-wide reputation for being just that
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 01:53 PM

I have been listening, Jim. Just not understanding. On the one hand you are bemoaning the fact that you cannot go to a folk club and hear folk songs yet on the other you say that MacColl's songs, which you have said are not folk songs, are acceptable at folk clubs. If you went to a folk club and heard nothing but Ewan MacColl songs you will have, by your own admission, not heard any folk songs. Yet you seem quite happy with that. I think it is something that will never get resolved here. It needs an evening in a pub with good music in the background and a good long chat over a bottle of something tasty :-)

One day, maybe. In the meanwhile you will just have to be patient with me and explain why some non-folk songs are acceptable yet others are not and who decides which is which.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 02:03 PM

Just as an example, one of my favourite acts is Anthony John Clarke. He writes most of his own material, based on his life and upbringing in the North of Ireland with some, but not all, of his work based on life there including the troubles. Now, how am I, a mere novice compared to you, know whether he is acceptable in folk clubs or just a wannabe pop star who can only make it by abusing the folk scene?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 02:39 PM

The singers club had a reputation, the one i knew was that it was prescriptive.although to be fair as performers the residents all had very good reputations as performers
ok, i have listened to the performer you mentioned, Dave, i am not sure the songs i listened to are folk songs, however he is a good performer of his comedy songs and other songs, personally i would rather listen to Martin Carthy who does sing folk songs, but that is personal taste, and no detriment to the perfomer you mentioned.
What does annoy me are the less competent singer songwriters who are not american and sing in false american accents.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 02:41 PM

" bemoaning the fact that you cannot go to a folk club and hear folk songs "
Without hearing ANY folk songs Dave
"Anthony John Clarke"
I'd never heard of him until I just googled him - pleasant enough but little to do with the narrative folk song Northern Ireland is renowned for
He wansn't the type I was referring to
Last Time I was at the club at C# House Cellar we were treated to someone reading the words of Buddy Holly songs from a phone
I have never used the term unacceptable - my complaint is that non fok songs have more otr less driven the traditional songs away - acculturation, I think is the technical term
There has never been a problem with contemporary songs a long as they fit easily in with traditional ones
omeone came into the Singers Club one night and gane Ewan and Peg a first edition set of Child - instead of raffling it, the Club ran a songwriting competition - John Pole won (the bastard!!)
If yhou can't see the difference between what I am saying and what you are, it reall is a waste of time us talking I'm sad to say

Regarding Sweet Thamas -
A highlight of last Sunday in Dublin was to hear a youngish woman sing it beautifully- as well as I've heard it for a long time - she sang it unaccompanied
If you can't manage to accompany it - don't bother - it doesn't need it
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 02:57 PM

Further more the singers club had rules but if one went there you would hear songs that are generally known as folk songs, there would not be people singing buddy holly songs


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 03:05 PM

" the one i knew was that it was prescriptive."
It was not and it had no "rules"
There were expectations of competence and material if you wre a resident, but beyond that there were no "rules"
As Peggy said in her letter to 'The Living Tradition' "The only expectations that the Club has was confined to the residents"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 03:15 PM

Jim, performers in the club had to sing in their own accents and songs from their own background, or did that only apply to the residents ,nevertheless that is a rule.here in her own words in an article by colin irwin she explains this RULE
DOubtless contributing to that stereotype is the ban imposed by Peggy and Ewan at the club they were running in London in the early days of the folk revival on anyone performing material not of their own musical culture or heritage. Originally triggered by a heavily Americanised set at the club by Long John Baldry, it continues to inspire animated debate to this day. Peggy, who readily concedes that MacColl himself was singing American songs when she first met him, is unrepentant about their stance and sees no dichotomy in her current mash-ups with Broadcaster.

