mudcat.org: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2]


do young folk musicians need new ideas?

Roger in Sheffield 04 Nov 01 - 05:10 AM
GUEST 04 Nov 01 - 05:17 AM
Crane Driver 04 Nov 01 - 05:43 AM
GUEST 04 Nov 01 - 07:03 AM
The Shambles 04 Nov 01 - 08:05 AM
John P 04 Nov 01 - 08:36 AM
DMcG 04 Nov 01 - 08:42 AM
SINSULL 04 Nov 01 - 09:01 AM
Mac Tattie 04 Nov 01 - 09:18 AM
selby 04 Nov 01 - 09:34 AM
catspaw49 04 Nov 01 - 10:32 AM
Eric the Viking 04 Nov 01 - 11:14 AM
Les b (U.K.) 04 Nov 01 - 11:56 AM
GUEST 04 Nov 01 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,NUTTY 04 Nov 01 - 12:09 PM
Roger in Sheffield 04 Nov 01 - 12:10 PM
Malcolm Douglas 04 Nov 01 - 01:20 PM
GUEST 04 Nov 01 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,KERNOW JOHN 04 Nov 01 - 01:32 PM
GUEST 04 Nov 01 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,Steven G. 04 Nov 01 - 09:27 PM
GUEST,Brian 05 Nov 01 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,mooman (cookieless) 05 Nov 01 - 10:59 AM
pinkfiddle 05 Nov 01 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,MC Fat 05 Nov 01 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,ClintonHammond 05 Nov 01 - 02:01 PM
GUEST,Russ 05 Nov 01 - 04:55 PM
Crane Driver 05 Nov 01 - 06:38 PM
GUEST,jayohjo 05 Nov 01 - 07:26 PM
John P 05 Nov 01 - 10:02 PM
GUEST 06 Nov 01 - 08:26 AM
GUEST 06 Nov 01 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,McGrath of Harlow 06 Nov 01 - 09:02 AM
pinkfiddle 06 Nov 01 - 09:15 AM
GUEST 06 Nov 01 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,Brian 06 Nov 01 - 09:46 AM
pinkfiddle 06 Nov 01 - 10:16 AM
mooman 06 Nov 01 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,Brian 06 Nov 01 - 11:20 AM
mooman 06 Nov 01 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Brian 06 Nov 01 - 11:48 AM
mooman 06 Nov 01 - 12:56 PM
Grab 06 Nov 01 - 01:19 PM
GUEST 06 Nov 01 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Sam Pirt 06 Nov 01 - 01:53 PM
GUEST,Sam Pirt 06 Nov 01 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,Brian 07 Nov 01 - 04:59 AM
Mr Red 07 Nov 01 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,MC Fat 07 Nov 01 - 06:33 AM
GUEST,jonesey 07 Nov 01 - 06:41 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 05:10 AM

The Danu thread reminded me of my annoyance after reading an editorial in Folk Roots (Froots) magazine. I will paste it below.
Folk music is still fairly new to me, only a couple of years ago I heard some tunes that were inspirational and it went on from there. Went to Sidmouth for the first time this year and really enjoyed the whole thing, left lots of the events just wanting to get out on the beach and play something there and then. So I was disappointed to read the piece in Froots which seemed to me to be unfair, sour grapes.
I understand that I have not heard countless people and groups playing and singing the same pieces for the last thirty years or so like, some of you have, and that if I had I too might be a bit weary of them. For now I am quite happy to be entertained and inspired by these young groups even though there is a hint of envy at their talent. And who knows which of them will stumble across the refreshing new direction that some people crave, these youngsters seem best placed to find it in years to come. No doubt then they will be scorned for not playing in a traditional way!

From Folk Roots Oct 2001 No.220

..........At Sidmouth there's always a lot of chewing of the fat over breakfasts and many midnight bar-proppings in the Bedford or the Late Night Extra.
One of the topics which kept coming up this year was inspired by the numerous younger bands around.
Sidmouth was pulsing with them, and the sheer abundance seemed to bring an obvious problem to people's attention.
It's this:
playing standards are fantastic, with instrumental skills beyond the dreams of the folk club generation of two or three decades ago,
but where on earth is the imagination, the adventure, the creativity?
Time and time again we were seeing bands content to play in predictable, well-trodden styles
- a scary mirror of the state of the UK pop music scene. Clone rangers...
Why, people were asking, should this be?
Why were musicians in that era from Davey Graham through Planxty, early Steeleye & Fairport, Nic Jones
(who everybody was pleased to see visiting Sidmouth this year)
to the Old Swan and New Victory Bands (just as a few examples) all able to take the music on big leaps forward?
Whereas today's generation - who have far greater playing talent at their finger tips - are mostly content to tread familiar water.
Where's the danger, the risk, the pushing at the edge?

