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The current state of folk music in UK

Dave the Gnome 18 Nov 19 - 11:01 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Nov 19 - 10:35 AM
r.padgett 18 Nov 19 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,HiLo 18 Nov 19 - 09:35 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Nov 19 - 08:27 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Nov 19 - 08:08 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 Nov 19 - 06:48 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Nov 19 - 06:47 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Nov 19 - 06:44 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Nov 19 - 06:42 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 Nov 19 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Nov 19 - 06:08 AM
Joe G 18 Nov 19 - 06:04 AM
Joe G 18 Nov 19 - 06:01 AM
Joe G 18 Nov 19 - 05:59 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Nov 19 - 05:49 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Nov 19 - 05:45 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Nov 19 - 05:44 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Nov 19 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 18 Nov 19 - 05:26 AM
Joe G 18 Nov 19 - 05:17 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Nov 19 - 05:01 AM
GUEST 18 Nov 19 - 04:41 AM
Joe G 18 Nov 19 - 04:37 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 Nov 19 - 04:31 AM
Joe G 18 Nov 19 - 04:24 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Nov 19 - 04:21 AM
Big Al Whittle 18 Nov 19 - 04:07 AM
r.padgett 18 Nov 19 - 03:39 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Nov 19 - 03:16 AM
Backwoodsman 18 Nov 19 - 02:05 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Nov 19 - 06:41 PM
Backwoodsman 17 Nov 19 - 03:16 PM
Steve Gardham 17 Nov 19 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,JoeG 17 Nov 19 - 02:45 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Nov 19 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Nov 19 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Nov 19 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Nov 19 - 01:22 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Nov 19 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,Peter 17 Nov 19 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Nov 19 - 12:30 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Nov 19 - 12:21 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Nov 19 - 11:59 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Nov 19 - 11:50 AM
Howard Jones 17 Nov 19 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,Joe G 17 Nov 19 - 09:42 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Nov 19 - 09:29 AM
Vic Smith 17 Nov 19 - 09:29 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 Nov 19 - 08:27 AM
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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 11:01 AM

As Jim seems to fighting battles on many fronts I think it only fair to lessen his load. We know that he only listens to anyone confirming his view of the current state of folk music. The rest of us, while being in the majority, he believes are delusional. I know we are not and so do many others. I am going to ignore any further comparisons with "the good old days" and I suggest that if we all do the same, the thread will not only stay open but may begin to be interesting again. Thanks in advance.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 10:35 AM

" this comment is not by any means an adverse comment~"
Does "I'm all right Jack" make it any clearer Ron
Both were common in Liverpool when I was growing up
Claiming your club is doing fine is meaningless if the rest of the scene is crumbling, as it appears to be
We're now down to Neil Young being on the edges of folk song according to the other thread, which, as I see it, makes nonsense of the term
As far as I'm concerned, the acid test of what is suitable for a folk club by standing your claim to, say, Banks of the Nile, or Van Dieman Land or Lord Gregory..... and seeing if they relate to your song - if they don't, then they are no what you claim they are

"Neil Young was never Folk nor was he ever a "soft" rocker. "
I agree with you on the first and am happy to be guided by you on the second HiLo
Not my field of expertise
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 09:42 AM

More "Ding, ding, I'm o the bus" I'm afraid Ron

Not sure what you mean Jim ~ this comment is not by any means an adverse comment~ a straight fact as to where folk music trad and other takes place my neck of the woods

Ray [Ron]


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 09:35 AM

Neil Young was never Folk nor was he ever a "soft" rocker. One need only listen to His Cinnamon Girl or his Rockin In The Free World album to realize that.
It should be noted that the thread on Neil Young did not state that he was part of the folk process, it ASKED if people thought he was.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 08:27 AM

Seeing the Folk scene - of course
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 08:08 AM

I have just noticed that soft-rock Neil Young is now being argued by self acclaimed researchers as 'folk'
The term has now become gibberish and meaningless - people are now openly sing the Folk scene as a dumping ground they happen to like
May god have mercy on the soul of folk song in Britain
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 06:48 AM

Of course everyone is allowed an opinion, Al, and I am allowed to point out that the opinion is built on ignorance of the facts. I wouldn't dream of telling Jim that 1960s folk clubs were shit because I did not start going until the late 70s. I find it risible when someone who has not been in a folk club for 30 years tries to tell us that they are crap.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 06:47 AM

What I would like is this, for people to look at the online videos of Hidden Village's performance and 'read' them, ie interpret them.

