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The current state of folk music in UK

Jim Carroll 12 Nov 19 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 12 Nov 19 - 11:41 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Nov 19 - 09:56 AM
Steve Gardham 12 Nov 19 - 09:40 AM
Steve Gardham 12 Nov 19 - 09:33 AM
punkfolkrocker 12 Nov 19 - 09:20 AM
r.padgett 12 Nov 19 - 09:13 AM
punkfolkrocker 11 Nov 19 - 08:44 AM
punkfolkrocker 11 Nov 19 - 08:14 AM
GUEST 11 Nov 19 - 07:47 AM
Nick 11 Nov 19 - 06:33 AM
Backwoodsman 11 Nov 19 - 02:40 AM
r.padgett 11 Nov 19 - 02:28 AM
The Sandman 10 Nov 19 - 04:52 PM
Nick 10 Nov 19 - 01:26 PM
Big Al Whittle 10 Nov 19 - 01:20 PM
r.padgett 10 Nov 19 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,Allan Conn 10 Nov 19 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,HiLo 10 Nov 19 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 10 Nov 19 - 09:15 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 10 Nov 19 - 08:14 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Nov 19 - 08:13 AM
Steve Gardham 10 Nov 19 - 07:52 AM
Steve Gardham 10 Nov 19 - 07:44 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Nov 19 - 06:56 AM
Steve Gardham 10 Nov 19 - 06:53 AM
r.padgett 10 Nov 19 - 06:42 AM
r.padgett 10 Nov 19 - 06:02 AM
Big Al Whittle 10 Nov 19 - 05:45 AM
Steve Gardham 10 Nov 19 - 05:33 AM
The Sandman 10 Nov 19 - 04:25 AM
Backwoodsman 10 Nov 19 - 03:51 AM
Big Al Whittle 10 Nov 19 - 03:38 AM
r.padgett 10 Nov 19 - 03:37 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Nov 19 - 02:58 PM
Nick 09 Nov 19 - 02:18 PM
The Sandman 09 Nov 19 - 01:58 PM
The Sandman 09 Nov 19 - 01:55 PM
Workingtonman 09 Nov 19 - 01:24 PM
punkfolkrocker 09 Nov 19 - 01:01 PM
Backwoodsman 09 Nov 19 - 12:51 PM
Nick 09 Nov 19 - 12:34 PM
GUEST 09 Nov 19 - 12:31 PM
Jack Campin 09 Nov 19 - 11:45 AM
Backwoodsman 09 Nov 19 - 11:08 AM
punkfolkrocker 09 Nov 19 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 09 Nov 19 - 09:22 AM
punkfolkrocker 09 Nov 19 - 09:19 AM
Workingtonman 09 Nov 19 - 08:54 AM
Big Al Whittle 09 Nov 19 - 08:39 AM
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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Nov 19 - 11:45 AM

Not very good condition, but there are some amazing American versions of British ballads to be found on the Helen Hartness Flanders site, many taken to the US at the beginning of the 20th century
For researchers it's a goldfield largely unmined
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 12 Nov 19 - 11:41 AM

"Re American versions of British songs. I think Brian feels the same."

Indeed I do. Obviously my first love is the English tradition, but the Appalachian variants often have a stripped-down, everyday quality that makes them very accessible. And often the Appalachians are the best place to go for oral versions of Child ballads that our ancestors gave up on over here.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Nov 19 - 09:56 AM

Not sure what you mean, Ray. Are the stalwarts the artists that are booked, the organisers and residents who support them or the audience that turn up every week or month?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Nov 19 - 09:40 AM

Re American versions of British songs. I think Brian feels the same. What the folk process does to the printed originals is why we are here. They are polished and rounded by the people and the longer they are in the oral tradition the more rounded they become. I'd rather have an American version with 10 concise verses than the original with 20. The tunes also get rounded off as well. Some of the earlier theatrical tunes have far too much ornamentation in my opinion. That's not to say I don't also love the British versions from oral tradition but more often the American ones have passed through more voices. I love lots of Americana when I get chance to listen, bluegrass, blues, Jimmy Rogers, the lot!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 12 Nov 19 - 09:33 AM

Pete still comes to our concerts because he is a very good friend and because it is such a laid back concert where he is fully appreciated for his unusual songs and humour. He used to help run the Shanty festival when it was run by the Council years ago, but he got attached to the place and is always welcome back.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 12 Nov 19 - 09:20 AM

Because of my anual attendence at the now RIP Burnham on sea Free Folk Fest,
and family links with the area.

