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The current state of folk music in UK

punkfolkrocker 03 Nov 19 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,Joe G 03 Nov 19 - 11:44 AM
Jeri 03 Nov 19 - 11:39 AM
GUEST 03 Nov 19 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 03 Nov 19 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,Joe G 03 Nov 19 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,Hootennanny 03 Nov 19 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 03 Nov 19 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,John Bowden 03 Nov 19 - 07:02 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 03 Nov 19 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 03 Nov 19 - 06:51 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Nov 19 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,John Bowden (not a typo!) 03 Nov 19 - 05:01 AM
r.padgett 03 Nov 19 - 04:35 AM
r.padgett 03 Nov 19 - 04:16 AM
The Sandman 03 Nov 19 - 04:09 AM
The Sandman 03 Nov 19 - 03:44 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Nov 19 - 03:18 AM
punkfolkrocker 02 Nov 19 - 11:09 PM
Stewie 02 Nov 19 - 09:59 PM
GUEST,Joe G 02 Nov 19 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,Joe G 02 Nov 19 - 09:21 PM
GUEST,Starship 02 Nov 19 - 09:12 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Nov 19 - 09:04 PM
GUEST,Joe G 02 Nov 19 - 08:34 PM
GUEST,Joe G 02 Nov 19 - 08:24 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Nov 19 - 08:12 PM
GUEST,Joe G 02 Nov 19 - 07:47 PM
GUEST,Joe G 02 Nov 19 - 07:32 PM
Jack Campin 02 Nov 19 - 07:12 PM
The Sandman 02 Nov 19 - 06:08 PM
The Sandman 02 Nov 19 - 05:27 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 02 Nov 19 - 05:10 PM
Vic Smith 02 Nov 19 - 04:34 PM
Dave the Gnome 02 Nov 19 - 04:33 PM
Vic Smith 02 Nov 19 - 04:15 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Nov 19 - 03:55 PM
punkfolkrocker 02 Nov 19 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 02 Nov 19 - 03:22 PM
r.padgett 02 Nov 19 - 03:07 PM
punkfolkrocker 02 Nov 19 - 02:56 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Nov 19 - 02:40 PM
GUEST 02 Nov 19 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 02 Nov 19 - 02:13 PM
Howard Jones 02 Nov 19 - 02:11 PM
Jim Carroll 02 Nov 19 - 01:21 PM
Howard Jones 02 Nov 19 - 01:19 PM
punkfolkrocker 02 Nov 19 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,Derrick 02 Nov 19 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,Derrick 02 Nov 19 - 12:57 PM
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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 11:53 AM

It's not enough for Jim that we like trad songs...???

We must live, breathe, eat, sweat, piss, shit, and bleed, trad songs..

Then, and only then, we might attain the first level of enlightenment
on our pathway to becoming the holiest of trad folk crusader warrior monks...

Of course, Jim might be fully aware how much he is overstating his opinions,
in passionate/evangelical opposition to what he sees as a declining 'less than ideal' modern culture...?????

If the human race has survived another century or more,
they will most likely still acknowledge and enjoy trad folk songs in one form or another..

Jim has more than done his bit to help ensure that...

The 23rd Century folk scene might even be all totally acoustic again,
songs handed down by memory from old to young,
in a devastated post apocalyptic ruralised world with no electricity...

That's something for folkies to look forward to then...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 11:44 AM

Agreed Jeri - I have enjoyed the discussion apart from the ongoing battles between some participants

I just wanted to ensure Jim knows that I do enjoy traditional music as well as many other areas of folk music


Hopefully this will be the 1000th post!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 11:39 AM

"do what I do. Let it go."

No offense, but if you're still focusing on him, talking about him, you haven't let it go.

Nobody here is responsible for anyone else's mental health, and being the internet, there is an abundance of pwoplw lacking it.
This is the last thing I'll say about it, but this focus on individuals really de-rails the discussion of the subject of the thread, music, or whatever.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 11:33 AM

I ma not sure Joe is the one who needs to let it go P.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 11:23 AM

Joe,

I speak from experience here, even if it is do what I say not do what I do. Let it go. If not, you risk embarking on a long and increasingly unpleasant dialogue with a person whom you seem already to suspect of not reading your posts properly before responding. At least he hasn't called you a racist, like he did me.   