What messages can we take from it about orthodox views of

a what folk is

b who can/should sing/play UK folk songs

c what 'folk' elements in modern culture are there that have resources to offer

and any other topics suggested.

Maybe via discussions of such questions we might focus in on what is healthy within the UK folk scene.

I for one would not wish to return to times when the Stalinist hard left either did or claimed it did, or wished it did dominate 'folk' and the discourses surrounding it. Because the world has moved on.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 06:44 AM

"Sorry Jim but you are just too far out of touch."
Another mantra Dave and please do not try to patronise me
I am the leading expert on nothing
You are digging your own graves by telling me what's going on in the revival
Seperatuing the Folk club scene from "source singers" as you have just done is further evidence that today's folk scene has s.f.a. to do with folk music and is yet another self-driven nail in the coffin that is your arguments
I'll never forgive the lot of you for driving Walter Pardon onto another thread, which has been closed, making a major source singer a no-go area   
I don't even have to search the web any more

"I didn't think it would be up your street Jim"
I didn't say it wasn't ad I'be been a fan of Benjamin Zephaniah's poetry since he first appeared on the scene - even have some of it in collection-I saw him live once in East London
I find that particular take on Tam Linn no relation to the real thing (no harm in that, but we are talking about folk renditions, I thought) and the following dtagged out incomprehensible nonsense which extends the pice to over eight minutes I find mind-numbing
The best phrase I have ever heard is "the clean, clear sound of the tradition" - nothing of that there

Hope you enkjoy your walk - wish I could go on one now but the roads here are too narrow and have no paements, making them as dangerous as trying to discuss folk song with people who don't seem to like it very much :-)
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 06:42 AM

Does it matter surely he's allowed to express his opinion?

He doesn't like the way folk clubs are going. fair enough. He's given you his reasons, at length.

I'm not keen on the present situation either. You DO get the impression when MacColl, Lomax, tc were getting their shit together in the 1950's - they were outlaws, working class intellectuals, bohemians in duffle coats. Not a pot to piss in, but doing their thing. they had something of Tony Hancock's Rebel about them.

The present lot fit so easily into BBC4, the Jools Holland programme -its so bloody middle class. Too tasteful by half. Theres no real interface with the plebs, which is where the music came from. Talking about the Village Dwellers here - not the folk clubs.

BUT

the folk clubs revere the posh boys , rather than the source singers. being madern people - they won't do the music like the source singers, if they ever connect with it. And i think Jim will find that hard to get.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 06:15 AM

Sorry Jim but you are just too far out of touch. You are a leading expert on source singers, the early revival and the critics group but you stopped there. Asking you to comment on the current state of folk music in the UK is like asking Brian Cox to comment on Yorkshire Longsword dances. Until you begin to learn what is actually happening by listening to what people in the know are saying your condemnation of today's folk scene is groundless.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 06:08 AM

Agree that getting to the end of long narrative pieces asap often the best approach.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Joe G
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 06:04 AM

I'll restate what I, and I think many others here, consider to be folk later. Off for a walk now.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Joe G
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 06:01 AM

Just as an aside Manchester Rambler has just been played on Radio 3 and they mentioned the Melody is a slight variant of a movement from a Haydn chamber piece (quartet or quintet can't remember which)

I never knew that!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Joe G
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 05:59 AM

I didn't think it would be up your street Jim

But then some of the many fans of Benjamin Zephaniah might have heard that and thought 'That's interesting' and gone on to discover more and sought out more traditional renditions of that song and others

