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Where Have all the Folkies Gone

Jim Carroll 17 Feb 19 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 18 Feb 19 - 10:21 AM
GUEST,patriot 19 Feb 19 - 05:29 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 19 Feb 19 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 19 Feb 19 - 10:31 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Feb 19 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 19 Feb 19 - 10:53 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Feb 19 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 19 Feb 19 - 12:58 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Feb 19 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 19 Feb 19 - 01:17 PM
Jon Freeman 19 Feb 19 - 01:56 PM
Stringsinger 19 Feb 19 - 02:00 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Feb 19 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 19 Feb 19 - 03:03 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Feb 19 - 03:15 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 20 Feb 19 - 05:50 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Feb 19 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 20 Feb 19 - 08:02 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Feb 19 - 08:20 AM
Howard Jones 20 Feb 19 - 08:49 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Feb 19 - 10:20 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 20 Feb 19 - 11:20 AM
Jim Carroll 20 Feb 19 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,Some bloke 20 Feb 19 - 12:52 PM
Jim Carroll 20 Feb 19 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,Mad Jock 21 Feb 19 - 10:09 AM
GUEST 23 Feb 19 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Mad jock 25 Feb 19 - 07:41 AM
GUEST,Mad jock 25 Feb 19 - 11:01 AM
punkfolkrocker 25 Feb 19 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,Mad Jock 02 Mar 19 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,Vjc Smiith 02 Mar 19 - 08:31 AM
Claymore 02 Mar 19 - 06:15 PM
Stringsinger 05 Mar 19 - 01:35 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 07 Mar 19 - 02:48 PM
Stringsinger 08 Mar 19 - 01:58 PM
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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 08:26 AM

It's never gone away Peter
The problem is that Ireland divides "folk" and "tradition" in their usage when in fact the terms are two sides to the same coin
I had an enjoyable discussion on this with our friend, John Tunney recently
If anybody isn't aware of John, I understand there is an article due to be published in 'The Folk Song Journal' on his very impressive PHD covering his family's song repertoire and its place in the community
This withh cover the songs of Paddy, his father. his grandmother, Brigid and his uncle, Michael Gallagher, and several other family members
John is also giving a talk at this year's 'Willie Clancy Summer School' - well worth the trip
The School programme also includes a description of the work of collector, Tom Munnelly
There's a good time a-comin'
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 18 Feb 19 - 10:21 AM

I know it hadn't really gone away but I heard it used only very occasionally. Occasionally enough to notice the 'best folksong' thing and several other pronounced returns to the public eye (well, RTE).

Interesting to note too that the RTE radio spots sell it as 'what song do you sing along with at parties?' I get a certain image with that and wonder if that is their criterium for finding the best 'folksong', why do they even bother.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,patriot
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 05:29 AM

The short list for the 'best folk song in Ireland will make interesting, and likely very depressing reading!


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 10:27 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).

My trajectory has been a bit similar, and I now mostly play with much younger people in situations that have nothing to do with folk clubs - but with less negativity involved. I started playing folk music in informal sessions in private settings, and that's what I'm still doing a lot of the time. It was a long time before I found a folk club and didn't really see what it might have to do with me; I was interested in playing the stuff, not in listening to somebody performing things that were only vaguely related.

The folk club scene round me is not exclusive in the way you describe, or the way Jim Carroll wants it be, it's just rather old. There is a handover to a younger generation in progress, and what they're doing is fine by me, I just don't feel fired up to go along to a club no matter what. They tend do have events on nights when I have other stuff to do.

I do occasionally run into exclusive nastiness in the session scene (as well as plain ordinary boredom from ageing players who won't try anything new to them). There's always at least one anti-English bigot at every Irish session, so I don't bother with them any more. They need to learn to deal with that. The absolute pits is a local egomaniac who gets annual refills of snobbery and smugness at the Willie Clancy school - no way in hell would I ever want to go near it.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 10:31 AM

I got as far as Jim’s opening salvo reckoning that young performers are more interested in writing their own songs and where’s the folk in that?

