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The current state of folk music in UK

13 Oct 19 - 08:50 PM (#4013512)
Subject: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

I think the discussion under the closed thread 'Folk Revival 2019' is worth continuing. Most people contributing to that thread were respectful of each others' opinions (even if we didn't all agree) so let's start a new discussion and keep it that way. Please refrain from any personal attacks on this thread and keep it friendly if occasionally challenging :-)

I won't post an opening statement as I had almost the last word on the closed thread and said what I wanted to say - I know Jim (and others) disagree with my broad definition of folk but I respect that view even though I totally disagree with it. Let's continue in that vein.

(My broad definition of folk for the sake of clarity is 'Songs which have a narrative thread, are rooted in place and are generally but not exclusively about the employment, politics and occasionally love lives of working people - I'm sure this won't stand up to analysis but that is my definition of folk - what instruments it is played by or the volume of its delivery are irrelevant. The Whisky Priests, Jim Moray, Jon Boden or Sail Pattern to name but a few are as much folk to me as the Copper Family - they are keeping the tradition alive and vibrant and they are building upon it to keep it relevant to people in the 21st c. Without their contribution many songs will die out with those of us who have been around for a bit longer. What is folk instrumental music is possibly harder to define - I just know it when I hear it :-) )


13 Oct 19 - 08:52 PM (#4013513)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Having said I won't post an opening statement I just did :-)

Remember to keep it friendly!


13 Oct 19 - 09:32 PM (#4013518)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Joe Offer

I think the topic of discussion was more-or-less exhausted, and the Usual Suspects got bored and got into infighting. I don't think this thread will go anywhere, but I will allow it. And if it goes bad, I'll close it and put a hold on the subject for several months.
And that being said, let it also be known that I will not tolerate any attempt by moderators or others to suppress any point of view in this thread, as long as it sticks to the stated topic of discussion. I undeleted a number of posts in the previous thread because I could see no logic behind their deletion. I don't know if they were deleted because the posts were political, or because they were right-wing or left-wing. Whatever the case, it's clear to me that folk music has a political aspect, and that aspect must be included in this discussion without interference - as long as it relates to music. Any discussion about which posters are "banned" or not banned has no place here - NOBODY is banned from the music forum, unless they're not talking about music. I closed the previous thread because it got into petty personal squabbles, and I will quickly close this thread if it goes in the same direction. As always, I will state my reason for closing threads, but I will not allow public discussion of moderator actions. Feel free to contact me by email or personal message if you wish to discuss moderator actions. If you don't like what I have to say, you can contact Max or another moderator.
Joe Offer, Music Editor
The Mudcat Cafe
joe@mudcat.org

And if you wish to complain about this statement, contact Mudcat owner Max Spiegel by personal message or email max@mudcat.org

OK, now let's talk about "The current state of folk music in UK" - and nothing else.


13 Oct 19 - 10:58 PM (#4013524)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Stilly River Sage

I vote it's exhausted as a topic. No one is changing anyone else's minds and the opinions they express are their own. Same ol' same ol'.

Citations would be nice. Has anyone any scholarly contributions to offer to expand the topic? Those I might sit up and listen to.


13 Oct 19 - 11:10 PM (#4013526)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman

”I vote it's exhausted as a topic. No one is changing anyone else's minds and the opinions they express are their own. Same ol' same ol'.”

Me too.. I have opinions on this topic, but I seldom post because it’s a complete waste of effort - entrenched positions ensure that’s the case. People who never set foot in a folk club telling those of us who do that ‘clubs are failing’ and blaming we who keep them going for that supposed ‘failure’. Utter horse-puckey.

Might as well close it now, we all know where it’s going.

Just my 2p’s-worth.


14 Oct 19 - 12:09 AM (#4013530)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Joe Offer

But we'll wait and see where the thread goes. I wanted to join in the discussion last week but couldn't, because our power was out and it's hard to post thoughtful messages on a cell phone. It would be interesting to compare the folk revival in the UK, with that in the United States. Those with political interests, might say that the U.S. folk revival began with the People's Songs movement that started with Seeger, Lampell, Silber, and others just after World War II. But I think that research into more traditional folk music went back to the government-supported folklorists of the Depression years. The Library of Congress supported Lomax and other collectors in the 1930s.

American folk music went through a period of commercial success in the 1960s and into the 1970s, and then it mostly disappeared. But some of us "boomers" who came of age in that time continued to support it, mostly as volunteers, and it's still quite lively for us. Still, there are very few U.S. folk enthusiasts with anything but white hair - most of us are well past the grey-haired stage.

How did UK folk music develop in the 20th century, and where is it now? I think many of the best-known UK collectors were earlier than the US collectors(albeit with some overlap). Greig and Vaughan Williams and Sharp and Baring-Gould and others gave the movement a good start in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and others like Burns and Sir Walter Scott and Percy were even earlier. Ewan MacColl added a political aspect to the folk music community, and many others joined him.

Both in the UK and in the US, the folk music community has been two-sided: political and traditional. Neither should be neglected. We cannot deny one or the other and claim we are talking realistically about "folk." As for the singer-songwriter stuff, I'm not sure where to place it or how to deal with it. I like some of it, but mostly I prefer "folk-processed" songs that have stood the test of time.

-Joe-


14 Oct 19 - 02:48 AM (#4013539)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Is live and well and performing many functions ~ improving musicianship, social gatherings, pub entertainment in uk, education in social history and helping the economy!

Ray


14 Oct 19 - 02:52 AM (#4013540)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

If this subject is exhausted, then I am afraid any future discussion of folk music (as I have come to know if over the last fifty fifty-odd years of my involvement) has no place on this forum and the heading 'Traditional' should be removed from the heading.
That is the music I and my generation knew as folk and that is the music that has been documented and archived and left for posterity.
I have been told in no uncertain terms that if I wish to find that folk music in the UK, I must go elsewhere as it is no longer available on the folk scene I helped set up and was part of for so long
It's with a great deal of sadness I watch a wonderful movement crumble and disappear because it no longer has an identity - because nobody in the UK can agree what folk song is any more.

The folk music I know to have lived up to the description still exists in the UK - it can be found in The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library and a few similar establishments
On line, it can be accessed on The National Sound Archive at the British Library site, or the magnificent Scottish 'Kist O' Riches' site
Elsewhere, it can be listened to as part of The Alan Lomax Collection on line.
The Helen Hartness Flanders site is full of songs that were taken from Britain and Ireland in past centuries and survived long enough to be recorded by that dedicated lady - a wonderful resource for anybody wishing to enjoy some of our best songs
I understand that there are plans to make Ken Goldstein's Scots and Australian recordings available in the not-too-distant future - great news
I find it ironic and sad that that some of the finest examples of British folk music resides because there is no longer a place for them back home

Last week I was delighted to be told that our collection was now being put on line by the British Library - at last people can listen to what singers like Walter Pardon had to say about their folk music as well as enjoying their songs
Now I am not sure it's worth the effort and our remaining time wouldn't be better spent ascertaining that is established where it will be more appreciated and cherished - Limerick University seems the most promising
I was hoping at one time Mudcat would be able to make use of it - that didn't work out, probably just as well given what is happening

I am appalled that the last thread ended as it did
I put my case as clearly and rationally as I could, I insulted no-one and I offered evidence to what I had to say
I resent deeply that it was put down to "the usual suspects" when it crashed in flames as it did, when it in fact, the fault lay with an input of abusive and extremely personal postings aimed at my arguments and eventually at the "censorial" moderators
It has concerned me for some time now that there are a number of subjects on this forum that we are able to discuss because of this behaviour - I am saddened that traditional song has now been added to that growing list

On the bright side, I think I came out of that last thread with a clearer picture of 'The State of Folk Music in the UK' than I went into is
Useful to know, in somewhat depressing
Jim Carroll


14 Oct 19 - 04:18 AM (#4013550)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Sol

One current effect on the 'folk' music scene is the disappearance of suitable venues. I know of at least two previously folk friendly pubs that are changing their layout (and/or theme) that will deem them unsuitable for sessions. This has an obvious direct on the clubs that use them. The situation is also compounded by the sad demise of local pubs in general which reduces the options for alternative venues. Alas, these days folkies are fairly or unfairly labelled as soda water and lime drinkers and not the beer swillers of yesteryear. From a profit perspective, this makes landlords less keen to allocate rooms for sessions as it's probably more bother than it's worth.
I should point out that folk music will survive and always have waves of popularity however, the disappearance of suitable venues is worrying.


14 Oct 19 - 04:28 AM (#4013551)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

I think the problem with your proposition is Jim that it leaves folk music in the archives and the libraries. Or the the province of a few sages.

The majority of the songs you approve of were written by young vigorous people living and participating in society. And of necessity they were on the edge of society - detached enough to comment on their lives. Did Sam Larner strike you as the guy who would spent his time rooting through libraries.

if we follow your predilection for the Irish model - people who would sit in classes being given a set of rules to express themselves - they have no appeal for me, nor I believe the English character.

The people's need to express themselves in song is folk music in our country. No one gets it together in five minutes, and stumbling across a roomful of people struggling with the chords of a beatles tune is not an inspiring sight or sound, but it deserves more respect than a sneer.   Everyone starts somewhere.

We are doing our best. We all choose our own starting point. for you it was the Spinners - for kids today it seems to be a Chinese guitar and Oasis. Its their first step towards creativity, and as such worthy of respect.


14 Oct 19 - 04:33 AM (#4013552)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,matt milton

Actually, if we focus purely on the 'music' side, it seems fairly healthy to me.

If I wanted to, I could go out to a folk club or session every night of the week. (I live in London) The majority of the material at said events would be traditional.

Yes, the audiences tend to be quite old. But there are enough people involved in their 20s, 30s and 40s to suggest that traditional folk singarounds, gigs and sessions will continue to exist in London for several generations to come.

In terms of recorded music, I'm encouraged by musicians such as Stick in the Wheel, Lankum, Cath & Phil Tyler, Alasdair Roberts and Nick Hart, who are making music that's a lot less sugar-coated than the folk mainstream.


14 Oct 19 - 04:54 AM (#4013559)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Thanks Joe

I did wonder about the wisdom of attempting to continue the discussion but it seemed to me that amongst the chaff of some unhelpful contributions there was some wheat to be harvested. If we can ensure this discussion remains focussed and free of personal antagonism then I think it might be worthwhile.


14 Oct 19 - 05:22 AM (#4013562)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Jim that it leaves folk music in the archives and the libraries."
My point exactly Al
Those libraries were't set up to preserve the songs in aspic - they were there to allow them to be accesses and learned from
The archives had a double purpose as far as I was concerned - to preserve the songs fist certainly, but where possible, to make them accessible to be learned from
Books and Archives are tools, not an end in themselves
Your Chinese guitars and also tools - it's what you make with those tools that's important
It is ironic that now it is possible to make them available world-wide via the Net there is no longer sufficient interest to make use of them widely

The clubs were set up in the first place from the songs released from the BBC collecting project and later from a small handful of books
We took them snad learned the songs
The folk boom drew in more people, yet later became a diversion and, like the similar jazz boom, crashed when the industry decided there was not enough money to be made from it, leaving behind the die-hards

The best of the clubs came later - many survived and prospered
The Singers Club died shortly after MaccColl died because Peggy moved back to America (for a time) - so the club MacColl started in the sixties carried on to the end of his life - not a bad thing to take to your grave, I think

My start wan't really The Spinners - they were the first live music I heard, but it was the songs themselves that kept me here and still keep me active

Groups like Oasis have been around forever - they have nothing to do with folk music - or this discussion
When we first started coming to Ireland the kids were listening to Boomtown Rats, Thin Lizzie, Gilbert O'Sullivan and the like and it was widely believed that the rich traditional stuff had seen its last generation
Dedication and buckets of blood, sweat and tears shed by a few people have introduced Irish kids to their traditional inheritance and they've taken to it big-time

One of the strange contradictions I've seen is the changing roles of the generations
When I was an avid pop listener my father would deride my music and say I should "listen to something decent instead of that rubbish"
He and my mother bought me my first MacColl album for my 21st, which started the rot
Both were somewhat sceptical when I started to sing (my mother once said "If you were singing for shit you wouldn't get the smell of it" - I cherish that as a classic piece of Liverpool humour)
Both came around to it and began to like the songs, my dad even started to sing his father's sea shanties and some Dominic Behan songs.
Unfortunately, neither lived long enough to see my interest develop from a pastime to an obsession - they died within 18 months of one another when I was in my mid twenties) but I think that would have been happy to see how things turned out.

