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The current state of folk music in UK

r.padgett 31 Oct 19 - 04:15 AM
The Sandman 31 Oct 19 - 04:00 AM
Raggytash 30 Oct 19 - 05:52 PM
The Sandman 30 Oct 19 - 05:39 PM
Raggytash 30 Oct 19 - 05:31 PM
Raggytash 30 Oct 19 - 05:24 PM
The Sandman 30 Oct 19 - 05:12 PM
Dave the Gnome 30 Oct 19 - 04:34 PM
Raggytash 30 Oct 19 - 04:32 PM
punkfolkrocker 30 Oct 19 - 04:23 PM
Dave the Gnome 30 Oct 19 - 04:11 PM
Raggytash 30 Oct 19 - 04:06 PM
punkfolkrocker 30 Oct 19 - 03:57 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Oct 19 - 03:55 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Oct 19 - 03:36 PM
Dave the Gnome 30 Oct 19 - 03:07 PM
Raggytash 30 Oct 19 - 02:46 PM
Dave the Gnome 30 Oct 19 - 02:37 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Oct 19 - 01:41 PM
The Sandman 30 Oct 19 - 01:38 PM
punkfolkrocker 30 Oct 19 - 01:22 PM
Dave the Gnome 30 Oct 19 - 12:36 PM
r.padgett 30 Oct 19 - 12:06 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Oct 19 - 11:54 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Oct 19 - 11:22 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Oct 19 - 10:15 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Oct 19 - 09:53 AM
Jack Campin 30 Oct 19 - 09:40 AM
Jack Campin 30 Oct 19 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,Guest Tim 30 Oct 19 - 08:42 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Oct 19 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,CJ 30 Oct 19 - 06:54 AM
Howard Jones 30 Oct 19 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 30 Oct 19 - 04:54 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 30 Oct 19 - 04:44 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Oct 19 - 04:42 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Oct 19 - 04:38 AM
The Sandman 30 Oct 19 - 04:21 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Oct 19 - 04:07 AM
r.padgett 30 Oct 19 - 03:56 AM
r.padgett 30 Oct 19 - 03:51 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Oct 19 - 03:23 AM
The Sandman 29 Oct 19 - 10:42 PM
The Sandman 29 Oct 19 - 10:10 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 19 - 09:08 PM
GUEST,Joe G 29 Oct 19 - 07:58 PM
Brian Peters 29 Oct 19 - 05:04 PM
Big Al Whittle 29 Oct 19 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,Starship 29 Oct 19 - 04:15 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Oct 19 - 04:03 PM
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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 31 Oct 19 - 04:15 AM

Only met Harry Boardman twice ~ once at Barnsley folk club ~ have/had a recording someone did once! and at Sidmouth ff ~ "You Yorkshire lads like your growlers he said to me and my mate Johnny Booker" finding food at the time was a problem! [at the festival]

Songs and material Harry had was deeply Lancashire and had historical social interest ~ he was good musician in his accompaniments on banjo and concertina ~ Mark Dowding has researched and sings a great number of Harry's collected music andis a fine presenter of his material

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Oct 19 - 04:00 AM

To call him harry boredom on a public forum is to castigate him, Harry was a nationally respected figure on the uk folk scene, you are an insignificant twerp hiding behind a psudonym, who also used this phrase to link harry and jim. you and your puerile young twerps may have called him childish names, that does not mean he was known as harry boredom on the national folk scene,he cartainly was a respected figure who will be remembered long after insignificant twerps like yourself have been forgotten. not only are you an insignificant little twerp. you are atempting to destroy his musical reputation kindly fuck off


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 05:52 PM

Dick, I lived in Manchester, I went to the MSG, the Ring o' Bells, the Star at Higher Broughton and many other clubs around South East Lancashire.

I can assured you he was UNIVERSALLY known as Harry Boredom.

I seem to recall Harry Ogden, who fronted Piccadily Radio's folk programme in the late 70's, referring to him as such on the radio on more than one occasion.