Folk eh? If only there was an evolving tradition genre of music where songs of yesterday through the generations are blended within a performance with new songs that reflect today’s society?

Tsk.



Meanwhile back in the real world. I’m enjoying the most productive period in UK folk since the revival. The young talent we book at our club each and every week combined with the nostalgic treat of our heroes of yesterday who still tour...

It’s a golden age for the traditional and wider folk music appreciators. One bloke who comes every week even wears his trousers up to his tits. Living the dream eh?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 10:34 AM

Pretty similar here in Hull, Jack, except I don't see any snobbery in the many sessions round here or the singarounds which are very varied and lively with a good mix of generations.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 10:53 AM

'refills of snobbery and smugness at the Willie Clancy school - no way in hell would I ever want to go near it'

And you denounce people for bigotry?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 11:25 AM

"young performers are more interested in writing their own songs "
Where the hell did I ever say that? - would that more young people made their own songs rather than having to wait till the industry decided what it was going to sell them
I have been talking about what passes for folk songs in today's clubs - I probably know and sing as many songs composed in the folk idiom as I do traditional ones

What a pity you have to "book" your singers - we ran clubs where the residents were quite capable of singing their way though an evening without having to buy them in - grass-roots clubs
People have claimed here that the oldies are dying off (hence the fall in sales) and the newbies aren't replacing them
The folk scene was started so we could all develop our singing,and along with it, our understanding of folk songs
That's what appears to have gone down the pan
Jacks take on the Willie Clancy Summer School sums up the reluctance to discuss this issue rationally
The School was first set up to honour one of Ireland's greatest traditional musicians, for as long as it could, it ran on the practice of involving the few remaining traditional musicians and singers who sand, plaed and taught their art and when they died away, their descendants and former pupils took over
This weekend we were treated to two talks on two local musicians - after the first talk, we spent a glorious hour or so listening to the playing of the children and grandchildren of the subject of the talk.
If you find that "smug" Jack - stay away - we really don't need people like you when we have thousands of kids who are playing as well as Tom McCarthy's kids
I always remember my greatest objection to Mary Whitehouse was her readiness in condemning things she refused to try for herself
It seems the U.K. is being haunted by a similar specte at the feast
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 12:58 PM

I have seen positive descriptions of the Willie Clancy school too. But the only product of it I've ever met is somebody I now avoid being in the same room with.

There aren't many really unpleasant people in the folk scene but it only takes one to make an event into something I don't want to be at.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 01:06 PM

"But the only product of it I've ever met is somebody I now avoid being in the same room with."
The feeling is mutual Jack - but personally, I'm far happier discussing something we disagree on rather than hurling abuse - much more adult
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 01:17 PM

I think you would be pleasantly surprised if you tried it. The Willie week is a rather broad church that caters for many interest and approaches. At it's core is it's core principle of education and dissemination of culture and music. It would appear a bit silly to forego all that because of one person, who would probably be unlikable irrespective of him attending the event.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 01:56 PM

I've known a small few who have attended the Willy Clancy event. The feeling I have is that people invariably come away feeling they have got something positive out of it.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 02:00 PM

It's gone from the stage and show biz into the living room. It's what it always was.
The people own it. You don't hear about it. No coverage. It's underground.


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

"I've known a small few who have attended the Willy Clancy event."
This shouldn't need to be discussed here; along with the Trish Traditional Music Archive, The WCSS has changed the course of Irish traditional Music for the better
It would churlish for me to say "Come back when you have a revival that can say the same", so I won't
Jim Carroll


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

Jim, from your post above


"What a pity you have to "book" your singers - we ran clubs where the residents were quite capable of singing their way though an evening without having to buy them in - grass-roots clubs"

Am I misunderstanding what you are saying? How would people in the provinces have been able to see Ewan and Peggy for example without booking them into their club?