What seems to be happening today is, while The Irish youngsters have leapt the wall and joined tha band of traddies, back in the UK, the oldies still left in the revival have turned to the pop music my dad despised and aredoing their best to ascertain the the British kids won't follow their Irish counterparts and take an interest in their traditions
Strange or what !!!
Jim


14 Oct 19 - 05:50 AM (#4013567)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

GUEST,Sol wrote -
Alas, these days folkies are fairly or unfairly labelled as soda water and lime drinkers and not the beer swillers of yesteryear.

Recently, I received my regular circular email from South London's premier folk club. It has been having its problems with venues over the last decade. Once they were in a pub that was prepared to let them have the room but there were no chairs in the room so they had to ask their regulars to bring camping chairs with them. They found a more suitable venue a few stops down the Northern Line and found a suitable room in Tooting where they have thrived for the last three years. Then a new management came in and stated that unless the folk club could guarantee £500 sales of beer each week, they could not have the clubroom under any circumstances. They could not give this guarantee so the club is currently homeless. This is the reality facing current and potential folk club organisers in England, particularly in the capital. My interest (rather than my regular attendance) means that I am on the mailing list of two north London folk clubs, both of whom have suffered repeated venue problems in recent years.
One cannot blame the landlords; the old-fashioned drinks-only pub with an upstairs or back room available for hire seems to be no longer a sustainable business model. Publicans have to be inventive in the use of their premises to make ends meet and they seem to be fighting a losing battle with the price differential between supermarket and pub prices of drinks.
The nature programmes on television are always telling us that it is the loss of habitat that leads to species extinction. Well, the natural habitat of the folk club was the pub clubroom So it is adapt or die - and as has been pointed out on a number of threads of this nature, there is a lot of adaptation going on.


14 Oct 19 - 06:07 AM (#4013571)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Shaw

My penchant is for traditional Irish music, mainly not song, but for a number of years I hardly missed a single Friday night at our folk club until, sadly, it closed in 1996. So I enjoyed many of the great and the good (and a few of the bad) of the folk music of these islands and my harmonica playing had to be endured by attendees almost every time. We kept the fire aflame in the form of weekly pub sessions for twenty years after that. I had to stop several years ago as my hearing declined. Anyway, I think I'm qualified to read these threads and occasionally stick my oar in. Joe Offer, it's fine to try to firmly set the parameters for discussion but you should be doing that in a positive and constructive - and friendly - manner. I for one would applaud that. But, as I've said several times before, it's not fine to do it whilst failing (again) to resist the urge to eyeball those who you pejoratively call "usual suspects." I could name at least three "usual suspects" of the very worst kind from down the years who didn't even think they were (or, in one case is) "usual suspects." As they say, it's about outcomes, dear boy, outcomes...

As for the topic, as long as folk show up to sing songs without crib sheets, some old, some new, get us to join in the choruses now and then, and do it without plugging into complex sound systems and who don't put themselves on pedestals, or who try to "see a career in it," and who are respectful of the long tradition of folk song without necessarily shackling themselves to it a hundred percent of the time, let's enjoy it and see where it goes. And anyone can sing...

(Back to the cave, then, Stevieboy...)


14 Oct 19 - 06:29 AM (#4013575)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,PeterC

Depending where I go I can see either Jim's scenario "the oldies still left in the revival have turned to the pop music my dad despised" or Mat's "The majority of the material at said events would be traditional. ". The folk music scene in south east England at least is by no means homogeneous. The split is in proportions similar to Brexit.

One thing that older people working in fairly young teams have commented to me is that younger people are less likely to go to "the club" every week be it any sport or genre of music or just a regular venue for a drink than our generaton were. If you can get somebody over 50 into your club and they like it they will probably come back of their own accord, with a younger audience you have to sell each night to them.


14 Oct 19 - 06:43 AM (#4013576)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

Trad music long predates its migration into pubs, and the pub session or club phase is nearing its end. I'm playing much more in people's houses now than ever before. And situating the music in private houses makes for much better intergenerational communication than even the most child-friendly pub.

The only people who lose out by this move are the obnoxious pillocks nobody would want to be host to unless they were buying enough drink to be worth the aggravation.


14 Oct 19 - 06:50 AM (#4013579)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave Hanson

The ' pub seesion ' is hardly coming to an end, I play in 2 sessions every week, both very well attended and playing 90% traditional songs and tunes.

I know other sessions that are equally thriving.

Or is this happening in West Yorkshire only ?

Dave H


14 Oct 19 - 07:32 AM (#4013582)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,PeterC

My previous post was explicitly responding to comments about "clubs". Certainly there are plenty of sessions around where I am but these are increasingly having to fit in around the meal trade. One regular session that I go to was bounced from its last venue earlier this year and could only find a new pub by switching from the Sunday lunch timings it had used for the previous 20 years to mid afternoon.


14 Oct 19 - 08:13 AM (#4013586)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Observer

It would appear from what some are saying here that in various places in the UK what they see as "The Folk Scene" is thriving and to varying but constantly high percentages the material is "Traditional".

My guess with regard to those writing such statements and referring to "sessions" they play in, that these are predominantly "tune sessions" in which case I am not at all surprised that there is a high percentage of traditional material played.

Like others, if I wanted to, I could, with a low to moderate degree of travel within the area I live in, enjoy live music almost every night of any given week. Many of these venues describe themselves as "Folk Clubs", or "Folk Sessions" and they do so rather dishonestly as if truth be told very little if anything when it comes to songs are either "folk songs" or traditional songs. So what sessions and what venues do I go to? That is decided by word of mouth, which tells me who will be there and from that I know whether or not I will enjoy the evening. That being my personal experience I can appreciate what Jim Carroll and Akenaton complain of I do not want to drive 40 miles to what I think is a "Folk Club" to hear poor and mediocre acoustic versions of "Dire Straits" numbers, Beatles Songs and 50s rock 'n roll (Which oddly enough, we are told are so popular and such crowd pleasers that, those singing them and joining in only know the first verse and the chorus, then it just dries up).

Venues are getting fewer and fewer because the traditional venue, local pubs are closing right left and centre. "House Concerts" are becoming more common I have been to quite a few but there you tend to meet the same people time and time again and all seem to be very much of an age, I've certainly seen no evidence of "intergenerational communication".

When I was very much younger, you had to go to folk clubs to hear folk music, it wasn't played all that much on television or on radio. Today the big change is that if youngsters want to listen to whatever music they like they just use their mobile phones and listen to the actual artists performance, not some bumbling amateur making a hash of it.

Crib sheets, i-pads and tablets do not help anyone "learn" a song they become an indespensable crutch and the song is never learned. As to the contention that "Anyone can sing"? That perhaps is true but they should not inflict it on others until they have actually sat down and listened to themselves to hear what they sound like. I dare say anyone could be a brain surgeon but that does not mean they should actually attempt it.


14 Oct 19 - 08:13 AM (#4013587)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

". . . with a younger audience you have to sell each night to them."

PeterC has voiced a common difficulty with clubs everywhere--meaning not just the UK and Ireland. Teenagers and young adults have authority figures talking at but not necessarily with them in schools, at work, at home. They won't go to a club, pub session or anywhere else if they think the same thing will be happening there. Unless people are made to feel welcome they just won't be back to places they aren't required to be.

Folk/music (whatever one thinks that means) becomes a commodity the moment it's promoted for sale, and like any other commodity it will be sought after by some and disregarded by others.

When I go to listen to a singer/vocal performer I go to listen. I don't want to socialize or otherwise interact with anyone else while the person I came to hear is 'in the spotlight'. But over the years I've noticed an increasing number of audience members who just have to talk while the performer performs, and frankly it's a real turn-off.

If older-in-age members would think back to the moment they had that 'Wow, this is for me' feeling about a club or music venue, what exactly was it that piqued your interest and kept it going, and took you with it? There are many good performers, musicians, singers, instrumentalists on this site who should be able to pinpoint why audiences are static or diminishing in numbers.


14 Oct 19 - 08:17 AM (#4013589)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Peter C -
Depending where I go I can see either Jim's scenario "the oldies still left in the revival have turned to the pop music my dad despised" or Mat's "The majority of the material at said events would be traditional. ".

In Sussex, the majority of folk clubs would certainly fall into Matt's category but I have just received a circular email of an account of an evening from a place that used to be a folk club and still calls itself a folk club:-
2nd October 2019

Thanks to all for a great evening.

Yvette started the evening with Love Potion Number Nine by The Searchers, Ticket To Ride and Karma Chameleon by Culture Club

Laurie was next playing his accordion, You're My World, Windmill In Old Amsterdam, and Streets Of London

Tony Cox then played the harmonica, Yellow Rose Of Texas, Paper Roses originally by Anita Bryant in 1960 and later by Marie Osmond, and The Wayward Wind. A classic set of Country and Western songs.

Ted then ventured into traditional folk with High Germany, The White Cockade, and The Jolly Ploughboy

Audrey Lee was next up playing the autoharp, her own song Brittle Miss Harper, and Nick Cave's Ship Song

Lorna then played the recorder, Sunset Over Aire & Still Rushing Around.

Ged treated us to a section of old and new rock and roll with Picture Of You, Rosie, and Viva La Vida by Coldplay

The INTERVAL was an opportunity to buy tickets for the famous [*** NAME OF CLUB HERE***] raffle and catch up with friends old and new. Thanks to the Rafflers.

Ken opened the second half with If I Were A Carpenter by The Four Tops, Cats In The Cradle by Harry Chapin, and John Denver's Leaving On A Jet Plane.

Chris Leaney continued in the folky style with Vincent Black Lightning 1952, Old Goldmine, and Her Lost Youth.

Kim and Rob then entertained us with the 1951 Merle Travis song Nine Pound Hammer, Diamonds And Rust by Joan Baez, and the old Robert Johnson song The Last Fair Deal Gone Down. Such a sweet sound.

After the RAFFLE
Tony Simpson began the last 'spasm' with Teach Your Children, Blowing In The Wind, and Carolina Star

Bamboozle (Liz and Derek) closed the evening with Wading Through The Waters, Only You, and How Long

Hmm! Under a previous regime we used to be booked at this club. Well, each to his own, I suppose, but somehow, I get the impression that this would not be Jim's sort of club.
I must admit that it made me smile to read that - in a folk club - someone had "ventured into traditional folk" - very brave of them, I would say. It reminded me of those very old maps where the uncharted areas were marked "Here be Dragons!"
The circular was accompanied by some photos of performers. It was difficult to see some of the their faces because every head was bent over a music stand.


14 Oct 19 - 08:30 AM (#4013590)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

The decline of the clubs echoes the decline of the pub itself. Once pub landlords considered themselves a community service - many would still like to, but the harsh economics of the pub trade mean that they increasingly rely on selling food and many no longer have a spare room they can make available for free or a modest amount.

