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Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock

Richard Mellish 10 Feb 19 - 05:06 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Feb 19 - 12:57 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 19 - 12:24 PM
Vic Smith 10 Feb 19 - 11:56 AM
GUEST 10 Feb 19 - 11:39 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 19 - 11:38 AM
Jack Campin 10 Feb 19 - 11:32 AM
GUEST 10 Feb 19 - 10:51 AM
Jack Campin 10 Feb 19 - 10:02 AM
Vic Smith 10 Feb 19 - 09:00 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Feb 19 - 06:59 AM
Howard Jones 10 Feb 19 - 06:34 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 19 - 06:33 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Feb 19 - 04:30 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 19 - 03:58 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Feb 19 - 03:39 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Feb 19 - 03:05 AM
John P 09 Feb 19 - 04:30 PM
GUEST 09 Feb 19 - 04:28 PM
Vic Smith 09 Feb 19 - 12:04 PM
Jack Campin 09 Feb 19 - 11:57 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Feb 19 - 11:14 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Feb 19 - 10:38 AM
Vic Smith 09 Feb 19 - 10:22 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Feb 19 - 10:09 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Feb 19 - 10:02 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Feb 19 - 10:01 AM
Jack Campin 09 Feb 19 - 09:48 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Feb 19 - 09:42 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Feb 19 - 09:28 AM
Vic Smith 09 Feb 19 - 08:51 AM
punkfolkrocker 09 Feb 19 - 08:45 AM
punkfolkrocker 09 Feb 19 - 08:35 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Feb 19 - 07:48 AM
Jack Campin 09 Feb 19 - 07:42 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Feb 19 - 07:41 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Feb 19 - 07:36 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Feb 19 - 07:19 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Feb 19 - 06:28 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Feb 19 - 05:44 AM
Dave the Gnome 09 Feb 19 - 05:31 AM
Jim Carroll 09 Feb 19 - 04:01 AM
punkfolkrocker 08 Feb 19 - 03:49 PM
John P 08 Feb 19 - 03:27 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Feb 19 - 01:04 PM
Dave the Gnome 08 Feb 19 - 12:59 PM
GUEST,JoeG 08 Feb 19 - 12:36 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Feb 19 - 12:15 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Feb 19 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,JoeG 08 Feb 19 - 11:56 AM
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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 05:06 PM

Accompanying a song, like most things, can be done well, badly or in between. Of all the accompanists that I have heard, in my opinion a few do a really good job, but only a few. Likewise a few singers accompany themselves very well, but too often the accompaniment occupies too much of a singer's attention, preventing them from doing justice to the song.

A year or two ago I attended the launch of an album by a singer whom I approve of, but on stage with the singer were about half a dozen musicians. A lot of the time they were all playing at once and it smothered the song. I did not buy the CD.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 12:57 PM

Well put, Vic.

If we need to be totally authentic none of us revivalists should be singing the songs at all because we are not part of that traditional community any more. However, that is totally ridiculous.

These wonderful artefacts are in the public domain and we are at liberty to present them in any form we and our audiences enjoy, with whatever accompaniment we feel appropriate. Adding accompaniment, in an age where most people can afford to do so, can popularise the song and the music in general. Yes it can be overdone, but so can anything. Audiences and reviewers will soon let us know if that happens.

Personally most of my repertoire is still unaccompanied but I'm lucky enough to play an instrument and be in a band with other instrumentalists. I run concerts on a regular basis and I'd say about half of the songs sung on them are unaccompanied, but that is not a criterion I use when selecting the performers.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 12:24 PM

Wonder what that "agenda" can possibly be
I have not spoken out of turn or insulted anybody here - pity everybody can't say the same
Please pack it in - it really isn't necessary
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Vic Smith
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 11:56 AM

I believe that the fact that our tradition is largely an unaccompanied one

That's fine. That's all I was asking for. By the time you move into your thoughts on this, we are moving from evidence into opinion which is also fine, provided that it is clear that this is the case.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 11:39 AM

Well said Vic Smith!

