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The current state of folk music in UK

Jim Carroll 16 Nov 19 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 16 Nov 19 - 01:42 PM
Brian Peters 16 Nov 19 - 01:38 PM
Raggytash 16 Nov 19 - 01:34 PM
GUEST,Joe G 16 Nov 19 - 01:26 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Nov 19 - 01:22 PM
Brian Peters 16 Nov 19 - 01:19 PM
Raggytash 16 Nov 19 - 01:02 PM
Vic Smith 16 Nov 19 - 12:56 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Nov 19 - 12:45 PM
Brian Peters 16 Nov 19 - 12:36 PM
Brian Peters 16 Nov 19 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,Joe G 16 Nov 19 - 12:04 PM
GUEST,Joe G 16 Nov 19 - 12:02 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Nov 19 - 11:58 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Nov 19 - 11:58 AM
Brian Peters 16 Nov 19 - 11:50 AM
Raggytash 16 Nov 19 - 11:50 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Nov 19 - 11:40 AM
Vic Smith 16 Nov 19 - 11:40 AM
GUEST,Joe G 16 Nov 19 - 11:36 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Nov 19 - 11:20 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Nov 19 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,Joe G 16 Nov 19 - 11:10 AM
Raggytash 16 Nov 19 - 11:00 AM
r.padgett 16 Nov 19 - 10:48 AM
GUEST,JoeG 16 Nov 19 - 08:53 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Nov 19 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 16 Nov 19 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,Joe G 16 Nov 19 - 08:30 AM
Brian Peters 16 Nov 19 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,Joe G 16 Nov 19 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,Joe G 16 Nov 19 - 08:20 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Nov 19 - 08:20 AM
Brian Peters 16 Nov 19 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,JoeG 16 Nov 19 - 08:16 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Nov 19 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 16 Nov 19 - 07:40 AM
Brian Peters 16 Nov 19 - 07:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Nov 19 - 07:25 AM
GUEST,JoeG 16 Nov 19 - 07:07 AM
r.padgett 16 Nov 19 - 06:53 AM
GUEST,Joe G 16 Nov 19 - 06:46 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Nov 19 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 16 Nov 19 - 06:43 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Nov 19 - 06:34 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Nov 19 - 06:17 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Nov 19 - 06:09 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Nov 19 - 06:08 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Nov 19 - 06:04 AM
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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 01:43 PM

"who do you not consider to be folk artists?"
I tend to avoid terms like 'artist'
People who sing folk songs are folk singers (in the revival sense)
The old crowd are Tradition bearers or traditional folk singers
I am out of touch with current song writers but those who are using the tradition to make their songs are welcome an far as I'm concerned
Nobody writes a folk song - folk songs evolve (or do not if there is no tradition for them to do so in - that is not my "rule" it is common sense
If the most respected and prolific of composer of folk-like songs can say that nothing he ever wrote can be described as 'a folk song' who are we to argue?
No me
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 01:42 PM

To answer Vics post.
I have never been so busy. This year I did eleven festivals and next year I am booked at about the same number. I am now tending to put my club bookings in the first and last three months of the year.
The workshops I have been doing are mainly to do with my interest in the Hammond Manuscripts and of course Gypsy Songs life and culture with my lady wife. I also love Chichester Folk Club and play it when asked.
My audience numbers rang from about 20 to 300 although I'm not sure I would pull that number in on my own. That said time and again in clubs mainly I meet the same reaction. 'It's so nice to have a guest who sings Traditional Folk Songs all night.' Some like the stories of the songs and the life some say less chat more singing.
In Lancashire we have numerous singers clubs all of a reasonably good standard. One in particular is well to my taste and run by Tom Walsh and Dave Peters. 30 minutes of excellent tunes, then selected singers round the room. I would be quite happy to go if I were not a singer.
We also have the thriving 'Off the rails' sessions in a different Lancashire Pub each month, on a Monday afternoon. Sid Calderbank calls them a retired Gentleman's binge drinking club! The standard is excellent and has attracted singers like Caffrey McGurk and Madge and Will Noble.
Add to that the excellent 'Glad for Trad festival' a singers festival by invitation in Hebden Bridge. We regularly see Brian Peters and Will Duke here together with Kevin Mitchell and Judy Cook when she is over. I have no complaints about the Folk Scene. Finally I do not find myself at odds with Jim Carroll on his definition of Folk and non Folk music. There have always been contemporary songs in Folk Clubs sitting happily alongside Traditional Folk Songs. No need to try and pretend one is the same as the other, just enjoy both. By the way Jim I was quoting Bert as if it was my own turn of phrase. Can't fool you! Curses! I'm rumbled!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 01:38 PM

