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The current state of folk music in UK

GUEST,Derrick 26 Oct 19 - 05:51 AM
Dave the Gnome 26 Oct 19 - 05:51 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 Oct 19 - 05:32 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Oct 19 - 05:30 AM
GUEST,Peter 26 Oct 19 - 05:16 AM
GUEST,JoeG 26 Oct 19 - 05:14 AM
Dave the Gnome 26 Oct 19 - 05:11 AM
Dave the Gnome 26 Oct 19 - 05:05 AM
The Sandman 26 Oct 19 - 04:38 AM
Iains 26 Oct 19 - 04:28 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Oct 19 - 04:27 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Oct 19 - 04:26 AM
Dave the Gnome 26 Oct 19 - 03:56 AM
Jim Carroll 26 Oct 19 - 03:45 AM
The Sandman 26 Oct 19 - 03:37 AM
punkfolkrocker 26 Oct 19 - 12:05 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Oct 19 - 09:13 PM
punkfolkrocker 25 Oct 19 - 08:51 PM
GUEST,JoeG 25 Oct 19 - 07:46 PM
Steve Shaw 25 Oct 19 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,JoeG 25 Oct 19 - 07:32 PM
Steve Shaw 25 Oct 19 - 07:12 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Oct 19 - 07:02 PM
Dave the Gnome 25 Oct 19 - 04:21 PM
punkfolkrocker 25 Oct 19 - 04:12 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Oct 19 - 04:08 PM
Raggytash 25 Oct 19 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 25 Oct 19 - 03:58 PM
Dave the Gnome 25 Oct 19 - 03:48 PM
Howard Jones 25 Oct 19 - 03:20 PM
punkfolkrocker 25 Oct 19 - 02:16 PM
punkfolkrocker 25 Oct 19 - 02:16 PM
Raggytash 25 Oct 19 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 25 Oct 19 - 02:12 PM
Stringsinger 25 Oct 19 - 02:11 PM
The Sandman 25 Oct 19 - 01:58 PM
GUEST 25 Oct 19 - 01:57 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Oct 19 - 01:49 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Oct 19 - 01:44 PM
punkfolkrocker 25 Oct 19 - 01:33 PM
punkfolkrocker 25 Oct 19 - 01:16 PM
Jim Carroll 25 Oct 19 - 12:34 PM
punkfolkrocker 25 Oct 19 - 12:12 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Oct 19 - 12:02 PM
GUEST,JoeG 25 Oct 19 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,JoeG 25 Oct 19 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,JoeG 25 Oct 19 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,JoeG 25 Oct 19 - 11:52 AM
punkfolkrocker 25 Oct 19 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,JoeG 25 Oct 19 - 11:45 AM
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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 26 Oct 19 - 05:51 AM

What do I hear at folk clubs?
A broad range of material,both song and music ranging from unacompanied trad to contemporary.I do also hear the odd pop song often from the 50's or 60's which given the age range of the audience would be blast from past reminding them of their youth. Comic songs are sometimes sung to give a change of mood.
This is the the type of material I have heard ever since I first encountered folk club in the late 60's
The fact that the audience was part of the music ie encouraged and expected to join in with refrains and with songs well known in that club even some verses,made them a warm and welcoming gathering.
Having been to some country Pubs on Dartmoor in 60's and early 70's where the locals would have sings I found a similar mix of music and song,I doubt they were even aware of the folk scene.
I think a range of song and music was always sung by the ordinary people.The singers would pick their contributions to suit the audience and the occasion.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Oct 19 - 05:51 AM

you were no longer guaranteed hearing a folk song at a folk club

There you go again, Jim. Putting an unsubstantiated claim across as fact. Give us details of these folk clubs where you can no longer hear any folk music and people may start to believe you. Until then I will make it clear that it is just your opinion.

and academic definitions are not the point in question. You said so yourself.

Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 08:52 AM

...
As a singer, I have a loose definition that makes sure that people who turn up to hear folk songs will hear them or songs based on folk syles
...
My need for a tighter definition comes when I am writing or talking about the songs, especially as I am now interested in them as our social history carriers


Now, are you really going to "leave us to it" this time or are you going to make any positive contribution to the discussion?