I also question your statement "The folk scene was started so we could all develop our singing,and along with it, our understanding of folk songs".

Who was it that laid that down at what date?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Feb 19 - 03:15 AM

You are mistaking what I'm saying Hoot
I was grateful for the singers like Ewan, Peggy, Kevin Mitchell, Paddy Tunney, The Stewart's.... and all the others we were able to book to perform in Liverpool and Manchester, and other places I have lived, but the idea of having a weekly guest, which was what was mentioned as an example of success, was exactly what we wanted to avoid.
The clubs I was involved with had competent and dedicated residents and quite often, workshops aimed at developing new singers and new enthusiasts
The people who gave a kick-start to the revival, from W.M.A., E.F,D.S.S., Topic, Lomax, The BBC project (which in my opinion) provided the raw material, Lloyd, MacColl, Henderson.... all set out to popularise a specific type of music and encourage an understanding of it.

Stringsinger
I'd like to believe you - unfortunately the people seem to have become passive recipients of their culture rather man makers of and participants in it - television (which Lloyd often referred to as 'The Idiot's Lantern' played a large part in that.
When we started to record Irish Travellers in London they still had an active living tradition and were still making and absorbing their own songs - within 18 months (you can almost put a date on it) that had disappeared.
The easy access to portable televisions had done away with the campfire gatherings and pool and the juke-box had replaced the pub singing session
In Ireland, the Dancehalls Act and the disapproval and intervention of the Church first destroyed the Crossroads Dances and later the house dances which the traditional arts relied on for their existence
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 20 Feb 19 - 05:50 AM

It’s a pity we book singers. Yeah. Keep the pity going, it adds up to a cracking night out.

I’d love Donal Clancy, Steve Tilston, Chris Wood etc (our upcoming guests) to come for nowt, just as paying Archie Fisher, Martin Carthy, Martin Simpson, Steve Turner, Jez Lowe, Dave Burland etc recently really hurt..... The young performers of course we love throwing money at. etc etc. zzzzzzzzz

In fact, handing over cash to Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger was only something we did because they were professional entertainment artistes back in the day. (Real artistes too, proper little prima donnas)

Luckily, we have an audience who want to hear such people.

Once again,

Tsk.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Feb 19 - 07:07 AM

The scene was set up by people who believed that everybody could sing and the clubs allowed many of them them to do so
Listing your own personal favourites doesn't make any of them good singers - just popular with you
A very few of the best of the professional singers devoted a great deal of time to helping less talented and successful ones rather than just getting on with their careers
The fact that the audiences have dwindled to the small numbers they have is evidence enough that not enough did, as far as I'm concerned
Tsk indeed
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 20 Feb 19 - 08:02 AM

The reason audiences have dwindled compared to the time when you entered the "scene" Jim is that interest is probably back to how it used to be before the "Folk Scare".

Time moves on and time brings a change however much we regret it.

Why do you attack "Some Bloke" for listing some of the performers that his club has booked and then imply that they are not good singers.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Feb 19 - 08:20 AM

I didn't say they were "not good singers" - I said that making a list of your particular favourites doesn't make them so
Stop reading things into what I write please
What I, you or any other bloke likes or dislikes has no part in any of these arguments
You can't "like" or dislike a definition into existence - it means what it means
I get a little pissed off being told who is a god singer than being castigated when I don't agree
One of the singers on the list I knew personally and believe him to be a poor singer whose singing has little to do with folk - but so what ?
Straw men again
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Howard Jones
Date: 20 Feb 19 - 08:49 AM

"Listing your own personal favourites doesn't make any of them good singers - just popular with you"

The fact that they, and others, have succeeded in attracting audiences all over this country and beyond suggests that they are popular with more than just Some Bloke, and just might be OK singers.