Don't worry I have sat through many long ballads - even enjoyed a few - it's just that usually they have been badly or tediously sung by some self indulgent singer whose opinion of their own ability doesn't match reality.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 05:49 AM

"Ok maybe your words came across more aggressively than you meant"
My words came over as aggressively as you chose to interpret them Joe They contained no aggression, unless you feel that challenging what you say is aggressive
I don't "consider folk" (there goes that dishonesty again) anything - I accept the identification of folk that hes existed for over a century and a half
You, on the other hand, have been totally unable to agree on, let alone put forward an alternative
That has remained the case since these arguments began

Hidden Village is probably the worst example of singing a ballad as you could have mentioned, their "arrangements" get in the way of every narrative piece they attempt
Anybody who has ever attempted to sing, or listen to a long ballads (you have admitted you head for the bar when on comes up), knows tha dealing with any long narrative piece effectively demands getting from A to Z in the most efficient and direct way possible, no unnecessary "arrangements", no cluttering accompaniments, no unnecessary gaps - just pure narrative storytelling
When the Electric Groups tackled ballads they jettisoned the narrative and made them into piueces of electric music which you either liked or disliked - they ceased to be ballads
I didn't like them but, so what, that's my taste ?
One of the worst radio programmes (and lost opportunities) on the ballads was Maddie Prior's 'In Praise of Ballads' - two hours of air time, completely wasted on promoting good songs badly interpreted y someone I thought knew better
Ballads are the high watermark of our tradition, the oldest surviving exasmpl;les of musical folk storytelling which, at their best, rival the best of formal art
That some people don't like them - fine a hell of a lot of people find Shakespeare boring rubbish
If you are going to call yourself "folk" you need at least to pop one in your mouth and give it a try
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 05:45 AM

Fully expecting to be put down as patronising, not following own advice etc etc by the way.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 05:44 AM

I have been looking at this, which might be helpful to others:

http://mtstcil.org/skills/assert-5.html

And this

Your Communication Style
What do you know about your habitual communication style? Are you prone to aggressiveness, assertiveness, or passivity? Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

Do I seek out other people's opinions, or just share my own?
Am I upset if others don't agree with me?
Do I talk over people or interrupt frequently?
Do I check-in with people to see if they're comfortable, or do I force my own agenda?
Do I put people down?
Do I know how to stand up for myself?
Do I know how to disagree without being disagreeable?
Do I know how to get my needs met without violating the needs of others?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 05:37 AM

More I see of Imagined Village the more I like them.

Boyes, of course. Along with Harker one of the more lively and interesting writers about folk. Cannot say I agree with everything they say (not much more likely to sympathise with everything from a Trot than with everything from the old school communists like Lloyd and MacColl and their latter day apologists), but both are interesting and write well.

So thanks again for the link, Joe.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 05:26 AM

I don't find lists of favourites boring or unproductive. I like it if others enjoy the same stuff I do, and it can lead me to something new.

Such as Imagined Village's version of Tam Lin. Thank you for that, Joe.

It might also be argued, with respect, that being aggressive and being enthusiastic are not incompatible.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Joe G
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 05:17 AM

Ok maybe your words came across more aggressively than you meant

I and others have mentioned artists or posted links to songs to demonstrate the variety and quality of music on the folk scene today - there may be artists others haven't come across so it also serves to bring people's attention to them and explore further. So it does serve some purpose I believe

Your idea of critiquing songs is an interesting one but I would feel a little uncomfortable opening a contemporary song writer's song to public and anonymous criticism. I have written many CD and live reviews in the past for magazines and websites but at least the musicians in question knew who I was (to my cost occasionally!) Also your idea of what makes a great song is not likely to be the same as mine!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 05:01 AM