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Oct 19 - 05:32 AM

I hope not Jim - that's your opinion and you're entitled to it, and to express it.

Who are these people who feel uncomfortable singing folk songs. Is it any particular song that gets peoples' backs up. I must say, I've never witnessed much rudeness to anybody.

T was subject to rudeness in traddy clubs in the 70's, when the witch trials were at their height. I can really only mention the Grey Cock in Brum and Preston folk club, but I had only been singing in public a couple of years by then - ptobably I wasn't very good.

I also saw back in the 1960's an audience eager to see Bert Jansch give Fred Jordan a rough time, when some genius was putting together folk package shows - somewhat in the manner of rock and roll package shows.

I can only say the people you have met have been singularly unfortunate. Whatever other faults we have, I think most folkies are good eggs.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Oct 19 - 05:30 AM

"every club we attend, we hear folk music"
Meaningless statement if you can't define what "folk song" means - there's been enough argument here to prove beyond a doubt that that's the case and enough of the same to show that that is not even desirable any more
I would never in a million years argue that there aren't successful clubs that call themselves folk (though saying my clubs healthy doesn't get away from the fact that there are only a minute number of them compared to what there were a couple of decades ago
I went to folk clubs to hear a certain type of music (Joe's just given a fair description of what type, but I would exclude unaccompanied as a 'must' - with a few exceptions)
When I stopped hearin what I wanted I stopped going, as did thousands like me
The labels disappeared, the magazines dwindled, the specialist shops closed... - and everybody ran around like blue-arsed flies blaming everything else other than the fact that you were no longer guaranteed hearing a folk song at a folk club
That's as simple as it comes Dave
Dick just touched on another important point - people aren't going to turn up forever to watch people practicing in public from crib-sheets and I-phones
"Ya wanna go to Carnegie Hall lady - ya gotta practice"
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 26 Oct 19 - 05:16 AM

I hear folk music almost every time I go to a folk club. But that is because I am very selective about which clubs I go to and there are a few that I have only been to once and have no intention of returning.

On the other hand, as a club regular when the big decline happened in the 70s and 80s I don't recognise Jim's description. The big departure seemed to be down to mortgages and children with those left singing the same proportion of folk songs as before. It was later that the Beatles songs and the rest started creeping into the repertiore at some clubs.

The thing that made a lot of clubs unattractive was the application of the values of a singaround to what was advertised as a concert with floor spots. The factors that make a singaround a success anre not the same as those for a guest night or even for an open stage type of singers night.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 26 Oct 19 - 05:14 AM

I can't recall ever going to a folk club and not hearing plenty of folk songs (both traditional and contemporary - the latter of which I mean from songwriters who work in the folk idiom eg Jez Lowe, Reg Meuross) including plenty of unaccompanied songs

Occasionally the guest booked does not perform folk material eg I went to see Christine Collister and Michael Fix who primarily performed pop / rock songs, but that is very rare and even in this case the floor singers sang folk songs


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Oct 19 - 05:11 AM

I'll make it even easier. Pick any folk club at random and, if there is a Mudcatter close to it, ask them to attend and come back with their own honest view of what was performed that night.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Oct 19 - 05:05 AM

Dead simple, Jim. You keep stating, as a fact, that folk clubs no longer present folk music. I, and many others, have refuted that claim and given evidence that at every club we attend, we hear folk music. All you need to do to prove your point is list all these folk clubs that no longer present folk and list the songs. If it is agreed that by a "loose definition" (your term) of folk music, that none of the songs you list are folk songs then your point will be true. If you cannot do this, your point is unproven and as long as you keep making it, I will keep disputing it.

If you were to say, for instance, that at some clubs you would dispute that some of the songs performed were folk songs, I don't think anyone would have an argument with that. But a blanket "folk clubs no longer present folk music" is arrant nonsense.

