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the uk folk revival in 2019

GUEST,HiLo 13 Oct 19 - 07:59 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 19 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,JoeG 13 Oct 19 - 06:34 PM
The Sandman 13 Oct 19 - 05:24 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 13 Oct 19 - 05:02 PM
RTim 13 Oct 19 - 04:54 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 13 Oct 19 - 04:51 PM
GUEST,akenaton 13 Oct 19 - 04:47 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 13 Oct 19 - 03:29 PM
Big Al Whittle 13 Oct 19 - 03:16 PM
Backwoodsman 13 Oct 19 - 03:12 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 13 Oct 19 - 03:10 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 19 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,Kenny 13 Oct 19 - 02:43 PM
Stringsinger 13 Oct 19 - 02:05 PM
r.padgett 13 Oct 19 - 01:53 PM
GUEST,kenny 13 Oct 19 - 01:47 PM
r.padgett 13 Oct 19 - 01:29 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 19 - 12:35 PM
Big Al Whittle 13 Oct 19 - 12:22 PM
Big Al Whittle 13 Oct 19 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,Nemisis 13 Oct 19 - 11:32 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 19 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,Nemisis 13 Oct 19 - 11:09 AM
Raggytash 13 Oct 19 - 11:06 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 19 - 10:57 AM
GUEST,Nemisis 13 Oct 19 - 10:48 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 13 Oct 19 - 10:09 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 19 - 09:58 AM
Howard Jones 13 Oct 19 - 09:35 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Oct 19 - 08:58 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 13 Oct 19 - 08:55 AM
GUEST,akenaton 13 Oct 19 - 08:35 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 13 Oct 19 - 08:17 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 19 - 08:12 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 19 - 07:32 AM
GUEST,akenaton 13 Oct 19 - 07:08 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 13 Oct 19 - 07:08 AM
r.padgett 13 Oct 19 - 06:54 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 13 Oct 19 - 06:25 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Oct 19 - 06:14 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 19 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,akenaton 13 Oct 19 - 05:54 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 19 - 04:11 AM
r.padgett 13 Oct 19 - 03:00 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Oct 19 - 07:54 PM
Big Al Whittle 12 Oct 19 - 07:26 PM
GUEST 12 Oct 19 - 05:49 PM
Jack Campin 12 Oct 19 - 04:56 PM
Raggytash 12 Oct 19 - 04:11 PM
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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 07:59 PM

It is regularly censored...Akes behaviour was never as abusive as yours is. Are you now In charge here..YOU were once severly reprimanded for your combative, bullying style..so why are you still here. and you are well beyond intolerable and ridiculous.
now the subject at hand, music. there is no need for iron clad definitions of any type of music. music is one of the world great joys..it does not require conformity to narrow slots...just enjoy it.


    I really fight hard to avoid censorship in the music forum. If things get out of hand, I prefer to just close a thread - sometimes temporarily to cool things down, but usually permanently. That leaves the posts that people worked on, and yet forces participants to make a new start. This one is closed permanently, because as Emmylou Harris would say,That's all, folks!


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 07:37 PM

"in fact I think the people who love folk or folk orientated music are just finding other places to enjoy, or participate in, the music "
Isn't that the point Joe ?
If we can no longer go to folk clubs to hear folk songs and have to go "somewhere else" to hear them, there is something seriously wrong with the folk club scene
The point is far more serious than that anyway
I've spent a half century enjoying folk song (not my preferred definition - the researched and extremely well documented definition which has existed for over a century, and which has produced all the major collections and researched works on folk song which fill libraries like that in Cecil Sharp House)

My concern now is that that music will be available in a recognizably form to the next generation, in places where it clains to be available, but isn't
What are you going so tell them - "Sorry, we don't do that stuff any more - go look somewhere else" ?
We set the folk clubs to perform and listen to folk songs - isn't it somewhat arrogant to suggest that we move off and let some other, totally unrelated music take over ?
To me, that looks like a mixture of a hostile takeover and identity theft
I have yet to see one single widely agreed definition that replaces the one that has served well and been documented for over a century - how do you define what you advertise as folk music ?