"Jim I see you are in a combative aggressive mood again."
Oh come on Joe, don't yuo start
I am noyt in an aggressiove mood
We're here to discuss something, if we can't do tat enthusiastically we might as well all go off and join a fan club
I have offered an argument as clearly as I am able andf I ahve just made an offer
If you regard that as "aggressive2 that you libve in a different place than I do
No takers, I assume
Listing your favourites is both boring and unproductive uness you are prepared to say why
I suppose you are too young to remember The Goons, "I like chips in brown gravy" sketch
You can take comfort from you knowing you have Pseud on your side though
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 04:41 AM

https://youtu.be/4FuaSdOdpzw


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Joe G
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 04:37 AM

Jim I see you are in a combative aggressive mood again. You do yourself and the discussion no favours

You have no current first hand knowledge of the UK folk scene - many of the rest of us do. Nobody is saying it is perfect but to describe it as being like the aftermath of War of the World's is ridiculous hype.

I know you want us all to consider 'folk' as being the same as you consider it to be but that isn't going to happen. Those of us, like me, who have been going to folk clubs,festivals, singarounds and music sessions for over 40 years hearing largely the same type of music consider the 'folk scene' to be that scene we have been part of - not just the traditional song scene. If I had wanted this thread just to be about the places traditional songs are performed I would have titled it more specifically.

Folk to us means the wonderful music we have listened to for the last decades. Your constant attempt to change our perceptions isn't going to work. It is only going to disrupt the discussion


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 04:31 AM

You have no case Jim. You are arguing from a position of ignorance. Every time you pontificate on the current state of folk music in the UK you show how little you really know about it.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Joe G
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 04:24 AM

My favorite versions of Tam Lin are by Imagined Village and Tickled Pink - very inventive arrangements though I suspect they may be shortened versions


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 04:21 AM

"Was at a fine mixed song session yesterday (Sunday) pm at Wakefield "
More "Ding, ding, I'm o the bus" I'm afraid Ron
And more evasion from you Dave, I'm sad to say
You destroy argments by facing them head-on, not by sneakng around them, which has become the established tactic here (with you leading the charge)
I've shown you mine, are you realy oing to keep yours safely zipped up ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 04:07 AM

Prsonally I always do the chorus of american Pie at least fifty times.

using the folk process, i also added a chorus to tam linn. I took the chorus of Jolene.

Tam Linn ! tam Linn!
Don't turn into a lion
Cos tam Linn is the chap
I've got me eye on!

always goes down like trapeze artist with diarrhoea!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 03:39 AM

Was at a fine mixed song session yesterday (Sunday) pm at Wakefield ~ unaccompanied songs, accompanied songs and tunes ~ at a folky pub ~ run by folk enthusiasts, Polka Hop ~ encourages and promotes folk song and music

Similarly Doncaster Tap runs at least 2 Saturday pm song sessions and with attendees comprised like the Wakefield one with attendees from Worksop and further ~ Doncaster is on the main rail way line of course

I do enjoy the day time sessions!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 03:16 AM

"Yes but Tamm linn doesn't have a chorus that is repeated repeated about fifty times!"
Thanks be to god - it's boringly meaningless enough as it is

"Not to my taste" has nothing to do with this Joe
I don't want to have a pissing contest with people over what they like - I'm saying none of your songs have anything whatever to do with folk songs, nor do they resemble them in any way

I'll tell you what - if that's what you want to do, you pick a song and tellme what you find "good" or 'important anout it, and I'll pick, say my favourite ballad and do te same

"We did and are doing. You just ignore it."
The alternative put up here is to alienate by tearing it up from its grass roots and sticking it on the net or replacing teh clubs by impersonal festivals and to top it all, replacing the democratic nature of the club scene with a star system
Then you add to the mix "nobody knows what folk sog is any more"
That's nor replacing or improving what has gone before, that is demolition
I won't begin to talk about the massive damage that is being and has already been done on the research front by tearing down over a century's research in order to replace it with new and as yet unsubstantiated ideas
The folk scene is rapidly beginning to resemble the devastated Britain depicted in last night's War of the Worlds
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 18 Nov 19 - 02:05 AM

‘American Pie’ has six verses, with seven repetitions of the ‘chorus’ (sometimes referred to as the ‘Refrain’).