Anybody worth caring about will have read your contributions and will think fairly about them.

Best wishes
Pseu.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 11:08 AM

Jim said - 'If you don't particularly like traditional song you are one of a vast majority in Britain'

But I made clear I do like traditional songs just not all of those that I have heard!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Hootennanny
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 09:54 AM

Pseud,

The guitar in the UK goes back a little before Donegan. I once owned a parlour guitar made by the Rhoudloff (I seem to remember that spelling) Brothers dated 1867. I believe the Rhoudloff's origin was Russian but their address was in London.

There were a number of guitar players around the UK well before Lonnie. One that broadcast from time to time doing folky numbers was Elton Hayes "He sings to a small guitar". I remember hearing him do the Raggle Taggle Gypsies.

One or two Music Hall artists also played. I remember Malcolm Price being envious of a nice Martin played by Max Wall.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 09:26 AM

Jim - please re read what I said (Joe)

Welcome to my world, Joe. You have my support on this reasonable request.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,John Bowden
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 07:02 AM

No Jim, it wasn't me you saw in Belfast. The CDs offer still stands
John


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 06:58 AM

Sorry, my last post was intended to contribute to the debate on 'folk rock' and whether it works as a genre. We can look elsewhere for two way influences: I have heard UK 'folk' that features the banjo, said to be an instrument with African origins often made and played by Black Americans in the days of slavery. I know Pepys brought a guitar to England way back, but I suspect that this instrument became popular in the UK because of US influence via both black blues and white popular US music. Lonnie Donnigan probably something like a starting place.

Not disrespecting Sandman's view: I especially dislike folk rock when they don't get the sound balance right.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 06:51 AM

Some and I emphasise some of the roots of some blues music are often argued to lie precisely in folk music from Britain (and other parts of the world). Thus Leadbelly's Gallows Pole. A third person blues ballad form exists. So on one level you might argue that the roots of blues and folk are not so utterly far apart. This is not to downplay the origins of much content of blues in slavery.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 05:08 AM

"john bowden and vic shepherd, i think jim might enjoy it too"
Not unpleasant Dick, but I've heard better - I wouldn't try to juge singers from poorly balanced UTube clips anyway
From the Utube clip I may have heard John in Belfast the weekend before last
It's +beside the point - my personal taste has nothing to do with how I define folk - a thing being 'good or bad' (too subjective a term) doesn't change anything from being what it is (just filling in time waiting for Pat to get ready)
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,John Bowden (not a typo!)
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 05:01 AM

Well *blush* - how nice and unexpected to be name-checked! Yes, we recorded "A Motty Down" as an LP in 1983, and re-issued it through Paul Davenport's Hallamtrads in 2013, and in 2015 we released "Still Waters", a CD of maritime and sea-songs (not all shanties!). I hope Jim might enjoy them - Jim, if you let me have your address I'll send you copies with pleasure. My email (and for anybody else who would like to order them) is [johnbowdenthereal AT gmail DOT com].

Sorry for the thread drift!

John


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 04:35 AM

Yes just checked John and Vic do have their CDs available


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 04:16 AM

Has this been reissued? It was I believe recorded a long time ago ~ John and Vic have another recent CD I think

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 04:09 AM

I will recomend a cd i heard recntly "a motty down" by john bowden and vic shepherd, i think jim might enjoy it too


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 03:44 AM

guest joe g your points about fplkrock are valid ,however i do not think it has ever really worked, a thought i believe i share with MartinCarthy. rock is derived from rock and roll which is derived from blues the roots are different from uk folk music, i am not saying it cannot work but i have yet to experience a satisfactory blend , my subjective opinion


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

"I'm very keen that we don't fall out about this "
Not as far as I'm concerned Joe - I may disagree with people about their very personal interpretation of folk song, but I feel rancour to very few - you don't begin to raise to those giddy heights
If you don't particularly like traditional song you are one of a vast majority in Britain - your/their loss, as far as I'm concerned (I have family members I feel the same about) :-}
The problem for me is that, judging by what's happened to the present scene, there are far too many who do do much about it

I find some of this discussion downright distressing - describing one of Englands best, last and most respected source singers as Water Pardon has been here would once have been met with cries of "lynch the bastard" and, had someone suggested that he had been falsely "lionised" and had no claim to being being part of the oral tradition, it would have been Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson and their daughter Eliza carrying the rope