Many interesting theories were floated comparing that '60s/'70s Britfolk generation to today's.
Then, pretty much everybody was self-taught, the mother of invention, whilst now there are extensive courses and workshops available to show young musicians the 'right' way to do things.
Then, there were relatively few recordings out there as sources for material, thus forcing people to uncover or invent new repertoires,
whereas now the supply of recorded music to reproduce is almost infinite.
Then, there were more older traditional players around to inspire, whereas now most of the role models are revivalists.
And back then everybody was playing to their own peers and age group who were often developing musicians too,
whereas now the audience for young performers is largely their parents' generation, who know what they like.
Whatever the causes, the results are there to see. Playing the notes is not enough.
But turning up the volume, playing faster, adding a few half understood clichés from rock or dance music is not the answer either
- it would just be a predictable yawn. Been there, done that too.
What the folk scene could use right now, suggested one venerable revival giant, is an equivalent in its effect to what the 1977 punk revolution did to the flabby, self important pomp rock scene of the day: kick it up the backside, grab baby, drain bath.
In the end it comes down to this, true not just here but all over the world. Real traditions continually evolve and progress, they are living things.
Stand them still, put them in glass cases or turn them into Art and they atrophy.
They need to have a function, roots, not just be something for nice polite people sat in rows. Where next?

Ian Anderson


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 05:17 AM

Roger's post, rendered more readable:

From Folk Roots Oct 2001 No.220

..........At Sidmouth there's always a lot of chewing of the fat over breakfasts and many midnight bar-proppings in the Bedford or the Late Night Extra.

One of the topics which kept coming up this year was inspired by the numerous younger bands around. Sidmouth was pulsing with them, and the sheer abundance seemed to bring an obvious problem to people's attention. It's this:

playing standards are fantastic, with instrumental skills beyond the dreams of the folk club generation of two or three decades ago, but where on earth is the imagination, the adventure, the creativity?

Time and time again we were seeing bands content to play in predictable, well-trodden styles - a scary mirror of the state of the UK pop music scene. Clone rangers... Why, people were asking, should this be?

Why were musicians in that era from Davey Graham through Planxty, early Steeleye & Fairport, Nic Jones(who everybody was pleased to see visiting Sidmouth this year) to the Old Swan and New Victory Bands (just as a few examples) all able to take the music on big leaps forward? Whereas today's generation - who have far greater playing talent at their finger tips - are mostly content to tread familiar water. Where's the danger, the risk, the pushing at the edge?

Many interesting theories were floated comparing that '60s/'70s Britfolk generation to today's. Then, pretty much everybody was self-taught, the mother of invention, whilst now there are extensive courses and workshops available to show young musicians the 'right' way to do things.

Then, there were relatively few recordings out there as sources for material, thus forcing people to uncover or invent new repertoires, whereas now the supply of recorded music to reproduce is almost infinite.

Then, there were more older traditional players around to inspire, whereas now most of the role models are revivalists. And back then everybody was playing to their own peers and age group who were often developing musicians too, whereas now the audience for young performers is largely their parents' generation, who know what they like.

Whatever the causes, the results are there to see. Playing the notes is not enough. But turning up the volume, playing faster, adding a few half understood clichés from rock or dance music is not the answer either - it would just be a predictable yawn. Been there, done that too.

What the folk scene could use right now, suggested one venerable revival giant, is an equivalent in its effect to what the 1977 punk revolution did to the flabby, self important pomp rock scene of the day: kick it up the backside, grab baby, drain bath.

In the end it comes down to this, true not just here but all over the world. Real traditions continually evolve and progress, they are living things. Stand them still, put them in glass cases or turn them into Art and they atrophy.

They need to have a function, roots, not just be something for nice polite people sat in rows. Where next?

Ian Anderson


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: Crane Driver
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 05:43 AM

Hmmmm ...... yes.

Not exactly encouraging the next generation then?

Should traditional music always be about doing new things?

Or is that some sort of contradiction?

This one could run and run ......


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 07:03 AM

I'm not familiar with the Brit scene, but the general theme of Anderson's piece seems to be of greater applicability, maybe even universal. As for myself, I wouldn't be all that worried about things. It's natural and normal for performers to emulate their "major imfluences", even to the point of covering or mimicing. I sometimes sense there is even a wierd sort of "competition" about who can claim the broadest list of notables as their "major influences." If the "up & comers" have any creativity at all, they'll eventually tire of always aping somebody else and start to develop their own "thing." Otherwise, they will be and become very bored and very boring.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 08:05 AM

This does not just apply to young musicians. But they are young and will develop their own styles in time.