Well, Joe, for a start here's one songwriter who doesn't fit in to any convenient pigeon-hole: Leon Rosselson.
His songs don't (to my ears) owe much at all to traditional models, yet he's become the Go To songwriter for artists who perform traditional songs. How can this be? Is it just that the songs are so good they defy any rules?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 01:34 PM

Tell you what Jim, when you can type coherently have another go because I can be bothered trying to compehend your last post.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 01:26 PM

'" singer/songwriters do not pass YOUR litmus test."
And very many do'

That has led me to asking a question that I have been considering asking for a while. Which current songwriters do you consider to write folk songs (or at least songs in the folk idiom), Jim? Possibly more importantly who do you not consider to be folk artists?

I think that would help an understanding of what type of songs you consider to be acceptable as folk which I think would help the discussion


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 01:22 PM

"It is a VERY accurate assessment of your view of folk music."
No it isn't - please identify my "rule book" as distinnts from an identification of folk song taht has xisted for over a century
You imply I have made something up when , in fact' it is you who has arbitarlily decided that the current definition is no longer relevant because it i inconvenient and hve abandoned any form of definition
You know you have no argument, which is why you resort to sneakily whispering behind your hands
Dave put up the number of clubs as proof that the scene was thriving (186) not me - it transpires tat this has dropped to 136 since he first put this up

" singer/songwriters do not pass YOUR litmus test."
And very many do -
The ones tat do bear no resemblance to those that don't so where is the criterion that makes them the same ?
Mine is that they need to be related to what is agreed folk somg because that's what the audiences at folk clubs are entitled to expect - common sense - not "litmus test"
The clubs survived for four decads on that policy - when it was abandoned, they bombed
Again, it is dishoneds tto describe it as "mine" - that is how it was long befre I came on the scene
You are not striving to keep folk music alive - you are incapable of defining what folk song is so how can you possibly make such a clam
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 01:19 PM

Vic, we're in agreement here. Way back up the thread I mentioned an unaccompanied singing session at the Gaslamp in Manchester. I regard the regulars there as 'friends', but the truth is that we sing all night and I've never had a real-life conversation with most of them. So I like the idea of social events (our old club in Glossop used to put on a Mummers'play, and sing carols at the local care home before retiring to the pub), but I'm also aware that a public music event at which nearly everyone knows one another can feel intimidating or cliquey to the casual visitor. Ah well, we did our best...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 01:02 PM

No Jim.

It is a VERY accurate assessment of your view of folk music.

The vast majority of here recognise that folk is alive, well, flourishing even, in the UK.

Today there have been two post detailing the number of clubs in Sussex and West/ parts of North Yorkshire.

In the latter the number alone exceeds those listed on Wikipedia.

But of course YOU know better. You who hasn't set foot in a folk club for years let alone set foot in one in the UK.

You decide, in your own mind, what is and what isn't folk music.

Many, many scores if not hundreds of singer/songwriters do not pass YOUR litmus test.

However to the rest of us they are wonderful, creative and talented people striving to keep folk music alive.

It is YOU who do not recognise this, and worse castigate these very people.

You say you love the genre but seek to destroy it with your every post.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 12:56 PM

I agree fully with what you say, Brian, but I think all the extra things that they do in Chichester mean that they all know one another better and that improves the excellent atmosphere that they are able to create. Let's face it, folk clubs because of their nature are quiet listening places so you often know little about the person that you are sitting next to and there are so many things to do with the evening to talk about and arrange when you are organiser/compere. I didn't know that one of our regular floor singers was a nationally known sculptor until I was invited to her garden party - more than a decade after we had met.