Yes it's totally agenda driven and completely ludicrous.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 11:38 AM

"How many "travellers" had a piano ?"
Lucy Stewart did

"JUST CHECKED - SEE THEY'RE DOING A TOUR "
A joke aimed at a friend who obviously took it as such Vic
"Would it be possible to interpret this as an insult?"
You're welcome to if it turns you on Vic - only here to please
Regarding your earlier post, of course some of the old singers used instruments - it's debatable whether they improved their songs by doing so, but that's another argument
My point was that, overwhelmingly British and Irish traditional singing is unaccompanied
Davie Stewart was largely a street performer, as was Maggie Barry, Jane Turriff, as far as I know, did it because she liked to -in my opinion, her playing makes Tiftie's Annie, (my favourite ballad) unlistenable, but that's me.
There's no rule to say you can't do anything to the songs, just as there's no law to prevent me from saying what I think of what you do
I believe that the fact that our tradition is largely an unaccompanied one has a reason
Our songs are largely narrative and and unless you are a very fine musician capable of accompanying a song rather than intruding on it or drowning it, accompaniment is unnecessary to the performance and can even detract from it
I have long stopped listening to wannabe Segovias whose accompaniments left to time to have a pee and grab a pint while they strutted their stuff on their guitars before proceeding with the next verse
Once again - that's me and that's not what I want out of a song

I have a recording of a talk given by Peggy Seeger back in 1969 - she opened with one of the wisest pieces of advice I've heard, "The first thing you ask yourself when deciding whether to accompany a song is, is it necessary - if it isn't, don'y"
She went on to say, "If your audience is listening to your playing then there's a good chance you're destroying your song"
That's always worked for me
When I lived in Manchester I sang everything accompanied - luckily I had a mate who was happy to do that for me and we worked together quite sympathetically
I moved to London and he moved there shortly after and we continued to work together, though much less
I moved to Ireland twenty years ago with a repertoire of around 300 songs, half of the accompanied - I thought I'd have to abandon a large slice of them
I can now sing them all through unaccompanied and make them work for me.
I believe there are very few songs in the British and Irish tradition than benefit from an accompaniment
JIm


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 11:32 AM

All of them, any time they were in a pub.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 10:51 AM

How many "travellers" had a piano ?


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 10:02 AM

Further to Vic Smith's comment: what do we know about singers of traditional material in former times accompanying themselves on the piano? It used to be a very common and classless accomplishment, and pianos were everywhere, making them a much cheaper and more portable backing than a guitar or concertina.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Vic Smith
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 09:00 AM

One of the most embarrassing moments in my life was asking one of the best singers I have ever heard, Davy Stewart, to write his name and address down for me. "You'd better write it doon fir me, laddie' Ah haene' got ma specs wi me" - even though he was wearing them at the time. I realised this giant of traditional song was illiterate and must have learned orally his huge repertoire of traditional ballads, folk songs, bothy ballads, cornkisters, music hall songs from Scotland, art songs, rebel songs from Ireland, songs in Scots traveller cant and funny ditties set to Scots dance tunes which as far as I can work out, he wrote himself. He is oustandingly my favourite male singer of folk songs, though there are a number of women, also Scots travellers, that I hold in equally high esteem. He sang unaccompanied or more often to his own accompaniment of piano accordion and in his later years a melodeon.

Many years ago, I was in a conversation with Brian Pearson and the subject was - as it has been at times here - the nature of the song tradition in the British Isles. Brian said that this tradition was exclusively an unaccompanied one. I replied that I felt that if we were to be accurate, then we needed to say that it was mainly an unaccompanied tradition but that there were important exceptions and I mentioned Davy.
Brian said, "Davy Stewart is irrelevant, an aberration!" I have never been in a fight since I was in junior school but at that statement I felt murderous. I had to walk away immediately. To hear my great hero dismissed in this way was too much for me.