When they combine this with the tremendous technical expertise and enthusiasm they already demonstrate, I think the future looks very bright indeed.

Skiffle was to folk as the 'punk rock' scene was to rock. It was about people making the music. We do seem to have thrown the baby out with the bathwater, in the vain attempt to make folk music as professional as everything else.

Combine everyone's enthusiam to participate, with the constant searce for technical expertise and professonal approach, rule everything in and nothing out, and we will all have music that will make us all happy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: John P
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 08:36 AM

Another thing I notice is that the bands listed as great innovators of the past were the few bands that really became famous. Part of the reason that bands become famous is because they are playing innovative music. Maybe we should be comparing the young bands of today to all the bands of the past that were good, but never made it big. Probably two or three out of every hundred young bands are innovative enough to achieve the kind of fame that Steeleye Span or Fairport enjoys.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: DMcG
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 08:42 AM

The Folk Roots article, to me, read like the same sort of 'professional critic' you get everywhere. Ballets critics complain 'Not Swan Lake, again', theatre critics complain about whether a performance of a new actor measures up the standard of Olivier or some other notable. Critics are the same all over!

Last Thursday, I bought a CD of the Copper family recordings made during 1950/60's. This was released for the first time this year. About half the tracks are from an LP which I was very fortunate to have heard because that "was issued in 1963 as a limited edition of ninety-nine copies by the EFDSS for its members only". Ian Anderson is right that the opportunities to hear these traditional singers 'live' (Sam Larner, Walter Pardon, Bob Hart and so on) is reducing year by year - but he seems to fail to appreciate that issuing CDs like the one I have just bought makes hearing and learning from these traditional singers much more widespread.

(A fun exercise, for those with a wide enough collection of these root singers, is to look at the early Steeleye and Fairport and trace who they were emulating!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 09:01 AM

Isn't this a new take on the same question? The purists criticize groups like the Kingston Trio for being "too professional, too polished". But the general public ate it up AND was exposed to folk music (oh god, here we go - I know it isn't folk music...but yes it is) as a result.

At the Getaway, I was really impressed by BillD's son and his shanty group. A whole new take on the music with what seemed to me professionally trained voices and a definite fresh spin on tradition. A few months earlier, I attended a concert where I was astonished and appalled to see a young man of about 15 singing every song exactly as it was recorded and performed in 1962. It had all the meaning of a 50s themed New Years Eve party or an Elvis impersonator's convention.

JohnP is on the right track. Talent combined with innovation and respect for tradition is rare. I wouldn't limit that statement to just young folk singers. If Ian Anderson had spent less time bitching over breakfast and more checking out the many new bands, I suspect he might have found one or two diamonds in the rough.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: Mac Tattie
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 09:18 AM

Of course they do and likewise, old folk musicians could do with shearching out a fiew new/fresh ideas too.

There have been a host of new bands that have come - and gone - over the last ten, twenty, thirty years. Musical performance has moved on at an astonishing pace but then so has the quality and availability of the tools of the trade, fiddles, pipes, guitars and ampllifying equipment and a sizeable increase in festival numbers, touring venues and recording possibilites. The down turn of course is that true singers are rarely to be heard along side these musicians. Singers often become the recognisable "face" of a band, far far too much for many star musicians to take. cheers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: selby
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 09:34 AM

I assume this all depends what you as an idividual you call innovative. I have seen some young bands in my time as well at the moment 422,The Demon Barbers,Ola & Dalta do some pretty innovative stuff.On the wider issue I would have thought that there is a lack of young singers in proportion to muscians that we should worry about. Keith


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 10:32 AM

Thank you Keith......For the Folk Roots article, I'd suggest that the author check out 'Catters Sam Pirt and Ian Stephenson and 422

Talk about "Dynamic." Sam and Ian have exceptional and unbelievable talent and the exuberance of youth as all of us who had the chance to meet and hear them over here in the states well know. Their album with Bill Sables, "Bridging the Gap" should assure anyone that the tradition is not only safe, but growing.

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 11:14 AM

You beat me to it Kieth- I was going to cite 422, OLA and the Pack as fine examples of young bands with new approaches and inovative styles, also listen to "Sherburn, Bartley and Scott" if you want to hear something else! I think that like 422 etc these guys have more than tradditional music in their souls, and they just blow you away.Or if you want something different, but just as worthwhile listen to Worticulture. Perhaps it's just in the states, but in the UK there are lots of high class up and coming talent that are flexible and adaptable and not cliched in their music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: Les b (U.K.)
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 11:56 AM

Selby mentions the disturbing fact of the lack of young singers. This is the subject of an article entitled 'Where are the young singers?' in the new (issue 45) of 'The Living Tradition' mag.
With quotes from young(and old) musicians and singers about this subject. It makes for very interesting reading, try and get hold of a copy, or better still subscribe. Cheers Les


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 12:07 PM

Many folkies - myself included and ,I suspect Ian Anderson , have been involved in folk music for over 40 years.
There have been many changes in that time and many new approaches. WHAT'S LEFT TO TRY??