It also has to be said that we don't help ourselves. Folkies seem to be a remarkably stingy lot, unwilling to spend much at the bar (although drink-driving laws don't help) and unwilling even to pay a realistic sum to pay to hear the music they claim to love. Yes I know some genuinely can't afford much, but many more can.

Where the clubs can't carry on, folk events are either becoming larger by moving into concert-style halls and theatres or else they are small-scale house concerts. However there are still a lot of less formal sessions and singarounds.

Folk music is a broad term and for most people includes more than its more technical sense of traditional music. People tend to incline towards events where they will hear the music they most enjoy, so some prefer traditional while others prefer contemporary folk. There's room for both, but with fewer venues it may be more difficult to find one which suits you, and you may have to travel further.

No one would pretend that the folk scene is as strong as it once once, but it is still possible to hear a very wide range of excellent music superbly performed, and there are still opportunities for people to sing and play themselves.


14 Oct 19 - 08:35 AM (#4013591)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"My previous post was explicitly responding to comments about "clubs"."
For me, if the clubs go, then so does the song - the music has found a comfortable niche in the sessions, though, as Jack said, its origins were in homes rather than pubs
Song is presented with a massive problem in the sense that it is not at home in pub sessions - nobody wants to stop drinking to listen to a song - let alone a ten verse ballad
Sam Larner once made the point perfectly when he said, "Yes, we sang at 'The Fisherman's Return' every week, but the serious singing was always done at home or at sea"
If festivals and concerts are the future, then we return to pre-revival days of being passive observers of performances - which is what we tried to move away from

That youngsters are capable of making and sharing music in a social environment is beyond doubt
When I started visiting this West of Ireland Town I saw youngsters learning to play from scratch   
Two of our leading local musicians were teenagers learning their craft
Bríd O'Donoghue is still playing superbly, but her greatest contribution to Irish music is the hundreds of youngsters she has encouraged and taught
BRÍD'S FAMILY are all fine musicians in their own right

EDEL FOX has become one of Ireland's leading concertina players, but she also has a track record of teaching young people to play   
As I say, singing has some way to go but IT'S BEGINNING TO HAPPEN
Jim Carroll

None of this would have happened if we'd settled for being passive audiences


14 Oct 19 - 08:39 AM (#4013592)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Well if i didn't mind playing rhythm guitar all week, i could attend trad sessions in Weymouth, 2 nights in Dorchester, 1 in Bridport.
That's without going too far down the shit Dorset roads. That's four a week - if i wanted. But as you know - I'm more at home with the people struggling to get started like i did. Plenty of those song sessions and open mics.

The thing -even if i play traditional material. People know that I do other stuff.

Your description of your parents' initial reaction to you becoming a singer - very much reminds me of my own, Jim. I'm really jealous of the supportive parents and the ease of access to music and instruments that kids have nowadays.

Still - they wouldn't have been your parents, would they?


14 Oct 19 - 08:43 AM (#4013593)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

My guess with regard to those writing such statements and referring to "sessions" they play in, that these are predominantly "tune sessions" in which case I am not at all surprised that there is a high percentage of traditional material played.

Your guess would be wrong. Most sessions are predominantly about recently composed tunes in the traditional idiom (or an idiom recognizably derived from it).


"House Concerts" are becoming more common I have been to quite a few but there you tend to meet the same people time and time again and all seem to be very much of an age, I've certainly seen no evidence of "intergenerational communication".

I was talking about participatory events, not concerts. (I've been to three house concerts in my life and I was playing at two of them).


14 Oct 19 - 08:43 AM (#4013594)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

In Ireland the number of pubs has dropped 20% since 2005. In the UK 25% since 2000. Loss of venue is common in both countries. An additional problem in Ireland is much lower breathalyser limits.(50mg for all drivers, 20mg for specified drivers. In the UK it is 80mg) In rural areas this hits particularly hard. This all conspires to diminish the number of people out and about that would have had a casual exposure to folk. It is a dedicated diehard sups on orange juice all evening.


14 Oct 19 - 08:52 AM (#4013597)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,matt milton

"younger people are less likely to go to "the club" every week be it any sport or genre of music or just a regular venue for a drink than our generaton were."

Some of the monthly folk clubs I go to seem to have regular attendees who are in their 20s. I make every effort to go to two particular ones (Tooting Folk Club and Bermondsey Folk Club if you're interested). I don't know if they'd go every week if the clubs were weekly, however. I would have felt the same: you're more sociable in your 20s and committing to a music night every week just seems too formal.

By the way, Vic: I know the club of which you speak. I often wonder if the Court Sessions attendees are aware of their near neighbours, Tooting Folk Club? www.tootingfolk.com
They would all be more than welcome to attend. It currently meets monthly at the Gorringe Park.


14 Oct 19 - 09:07 AM (#4013598)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,PeterC

Bermondsey? Have they found a new venue? Last thing I heard was that they were temporarily homeless.


14 Oct 19 - 09:33 AM (#4013601)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Could I politely point out to Jim that two of his three posts in this thread - though interesting - deal with historic matters? We have been asked specifically to stick to "The current state of folk music in UK" - and nothing else.
So far the thread has been interesting and informative with experiences in different parts of the country being shared. Let's keep it that way.


14 Oct 19 - 09:49 AM (#4013602)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

I agree with Al's point about respect.


14 Oct 19 - 09:55 AM (#4013605)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

Festivals and concerts are part of the future, but not the only part. There are still other opportunities to perform.

House concerts are usually by invitation (no one wants random strangers in their house) so the audiences do tend to come from a fairly small group, but no smaller in my experience than the group of regulars at a folk club. They include a range of ages. Whilst the performance itself is in the form of a concert, at the ones I go to there is usually an informal session as well, and sometimes a workshop.

The tune sessions I attend are usually mostly traditional English tunes, and usually a few songs.


14 Oct 19 - 10:14 AM (#4013609)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Despite the drop in the number of Irish Pubs, finding a venue in rural ares isn't a problem to my knowledge
Landlords seem willing to accept anything that will fill empty pubs during the week
We're lucky here - there are still two bars which have historically hosted traditional music and they have been added to as this town has gained the reputation of being 'the home of Irish Traditional Music
There are sessions six nights out of seven, several on some nights
This used to drop when the visitors stopped coming, but there's little sign of that so far
The standard varies from reasonable to extremely high, one of our locals, Jackie Daly, has just won an award for his services to Irish music and at least three more have a national/international reputation
Certainly not the case all over Ireland, but the foundations have now been laid for that to change
One of the stars in our crown is Oidhreacht an Chláir a local heritage group with a strong emhasis on the traditional arts
Some problems, but getting there, thanks to a growing interest in the Tradition
Jim Carroll


14 Oct 19 - 10:21 AM (#4013610)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

It has been a few years since I was in the Lincolnshire area, but it all seems very healthy to me.

http://www.folk-now.co.uk/folktalk/talk2.htm#Session
http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/folk-clubs/lincolnshire.htm
Some venues close, some even demolished but the scene continues.


14 Oct 19 - 10:23 AM (#4013611)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Observer

Festivals and concerts are part of the future, but not the only part. There are still other opportunities to perform.

Festivals and concerts are where people are paying good money to place their bums on the seats and they are, or should be a "listening" and attentive audience (Agree wholeheartedly about people who feel that they have a right to chatter away during concerts). These venues also require a high standard of performance and that is where the University students and graduates from the previous thread come into the picture. So far this has all been non-participation so it is the "other opportunities to perform that allows participation of those attending and that if I am understanding Jim correctly is this sort of environment where "folk music" and trad originally in days long gone came from and is now nurtured. A place where old songs are sung and new ones fitting in style and content can be absorbed to be passed on and submit to the "folk process".


14 Oct 19 - 10:23 AM (#4013612)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"The current state of folk music in UK"
Sorry Vic - there seems little point in confining ones comments to what is happening, especially if you are not happy if you believe it needs improving (as it must be obvious I do)
I would much rather make helpful suggestions (with examples) of how things might be improved - no compulsion of course
If that's not allowed I'll just go and finish my Codeword, but I'd hate to think that anybody would restrict any discussions to just self-congratulatory back-slapping or griping and carping
That's not the way I have ever viewed this forum
Jim


14 Oct 19 - 10:44 AM (#4013619)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Having returned from an internet free couple of days away I am glad to see the discussion continues on this thread.

As far as I am concerned, the current state of folk music in the UK is pretty good for both listening and participating. Others will disagree of course but it does look like most posters on here concur with that analysis.

What do you want to get out of the discussion, JoeG? Is it a type of survey of views or do you want to get involved in talks about a definition of folk song? Or something entirely different!?


14 Oct 19 - 11:21 AM (#4013626)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman

The ‘Folk-Scene’ in Lincolnshire is indeed very healthy - I will be going to Epworth Folk and Acoustic club tonight to do three or four songs myself, listen to seven or eight other performers (of varying levels of competence, but we all had to start somewhere didn’t we), and have a drink and a chuckle with Musket about the latest closed ‘WTF is Folk’ thread. Not all Trad - mostly the aforementioned Musket doing the Trad stuff - maybe a couple of ‘pop’ songs thinly disguised as ‘nearly-folk’, and plenty of ‘singer-songwriter’ stuff. And a grand time will be had by all.

There will be performers’ clubs and sessions operating during the rest of the week and at the weekend, I may go to one or two, or I may rest in the bosom of my family depending on how I feel.

But, in my part of the Backwoods at least, it’s out there and flourishing and, should I decide to take my passport and cross the border into South Yorkshire or Notts, it’s flourishing even more. Some of the stuff I, and others, are doing would probably not pass Jim’s Litmus-Test, but he won’t be there! ;-)


14 Oct 19 - 11:44 AM (#4013631)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,PeterC

Festivals and concerts are where people are paying good money to place their bums on the seats

Festivals vary as much as folk clubs. At one extreme you have events like Sidmouth and Whitby with a mix of formats where you participate or sit back and be entertained in whatever combination suits you and at the other what is no more than a longer than usual concert.

Looking around the demographics of various events I suspect that the next couple of decades will see a contraction in song based events as the dominant generation dies out and an expansion in dance which is where I see more youngsters.

Once we have all gone there will, no doubt, be another generation of "young radicals" who will rebel against the heavily arranged performances of the current crop of graduates and look back to the sources.


14 Oct 19 - 02:30 PM (#4013646)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Allan Conn

Is maybe a whole lot of generlisation going on here? Even to the likes of drink driving limit differences between the UK and Ireland. The limit for normal drinkers is the same in Scotland as it is in the Republic and much lower than it is in Northern Ireland. I live smack in the middle of the rural Scottish Borders and there are sessions on through the region on virtually every night plus the weekends. Some trad and some not right enough but folks are travelling and attending regularly despite the lower 50mg limit.


14 Oct 19 - 02:43 PM (#4013647)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

" Jim’s Litmus-Test, but he won’t be there!"
My 'litmus test' is based on what is sung - not how many bums are on seats Baccy
I've been told that I have to go else where if I want folk music so I'm happy to accept that's how it is
Not much of this means too much to me
If I just wanted a successful evening I'd probably be as weel looking up a good disco - at least they could probably explain what they are doing
Not what I signed up for
Jim


14 Oct 19 - 03:04 PM (#4013649)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

I find all the folk music I like on the internet and CDs..
I represent the kind of folkie who enjoys listening on my own to high quality performers and recordings
through good Hi Fi headphones;
and who aint that interested in socialiing in communal sings songs...

I'd hazard to guess there are far more like me than folk club oriented folkies would prefer...???