Jim, what you don't appear to recognise is that the Singers Club was not typical of most folk clubs, which is partly why it has attracted so much interest, and criticism. Most of the clubs I attended were fortunate to have a fairly high standard of floor singers, but none of us would have considered we were qualified to tell others what to do, let alone run workshops. We were able to learn and improve mainly from watching and talking to the weekly succession of professional performers, who did much to raise standards and introduce new ideas and new material (including discovering forgotten traditional songs). Most were very willing to chat and to give advice when asked.

Some clubs functioned very well without guests, but for me the opportunity to hear such performers was one of the main reasons for going to a club. One of the reasons I now don't go to folk clubs often is because few of them now book guests, or do so only infrequently, and have been taken over by the idea that everyone can sing, when it is all too evident that many cannot and show no inclination to improve. However when I do I usually hear folk songs, according to most people's understanding of the phrase.


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

The fact that they, and others, have succeeded in attracting audiences all over this country "
Quite often with only their own take on the music, which has little to do with traditional styles or even songs - the reduction in clubs and attendances id indicative of how their singing has attracted audience fior folk songs

I started out at the Liverpool Spinners Club and after eighteen months was becoming very bored with that very popular approach to folk singing - luckily I stumbled on the real thing, got hooked and have been so ever since
The 'Folk Boom' attracted huge numbers of listeners who melted like the snow on the slopes of Vesuvius, when the music industry lost interest, leaving only the hard-core, who built up a new scene based on real folk songs sung to a reasonable standard
As far as I'm concerned, good singing has little to do with popularity and lots and lots to do with interpretation of songs
It may seem odd to some but I've always considered singers like Walter Pardon, Mary Delaney, Sam Larner... et al, far better interpreters of the songs I love than virtually all the superstars and wannabe- Segovias, despite advancing age, with all the problems that brings
Over-accompanied, badly phrased songs have never done too much for me

The Singers Club was far more '"typical' than it later became when it refused to bend to the fads and changes that were taking place - Ewan and Peg continued to fill the place until Ewan's death
I can't think of a single night when I didn't go home with a bundle of good songs swirling around in my head

I really do intend to respond to your earlier post in full because I believe the points you made are important but at present I'm doing this between other work
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 20 Feb 19 - 11:20 AM

"I get a little pissed off being told who is a god singer than being castigated when I don't agree"

So nobody is allowed an opinion which differs from yours and to tell you so.

I would never have believed that of you Jim, normally so tolerant and understanding.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Feb 19 - 12:03 PM

"So nobody is allowed an opinion which differs from yours and to tell you so."
Just the opposite - everybody is allowed an opinion, apparently I am "intolerant" if I express mine - which is what I said
Where the did that come from ?   
I'm not the one who uses terms like "folk police" and "purist"
"normally so tolerant and understanding."
NNew one on me (I presume that was intended to be irony (see above)
One of the greatest problems with discussing the folk scene is that it appears to have wrapped itself in a cloak of invincibility that prevents any critical analysis of the superstars - as is being demonstrated here
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 20 Feb 19 - 12:52 PM

Perhaps if you said “I personally don’t like” rather than saying something or someone is bad, people wouldn’t dismiss you Jim.

We are all aware of your work in the field of folk and I amongst others have been grateful for the opportunity to enjoy the fruit of your endeavours.

It doesn’t make you the arbiter of taste, definition nor state of this field of entertainment though. Stop trying to tell me and others what folk is or isn’t. It’s all the definitions and much more.

It’s also in good hands for the future. It’s merely the venue platforms that are evolving.