I'm heartened by the enthusiasm shown by these young folkies, for it's this that will allow them to become old folkies and raise another generation in the tradition


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST,NUTTY
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 12:09 PM

THAT WAS ME ....I need a new cookie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 12:10 PM

would there be a website Les?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 01:20 PM

The Living Tradition


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 01:29 PM

Where is the imagination, the adventure, the creativity? I'll tell you where it is "Black Cat Theory" winners of this years BBC Young folk. Of course they are now suffering the same as Steeleye etc. People knock them and accuse them of deserting their folk roots.
I have to echo what's been said about Sam Pirt et al above, talent in abundance and embracing all of Ian A's three wants.
Stop bitching over late breakfast's Ian and get out and encourage the young 'uns.
KJ


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST,KERNOW JOHN
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 01:32 PM

Sorry, that was me above hadn't noticed I was cookie-less.
KJ


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 04:34 PM

Ian Anderson is just being his usual egomaniacal self in this editorial. He has to be one of bitter, cynical, and arrogant old man, who has nothing but contempt for the upcoming generation on the British folk scene today. Unfortunately, he is also editor of the main folk rag in the UK, and therefore wields a lot of power and influence on the scene.

*That* is the worst aspect of an editorial like this. A few years back, his lament was over the lack of young people becoming involved in the folk scene. The hordes of young musicians crawling all over Ireland, the UK, the North American scene, and the European scene had somehow escaped the notice of the Folk Roots writers and editor.

Now, his complaint is the young musicians are technicians with no soul, no creativity, no innovativeness.

I wish someone would just put a stake through Ian's heart, and stop him from feeding off the creative talent of the musicians he "covers" once and for all.

Vampire Anderson is best ignored, not vaunted as a knowledgeable fount of truth about the folk scene in the UK, or anywhere else for that matter.

Anyone else notice how he talks out of both sides his mouth, complaining on the one hand that young folkies are too much like their "commercial" pop music contemporaries, and then turns around and says they aren't enough like the commercially successfully bands of *Ian's* generation who were trying to make folk music into pop music?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST,Steven G.
Date: 04 Nov 01 - 09:27 PM

Being a new folk musician in the scene. For me I always like to play songs from people I am influenced by, and sometimes I want to sing the song as the musician wrote it.

But I do agree on playing a song a different way, by any suggestions by other musicians out there that tackle a piece of music differently that I like. And someone said in this thread that if you start mimicing the singers that wrote the songs it will get boring. I agree with that statement, tackling a piece of music differently it great to do, being more creative.

As one folk musician say about his songs "What makes you think my way is the best way to play it". And he is right, be creative and do your own thing.

Steven G.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST,Brian
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 10:27 AM

Far be it from me to defend Ian Anderson. However, when people write statements such as that by GUEST:-

Ian Anderson is just being his usual egomaniacal self in this editorial. He has to be one of bitter, cynical, and arrogant old man, who has nothing but contempt for the upcoming generation on the British folk scene today. Unfortunately, he is also editor of the main folk rag in the UK, and therefore wields a lot of power and influence on the scene.

I feel there should some clarification of facts. Ian Anderson has been around for all of my 30 something years in UK folk music. He is not just the editor of FRoots (Folk Roots), but one the main driving forces that got it off the ground, and prior to that 'Southern Rag'. If FRoots really is the main folk magazine in the UK, and Ian Anderson really wields a lot of power and influence, it is because people buy the mag. It is the UK folk scene that has given FRoots and Ian Anderson their exalted positions.

Personally, I have never found his and my view of folk music to be in tune. I have always felt that his idea of evolution is not growth, but change. I have rarely found his 'innovative' music to have any appeal, and I stopped subscribing to Southern Rag for such reasons. The few copies of FRoot that I have seen, have never convinced me to alter that decision. It strikes me that Ian Anderson has been 'innovative and different' for so long, it all just sounds like 'more of the same'. So his views as express above, come as no surprize.

In short the UK folk scene has the Ian Anderson and FRoots it deserves. If you don't like it, don't buy it.

Brian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST,mooman (cookieless)
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 10:59 AM

Following on from Guest Brian's theme...