I accept the statement for what it was and why it was made and can write it off as such, but the almost total lack of outrage that followed it shows clearly where folk stands at present - If this is where the scene stands it has lost its way and no is longer going anywhere
That's the hardest thing to come to terms with - the scene has been uprooted and is being used for something else entirely
I can only hope that this discussion is not representative of the wider picture, but I fear it might be

Jim Moray is not to my taste - I've actually argued with him (surprise-surprise) on this forum, but, were he just another experimenter with folk song, I would have no problem with his performance - the problems arise when he and people like him are taken up and 'lionized' by the media and given prizes as 'the Britain's best folksinger' which he oviously is not
You only have to put him up to, say Sam Larner or Phil Tanner, or Harry Cox to see that Jim is doing something else entirely different to our real folk singers
It is like giving George Butterworth or Ralph Vaughan Williams prizes as 'Britain's best folk composers' - I dote on the "cowpat" music of both but 'folk composers they are not

For me, the situation is that if someone doesn't come to terms with what is happening to English folk song (I totally agree with the poster who said that Scotland doesn't have the same problems), then folk song is going to be lost for generations to come
I'd put up with what has gone on here a thousand times if that could be avoided

Stewie
Lankum isn't particularly to my taste either, but I see them as part of the interesting and healthy experimentation in Irish Traditional singing that is taking place here at present   
If Lankum was the only, or even a major thing on offer in Ireland I might have a problem with them - thankfully they are not
Youngsters are beginning to take up the old songs in a big way and there are signs that the singing is being give the same guarantee of a future that the music has won for itself - on Tuesday we'll be at a mini-concert by two fine musicians and a singer, Máire Ní Chéileachair, who is busy encouraging and guiding young people into taking up their singing traditions
Hope the new Ken Loach film doesn't bring us down to earth with too much of a bang during our three days away

Coincidentally, we'll be in the venue where I first saw Lankum tonight - 'The Cobblestone' in Dublin - hopefully I'll get a song in myself
I've already chosen an English version of 'The Tailor's Britches' so I can get a plug in for Musical Traditions's rather good 'Songs of the North Riding' in the hope that they sell more than the three they managed for Sam Larner's magnificent double CD collection

"Have a good and safe trip, Jim."
Thanks for your good wishes Starry - Just learned that the beautiful three-master, 'Libertad' has docked on The Liffey and will be open to visitors - the icing on the cake
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 11:09 PM

"If the scene dies, as looks imminent"

Hey.. who's that glum looking bloke wearing a "The end of the world is nigh..." sandwich board
outside our folk club...

He kinda looks familiar...?????


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Stewie
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 09:59 PM

My apologies if this is off topic, but it is pertinent to Jim's remarks. I may be wrong, but I suspect that Jim would have little time for Lankum's renditions of traditional song. However, he may find common ground with this quote in relation to Radie Peat, the female musician in the group. It is from Myles O'Reilly who has a website music program titled 'This Ain't No Disco':

Older than her years would indicate is true. Not ranting now but taking the time to ponder in text about Radie and other great folk musicians like her.. In Irish folk and traditional music, as a necessary method of teaching and preserving culture, young musicians grow up joining their elders at music sessions from a very young age. In the songs of their parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles and their friends, deeply shared emotions mostly particular to one's own community are conveyed that can never be recorded in writing. Held within these emotions are important lessons. Human lessons pertinent to their sociological conditions. The older and more experienced generation of players and singers with whom young musicians then identify with the most, naturally become mentors. Radie is once such musician who has grown up around local music sessions, listening deeply, and so making meaningful connections with the stories and the lessons locked within them. What you're hearing as "older with more heart than [her] years would indicate", is the collective feelings and emotions of all the generations that have lived, loved, laughed and cried before her, successfully having been passed down to her. She is able to communicate that history and wealth of emotion to all of us and more importantly the next generation of musicians that identify with her, so on and so forth. That's how Irish culture has survived many hundreds of years of foreign colonization, and will continue to be how Irish tradition will survive the current global commercialization of music and culture. Every country has their own ethnic traditional folk music, which every country needs to nurture and protect... ...I could go on and on about it but words fail where the experience of being present won't. Myles.