I challenge you to attend any folk club in the country on any night and come out saying you have heard no folk music. Or, to put it another way, put up or shut up.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Oct 19 - 04:38 AM

a few tips
Performers particularly at singers clubs could improve if they practised by listening to themselves, checking diction and intonation, getting a note to know where they pitch, watching oneself in a mirror is a good idea, one can see oneslf as othere see ones performance, then take a deep breath before performing.practise singing from the diaphragm to get good breath control, practise singing long notes and arpeggios and try and regard paper prompt notes as a stabiliser which can eventually be discarded, if you have to sing from paper bloddy well practise with the paper notes


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains
Date: 26 Oct 19 - 04:28 AM

With the mention of Child earlier in the threas I was doing a little digging and came across the following:
ESSAYS IN THE STUDY OF FOLK-SONGS.
BY THE
COUNTESS EVELYN MARTINENGO-CESARESCO.

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/36222/36222-h/36222-h.htm
and
Phillips Barry and Anglo-American Folksong Scholarship

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/36222/36222-h/36222-h.htm
(You need to sign up for free membership to read the above)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Oct 19 - 04:27 AM

Hope that doesn't get me blacklisted Dave
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Oct 19 - 04:26 AM

"It's probably not really worth repeating again but I hear folk music every time I go to a folk club."
It's probably worth repeating that the fact that stopped happening on the scene was the reason for thousands walking away and the clubs dwindling to a couple of hundred rather than the thousands there once was
That I no longer go to clubs is not an argument if that's the reason I no longer go to them
It has been argued constant argument for several years on this forum (from people who do still go to them) that they no longer feel comfortable singing folk songs (particularly unaccompanied ones) at many of the clubs they go to - so "one" is hardly an accurate figure
As it is being constantly argued (can't remember if you are one of these) that "nobody knows what folk song is any more (confirmed by the refusal to discuss definitions) how do you know what you are listening to is "folk" when you go to your club ?
Nobody has a right to redefine a term independently of everybody else otherwise we'd have to by everything without labels and take a chnace (pretty much like today's folk scene)
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 26 Oct 19 - 03:56 AM

It's probably not really worth repeating again but I hear folk music every time I go to a folk club. So does every other poster on here. Bar one. Who didn't hear folk music in English Folk clubs Because he doesn't go to them.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 26 Oct 19 - 03:45 AM

" and any restrictive orthodoxies clung onto by the acoustic 'folk establishment',"
A profound statement from someone who has
"nothing to do with the 'formal' folk scene"

There have never been any "restrictive orthodoxies" in the clubs I ever frequented other than expecting to being able to listen to the type of music I was told I was going to hear
If I go to a jazz club I expect to hear jazz
If I go to a rave I expect to here loudly blasted our pop music I ahve to shout over
If I go to a classical concert - that's what I expect to here
Is it "restrictive practice" to expect the same of a folk club ?
Apparently it is
The fact the folk audiences bombed and clubs melted like snow in July when that stopped happening doesn't seem a fact worth discussing
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Oct 19 - 03:37 AM

Al Whittle.
Early career

In the mid-1930s, Parker began to practice diligently. During this period he mastered improvisation and developed some of the ideas that led to the later development of Bebop. In an interview with Paul Desmond, Parker said that he spent three to four years practicing up to 15 hours a day.[10]

Bands led by Count Basie and Bennie Moten certainly influenced Parker. He played with local bands in jazz clubs around Kansas City, Missouri, where he perfected his technique, with the assistance of Buster Smith, whose dynamic transitions to double and triple time influenced Parker's developing style.
Al, Count Basie played swing not new orleans


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 26 Oct 19 - 12:05 AM

Al - I have an easy approach to dealing with the negativity..
I just ignore it...

Apart from mudcat, I have nothing to do with the 'formal' folk scene...

I could say Mudcat and it's melodramas; and any restrictive orthodoxies clung onto by the acoustic 'folk establishment',
are not as important influencing factors in British music in 2019,
as much as some folks would like it to be,
or maybe even think it is...???

But if I did say that, I could justly be accused of being bitter and prejudiced,
disregarding all the good positive people here, and in folk clubs all around the UK..
Who do understand where folk stands in relation to our much wider music culture,
and who do enjoy actively participating in popular culture ouside folk clubs...

Though I do think it is useful for me to maintain an awareness of more extreme UK folkie 'obsessions and doctrines';
and that's one of the functions mudcat has for me..