I've long been aware of the Ritz social club acoustic/folk nights..

Even though I've never actually been to one...

It's big plus points for me are the rooms and stage, converted from a cinema,
and the local trad Rich's Farmhouse Cider on tap...

Though like I say, I've never been in the area visiting relatives on a 'folk club night'...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 12 Nov 19 - 09:13 AM

On a slightly different tack ~how many Weekly or monthly UK CONCERT clubs are we aware of and what makes 'em tick?

That is who are the stalwarts and what attracts the audience?

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 11 Nov 19 - 08:44 AM

Specifically, 20 odd years ago, hearing the Handsome Family's version of "House Carpenter",
reminded me that in my late teens/early 20s, I used to be heavily into Pentangle - who recorded that song..
Which in turn, jogged memories of all my folk rock vinyl
I'd not heard since leaving it stored at my mum's house when I left home
around 1980..

So just as I moved from London back to the West Country,
it was an Americana band that actually brought me back rediscovering UK folk music around 2000...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 11 Nov 19 - 08:14 AM

I'm generalising, but British trad songs that travelled to America well before 1900;
which then got gradually 'Americanised' by the new world folk process;
[and the early 20th century USA country songs inspired by our trad]
sound more interesting to my ears at least...

I like what the American country roots bands, the intsruments played, the song arrangements, sound like..
The Carter Family are an important influence...

like a lot of Brits my age [60], we grew up through the punk and electro era,
then due to Monthly Music Magazines and their free cover mounted CDs,
discovered a surprising liking for old timey country music in our late 30s...
Just in time for the start of the 21st Century...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Nov 19 - 07:47 AM

Re oldies liking Americana: not sure this is the case. I know of some youngsters ie under 40 who have Carter Family stuff in their repertoire, along with other 'genres'/'sub genres'...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick
Date: 11 Nov 19 - 06:33 AM

**** THREAD CREEP - re: FOLK IN LYMM IN 2005 - A LITTLE CORRECTION TO A COUPLE OF POSTS TELLING ME I WAS WRONG. NO ANGST or problem with people from my end *****

Nothing to do with the state of folk now - or is it? Who knows?

But I was neither slagging someone off just giving a straightforward factual account of what happened when I visited Lymm. I read the write up and went on a Wednesday and it wasn't for me. It was more closed and traditional than I thought so I left. I'm not even sure anyone would have noticed though there were few people there :). I was perhaps hoping for something more like the description. Perhaps they didn't like the cut of my jib. I have even been known (uncomfortably to sing an unaccompanied song though I am more comfortable with a guitar in my hands to hide behind)

Songs in the Snug

Brian Peters and The Sandman - do you ever get that feeling of deja vu? It was 2005 I visited Lymm and 2007 when this thread was going. Railway at Lymm

Not a dream but I do like to check my memories aren't deluded. :)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 11 Nov 19 - 02:40 AM

He’s still running Louth FC, but not performing as much as he used to (I think because of his and Meg’s health issues).

A very nice guy, and a great entertainer.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 11 Nov 19 - 02:28 AM

Steve I see Shanty Jack listed as a performer ~has her resurfaced ~ spoke to him at Wff and he seemed non performing


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 04:52 PM

Nick , i have played lymm several times , as brian says bernard plays guitar
i think you are describing a different club.it cannot be lymm brian has geusted there for decades and plays guitar , i did it and played banjo anmd concertina and dave howard played guitar with me


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 01:26 PM

Brian. It was about 2008 and it closed subsequently. Railway perhaps but that’s a guess. There was one on a Tuesday and one on a Thursday but this is pushing memory more than is sensible. Doesn’t sound like the place you are talking about but it was definitely Lymm or near.
May have been a wonderful place but just not for me on that particular night