Dick hasn't said too much on this thread so far but I now that he is a professional singer who bases his repertoire on traditional songs
The concerns he expresses are an indication that he is finding that a problem

The editor of on-line magazine, Musical Traditions, Rod Stradling recently wrote of the difficulty he is having selling his albums of traditional songs and music - he sold three copies of Sam Larner's album - three copies of an album of one of Britain's most important source singers

In and article I posted above, published in 1962, it was stated "there are 200 of these clubs in Britain, with 250, 000 members).
A few years later that number had at least quadrupled and it continued to rise until it reached many times that total -
During my time in the South of England there were more than that in Greater London      
A month or so ago, I was shown an article claiming around 180 clubs nationwide as an indication that the folk scene was doing well

I don't know where your "so many young people " are getting involved in the music, nor do I know what kind of music they are getting involved in - it certainly ain't folk music - you've told me I have to go "somewhere else" for that
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 06:34 PM

Dick

Firstly apologies for an earlier comment a few weeks ago on another thread a while ago where I was uncharacteristically rude - must have had a couple of pints too many. Also apologies for the late apology - I should have said something earlier

Your point about availability of venues is a very good one. It is extremely difficult to find venues nowadays without a) having to pay or b) being confident about pulling in a significant crowd (and I have to be honest in saying that, in England at least, the likelihood of pulling in a significant crowd for events that only permitted traditional folk music would be very slim)

A club I was involved in previously has just had to move from its previously superb venue as it is closing. They have found a good replacement venue but it does have some issues I understand in terms of layout and size. It was probably the only realistic option in a city of over 200,000 people. It is no surprise then that more and more folk (whatever that is ;-) ) music is finding other outlets.

Jim's argument that folk clubs are closing because there is no certainty that his preferred definition of folk music will be performed is I believe almost certainly incorrect - in fact I think the people who love folk or folk orientated music are just finding other places to enjoy, or participate in, the music - be they sessions & singarounds in an open pub such as happens in several pubs in York where I now live or arts centres, theatres, festivals etc

Apart from the late 70's when I first got into folk music I cannot remember a time when the 'folk scene' for want of a better phrase was so vibrant with so many young people getting involved in the music I love


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 05:24 PM

the original post asked the following questions. please could we stick to the questions
Is the uk folk revival rudderless?What direction is it taking?
here is an extract from the Newcastle degree course[ I could see no mention of teaching organisational skills or encouragement to teach how to run clubs or festivals?

Is the revival being directed by agents and professional performers towards Art centres and away from community based clubs?Or is it heading that way because of lack of available club rooms?
How do organisers overcome the lack of available pub rooms for venues other than approaching bowls clubs, cricket clubs, british legion clubs,


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 05:02 PM

I'd imagine, also, that after a while remembering all the next notes and all the next words would get relatively easy but, as you say Tim, other factors make it a hard (folky) way to earn a living.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: RTim
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 04:54 PM

Walkaboutsverse....You have hit the nail on the head!! I have thought about going Professional a number of times in the last 40 plus years......and it is a tough row to hoe. It is not just having enough songs, etc. to fill 2 Folk Club slots - it is also a matter of travelling, meeting people you don't know - and then making enough money to have a living!! Besides missing your family and friends, and find time to keep your Repertoire fresh - ie. learning new songs...etc.etc...and this is without the horrible job of selling yourself and finding gigs...

I have nothing but respect for those who do it, and have been doing it for years, Todays Folk Scene - on both sides of the Atlantic depends on those who are brave (or stupid) enough to do it....

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 04:51 PM

...I used to enjoy his radio presenting.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 04:47 PM

Here in Scotland we still get a few of the old favourites, we had Archie Fisher in a little village hall a couple of weeks ago. Archie is one of the few who can interpret traditional and contemporary songs in the folk idiom....I class his wonderful song Windward Away on a par with anything by Ewan MacColl.
Unfortunately the younger performers don't appear to favour solo work and the fashion is for a four or five piece group with guitars keyboards and the ubiquitous drum kit. There is usually a young female singer who can barely be heard over the din as they thrash their instruments to pieces....the volume is absolutely unbelievable and the genre of little account. These kids are carted around by adoring parents who are under the misapprehension that they had produced talent.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 03:29 PM

"It takes guts and often considerable sacrifice to try and make it as a professional folksinger" (Big Al)...and stamina I would imagine - big difference between committing about 10-15 minutes of poems and songs to memory and 1.5 - 2 hours worth for a gig at a folk club.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 03:16 PM

'Junior Crehan (now twenty years dead) put it in a nutshell when he said "The music was ruined when money came into the picture"


Well maybe if you were sharing middens with him - you would know all his songs and agree with him.