I help run two clubs, one singaround type that gets 15-30 most weeks and a concert venue that varies between 50 and full house of 115. Both have limited futures and neither attract too many young audience. Why sit in a pub or club when you can see lots at once at a festival then YouTube the rest of the time? That’s the future, not yours (although increasingly mine) and the music? Exciting young talent proving they can be stewards of the folk tradition. In any event, young festival goers love the sound it makes.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 20 Feb 19 - 03:00 PM

Can we get this clear
I am not attempting to be "arbiter of taste" - I am merely presenting my wn opinion
It is thsoe who are attempting to stop me by claiming I have said things I have not who are the arbiters of taste
I haven't the slightest interest how many bums you put on seats - my interest is what you sell as folk song
If you do what it says on your label - fair play to you, if you don't, I don't care
Putting paid stars in front of passive audiences doesn't interest me either - as things stand, folk music won't survive without active participants
Festivals will never do that in a thousand years - you may as well book them into The Point or fill the Albert Hall
The last thing folk music wants is customers
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Mad Jock
Date: 21 Feb 19 - 10:09 AM

Singer songwriter Angie Wright is off to NEW ZEALAND in March where there seems to be a thriving Folk Music scene which welcomes all singers and musicians.

Angie will be promoting her latest CD 'HEROES AND DEMONS' sales of which go to support the Scottish Mental Health Charity SAMH.

Search on Spotify after March 1st .


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Feb 19 - 03:27 PM

Who in the name o the wee man is this Angie Wright that M.J. keeps plugging at all times?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Mad jock
Date: 25 Feb 19 - 07:41 AM

Angie Wright has been performing on and off for about 40 years. Start with One Fine Day back in the 70s . Ran school choirs as teacher and they won awards.
Sang with the prestigious Salford Choral Group for a few years.
Next started as a solo performer before joining Cadence for a short while. Solo again before joining Anne Taggart for 10 years of superb close harmony singing. Moved to Scotland and again solo.
Does that help.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Mad jock
Date: 25 Feb 19 - 11:01 AM

Just been told not one fine day but 'One Fine Morning'. Big oops.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 25 Feb 19 - 12:08 PM

just so's you know..

"Where Have all the Folkies Gone" fits perfectly
if anyone wants to 'folk process' a new folkie lament version
of "Where Have All The Boot Boys Gone" by Slaughter and the Dogs...


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Mad Jock
Date: 02 Mar 19 - 06:49 AM

Hi me again...... Yes I know.
Angie Wright has just launched her last 2 CDs on Spotify and I Tunes.

Her next gig after getting back from New Zealand is supporting IVAN DREVER at the Crieff Folk Club on Thursday 9th May.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Vjc Smiith
Date: 02 Mar 19 - 08:31 AM

Where have all the folkies gone?
Well this one is currently having a great time in The Gambia and having a great time including making recordings of traditional music and song of Manding jalis..... briefly in a place where there is electricity, internet and WiFi, saying hello before heading up country again.
best wishes
Vic


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Claymore
Date: 02 Mar 19 - 06:15 PM