On reflection it seems trivial in the great scheme of things, but at one level it is important. If we are to dismiss evidence of traditional singers accompanying themselves then we are to dismiss Davy Stewart, The McPeakes, Jane Turriff, The Findlaters in Orkney, John MacDonald, Elizabeth Stewart, the singing fiddle players in the Shetlands - and that is just a quick list off the top of my head. We must learn to state what the evidence tells us and not what we would like to be the case. Far too often those in influence in folk song scholarship have approached the subject with their own agenda and have set out to prove their own beliefs. That is why the most recent important researchers are eschewing hard and fast theories in favour of statements of evidence; and when there is no evidence they are honest enough to say so and ask for further research. To me this feels like a breath of fresh air blowing through a subject that I have been concerned with all my adult life.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 06:59 AM

Not only in the land of the living, Jim, but still producing albums and touring. Last time I saw them was a couple of years back with their new fiddler, Jessie May, a young and brilliant folk violin player. She joined them in 2014 to replace Peter Knight who has gone on to form the rather cheekily (IMO) named Gigspanner.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Howard Jones
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 06:34 AM

Jim has made the accurate point "I doubt if you are a traditional singer - we are all revival singers using somgs and playing music made in the past and passed on to us". This raises the question how should we be performing them?

Jim laments the passing of folk clubs where you can expect to hear a folk song. In the clubs I used to go to in the 70s and 80s there were plenty of traditional songs, but very seldom were they sung in anything resembling a traditional style, even when unaccompanied. More usually they were accompanied, usually on acoustic guitar but sometimes with other instruments.

As recordings of traditional singers have become more widespread I have noticed a trend back towards that style of singing, but even so it now seems to be uncontroversial that traditional songs can be accompanied, to the extent that this is probably the norm. That being the case, the conventional acoustic folk style of the folk revival is no more authentic than Cecil Sharp's piano arrangements on one hand or folk-rock arrangements on the other.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 06:33 AM

Attempting to analise and compare songs is all too often misinterpreted as criicism Dave - it never should be
I don't like modern pop music for specific reasons, but that has everything to do with my expectations and tastes which I have no right to impose on others
For me, what Steeleye (are they really still in the land of the living) did with folk song goes against folk-song form and becomes something else
Our oral traditions are narrative - word-based - if you miss a couple of words you (literally) lose the plot - lose the plot and you lose the reason why the song was made in he first place - to convey ideas, aspirations, emotions.... etc
There are far too many words in a folk song to treat then as groups like Steeleye do
That doesn't mean to say what they do has no relevance - you can like the sound they make if you're willing to settle for that (I'm not, but that's me)
We have a recording of a radio programme on ballads by Maddy Prior; probably the worst programme ever made on the subject
She starts off fine - playing narrative performances which you can follow
Then she moves on to group performances without analytical or critical comment
Finally she ends up in a long conversation with a psychoanalysis who was probably superb at her job but didn't have a clue about folk or ballads or the societies that made them
Her interviewee then attempted to apply modern psychoanalysis to the make up of the ballads - an utter waste o valuable air time during a week that was dedicated to celebrating music - a dreadful wasted opportunity that might have helped put folk song on the map
For me the enjoyment of singing folk songs is in finding and interpreting the stories of the songs and applying them to my own life and experiences
When you do that with a song it becomes part of you and is yours forever
Now I've reached the age I have, you can't imaging how enjoyable and important that is
My greatest problem nowadays when singing is to maintain a balance between the performance and the emotion
Traveller, Mary Delaney had the same problem - she described some of her songs "too heavy"; she occasionally broke down in the middle of them because the allowed the emotion to dominate the performance (Buried in Kilkenny, which is on line, is one she regularly lost in this way
Enjoyment is essential when singing, but for me, that enjoyment increases if you can re-live your songs rather than just repeat them
Jim