My band were the paid Guests a gig at a folk club a few years ago, where a few of the residents were given a two-song floor-spot at the start of the second half. The final floor-spot was given to a local ‘star-turn’, a well-known ‘Strictly Trad’ type, who made it very clear that someone of his ‘stature’ in the local scene should have more than two songs. As time was getting on, and in fairness to the other floor-spotters, he was asked to keep to two songs, which he did - but his second song was ‘Tam Lin’, sung in its entirety. The result was that, due to his selfishness and rude, vengeful behaviour, and in order to finish by 11pm, we had to drop two songs from our second set - no problem as far as we were concerned, other than that the club got, through no fault of ours, less than they paid for.

On the subject of ‘American Pie‘ v. ‘Tam Lin’, I know which of those most invites audience-participation, relates to my life and times the best, and which I’d rather hear any time.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 06:41 PM

'The 'Tam Linn' I now has 40 verses Al - please don't tell me 'American Pie' has more than 3 !!'

Yes but Tamm linn doesn't have a chorus that is repeated repeated about fifty times!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 03:16 PM

This thread reminds me of the old joke about ‘how many Folkies does it take to change a light bulb’.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 03:02 PM

>>>>>If the clubs pro=vied the lifeblood for our music they are essential and need discussing
If they are not, someone needs to come up with an alternative rather the alienated internet<<<<<<

We did and are doing. You just ignore it.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 02:45 PM

It would indeed Jim :-)

To be honest I think some of Kitty's other songs might be more to your taste. I just chose on at random.

Anyway have a good night in front of the box - looks like we have viewing preferences in common judging by your comment elsewhere :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 02:41 PM

"Kitty MacFarlane and Don McLean have beautiful voices "
McClean never particularly appealed to be, but MacFarlane hasn't got too bad a voice (a bit breathy for my taste)
I find her song somewhat schmaltzy and going nowhere though
As I say À Chacun Son Goût
Life would be very boring if we all liked the same things
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 02:08 PM

One chap in particular sent everyone to the bar - not just me!

1500 posts and still going strong. Well done folks :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 01:59 PM

But Kitty MacFarlane and Don McLean have beautiful voices - as well as beautiful songs. The only people I have heard sing very long ballads in folk clubs are self indulgent middle aged or old men with dreadful voices who had no consideration for their audience - with the exception of a young lady who used to sing them at Hartlepool Folk Club and Jon Boden whose version of A Rose in June on his new CD is superb :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 01:22 PM

Touche Jim :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 01:22 PM

"Tam Linn
The 'Tam Linn' I now has 40 verses Al - please don't tell me 'American Pie' has more than 3 !!

"I used to head to the bar ;-)
À Chacun Son Goût Joe
I do the same whenever I hear froth like 'American Pie' or 'Namer of Clouds' ;-)
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 12:47 PM

I refuse to believe that there aren't pubs some parts of the country that aren't screaming out for mid-week custom and wouldn't be more than happy to let (or even give) a reasonably quiet corner or side room for a monthly session
In the Home Counties, South East and South Midlands unlikely. Most want to fit in as many covers as possible for the meal trade.

Personally I regret the decline in the classic folk club format (ie weekly guest + floor spots) but the scene has moved in other directions. There are still a huge number of opportunities to experience good folk music either as an audience member or as a participant.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 12:30 PM

I must admit that when someone was about to sing a 20 verse ballad I used to head to the bar ;-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 12:21 PM

Let's be specific - which 20 verse ballad, do you feel unable to perform in the present climate?
in what style do you propose singing it?