...this is typical Froots bollix and a typical example of why I stopped buying and reading it many years ago. I will even refuse a freely proffered copy these days.

Unfortunately, the Froots team themselves have been unable to move on from the so-called "golden years" and are far too busy congratulating each other and their close cronies to have any idea whatsoever as to what is really happening "on the ground".

Even worse than their opinionated editorials is the frequent lambasting of emerging new bands and musicians in their "reviews" section. Some of these people have put 100s if not 1000s of pounds, dollars or whatever of their own hard-earned cash into trying to put out a CD and keep a "living tradition" going only frequently to be rubbished arrogantly. A great incentive indeed!

No ... neither young folk musicians (certainly the ones I regularly get to see) nor most "old" folk musicians need new ideas. There is plenty of innovation and freshness about from performers of all ages for those who care to look.

mooman


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: pinkfiddle
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 11:13 AM

As a 'young folk musician' I hope I am receptive to new ideas. I play in a band with four people who are substantially older than me and have been able to introduce new tune sets and different ways of arranging them than the 'more obvious' ways they would normally choose. From them I am learning heaps about how to accompany songs on the fiddle and complement the rhythm section and vocals.

Having just written my MA on the English folk music scene I was very interested to see Ian Anderson's editorial included in Roger's post as I recently quoted the same editorial in my MA. It is inevitable that the technical ability of and the resources available to young musicians has improved because the English folk scene (since the arrival of folk clubs, 60s revival etc) is now over 40 year olds and networks to support and develop the music have been established, their aim being to develop folk music so that more people have an opportunity to learn to play and hear folk music and song being played and take part in folk music events, surely the point of the revival in the first place.

Nevertheless alongside the technical expertise that exists among young musicians there is also plenty of experimentation and new ideas. The other thing I would say is that good musicians and singers are by and large creative people who will develop new ideas if they are given the time and space to do so. I have some buzzing around in my head at the moment.

It seems to me that Folk Roots have complained about the lack of young musicians, welcomed the arrival of new young musicians and folk development agencies and then complained that young musicians are technicians - in other words one can't win.

In the words of Martin Carthy - 'the only damage done to traditional music is done when traditional music isn't done at all'. And that certainly isn't the case - the folk scene is increasingly vibrant and opportunities exist for young people to find their own musical direction, formulate new ideas and share them with enthusiastic audiences. Young musicians do need new ideas but no more or less than any other age group. And another thing - is it really necessary for us to go on with this constant pigeonholing?

pf


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST,MC Fat
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 11:21 AM

Whilst not wishing to agree with the said Mr Anderson he has raised some points. I for one welcome, and am indeed amazed by the sheer musicianship of the youngsters and some of them Sam, Ian and Woody are indeed personal friends. For years you could see the Folk Scene wending it's way to the collective bus pass in the sky. There were very few youngsters coming through, now we are awash with them. I will only make one observation which is that some of the youngsters do lack what I call 'stagecraft' that certain element which transcends the technical ability and produces that spark to make them special, I think it's this that Mr A is meaning. I hesitate when I say some, I've worked with Sam and Woody and they listen and take note some of the time to old farts like me and in the main put this into a performance but other can produce a robotic attitude and lack the special touch.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST,ClintonHammond
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 02:01 PM

The thing I like best about music is that it's scope is broad enough that no matter what bit or bits of it you like, there's tonnes of it out there to entertain you...

;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 04:55 PM

Don't miss the forest for the trees.
Whatever else he is, Ian is a musician from one generation criticizing the music of a younger genration.
It is no more the job of today's young folkies to please old folkies like Ian than it was our job to please our parents musically.
"Why can't they be like we were, perfect in every way. What's the matter with kids today."
Ian has simply turned into his father, as have all we boomers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: Crane Driver
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 06:38 PM

Seems to me the fundamental thing is that musicians don't appear fully-formed as vibrant, exciting players in their teens, and then decline into boring old farts over the next 50 years. You have to learn your craft, and different people learn different bits of it at different rates. So you might learn technical mastery first (you probably have to, in fact), then stagecraft, then with a good grounding you can branch out, be innovative and really impress. How young were Maddy Prior and co when they started Steeleye? How many years were they playing in the style of an earlier generation before they made that leap?

It's unfair to expect young musicians (OK, to me, anyone under 40 is young!) to be masters of everything. That's why so much of Pop is Crap (IMHO). You've got to put the years in to your apprenticeship. And we old farts have a duty to encourage those young singers and musicians with the sense to appreciate our wonderful music, to stick with it, enjoy it and pass it on in their turn.