However a lot of us only get to know about folk music through the activities of professional folksingers. To be honest - apart from a very lucky few - most folksingers could earn more money doing something else. They do it from devotion to the craft. And I, along with many others owe them - they have enriched our lives.

It takes guts and often considerable sacrifice to try and make it as a professional folksinger.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 03:12 PM

If ‘Kenny’ is who I think he is, Ray, he has a very great deal of experience of performing in folk-venues all over the UK and beyond.

Apologies if I’m mistaken.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 03:10 PM

It may have changed but, in 2010, Newcastle's Green Festival was free entry and no payment for performers - except a ticket for a free vegetarian meal and, thus, I have literally sung - including "Just Subsist" - for my supper!


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 02:52 PM

Re payment
Love telling this story, which is why I tell it so often
Irish broadcaster, Cairán mac Mathunna was recording an elderly fiddle player who loved very frugally in remote rural Kerry for one of his programmes
They spent the night playing, recording and chatting until Cairán stood up and said, "Now there's the question of a small recording fee"
The old man thought for a minute and finally said, "I have no money in the house at present, but I'm taking a bullock too the mart tomorrow if you don't mind waiting"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Kenny
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 02:43 PM

Do you play or sing Kenny? or are you audience only?
Oh, I play a bit. What do you mean by audience "only" ?

How often does the club meet?
Every week.

Are there many members and how many singers attending?
No idea - you'd need to ask them. But it's a fraction of what it has been in the past. I no longer wish to have anything to do with the club. I was a member for over 30 years. I merely mentioned their change in policy for discussion, as it would seem to me to be relevant to this thread.

What has been the booking policy for guests prior to this change?
They've booked professional guests at varying times from 3 a month
[ 1980s ] to 1 a month.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Stringsinger
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 02:05 PM

As soon as folk performing becomes monetized, it falls under the category of professional entertainment or show business. I see that as being unhealthy in many ways. I have no argument with anyone who wants to be a professional entertainer singing folk songs or otherwise. But this is not the tradition of folk music which is reflective of a culture that stands apart from show business.

The professional folksinger is a contradiction and may be an oxymoron depending on the old what is folk music discussion. It could be in some cases argued that the two roles overlap since much of what we know of folk music emanates from popular entertainment. This discussion is relevant because a lot of traditional folk music has either been eclipsed or ignored by those in the music business. In America, it's part of our musical imperialism. But there is a body of tradition that doesn't come under the classification of popular entertainment and exists independently. This is what we might call "folk art" which sounds elitist but doesn't purport to be anything approaching classical music which is maintained for the concert stage. There are traditional singers and instrumentalists who evolve independently of the market place. They should not only be not ignored but relegated to a level of respect and enjoyed for what they bring to the table.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 01:53 PM

Do you play or sing Kenny? or are you audience only?

How often does the club meet?

Are there many members and how many singers attending?

What has been the booking policy for guests prior to this change?

Ray


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 01:47 PM

"the uk folk revival in 2019" Anyone ?
Aberdeen Folk Club - over 50 years old - has now apparently adopted a policy of not booking ANY professional guests, or at least, not paying them. I don't see that as an indication of a healthy folk scene, and certainly not progress.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 01:29 PM

Eric Bogle (born 23 September 1944) is a Scottish folk singer-songwriter. Born and raised in Scotland, he emigrated to Australia at the age of 25, to settle near Adelaide, South Australia. Bogle's songs have covered a variety of topics, and have been performed by many artists. Two of his best known songs are "No Man's Land" (or "The Green Fields of France") and "And the Band Played Waltzing

see the wiki also

Ray


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 12:35 PM

That was a general comment not aimed at anybody in particular Al and certainly nobody here, whether I share your taste or not
I've ben in arguments on this forum where an appeal for minimum standards has been described as "elitism that is bound to put off people
It seems to me, clubs that invite the public in are committed in principle not to allow their evenings to fall beneath a certain standard

"I am not rising to your bait."
No bait offered - feel free to gon and attempt to be someone else's Nemesis - your efforts have fallen on stony ground here as as far as I'm concerned :-)
Jim -


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 12:22 PM

'I have abused no-one'

you said we had abysmal standards....which is true, but its not nice saying it.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 12:19 PM

now now! girls! no handgags!