“I sing Scottish songs in the bath tub because they are so beautiful but I wouldn’t sing them on stage because I don’t feel qualified. I can’t pronounce them properly. I’d have to live up there for a long time. I’ve heard enough English and Scottish people singing Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly – and I was brought up with those songs – to know that I mustn’t sing Scottish songs in public. It would be too painful for the Scots to listen to.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 03:31 AM

"Jim, performers in the club had to sing in their own accents and songs from their own background,"
No they didn't Dick
I was never asked to sing in a Liverpool accent in my life - this is a complete distortion of what the club did - nor was I ever expected to confine my repertoire to se shanties
This is typical of the myths that surrounded MacColl and the club
When Lomax came to Britain Ewan, Bert and the rest were singing American songs - I have a recording of MacColl singing 'Sixteen Tons' here somewhere
Lomax suggested that if the clubs were going tto mean anything to British people they needed to examine the British repertoire - MacColl and Lloyd took his advice and began to devote their activities to the British and Irish repertoires
The scene moved away from being Guthrie wannabes to exploring our indigenous traditions - it worked
The problem arose again a few years later when some singers wanted to become Bobbie Bleaters or Joanie Clones
If you find that 'restrictive' that's your prerogative, personally I believe it not pretending what you are not
I sing Scots songs - dozens of them - and Irish ones - I always have; but I restrict them to the ones I can Anglicise comfortably, not becaus of any rule-book but because I can't get them to work for me in a phony accent
Nobody ever stopped me singing in th Singers Club - Pat and I even shared an evening with Ewan and Peg one night; both of us, especially Pat, who, (according to Ewan), was a great ballad singer with a repertoire of Scots ballads
Your post is somewat contradictory - you appear to be arguing against yourself

You know all this - we've discussed it before
You've read Peggy's letter to The Living Tradition apologising for her reaction to the singer in Walthamstowe trying to sound like a black chain-gang convict
Every time you make this statement you call Peggy a liar - I'll pass on her address if you want to do it personally (not true of course, Peggy has enough to cope with)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 04:02 AM

I am not caling anyone a liar, my quote was directly from peggys interview with colin irwin, there was a rule in the singers club. further more i knew of two singers who were approached outside of the singers club and were criticised by macColl for singning bessis smith songs,
jim , you are trying to rewrite history.Irepeat the quote from Peggy herself which ilustrates that there was a rule and the club was prescriptive
DOubtless contributing to that stereotype is the ban imposed by Peggy and Ewan at the club they were running in London in the early days of the folk revival on anyone performing material not of their own musical culture or heritage. Originally triggered by a heavily Americanised set at the club by Long John Baldry, it continues to inspire animated debate to this day. Peggy, who readily concedes that MacColl himself was singing American songs when she first met him, is unrepentant about their stance and sees no dichotomy in her current mash-ups with Broadcaster.

“I sing Scottish songs in the bath tub because they are so beautiful but I wouldn’t sing them on stage because I don’t feel qualified. I can’t pronounce them properly. I’d have to live up there for a long time. I’ve heard enough English and Scottish people singing Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly – and I was brought up with those songs – to know that I mustn’t sing Scottish songs in public. It would be too painful for the Scots to listen to


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 04:37 AM

It was a practice for the residents
MacColl often advised singers to sing in their own accents - that makes sense to me
I have no intention of falling into o of your Alice in Wonderland rabbit holes bu one more point
You don't insult people by trying to imitate peoples accents - invariably you become a source of amusement - we used to call them 'Mickey-Mouse singers" - Tim Lyons once described them as "Glochamorra singers"
You do far more damage to yourself by imitating accents that are not yours
You need to hand around in the bar after someone who has attempted an 'Oirish' accent has just left
Over and out ick
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,JHW
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 04:46 AM

'That you can't be bothered to read the posts says what needs to be said, I think - there certainly isn't too much to read as far as Im concerned'

I've been out to folk clubs four out of the last five nights.
Where Have all the Folkies gone - on Mudcat?
We're out at the folk clubs


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 04:49 AM

Where have all the folkies gone?
Gone to folk clubs every one
When will they ever learn?