I am not castigating him as a human being. Can you understand that?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 05:39 PM

it was not a fact , Harry was not regarded by many on the uk folk revival as boring apart from perhaps you and your mates, your little bunch of mates[was not the universe] and hardly representative of the uk folk revival. you claim he was universally known as harry boredom ,well i played his club a couple of times and also played ring of bells middleton and star salford and many clubs in the manchester area and never heard him referred to in that way., in fact he was a very well respected club organiser and national performer, you however are unecessarily unpleasant about someone who did much for the manchester folk scene and who appeared regularly on national folk radio and was in demand for many years on the uk folk scene, give it a break


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 05:31 PM

I should have added he may have been a thoroughly nice man who helped little old ladies across the road but on the folk scene he was a bore to many people of my age.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 05:24 PM

Dick, I am merely stating fact. If you do not like that fact it doesn't alter it was a fact.

I didn't know Harry very well, I was a kid and he was about 40 at the time, our paths crossed on many occasions but he possibly thought of me as a young whippersnapper and I, like many others, thought of him as a boring old fart.

Take that as you will.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 05:12 PM

I knew Harry Boardman he was a good performer who was not boring.this sort of insulting of dead people who contributed to the folk revival is in my opinion appallingmost people i know and that includes many present stalwarts of the folk revival such as brian peters and mark dowding hold Harry in high regard. Raggy tash I am fairly sure he will be rememberd respectfully when you will be forgotten


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 04:34 PM

Good idea, PFR but I suspect you may be disappointed.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 04:32 PM

Thinking back to when I first got involved in folk clubs one of the people about at the time was one of Jim's ilk, Harry Boardman.

He was UNIVERSALLY known as Harry BOREDOM.

I was lucky, I knew and befriended many others who encouraged me and others.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 04:23 PM

Now now mudcat mates...

I'm genuinely asking Jim to try to shift his focus,
and indicate how he'd be a positive influence on potentially embryonic young UK folkies in 2019...?????


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 04:11 PM

So then Jim. Seeing as your finger is so on the pulse of what is happening with folk music in the UK, do you have anything to refute my claim that we can see and hear good quality folk music at any time in the UK? After all, it is all about the music isn't it? Not collecting songs like train numbers or old blokes talking about how good things used to be.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 04:06 PM

No doubt about the answer to that.

If they listened to Jim they'd probably run a mile.

If they listened to the (much maligned) Spinners or even Ed Sheeran they may be encouraged to look further.

Who has done more for encouraging the wonders of folk music .........?

Certainly not the Carrolls of this world.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 03:57 PM

Jim..

What I'm interested in hearing is what you'd have to say to a young [UK.. not Irish..] teenager in 2019,
who lives nowhere near any regular folk clubs,
who's family and community have no background in or care for folk music,
but has heard a few recent folk flavoured chart pop hits,
and expressed an interest in finding out more about 'folk music'...???

..and do you think that kid's curiosity might be further encouraged,
or put off by your advice...???


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 03:55 PM

Incidentally
To anybody interested
I've just been rea
ding a report ov the collecting work carried out by Tom Munnelly
He collected 22,000 songs or part songs from Travellers
That's got to be worth something - it staggered me
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 03:36 PM

"Jim, by your own admission you haven't been on the English folk scene for years, if not decades."
I get rather tied of saying that I don't have to have been
People here have told me what I can expect there over and over again
I know that the numbers have dropped by thousands
I know that people have argued that folk clubs are unnecessary
I've been told that if I want folk clubs I need to look elsewhere
I've been told that folk son means different things to different people
I am still in touch with old friends who left the scene as I did and have re-tried over and over again
If I visit a successful club which does folk songs
I always follow recommendations of good singers and find most miles away from folk song proper, mostly swimming in musical soup
What's going to a folk club going to tell me that you lot haven't
You are contradicting yourselves like mad - on the one hand you say that my (the long-established) idea of folk song is dead; on the other, you say folk song is alive and kicking
Which one of your answers do you want me to accept - 'you can't b true to two' as teh old song used to say ?