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 04:30 AM

Yes, that's fine, Jim. I agree with it entirely but it is not what I understood you to mean when you said "how good they are is a matter of opinion - sorry". 'How good they are' means, to me, quality. Sorry for the confusion.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 03:58 AM

"Quality is never a matter of opinion. "
Nothing to do with quality Dave - interpretation is everything in art
Nobody quibbles with the instrumental skill of Steeleye but as far as I'm concerned, their interpretation of folk songs is virtually non-existent - isn't that the same with all art ?
I love Shakespeaar's 'King Lear' but nearly walked out in disgust at Anthony Hopkins's (undoubtedly a good actor) interpretation of it at The National back in the nineties
"It ain't what you do but the way that you do it - that's what gets results" (as the song says)
Jim


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 03:39 AM

how good they are is a matter of opinion

Sorry Jim but I must pull you up on that one. Quality is never a matter of opinion. There is much I dislike but I can always admit that something can be of good quality even if it is not to my taste. How good they are at what they do and whether you like what they do or not are two entirely different things.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 03:05 AM

"I play both British and Irish music with accompaniment, and have for decades. So, you see, it is an accompanied form,"
I doubt if you are a traditional singer - we are all revival singers using somgs and playing music made in the past and passed on to us
The songs in the British and Irish folk repertoire are all taken from an older generation - there is no evidence that they accompanied their songs
What you, as a modern singer, choose to do with them is immaterial - the British and Irish song tradition is an unnacompanied one

"Sorry, Jim, but every trad song ever recorded by Steeleye Span is clearly identifiable as a folk song, and all were performed to a high standard."
Every section of that statement is debatable - the songs may have been taken from the folk but I very much doubt if the folk they were taken from would recognise them as their songs - the way Steeleye sing them makes them difficult to follow as stories (which is what they are)
As for their standard - I detest what Steeleye did to folk songs - how good they are is a matter of opinion - sorry
No - it isn't "academic scholarship" - I spent thirty yyears interviewing the older generation of singers and they were totally bemused at what some modern groups did with their songs
I'm not an "academic" - I'm a retired electrician who served an apprenticeship on the Liverpool Docks ans spent his life climbing into people's lofts and crawling under their floorboards to fix their electrical problems - I now live on a State Pension
All I do is give the songs and music that interest me a little thought - that's all it takes, and folk music is worth that much effort - surely
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: John P
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 04:30 PM

Sorry, the last guest was me without a cookie.

-John


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 04:28 PM

Jim: Prove it - show me where British or Irish folk music was ever and accompanied form

I play both British and Irish music with accompaniment, and have for decades. So, you see, it is an accompanied form, and has been for decades. If you're trying to say that there wasn't any accompaniment prior to some magical cut-off date, fine. Tell us your date. I'll tell you mine. Where will we be then? You seem to be confusing the concepts of traditional music and historical music.

BTW, I've never been part of a revival. I'm not trying to revive anything. I just play the music I love in the way in which I feel called to play it. While I find the historical aspects of music interesting, it is just academic scholarship. It doesn't really have anything to do with the melodies, and certainly doesn't tell us how the music "should" be played. I think the music itself is way more important than knowing lots of historical things about it. I know it's probably not true, Jim, but the things you say make it sound like the scholarship is more important to you than the melodies.

Jim: I am suggesting that if folk song is to survive it has to be performed to a reasonable standard and has to be identifiable as folk song

Sorry, Jim, but every trad song ever recorded by Steeleye Span is clearly identifiable as a folk song, and all were performed to a high standard.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Vic Smith
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 12:04 PM

... and to ensure the kicks are high enough, we will ask it to be danced to The High Level Hornpipe.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 11:57 AM

"Pig of the Week" sounds like a great way to do theme nights - "this is the Arron Banks Clog Hornpipe, the kicks are exactly the right height to hit him in the goolies"...