:D tG


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 05:04 AM

The singers club was prescriptive.finally MacColl was a good performer and an excellent songwriter but his attempted scottish accent was not very asccurate


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 05:35 AM

"We're out at the folk clubs"
The question is about whether what goes on in the clubs if 'Folk' and if the fact that by and large it isn't, whether that has caused the sharp decline in numbers and the exodus of enthusiasts
Anybody with a bucket of whitewash and a brush can call themselves a 'folk club organiser' on today's folk scene, in my experience
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 05:48 AM

I think, by and large, the reduction in numbers is due to an aging population. Whichever folk club I go to nowadays I am often one of the younger ones. And I'm 66! If we cannot get youngsters involved the participants will naturally die off :-( Unfortunately I don't have the answer to that one but Jim has mentioned that Ireland's program to get the young more involved is working. I can't see the present government doing anything to help with that though. They couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 06:08 AM

"I think, by and large, the reduction in numbers is due to an aging population."
The Numbers began to reduce sharply thirty odd years ago Dave - we were in our prime then
Even if it were true, it avoids the fact that, unlike Ireland, the UK is failing miserably to attract young people in sufficient enough numbers to make uo for the ageing process
The answer lies in those involved so pointing the finger is just passing the buck
For a long time asking for a grant for traditional music was pushing an already open door - those working at the music proved that the cultural importance of the music and got the support - once the enthusiasts took the music seriously, the Arts bodies followed
Now Irish music has become an important part of the Irish economy by drawing visitors in to listen, play, learn and research - this one-street town on the West Coast survived the 'Banker's Folly' recession by being recognised as being 'the home of Irish Traditional Music'
You can make your venues places for a knees-up or where you put bums on seats, but I believe the future of traditional music lies in its cultural and historical importance
Ther is no reason on earth why you can't accept and work at that and enjoy singing, playing and listening at the same time
There's little hope of that happening in the UK since the EFDSS seems to have lost the plot (as confirmed by Stradling's letter) and even the researchers seem to have decided that there's nothing special about Folk song, that it's no different from the oupourings of the commercial music buisnesses and that it never was music created by the folk (as was once established by a centuries worth of research) anyway
The UK folk scene seems hell-bent on self-harm, from where I stand
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Jim Bainbridge
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 06:32 AM

I think you're right, Dave the Gnome- young folks have gone elsewhere- thriving informal sessions, festivals, clubs of various kinds, not to mention the time-waster of social media (another form of SM behaviour (IMHO)- they have different ideas
Older folk do continue attending folk clubs, I believe, although I haven't done any recently & haven't lived anywhere near one for thirty years- I probably would be very particular about which one I attended as there is a huge variety of approach. Both Jim & the Sandman are aware of my preferences & I've no wish to get into that argument again!
No I'll just carry on doing the very occasional folk club & festival, but my preference will always be outside that, preferably in a non-folk social context, like a good pub or daycentre.
On the subject of folk songs & drawing lines, I'm totally with patriot's recent post & Jim's description of folk songs being written at some stage & then heading out into the world & changing/developing via the people is an interesting one.

I'm of an age where some pop songs still told a story (one definition of a ballad) & have sung such as 'She wears Red feathers' in my own way with melodeon accompaniment since I first heard Guy Mitchell's version. It may be non PC but that's irrelevant here. My current version bears little resemblance to the original 78 so has its progress through the folk process (mainly me- I am a person) made it a folk song?
I also sing 'that great old song 'As time goes by' but not from the Casablanca version. No, there's another stage- I got it from the Boldon Banjo Band- my uncle Tom played piano with them in the Boldon Lad pub for many years. Even more folk process, and again developed by the folk (ie ME) so again is it now a Folk song?- not that I give a damn what it is, I just hate all this pigeon holing & line drawing, it's prescriptive & am not happy about all this definition- one reason why some folkies have gone elsewhere, TO GET BACK TO THE SUBJECT.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 07:12 AM