If I ever do want to perform my take on folk music, It'll be recorded and uploaded,
just like all the many thousands of other world wide 21st century internet focused folkies...

'Pro' quality hobbyist recordings that if any good and lucky,
might be discovered by a few like minded musicians and fans
from all around the planet...

My aspiration would be enough 'fans' to merit me posting an Amazon wish list...

btw.. nearly all the 'new' folk I've found and enjoyed listening to
is East European and Indian/Turkish/Middle Eastern/etc..

Not the kind of live music I'd easily find in a culturally isolated provincial west country pub acoustic evening...


14 Oct 19 - 03:49 PM (#4013652)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Despite reports to the contrary folk music, as I understand it, is alive and well and flourishing wherever I go in England or Ireland.

It is vibrant, dynamic and spirited all over these lands.

There are some superb performers, as well as others (to be kind) who are perhaps not quite so "accomplished"

However I doubt whether the vast majority would pass "the litmus test"

I really don't care for categorising what is and what isn't folk music. My criteria is that if it sounds like folk music, it moves me like folk music, it is folk music.

As I have said before the 1954 "definition" has done much to damage fok music.


14 Oct 19 - 03:55 PM (#4013653)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

Folk music and singing in our United Nations varies a lot, thank God - as mentioned on the other Folk Revival thread, e.g., Mongolians have their throat singing, whereas Chinese use a shrill voice and, in my opinion, our best folkies have an earthy sound.

And these traditions have survived due to folks being impressed by how THEIR OWN forebears did things - hence, as I also said, many classical musicians wishing to give a nod to nationalism have turned to folk music.

Accordingly and sadly, globalisation/Americanisation, economic/CAPITALIST immigration, and, in England, e.g., the relentless promotion of internal ethnic diversity (whereas, a few decades ago "assimilation" was promoted) are largely responsible for the decline of these traditions/the current state of folk music in the UK being much less popular than American (c)rap, pop, rock, country, etc.

And, accordingly, positive nationalism/ "Nationalism without Conquest" is a key solution.


14 Oct 19 - 05:16 PM (#4013662)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Despite reports to the contrary folk music, as I understand it, is alive and well and flourishing wherever I go in England or Ireland.
"
Sorry Rag - still meaningless unless you define your folk music
You mau as well take someone to a crammed ROH and say - "Look - who said the folk scene wa in trouble"
Why not ?
Jim


14 Oct 19 - 05:45 PM (#4013667)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

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

...
As a singer, I have a loose definition that makes sure that people who turn up to hear folk songs will hear them or songs based on folk syles


Remember tbat, Jim?

We all have our own "loose definition". Who judges which one is right?

You are right of course. We cannot judge what the current state of folk music in the UK is unless we know what we mean by folk music. You say yourself that the 1954 definition is not fit for purpose and you just have a "loose definition". I have a loose definition. Raggy has a loose defintion. We all know what is meant by folk music and I strongly suspect we are in agreement on 80% of the songs we chose. Can you not just accept that?


14 Oct 19 - 05:47 PM (#4013668)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

That's the problem Jim, you and your ilk have to "define" folk music. The majority of us understand folk music when we hear it. My interpretation of folk music will differ from the next man, woman or child, that does not make their interpretation any less valid than mine.

I suspect that most of the singer/songwriters who I consider to be brilliant exponents of the art won't past muster with you.

I seem to inhabit a world that frankly perished in the middle of the last century and have not be able to accept that folk music like all forms of art changes through time.

Your loss not mine.


14 Oct 19 - 05:54 PM (#4013669)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Sorry that should have read "You seem to inhabit a world..." not "I inhabit a world ...."

Just one more thing Jim, I have been involved in my version of folk music for over 60 years, during that time I have seen dozens, scores, if not hundreds of people put of folk music because of the views expressed by people like yourself.

Reading the posts on this forum would lead to believe I am not alone in my opinion.


14 Oct 19 - 05:54 PM (#4013670)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Sorry that should have read "You seem to inhabit a world..." not "I inhabit a world ...."

Just one more thing Jim, I have been involved in my version of folk music for over 60 years, during that time I have seen dozens, scores, if not hundreds of people put of folk music because of the views expressed by people like yourself.

Reading the posts on this forum would lead to believe I am not alone in my opinion.


14 Oct 19 - 05:55 PM (#4013671)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

Do a survey at a shopping centre in England asking have they heard of American Emmylou Harris, then try say Fay Hield or Bella Hardy of England - the gap would NOT be due to quality but hype.

If someone said to Paul McCartney that the Beatles were very good at an aspect of American, rather than their own, culture he would not deny it but probably say something like - it's a cool thing to do, man.

We need to convince English that appreciating, practising and performing their own good culture is a right and proper thing to do, lads and lasses.


14 Oct 19 - 05:59 PM (#4013672)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

Has anybody ever been to a gig on Jim's recommendation?

Didn't think so.

So why should "this act is folk according to Jim's definition" make it a box office draw?


14 Oct 19 - 06:04 PM (#4013674)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Thanks everyone for contributing to this new thread I have found the discussion very interesting. In response to Dave's question about what I want to get out of this thread I'd say that I merely found it interesting to continue get a feel for the vitality of the 'folk' scene (in my broad definition of folk as outlined in my opening comment) across the UK (and Ireland as the scene there has been referred to). I'm based in Yorkshire so it is interesting to hear how things are going elsewhere. I only occasionally attend folk clubs as I cannot drive in the dark so my main club now is Black Swan in York since we moved here three years ago but as I love many genres of music and York has a vibrant music scene I am only an occasional attendee - probably about once a month on average.

I also wanted this to be a thread where we could discuss amicably even if we have different, and often strongly held opinions. I think so far that that objective has been achieved and would hope it remains so. For the record I find much to agree with in Raggytash's comments.

I will comment more on my impressions of the folk scene later from what I have gathered as a club, venue and festival attendee, a former folk club booking sec and a constant seeker of great music wherever I can find it - often as not on Radio 3!


14 Oct 19 - 06:29 PM (#4013679)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

"And these traditions have survived due to folks being impressed by how THEIR OWN forebears did things
- hence, as I also said, many classical musicians wishing to give a nod to nationalism have turned to folk music.
"

errrmm.. many classical musicians aint exactly a huge number of people really, is it..
not compared to an entire mass poplation that they are only a tiny minority of...???
So that's a very over optimistic spin on statistics to support your enthusiasm for nationalism...

Don't be too surprised if you get a gurt big "so what...!!!"
from most of the population who couldn't give a monkey's about folk, or classical, music;
and similar response from a fair few obsessive folkies
who aren't too impressed by elitist classical composers pilfering our old tunes...

So let's run your theory/opinion to hear what it sounds like...

"Trad Folk music inspires nationalist pride because a handful of classical musicians occasionaly dip into it..." wow...!!!!!!

Hang on, is that right..?? or maybe it's...

"Nationalism gets a boost from a handful of elite classical musicians borrowing from trad folk music
that most ordinary folks couldn't give a toss about anyway..."...???

Oh I don't know.. nationalism is too much of a minefield of crank theorising to get my head round...!!!

..and of course I am also playfully indulging in simplistic stereotypes..
We shouldn't be so presumptious and snobbish.. eh...???

Of course ordinary folks can know about and enjoy folk, classical, and all kinds of pop culture music...
That should have been the benefit of good state mass education..
.. or at least was until the early 1980s...
WE don't want nationalist soap boxers, or any other crackpots preaching what we should or shouldn't listen to, or reject...

So then, if we ignore the efforts of various nationalist think-tankers attempting to appropriate our trad heritage for their own ideological motives:
obviously we'd all agree it's great to be proud of and promote our own traditions..
Even if other folk's traditions from other parts of the world
are far more enjoyable to listen to and perform than ours...

Yep, can't beat positive internationalism... it's great...


I'm currently listening to Russian and Japanese Surf Music and Rockabilly bands..
Bloody good musicians with their own culturally filtered interpretation,
possibly playing it even better than the real old thing...


14 Oct 19 - 06:58 PM (#4013683)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

To clarify, PFR, I'm saying appreciate other cultures as well as your own, but only practise and perform your own culture - in order to keep our world/our UN nice a multicultural/ethnically diverse, and improve the state of folk music in England, Scotland Wales, Ireland, etc.; just as anthropologists should be careful what gifts they bear.


14 Oct 19 - 07:36 PM (#4013686)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

WAV - that's apartheid.

Its like saying African people have nothing to contribute when they perform Shakespeare.

We don't live in isolated villages any more. We are lucky enough to have access to all sorts of cultures. And we have the artistic freedom to practice whatever kind of music we think will help us express ourselves.


14 Oct 19 - 07:52 PM (#4013687)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

WV - I think you need to listen to this song

https://thehallbrothers.bandcamp.com/track/how-deep-is-this-valley


14 Oct 19 - 07:56 PM (#4013688)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Captain Swing

"appreciate other cultures as well as your own, but only practise and perform your own culture"

Sorry WV, I just can't go with that. I play the fiddle. If I were to restrict myself to English tunes I would miss out on learning a wealth of different skills and techniques and a whole lot of fun! I would also miss out on the opportunity to play with musicians of other cultures. Remember that most of these cultures: Irish, Scottish, Old time, Bluegrass, French, French-Canadian, Cajun, Zydeco etc are the result of cultural mixing but are now discreet cultures of their own.

From a personal perspective, I would find English tunes a very bland and dull diet without, at the very least, some Irish and Scottish let alone a smattering of any of the above. (And yes, I have seen John Kirkpatrick - many times!)


14 Oct 19 - 08:03 PM (#4013689)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Sorry forget to do the clicky link thing in my post above
Hall Brothers 'How Deep is this Valley'


14 Oct 19 - 08:05 PM (#4013690)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

GUEST,Captain Swing, are you familiar with Jean Carignan?


14 Oct 19 - 08:26 PM (#4013691)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Sol

Fwiw, songs written today will be labelled 'traditional' at some point in the future.

I prefer house sessions myself. You are with folk you respect and choose to be with. The one bad thing is this, it can become very insular. New blood is essential to all genres of music otherwise familiarity will deliver a lethal contempt.


14 Oct 19 - 10:02 PM (#4013693)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

appreciate other cultures as well as your own, but only practise and perform your own culture
Somebody has acquired the new woke orthodoxy over "cultural appropriation".


15 Oct 19 - 02:31 AM (#4013705)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Thanks, Joe G. From the responses so far then, what would you say the state of folk music in the UK currently is? I, like you, am in Yorkshire and in my particular area (Airedale) I have no complaints at all. Until about 10 years ago I did travel quite a lot and, wherever I went, I could usually find a folk club. Folk music may have evolved a little since 1954 but I think that in the main we have nothing to worry about.