At one time in the 1970s, I organised monthly dances for our folk song club regulars so that they could get more of a chance to socialise. I think that helped - though perhaps nor for me, I was playing in the band or calling dances.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 12:45 PM

"Rule 1.
Rule 2."
As this applied to a dishonest assessment of where I am supposed to stand, can I re-iterate that I have no "rule book" - this has become the last resort of the flummoxed
It is not a rule to agree on an already agreed dscription on a type of music - it is a greed name in order to continue to communicate with each other
It is totally dishonest and somewhat cowardly to claim it as being anybody's rule and somewhat distasteful that it is referred to other than presented openly, rather like schoolchildren whispering to each other behind their hands
Come on lads - don't make this any more unpleasant that it already is
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 12:36 PM

Re Chichester, it's definitely a Proper Folk Club with a strong (and quite eclectic) guest list, good residents and a musicians session before the club starts. They do like their social events too, but isn't that part of being a 'club' rather than just a music venue? One of the places I really like playing.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 12:29 PM

Good post from Vic Smith. My own experience is that there are far fewer clubs on the circuit than there were in the late 1980s when I went pro, and even then I was being told by old hands that there had been a catastrophic decline since the 1960s, when every town allegedly had half a dozen clubs pulling in two hundred people every week. There are many more festivals of course, though my kind of music tends to find favour with the older-established ones like Whitby, Sidmouth, Chippenham etc.

Workshops and teaching have made up an increasingly importantly part of my professional career for several years now, first with melodeon / concertina weekends and more recently ballad and song events. Having themed projects like Peterloo, Cecil Sharp in Appalachia, etc are pretty important these days in getting festival work. There are a lots of very good acts around, competition is fierce, and bands - especially younger ones - are what's popular. I still get by, though...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 12:04 PM

Thanks Raggy - I was going to mention your rule a few posts ago :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 12:02 PM

I know Dave - I really should give up!

Thanks Vic that's an interesting report from Sussex. You inspired me to have a look in a recent edition of Tykes News, the folk magazine for West Yorkshire and some of the southern part of North Yorkshire. That revealed that there are around 200 folk song and dance clubs and sessions in that area alone and I believe that there are a few sessions missing from the list.

Without doing a more detailed analysis I can't say how many of these are folk clubs and how frequently they run but it is clear that the 129 clubs nationally is a vast underestimate.

Add to this the number of folk events in other venues eg Arts Centres, theatres, the Early Music Centre and The Crescent here in York, for example, then I think there is justification in the relatively positive view many of us have.

Yes many clubs have gone but to be honest some (not all) of those aren't really missed

Like you I'd be interested to hear from touring musicians


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 11:58 AM

"oe, have you not realised yet that it is not folk unless Jim says it is?"
Nuffin to do with me despite your mantraic claim that it is Dave
The version I incline to is the one I can find in hundreds of collections labeled 'folk song'
Why do you frequently imply that I have invented a genre of songs and claimed them as "folk"
I won't bother asking you to define yours and where they come from because I know it is a waste of time

So you are now challwenge=ishg the pioneers Vic
Seems par for the course of today's reearchers
I wonder where some of the stuff being presented here fits into the new definition
The fact is that until folk song is re-defined and that redefinition agreed upon, all the stones in the world won't shift the definition that has served well since the 183os
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 11:58 AM

:-D


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 11:50 AM

Dave, as you know I love playing English traditional songs and music in an old-school kind of way and that's been my day job for the past 30 years. I also like playing other stuff for fun (see 'Americana' above), for which I put on a different head, like I need to put on different ears to listen to Butterworth or Offa. I even get the electric guitar out very occasionally, though my Marshall combo is getting a bit heavy to lug up the stairs these days...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 11:50 AM

Rule 1.
Rule 2.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 11:40 AM

Joe, have you not realised yet that it is not folk unless Jim says it is? ;-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 11:40 AM

Trying once again to being the focus back to The current state of folk music in UK......

The concensus of views expressed in this thread (though it is not universally accepted here) is that whilst the whilst folk clubs were the most vibrant and obvious manifestations of the folk revival in the 1960s and 1970s that this is no longer the case and that these days the folk revival expresses itself in a myriad of ways. Those that actively participate in these are almost all of the opinion that the scene is in a healthy state. The idea that people went to folk clubs exclusively to learn about folk songs is spurious in my mind. It was one of many but one of the most successful expressions of the 'counter-culture' of those years. Reg Hall, one of the revival's most active participants during those years has written that it was "rooted in a form of cultural moralism, reacting against the commercial music of show business and aiming for the creation of a proletarian entertainment and art form." Here the narrowness of vision that marred the Victorian/Edwardian approach was replaced by an all-embracing eclecticism with a performance style that "owed little to traditional music making" though latterly "within a section of that movement there has developed a taste for authentic performance". That seems to accord with my own memory of running a folk club throughout five decades and singing in many others throughout that time.