But it's not the main reason I come here..
I genuinely value mudcat as an educative resource...
I'm hoping I've got a few active years left in which to glean what I can from here.
For if and when I ever get time for myself back again,
and manage to record trad folk songs
the way I want to hear them for my own satisfaction;
and maybe hopefully for a few like minded listeners on the internet...

Home project recording studio musicians like me might be one growing aspect of 'The current state of folk music in UK'..
Esentially, keen 21st Century folk music hobbyists,
who consider love and respect for the music more important than the gregarious folkie social life...

Obviously, a good few hundred quid more a month might have made a difference
to the lifestyle I've ended up with...???


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 09:13 PM

Well I agree, we can't immerse ourself in past glories.

However Froots has bit the dust mainly because of its dogged unshakeable belief that we had nothing much to offer compared to the Zulu's, Mexicans, Norwegians etc.

Everyday we get told we don't sing as well, organise ourselves as well, play our instruments as well as the Irish.

If we are to make any progress, we can't be lamenting what we are not. We have to concentrate on the many positive attributes that we do possess.

its not a competition, and snidey negative put downs of how we conduct ourselves will not help. If we conduct ourselves differently from other countries, that's our privilege - and that is what we must work with and maximise.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 08:51 PM

There's some new improved nostalgia coming out soon
that's supposed to be much better than the last version...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 07:46 PM

Absolutely Steve and no criticism intended but I'm just worried we might end up with a thread that develops into a nostalgia fest like those Facebook old photos groups where people say how good it was in the old days whilst wearing rose tinted glasses :-)

I'm sure nostalgia isn't as good as it used to be anyway ;-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 07:42 PM

Yebbut what is good can also consist of the likes of me, harking back to all those years ago, and saying that I wouldn't be here passing on the stuff that inspired me to the next lot (in my case my son and grandson) but for those dim and distant folk club days (it closed in 1996...)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 07:32 PM

I'm enjoying the reminiscences (seriously,and I have some of my own from the Hartlepool Folk Club where I first chanced upon this wonderful music when a friend and I called in one rainy night and I was smitten from the very first song from the dear departed Graham Whitley to the end of Johnny Handle's set) but I fear we veer too far off topic (an unintended double pun there!)

Reminiscences certainly have their place but let us focus on what is good (and not so good) today :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk muGarbutt, sic in UK
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 07:12 PM

"In the club my good lady and I started in 1980 we had a guest EVERY night.

The first five floor singers got in free, everybody else paid.

Some nights even I, as organiser, didn't sing providing I could rely on the first singer to set the "right" mood.

It was a VERY successful club. One night the landlord of the pub tried to ask me to pay for the upstairs room (which was never used)

I said I would move the club elsewhere ........... within a month he has put a small bar in there.

Halcyon days!"

Indeed. I owe all my musical credentials, for what they're worth, to the Tree Inn Folk Club in Stratton, Bude. I've played the harmonica since a little lad, and in the eighties I'd bought a few records of Irish music. My favourite album was Music from Sliabh Luachra Vol. 6, a solo album by the young Jackie Daly. It wasn't long before I could play every tune on that record (except for the few with sharps and flats, as I played only the diatonic harp at the time). I loved Planxty and De Danann and the Bothies too. At one point in the very early nineties I heard that the folk club, which I'd never attended before, were putting on Andy Irvine. Well what a night. After that, we went to just about every guest night, which was every other Friday night. The bloke who ran the club was John Maughan, a brilliant bloke who is these days known as the Boscastle Busker. We'd had Wood/Cutting, Flook, Roy Bailey, the Watersons, Martin Carthy, Liam O'Flynn, Eliza and Nancy Kerr, the Poozies, Ron Kavana, Ceolbeg with Davy Steele, the Kippers, John Kirkpatrick, the House Band, (and in case he's reading...) Brian Peters, Les Barker, Marilyn Middleton-Pollock, Dick Gaughan, Show Of Hands, Vin Garbutt...begod, dozens of others... and on the non-guest nights I was eventually railroaded into getting up and playing my mouth organ in front of PEOPLE. I'd never done anything like that in my life and I was forty bloody two. But it was the making of me and I forgave the club for all those nights when I sat through interminable ballads sung by blokes with their eyes shut...Since then I've played in loads of pub sessions all round Cornwall and at weddings and Burns nights and parties and the rest and loved every minute. I've made a CD (Blowing Through The Reeds) and I've penned more than forty articles and submitted Irish tunes for Harmonica World, the magazine of the National Harmonica League, and I'm on YouTube. So you won't find me knocking folk clubs, not ever. Subjective? Sure. But bugger off anyway!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 07:02 PM

