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Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?

Jerry Rasmussen 04 Jan 02 - 09:19 PM
GUEST 04 Jan 02 - 09:42 PM
Art Thieme 05 Jan 02 - 12:07 AM
musicmick 05 Jan 02 - 01:31 AM
GUEST,frankie 05 Jan 02 - 03:34 AM
breezy 05 Jan 02 - 07:34 AM
Rolfyboy6 05 Jan 02 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,alinact 05 Jan 02 - 09:45 AM
Midchuck 05 Jan 02 - 12:49 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 05 Jan 02 - 12:56 PM
breezy 05 Jan 02 - 01:33 PM
beachcomber 05 Jan 02 - 03:20 PM
Hawker 05 Jan 02 - 04:54 PM
Art Thieme 05 Jan 02 - 08:56 PM
Burke 05 Jan 02 - 09:05 PM
Bill D 05 Jan 02 - 09:27 PM
Gillie 06 Jan 02 - 07:45 AM
GUEST,Nick 06 Jan 02 - 09:33 AM
kendall 06 Jan 02 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,Nick 06 Jan 02 - 09:37 AM
Midchuck 06 Jan 02 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,Roberto 06 Jan 02 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,Mel Pitts 14 Jan 02 - 10:34 AM
Don Firth 14 Jan 02 - 12:07 PM
Melani 14 Jan 02 - 12:50 PM
Abby Sale 14 Jan 02 - 04:32 PM
GUEST 09 Jul 03 - 06:04 PM
GUEST,2 09 Jul 03 - 06:16 PM
Joe Offer 09 Jul 03 - 06:33 PM
GUEST 09 Jul 03 - 06:54 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 09 Jul 03 - 06:59 PM
akenaton 09 Jul 03 - 07:12 PM
GUEST,2 09 Jul 03 - 08:19 PM
Amos 09 Jul 03 - 09:25 PM
Joe Offer 10 Jul 03 - 04:09 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 10 Jul 03 - 05:53 AM
the lemonade lady 10 Jul 03 - 06:04 AM
GUEST,Santa 10 Jul 03 - 06:18 AM
JennyO 10 Jul 03 - 08:10 AM
outfidel 10 Jul 03 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 10 Jul 03 - 10:00 AM
Bill D 10 Jul 03 - 10:34 AM
the lemonade lady 10 Jul 03 - 11:21 AM
Little Hawk 10 Jul 03 - 01:33 PM
Don Firth 10 Jul 03 - 02:30 PM
GUEST,banjoman 10 Jul 03 - 04:53 PM
Bat Goddess 10 Jul 03 - 08:59 PM
LadyJean 10 Jul 03 - 10:54 PM
Little Hawk 11 Jul 03 - 02:02 PM
Frankham 11 Jul 03 - 08:26 PM
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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 09:19 PM

Great reading this thread, and to see so many different singers appreciated. I could agree with many of them, including old friends Art Thieme and Dwayne Thorpe. But, the singer I really like best is one perhaps not many people have heard... Jerry Rau, the Minnesota Minstrel. I have never heard anyone sing a song so much from the heart with so little artifice and such love for the music. Wherever you are, Jerry, I miss hearing your voice..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 09:42 PM

Joan is still on the throne


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 12:07 AM

Jerry, I agree about Mr. Rau.

Art


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: musicmick
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 01:31 AM

I am surprised that no one has picked Harry Belafonte who was, almost certainly, the most successful of the revivalists of the pre-hootenany era. His live recording of the Carnegie Hall concert was a revelation to an audience whose exposure to traditional music had been confined to the homespun gentility of Burl Ives and the tuxedo clad formality of Richard Dyer-Bennet and Alfred Deller. Belefonte's first album, "Marc Twain" was the best introduction to real Americana available at that time or since. His subsequent fame as an actor and political activist has outshone his importance as a folksinger but no one has ever been his equal as a singer or as an entertainer. Of the singer/songwriters who composed within the tradition, Cyril Tawney is in a class by himself. He had been a line officer in the British navy and his lyrics reflected his familiarity with the jargon of the modern sailor. I am privileged to have spent some time with him when I played at some festivals and clubs in England and Scotland in the late 1960s. Mike Miller


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: GUEST,frankie
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 03:34 AM

My favorite is Dick Gaughan and I'm also partial to Martin Carthy, Paul Brady and Sid Selvidge. f


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: breezy
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 07:34 AM

Stan Rogers should be compulsory . Its still amazing how so many have still not heard his recordings, or maybe too many of you are still singing of American Pie, Puff and Flowers.Yes they opened the door for me .
over ere its Keith Marsden, and his repertoire is also complete.
Its about those who give us songs that we can share with others, as well as those who set us on the road
Jimmy Miller aka E. M.