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Nemisis
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 11:32 AM

I am not rising to your bait.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 11:16 AM

"I doubt if anyone would disagree"
We already have one self-appointed oracle hovering above us waiting to be consulted - we don't need another
Please don't presume to speak for others
It always raises a smile when I see accusations of abusive behaviour delivered abusively - I have abused no-one, unlike your last post (and others) If you have anything to say on what I have argued please do so - preferably without te abuse
If not, feel free not to
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Nemisis
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 11:09 AM

Jack Didn't mention any names but his arrow obviously hit the mark.
"Down goes my respect another notch for such unnecessary abusive language" coming from yourself that is really rich
I doubt if anyone would disagree


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Raggytash
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 11:06 AM

I'll second that a very apt description.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 10:57 AM

"self-righteous arseholes."
Down goes my respect another notch for such unnecessary abusive language
THat it should find favour is somewhat depressing, if indicative of the level some people choose to operate at
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Nemisis
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 10:48 AM

Jack Campin
I don't often agree with ALL the things you post but the phrase

"No kind of music is worth participating in if the prerequisite is perpetual arguments with self-righteous arseholes."

is a gem and should put forwards as be the Mudcat Cafe's motto


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 10:09 AM

I (we) have had enough about folk revival of the 1950/60/70 we I say again are in 2019
Constant harking back to minutiae does not help and it is current state of what is on offer ~ not what people think others should be doing


Count me as one of the optimists. I mostly know and play with people much younger than me; it hasn't always been that way, and the reason is mainly that I like and respect them more than folk of my generation and older. They are more likely to have done their research (after all, there is far more available now) and they are less likely to subject everyone around them to displays of raving egomania. No kind of music is worth participating in if the prerequisite is perpetual arguments with self-righteous arseholes.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 09:58 AM

"The difficulty is, Jim, that you seem to be the only person who believes that folk song has been "exorcised out""
Really Howard
You haven't seen the postings which describe being left feeing uncomfortable or unwelcome for singing unaccompanied traditional songs
I was invited above to go and look elsewhere in places that didn't specialise in folk songs if that's what I wanted
The arguments put forward is't that folk song (proper) is thriving but that it is no longer relevant, or that 'folk' has come to mean something else, or it has become undefinable
I walked out of the scene when I spent nights in clubs without hearing a folk song - somebody above describes having exactly the same experience
When I left thousands of others like me did the same, for the same reason
We didn't evapourayte in the open air - many are still around but no longer involved
I know some excellent singers of folk songs who no longer bother because they end up being depressed at the content of the evenings and the abysmal standards
Pat and I were luclky inasmuch as we had a deep enough interest in the songs and their implications to continue working at them
I have never been so active as I am at present
One of my main regrets is that I can no longer hear or sing the traditional songs I love
Another is that the generations following us won;'t be given the opportunity we had to wallow in our wonderful traditional songs
That is why I'm still prepared to make myself the pain in the arse I am to some people - lonfg may I have the energy to be so
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Howard Jones
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 09:35 AM

"If there is a case to answer that folk song proper has been exorcised out of the present folk revival, then it is not only acceptable but is essential that it is discussed, if possible, by a friendly and intelligent exchange of ideas, no matter how firmly and passionately put."

The difficulty is, Jim, that you seem to be the only person who believes that folk song has been "exorcised out". Whenever this is discussed plenty of people come along to show that this is not true and that folk song proper remains at the core of the current folk revival.