15 Oct 19 - 03:53 AM (#4013709)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"We all have our own "loose definition"
I have always said that, as listener or a singer, I don't need a 'definition' Dave, it is only when I write or talk about folk song that I need to be more precise
The Revival I was part of was based on had the most reliable and accessible 'definition' possible "I know a folk song when I hear one" - hopelessly inaccurate for research, but perfect for allowing you to choose what you listen to
The fact that this was generally agreed meant that you didn't have to send scouting parties out before you were guaranteed to hear the songs you thought you were going to hear
It was never a 'rule', it was more a general guide based on a definite type of song rather than on adhering strictly to it
An agreement on what that sound is no longer exists and, as for the present scene being based on anything - if it is it seems to be based on long rejected pop songs, from some arguments put up here
Our choice of what we wish to listen to was the first victim of the sea change that has taken place - it has been taken from us
I was told that if I wanted to hear the songs I know to be folk, I would have to go to places that didn't necessarily cater for them - how ridiculous is that?
Once that happens, the scene loses any direction and cohesion, and interest falls off - that would be the case with anything

There can be no argument that the clubs have declined dangerously - your own figures presented as a rise in fortune show that
There may be more professional musicians on the scene today - but that is a sign of personal success, not that the music is in a good state
At the time of the 'Crap Begets Crap' argument in Folk Review, one of the loudest howls was on the deterioration of singing standards - if nothing was done about that then the standards could only have got worse
I have been involved on this forum a number of times where suggestions of requiting a basic standard or expecting people to have learned the songs they sing has been howled down as "elitism" and expecting to hear songs resembling what I know to be folk" at folk clubs as "folk policing" or even "folk fascism"
That level of hostility got the last thread closed so our freedom to discuss our music openly of also being taken away

I make a point of listening to links put up during these discussions - I just have
I invariably find myself clicking out after a few bars, not because I don't like it but because it is irrelevant to what is being discussed - it ain't 'folk' or even 'folksy' in any way shape or form
New songs need to be made if a folk movement is going to have a purpose, but if you call your clubs or festivals or songs after a specific type of of creation, it needs to relate to the name you choose for it
"Folk" is fairly specific in terms for creative culture
The number of clubs, Festivals and other platforms for our communicating with one another that are steadily disappearing ought to be indication enough that all isn't too well - no matter how good your own personal pool may be, if the general indication are of an impending drought, something needs to be done
I'd have thought the disappearance of FRoots enough to suggest all is not well?

Every time someone posts how well their club is doing I think of the story of the feller falling down the side of the the Empire state building saying, "So far, so good"
Jim


15 Oct 19 - 04:34 AM (#4013713)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

The positives:

A far broader range of opportunities to hear live folk music, from festivals big and small, traditional folk clubs, house concerts, sessions, singarounds, etc. As well as the traditional pub, which may have excluded some, folk can now be found in a wider range of premises, from theatres to private homes.

The internet makes it much easier to listen to recordings of both contemporary and source singers - VoTP is on Spotify. For example, I recently decided to re-learn "Our Captain Cries All Hands" and I was quickly able to find several sets of lyrics and listen to versions as varied as those by the Oysterband and Pop Maynard - all immediately available on line.

It also makes it much easier to learn about folk music and folk performers, and discover where to find it. The demise of magazines such as fRoots is sad but is a reflection that much of what it provided can now be found online.

Greater availability of good quality instruments and more importantly much better access to tuition, from workshops to one-to-one sessions. Thanks to Skype you don't need to find a local teacher, they don't even have to be on the same continent.

As a consequence, the standard of performance by those who make the effort to learn and improve is on the whole far higher than it used to be. The technical ability and musicianship of many young musicians amazes me. They have also got away from the reverse snobbery that saw musical knowledge and training as a barrier to being an authentic folk singer, many have had a good musical education and are all the better for it.

Negatives:

An overall reduction in the number of venues, especially the traditional club model with regular guest performers supported by floor singers. This reduces the choices available and perhaps leads to the situations Jim has found himself in where his choice of material is not acceptable to a particular audience, and their preferred material is not acceptable to him. Once this wouldn't have mattered, you'd simply find a different club more aligned to your preferences, but now this might not be possible in your locality.

Despite the higher standards at the top end of the scale, there is also a tolerance of low standards of performance which once would not have been acceptable outside events intended specifically for novices.

Taken together, this makes it less likely that on a random visit to a new folk club you will find the sort of folk music you like performed to a reasonable standard. This now takes more searching out and perhaps a willingness to travel further.

Continual and fruitless attempts on Mudcat to answer the unresolvable question "What is folk?"


15 Oct 19 - 04:42 AM (#4013714)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

I would be prepared to go to a gig on jims recommendation
"We need to convince English that appreciating, practising and performing their own good culture is a right and proper thing to do"
I have no problem with this as long as other folk cultures are not deliberately ignored


15 Oct 19 - 04:45 AM (#4013716)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

"Folk" is fairly specific in terms for creative culture
The number of clubs, Festivals and other platforms for our communicating with one another that are steadily disappearing ought to be indication enough that all isn't too well - no matter


How on earth can you say folk is fairly specific in terms for creative culture. You can give the tune a scientific analysis, some would argue you could dothe same for the lyrics, but I would question that. The classification within any particular genre is entirely subjective so trying to define an objective scientifically defined box to classify it within is a non starter. The box is an entirely fuzzy construction with tenuous walls with differing views as to where they should lie.
To me this means the actual definition of folk is inevitably hazy. Everyone agrees with the core idea but places the boundary in different places. It is not worth arguing over because it is an argument with no resolution. Just accept the boundaries are subjective and cannot have precise definition.
Traditional venues are closing. That is as true in Ireland as in the UK,you cannot argue with statistics. That is a function of the changed mores of society. If the decline of folk is part of the collateral damage so be it. However as society changes so do avenues for entertainment.
A person can go to a folk club and sit is a degree of discomfort to hear a performance of variable quality, or get a supermarket sixpack and listen to a perfect rendition on youtube. You equate loss of venue with loss of "audience" That is an assumption with nothing to determine whether the basic premise is true or false. I would argue it is difficult to determine the present state of folk in the UK because you conflate venue with audience.If a passive listener the material is available electronically 24/7 and no one has the first idea as to how big that audience may be.Is the club the be all and end all. For performers is the session not of far more interest?
There would seem to be a lot of assertions and very little in the way of supporting facts. The world of the sixties was a very different beast to the world of today. Has the enthusiasm for folk diminished, or simply changed? The tools used to gauge the health of the genre in the sixties need to be traded in for those of the new millenium,
The word communication needs clarification. In a session it is two way, for a club audience it is essentially one way, apart from polite applause. The communication is in the listening. If you do not like something you cease to listen, unless a masochist.
The eight track, cassette player, Cds and walkman opened up a whole new world beyond vinyl, mainly portability and music on demand . You do not have to be a performer to be an aficionado, you do not have to be in a club to enjoy it.


15 Oct 19 - 04:45 AM (#4013717)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Continual and fruitless attempts on Mudcat to answer the unresolvable question "What is folk?""
If it's unresolveable Howard why is it necessary to use continue to us a term that doesn't mean anything anymore ?
We - you, I and those here may bot be able to agree on what it means, but it's too well defined, and has been for a long time, tpoo claim that nobody knows what it is
It is an essential part of what we do
I'm more than a litle disappointed that those who, more often than not, stand up for the rights of the less well off shoud remain silent (or even join in) when one of the most important creations of working people stands to be driven back into obscurity by an alternative largely inspired by the product of a predatory, all consuming Music Industry   
Beyond my comprehension, I'm afraid
Jim


15 Oct 19 - 04:50 AM (#4013719)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

The idea that folk culture or music does not have outside influences from other cultures is flawed.
for example some of the reels in Irish music, were originally scottish, and one or two were strathspeys or other tempos, the polkas that occur in irish music in 2/4 and england in 4/4 were originally mid european.an example is the jenny lind polka a tune written to celebrate the famous singer, turns up later in ireland as a slide


15 Oct 19 - 05:08 AM (#4013722)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

I believe that folk music should be an alternative to the mass produced them and us consumerist driven popmusic.
In my opinion anyone who tries to be create and practise songs and music for the purpose of doin something with skill should be encouraged.therfore i support the uk and irish folk revivals [warts and all]
CCE have been criticised on this forum, however they have played a part in increasing the amount of people playing irish traditional and irish music, some people [myself included] do not like their attempts to make the music competitive or to alter style, and like many organisations they may be becoming over bureaucratic,and perhaps their role will soon be diminishing, but there are many more young people playing trad istrumental music than there is in england or wales


15 Oct 19 - 05:26 AM (#4013726)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"I believe that folk music should be an alternative to the mass produced them and us consumerist driven popmusic."
A thousand amens to that one Dick
That's why the revival started in teh first place
It is extremely significant that, when the Pop Industry took folk music under its wing, many who had come to it earlier danced to their tune, watered the songs down and often dressed in funny outfits to perform them
When the maxchine found an anternative music to prey on, the 'Glochamorach' crowd (Tim Lyons's wonderful description) were left in the lurch and the true devotees were left to pick up the pieces
Pop styles come with a sell-by date, our folk song proper has proven to be as timeless as Homer and Shakespeare
On satirday I'm playing a cante-fable form ballad that has it's roots in Ancient Egypt and is still sung as 'Get Up and Bar the Door'
I worth that's worth keeping that in mind
Jim


15 Oct 19 - 05:27 AM (#4013727)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

Cultural intermingling in a non-musical context: my wife's younger son has a portrait that has come down in the family from around 1800 of a priggish wealthy Scottish gent (usually referred to as "The Ancestor"): it's probably by Sir Henry Raeburn. It usually has a glass of single malt whisky standing in front of it.

The idea came from our friend Lisa (who killed herself at the weekend, largely as a result of Brexit destroying her whole future). She was born in England of Chinese parents and while she was socially like any bright and dynamic young Englishwoman, she was also a serious Taoist. So her take on The Ancestor was that he deserved appropriate offerings, which meant Lagavulin.


15 Oct 19 - 05:58 AM (#4013740)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,matt milton

@Peter C: Bermondsey Folk Club has found a new home at the Partizan Brewery, which I think is an independant brewery in a railway arch. Have a look on Facebook and it shouldn't be difficult to find the event.

Actually quite a suitable example for this thread: showing the sort of ingenuity folk club organisers have to resort to venue-wise to keep a club going!

Just to pick up on the traditional material/singer-songwriter material thread in some of the posts above: I have no problem with clubs where singers sing a mix of trad songs, trad-influenced singer-songwriter stuff (eg Dylan/Jansch/Baez/Gillian Welch) and their own songs. It's when the balance shifts so that the trad stuff is almost not there that it becomes a problem. A good club organiser/host can find ways of 'keeping it trad'.

I've been seriously into traditional music for about 15 years now (before that it was something I listened to, but not obsessively) and it doesn't seem to me as if there's been a downward spiral in that time. The folk clubs in London seem to be more or less as I first found them. If anything there appear to be a few more clubs with younger audiences, so they tend to come and go a bit.


15 Oct 19 - 06:16 AM (#4013744)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

I'd have thought the disappearance of FRoots enough to suggest all is not well?

The very sad demise of fRoots is much more complicated than an expression of the current state of folk music in UK. In fact, the state of the their subscription list was very healthy, but the majority of income of any national magazine derives from advertising. The virtual collapse of the sales of CDs meant that the folk & world music record companies that produced them cut back on everything except that was a sure fire success and they cut their advertising budget to reflect their smaller number of releases. At the same time M


15 Oct 19 - 06:34 AM (#4013746)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

WHOOPS CONTINUING FROM ABOVE....
At the same time many artists moved to producing their own albums that were intended for sale of gigs. The collapse of shops that sold albums - both specialist and mainstream made self- production both necessary and financially productive.
The efforts of the folk scene to see the magazine continue were very heart-warming. Donations came from and benefit concerts were organised throughout the land. The Copper Family arranged one with Shirley Collins as guest and it was hugely successful, but the fact remained that the single-owner specialist folk/world paper magazine is no longer viable in a rapidly changing society. Costs were rising, income was declining, distribution through retail networks was becoming virtually impossible and the demise was inevitable in spite of the fact that fRoots was streets ahead of comparable publications in design, quality of writing, photographs, in fact in every department, yet the single editor/owner has been left with huge debts.

Ascribing single cause explanations such as I have quoted to complex issues is both deceptive and unhelpful.