The only way to be a good musician is to be a bad musician, because if you're not playing at all, you won't get better. Only when you've been bad for long enough will you become good. If you can't play well yet, you've not played badly long enough, so play badly some more. That's my excuse, anyway!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST,jayohjo
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 07:26 PM

As another young singer - I don't consider myself to be a good singer; I'm passable, but not good. Come back in 50 years, and I may be good by then. I feel it's unfair to try and compare young musicians to musicians who have been playing and performing for most of their lives, then criticise young musicians for not having the 'stagecraft' - on the one hand, many do, and on the other, those who don't are still very young! Surely we should be rejoicing that even some are already so talented, professional, captivating - and clearly loving what they do? Jayohjo XX


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: John P
Date: 05 Nov 01 - 10:02 PM

There's another aspect to all of this: Why should innovation be considered a necessary ingredient to a good performance of traditional folk music? Now, I like innovation, and most of the bands I listen to a lot would probably be considered innovative. I have been called innovative myself. BUT, the biggest thing that draws me to folk music in the first place is the songs and tunes themselves. I thoroughly enjoy a great old song nicely sung, even if I've heard it sung 50 times before, and even if the singer isn't of the quality of an international star. The reason some songs get done to death is because they are great songs. The fact that they've been sung too often doesn't change the fact that they are still great songs. And given that part of most people's definition of traditional music is that it is local music, hearing the local singers does something to me that the innovative stars from elsewhere can't do.

Innovation is great. But so are normal folks singing nice old songs in fairly normal ways.

John Peekstok


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 08:26 AM

You know, I've reread this editorial a number of times now, and every time I read it, I get more angry. Especially in light of all the valid (and one would think, obvious) points people here are making about the process of growing into one's artistic skin.

How could Ian Anderson, who really should know better than this, be so wrong, and so--I don't know, god damn awful towards young musicians? So venomous? As if young musicians don't have enough insecurities to deal with just as young people, much less struggling to become artists?

I work with young people, and all I can think of regarding this man's (Ian A) remarks about young people is that he strikes not only as the type of adult who has very little contact with them, but also doesn't really like them very much either. He must be a very, very unhappy, mean-spirited, and intolerant person, to write such an editorial.

And to any young people who might read it, I say ignore that man! You are doing great!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 08:51 AM

And excuse me, but what the hell does "stagecraft" have to do with traditional music? Traditional music isn't about concert performances--or I should say, wasn't until recently. Which just proves that if these are the music values Ian Anderson holds, he has never been much of a fan of traditional/folk music--something to which Brian may have been alluding to above? It seems to me that Ian Anderson's musical standards have always been measured by commercial success of musicians who could present themselves on a concert stage in the same manner as other popular and classical musicians do.

Is that the standard the British folk scene wishes to rise to for it's music?

Things are far different in Ireland from that, where sessions, dancing, music in the home, etc are much more commonplace. Although I have to agree as to the dearth of singers, and lack of interest in the singing traditions. The dance music has dominated for so long, that sadly, the great and knowledgeable singers haven't been listened to or learned from much. I don't know that much can be done to revive the singing traditions, but I do know there are a lot of young people who are interested in doing just that very thing--at least in Ireland.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST,McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 09:02 AM

I think jayohjo summed it up pretty well: "Come back in 50 years, and I may be good by then."

There are young musicians around who are technically brilliant. In time they'll turn into great musicians, if they keep at it. But the assumption that the peak of creativity is with the young just doesn't apply in folk music, it's something imported from a pop scene which isn't primarily about music at all.

Right now while they are young they need to be flash maybe, but that's no harm, in fdact it's great, so long as everybody doen't buy into the idea it's all about that.

The key thing about this kind of music is that the real heroes are mostly in their 60s, 70s and 80s. So long as that is true, we'll be all right.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: pinkfiddle
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 09:15 AM

While I agree that stagecraft shouldn't be valued over the playing itself, I do think its something that all musicians should pay attention to if they're performing in front of a large festival/concert audience. Just simple things like thanking the audience for their applause sometimes are forgotten.

Developing stagecraft skills is something that will happen as a result of the experience of performing regularly and I don't think anyone should expect it just happen naturally. Folk music has found a space on the mainstream music stage for the more well known and dare I say it commercial artists and if younger musicians seek that kind of success then stagecraft skills are important.

This is all comes back to the argument of whether it makes sense to present folk music in a concert setting at all. However, many people also seek greater recognition and exposure for folk and you can't really have one without the other.

pf


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 09:20 AM

Pinkfiddle,

I don't have any problem with folk and traditional music on a concert stage. I have a problem with it being driven there and locked into that setting, especially in conjunction with the drive to get the best musicians to record.