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 11:14 AM

Just dug out Parkhouse Convention Bulletin of Feb 1974
The subjects covered are; 'Music of the People' Day school, Bit=rmingham and Midland Folk Centre, Falmouth Folk Festival (the only mention of Doc in the bullitin is as organiser of this event)
Nottingham Traditional Music Club
Drama and the Media
Folk and Mumming Plays
Workshop on Traditional material led by Charles Parker by Pam Bishop
Song Style Workshop Sandra Kerr
Article on songwriting John Pole
The only political content report and script of a feature evening on The Shrewsbury 24 building workers strike and trial
The contact name for the bulletin is given as Brian Homer (a flatmate of Trevor Fisher)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 10:38 AM

I'm afraid Doc's memory doesn't serve him too well
I still have a full run of the Park House bulletins and none bear resemblance to that of Doc's description
The most memorable event I attended (and recorded) was the one addressed first by historian, E P Thomson on working class culture, followed by one by Roy Palmer on Folk Song in education
We gave a recording of Thomson's lecture to a history group who held an event and made a film concerning 'The Putney Debates of 1647'   
I treasure and have regularly shared the superb recording of the talk given by Sandra Kerr on Folk Song styles
Must have been another Park House Convention I didn't know about
The folk world seems to be populated by such legends
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Vic Smith
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 10:22 AM

Jack wrote:-
Should I have heard of Park House? What were they or it?

Doc Rowe, who was a founder member described Parkhouse Convention described it thus:-
I was a founder member of Park House Convention (1972) - a group who believed the modes of expression found in the oral tradition are tailor-made for contemporary artists. I helped co-ordinate a number of conferences associated with this as well as producing a newsletter.

It was part of the huge movement of radical and student politics at the time and seemed to be based in Birmingham. Charles Parker seemed to be a prime influence, The newsletters which I received reflected a variety of opinions, some concerned attitudes to traditions, others were more to do with how song could be used to further the left-wing and Communist viewpoints. The newsletters are long since disposed of and I cannot remember a great deal about them. There was some Maoist vs. Russian Leninist arguments which were standard fare at the time. The only thing that really sticks in my mind was an article of advice to folk club organisers which said something like - At our club the committee has chosen in advance "A pig of the week (or was it month?)" and we set aside a time for members to come up and speak about them. Something of that nature with the appointed being a current hate figure. This was one of the ideas that I did not take up but there were others, concerned with maintaining standards and encouraging variety which I was much more sympathetic with.
Like many radical organisations, it only lasted a few years but many of the members went on to be influential in other ways.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 10:09 AM

I thought Bob lived near Whitby somewhere? Thoroughly nice chap who not only answered my questions with grace but sent me one of his CDs completely free and without my asking. Hardly the actions of a money grubbing wannabe! If everyone had to watch what they say all the time I can easily refer to some comments on this very thread that could well pop up and bite someone's bum :-)


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 10:02 AM

"There should be no 'perchance' about it - not if the club scene is to survive"
Posted to wrong thread
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 10:01 AM

There should be no 'perchance' about it - not if the club scene is to survive
During these arguments I have experienced a great deal of hostility - that towards my self, which I have got used to, ut that towards the folk songs themselves (inappropriate long ballads, etc) and the 'boring old geezers' who gave them to us
Park House was a series of meeting named after Charles Parker's Home in Leominster, which hosted a number of week-end events to discuss, work on and perform folk song
It published regular bulletins and those who organised it went on to set up @the Charles Parker Archive' in Birmingham Central Library - some later established 'Banner Theatre' in The Midlands
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 09:48 AM

I know Bob slightly (over the last 10 years, had no idea he'd ever been a folk rocker) and wouldn't have been surprised by that rather ordinary ironic remark. Nobody should need to watch their mouth in case some grudge-cultivating Aspie folk bureaucrat might be eavesdropping.

Should I have heard of Park House? What were they or it?