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 01:20 PM

tried to follow the other thread ....dropped out somewhere round bananagate.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 12:49 PM

Thanks Steve ~ pleased that your collective efforts are reaping their rewards and folk song and music is being introduced to "new" people and good for you all

Folk isn't to every one's taste of course and trad style can be a turn off if people are not aware of its history

All the best to you all for your efforts in furtherance of "folk"

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 11:48 AM

I agree with Hilo and I find these songs are quite entrenched. Our later pub session gets a lot of local younsters in, from teens to 30 somethings, and they seem to know and always respond well to these songs. Country Roads, Leaving On A Jet Plane, The Gambler, You've Got A Friend, Lying Eyes etc etc. I can understand that a folkie might prefer to not hear these but the idea that people are thick if they like them is a wee bit off.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 09:41 AM

The audience dies Jack, the songs often go on long after. I believe there are many contemporary songs that people will sing for many years to come.
Oh, and I would suggest that Neil Young may be more Canadiana than Americana.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 09:15 AM

What I had in mind with that characterization of Americana was some demographics that affect how the folk scene will develop. Performers of Americana are not all very old, but their audiences are, and so are the people who do that stuff in singarounds. The situation is a bit like the accordion and fiddle club scene in Scotland - the performers are often a generation or two younger than the audience.

But the players in an accordion and fiddle band have prospects. They can use their skills and repertoire for many other musical purposes (and usually have done before they even start playing A&F gigs). But if your USP is doing John Denver covers, who's going to listen to you when your present audience dies?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 08:14 AM

<"I have been into a totally trad thing - in Lymm. When I walked with a guitar the immediate comment "well you are not playing that here".">

Nick, are you sure you have the right club? I've been playing Lymm FC for a couple of decades, and it was never like that. The present organiser is Bernard Cromarty, who plays guitar and accordion. Before him it was Stewart Lever, who was a handy guitar picker and preferred contemporary song. The previous two organisers played guitar too, as did (I think) every resident and floorsnger last time I was there. It's a good folk club, and I wouldn't want it getting a reputation for intolerance.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 08:13 AM

It seems quite likely that the other thread will be made unworkable by saboteurs
Will it be ok if I bring Walter here ?

"Has anyone said we can't discuss Walter? I"
Somebody opened a thread so he wouldn't be
Is he really that much of a threat to your scene??
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 07:52 AM

Ray,
Folk music in Hull is now on the up. We have a dedicated group of people with a wide range of ages and we are a registered charity (CIO) running events, and a wide circle of quality performers who are very supportive. We ran the festival last year on a shoestring but we have a much more proactive group running things now. Hopefully next year we will at least be able to pay expenses. BUT we have proven now we can run a festival on a shoestring and we are hoping the Council will now come in and help at least with the logistics.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 07:44 AM

Has anyone said we can't discuss Walter? It would seem a bit pointless as there is now a full thread devoted to Walter.

Just joking of course.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 06:56 AM

Would it be ok if we brought Walter back in from the cold?
Just joking, of course
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 06:53 AM

Hi Ray
Yes, the majority of the audience were definitely over 50. Some were over 90 (my mother 96, a source singer). I would say more than half were fairly new to folk music. There were significant numbers of younger people 20s 30s both in the audience and performing and this is very important. Considering the nature of the music, mostly unaccompanied, no PA, I'd say the numbers of younger people there was encouraging.

As for 'they came because it was free' all I can say is that when we run paid ticketed gigs with the same performers we get good audiences, mostly the same people as well. Also don't forget some of the performers and audience had travelled more than 30 miles to be there and we didn't pay for their travel.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 06:42 AM

To maybe partly address The Sandman's comment re people not attending paid guests at folk clubs and concerts ~ from my own point of view I do go to sessions and folk festivals, these are to some extent confined to time and money and travel ~I have sessions such as straight instrumental ones a month, mixed song and music twice a month, unaccompanied song once a month, occasional guests ~ last one Pitmen Poets (£20)concert

Limited time and fitness requirements does limit the time spent on folk activities!