Of course there will be some venues where that is not true, but this was always the case, as your description of the different types of folk club that could once be found in Manchester shows. It may be that some venues describing themselves as "folk clubs" permit to wide a range of music and should more properly be called open-mics. That is unfortunate, but the term is not protected like an appellation controlee and there is nothing to be done to prevent this. At any venue it is ultimately the audience which decides what it is willing to listen to. Taking the scene as a whole, however, I still see traditional folk at the heart of it.

It may be that you don't like the way that traditional songs are now being interpreted. However the folk scene has always gone its own way, from Cecil Sharp's piano arrangements to the guitars of the 60s and 70s and the variety of instruments used today. On the other hand, I would say there is now much greater interest in traditional styles, and people now have much easier access to archive recordings, than when I started out, when we assumed that apart from the Coppers all the folk singers had died out at the time of Cecil Sharp. We took our influences from revival performers, not from the sources.

It is a pity that folk music has dropped out of most people's consciousness, except as something to be sneered at. Nevertheless the revival carries on and it has adapted to meet changes in society. It is unsurprising that the older generation thinks things were better back in its day, but things have to change. There is a younger generation which is enthusiastically and passionately involved with folk music, including traditional music, and who will carry it forward.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 08:58 AM

R. Padgett

The revival in 2019 -state of the union type thing obviously has some deep resonance for you.

Give us a clue....what are your opinions?

Most of us won't dismiss them out of hand.

There are a lot of people in England, and a lot of diversity. I see a lot of differences here in the West Country to what things were like in the Midlands.

I think you will find it hard to generalise about England.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 08:55 AM

Agreed - I love listening to music from other nations, too, Akenaton.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 08:35 AM

WV.....I fully understand and agree with your point, but that should not stop us appreciating other forms of traditional music.
Tuba Skinny are about more than just the material they perform. They lift the spirit and inspire emotions; I defy anyone to listen to them and keep their feet still.
Additionally they bring their music directly to the people.
In England, a banjo player called Dave Hum had the same idea RIP.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 08:17 AM

"in the US there is another revival of New Orleans style street music led by an amazing group of musicians called Tuba Skinny....positive and inclusive...I love them, especially the little "leader" Shay and the fantastic singer Erica Lewis.   This is the folk music of Black America, full of life and sometimes pathos.....Heads UP...and give it a listen!" (Akenaton)...but be inspired to practice and perform YOUR OWN culture; as I was allowed to say on the BBC's Free Thinking event at the Sage Gateshead a few years ago, "If you are not American don't Americanise, for the love of our world being multicultural."


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 08:12 AM

PS
Give my regards to the goat
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 07:32 AM

"Can we all please address the title of this posting"
Up to now you have been quite happy to follow this line of discussion quite cheerfully and enthusiastically now it appears, having been presented with a challenge that you don't wish to rise to you cry "thread drift" - hmmm
Sorry - no takers

What is happening today is directly related to how folk song is defined and interpreted - not 'minutiae' but folk song's raison d'ętre
If there is a case to answer that folk song proper has been exorcised out of the present folk revival, then it is not only acceptable but is essential that it is discussed, if possible, by a friendly and intelligent exchange of ideas, no matter how firmly and passionately put.
Frankly Ray, some of the backbiting, evasion and personal insulting has 'got my goat' - it is unpleasant and totally unnecessary.

There are more than enough 'fanzine-type' threads on this forum for anybody wishing to say how lovely everything is in the garden and who their heroes are, there are precious few enabling us to discuss our gripes, disappointments and misgivings
'Definitions' has become a heavily mined 'no-go area' as has the work of MacColl and The Critics.

You didn't start this thread - Dick Miles did - so far he hasn't called 'thread drift' and I think I know his feelings well enough to believe he won't - even if he did, nobody has a right to direct the direction of any opened topic
If you don't wish to take part in this discussion please feel free not to, but please don't encroach on anybody else's right to do so
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 07:08 AM

Well Ray, that is exactly what I was saying in my last post, There is no folk revival and what is being presented today under the guise of folk bears no relation to the sound or the purpose of traditional music which was an essential part of our lives. Folk music has become a niche interest discussed ad nauseum by a bunch of old people in an internet backwater.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 07:08 AM

...but then, Ray, I have definitely seen footage from the 60s of folks involved in the revival then discussing/arguing over how things should be done.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 06:54 AM

The UK folk revival in 2019

Can we all please address the title of this posting

I (we) have had enough about folk revival of the 1950/60/70 we I say again are in 2019

Constant harking back to minutiae does not help and it is current state of what is on offer ~ not what people think others should be doing

Frankly Jim you have got my goat!