No-one is dwelling on past glories Dave - yet another red herring
I'm saying hose who call themselves 'folk' have a responsibility to the title they chose

If you spent as much effort answering questions as you do dodging them this discussion might get somewhere
Please dont insult my intelligence (again) by asking "whicch questions - take your pick
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 03:07 PM

I think Jim does have a point. Things are just not what they used to be. I shall not comment on whether that is good or bad but shall say that there is no point dwelling on past glories. The irrefutable truth is that good quality folk music is available to anyone all over the place. If anyone wishes to dispute that claim, I would be interested to hear the evidence.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 02:46 PM

Jim, by your own admission you haven't been on the English folk scene for years, if not decades.

Dave is a regular visitor to folk cubs, I think he may have a better insight into the folk scene, at least in the area he travels in than you do.

The folk scene in my area, when I am in England is vibrant, AND by two closest clubs are not mentioned in the lists provided as I suggest dozens of others are not.

I and I suspect most people do not NEED or WISH to define folk music, we leave that to people like yourself.

I will add that had I met your in the late sixities when I started visited clubs I would hve run a mile, you would have bored me stiff and I certainly wouldn't have gone on to perform, run clubs and help orgainse festivals.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 02:37 PM

WWhich bit of "I have give up discussing it with you" are you having problems with, Jim?

If you have anything to refute my claim that we can see and hear good quality folk music at any time in the UK, feel free.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 01:41 PM

"I have give up discussing it with you, Jim"
You really haven't begun Dave - you have refused to respond to a single point I have made so far
If you have any doubts about my claims about EFDSS I suggest you log into its on-line musical examples - second rate singer songwriters all with the exception of one competent box-player
THe clun downstairs was one of those I left swearing never to go back - crib sheets, and mobile phones and a lorra-lorra poor, out of tune singing of indifferent or non-folk songs

I'm a little surprised you should advocate on their behald because the only thing they are doing well at present is aimed at researchers like me with putting the Sharp Diaries on line - not your bag, I would have thought
I spent hours volunteering for work in Sharp House, largely due to my respect for Malcolm and the other Librarians and my friendship with Nibs and Jean Matthews, all the work we did then was gradually negated by 'them upstairs' who were more interested in formal dances for the nobs than they were folk song and music
They made the lives of the Librarians Gawd Luv 'Em an utter misery
Their refusal to move the Library upstairs to expand shelf space meant the turning down of important collections, like The Leslie Shepherd and other major collections and, for an organisation that heralds itself as being about music, their listening facilities are a joke for England's leading/only folk establishment
They should have sold the building instead of clinging onto is as a mausoleum to 'Dear Cecil'
I really have been there and done that and got the scars to prove it

If you don't wish o discuss my ideas or put forward any of yours, that's your prerogative, but please don't try to pretend you have

"Care of course is that singers can end up getting too close to some of the source singer voice affectations "
A thousand times yes Ray, but this isn't just confined to source singers - I got as tired of hearing Martin Mimickers and Bobby Bleaters and Joanie Clones as I did MacColl soundalikes in the early days
"use their own voices" should be part of every singers DNA, though imitation can be an invaluable for finding how the voice is produced
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 01:38 PM

Jim a n udeal but the reality in my experience is tghia floor singers and residents up their game when the likes of martin carthy ewan maccoll, nic jones, fred jordan margaret barry watersons nic dow lou killen cyril tawney were available and playing to a high standrad in weekly guest booking clubs , now we have ,lots of singer clubs with some poor unprofessional papoer shuffling performances


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 01:22 PM

So then.. has "The current state of folk music in UK" improved much as a result of this thread...???

Will folks be jubilantly celebrating..

"Folk music has now entered a new golden era in 2020
thanks to the tireless squabbling of a few cranky old blokes at Mudcat...
hip hip hooray... three cheers for grumpy old mudcatters!!!
"...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 12:36 PM

I have give up discussing it with you, Jim. Whenever you proclaim that English Folk is a basket case I shall put the record straight and leave it at that. There is no point in doing anything else.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 12:06 PM

I do think it important that folk singers listen to source singers and as many of them as is possible that have been recorded ~similarly MacColl, Lloyd; Bellamy and the other revivalist singers

Care of course is that singers can end up getting too close to some of the source singer voice affectations ~ of course it is vital that singers "use their own voices" in performance of song material