Folk clubs presuppose that people are happy to spend time developing folk song and music band of people who are dedicated to the promotion of the aims of the club and pay good money to see professional guest

These to my mind are the heroes and should be applauded for their work

Concerts are a different matter and tend to be more in the realms of entertainment

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 06:02 AM

If I might ask Steve, the audience what proportion do you reckon were new or fairly new to folk song and music? What proportion do you think were under 50

Basically do think Hull's Maritime Concert were attracted to the Free side of things and were simply if I might use the phrase "punters" of the wider variety?

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 05:45 AM

I love gadgets. When they go out of fashion after a few years, you can get them cheap.

got a great yamaha keyboard for forty quid plus stand, and a yamaha drum machine on ebay.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 05:33 AM

Our latest concert in Hull Maritime yesterday. The Museum Curator decided that for safety reasons the room had to be limited to 100 capacity. As it was he relented and allowed in 120. Many many were turned away disappointed. I'd say less than half of the audience were aware of the folk scene. Comments from audience afterwards were as the previous 2, 'This has been the best one so far'.

Many many thanks to the following performers who gave their services free.
Spare Hands (6-piece group)
The Smugglers (4-piece group)
Paul and Liz Davenport
Sam Martyn
Linda Kelly
Shanty Jack
Hull Chanty Crew (varies between 8 and 12 singers)
Maggie Graham
Ralph and Helene Marks

IMO all of the songs were either traditional or in traditional style with local heritage as the subject.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 04:25 AM

Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett - PM
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 03:37 AM

So is the scene becoming more isolated and entrenched by professionals V sessions? That is the need to make a living for the "true" professionals against the for fun people and where does "audience" come into it?

Just asking! er um

Ray"
some professionals also go to sessions, howeer lots of singers who attend singarounds and could do with improvement do not go to guest booking clubs because it appears they are not interested in listening to anyone else but themselves, then you have the people who attend irish music sessions who never go to anything else, make of thatwhatever you will people are perfectly entitled to attend ITM SESSIONS ONLY , IT IS MEANT TO BE MORE OF A STAEMERNT OF FACT


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 03:51 AM

Al, I don’t need an Airturn pedal - I make each song fit on one page and, if it’s too long to fit in the standard screen, I tap the scroll arrow on the screen to make it scroll up slowly. That way, I have less gear to lug, go wrong, lose, or have nicked!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 03:38 AM

those electronic ringbinders with a pedal to turn the page are pretty cool.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 03:37 AM

So is the scene becoming more isolated and entrenched by professionals V sessions? That is the need to make a living for the "true" professionals against the for fun people and where does "audience" come into it?

Just asking! er um

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 02:58 PM

Bernard Cromarty at Lymm, Nick.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 02:18 PM

A friend of mine (who is coming to hear us play in a few weeks) was very involved in traditional music in York at the Lowther I think. Long time ago.

We come from different places and traditions but we don't fall out.

He will champion unaccompanied song - and I enjoy much of what he does - AND I always encouraged his wife to sing when I ran the little local thing I did each week

But as I'm broader church I would be happy when we played some tunes and all sorts of stuff. But - and I know a friend in New Zealand who has the same battle - you have to decide what you are.

I have been into a totally trad thing - in Lymm. When I walked with a guitar the immediate comment "well you are not playing that here". I said 'it's a walking stick in case I fall over". Which is fine and I didn't. I have had this conversation on mudcat donkeys years ago with the person who has a different recollection. (Bernard something?)

It was very reverential if I remember

Same week way back when I went to Wigan folk club/gathering (Tues and Thurs) run by Joan with the wonderful red hair. What a wonderful all encompassing brilliant place to go. Where everyone was encouraged and everyone smiled.

I went to Swinton and met Dave the Gnome and people like Pete Ryder (I still sing that song...)

Is it folk. Who knows?

I sympathise with people who want it all to be one thing but - for my sins - I like many things. And don't see them as different.