The source of the quote is comments re clip on YT of Radie Peat singing 'My Bonny Boy'.

My Bonny Boy

Here in Oz, every week I listen to Mike Norris' 'Classic Folk' radio program on the efdss website. I also read the reviews and listen the radio programs on the Folk Radio UK website. Judging from the volume and variety of music presented, folk music in the UK, however defined, appears to be healthy indeed.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 09:55 PM

Rather amusingly I just saw a post on a Howard Jones YouTube saying how much better pop music was back then - I had to explain that although there was some great pop and rock music made in the 80's there are still plenty of superb musicians today - they just hadn't heard them yet


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 09:21 PM

Jim - please re read what I said (including my apology for a word poorly chosen) - I'm very keen that we don't fall out about this - we have different views but I very much respect yours. I didn't wish to downplay the importance of traditional song - I was merely expressing a personal preference eg I would say that Jez Lowe's 'Last of the Widows' is up there with the 'Trimdon Grange Explosion'

I'm sorry that you think something I have said is 'not my place' I have written about, promoted and generally supported folk music for around 43 years. I think I do have some entitlement to an opinion especially one gently and thoughtfully expressed

Have a great time in Dublin. I will probably be listening to Jim Moray's superb CD of traditional songs so we won't be so far apart musically. Let's not fall out about this - I know I have been a bit sharp in the past but that was wrong and I do genuinely hope we can discuss this in a friendly atmosphere - we are coming from very different places but we have lots of common ground


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 09:12 PM

Have a good and safe trip, Jim.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 09:04 PM

"but they are old songs and most might not have relevance today."
That's been said about Shakespeare on and off down the centuries (according to 'The Globe Museum, anyway)
Even if it were true (which it most certainly isn't, that is to reason to hi-jack its name with identify theft and fill (or empty) the clubs with something entirely different
If the scene dies, as looks imminent, then the work done and the recordings made will survive in archives and libraries to be decided on by future generations
People wandering around wailing "folk is dead and nobody knows what it is anyway" is a sure way to guarantee that will never happen
Christ knows - it's nigh on impossible to give our collection away to people who claim to be "interested in folk" as it is, without it being subjected to what amounts to euthanasia.
Nobody, but nobody should ever have the right to claim that something is, or even might be no longer relevant on behalf of people who have dedicated their lives to
it - especially something created by the working people of Britain to reflect their lives and experiences.

I'm off to Dublin tomorrow and will spend tomorrow night listening to a bunch of young singers who are proving every time they open their mouths that traditional song is not dead until someone cremates it
Noy your place to make such a profound statement Joe
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 08:34 PM

Apologies naive was not an appropriate word in my post above - 'open to discussion ' would have been better


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 08:24 PM

I have been meaning to post this for a while. I am going to be a bit hypocritical here and talk about the past! Though only in a way I hope will shed some light on my attitude to the current discussion. Apologies for some inevitable repetition of comments I have made previously either here or on other threads

My way into folk music was, as I have said recently, via the Hartlepool Folk Club when my friend persuaded me at our tender ages of 17, against what I thought was my better judgement, to go in there one drizzly Sunday evening. Anything to get out of the rain I thought and there was nowhere else to go to nearby and almost certainly no other chance to hear live music in the town of about 100k people other than variable interpretations of pop ballads at the many working men's clubs

On entering I found a friendly crowd and was astounded by the person I thought to be the main turn. As it turned out he wasn't the booked artists but the MC - the unforgettable Graham Whitley who is tragically not still with us. Graham sang a mixture of traditional songs and Americana and sang them very well indeed all unaccompanied. he was followed by Neil Hart - a thoughtful singer and excellent guitarist who played his own material and an excellent Ralph McTell cover. The guest for that evening was Johnny Handle who was responsible for my lifelong love of mining songs - especially those of Tommy Armstrong. I was smitten. Other singers that night included Reg Crawford who introduced me to shantys and also to Ron Angel's sublime Chemical Workers Song. I became a regular attendee and revelled in the superb range of musicians that the club attracted - Jez Lowe & Ged Foley were regular floor singers and, I think, guest artists. The music was not entirely what Jim would describe as folk but it was always excellent.