"eference: Child's article on folk ballads for Johnson's Universal Cyclopedia 1900."
As I said - Child was no authority on the oral tradition and he said various things iat various times on origins - nothing was definitive with him
THe only thing he said definitely was that most broadsides were crap but most selective print originists tend to overlook that
There is no definite answer to who made the folk songs - it seems to be down to "if the folk were capable of making the ballads they probably
When you consider that "the sweeping of the London streets queued up to see the first performance of Hamlet and totaly Illiterate Travellers liviving ion pariah communities right up to the twentieth century were capable of telling story that stretched over three nights, Barbara Allen must have been easy meat   
No getting around the idea that there are some people who don't want the people to have made the ballads because it disrupts their concept of the order of things, of course
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 04:21 PM

You are contributing lots of good ideas and positive posts, PFR. I think we can live with the odd sideline :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 04:12 PM

DtG - sorry mudcat mates... keep on keeping on track...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 04:08 PM

Given Charlie parker's years (1920-55). he must have started playing mainstream and New Orleans jazz when he started to learn to improvise.

he couldn't have played bebop before he invented it.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 04:00 PM

In the club my good lady and I started in 1980 we had a guest EVERY night.

The first five floor singers got in free, everybody else paid.

Some nights even I, as organiser, didn't sing providing I could rely on the first singer to set the "right" mood.

It was a VERY successful club. One night the landlord of the pub tried to ask me to pay for the upstairs room (which was never used)

I said I would move the cub elsewhere ........... within a month he has put a small bar in there.

Halycon days !!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 03:58 PM

The Oysterband are touring. That's good news.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 03:48 PM

Well done, Howard. Keep it on track. I agree about the quality control. When I had some control in a folk club there were some floor singers who did not get on during a guest night. That was fully understood and never seemed to cause any issues.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 03:20 PM

What would help is if clubs had a clearer idea of their purpose and then advertised that. They need to decide whether their priority is to a paying audience or whether it is to the floorsingers.

If the former, then they should exercise some quality control over which floor singers are invited to perform and ensure that the guest artist, who people have paid to see, gets their full slot.

There's nothing wrong with clubs which choose to prioritise participation and encourage everyone to have a go, provided it is clear that this is what they do, and that from a listener's point of view not to expect very polished performances. Ideally they should encourage people to learn and improve. There is a parallel in the "tunes" world where "slow sessions" have sprung up for musicians who lack the ability or confidence to take part in full-speed sessions.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 02:16 PM

Hello Dick...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 02:16 PM

It's good to clear the air and sort out misunderstandings...

You misjudge me whilst believing I misjudge you..
So why and how do we misjudge each other so much when we are on the same side..

You accuse me of slights against you that were never in my mind,
Or you find them in posts I wrote where I was never even thinking about you...

I honestly see this as you mostly taking things I say, in good humour,
far too literally, and way out of context...

Neither of us are class traitors, but I only used that phrase
in hope you'd realise that things you said about me first,
could be taken as implying such about me...

Read back..

And in effect you are lining up with others, mainly middle class snobs,
in your apparent disdain for real life working class culture as it is living and breathing in 2019.
Millions of hard working ordinary folks love a night down the social club
with pop covers bands, kareoke, and grab a granny discos...

I seriously am not annoyed, or have any hard feelings.
I agree with you on most fundemental things,
and actually like you a lot..

It's frustrating there are unneccessary misunderstandings...

Btw.. this inverted snobbery thing.. not me...

Education has in some ways improved my life,
in others made it worse by distancing me from family and council estate community.
But I have always supported and admired the working class self education movement...

Whether that be in libraries, working men's clubs, folk clubs, or allotments, or evening classes, etc...
The rich tapestry of workers [and unemployed] history and culture...