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 09:33 AM

Doc Watson, Bill Monroe, Jean Ritchie, Leadbelly, Mance Lipscomb, The Carter Family, Joan Baez (early), John Hurt.


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: GUEST,alinact
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 09:45 AM

Haven't read all the responses but my favourite female folkie by far is Sandy Denny; favourite males are Nic Jones, Martin Carthy, Jez Lowe and Stan Rogers and favourite groups are Corries and (one from left field) early Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

Allan


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Midchuck
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 12:49 PM

This could take a while:

Probably at the very top: Ian Tyson. He (with Sylvia)was one of the people that originally turned me on to folk music. Then he turned me on to new cowboy music 30 years later, in a whole new incarnation.

Tom Russell: My all-time favorite songwriter. One of the most underrated writers in the medium, because he writes Knife and Whore Songs in a time when everyone wants New Age songs about their feelings.

Stan Rogers: My next favorite songwriter. What a f***ing waste....

Jim Ringer: Anotherf***ing waste. Like Stan, came along while folk music was in a slump, and I was mostly listening to Willie and Waylon and Emmylou and them. He had already drank himself to death before I ever discovered him.

Joan Baez I have a very clear memory of seeing her first Newport appearance with Bob Gibson on the Teevee. I babbled for days. I was in love for a couple of years. Later, I fell out of love for political reasons, but the damage had been done.

Doc Watson. I used to tell people he was God, 30 years ago. It took them this long to figure out I was right. Thing is, it's been that same 30 years and I still haven't gotten Black Mountain Rag up to speed, without errors....

Roberts and Barrand and Mangsen, Hills and Herdsman. As noted above, my favorite harmony singers for their respective sexes. I'm also thankful to R&B for turning me on to the Peter Bellamy settings of Kipling's poems.

More in a sequel, as they occur to me...

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 12:56 PM

Rolfyboy: I was going to post another list of older, traditional folksingers, and you pretty much covered it. What excellent taste you have! I'd add Charlie Poole, and even though he's a blues singer, Mississippi John Hurt, and as long as everyone is slipping in acoustic singer-songwriters like Don Mclean, I'll add Steve Earle, who is far more "folk" a fantastic songwriter and singer, although I like his earlier stuff better.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: breezy
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 01:33 PM

but Alex Campbell I did know and Paul simon I met, so my early nominations are the songs of whom I know of.
I hope Ariel is collating all the names and mentions and gets back to us.I only know of one woman called Ariel and she is in Canada.Tonight I'll be singing the R. of the M.E.C.


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: beachcomber
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 03:20 PM

Yeh, I've read the thread through with such great intrest. Being a "sixties" man myself I would like to add my "tuppence worth", if I may. I was initially captured to the folk singing type of music by Robin Hall & Jimmie McGregor, although I had often heard and loved Burl Ives on radio prior to hearing them. Of course I have to include Liam Clancy, Christy Moore and Danny Doyle to name a few favourite men singers. Some favourite women would have to include Mary Black, Dolores Keane (her brother Sean must figure highly too) Eleanor Shanley (late of De Dannan) and Linda Lewis. I think the Watersons were a marvellous group and top of the groups , for me, must be the Ian Campbell Folk Group (with Ian, his sister Lorna- what a voice, Dave Swarbrigg, Brian Clark, John Dunkerly and a bluegrass style banjoist whose name momentarily escapes me. The weavers with "Tzena, Tzena" ," Sloop John B "and "Kisses sweeter than wine" were also among the first recordings of American Folk that I heard. Ta,

Beach


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Hawker
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 04:54 PM

There are LOADS I Love listening to - too many to give credit to, I'd be here most of next week. but....
The Johnson Girls
Ian Bruce
Johnny Collins
Kevin Burrow (My husband)(OOOH Bias!!!!!)
Brenda Wooton
Dave Webber
Yvette Staelens and Michelle Hicks (alias Roots Quartet)
Den and Ned Couch (alias Mad Rush)

are all well worth a listen!
Cheers, Lucy


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 08:56 PM

Midchuck, you are correct.