How long do you think it will take in its entirety and do you feel committed enough to the piece to know the words, and have you reheardsed it enough to have worked out how to engage your listeners interest?

i think you should ask yourself these questions whether its Tam Linn or American Pie.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 11:59 AM

"disregard the nature of the folk scene today."
I'm not "disregarding it" Howard, I'm saying it's a poor substitute for what we had
I refuse to believe that there aren't pubs some parts of the country that aren't screaming out for mid-week custom and wouldn't be more than happy to let (or even give) a reasonably quiet corner or side room for a monthly session
The Irish scene is thriving on such places at present
If push comes to shove, dry sessions in non-drinking venues wouldn't be too much of a big sacrifice for anybody but the most dedicated drinker
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 11:50 AM

"Would I sing a 20 verse ballad at a session? "
I dis say a pub session Howard - that seems to be were most of them take place
The surroundings always dictate the session - in my experience (even in Clare, "the home of traditional Irish music") session music tends to be treated as muzak to the drinkers
Maybe the place will quieten down for a solo or duet, but a multi session and the natural bar-room chat tend to to go into competition with each other and the chat gets louder nd louder the nearer it gets to closing time
Even in the old days of Sam Larner, the singing was confined to a back room where the singers can get attention
Home sessions are for the already committed - you're not going to draw in the much needed fresh blood there unless you can get the cat interested
Even at the height of the club scene, festivals were impersonal and focused on the "me singer, you listener" approach
We took Walter to one once and sat in the blazing sun with him for two hours while he waited to be called up for his turn
They are usually, tioo big, too crowded and too impersonal to get anything you can take away with you
Sorry, the intimacy of a well conducted club session cannot be equalled as far as I'm concerned
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 11:29 AM

Jim says, "There weer several thousand clubs where basically was the only place to listen to folk song - no sessions - and a scattering of annual festivals"

Now there are still at least several hundred clubs, but in addition there are lots of sessions and singarounds, and a festival most weekends throughout throughout the year (often a choice of several). There are also house concerts, which bring the music back into people's homes. The balance has changed, and to dwell only on folk clubs is to disregard the nature of the folk scene today.

Would I sing a 20 verse ballad at a session? It depends on the session, I can certainly think of some where that wouldn't be unwelcome. On the other hand I can think of some folk clubs where it would, as Jas complained about only too often.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 09:42 AM

Going back to some of the incredible young (and not so young!) talent we are lucky enough to have on the folk scene today I have just been listening to Kitty Macfarlane to decide whether to go to her upcoming Black Swan Folk club gig at the National Centre of Early Music here in York. I've decided it is definitely not one to miss! Absolutely beautiful voice and songs IMO

Just one example - lots more on You Tube

Kitty Macfarlane - Namer of Clouds


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 09:29 AM

Clubs were all we had to sing long ballads Dave
Taking these songs out of people's homes, which was largely were they were sung was artificial - I have said the clubs were a compromise
Would you be prepared to sing a twenty verse ballad in a pub session - I wouldn't !!
The clubs proved perfect venues for us urban dwellers and when they went the scene began to go up the Swanee
How would your develop a young singer who wanted to have a go now - knock on his/her door and offer your services ?
Can we cut out this "white-collar" shit
I was working on the docks when I went to my first folk club and I spent my working life climbing into people's lofts and crawling under their floorboards - many of my fellow-folkies did similar - bit difficult to keep your collar "wite" under those conditions
One of the finest singers of traditional songs I know spent his life painting industrial chimneys from a crane
When some managed to break our of the slog and go to Uni, we envied them for their good luck and when some became teachers we weer over the moon
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 09:29 AM

Dave wrote: -
Was it agricultural labourers back from toiling in the fields or was it white collar townies who felt the need to get back to their roots?
Spot-on, Dave! Teachers, social workers, librarians, local government officers and the like must have been the organisers at practically every club I went to. Often they were that post-war first one of their family (self-included) to be selected for by that iniquitous 11-plus exam for grammar school and many to subsequent further education. Nearly all were inclined to the left politically though they did look a bit incongruous in their heavy corduroy trousers. collarless shirts and beards (especially the women).


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Nov 19 - 08:27 AM

Folk clubs were fine and still are but they are a false construct. Folk music existed well before clubs and will continue to exist long after the last 1960s style club has closed its doors. You really need to look at who started and ran folk clubs. Was it agricultural labourers back from toiling in the fields or was it white collar townies who felt the need to get back to their roots?


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