Isn't that why are we both here concerned with the curent state of folk music...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 02:14 PM

Punkfolkrocker I concur wholeheartedly with your post of 01.16.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 02:12 PM

Reference: Child's article on folk ballads for Johnson's Universal Cyclopedia 1900.

Reprinted by the Journal of Folklore Research, Vol 31, no 1-3 triple issue. Indiana University Press.

Don't take anybody's word for it: go and look it up. It's free on JSTOR.   

Given that I have read this article several times, there was nothing that needed correcting. And no amount of autobiography of any poster is for me a convincing argument that Child said no such thing as what he says in this article.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Stringsinger
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 02:11 PM

I think to listen to one form of music and label by another name is disingenuous.
I think to pass off one form of music deliberately by calling it something else is indefensible. I am all for cross-polination of musical styles as long as you call them what they are.

For example, jazz has gone through metamorphosis incorporating many style of music but the styles are usually identifiable as trad jazz, be bop, hard bop, fusion, Euro jazz etc.

I sing folk songs and accompany myself on the banjo, guitar, autoharp and uke.
I don't call myself a traditional folk singer. Far from it. I'm city born, bred and raised. I went to music school and studied orchestration and arranging and played trombone in high school. I learned to sing many folk songs by listening to traditional folk performers from field recordings, Library of Congress Lomax, Harry Smith Anthology and had the good fortune to hear Horton Barker and some great back porch trad singers live. I think I know what I heard.

Charlie Parker was known to have said, "It's all music" but I doubt you'll hear recordings of him playing with a New Orleans marching band. What he meant was that an appreciation for all kinds of music was informative and I believe ultimately healing.

But when you call a form of traditional folk music which is not familiar to large populations, something else, you show a kind of disrespect for the music. You also display a kind of ignorance analogous to calling strikes, balls and home runs to a part of a basketball game. I'm no sports enthusiast but I won't make that mistake.

A trad singer holds a special place in a nation's culture. He or she is often a historical document that is as important as an anthropologist's monograph or a social historian's revelations.

I have nothing against rock and roll or popular music. I enjoy it and sing it myself.
But I won't make the mistake of passing it off as traditional folk music which is a unique experience of its own.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 01:58 PM

punk , would you please stop being personal with people who disagree with you,Jim is entitled to an opinion so are you so am i


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 01:57 PM

"The current state of folk music in UK,
folk seems increasingly public school English accent...???"
You don't get out much, do you ? Do you think that applies in N.Ireland, Wales or Scotland ?
Also :
https://youtu.be/c56gbjRz818


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 01:49 PM

Back to the subject.

I think one aspect that I like about the current state of folk music in England - can't speak for anywhere else -is that it is less competitive than yesteryear. Indeed I was in my mid twenties and had been attending folk clubs for about ten years and playing the guitar even longer - before I plucked up the courage to perform in a folk club.

Maybe the ringbinder and tablet readers do get on my nerves a bit. But I'd rather have that inclusivity. I want people to feel that they all have a right to have a go. I don't want people to feel intimidated like I did.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 01:44 PM

"But you do tend to be over sensitive and defensive, over-reacting,"
'If you cut me do I not bleed?'
If I was I'd have pissed off years ago -
I hold controversial views (on this forum - I've come to realise that there are plenty like me ready to talk about the good old days when people could here folk songs at folk clubs and when they asked why there wasn't, they weren't deafened by screams of "folk fascist"
May as well get this over now
You didn't exactly call me a class traitor by having an interest beyond belting out choruses of Leaving of Liverpool' but you implied that
You haven't the slightes idea what I do our who I mix with but "you are lining up with middle class folkie snobs" just trppied off your keyboard
In fact I'be been to around 6 conferences in forty years though I've given anoyt ten talks to kids if that's class treachery (pun intended)
My best mate, Tom Munnelly (now dead ten years) was the finest collector in Europe (probably) - he was working a knitting machine in a Dublin Factory when DK Wilgus recruited him
My other Mate, MacColl, was found busking outside a Manchester cinema in the pression and went on to become an internationally know playwright and later the mos prolific songwriter on then folk scene
My main teachers were non=literate Travellers, Irish landworkers and an East Anglian village Carpenter who has read all the worlks of Hardy and Dickens when we first met him and who more about the difference between folk songs and pop songs that most academics and virtually all folkies I have ever met
You really need to sort out your inverted snobbery - one of the first things I was ever taught was that if you want to make the world a better place self-education is far more efficient than throwing a rope over a lamp-post to hang all the bosses
Tea-time
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 01:33 PM

If anyone else can infer anything intentionally snide and malicious from my posts here...???