Nevertheless, I find that 'number of folk clubs' question quite interesting though very difficult to answer. In its list of folk clubs Living Tradition magazine lists 129 folk clubs in England and 49 in Scotland seems to accord with some estimates that have been made here, but then I run a check. Going through the 129 in the list for England, I find that there are 4 is Sussex. Well, the citizens of Eastbourne and of Chichester would be surprised to find that there are no folk clubs in their town when there are three in each of them. The main Chichester weekly folk club deviates from the norm in that, from what I see, it is more of a social club for those interested in folk song than a folk song club. The members have big party meals together and they have gone on outings. They do a minimum of advertising but seem to be doing very well without it. Arundel folk club has been running since the 1960's with only one change of venue in that time but is not on the list.
Obviously the number of clubs and their venues and organisers is in a constant state of flux. There are some that have a fairly closed attitude. I only found out recently that there is a folk club in Fishbourne that has been operating for decades and in all the 45 years that I was joint editor of The Sussex Folk Diary listings magazine, I never heard of it. I could give other examples. I reckon that I now know of 15 active folk clubs in Sussex that at least book the occasional guest artist. Then there are the Morris and display sides - I thought that there were 8 in Sussex - the ones that I had email addresses for. I sent a circular email to them with my list of 8 and asked for any others that I had missed. This was to list on the dance page on the Sussex Traditions data base. I was way out. That list now contains 35 names.
This suggests two things to me.
* Counting the number of folk clubs in the country is a near impossible task
* The sense of there being a tight folk song and dance community is no longer the case.

This is very much a one county account. I would be interested in the views of any full-time travelling folk song professionals who participate in this forum to say how much my local view is matched by what they experience. I would also like to know how much, if any, the nature of their work is changing from solely performance to include teaching and running workshops.
I would particularly like to hear the views of Nick Dow and Brian Peters.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 11:36 AM

Jim - the thread on Walter is 459 posts long - much of it consisting of arguments between Pseudonymous and you. That would have been 459 more posts to go through on this thread for the many people who have no or little interest in Walter (and no interest in your feud with Pseud) but want to discuss what is happening now in the second decade of the 21st century. As it happens I have skimmed through the discussion on that thread but I imagine many here haven't and have no wish to.

It made perfect sense to make that a different thread - there was certainly no disrespect in my comment that such a detailed discussion should be held elsewhere. I find it intensely irritating that you keep bringing this matter up as if some great disservice has been done. It has not! I have never disparaged Walter Pardon in the way you frequently disparage many musicians who are performing folk and folk related music today


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 11:20 AM

Thanks, Peter.

Brian, it was the 66 on the way from Skipton to Keighley and the schoolkids were 2 lads from Ermystead's Grammar School in Skipton. Why? I must try to get to see you soon. Without having had an operation on my wrist this time :-) Out of interest, I know that Jim would approve of your stuff. Do you think he would approve of your stuff with Bonz though?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 11:19 AM

"How is Harry Cox not a traditional folk singer "
How is he not ?
Nick was ironically using Bert Lloyd's quote from 'Folk Song in England'
"'If Little Boxes' and 'The Red Flag' are folk songs then we need a new term to describe 'The Outlandish Knight', 'Searching for Lambs' and 'The Coalowner and the Pitman's' Wife, which was rhetorical anyway
The only example of a real folk singer being disqualified from being a folk singer is when Walter Pardon was thrown out on his arse because he no longer fits into today's folk scene
The treatment Walter received, largely without comment from posters her, confirms that this seems to be the consensus

Amen Peter
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 11:10 AM

It's a tremendous line up this year Nick - we're going for only the second time. The setting at Butlins is a bit bizarre but I'll put if with that for the opportunity to see so many great artists


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 11:00 AM

Steeleye Span are headlining this year's Great British Folk Festival. Not bad for a band who were abandoned last century eh!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 10:48 AM

That's interesting I would have thought Harry Cox was most certainly of the traditional folk song singer as is Walter Pardon, Sam Larner, Arthur Howard, Frank Hinchliffe ilk

How is Harry Cox not a traditional folk singer Jim Carroll, is Nick winding us up?