After leaving Hartlepool I moved to Winchester and only have vague recollections of the folk scene down the re but do recall it seemed a bit tame. More fol de rols and less hewing ;-) Moving back North to Yorkshire I was impressed by the number of folk clubs but disappointed by the quality of many - though fortunately the Bradford Topic and the Bacca Pipes in Keighley were always solid bets. Too often, as I mentioned earlier, it was necessary to persevere the dodgy floor singers to get to hear the guest artists. I have to say that if some of the clubs in Yorkshire had been my first experience of folk music I would not have gone back and would probably to this day be oblivious of the wonderful music we all love. This is not a criticism of Yorkshire clubs per se - it could have happened anywhere

So - and this is my point - perhaps many clubs died out because they were, quite frankly, a bit pants. Many will have suffered from loss of venue, loss of individuals who drove the club, competition from the ever increasing music venues where one could actually have a good time and not sit in silence all night (though I am perfectly happy to sit in silence not everyone is) etc

When I went to that fantastic folk club in Hartlepool that drizzly evening it was the only place to go to hear decent live music - now even in Hartlepool , hardly the cultural epicentre of the world, there are many more options so why would a young person choose to go to a folk club? In York where I now live I probably go to the Black Swan FC once a month but I go to lots of other gigs where what I would describe as folk is being performed.

It is absolutely essential to keep and preserve the old songs and Jim does a fantastic job in doing this but they are old songs and most might not have relevance today. it is good to hear them sung but to suggest they are in some ways more important than songs being written today is I have to say naive

Sorry about the long post - I could go on about how invigorating it is to see lots of young people involved in performing folk music, both traditional and contemporary, the tremendous musicians sessions at festivals such as Shrewsbury, the annual singaround sessions at Whitby I have attended for 25 years until recently, the inventiveness of artists such as Jim Moray and Jon Boden - oh it seems like I did ;-)

So my view is that folk music is in very good health (certainly compared to the end of the last century) and young people will carry it forward in their way and will do things to it we cannot yet imagine. But the music will live and thrive. Rest easy Jim - it's folk music but not as we know it :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 08:12 PM

From 'A simple Countryman' (Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie - 'Dear Far-Voiced Veteran' Essays in Honor of Tom Munnelly, Old Kildarboy Society (2007)

The text in red are direct transcriptions of an interview with Walter in his home, now housed at The British Library


There would be conversation, music, singing and dancing at these parties but always perfect quiet for the songs. The living room had an exposed beam running across the ceiling called the baulk and the shout would go up, “Our side of the baulk” after someone had sung from one side of the room and they would take turns across the room. They each had their own particular songs for these occasions. Apparently no-one wanted THE DARK EYED SAILOR so that was Walter’s song, or sometimes WHEN THE FIELDS WERE WHITE WITH DAISIES. They all knew the tunes but everybody was very protective of their own songs and did not want others to learn them. As the favourite youngster, Walter was the only one to whom Billy Gee would give his songs but none of his contemporaries wanted them anyway; they would only learn new songs as they came out.

“There used to be Christmas night and the Harvest Frolics, yes. Well they sung the songs as they learnt as new. The ages stretched so much, you see, from the oldest down to the youngest and there was years difference, you very near knew when they were born by the songs, you see. They’d be the folk songs that went back probably to the eighteenth century, early nineteenth; then when the younger ones come along, songs would be sung what they learned perhaps in the eighteen or nineteen hundreds, up to early perhaps nineteen twenty. So they all learnt them as new, as they come out in their time. And there was only me learnt the old ones, you see, what had gone back, what grandfather sung.
The Harvest Frolics finished when I was a boy, anyhow. Then that gradually died as the old people kept dying; then the old Christmas parties finished altogether, so there was no more left to carry it on and no-one left but me who knew the songs”.


Yours are the arguments with no basis and refuse to back them up with anything resembling evidence - you have mine

"but your arguments on here about a time long ago are becoming very tiresome"
Sorry Joe; what is happening on the scene today has to be based around what the term "folk" meant to our source singers and to those of us who took up their songs and their interpretation, otherwise it is totally relevant - you mat have merely termed your thread "the scene"

Ray
If you reduce the scene to "bums on seats", again a discussion on "the folk scene becomes meaningless

"It's not proper business if it's not done in the traditional way
Yet more snideswipes Dave !