Jim Ringer was a fine singer whose song (the words) ALWAYS came first. He never got in the way of the tale he was telling. "California Joe" is one of the best ballad songs to come from the American western history ever. And it is grounded in truth. It pretty much happened that way. Jim Ringer was never underappreciated by me and my folk friends and cohorts. This folk thing has never ever been a huge body of water so it was pretty much impossible to think about a big presence within our small pond. We were pretty much resigned to and content with doing what we did passably well by staying true to our vision of what was appropriate. It was done for love and not much else. Subsistence was all we managed and that was o.k. if we were allowed to do it our own way. That, I always thought, was Jim Ringer. We would've taken more remuneration iof it'd presented itself on our terms---but if and since it didn't do that, it was still a grand perk to be left alone to do our thing. You said, "folk was in a slump" when Mr. Ringer came along. Folk was as good as it could get then I thought. It was going strong in Chicago about that time from what all I recall. Could be you were just off somewhere else about then. Jim, either alone or with Ms Mary McCaslin, was just superb. -------- But the way he went. It truly was a sad waste for Jim to self-destruct---as it was for Billie Holiday and so many others over the entire arts spectrum.
But I bet you knew all this. I just felt like putting my thoughts together by printing 'em ouAs Jerry Rasmussen used to say all the time, "In folk music, there is no such thing as a career move !!!"

---- I say that in full realization that it goes against everything the Folk Alliance is trying to do. But we all know that what they call folk music isn't that at all !

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Burke
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 09:05 PM

That I know? Tim Eriksen. A singer for the next generation.


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 09:27 PM

haven't changed my mind since March '99, but re-reading the list, I see an awful lot of 'who's hot now' being touted, in the same way that 'favorite' pop/rock singers get their fame.

.....perspective..............


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Gillie
Date: 06 Jan 02 - 07:45 AM

Kate Rusby, Vin Garbutt, John Wright, Battlefield Band, The Black family --- the list goes on


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 06 Jan 02 - 09:33 AM

No such thing as best, but my favorites...Luke Kelly, Robin Hall, Ronnie Drew, Christy Moore, Hamish Imlach, Alex Campbell and Matt McGinn...love that Matt McGinn


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: kendall
Date: 06 Jan 02 - 09:35 AM

Midchuck, funny you should mention Joan Baez and her politics. I had exactly the opposite experience! In the biginning when I was first exposed to her singing, I loved it, but, her politics put me off. (In those days, I was a Barry Goldwater republican). Now that my eyes are open, I love her singing AND her politics!


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 06 Jan 02 - 09:37 AM

ooops...I forgot...Gordon Menzies, Liam Calncy, Iain MacKintosh, Roy & Ronnie (Corries), Ian Campbell Folk, Noel Murhpy, The McCalmans...how I can I say best!


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Midchuck
Date: 06 Jan 02 - 10:07 AM

Midchuck, funny you should mention Joan Baez and her politics. I had exactly the opposite experience! In the biginning when I was first exposed to her singing, I loved it, but, her politics put me off. (In those days, I was a Barry Goldwater republican). Now that my eyes are open, I love her singing AND her politics

In my early college years I was in love with Baez. In my later college years I was in love with Ayn Rand. I think you can see the problem.

At this point my attitude toward politics is that I'm against it. I enjoy one day a year of political power, as Moderator of our Town Meeting; and any more than that would undoubtably corrupt me as it corrupts all the others.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: GUEST,Roberto
Date: 06 Jan 02 - 10:34 AM

Too many names I'd like to mention. But if I think of an example of what folksinging is, I'd like to name MIKE WATERSON first. And then, maybe John Strachan. And then, many others, but never the likes of Loreena McKennitt, not only because I don't appreciate at all her music and singing, but because I think it has nothing to do with folk or traditional singing. Roberto


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: GUEST,Mel Pitts
Date: 14 Jan 02 - 10:34 AM

The Best there's ever been? Nic Jones and Sandy Denny

The best now? Dave Burland and Lucy Kaplanski take some beating


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Jan 02 - 12:07 PM

Sorry to be a wet blanket, but I have to agree with George C. Scott who refused the Oscar when awarded to him for his performance in Patton. He maintained that during that same year, there were performances that he felt were far "better" than his (whatever that means), and that the idea of an award for "best actor" was ridiculous. There are excellent actors and lousy actors, and all points between, but considering different styles and different material portrayed, how can one rationally chose a "best?"

Same with folk singers. Tell me, who's best: Joan Baez, Jean Ritchie, Judy Collins, Peggy Seeger, Susan Reed, Mary Black, Cynthia Gooding, or Jeanie Robertson?