Ray


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 06:25 AM

"just a quick breath after each line of verse"
We have singing exercises for breathing that can extend it beyond that
One of MacColl's Party pieces was to sing a verse of Galway Races in one breath - Tail Toddle he could manage at his best - - 2 choruses and a verse in one breath (I have recordings of him doing it somewhere)
I managed 'Galway' a few times when I was young and Tail Toddle twice
These were exercises - not for public performances
The trick with singing is to be able to manage a snatch break at a comma and a full breath at a full stop - as you would if you were speaking it
(Jim)...In my song about (just!) swimming from "State to State" in Australia, I use both one breath per line of verse, and one breath per stanza for affect; but, generally, I think one breath per line is good as it marks where each line of verse begins and ends - rather than put the words on a screen, as happens at some churches.

When I am reading poetry aloud I do the same - one breath per line of verse so folks know where I am at.

On my tenor records, I occasionally practise C - g and back again, chromatically, on one breath.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 06:14 AM

'"Intended audience" was the last thing that influenced his songwriting - the subject matter was the be-all and end-all of all his creations - he made songs because he felt the necessity to say something - as I believe all those anonymous people who made our folk-songs did who made our folk-songs'

That's a very interestingf and profound thought - worthy of a thread on its own. After all I don't know what I'm going to do tomorrow, god alone knows what the folk revival will do before the new year.

I always thinkthe most successful song carries with them their own proscenium arch, like in a theatre.

Sometimes the proscenium arch is the speakers of a juke box. Sometimes its posh stereo system which lets you hear every harmony and overtone.

Sometimes its the song that gets the eleven o'clock drinkers in a pub get up and dance.

Sometimes that decision about the song can be made by the performer. I once saw a fabulous performance of the shanty lowlands sang as a chorale piece by the cast of a production of Treasure Island.

Ewan's proscenium was very flexible, because of the diverse skills that he and Peggy had as performers. But having said that they were masters of the folk club as the proscenium arch - the intended audience.

I never really saw Ewan's songs as a howl in the desert of human relationships - in the way that Robert Johnson's were. I doubt Robert ever got to play many of his own introspective songs in the dumps he seemed to play. Probably his hit Terraplane Blues.

Ewan was a master of language, and his words were by turn witty and heartbreaking. I'm sure he intended there to be an audience.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 06:12 AM

What a strange piece of revisionist history
So many of us being fooled for so long
The "myth2 you described fooled the best of Scotland's intellectuals and poets and, as it was largely based on what was still being drawn from the remnants of living traditions, large numbers of traditional singers from both the settled and Traveller communities
I suggest you read and listen to what people like Sheila Stert and her like had to say and write - 'Scottish Studies' might be a good place to start
Utter nonsense on most counts there Ake - the best yet, in my experience
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 05:54 AM

There is no revival in comparison to the fifties, which has been shown not to have been a revival at all..... moves to modernise the genre(if it is a genre)….have been totally unsuccessful, turning off "the people" in droves. The exhibition of the young people who perform under the banner of folk nowadays is excruciatingly painful to me as a listener with a lifelong interest in traditional music. The majority of these performers seem to have no general appeal and what they perform has only a passing resemblance to the inclusive amateur traditional music of my childhood.   I'm afraid time have changed right enough and modern society neither needs nor wants proper inclusivity.
On reflection traditional music differed greatly in different areas of the country and those variants did not transfer easily. Here in the West of Scotland traditional music was almost exclusively Gaelic, usually accompanied by jigs reels and waltz...always the dancing, an integral part. I suppose most parts of Great Britain had there own brand of traditional music with Morris or Irish dancing as part of the process.    The decline is definitely down to societal change an is almost certainly terminal if society continues to lose its cohesion.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 04:11 AM