Meant to respond to this earlier
" one thing he did that was worthwhile was encourage some of the early folk-rock stuff."
Nobody suggested Bert never made mistakes
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 07:47 PM

Good points there Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 07:32 PM

Pseud and Jim - with respect and sorry to be a bit personal but your arguments on here about a time long ago are becoming very tiresome. I'm sure we all value both your contributions to the debate where they are relevant but you clearly both have important points to make to each other about historical detail but I suspect that most people would rather you discussed these on another thread or in PMs - they really have little to do with the subject under discussion.

Dick - I'm sorry you feel that way about Lloyd's support of folk rock (I'm assuming that his support was a genuine thing as I wouldn't have been aware at the time) as, following on from my induction into folk music at the Nursery in Hartlepool, my enthusiasm was further encouraged by seeing Five Hand Reel at Durham Folk Festival and Steeleye Span at Middlesborough Town Hall. It was much later when I got to know Fairport but folk rock was and remains a very important part of my folk experience. I would imagine as well that many young people who were not as fortunate as me in having a club as eclectic and welcoming as Hartlepool found their way into folk music via folk rock. Without it I would suspect that we would have far fewer folk enthusiast from my generation (I'm 60 now)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 07:12 PM

Hobgoblin recently bought Scayles, Edinburgh's biggest folk instruments shop, when its owner retired. They haven't visibly changed it.

Maybe there are other crypto-Hobgoblins around the UK?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 06:08 PM

Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 02:15 PM

On Lloyd, one thing he did that was worthwhile was encourage some of the early folk-rock stuff."
your subjective opinion, my subjective opinion is that it was the one thing he did that was NOT worthwhile


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 05:27 PM

pseudonymous,do you mind telling us your identity, if you do not that is understandable


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 05:10 PM

"I don't suppose you can produce this"
Find it for yourself, or don't you want to learn?

Sorry Jim, I've been through these flat contradictions too many time with you to waste my time putting you right. My guess is you know where it is, and if not, you probably ought to?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 04:34 PM

I wonder if our Ireland based contributors are painting a full and accurate picture of the music scene there. I know from my own experience that sessions in Clare are wonderful but they are of necessity small and intimate and from other threads we know that Dick is involved in doing an admirable job of organising a festival in West Cork - a fine example of a performer putting his experience to good use but....
Today I received an email entitled Dublin TradFest 2020 and I wondered as I opened it whether there would be something to mark the life of Frank Harte though I know An Góilín run weekend events in his honour. However, the email tells me that the TradFest headliners are The Afro-Celt Sound System, Skippinish and the Peatbog Faeries.
I wonder how many English folk festivals would book (or could afford) these bands. Cambridge possibly?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 04:33 PM

It's not proper business if it's not done in the traditional way, Vic ;-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 04:15 PM

Punkfolkrocker
Hobgoblin shops closed...???
Howard Jones
Hobgoblin is still running, as has been pointed out.
... and the original shop in Crawley closed and moved to larger and more commercial venue in Brighton, but two of my friends who have worked for that firm tell me that these days there is more business conducted online and through their large warehouse in Worthing than in all their shops comnined. After all, this in England in 2019.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 03:55 PM

" he plainly says that he did not call the songs he sang with his family folk songs.""
I dpon't suppose you can produce this but I'll happily produce him saying exactly the opposite
Object to my language being "emotive"
I assure you I fing being called a liar far more offensive than anything I might have said
I think we're finished her - talking to you is guaranteed to get this thread closed

" he plainly says that he did not call the songs he sang with his family folk songs."
I find this descvriptin pretty offensive too Ray (and a little surprising)

"Well, I like what I'm hearing....."
Welcome to a not particularly exclusive club PFR
I've not many many folkies who didn't like Walter, though at one time, when she tried to get him a booking at a club in the London area she was told, "We don't do that sort of thing, we're a folk club"
Casualty calls, I think
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 03:34 PM

Mind though.. I did follow up the 2 Walter Pardon tracks with Bellowhead...

Now for some more up tempo Saturday night cooking hot dogs tracks
to jiggle around the kitchen to...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 03:22 PM

1 On Walter: Spotify has several items, and also 'albums' featuring him. They have a lot of other folk stuff too. Happy if other people like him: he just isn't to my taste really. Takes all sorts.