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 11:54 AM

" but the clubs I attended in their heyday had both. "
I too experienced both good guests and competent residents
The clubs I was involved in avareged no more than on geust a month, often less
We ascertained that guests were of high enough standard to not put off new people and were performing songs that were comparable with those of the residents - no "something new to draw in new people"
These included Seamus Ennis, Sarah Grey, Paddy Tunney Walter Pardon, Kevin Mitchell.... and a whole bunch of Irish London Musicians who took to the clu scene like ducks to water
One of our clubs gave a fresh-faced Irish fiddler Kevin Burke his first booking
When we booked Na Fili we ran an extra event to allow Tomás Ó Canainn to take a workshop the following day
The residents evenings - usually three/four performers, included Singers from the floor spots just before or sometimes just after the interval and were usually restricted to one song - two if time allowed it and the singer was good enough
Residents were asked to not repeat the song within two months if possible unless they were requested so audiences were not asked to listen to the same-old-same old week after week
The Audience committee frequently discussed the standard of singing so it didn't fall beneath an acceptable level
We ran regular themed feature evenings which sometimes included poetry and prose; actor Ian Cuthbertson turned up one night and volunteered to do one of these
One of the most enjoyable types of feature weer our "you name it, we'll sing it" - audience members sent up coded clues or subjets for songs and the residents (chosen for their size of repertoire) would try to oblige
I remember a feller sending up a slip reading "gazumphed builder and accomplice executed for torturing and killing wife and child of cheating customer" - he wanted 'Lamkin'

We called for volunteers regularly and asked for suggestions for themes and future guests
We also asked residents to volunteer to help aspiring singers if they wanted advice and eventually set up a permanent workshop both for newbies and to do work and research among ourselves
Sandra Kerr set up our first permanent workshop at the request of a number of new singers - it ran for nearly fifteen years
It worked
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 11:22 AM

" false reports "
You are just putting up unsubstantiated statements
A scene with only 130 clubs where the audiences have been turned from activ participants to to passive observers cannot be described as 'healthy'
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 10:15 AM

In amongst the false reports of the demise of folk music there have been a couple of genuine concerns that on reflection may be linked. The first is people not learning their songs. I agree that it is bad form to stutter and stumble through a large ringbinder, or small iPad, without having put any effort in to learning the words. It reflects badly on the singer and the club and does no favours to the folk world in general. If I was entering a club for the first time and it happened, I would be put off. I must say though that I do not see it that often. Maybe others do.

The second is not as many clubs booking artists. I can see this too. At Swinton, for instance, we used to have one or two singers nights a month. Now it is one guest a month. Where I am now though, both my local clubs have guests every other week in the main.

Where I see the two things being linked is through something Howard said. Where there are regular professional guests the whole standard seems to improve. I also agree with him that on guest nights, those not really prepared to put in the effort should not be inflicted on a paying audience. If they were to find they were only being offered floor spots on singers nights, maybe they would put a bit more effort in.

Just a thought.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 09:53 AM

"That's ludicrous fetishism."
Fetsihism !!!!
What the hell does that mean ?
Michcahel Coleman's pianist was playing professionally in the 1930s - anybody performing on albums for payment lays themselves open to the criticism they are likely to get
A bit different from a village carpenter giving his songs in order to keep them alive - a non-professional singing fro the love of his songs and very much entitled to have their singing protected from some of the brutality on display here
If you hadn't offered that you would never have persuaded any of them to go anywhere near a tape recorder
THese people were faerm workers etc, not seasoned performers
We would never have heard Harry Cox has this ham-fisted attitude been adopted
The BBC's taking the piss out of some of our best singers, as they did wwith shit programmes like 'My Music' (and they still do with Morris Dancing on "Have I Got News For You" made us all look like a bunch of freaks for liking such raw music
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 09:40 AM

No open furum like this should ever include attacks or even strong criticism of source singers dead or alive

That's ludicrous fetishism.

And horribly destructive to the project of making the music moire widely known. If you tell everybody curious about folk "sorry, any doubts you may have about the quality of any of this are out of line" nobody will give it the time of day.