Folk and traditional music are performance driven, pure and simple. I think there is room for concert performance of the music, but not at the expense of the social settings (ie sessions, at home, at ceilis and dances, weddings and funerals, etc) that has kept the music alive for centuries.

I'm all for stagecraft when I'm watching professional musicians in a concert setting. But it doesn't have anything to do with the music, when you get right down to it. IMO, of course.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST,Brian
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 09:46 AM

JohnP raised an excellent point when he asked 'Why should innovation be considered a necessary ingredient to a good performance of traditional folk music?' The answer is very simple. Innovation and quality are entirely different things. Taking it a bit further, the age of the performer is irrelevent to either.

Surely the key is honesty. Whether pushing bounderies, or retreading old ground, if it feels right, then the music has it's own freshness. Lack of imagination can be seen at any age. Just as pushing the bounderies for it's own sake is pretentious, regardless of age.

Some here have seen this editorial for what it is, others have missed the point. It has nothing to do with a musician of one generation criticing those of the next generation, of being stuck in a golden age. For Ian Anderson there never was a golden age, he has always criticed what is going on at that time. Whether older, younger, or his own age, everybody should be doing it differently. He's always been that way, and probibly always will be. If he's always been so disaffected by the folk scene, why does he bother with it? It gives him something to say, and gets the rest of us talking about him and his mag, of course. He wins again. Like him or not, you have to have a certain respect for him.

Brian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: pinkfiddle
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 10:16 AM

GUEST,

I agree with you entirely!

pf


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: mooman
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 11:13 AM

No "golden age" for Mr Anderson Brian? What about Tiger Moth? This seems to be the yardstick he compares everything else against!

mooman


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST,Brian
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 11:20 AM

mooman. Tiger Moth was never representative of anything else at that time. Besides, is memory failing me, or was it not a certain I. Anderson and Co.

Hardly a good yardstick for anything, IMO.

Brian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: mooman
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 11:25 AM

Dear Brian,

I quite agree! I did also mention "cronies" a few posts above!

Best regards

mooman


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST,Brian
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 11:48 AM

Dear mooman.

Do you mean my memory isn't failing! I was being polite, by using 'Co.'

I took the term 'golden age' to mean music of that time in general, not sun shining out of ones own back end. My apologies, for misunderstanding. I also gave my opinion of the IA & Co 'innovative' music. As I said, it never worked for me.

What I find ironic about Folk Roots is that the very term 'roots' implies having a background/history. While I accept and welcome that all forms of music must grow and develope to survive, the IA constant call for change implies to me a desire to tear it down, throw it away, and just do something entirely different. That does not appear to be synonymous with having roots.

Any thoughts?

Brian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: mooman
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 12:56 PM

Seems we are on an identical track Brian!

I quite agree also that there is nothing at all wrong with the "roots" tag for the reasons you mention (although it doesn't seem to be a popular term on Mudcat for some reason). There however appears to be something of a mismatch between the title of the said magazine and some of the views it expounds. Perhaps it should go back to being the "Southern Rag" (no offence to Southerners intended, indeed I was born in London myself!)

I have seen so many young musicians over the past few months (and from a "roots" perspective as they have been from countries/regions as diverse as Benin, Mauritania, Galicia, Cape Verde, Sierra Leone, Brittany, Tunisia, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Morocco, Belgium, India, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England, Armenia, Canada, USA, etc., etc.). Besides the technical brilliance referred to, a very large majority of them have shown an astonishing maturity towards their traditions as well as often an innovative and fresh perspective (and excellent stagecraft).

I don't think age has anything to do with it IMHO...it's more to do with attitude and commitment and a love of the music.

mooman


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: Grab
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 01:19 PM

Seems that what Davey Graham and co were doing is cross-pollenating folk with blues, jazz and "world" music. Others have done the same over time (think Paul Simon as a prominent example). But in order to do this, you have to have a _really_ good understanding of your area so you can work out what to add. You can't innovate until you're already up to speed with that field.

Folk roots indeed. If you just add willy-nilly, you may by random process end up with something good - but more likely you'll end up with garbage. Your representative 15-year-old is doing himself a favour by catching up on the hundreds of years of back-history and 80 years of recordings covering his chosen musical field. Everyone starts playing other ppl's music (be it Oasis, the Beatles, Woody Guthrie or Turlough o'Carolan) and only when they've got it straight in their heads will they write their own stuff. Even Ian Anderson...