It doesn't avoid the fact at all, Jim. I specifically mentioned that Ireland is doing a good job of getting youngsters back into folk. I've done my bit BTW. 3 out of my 5 kids are fans of traditional English folk and one of the other 2 is really into world music. The final one isn't into any folk but married a lass that is :-)


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 08:28 AM

Just for now
Definition and 'pigeonholing' are very much a part of this discussion - if you advertising you are selling something and then try sell them something other than what you advertised, people stop coming to your shop - that's what has happened on the club scene and unless you do something about it it will continue to damage folk scene
inging in pubs is both restrictive top the singer and intrusive to the regular customers (the chances of finding a pub where this is not the case is extremely difficult, as we have found)
Our folk song repertoire includes long narrative songs, particularly "intrusive" ballads
It is unreasonable to expect pub regulars to remain silent through the length of an average ballad or song and it is damn near impossible to make a half decent ballad to a background of pub noise
That's why the folk scene evolved in booked rooms adapted specifically to sing in
A for festivals - the ones I have attended are for showcasing established singers - where singing sessions take place have been usually in the circumstances described above
They need to be additions to the club-based scene, not replacements for it
Folk clubs evolved as community based venues relying on local talent and energy, grass-root venues rather than concerts - with all the fantastic advantages that brought
Lose that and you've lost a great deal of the reason for singing folk songs
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 09:00 AM

Where this thread started: dismal CD sales of trad material.

If the folk club scene was really failing to meet a massive demand for it, those sales ought to be skyrocketing.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 09:31 AM

"Where this thread started: dismal CD sales of trad material."
Stradling ventured some reasons of why them might be happening - the EFDSS's somewhat schizophrenic approach to the music they have taken responsibility for over the last century plus featured
I have taken it further and intend to expand on that by covering what is happening in the world of research - all part of the same subject as far as I'm concerned
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 09:55 AM

The Irish government finances tradtional music through CCE, AND they are PARTLY responsible for the interest among young people. I do have criticisdms of CCE but they are partly responsible for young interest as is also Wille clancy summer school, meanwhileEFDSS appears to be a a ship with no one at the helm drifting rudderless into some back water


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 10:54 AM

The CCE spends what money they get funding their own image and weird take on Irish music
They have driven more young people away from Irish music than they have caught their interest with their competition ethos (we've covered this far too many times to make it an issue here Dick)
Their seizure of Clontarf branch's new premises says enough about what they are about than anything else

EFDSS seem to have found the direction they wish to taake but it has little to do with folk music
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 11:39 AM

I think we may have finally discovered the secret to the perpetual motion machine.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: leeneia
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 11:58 AM

:-)


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 05:44 AM

Having spent 20 of the last 30 years in Ireland, I am always fascinated by the view that the country is some kind of lost world of traditional music & that CCE are some kind of inspiration to all.

Government money to CCE is not always spent usefully, and often misappropriated- I have heard many anecdotes about this, one an offer to 'take over' a small thriving village festival by the 'brown envelope' method, made to a dedicated, but fortunately altruistic organiser, so be careful what you for, money isn't always a help.
It seems to me that even without the cash, the music is thriving in Britain in certain areas (Vic Smith mentioned Sussex in an earlier thread) just as it is in Ireland (Jim Carroll similarly in Clare) so the folkies are still there, even if not in the clubs.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,irish lad
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 01:07 PM

but we don't have folkies in Ireland, we have traddies & they are everywhere


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 01:14 PM

"but we don't have folkies in Ireland, we have traddies & they are everywhere"
With you 100%
We start a weekend devoted to the concertina tonight in Mitown Malbay but have to break off on Sunday to catch the end of a singing weekend in Ballyvaughan at the northernmost point of the County
A lesson to be learned there
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 02:52 AM