Contemporary folk singers and singer songwriters are totally different and some singers fall into the realms of revivalist and traditionalist but I aint bovvered about definitions ~ they are ALL folk singers if they are singing folk songs ~ traditional or not!!

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 08:53 AM

Peter - it presumably tells you and I different things about the state of folk music :-)

But - Dave wasn't using Steeleye to comment on the state of folk music he was using the clip to demonstrate to Jim that Steeleye Span were still going. There were plenty of other performances at Shrewsbury that year and every year that would better demonstrate the healthy state of the music today


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 08:31 AM

"If contemporary songs are now to be referred to as folk, then we need another definition for the repertoire of Harry Cox."
Nice one Nick

"That is not correct ~ "
Been there-don that Ron
Folk referes to the community the songs originated from - tradition, the process they underwent to get where they ended up
Both are very specific terms when applied to the traditional arts
THe fact that 'folk' has now been made meaningless by misuse only confirms that it's earlier us is an accurate one
You really can't have it both ways, it either means something specific or it doesn't
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 08:30 AM

Dave,

I wasn't feeling sorry for you, after all everybody must like what they like, that's fine. But I do feel sorry for the English folkscene if that video is a measure of the state of it. I only watched it briefly and found no redeeming factors in it. I actually liked their original version of the Blackleg minor at the time but here the song is butchered, there's nothing enjoyable left. If that sells out concert tickets to great grannies and their great grandchildren, maybe that does tell us something about the state of things, and it isn't much to rejoice about.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 08:30 AM

Yeah I'd like to know about that bus too! :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 08:27 AM

OK, Joe, I believe you. Still waiting to hear about Dave's bus, though!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 08:25 AM

Yep we are very lucky indeed in York, Dave. A hotbed of musical talent! Oddly enough I'm not too keen on Blackbeard's Tea Party. Nothing wrong with them of course and can't put my finger on what I don't like. Even though I'm not keen though they are certainly still folk :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 08:20 AM

Just realised I saw that Steeleye Span set at Shrewsbury and it was pretty good. Not the highlight of the festival by any means but certainly enjoyable.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 08:20 AM

Blackheads=Blackbeard's if you hadn't realised!

Another York band, Joe. Must be something in the water :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 08:18 AM

Gosh Dave, what bus is that?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 08:16 AM

Good points Brian as always. I think that both Olivia Chaney and The Decembrists both have a fairly young following (I may be wrong of course) I agree that they are probably not the future of folk but they certainly are the present. I am hoping that the future will be as, or even more, interesting!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 07:48 AM

You are quite right of course, Brian. We are no longer young and do not fully understand the current state of young people's music. Any more than someone who has been out of touch with UK folk music can understand the state of that!!

I must say that it heartens me when I go to a concert by Blackheads Tea Party and see so many young people rocking in the aisles. Or hear local schoolkids discussing the latest albums by Granny's Attic and Jon Boden on the bus!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 07:40 AM

If contemporary songs are now to be referred to as folk, then we need another definition for the repertoire of Harry Cox.
Swans and ducks swim on a stream it does not make them the same bird. Horses and Donkeys have four legs and both pull carts, they are not the same animals and a dog is not a horse because it's born in a stable.
Why do we get so hung up on definitions? It's not a competition.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Brian Peters
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 07:31 AM

Personally I really liked Offa Rex's 'Sheepcrook'. Jim made a comparison with Butterworth's 'Banks of Green Willow' which is quite apt: listening to Offa Rex, as opposed to listening to my CD of Caroline Hughes singing the same song, requires adopting a different set of expectations - almost putting on a different set of ears. I would do just the same when listening to Butterworth's or Vaughan Williams' gorgeous orchestrations of traditional melodies. It's a different musical genre, albeit using raw material from folk song.

Whether Offa Rex actually represents'the future of Folk' is an entirely different question. Their arrangement borrows from the Heavy Metal end of rock music and, although many of us oldies on here are very comfortable with that style, it's not what most young people are listening to.