I have a friend in Belfast who is a million miles better than me played for years in the US professionally. And we still love music. He came from a strict proper irish traditional music world (champion player and all that) and he sees the similarities between jazz and Irish Traditional music. Because they are tension and resolution.

It is the world of I have a better lawnmower.

Whereas they are all just lawnmowers


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 01:58 PM

heres another example walter pardon aparantly did not like the farmers boy but like old browns daughter, to me they are both sentimental squit,. but i would nt call walter thick because he like one but not theother


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 01:55 PM

Iagree with jacks taste, but it has nothing to do with being thick, just different people like different stuff , bit like food ,i dont likecockles but i would not call anyone thick who did


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Workingtonman
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 01:24 PM

i saw neil young on a bbc arena programme early '70s it was important to me - and i've liked him since. from joni to to the clash i always thought '70s music was the best and listen to it more and more as i get older (63). some days van morrison is all i can deal with. of course, i am very stupid, jack. whose music would you recommend to make me a bit brighter?

jeez louise, i have seen some offensive comments on mudcat = but being thick for enjoying some music?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 01:01 PM

"Could you give us the name and address of the charm-school you attended please, Jack?"

who put the "offensive" in charm offensive...???

Who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 12:51 PM

”What does Americana mean- or is it a vague term just like 'folk'- as in daft statements like 'I don't like folk music'

Nostalgia trips for people thick enough that they thought the Eagles, Neil Young and James Taylor were worth listening to 40 years ago and want to hear that stuff one more time before they get shuffled off to the eventide home.”


Could you give us the name and address of the charm-school you attended please, Jack? It’s obviously a failing school, and I want to warn my kids not to send my grand-kids there.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 12:34 PM

I blame the Scots myself... https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12283961.balladeer-taylor-returns-to-his-roots/


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 12:31 PM

Must be great to be such a superior being.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 11:45 AM

What does Americana mean- or is it a vague term just like 'folk'- as in daft statements like 'I don't like folk music'

Nostalgia trips for people thick enough that they thought the Eagles, Neil Young and James Taylor were worth listening to 40 years ago and want to hear that stuff one more time before they get shuffled off to the eventide home.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 11:08 AM

”back woody, i wouldnt mind portfolio practioners so much if they practised and tried to improve their presentation”

I do, and I always have for the past 58 years of performing.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 09:36 AM

it's the weekend.. enjoy...??? BLANCHE- Red Head


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 09:22 AM

I'm one of the people who used 'Americana' loosely, many posts further back. I tend to use it to describe the whole gamut of US folk, including old-time, bluegrass, country and blues, all of which I love with a passion. However, it's also a genre in its own right - with dedicated festivals to prove it - and seems in this context to be a pretty slick kind of country-pop.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 09:19 AM

To that I'll add the gothic alt country of the late 1990s onwards..
probably developing from earlier country punk
with added touches of eastern european 19th century immigrants to america minor key music..

It's doomy and depressing.. the kind of Americana I like...

Blanche & 16 Horsepower were a good exampless...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Workingtonman
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 08:54 AM

like most forms of contempary music americana was invented by neil young. his song 'borrowed tune' and much of the rest of his 'tonight's the night' album being a good example - though all of his accoustic, shambling stuff from the early days would do. then add a bit of blue grass, a bit of acquired honest authenticity, modern day low-fi hippyness, gillian welch and dave rawlings. then finish off with the latest 'sitting in a lonely shack watching geese fly by and worrying about my woman and the environment' style. this may sound like i don't like it but i do - it's great.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Nov 19 - 08:39 AM

Very sorry to hear about your athiritis BWM. I always think of you as a talented singer/guitarist/songwriter and conscientious performer.

There are few of us unmauled by the ravages of time. I can't bring myself to think of the loss of my guitar playing. I know its coming - I've seen all my mates lose either the love of the music or the capacity to play.

I used to guitar teach this follower of the Divine Light. Followers of a little Chinese kid guru.

He assuired me all that I had would be taken away. My reaction at the time was - lets get on with you acquiring C, F and G7.

At the moment - I'm learning to play the ukelele. I'm no George Formby - but I'm getting there.


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Mudcat time: 27 February 3:33 AM EST

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