Here's a test example...

"Mudcat - folk music for folks who don't get on with folks.."

That's just matey sarcastic banter... right.. errrrmm.. right..???


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 01:16 PM

Jim - I like you warts n'all..

But you do tend to be over sensitive and defensive, over-reacting,
and quite hyperbolic in expressing the level of unintended offence you take,
when you misconstrue what I and others have written...

I try to write as clearly as I can in my particular circumstances,
I carefully take time considering what I've written before posting,
in an effort to avoid misunderstandindgs.

But you still filter what I post, looking to take offence where none is intended...
Most of the problem is how you misconstue what we write,
Because you have a couple of enemies here,
you seem to think we are all out to get you.
Even folks trying to be your friends.

If I wanted to deliberately offend and upset anyone, they'd know it..
And I've not posted that angrily for a good few years..

I also type almost as many posts again, and then decide not to submit them,
rather than deluge mudcat with over-gratuitous wittering...

It really is difficult trying to be in agrement with you
on most major issues that matter to us all,
when you are in perpetual cantankerous disagreeable mode...

Btw.. I'm being amicable but frank...

Same as I would if we were sat across a table from each other,
though with the added benefit of facial gestures and tone of voice..

I honestly don't harbour any grudges or ill will with you...
It would be nice to feel it could be reciprocated...???

You really must have some seriously misjudged ideas about my personality and intentions...???

I only get this problem with you and one other mudcatter,
.. and he is always on the look out to take offence,
from friends and enemies alike...


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 12:34 PM

"The current state of petty squabbles in folk music in UK...."
Discussion on squabbles should be left to those who wish to discuss them, not to those who wish to avoid them surely PFR
I'm still stinging from your unjust and totlly uninformed description of me and my fellow researchers (without whom aspiring folk singers wouldn't have a folk pit to hiss in) but I'd rather leave that for another time.
Pseud made a statement I felt needed correcting, I tried my limited best to do so; if he doesn't wish to respond to my reply, that's his choice
We proles can only try
Don't know about your week-end - last weekend left me with the desire and quite a lot of commitment to spread the Good Word (and I don't mean Religious Tracts)
I'll look in from time to time to see that you're all behaving yourselves (Casualty permitting, of course)
Jim


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 12:12 PM

It's the weekend..
here's a happy positive song from an older singer
for us old folkies to hum along to,
while we ponder on the state we are currently in...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTWrThdOcEU


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 12:02 PM

You might state the exact the date of your ballad - June 16th 1904 - the time and place Dublin in the case of Ulysses by James Joyce.

But the genesis of it might be something much older - The Odyssey even.

That's how it is with folksong - the zeitgeist - the thing which makes the artist create - the paradigm - or tradition, if you will - lies deep within us.


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 11:55 AM

And apologies for the typo in the blue clicky!


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 11:55 AM

Sounds familiar :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 11:54 AM

Month Python Argument Sketch


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 11:52 AM

Ha ha - that one would get even more posts than this one :-)


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 11:50 AM

Time for a new thread...???

"The current state of petty squabbles in folk music in UK."...

Are the standards of squabbles declining ?

Should we only recognise the validity of squabbles in folk clubs ?
.. and encourage more pasive listeners and observers
to actively participate in squabbles ?

Should squabbling be unamplified, or are microphones and sound reinforcement permitted
in exceptional circumstances ?

Should squabbling be from memory only, or are notebooks and electronic screen devices acceptable ?...

Who gets the last word...??????


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Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 11:45 AM

Cheers Jim - we've crossed swords a few times but at least it has been on issues we both feel strongly about rather than typos :-)


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