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 09:42 AM

"Trying to appeal to 'a higher calling and standards'"
Who is doing that - I am suggesting that if folk song is to survive it has to be performed to a reasonable standard and has to be identifiable as folk song
I would expect no less from any other publicly performed endevour
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 09:28 AM

Bob said what he said and he was reported accurately - I was there and heard him say it
Trevor used his quote to illustrate what he believed was happening to the folk scene back then - he took it no further as far as Pegg was concerned so it is inaccurate to describe Park House as using Pegg as a "totemic enemy" - to my knowledge, his name was never mentioned again in their literature or at any of their gatherings - another 'folkie legend' it would appear
If he hadn't meant what he said he shouldn't have said it publicly
People who 'collect the tradition' tend to get the rough end of the stick when they dare to criticise the folk scene, as I am finding out regularly
As far as I'm concerned all folk activity needs to be a labour of love
It's always struck me that it might help things if, instead of putting a little (c) next to arrangements of folk material, all paid performers should be asked to make a contribution towards furthering the survival of folk song and music whenever they use folk song, tune or tale
It appalls me to remember that the "arrangement" of a rare ballad collected from a Traveller who died of malnutrition in a derelict squat has been copyrighted by a well heeled musician who has little to do with folk song
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Vic Smith
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 08:51 AM

Having said that, I was at a Loughborough National Folk Festival talk many years ago where one of the leading folk rock stars of the day, Bob Pegg, was asked why they did what they did - his reply was, "For the money"
Birmingham folk journalist and activist, Trevor Fisher wrote an excellent pamphlet based on Pegg's statement entitled, 'We're Only in it For the Money"


Not long after that time, I interviewed Bob Pegg. I asked him if he regretted making that comment. He replied that he was in two minds about it. He had made it as a sort of wry self-mocking joke because he lost a lot of money on trying to launch that folk-rock band Mr. Fox and ended up with huge debts. In my opinion the band was too esoteric, too cerebral to reach more than a cult audience but they were one of the most inventive and interesting of the bands in that genre though it was the band that, to my ears, seemed to be closest to the tradition. Yet he became a totemic enemy of the Parkhouse Convention crowd who really blackened his name though they never, apparently, tried to contact him to explain his position which he thought reflected badly on them rather than on himself. Later, off air, he confided that he hadn't tried to contact them himself because he was in a bad place with big debts and the break-up of his marriage.
I believe that he now lives in Scotland where he has spent decades involve in collecting from Highland-based storytellers and musicians. People who collect the tradition deserve our praise. Other enthusiasts gain a great deal from it but it is a labour of love and not something to to if you are "in it for the money".


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 08:45 AM

Jim - "If you are suggesting that anybody has left this forum because Folk Music is discussed critically
my reaction is, perhaps they should never have been here in the first place
"

no.. no... no.. no.. no

Trying to appeal to 'a higher calling and standards'
to justify knocking down the ideas and confidence of young newcomers
is not acceptable...

Again, imho...


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 08:35 AM

Jim - not being patronising at all - just an honest opinion from one internet 'folkie' mate to another...

All the great things you do for trad folk are unfortunately partially cancelled out by your negative strictures..
I've witnessed the effect..

For instance some years ago, when that young modern electronica folkie living in France
made an effort to seek out your permission to cover a song in your collection,
and you refused.
If I recall correctly, only after lecturing us/him on why he was not fit enough to record that song...

He would have been intersting new blood for aging & declining mudcat community,
and that was the last time we ever saw him here....


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 07:48 AM

I like Ed Sheeran. And Mumford and Sons. I think they are all doing a great job.

Mentioning Mary Hopkin, my Dad played and sang "Dorogoi dlinnoyu" for us shortly after hearing "Those were the days". He was a far better musician and singer than I will ever be!