See what I mean?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Melani
Date: 14 Jan 02 - 12:50 PM

An impossible question. All my favorites have already been mentioned, I think--but did anyone include Bob Franke? Incredible songwriter.


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 14 Jan 02 - 04:32 PM

An easy question. I am. Me. I sing all my favorite songs and I sing them just the way I like to hear them. I especeially like the way I research the songs first so I know exactly (as much as possible) what they mean. I also like the way I sometimes collate-in a verse from other versions when I think it is necessary to the story. Of course, I never make up my own verses. Maybe a single word here or there. Further, I'm always ready with a song and I never refuse one of my requests and never interupt or heckle myself.

True, I don't play any instrument but I reckon that just makes it safer to sing while I'm driving or skating. And I often struggle mightily with a key but since my ear's not so good anyway, that doesn't bother me much. And if I forget some words or verses, I can usually remember by tomorrow or find a song sheet somewhere in a pinch.

Yes, I'm certainly the best folksinger I know.

I sincerely hope you are the best folksinger you know.


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 06:04 PM

iT'S GOT TO BE Matt McGinn for me. The man wrote about real life; love, bingo, football referees, shipbuilding, hp/credit, working overtime, waking his kids up in the morning .... i could go on and on .....


Check out www.theballdeers.com   &   www.roots2thefuture.com    for LPs & info ( there's a Matt McGinn Revivavl going on ! )


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: GUEST,2
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 06:16 PM

Can we say "the one who did the best song"? In which case Kendall Morse wins. Lorena has the most beautiful melody I know of and Kendall's version of the lyrics are the best.


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 06:33 PM

Well, as long as the nominations have been reopened, I'd like to add the name of Caroline Paton. She knows so much about so many songs, she's as gracious a woman as I've ever met, her interpretations of songs are always intelligent and interesting, and she has an absolutely lovely voice.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 06:54 PM

Can I add my two pennorth....Tim Laycock, Louis Killen, Cyril Tawney, Jim Eldon...


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 06:59 PM

GUEST- WHY did you revive this thread? And why do we have to have this competition? Want to show how much and who-all we know? That I have better taste than you and you and you? And what about the folksingers in Russia? In Africa? Where do all the other unmntioned countries fit in? Why such few mentions of blues musicians? I won't ask all the questions I have because it would take too long...

As a musician, I'm who I am and you're who you are- I feel we're all a family who love our (more-or-less traditional) music. Our tastes can differ, and/or overlap with that of others. Here's to the Difference! For someone to choose "THE BEST," seems meaningless to me, for it takes all of us to fill in the big tapestry of music.

Jean (an eeny-weenie grace-note in the tapestry...)


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: akenaton
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 07:12 PM

Why has nobody mentioned Richard thompson?Iv been involved with folk music for fifty years and hes the best writer singer guitarist iv ever heard. Every body wants to cover Thompson songs.Dont complain that its not folk..


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: GUEST,2
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 08:19 PM

Plurals aside, looks real good. 5 dollars ain't enough. I want ten. Will send email with my PO box...


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 09:25 PM

Ah, Jean, beautifully said -- and nothing teeny about it!!


A


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 04:09 AM

I suppose you're right, kytrad, but maybe there's an insidious element in our humanity that drives us to make "best" and "favorite" lists - even though we know darn well such lists are inherently stupid.

At least, a thread like this gives us a chance to tell people about somebody we'd like them to hear. I think I prefer women singers. There's a woman named Jean Ritchie who's been known to sing some pretty good songs, too.

I note, however, that an unusual number of mentions of Matt McGinn have been made today and in the last few days. Nothing wrong with Matt McGinn, but it IS unusual to see him mentioned so often in so short a time. That has brought forth some worthwhile information about McGinn, so I can't complain. Maybe I'll take a listen to him one of these days.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 05:53 AM

Criterion: One who can truly move the listener by imparting bottomless depth to a simple song.
Nominations: (UK) Ray Fisher; (US): Doc Watson
Doc is a little handier on the guitar than Ray (I think she'd agree) but I'm only considering singing here.


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 06:04 AM

The 'Best' folk singer I 'know'... has to be, #8-D... Schantieman!

(Oh Shantieman, who's got a berth for a Schantieman)

Why? Well, not only for the obvious reasons, but also because his memory and voice are phenomenal. How he stores all of those songs in his head and does the job he does beats me!

Sal


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 06:18 AM

I agree that "best" lists are silly, really, and we can all name lots of star acts, but the one singer who makes me just close my eyes and rejoice in the voice is Maggie Boyle. The man who made unaccompanied solo traditional singing work for me was Roy Harris.