15 Oct 19 - 06:46 AM (#4013747)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Comparisons have been made between the state of folk music in Ireland and in the UK/England. Given the topic of this thread, and on the basis that the comparisons were intended to be relevant, these were presumably made to cast light on the state of folk music in the UK. It seems to me that the situations are different. The key may be in the idea that particular areas of Ireland have come to be seen (for whatever reason) as the home of traditional Irish music, hence attracting tourism, from, presumably those wanting to feel they are engaging with traditional Irish culture (albeit it in English, not Irish). I know English people, some of home have Irish origins, who head for pub sessions when in Ireland. I don't think you will get the same thing in England; tourism here takes a different form.


15 Oct 19 - 07:01 AM (#4013748)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Pseudonymous -
The key may be in the idea that particular areas of Ireland have come to be seen (for whatever reason) as the home of traditional Irish music, hence attracting tourism, from, presumably those wanting to feel they are engaging with traditional Irish culture (albeit it in English, not Irish).

Not always having a good effect, either. I have a very sad memory from decades ago of Miko Russell playing in the whistle in the company of a contemporary of his on fiddle in Gus O'Connor's pub in Doolin, Co. Clare to a barrage of young Germans playing not-very-good bodhran. Not a very eddifying sight or sound.


15 Oct 19 - 07:22 AM (#4013752)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

" as the home of traditional Irish music, hence attracting tourism"
Nothing whatever to do with tourism, on the contary
Tourists with death-watch beetle obsession with bodhrans can be a bit of a pain in the arse if not watched
There has been a genuine renaissance of a culture that was believed to be on its last legs - pretty much as the British revival revitalised a music that had been rescued from extinction by the previous revival and found to be acceptable to those tired of the pap being pumped out by the machine
That is a lesson to be learned from what has happened over here
There are other lessond of course
The history of song-making here has provided vital evidence for our "who made our folk songs" discussion
Irish song's link with it's social and political history is now well beyond the suggestion that most of its songs were made for commercial reasons

Deliberate attempts to use a music they didn't understand failed dismally in the tourist industry
Now we have people coming over just to hear the music - and to learn to sing and play it

Whatever the successes of some folk clubs in no longer catering for those who like folk music - unless you either change your identifying logo or live up to it, it can only possibly be short-term, especially if you have a gathering of folk clubs that cant agree on what the term means
As far as I am concerned, 'Identity theft' is the name of the game nowadays - if it says, 'folk' it should be folk
Jim


15 Oct 19 - 07:26 AM (#4013754)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,matt milton

Irish insturmental music is obviously huge in a way that English isn't, and it has been institutionlised via things like Comhaltas. It would be nice if English music had anything like that profile.

However, I'm not sure that extends to song in quite the same way. I could name hundreds of popular english traditional singers all plying their trade (Eliza Carthy, Jon Boden etc) whereas it's a lot harder for me to think of many Irish counterparts.

That might be cos I simply don't get to hear of them over here (in England) but it doesn't strike me that Irish folk song is significantly healthier than English in terms of numbers or profile of practitioners. I could be wrong...


15 Oct 19 - 07:31 AM (#4013756)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"However, I'm not sure that extends to song in quite the same way"
It has to Matt
Eliza is a successful" performer people go to listen to
In order for folk song to succeed it has to return to its grass roots where everybody stands a chance of taking a dip without having to be "successful"
This doesn't mean they can't be good at it, of course
Jim


15 Oct 19 - 07:36 AM (#4013758)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,matt milton

All I meant was that, as far as I'm aware, the situation in Ireland when it comes to traditional song seems to be much the same as it is in England. Nowhere near as popular as Irish fiddle or dance.

Or am I wrong? Are the folk clubs in Ireland jam packed with teenagers singing ballads?


15 Oct 19 - 07:39 AM (#4013759)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

"I know a folk song when I hear one" - hopelessly inaccurate for research, but perfect for allowing you to choose what you listen to

I am sure that is the case. I will stick to choosing what I listen to and leave research to the academics thank you.


15 Oct 19 - 07:47 AM (#4013761)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Shaw

..."playing not-very-good bodhran."

What other kind of bodhran is there, Vic? ;-)


15 Oct 19 - 08:20 AM (#4013764)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

My comment about unresolvable "What is folk?" discussions on Mudcat was meant to be tongue-in-cheek.


15 Oct 19 - 08:22 AM (#4013766)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"All I meant was that, as far as I'm aware, the situation in Ireland when it comes to traditional song seems to be much the same as it is in England."
Nor really Matt
There is solid backing for Irish language singing which is undergoing a huge revival in its own right
The singing scene never hit bottom as the British one did, but maintained a steady level
New venues like "Larry" have breathed life into it and things are now on the up again
The problem of judging what is happening is that Ireland never really has had a big 'club' scene - a few, but not as many as the UK
I am contantly being knocked sideways at singing sessions (not necessarily traditionally based, but well represented) when a younstar gets up and says "I learned this from the Clare Library website" - the long dead singers we recoded in the seventies and eighties are being given a young voice
I think the situation here was summed up best for me at the Willie Clancy School last year at a singing workshop I was involved in
You expect the people attending to be well versed in the music at teh Willie Week we weer all knocked out when a young woman nobody knew stood up and sang beautifully - I was almost tearful at her singing (a sign of old-age, I'm sure)
I aked where she'd learned to sing and she said she had become interested through watching one of the now many programmes on television and had scrabbled around to find songs, but, because of where she lived, had nowhere to sing them
It seems to me that the singing scene has yet to catch up with the steadily rising interest
If they don't snap them up, teh 'get known quick' media output will
Unless the folkies get their act together, any interest the media might have will quickly dissapate
Jim


15 Oct 19 - 08:50 AM (#4013768)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

"Unless the folkies get their act together, any interest the media might have will quickly dissapate" Truer words . . .


15 Oct 19 - 08:55 AM (#4013770)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jeri

Every time the organizational committee of whatever starts one of these "hey, let's make some rules about folk music that nobody will have to follow, but will piss some people off", I think sure, fine, whatever. (NSFW)


15 Oct 19 - 09:17 AM (#4013772)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

I don't know if it's appropriate in this thread, but the song lyrics for Jeri's post are at

https://prridot.tumblr.com/post/182727304575/cold-and-analytical-thelogicalloganipus

I'll look later for the author unless someone else finds that info in the interim. Feel free to delete or transfer this post to somewhere else.


15 Oct 19 - 09:42 AM (#4013776)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,matt milton

"The singing scene never hit bottom as the British one did, but maintained a steady level"

Ah well this is it you see; I don't know what 'rock bottom' means in this context. Maybe at some point in the past, but I certainly don't recognise that as a description of what I encounter when I go to folk clubs (in England). I hear a healthy amount of singers old and some young singing unaccompanied traditional English (and Irish and Scottish) songs. Yes, young people are the minority, but there are still young people there. I would be suprised if on the whole Ireland was radically different in that respect.


15 Oct 19 - 09:56 AM (#4013779)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jeri

Starhip: "Written and performed by Thomas Benjamin Wild Esq."

Joe, way-back-when, said the subject had run its course. First time I got on the internet, around 1995, people (UK and US) were opining about who should sing what, when and where. The subject will continue as long as some folks have opinions.

And for the record, "cultural appropriation" is pretty much what folk music is for almost all of us. It's just good to be nice about it.


15 Oct 19 - 10:10 AM (#4013782)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Matt wrote:-
I could name hundreds of popular english traditional singers all plying their trade (Eliza Carthy, Jon Boden etc) whereas it's a lot harder for me to think of many Irish counterparts.

Well, Matt, in terms of 'plying their trade' maybe dozens but not hundreds.
In terms of current singers - from amateurs to full-time professionals - that personally I find exciting and worthwhile in the way that they deliver traditional songs and ballads, I think that I could probably name as many Irish as English singers and that from a much smaller population.


15 Oct 19 - 10:17 AM (#4013783)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

""hey, let's make some rules about folk music "
Nobody ever has (here" Jeri - have you ?
Asking to hear folk songs at folk clubs isn't making rules - it's simple common sense
It doesn't take a 'committee to show the result of that not happening - thousands of enthusiasts walking away, the disappearance of shops, labels, magazines clubs... should have been adequate warning at what happens if your tin didn't contain what the label said it did
The revival that disappeared was a vibrant mix of traditional and newly made songs, accompanied and unaccompanied, sung to a passable standard - when they went, so did the clubs
Jim


15 Oct 19 - 10:49 AM (#4013786)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

revival of newly made songs.....????


15 Oct 19 - 10:59 AM (#4013787)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Sotty - way off topic but anybody in need of cheering up should look up the funeral of Shane Bradley on line
Made my year
JIm


15 Oct 19 - 11:16 AM (#4013789)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

Here's a link to Jim's last post. It's a hoot.

https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-50041509


15 Oct 19 - 11:44 AM (#4013794)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Asking to hear folk songs at folk clubs isn't making rules - it's simple common sense

Of course it is. Which is why at every single club I have been to has had folk songs performed at them. They may not be folk songs by your "loose definition" but they are by mine and they are by Raggy's. As I said before, "We all have our own "loose definition". Who judges which one is right?" Remember your own words too "I have always said that, as listener or a singer, I don't need a 'definition" .


15 Oct 19 - 12:54 PM (#4013805)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Of course it isn't. Dave - don't be silly
Would you describe going into as greengrocers shop and expecting to find potatoes and peas "rules"
Why the hell should you not apply the same common sense to expecting to hear folk songs in folk song clubs
Your definition needs relate to what you call your songs and you need to describe it if you want to draw in the punters
I'm surprised you haven't responded to my point about the damage this silliness is doing to 'Songs of the People - or maybe not
This deliberate confusion which has been created by what we have always known as folk song is killing it off - or at lrast, driving it into archives
That saddens me - I thought iwt ould have dsaddened everybody who cared
Sorry about that
You are still the most persistent opponent of what I argue but you insist you agree with my description of folk song
Can't for the life of me understand that one
Jim


15 Oct 19 - 01:01 PM (#4013808)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,HiLo

I know it is not about UK folk, but I found what PFR had to say about folk from other places. He mentioned Eastern Europe and Arabic Music..I too listen to a lot of music from those parts of the world.
I wonder if he would care to share some of his favourite sites, musician info ?
   Now for a brief analogy. It has been suggested here that the lack of clubs is an indication of the decline in folk music..People say that the closing of book shops is an indication that people read less..not so. Along with PFR I think people are simply accessing books. music and culture in general, in different ways.
   I listen to a lot of music on YouTube and am hearing styles, genres and artists that could I not have heard a few short years ago.
    The other great thing is that we no longer have to restrict our playing or listening to local or national traditions..the world is there for us and music is one of the great joys..no need to define it..just enjoy it.


15 Oct 19 - 01:07 PM (#4013809)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

You are not making sense, Jim. I suggest you re-read what I just said. It makes perfect sense to expect folk songs at folk clubs. And that is what I get.


15 Oct 19 - 01:07 PM (#4013810)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

I've been some sort of folkie for over half a century...
So by now I've got a fairly educated ear for 'good' music...

So, when I suggest too much of our indigenous British folk music
is just plain dull and dreary compared to foreign folk music,
then I'm making a serious point.
Not just being contrary and provocative for the sake of trolling...

Nationalists who exploit our trad folk culture for political motives,
who put ideology before quality of music,
are not real music fans...

so there...!!!

Call me a traitor if you like...

Though I really do want to hear British folk music that engages and inspires me
as much as Eastern European music does..