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 07:42 AM

There is another way people first encounter folk music, far more commonly than via folk rock and from long before the Anglo-American "revival" - folk pop. That was the way I first heard folk music, and it was a more wide-ranging genre than either the revivalists or the folk rockers ever contemplated. The Andrews Sisters in Yiddish, Eartha Kitt doing Turkish, Mary Hopkin using Russian folklore. The most prominent performer in the UK doing that today is Ed Sheeran, and he must outsell everybody performing on the British folk club circuit put together. A constructive response to what he's doing would help.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 07:41 AM

My turn now

You have suggested before now that I shouldn't post here if I don't like what's happening in the clubs

Where have I said that

I' prepared to take your word for it if you say he considers himself above criticism

Where have I said that?

What's good for the goose and all that...


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 07:36 AM

Where have I said that Dave?

Here, Jim.

From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 03:08 AM

Folk rock, as far as I'm concerned was made up of wannabe pop stars who could't make it on the mainstream scene and so chose the folk clubs as a platform


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 07:19 AM

"interpreters"
******* spellcheck - should be the entrepreneurs
Jim


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 06:28 AM

"Jim, do you not think that saying some top folk musicians are only in it for the money or are pop star wannabes is somewhat insulting to both those musicians and their fans?"
Where have I said that Dave ?
The only people who make money out of music of any form to any great degree are the interpreters
Even the pop-star wannabes take second place to them and appear to seek attention rather than money - there can be little doubt that his is how some aspects of folk are being sold - name and fame
What I actually said is that the scene I was part of was run by non-professional grass-rooters who gave their time and effort for the music without expecting payment
Nothing wrong with being paid, but it should never dominate and run the scene
Shortly after we moved here, Irish Television put on a programme entitled "Has Irish Traditional Music Sold Out?"
One of the greatest musicians on the scene, Paddy Glackin, put it in a nutshell - "very few solo performers can get anywhere on today's scene without joining a group" - in other words, the employer called the shots.
Paddy, his brother Kevin, and many other top musicians worked their balls off to change that situation and succeeded in creating a scene based on love of the music rather than providing careers - many youngsters, including members of Paddy's and Kevin's own families hve benefited from that work and are now contributing to it
Kevin Glackin's daughter is both a fine fiddle player and a good singer - we saw her perform last year.

Having said that, I was at a Loughborough National Folk Festival talk many years ago where one of the leading folk rock stars of the day, Bob Pegg, was asked why they did what they did - his reply was, "For the money"
Birmingham folk journalist and activist, Trevor Fisher wrote an excellent pamphlet based on Pegg's statement entitled, 'We're Only in it For the Money" - let you have a copy if you're interested

If you are suggesting that anybody has left this forum because Folk Music is discussed critically my reaction is, perhaps they should never have been here in the first place
No creative activity put on for public consumption should ever be considered above criticism   
I have no knowledge of the performer you named but I' prepared to take your word for it if you say he considers himself above criticism
You have suggested before now that I shouldn't post here if I don't like what's happening in the clubs
Sounds like an attempt to create an exclusive club of self-congratulatory backslappers to me
Shame on you
Jim


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 05:44 AM

Btw. Sam, who started this thread is both a wonderful musician and a man blessed with inner peace. As well his solo accordion pieces which you can find on YouTube he is also in a duo with brilliant percussionist, Gary Hammond. He no longer visits the Mudcat Cafe.

I wonder why...


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 05:31 AM

Jim, do you not think that saying some top folk musicians are only in it for the money or are pop star wannabes is somewhat insulting to both those musicians and their fans?


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 04:01 AM

Nice bit of patronizing insulting PFR

"The folk police"
There we go again - more folk policing attempting to prevent friendly discussion
Who has mentioned right and wrong hre?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 03:49 PM

We love Jim for all the good he has done collecting, archiving, preserving, and championing trad folk...
I also admire his politics and zest for arguing against the wrongs of dominant right wing society...

But we just have to learn to turn a deaf ear
when he goes off on one prescribing what is and is not valid 'folk' music,
and his wrong headed diatribes against popular music...

He's still a top bloke though...


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: John P
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 03:27 PM

The folk police are the people who tell you that you are playing music wrong. I've been loudly accosted during performances multiple times. "That's not the way THEY play it" seems to be the common theme.