And if no-one else is going to mention Jane and Amanda Threlfall among the newer acts, then I will.


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: JennyO
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 08:10 AM

By GUEST Brian Peters' criterion, and it is a good one, I would have to say Gordon Bok.

I already had a list of CD's I wanted to get when I had the money, but after seeing him perform, I just went and bought two of his CD's without a second thought.

Jenny


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: outfidel
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 09:07 AM

Mississippi John Hurt & Doc Watson


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 10:00 AM

Thanks Santa for giving Roy Haris a well-deserved mention. Roy never had the prettiest voice around, but he lives the songs, really knows how to put them over, and is possibly the best I've ever seen at making an audience feel at ease.


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 10:34 AM

I STILL say, after 4 years of this thread, that some of the best singers have seldom or never been recorded, and that I still see evidence that taste is often determined by perceptions of popularity and/or fame.

there are a lot of good singers mentioned in this thread, but I sure wish it had a different title...like "wonderful singers you have known"


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 11:21 AM

I thought the question was "the 'Best'folk singer you KNOW" ... how many people have posted names of singers they actually 'know'? (And then I s'pose they'd have to be 'Cats or it would be pointless)

Sorry I'm feeling obtuse today!

Sal


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 01:33 PM

There's no such thing as "the best", except in the sense that everyone is the best at being exactly who they are, which is a totally unique being.

However, for some very, very good folksingers...

...that I saw recently: Chris Smither, Sheryl Wheeler, James Keelaghan. They're each about as good as good can be.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 02:30 PM

I KNOW a fair number of singers, some nationally known, many local. I can't pick a "best." Nor would I even try. Futile. Downright silly, actually.

What does it accomplish?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: GUEST,banjoman
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 04:53 PM

ME or my other half - its a silly thread anyway mullions of favourites so how can you decide


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 08:59 PM

It's a matter of semantics again -- should the thread title be "the best folksinger you KNOW" or "the best folksinger you know OF". Entirely different answers to each question.

I've weighed in with my favorite male and female singers whose recording I listen to. (Oh, short list, Ewan MacColl, Lou Killen, Jeannie Robertson, Norma Waterson, Frankie Armstrong, Joan Sprung, etcet etcet.)

Now, the best singers I KNOW -- well, Jay Smith for starters, but unfortunately he died last year, mostly unrecorded. And that's the tragedy. Such an incredible voice. I loved singing harmony with him.

And Curmudgeon -- known in the real world as Tom Hall. Still very much alive and kicking and I'm, of course, not the slightest bit prejudiced because I'm his wife and singing partner. And talk about being knowledgable about his material! And he makes the audience -- and other musicians around him -- love the history and the background to the songs as well. He's probably the person I most enjoy singing with, too.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: LadyJean
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 10:54 PM

I'm a bit of an anglophobe. But I have to say it, Brit or no,
MADDY PRIOR RULES!


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 02:02 PM

Yeah, I saw Maddy Prior about 3 years ago at a folk festival in Canada, and she was marvelous.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Who's the 'Best' folk singer you know?
From: Frankham
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 08:26 PM

HI y'all.

I wended my way through this thread and conclude that most of the people mentioned are not trditional folksingers but singers of folksongs (as Sam Hinton refers to himself). Most are professional entertainers under the rubric or image of the "folksinger" which has become ambiguous in the public eye.

Jean Ritchie, Almeda Riddle, Jeannie Robertson, Mississippi John Hurt, Doc Watson, Leadbelly, Mance Lipscomb, The Carter Family, and a few others mentioned above fall into the category of folksingers who came about through their cultural upbringing and bring the musical styles and songs a firsthand authenticity.

The others mentioned are all talented, some more knowledgeable than others, and some more entertainting than others but they come to the music secondhand like me. You can bend the definition any way you want to but to me if you don't have that cultural connection in that respective community that spawns the songs you sing you are like me "a singer of folk songs" and not a traditional folksinger.

This is not to say that the "singers of folk songs" are not wonderful or great in what they do. I love many of them and admire their work.

Also, I repeat, there is bad traditional folk music out there as there is good coming from modern interpreters. "Bad" might include poor performances where people can't sing too good, keep a pitch or musicality, butcher lines they don't understand or other things. One thing Lomax stressed in his recordings is that the traditional performance was the best he could get from the "informants" he recorded

Frank Hamilton


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Mudcat time: 30 September 12:02 PM EDT

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