Obviously, I can't make a full and intelligent judgement, or dismiss so much of my own national culture
whilst I am still deprived of hearing most of the fabled lost Bulmer hoard...
That is a void in our heritage that is inexcusable.
It's frustrating not/never knowing what treasures may be rotting away amongst it all...


15 Oct 19 - 01:15 PM (#4013813)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Hi-Lo wrote:-
I know it is not about UK folk, but I found what PFR had to say about folk from other places. He mentioned Eastern Europe and Arabic Music..I too listen to a lot of music from those parts of the world.
I wonder if he would care to share some of his favourite sites, musician info ?


I also listen to a lot of foreign folk music and would join in discussions of it, but I think you would need to start a new thread with a suitable title to attract those who are interested.


15 Oct 19 - 01:16 PM (#4013815)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman

100


15 Oct 19 - 01:20 PM (#4013817)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

DTG asked me earlier 'From the responses so far then, what would you say the state of folk music in the UK currently is? ...... Folk music may have evolved a little since 1954 but I think that in the main we have nothing to worry about.'

My own impression is that folk music in the UK (as I described the genre in my opening comment and is broadly accepted by many people here I think) is generally in good health.

I am at the moment listening to Jim Moray's latest release which is, I think, exclusively made up of traditional songs and I'm looking forward very much to Jon Boden's new CD which also will include much traditional material alongside some of his own superb songwriting. Jon's Folk Song A Day project has also been a great resource of traditional material.

There are many young artists making superb music that I would categorise as folk and, certainly in York and around there is plenty of opportunity to participate in music sessions, though singarounds are thinner on the ground - though as I do not usually attend these I may be out of the loop. Having said that the Black Swan Folk Club does have a Singers and Musicians night once a month.

Festivals are thriving (I am off to Musicport this weekend which features folk music from across the world - though perhaps not in the form that some here would appreciate) and, along with most festivals I am aware of, offers workshops and other participatory activities

As had been mentioned by others I think the main challenge is the availability of venues and this I think has been more of an issue than people not exclusively performing/ sharing a more tightly defined class of folk songs. Of course other issues eg easier access to music via the internet, cost of going out for a night, austerity, a far greater range of live music options will have also had an impact on clubs and again I consider these even individually, let alone collectively, will have had more of an impact on attendances than what types of songs are sung. The Black Swan Folk Club in York is sold out or close to sold out when I attend and so they must be doing something right!

So generally I would say the folk scene is in good health (but does need to be nurtured and supported) and I am enjoying the fact that I can discover new music easily as well as still hearing those artists I grew up on Jez Lowe, Wilson Family, Bob Fox, Runrig, Steeleye Span etc.


15 Oct 19 - 01:26 PM (#4013818)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Don't know where any of that comes from
I'm certainly not a nationalist
Folk song has been regarded as 'The Voice' or 'The songs of the People since day on
Go look at the title Topic chose for it's mammoth and continuing series
Good or bad doesn't come into the issue - not all folk songs are by any meand "good" just as not all pop songs are bad" - taht's a matter of personal taste
THat the fact that a whole social group of people who have largely been regarded as not being culturally creative have been found to have been creating songs which reflect their lives and aspiration since the time of The Venerable Bede is not 'political' - it is a fact that should be roaed from every rooftop from Lands End to John-'o- Groats as loud as voices can carry it
It is 'political' to attempt to prevent that message from coming across
I got tired of peole telling me that the Traditional Ballads were "too good to have been created by the people", yet we owe their survivel to the lowest social group in |Britain, Tinkers and Travellers
Not neatly enough people know that - as Michael Caine should have said
Dave Biulmer's untouchable collection is a screaming example of what happens when money is allowed to dominate the folk scene
Jim
Jim


15 Oct 19 - 01:37 PM (#4013821)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

HiLo - My listening is mostly very late at night after the wife has gone to bed.
So, Youtube is also my main source...
Random links that start with one song, and end up hours later
when I'm tired enough to go to bed.
My youtube history is dauting if I want to find an individual song again...
.. and my memory for names is disorganised and useless..

Some videos are so good, I will immediately google and wiki the artists...

So recent favourites are USA band Kitka

One CD can be heard on Amazon Prime..

and Russians Otava Yo

I've found their tracks on free download somewhere..

Those are two I can remember and find again quite easily...

Btw.. errrm.. thanks to the nether reaches of the internet,
there are barely viewable quality Turkish soft p0rn movies from the 1970s
with very listenable soundtrack music...


15 Oct 19 - 01:45 PM (#4013823)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - Eh ..?? wasn't even thinking about you when I posted that...

Dunno why you took that one a little personally...???

Just take a walk about back up the thread to last night's posts,
and you'll get the idea wot I'm on about...


15 Oct 19 - 01:58 PM (#4013826)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,HiLo

Thanks PFR...your youtube drifting seems a lot like mine..all over the place. Watched a chap last night who was playing two guitars at once, and playing them well.
I would be very interested in learning more about international music Vic. Perhaps a thread on that would be of interest to others as well.


15 Oct 19 - 02:12 PM (#4013828)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

I agree a new thread on music from across the world would be good.

As you'll not from my crossed posting I'm a fan too and would be happy to give some recommendations and receive some as well :-)


15 Oct 19 - 02:25 PM (#4013829)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Jim - Eh ..?? wasn't even thinking about you when I posted that..."
Sorry P - getting touchy in my old age
I'll look later - Holby City and The Troubles calls - might need the services of the first before long

Joe
"I agree a new thread on music from across the world would be good."
Amen a thousand times
The tragedy of this forum is that (I am told) the few Moslems that once posted were driven off by Islamophobia - I have Irish friends who washed their hands of the site for the same reason
If It's of any interest, I havve care of a huge number of international albums - with notes, and radio programmes on international music from some of the best reseachers (Levy, Battachara etc)
If anybody is looking for anything in aprticular, please let me know - if anybody wants them all they will have to send me a sizeable hard drive
Jim


15 Oct 19 - 02:45 PM (#4013832)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

It's positive nationalism, Big Al, from someone who loves our world/our UN being multicultural as much as anyone.

Joe G - would be nice to see the English cittern (rather than the Spanish guitar getting a guernsey; apparently, a couple of centuries ago, there was one in almost every barber shop and tavern in England; I have seen Jez Lowe play one but, sadly, that is all...more on English Instruments

Captain Swing - are you sure there is not enough variety and interest WITHIN the English tradition? Without reaching trad purity, you could at least lean toward your own culture as much as possible - just as many Buddhist strive for nirvana - and, thus, help keep our world nice and multicultural.

E.g., my repertoire introduced with a tenor recorder/English flute and sung either unaccompanied or with the melody doubled on keyboards - NOT pure English but leaning well toward an aspect of my own good culture.


15 Oct 19 - 04:00 PM (#4013842)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

WV - I don't think there is such a thing as trad purity and it's certainly not something I would hold as desirable. Traditions are by nature impure.

If traditions were pure there would be, for example:

no Morris dancing in England
no bagpipes in Scotland
no banjos in America or Ireland (or anywhere else other than Africa).

Also:
Shetland music without the Scandinavian influences would not be Shetland music as we know it.
Northumbrian music without the influences of Irish and Scottish music would not be as rich.
Cajun, French-Canadian, Cape-Breton, Zydeco, would all not exist.
Bluegrass would not exist.

I'd be very surprised if you could give an example of a pure musical tradition.

One of the best musical experiences that I have had was at a concert about 2yrs ago at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow. The last set of (Celtic) tunes involved all of the acts that had performed. There were about 60 people on stage from the all four countries of the UK, from Ireland, from many European countries, from Africa, from Asia, from America and Canada. The instruments being played were equally as diverse. The performers had only one afternoon to rehearse and most had never met each other before. The performance was a dynamic and joyful collaboration mixing rhythms, harmonies and counter melodies. Now this was ('nice') multiculturalism WV. This created happiness and friendship and brought people together. And at no time were any traditional cultures harmed in the process.

Seeking 'trad purity', apart from being an impossible mission, also seeks to set people apart from each other, highlight differences rather than commonality, divide rather than include and promote intolerance. All in all not very useful.


15 Oct 19 - 04:01 PM (#4013843)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Captain Swing

Sorry, the last message was from me.


15 Oct 19 - 04:21 PM (#4013846)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Daft as I may be, I have taken to watching reruns of detective programs on ITV3 at 8. Tonight it is Midsomer Murders. They have just changed from John Nettles to Neil Dudgeon.

You know, when I watch Midsomer Murders, I expect to see John Nettles. Not this new fangled Dudgeon bloke. Just who is who defines what a Barnaby should be anyway...

:D


15 Oct 19 - 04:26 PM (#4013848)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Bonzo3legs

Aha - Viking sponsors early evenings on ITV...………………………………………….3!!!!!


15 Oct 19 - 04:28 PM (#4013849)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

You too then Bonzo! I'm hooked :-)


15 Oct 19 - 04:34 PM (#4013850)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

Captain Swing: the last time I tuned into Celtic Connections it was more like "Curious Connections"- reinforced by your words.

And, yes, if you had read my post more carefully, we would agree on trad purity but we can keep leaning toward our own traditional ways - being impressed by how our own forebears did things, which is largely how traditions have survived (along with National Treasures in Japan).

Very sadly, to many in England now, their culture is dipping a pizza in a curry, after a night of American pop, and before fanatically supporting a World 11 in a premier league/farce.


15 Oct 19 - 05:08 PM (#4013852)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Captain Swing

WV: If you went to Celtic Connections you would find masses of people interested in the development of, not only their own traditions, but those of others too. Traditions by their very nature will change and develop over time and are subject to influence. If it doesn't change it is not a tradition it is simply a repeated process.

As regards English trad music (not songs), I find too much of it to be over simple in rhythm and melody and too predictable. There are notable exceptions of course, eg Playford. I'm guessing here, but perhaps we English have not enjoyed the same intense culture of social dance that say the Irish and Scots have. That same dance culture still exists in those places as it does in 'Celtically Connected' places eg Canada and Louisianna. ( I'm very sure someone will correct me here).

Regarding curry, I love the stuff but not with pizza. Of course the Indian curry we now consider authentic is usually not made by Indians but Bangladeshis and is very different to the original Asian preparations - that's tradition for you!

I think it's worth remembering the words of that great mixer of cultures, Dave Swarbrick on taking liberties with the tradition - "It's ok, the music won't mind!"


15 Oct 19 - 05:56 PM (#4013863)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

"Of course the Indian curry we now consider authentic is usually not made by Indians but Bangladeshis and is very different to the original Asian preparations - that's tradition for you!" (CP)...or is it economic/CAPITALIST immigration?


15 Oct 19 - 06:07 PM (#4013866)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

An example of a folk event that is slowly circling the drain with stultifying uniformity:

Scottish Fiddle Festival

It's always been ethnically exclusive, a spinoff of the moribund "Celtic music" idea expanded to include the equally Aryan traditions of Scandinavia and North America. Coffee-coloured or black violin traditions don't get a look in, even for such au lait varieties as Greek or Romanian fiddling.

Most of the people you'll see on that billing are unknown outside Edinburgh. Probably they don't have the money to do anything different now - Rhiannon Giddens would be way over budget - but Abdo Dagher or Aurel Mandache wouldn't exactly have broken the bank when they were alive, and they'd have brought musical ideas that would have been new and inspirational to almost everybody participating.


15 Oct 19 - 06:13 PM (#4013867)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Captain Swing

Don't confuse economic migration - what working people do to survive and/or better themselves, with capitalism. Capitalism is about the rich exploiting the poor by failing to pay them in accordance with the full value of their labour in order to make the rich richer.

Immigration is simply travel and resettlement - nothing more. It is usually of immense benefit to the receiving area/country and should be seen as such.