The question of ownership is a very interesting one generally, and especially in the case of this song. Who does own a song that was being printed commercially 200 years ago, and has been sung in different variants by a host of singers in the interim? But it's no accident that Steeleye picked Queen Caroline's version above any other - her alternative tune for the 'Here's my sheepcrook' verse is unique as far as I know, and has become the definitive element in Steeleye's version - so perhaps the song is hers to a significant degree. Then again, presumably SS will have copyrighted their arrangement, not the actual song, and that is their intellectual property. As Nick Dow said, all a bit of a minefield.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 07:25 AM

Peter, at least you said "to my ears" which indicates it is merely an opinion. I am sure there are artists amongst your favourites that are not my cup of tea either but I would not dream of suggesting, as some do, that my taste in music is any better than yours. Just different.

And, no, it was not posted as an indication of anything. Just trying in vain to bring Jim up to date. No need to feel sorry for me. I am lucky in that I can enjoy traditional, unaccompanied, accoustic, electric, contemporary, fusion and many other types of folk music. If there are some you do not like it is no skin off my nose.

Jim. "Game, Set and Match". Really? Sounds remarkably like "you lose". Are you channelling someone?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 07:07 AM

Apologies there was a totally unintended 'gone' in my post. No idea where that came from.

I agree with Ray. The songs of Jez Lowe, Reg Meuross, John Tams are every bit as much folk as any traditional song. They are also excellent songs which are every bit as important as traditional folk songs. Indeed there are many traditional songs I'd be happy to never hear again - though despite that I believe in them being preserved for those who like them


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 06:53 AM

that's why folk and traditional are two sides of the same coin ~

That is not correct ~ you may be listening Jim Carroll but you are simply not able to grasp the fact that traditional folk song has been added to with contemporary folk song ~ largely songs sung in the accepted style of the traditional ~ they might never ever, become traditional because of the definition of traditional folk song

However they ARE folk songs ~ you have been told countless times that very fact


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 06:46 AM

Jim you seem to wish to twist so many reasonable responses to your assertions. The fact that Offa Rex's version of folk songs will be heard by thousands does not make their interpretation into a 'pop' song such as are in the pop charts. It does make it popular and, as I say, likely to be heard by many people who may take an interest in the source material.

I know you are passionate about keeping folk music alive but you seem resistant to anyone who is doing that in any other way than you consider gone acceptable. Surely making the songs more popular is a way to help them survive? Otherwise they will die out with us.
As Dave says Steeleye Span are still touring, Home Service reformed, Albion Band are still going, Fairport still tour, lots of younger artists are taking innovative approaches to folk songs so folk rock is still very much alive - thank goodness!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 06:44 AM

Is that last 'Span' link really what passes for 'folk' nowadays ?
Game, Set and Match, I think
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 06:43 AM

'...and I suggest you get more up to date with your links!'

A good reminder why I went off them some time during the late seventies. That was deeply awful to my ears.

I have been keeping sort of one eye on this thread and I know little about Eniglish 'folk' music but if this is to be held up as a token things are well, I feel very sorry for you.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 06:34 AM

"It is not a farewell concert,"
I didn't say it was intended to be Dave - merely making a comparison
All these groups ate a blast from the Past and no longer prominent as they were when Dallas wrote 'The Electric Muse' so basically, they have nothing to do with "the Current state of the revival"
They are as irrelevant as some people believe Walter Pardon is, in fact
If we can't discuss Walter, we certainly can't discuss rock groups, whether they call themselves folk or not (and whether that claim has any validity or not)
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 06:17 AM

...and I suggest you get more up to date with your links!

Steeleye Span. Shrewsbury 2018


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 06:09 AM

It is not a farewell concert, Jim and as I said the audience is from all age ranges and social categories. Every time you pontificate on anything recent you just show your ignornce more and more.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 06:08 AM

don't get much lower order than Villa fans, so they tell down at St Andrews.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Nov 19 - 06:04 AM

"Steeleye Span are celebrating their 50 year anniversary with a new album"
Oh - come-on Dave
How many farewell concerts did Frank Sinatra Have ?
That's not a continuation, it's a Resurrection for the benefit of the crumblies who remember them - just !
https://youtu.be/6gH_X2efRdI
My point exactly - as far from folk as you can get - with all it' s Sheep Crooooooook
Dreadful
Jim


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