2 "It is perfectly possible to point out that somebody was a Marxist without intending to engage in a 'witchhunt'." Not if it is irrelevant and used an argument against their work, it isn't. The point was made, as I recall, in response to a comment to the effect that Lloyd did not do political things. A comment I personally still find absurd.

Well it wasn't. So no problem there, then.

I have never PMs anybody on Mudcat except the boss relating to membership, and one other occasion that I cannot recall now. Certainly not relating to Jim, though when he called me a racist on the basis that I objected to negative stereotypes of travellers I was tempted.

'Nonsense'. In an interview with Pardon online, he plainly says that he did not call the songs he sang with his family folk songs. If I was not precise enough I apologise. But 'nonsense' is not a very helpful comment here.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 03:07 PM

I am sorry to labour the point but I did say earlier that Folk clubs still rely on audiences and in particular those who gather regularly to provide the quality and social entertainment of those clubs weekly/monthly etc including floor singers and musicians

The successful clubs have a number of reasons for their continued success and may well have different reasons for their success (or failure) the strengths and weaknesses can be down to individual preferences as to what a club should be and will attract some and put off others

Purists would always want floor singers to be "the finished article" who are highly competent ~ these will not always be available as they will command or be looking to further their own talents and status

As I say Concerts will book acts often with paid or professional quality support as that is what audiences pay for

To maintain a good standard of floor singer needs a higher profile and to have some sort of progression from singarounds and sessions ~ NOTE just to Advertise a highly competent artist at a venue does NOT guarantee a successful night when only half a dozen audience turn in ~ it is not possible to know how many ppl will come unless you have built up a good "quorum" of supporters of all sorts (audience) and in fact ppl will often stay away ~ no matter what incentives are on offer

Ray


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 02:56 PM

For what it's worth, Amazon Alexa has two Walter Pardon tracks available to stream...

[wot.. only two.. that's a bit stingy... but still two more than other old folk singers I've asked for..
Now if only the local libraries hadn't been axed by the tories...]

So as a direct result of this thread I'm having a listen,
for the first time in probably over a decade ago..

Well, I like what I'm hearing.....


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 02:40 PM

"It is perfectly possible to point out that somebody was a Marxist without intending to engage in a 'witchhunt'."
Not if it is irrelevant and used an argument against their work, it isn't
"It would also be possible to conclude that Lloyd is unreliable"
It would take proof to establish that - none forthcoming so far
My opposition to the destructive nature of what is happening to research has led to personal abuse and what amounts to PM hate mail, which I still have on record, which totally overshadows and 'emotive language I might have indulged in - if these people wish to indulge in such behaviour they should be prapared for an energetic response - the whole argument started began when I was described as a "starry-eyed naivete" for suggesting that the folk might have played a part in the making of their folk songs
"Struggling to see what or who this refers to"
Walter vehemently dismissed the idea that his pop and music hall songs were folk songs - despite this, they were given Roud numbers on the basis that he sang them   
Steve's arbitrary rejection of the definition of over a centuries research which arrived at a definition of folk song is 'tearing down the work of others' as far as I'm concerned though I find hem far more sensitive and friendly than some who share his viw (see above)
"'researchers' descended upon his he had never heard of the word 'folk'"
Nonsense - Walter and his generation were introduced to "folk" by Sharp's 'Folk Songs for Schools' nearly a century ago
I' happy to let anybody have our article on Walter entitled "A Simple Countryman ?", (named precisely on the patronising suggestion that Walter had been "got at by folkies")
If I though there was room, I'd just reproduce it here
Now we seem to be entering into the "I'd rather believe..." again
What Walter said is on record and has been quoted interminably on this forum
We worked with and were close friends with Walter for twenty years - I don't know anybody still around who can claim that
Denying what has been reported is not acceptable in my folk world unless I can prove it not to be true
Sorry - this is tending to make my case for me
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 02:15 PM

On Lloyd, one thing he did that was worthwhile was encourage some of the early folk-rock stuff.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 02:13 PM

Sigh...

It is perfectly possible to point out that somebody was a Marxist without intending to engage in a 'witchhunt'. But we all knew that, didn't we?

It would also be possible to conclude that Lloyd is unreliable on a variety of counts without disapproving of his politics. But we all know that, don't we?

There is a difference between throwing stones and taking claims and theories about this that and the other with a sensible pinch of salt. But we all know that, don't we?