A quote from Tom Paxton's autobiography-cum-songbook, as near as I remember: "This new guy appeared on the scene called Bob Dylan. No-one knew much about him, but he knew more Woody Guthrie songs than anyone else." In 1960, Dylan sure as hell wasn't innovating, but 15 years later, would anyone have claimed he wasn't a real boot up the ass of the folk scene? So Paxton and Dylan (and god knows how many others back then) listened to every recording they could find of other earlier folk musicians (Woody Guthrie, Burl Ives, Leadbelly, etc), learnt those songs and used them as the basis for their musical direction. Think on't, lad...

Graham.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 01:20 PM

I agree that creativity, passion, innovativeness, stagecraft, etc are qualities musicians of all ages can aspire to, and some will even accomplish.

However, to say that Ian A. didn't mean to attack young musicians is something I would strongly disagree with--though I don't think that is what you are saying, is it Brian, when you stated:

"It has nothing to do with a musician of one generation criticing those of the next generation, of being stuck in a golden age. For Ian Anderson there never was a golden age, he has always criticed what is going on at that time. Whether older, younger, or his own age, everybody should be doing it differently."

I do think he was attacking young people pretty directly. And besides the music issue, I think the fact that he attacked young people for being young to be totally over the top.

Again, MO.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST,Sam Pirt
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 01:53 PM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST,Sam Pirt
Date: 06 Nov 01 - 02:00 PM

Hi

To answer the thread question:

Do young Folk Musicians need new ideas? I think the simple answer is NO. There is nothing wrong with playing what has gone before. I do think though that to add your input in and bring the music to the present is far more risky, as once you change the straight 'tradional music' and change it into something different you run the risk of not being 'traditional' etc.... and of people basicly not likeing it.

People don't like change, although I quite like it in music as it is exciting.

Cheers, Sam


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST,Brian
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 04:59 AM

Guest. Let me try to explain the point I was making.

If you read this editorial in isolation, yes it is an attack on young musicians. Some people interpretted it as a generation thing, or that he was bitter. I disagree. This editorial is only par for the course for IA. As I said, I've been around folk music for 30 odd years, he has been around it for all of that time, and has consistantly made the same complaints. Who they are aimed at this week isn't particularly relevant. This week, young musicians, next week .........

It's his standard complaint sheet about not enough innovation, you fill in the blanks as to where to aim it next. I don't see him as bitter, or particularly attacking young musicians. Just IA being IA and firing off at somebody/anybody who doesn't meet his personal view of where folk music should be, or where it is going.

I think a point that should not be missed in all this, is that Ian Anderson is incredibly dedicated. Over many years he has worked damned hard to play and promote his view of how music should be played. He was not parachuted into the job of editor of Folk Roots. He built it, and before that 'Southern Rag'. He has spent thousands of hours, and I would guess, thousands of pounds of his own money to achieve what he has done. I don't agree with him, but I most certainly respect him.

Once again, he has stuck his head above the parapit, made his views known, and got the rest of us talking. He's also got free worldwide publicity for himself and his mag.

Another IA success!

Brian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: Mr Red
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 06:27 AM

Currently we are demographically an old genre and musicians want to eat. They do come with ideas. Lets applaud their respect. If we are to have a tradition and let it live it will change & evolve, as long as there are youngsters and they want to entertain us, Folk will continue. The tradition will be carried along and survive. Long live Planet Folk.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST,MC Fat
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 06:33 AM

I think Brian there is more to Mr IA than you know and as I understand it it's slightly easier for him to take risks even financially


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: do young folk musicians need new ideas?
From: GUEST,jonesey
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 06:41 AM

a friend played me a song from Beck. It was about how he and some friends spent a day in Southern Cal. It was in the balladic folk tradition and so achingly funny I couldn't believe it. A brilliant, yet completely obscure song. I've a son and 2 nephews that are musicians of varying degrees, but rooted solidly in the basics. The nephs play in a punk band ala Lagwagon, Staind, Pennywise, NoFX, Me First and the Gimmee Gimmees and yet can play any one of a half-dozen styles w/me. The music they play, though loud, rude and amplified will become as traditional to their generation as the blues tradition is to ours. Bluegrass went through a similar upheaval 30 years ago when bands like The Newgrass Revival started playing Beatles songs w/bluegrass instruments. Took Bill Monroe 20 years before he'd even admit those guys existed. Now, they are the old guard. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band did the 'Will the Circle be Unbroken' album and it sold so many copies the traditionalists had to sit up and take notice. That's the type of thing that needs to take place in the UK for there to be new life based on respect for tradition breathed into the music. There's alot of good, solid, innovative traditional music coming over to this side o the pond...Wild Welsh Women, The Young Dubliners, etc. Do young folk musicians need new ideas? Constantly!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 28 January 11:33 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.