I think many people confuse the concepts of traditional music with historical music. This implies a stopping date for the tradition. I prefer living traditions that grow and change and incorporate new things.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 01:04 PM

"'Folk police' is hardly an insult "
Yes it is, and you know it
I's ususlly refined by some people when they find themselves at a loss for words and have to resort to bad manners as "folk fascist" or "purist"
If you don't agree with my please dont try to insult my intelligence

"just a gentle reference to those who think that their interpretation of folk is the only one"
If you have another definition, please give it, but bring a consensus with you so everybody can understand you
Fork rock is only one of the genres that have created an oppressive atmosphere with the use of these terms
WE could resort to name-calling like yours if you wish, but I'd rather try to argue rationally - haven' used the term sniger snogwriter in yyears and have never referred to anybody as a "police"anything
I know young people who detest Shakespeare and Dickens and Beethoven and Louis Armstrong.... but I wouldn't wish to change any of them to attract those people - why on earht==th should folk song be any different ?
If they can't accept folk music for what it is - tough - it's never going to be4 anything else
I came to folk music when I was 20 and nearly walked away because I found the watered down version (The Liverpool Spinners) too bland - luckily I was encouraged to search out the real thing and when I found it and came to terms with it it bacame part of my life - I was serving my time as an electrician on the Liverpool docks at the time
If I could do it then I see no reason why any other young person can't do the same.
If you water whiskey down you end up with a taste for watered whiskey (vomit)
There really is no antagonism on my part - it's a case of thaking what's on offer or walking away
Jim


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 12:59 PM

Jim, not all folk music is song. As I said earlier, music and dance is equally important and seems to be unaffected by the gloom you report to unaccompanied song.

As to "One of the obvious examples of damage that things like folk rock has done ids to create an oppressive atmosphere", I am not sure where to start. The fact that someone who likes folk rock has offended you becomes the fault of the folk rock genre is a leap of faith that not many could make.

Jack. I think of Runrig as a folk rock band in that they seem to tick both boxes. Maybe others think differently. On the subject of world folk I think you may like Hanggai from Mongolia and Guilhem Desq (France?) on his electric hurry gurdy!


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 12:36 PM

'Folk police' is hardly an insult - just a gentle reference to those who think that their interpretation of folk is the only one. I'm sorry Jim but to blame folk rock for creating 'an oppressive atmosphere' is just laughable. You are the one who is trying to oppress by insisting that those of us who love various forms of folk music do not call the music we admire 'folk' when it quite obviously is. If there is to be any hope of getting new generations into the music that has enriched my life and presumably all of us here then such narrow definitions of folk and antagonism to music that expands and enriches the genre really needs to stop. Though I can't imagine many young people look in here very often as they will have been appalled by the narrowness and intransigence of some contributors views. A shame as there is much to learn and enjoy


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 12:15 PM

"Simply not true."
Prove it - show me where British or Irish folk music was ever and accompanied form
A few street singers sang accompanied - but in the main, the main corpus of our recorded examples are unaccompanied
It was the revival that introduced instrumentation
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 12:01 PM

"Jim and other of the folk police "Please downt lower this discussion to the level of personal insults otherwise it will be closed down by the mods
The only police hre are these who ride roughshod over existing and long established terms and use them to their own ends   
One of the obvious examples of damage that things like folk rock has done ids to create an oppressive atmosphere making well manned and friendly discussion nigh wel impossible by the use of terms like 'folk police'
Please don't do it again
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 11:56 AM

Some interesting people to seek out there Jack - thanks. I love folk music but I love folk rock and many other genres of music. Folk rock does absolutely no harm to folk and if anything complements it. Just because Jim and other of the folk police don't like it it does not mean that it is in invalid. By all means don't listen to it if you don't like it but I for one can certainly hear the words sung by John Tams (in my view one of the greatest living interpreter of folk song as well as a superb writer of original material) in the Albion Band and many other singers in folk rock bands!


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