Irish trad buffs are happy to admit that Michael Coleman's pianist was a bozo. Klezmer buffs would tell you the same about Belf's. Why should it be different for singers in the British Isles?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 09:12 AM

the collected traditional singers give that "bit" more in their interpretation of the songs

True, but there are a lot to choose from. If I was making the choice between sounding like Joseph Taylor or Sheila Stewart, the traveller heritage wouldn't swing it.


so which better to try to emulate in the folk song clubs?

Maybe you might want to emulate somebody mannered and obscure but historically significant when in a club, but not if you were trying to make converts for the music in the outside world.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Guest Tim
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 08:42 AM

It’s interesting to read some of the stuff on here, glad I have the ability to speed read over some of the bile being spouted.
Last year the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival attracted (estimated) 60,000 people into the town over the weekend..., we performed at Teignmouth festival, every venue was rammed..even in Milton Keynes when our shanty group performs we sell out.
Since the advent of the Fisherman’s Friends so many people have been drawn into singing these types of songs, forming groups and performing in good style. Look at how many festivals around the county and particularly in my area, the south west.
In my opinion get out, bring the music to the people and attract folks to try, otherwise the tradition will die...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 08:35 AM

By thee way Howard
"opinion of Walter Pardon"
No open furum like this should ever include attacks or even strong criticism of source singers dead or alive - we need too take this sort of thing to our conferences and meetings where they are not likely to give hurt and offence
These people are/were not part of our revival - they were contributors to our knowledge and enjoyment
They are nearly all dead but their relatives aren't - I know at least two relatives of source singers who have posted to this forum and I have no doubt there have been more
One of Walter's relatives was Peter Bellamy's tutor - we met him on several occaions
I'm sure he was delighted to read his uncle's singing being described as it was
A little care and consideration goes a long way when you are dealing with human beings
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,CJ
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 06:54 AM

Pseudonymous, we all know Jim can be crotchety, but most of us can just ignore it and take his opinion as opinion. Like it or not, he does have a wealth of knowledge and experience. If the way he interprets that winds you up so much, just do something else with your spare time. He's only a man on the internet. When you first began posting on Mudcat, your posts were interesting and knowledgeable. Now when I see you have posted, I automatically suspect you'll be moaning on about Jim. Just ignore him, or communicate with him in a way that takes on board and accepts your obvious differences.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 06:32 AM

"with respect, a healthy scene was when guests were a welcome break from norm, not an end in themselves - the clubs stood or fell by the quality and the hard work of their residents"

Perhaps I was fortunate, but the clubs I attended in their heyday had both. They booked quality guests most weeks, with occasional singers' nights, but the standard of the residents was also high - possibly because performing on the same stage as a professional makes you up your game, and partly because singers who hadn't achieved at least some mastery of the craft weren't given floor spots on guest nights.

Whilst I don't share it for a moment, I do understand Pseudonymous's opinion of Walter Pardon. Most people get into folk music via revival performers - for me it was the Spinners and then BBC2s Folk on Friday. For many years I had no exposure to authentic traditional singing, and didn't realise that it even existed. Listening to traditional singers can be challenging when you are used to different styles of performance, and it takes time to develop an appreciation of their skill, which on first hearing can seem to be concealed by an apparently unpolished approach. This can be even more difficult when you have only recordings, and don't have the benefit of the singer in the same room.

Some of us who start through the revival eventually learn to understand and value traditional singers, but many others just don't get it. For many, "folk" means only the more polished interpretations of the folk revival.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 04:54 AM

Not ashamed of not thinking Walter Pardon wasn't particularly good as a singer either. I find the way he was lionised verging on the patronising, and one of the online recordings of an interview with him is a masterpiece of leading questions demonstrating poor research skills.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 04:44 AM

Folk song, by its very nature and origins is the act of communal sharing of each other's experiences

Nonsense. Not if it's singing songs hundreds of years old which nobody can agree about who wrote and what it is about.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 04:42 AM

It wasn't my success figure Jim. It was a figure quoted in a Wiki article and is in doubt anyway. How many more times do I need to tell you?