I would normally not spend the time it takes to write this, having been a Mudcatter from the late ninties, but I felt compelled to at least acknowledge that in my part of the USA, (Shepherdstown WV) the folk MUSIC portion of the above discussion is not only alive and well, it is undergoing a thriving resurgence. Some may recall that what started as Scots-Irish music (both sung and played) landed on the east coast of the US and made it's way down the Pennsylvania Great Wagon Road, down through the Cumberland, Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountain ranges to end up in the Carolina’s. We locals are acutely aware that “roots music” has undergone numerous changes from Irish to Old-time to Bluegrass. In this area (joining the Potomac River with Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia) there is a broad resurgence of those music’s, both combined in contra dancing or separately as in step dancing, clogging, white-shoe or square dancing. While we have no real folk song circles or clubs (as mentioned by the Brits above) we play any and all of the old tunes “at speed” or “like you’re burning tick’s”.
When I started playing folk music in Hawaii in 57, folk music was a bit of the “college fad” genre, especially since every folk group came out to Hawaii to give concerts. However all forms of music were welcome and we never got stuck in one style. For example, Bette Midler was my high school Senior Class President and our jams were epic. Later in Vietnam as a Marine Corps Officer, I had an autoharp, banjo and guitar brought over to the location where we came out of the bush near the DMZ in the same trucks that brought our resupply and “beer in the rear”. Folk songs were then any song known by all and sung at campfires.
At the present, in this area, most folk music is not sung but played at jams, sessions and dances. The only exception is Bluegrass where almost every tune is sung, and range from truly old tunes to those written recently. But the area is flush with opportunities to play. In a given month I have only two Saturdays that are free of a jam/session and range from the 50+ member Open Band contra dance in Glen Echo, MD where the rule is that only 30 and younger musicians can sit in the front line, to a weekly small pipes and acoustic instruments session. The good news is that we are in a great revival of what I would call the “folk arts,” where Butch Ross can play “Smoke on the Water’ on a mountain dulcimer or the venerable Sam Rizzeta (Father of the Hammered Dulcimer) can play “Wild Rose of the Mountain.”
Frankly the abundance of universities with musical programs has given us old farts the ability to corrupt the classical music backgrounds of many of the students. For example, at a certain point in their studies they may get invited to “play at the Cabin”. It is a an 1780 old log cabin back in the mountains of Hampshire County, WV, with no electricity, RDH plumbing (Right Down the Holler) and lit by several oil lamps. You will play in the dark, cheek to jowl with some of the best old-time musicians in the local states. You will need to bring your “A” game and it’s not uncommon to “play the sun up”.
The only sour note is provided by what I call the Asberger’s Short Bus crowd, a group of older folks who have lived otherwise successful lives, and have decided that because they can afford very expensive instruments in their retirement, that they are now folk musicians to be welcomed wherever they go. I am the DH (Designated Hitter) to many of the jams and it is my job to disabuse them of that notion. And while I can’t always shut them up I always break them of the habit.
The end point being is that, despite many digressions from it's beginnings in the British Isles to it’s lineal descendants in the hills and hollers on the Appalachian Trail, folk music is doing quite well, thank you.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Stringsinger
Date: 05 Mar 19 - 01:35 PM

Claymore, that is an excellent response. Where I sit, there is a real interest in folk music particularly when people can participate in playing and singing it.

There has always been a rarified academic interest in traditional folk music. It hasn't taken root in the general population of America but alongside of that, whenever a folk artist or performer from a traditional place is presented, it always seems to draw a crowd, sometimes small or occasionally large.

There is a need for folk music although you won't find it satisfied on the media.
You have to look away for it from academia or commercial popular music.

Check the living room.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 07 Mar 19 - 02:48 PM

It's grand to hear from you, Stringsinger, on this subject.
Thanks for sticking your neck out
and speaking up.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Stringsinger
Date: 08 Mar 19 - 01:58 PM

In the late Fifties and early Sixties there was Dave Van Ronk's "Great Folk Scare"
which found its way onto American radio and became a commodity. I don't know
much about what happened in England but I imagine there was some spillover.
Ewan started a lot of the folk clubs, I suppose, and that correlates to the coffee house craze in the States.

When performance becomes commodified it enters into the realm of show business and this is true of traditional performers at folk clubs and festivals. It involves an audience which must be appeased or pleased. Folk music, as I understand it, does not require this kind of environment. It can be among friends on a back porch or a mother singing a lullaby or a group of drunken men bawling out bawdy songs. It can be a schoolyard jingle taunting a teacher. It can be as Lomax's Dink who is pouring out a lament on the banks of a river while washing clothes.

I would guess that it was made to be heard by someone else other than the singer but I'm not sure this is always the case.

One thing that clarifies it for me is that it is accessible to many people. It's pretty rare to someone singing passages from Saint Matthew's Passion while hoeing weeds in the back yard.

It seems to be redolent of earlier times. Computerized folk music doesn't seem like it would work very well.

I don't think, however, that folkies have gone far away. They may not be going to folk clubs or festivals now since there is the myth of leisure time being available to most hard working people. But from where I sit, I see people playing and singing for their own enjoyment and folk songs are alive and well.


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Mudcat time: 18 June 5:46 AM EDT

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