"if he is using folk styles he is doing what contemporary folk song writer do!
That depends on the writer and the song he/she created"
I was referring to MacColl, of course - 300 plus known composed songs and god knows how many forgotton ones (according to his widow)
The term "folk" has been made so meaningless by (often deliberate) misuse that many of today's folk composers imitate non-folk styles anyway (Ed Shearan and Ray Davis's names have come up, for instance)
MacColl sang his own songs , but he sang far more traditional ones - (he breathed fresh life into around 140 Child Ballads), so it was inevitable that the two would merge

"Intended audience" was the last thing that influenced his songwriting - the subject matter was the be-all and end-all of all his creations - he made songs because he felt the necessity to say something - as I believe all those anonymous people who made our folk-songs did who made our folk-songs
His best songs (in my opinion) were made by taking recorded actuality from the people the songs were about and using the information and language to create new songs - Sam Larner, Ronnie Balls, Ben Bright, Jack Hamilton, Jack Elliot,,,,
It was this technique, not MacColl's folkness that made the songs the great compositions that they were
I know MacColl rejected the description 'Folk song writer' because he said it often enough in my company - he considered it important
He also considered it important that new songs were created using the old models if the revival was going to mean anything other than being a museum for old songs.

"No no traditional and folk song are not the same"
You can repeat this until your arse drops off, but until you explain yourself and prove it to be the case it will never be more than a denial.
I've shown you mine - now it's your turn to show me yours Ray

Your starter for ten:
Why are they not the two sides of the same coin ?
"Folk" refers to the social group that probably made them, identified with them, and took ownership of them as being 'local' or Norfolk' or 'family' songs
"Traditional" refers to the way they were manipulated and adapted to suit the particular singers and their communities - the journey they take from their original composer(s) through their existence

Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 03:00 AM

"No we can't - folk isn't a "style" it's a process identified with a social group
Your list is how one of the most prolific composer on it describes himself - "a contemporary song-maker who makes songs using folk styles"
If he rejected the description "folk song writer" who the hell is anybody here to contradict him!

How do you know whoever he "rejected the description ~ folk song writer" if he is using folk styles he is doing what contemporary folk song writer do! He may well not be writing in the genre of course and therefore not be a folk song writer and of course be a popular song writer! Yes not all contemporary songs are folk songs!

It is the style, the content of the subject matter and intention of the writer and of course of the intended audience that defines whether it is a folk song or not

No no traditional and folk song are not the same thing no matter how much you would like it be

Ray


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 07:54 PM

"And that's good."
Only if they are worth it Al
"something is missing, as far as I'm concerned."
Amen to that
"I will just say the 1954 definition and its adherents have done a great deal of damage to the folk music of England and the UK."
I have reservations about some of it's shortcomings but I think it did far more good than harm
I think those that have insisted that folk doesn't need a definition has robbed it of its uniqueness and bloody near killed it off
If '54 hasn't done the trick then nobody has come up with a better one to date

"just a quick breath after each line of verse"
We have singing exercises for breathing that can extend it beyond that
One of MacColl's Party pieces was to sing a verse of Galway Races in one breath - Tail Toddle he could manage at his best - - 2 choruses and a verse in one breath (I have recordings of him doing it somewhere)
I managed 'Galway' a few times when I was young and Tail Toddle twice
These were exercises - not for public performances
The trick with singing is to be able to manage a snatch break at a comma and a full breath at a full stop - as you would if you were speaking it
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 07:26 PM

I'm not keen on village halls. I can see that those concerts provide money for pro folksingers.   And that's good. However the atmosphere is very much like a concert.....something is missing, as far as I'm concerned.

I think maybe its the working class.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 05:49 PM

Meanwhile, what about the original question ? Anybody ?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 04:56 PM

I had never heard of Sydney Grew (author of that glob of cliched dreck Starship linked to) before, and there's a reason for that. I can't imagine any publication that had to spend money on real paper accepting that today.

Completely irrelevant to the present situation of any genre of music in Britain or anywhere else.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Raggytash
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 04:11 PM

I've just deleted my intended reply as I don't wish to upset the vast majority of people here.

I will just say the 1954 definition and its adherents have done a great deal of damage to the folk music of England and the UK.


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