"Now the latest mob are not only tearing down the work of the pioneers but also the opinions of those they talked to"

My thinking is that emotive language like this doesn't really help in taking a discussion forward. Not all of us have yet to learn this, though it has been pointed out on numerous occasions on these threads by the friends of some who use that sort of language. In fact, I have just realised that one such attempt to point it out immediately preceded the post I have quoted from.

"This is summed up perfectly by giving songs singers like Walter Pardon rejected as being folk Round numbers"

Struggling to see what or who this refers to but guessing it may be intended to comment negatively on the work of Steve Roud? That's a pity, of so. Especially if we are supposed not to be tearing down the work of others.

Also my understanding, on the basis of a piece with Pardon is that until the hordes of 'researchers' descended upon his he had never heard of the word 'folk'. This for me casts doubt on whether it is helpful to refer to what Pardon did and not consider to be folk apart from simply recording what he said on the topic for the sake of recording something he said.

On the topic of Pardon, we have already seen what appears to be one rather large creative leap from what he allegedly said to a gloss giving somebody's view of the significance of this. One is not obliged to accept others interpretations of texts.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 02:11 PM

Jim, I must challenge your constant denigration of guest clubs as "little more than mini-concerts for stars and passive bums-on seats".

You seem to forget, or to be unaware, how unusual your own background is. Most of us didn't have the benefit of advice from the leading figures in the folk revival. We didn't have workshops, discussion groups or do breathing exercises, because there was no one with the knowledge and expertise to run them. We didn't have nearby pubs full of Irish fiddlers. My folk education was almost entirely in the folk clubs, and much of that I had to pick up by observation rather than discussion.

When I first started, my education came from watching the guests. There were the ones I picked up ideas, repertoire and inspiration from. Getting up to sing in front of them made my want to get better. The club was where I got to buy their records from which to learn new material. Without the guests, it would have just been the same crowd of regular floor singers, most of whom were in the same situation. We needed that regular exposure to new, different musicians to develop our own music.

I think that where clubs nowadays are in the doldrums it is because their singers don't get that exposure to new ideas, new songs and better technique. We need more guest clubs, not fewer.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 01:21 PM

Delighted to learn they're still around Derrick - I thought they'd appearance when they went from Camden Lock - thanks for the heads up

Lloyd tinkered with songs as did every traditional singer who ever got their hands on them
He was only "unreliable" to those who disapproved of his politics it would appear
It wold be interesting to see some credit being given to the work of these people from those who seem to offer folk mussic other than demolition of the greats
One o the great lessons I learned from working in the building trade was "it's far easier to tear down something others have built than to build something yourself"

Unless you are part of the research that is being carried out I see no grounds for throwing stones at the work of others
No pursuit worthy of consideration ignores or tears down the work of the past to replace it with their own that is cultural vandalism or, at best, smug hindsightism
Sarp and his colleges got what they gave us by going out to the people who preserved it - their notebooks are full of reports of what their informants had to say
Now the latest mob are not only tearing down the work of the pioneers but also the opinions of those they talked to
THis is summed up perfectly by giving songs singers like Walter Pardon rejected as being folk Round numbers
It may be interesting to take Walter's songs, but not what he had to say about them - academic arrogance in the extreme
Jim Carroll


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

Hobgoblin is still running, as has been pointed out. Freed Reed (as a shop) closed a very long time ago, but is still running as a record label. However in its place there are now many more shops specialising in free reed and other folk instruments.

fRoots shut down because of lack of advertising, as the internet has taken over.

Record shops and record labels (in all genres) are struggling as people move away from physical CDs to downloads and streaming. Many more musicians are self-publishing rather than do it through a record label.

The world has changed, but these aren't necessarily symptoms of a decline in folk music.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 01:17 PM

Jim - where I think we differ so much is your tendency to make the leap
from good mainly well informed analysis,
into disdainful value judgements
of other folks activities and enjoyment...

I'd suggest far more mudcatters see that as negative
rather than helpful...

I'm very keen on grim minor key folk songs..
But would prefer gloomier pessimistic folkies to be a bit more cheerful about the current state of things...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 01:00 PM

Sorry Jim misread the line about Topic records


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 12:57 PM

Topic records still exist.
https://www.topicrecords.co.uk/


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