In CLARE, the trad scene is strong, elsewhere it is not as strong, Jim B, I know what you are saying and I agree it is a double edged sword, but credit has to be given where it is due, and CCE has played a part in promoting trad music , at the least just the presence of the national fleadh, of course much money has been wasted and their competition system in my opinion is unhealthy and steers the music in a certain musical direction to the detriment of regional styles, but even if one dislikes what they are trying to do it is only fair to give them some credit.JimCarroll imo sees things in black and white, it aint like that, if oneloks at the situation in an adult and fair way CCE HAS PLAYED A PART IN PROMOTING TRAD MUSIC , YOU MAY NOT LIKE THE WAY IT DOES IT BIT IT DOES IT NEVERTHELESS


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,irish lad
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 05:17 AM

I didn't mean 'traddies' as a compliment-many of them are a pain in the arse, like folkies


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 06:54 AM

"I didn't mean 'traddies' as a compliment-many of them are a pain in the arse"
As are many snigger snogwriters and wannybe Clancys - don't get me started about bodhran bashers
Ireland is undergoing a Traditional music Renaissance which has guaranteed its survival for several generations
I sat in talk/session last night with the second and third generation of a musical family Tom McCathy's - piper, concertina player whistler and fiddler - nearly 20 years dead
Ten members of his family were there daughters and grandchildren - all masters of their instruments
Beats your singing pullovers any day
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: theleveller
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 07:02 AM

Well this ex-folkie has left to get away from the rancid, nit-picking crew with over-inflated egos who have put folk into a straight jacket and aren’t prepared to tolerate anyone enjoying it in a way that deviates from their rigid definitions, thereby squeezing all the joy out of it. Having reached the age of 70, I’ve realised life’s too short and the folk music scene just isn’t fun anymore, so I prefer to spend my valuable time engaging in more pleasurable and life-affirming activities amongst people who are welcoming, friendly, helpful and empathetic (all of which folkies used to be). On the rare occasions when curiosity drives me back to Mudcat to see if anything has changed, I realise the scene is only getting worse and it reaffirms my decision.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 07:07 AM

That's a shame, leveller. There is still plenty of good stuff still going on in folk clubs. You seem to be throwing out the baby with the bathwater but that is your decision and your loss.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 07:26 AM

Plenty more have gone before you because they couldn't find what was adveritised when they turned up at a folk club
If expecting folk songs at a folk club is "putting music in a straight-jacket", then so is expecting to her jazz at a jazz club, or classical music at a classical concert
We came to promote a certain type of music not put bums on seats
Only people who came to hear folk music and didn't have the right to complain - we did what we said we would do - if they didn't like it they were free to go elsewhere
I have yet to come across anybody who can describe what folk muis is if it isn't what it has been researched to be
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,irish lad
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 09:17 AM

Yes there are plenty of traddies here- nothing to do with Aran pullovers?- where did that come from? No regrets about the demise of the 'ballad session'!!

There are plenty of places in Ireland where the music thrives, Jim, but in MOST pubs nationwide, it is generally unwelcome and a distraction from the multiple TV sets which are the norm these days.


Part of the problem may be the (sometimes skilled) musicians who insist on sitting in a circle & making no attempt at communication - surely the essence of the peoples' music?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: leeneia
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 10:52 AM

Leveller, I just checked the long list of threads you have posted to, and very few of them are about playing music.

Where were you when I posted songs to try? When I posted links to interesting new performances? When someone asked for chords? When a beginner asked for musical help?

Where were you when Will Fly posted a fine guitar performance and two people bothered to listen and say thanks?

Where were you when Mudcatters were discussing lyrics old and new, from medieval to the rock scene?
========
If you are tired of rancid arguments, you know which threads to avoid.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 01:16 PM

exactly Leveller- it isn't fun any more - far too many taking it seriously!


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