You can keep whinging on about how it is not like the good old days as much as you like as well. It doesn't stop me and countless others enjoying the healthy current state of folk in the UK. I really don't care what you think. I will believe the evidence of my own experience.

Dick, sorry you are not getting the bookings. Maybe the market is saturated?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 04:38 AM

Sorry Dick - with respect, a healthy scene was when guests were a welcome break from norm, not an end in themselves - the clubs stood or fell by the quality and the hard work of their residents, not how much you could afford to pay a guest

If you ever wanted a slogan for the folk scene try - REAL FOLK CLUBS DO IT FOR THEMSELVES
That way, both the amateur and the paid professional are the winners
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 04:21 AM

A club scene with ony 130 or 186 clubs (your "success" figures Dave) is not healthy - it's on life-support and waiting to be switched off" furthermore many of those clubs are not weekly guest booking clubs as was the case 30 years ago


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 04:07 AM

"Folk music is in pretty good condition"
Sorry Dave - you can repeat this until the cows come home and it doesn't make it any truer
It most certainly isn't and it won't be while nobody knows what it is
Folk song, by its very nature and origins is the act of communal sharing of each other's experiences - what you describe is people having to pay to become audiences or switching on the box to watch people perform
The media had hold of folk music once before and they demanded tha singers sat on hay-bales and dressed up like yokels, and sang anodyne songs that wouldn't scare the ladies or the horses - when they found it wasn't 'popular' they spat it out and turned elsewhere - and 'The Folk Boom' was over
Handing the songs back to the media is a betrayal of everything we stood for and it's shown in the crap that's doled out in The British Folk Awards ot programme two of the Sam Henry tribute
A similar thing is being tried by the Irish media at present - I turned on the RTE Folk Awards for five minutes last night and turned it off in disgust - it was as depressing as reading some of these postings
The media is the last thing to hold up as 'success'

The Festivals were showcases for the best - a display of what could be achieved - they were never the alternative to the clubs they are being trumpeted as now - they were a breather from the real thing

There is no reason that people shouldn't know what folk song is - it's uniqueness sets it apart from any other form of composition - you only have to open a collection and see waht it is - The Greig Duncan Collection wiill do or the massive Carpenter Collection or the stuff on the British Library or the Lomax on line web-sites
You want new songs to learn - I was exploring the Helen Hartness Flanders web-site a couple of months ago - full of English, Irish and Scots ballads and folk-songs that were taken to America at the end of the 19th century - just before Sharp and his crowd were mopping up their gems
These are not easy listening because of their condition, bu jaysus - if I was building my repertoire I'd think all my birthdays had come at once
The only reason people can claim they don't know what folk song is is because they don't want to

Folk song in Britain (England at least) is dangerously near extinction as a performed art and pretending it isn't is an act of euthanasia
The clubs gave us folk songs in a big way in the first place and their camaraderie and mutual respect built a scene where we could maybe disagree and maybe choose different aspects of this music/song, but we all moved in more-or-less the same direction   
A club scene with ony 130 or 186 clubs (your "success" figures Dave) is not healthy - it's on life-support and waiting to be switched off
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 03:56 AM

~~ from travellers as collected ~ they are surely the song Carriers ~ songbooks carry words and tunes ~ pleased that the likes of Jon Boden have put their collections available to give the tune and words ~ however the collected traditional singers give that "bit" more in their interpretation of the songs ~ so which better to try to emulate in the folk song clubs?

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 03:51 AM

Many recordings of singers and songs including traditional ballads exist the recordings provide an insight in to HOW the songs were being sung and owe their existence in many cases to that oral transmission


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 03:23 AM

Anyway. Back to the state of folk music in the UK.

Folk music is in pretty good condition. Not only can we go to clubs, sessions, festivals, concerts and all sorts of things to hear good folk music anytime but it is getting more exposure on mainstream media than it has for a long time. Most people on here seem to be in agreement. The disagreements arise from differing views of what folk music is.

Of course the Mudcat is only an online forum and may not reflect the true situation but, in my experience, there is not much wrong with the folk scene as it stands.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 10:42 PM

jack campin dismisses jeanie robertson belle stewart lizzie higgins,in this statement . And some of them hyped themselves very effectively with a combination of arcane mystique and guilt-tripping that had nothing to do with musical quality or distinctiveness.
of course jack, is second only to god in being an arbiter of musical quality and guilt tripping , is jack a priest? has he spent so much time in the confessional he knows so much about guilt tripping.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 10:10 PM

Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle - PM
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 04:33 PM

I never realised English folksong had so little to do with English people."
A comment that is debatable, however we are talking about the uk folk revival that involves scotland wales and northern ireland.
Ihave never heard such disgraceful inaccurate twaddle as this boolocks from jack cmping the man that on a previous occasion also insulted one of Englands great revival performers RoyHarris [Burl aka mudcat] upsetting Roy Harris very much, JACK YOU ARE A WONKER
subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin - PM
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 01:22 PM

The fact that the Travellers Vic mentions are dead rather makes the point that they were't hyped

It makes no such point. They were. And some of them hyped themselves very effectively with a combination of arcane mystique and guilt-tripping that had nothing to do with musical quality or distinctiveness.

Though neither Henderson nor MacColl/Seeger would have gone to the loony extreme you're doing and imply that we wouldn't know any of their songs without them.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 09:08 PM

Sorry Joe
I have tried to giv my opinion of the state of the Revival - that fact I feel myself to do so from the point of someone who was there a few years after it began makes it difficult to do so without referring back to how it was - even a couple of decades ago
I think the fact that there are people around who regard Walter Pardon, one of the last of our great benefactors in supplying us with our repertoires as an embarrassing poor singer and the Travellers who supplied us with a large and important part of our repertoire and gave us hours op pleasure at our clubs as "thieves and poachers", while so many stand by in silence (with a few notable exceptions) and allow this to happen, says everything that needs to be said about the state of folk music in the UK today.
Somewhere along the way the folk scene has lost its way and forgotten why we came together in the first place.
Many of us became involved not only to sing and listen to the songs but to try to put them into our lives by researching them aand passing them on to those following us in the hope they would get as much out of them as we did
Now we can't even discuss between ourselves what we are passing on and why - it is virtually impossible to discuss these subjects without screaming at each other - as for those we used to look up to with respect - this last distasteful episode has summed that up pretty well

If I have come away with anything, it is the impression that it is a total waste of time trying to drum up any British/English interest in all those recordings we have made of all those wonderful, knowledgeable, talented and generous people - I might just as well weigh them down and throw them in the Shannon

I won't do this of course - they are far to precious to be wasted because some people today just don't care
It's been shown over hear that youngsters can surprise you and take up the baton when you least expect it
I live in the hope that what has gone on here is not representative of the rest of the scene

My thanks Brian - I really needed your blast of intelligent dedication

WHAT DO YOU THINK MARY ?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 07:58 PM

I'm starting to lose the plot...... It's becoming like one of those TV dramas where you have to put the subtitles on and then wished you hadn't ;-) Seriously though I think we are starting to lose the wood for the trees. I appreciate the detailed comments here and have read them all but there does seem to be tangents that have been gone off at more than they perhaps needed to be. But hey that's Mudcat and I am not going to complain but perhaps we could refocus on the current state of folk music in the UK?

Also a reminder to please be respectful to each other. It does no one any favours if insults are traded

As you were ;-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Brian Peters
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 05:04 PM

"they [travellers] are major contributors to both our pleasure and our knowledge"

I don't see how anyone with a knowledge of traditional singing could dispute this comment of Jim's. Not only have traveller communities maintained old ballads in oral tradition long after settled communities abandoned them, but their versions are full of departures from 'standard' texts and often have really interesting tunes. Go and listen to Caroline Hughes - I don't think there was a broadside in sight when she learned her repertoire.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 04:33 PM

I never realised English folksong had so little to do with English people.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 04:15 PM

"Do you not understand irony, Starship?" Yes Dave. But lots of sloppy work gets called irony when in fact it's just sloppy work.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 04:03 PM

Do you not understand irony, Starship? Cementing on spilling and grandma wild aching errors is a common vehicle fro comeby.


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