15 Oct 19 - 06:23 PM (#4013869)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,HiLo

well, Jim, I too have washed my hands of below the line due to bigotry there. however, I find, for the most part, one can discuss ethnic and cultural music in the rather better atmosphere up here. I would very much enjoy a thread on international, intercultural music..many of us ,I think, would quite enjoy that, yes .


15 Oct 19 - 06:23 PM (#4013870)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

Disagree, CP (people - often the better off - don't emigrate to England for the sunshine and, if from South Asian or African nations, often suffer rickets), but we should not drift further from the thread's topic, I think you will agree.

I'm not one, but I hope some of the session musicians (and I have enjoyed quite a few at the Cumberland Arms in Newcastle, e.g.) come on and introduce you to some of the English tunes that are not so "over simple in rhythm and melody and too predictable".


15 Oct 19 - 06:27 PM (#4013871)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Personally I don't believe we have any control about the songs or styles that inspire us to creativity.

Of course I did consider being the voice of the midlands folkscene, a sort of Lincolnshire Mike Harding - when I was starting out.

It was the smart move at the time of the great traddy purge in the 1970's - a time when the traddies were in the ascendant. Their electro groups were in the charts. they sneered loudly at at any American influenced or even American songwriter. And really they did for the for the folk clubs what Thomas Cromwell did for the monastries, as the vast majority of people at the time were there to hear American based material.

However the thought of realligning my entire sensibility to fit in with some ignoramus view of folk music was anathema to me - and it still is.


15 Oct 19 - 06:57 PM (#4013875)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Nationalist Folk Club


15 Oct 19 - 07:15 PM (#4013877)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Ouch! A bit harsh but I recognise some truth in that - though most folkies I know are thankfully left leaning caring people.

Can we return to the original subject now please and not descend into arguments about capitalism and immigration. This is one place I would prefer to get away from the political discussions I usually find myself being drawn in to! Politics is very relevant to folk music of course and I think it is shameful the way the folk scene appears to have almost completely ignored one of our greatest songwriters Robb Johnson so I think discussion of the different approaches of clubs and festivals to political songwriters is relevant but as please keep it friendly - unless of course anyone makes openly racist or sexist comments in which case they deserve both barrels!


16 Oct 19 - 02:26 AM (#4013898)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Personally I don't believe we have any control about the songs or styles that inspire us to creativity."
Of course we don't - we use what we know
What is unique about folk songs, in my opinion, is their connection with natural speech - they turn spoken or thought-about experiences into verse - the old singers sang them as near as they possibly could to how they would have spoken them
They tend to be streams of consciousness rather than self consciously composed verse (the best of them do anyway).
That's how they appear to me, I believe that's why so many of MacColl's songs spread as far as they did and have lasted as long as they have
Ewan hardly ever visited Ireland, yet most of his songs on Ireland sound Irish; 'Indeed I Do', 'Tunnel Tigers', 'New Rocks of Bawn', 'Rambler From Clare', 'Farewell too Ireland', 'Come Me Little Son'.... all made from interviews with Irish people
I can't thing os another song form that allows you to do that to the extent folk form does.

"Jim, I too have washed my hands of below the line due to bigotry there"
I have found isolated spots of bigotry and I know Irish people who won't post to this forum because of the little there is; I believe we've lost Asians in the past
The problem below the line is that so much is about politics, and that causes trouble everywhere - Ive been into pubs with signs over the counter   saying "no religion, no sport, no politics" - especially in Liverpool
"Bigotry", doesn't wash for me - try "over-enthusiasm"

"Immigration is simply travel and resettlement - nothing more. It is usually of immense benefit to the receiving area/country and should be seen as such."
That should be carved in stone and displayed in every town square in Little England - not understanding that fact has placed a huge question mark over the future of our country - even society as a whole

PFR
I see now that you weren't referring to me - my sincere apologies for thinking you were - should have known better
I confess I am grateful for my own mistake - another excuse to say what I believe about folk song - "every little helps" as Tesco chants out interminably
Jim


16 Oct 19 - 02:33 AM (#4013899)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,HiLo

I know a lot of right leaning, caring people, and they are folkies too.


16 Oct 19 - 03:24 AM (#4013905)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"I know a lot of right leaning, caring people "
So do I
People are people everywhere apart from and often despite their politics
In the end you have to judge all politics by the overall objectives of their philosophies
I have difficulties in getting my head around politics based on conserving a grossly unequal and predatory society
I no longer consider myself just left, as I once did - I think I am a social humanist and in order to have got here I find I haven't had to shed too many of my early beliefs (some maybe)
Doesn't mean I have become more tolerant, mind - heaven forfend :-)
Jim


16 Oct 19 - 07:47 AM (#4013949)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

It depends whether you believe that guest booking folk clubs help to raise standard of [performance,if one does believe this then one must be concerned at the diminishing number of guest booking folk clubs in the uk.


16 Oct 19 - 08:11 AM (#4013950)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

With respect Dick
Guest standards should never be a measure of club standards
If the level of resident performances cannot be raised and new people be drawn in, you may as well fold your tent and just run concerts
Jim


16 Oct 19 - 08:12 AM (#4013951)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

Sandman. By way of a contrast do you think folk is as vibrant in your part of west Cork as 20/25 years ago?


16 Oct 19 - 08:23 AM (#4013955)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Surely the answer is quite simple.

If you want to have a strictly trad policy - you put it in the title of your club.

If you want to have singers and poets and whatever of any sort turn up and play - put that in the title of your club.

No one wants to listen to stuff they don't like.

If you feel the situation has come to this crisis point, wouldn't this solve the problem?


16 Oct 19 - 08:36 AM (#4013957)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Thinking back, if you ask Dave Sutherland - he will tell you - I very rarely darkened the door of his club. The guest list of the Tiger in Long Eaton informed anyone of any intelligence, that an act like mine would have been ten minutes of pain for his audience.

I think I only went there when Brian Peters was playing, and I knew him cos we'd done a few things with him before and regarded him as a mate.


16 Oct 19 - 08:55 AM (#4013960)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

`"If you want to have a strictly trad policy - you put it in the title of your club."
Has anybody ever suggested this Al ?
If not, why raise it
I've haven't been to a strictly trad club for at leas thirty years and I never went back
A strictly trad policy would turn the revival into a museum - I've got sore fingers typing that
If woe mean club that specialised in a trad sound, that's a different matter

You appear to be suggesting what others have before you - if you wand folk besed folk clubs - piss off somewhere else   
As an alterinative, why nor identify folk clubs that have nothing to do with folk song or style 'Folkeokies' or simply 'Anything Goes" - it would be far more honest and would produce a far less hit-and-miss situation

It gets more and more like Brexit - "we do the damage, you make the sacrifices and compromise"
Jim


16 Oct 19 - 09:34 AM (#4013962)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

Calling a fish a dog will not make the fish bark.


16 Oct 19 - 09:44 AM (#4013964)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Calling a fish a dog will not make the fish bark".
Not even a dog-fish ?
Don't really understand that Starry !


16 Oct 19 - 10:01 AM (#4013966)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

A few years back I had a discussion with a club owner who was promoting his business as folk. The music that was put on once a week was on a few occasions folk. However, I asked why there were people showing up with amplifiers and electronic machines: guitars, basses, trap sets, etc. I asked how 'de blues' or 'c+w' music was folk. How rockish songwriter stuff was folk. He admitted he didn't know what else to call it, so folk in his world was juat a catch-all name that had no real meaning to either the music his club presented or the people/groups he booked. I left the conversation saying 'You can call a fish a dog . . .' Inevitably it boils down to that old saw from Lewis Carroll: “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”


16 Oct 19 - 10:02 AM (#4013967)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

Last post was me in response to Jim. Sorry.


16 Oct 19 - 10:13 AM (#4013968)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Oh, the number of times I have used that Humpty quote on this forum!

Glad it's not just me :-)


16 Oct 19 - 10:26 AM (#4013970)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Observer

It depends whether you believe that guest booking folk clubs help to raise standard of performance

Well you'd think it would wouldn't you. I really do get where you are coming from on this Sandman. But from personal experience some have observed that the "Folk Club" I regularly attend, which runs every two weeks and puts on every year at least six Guest nights, it runs two festivals and puts on three concert nights all involving professional artists and good local performers, the following really odd pattern involving what crowd turns up to what.

Normal Club nights - We get a regular group turning up to play. Standard not really all that great and mostly mediocre 50s, 60s and 70s pop songs. Once in a while we get some quality nights with great singing but those are few and far between.

Guest Nights - Moderately to well attended by a few who turn up at the normal club nights with the bulk made up of people who do not attend normal club nights. The players who turn up at the normal nights rarely if ever tutn up and these would be the people who would benefit from seeing how it should be done.

Concerts - two Fund raisers and one memorial - Same crowd as for Guest nights.

Festivals - Draw in lots of visitors and players all concerts well supported and three sessions running all the time, again the players who regularly attend the normal club nights are nowhere to be seen.

It would seem that those who turn up to play at the normal club nights only actually want to hear themselves and do not seem to be interested in learning or improving.


16 Oct 19 - 10:32 AM (#4013971)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Suits me Starry
I thought it was one of those "which would you rather be or a wasp" questions
" “it means just what I choose it to mean"
When there is a definition that seems as silly as it is
Jim


16 Oct 19 - 11:15 AM (#4013976)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter

I have seen the same issues as Observer has where regular floor singers stay away from guest nights.


16 Oct 19 - 11:27 AM (#4013977)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

No Jim, i was saying - why not make it clear you want us pesky Beatle strumming gits to go away from your window of opportunity for trad sounding , or even trad singing music


16 Oct 19 - 11:48 AM (#4013979)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Beatle strumming gits to go away from your window of opportunity for trad sounding"
I'd have thought if that's what you do you're not going to get too many genuine Beatles fans queuing up outside folk song club Al
You might actually try folk song Al - you might like it
Otherwise you're flying under false colours
Can't really see that that's unreasonable or purist - just common sense and honesty
It's dishonest to keep repeating that people are calling for a folk-only club when that isn't the case - there's far too much dishonesty surrounding this argument as it is
The words you chose were "trad-only" - you are the only one to use them as as far as I can see
I've never got a reply to my suggestion that you wouldn't do what you do to any other form of music and seem quite happy to drive the people's music into further obscurity
"I don't like it so I don't see why I should give anybody else a chance to" seems a bit mean to me
There you go - it takes all sorts
Jim


16 Oct 19 - 11:59 AM (#4013981)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Just a reminder other views exist...

I feel too excluded from Acoustic club nights...

If I ran a folk club it would be a strict policy of electric amplified Trad folk only.

Possible exceptions at the discretion of the club committee [me]:

because I do like reed & pipe organs, and loud abrasive acoustic instruments like bagpipes and hurdy gurdys..

as long as they stick to playing drones..............

Ok.. flutes and other wind instruments may be eligable..

Sax players will be banned for life if they smuggle in jazz improv phrasing...

That's a folk club I'd happily go to...


16 Oct 19 - 12:15 PM (#4013985)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Captain Swing

"you wouldn't do what you do to any other form of music and seem quite happy to drive the people's music into further obscurity"

I have a great deal of sympathy with your point here Jim. I share this example of the line-ups of a local 'folk' festival over the last few years:

https://cottinghamfolkfestival.co.uk/?page_id=2405


16 Oct 19 - 12:16 PM (#4013986)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"electric amplified Trad folk only."
A contradiction in terms, for a start, but what yuo are saying is, while you object to others confining themselves to a specific type of music, you are quite happy to put restrictions on your own
Yeah well - that sounds reasonable to some, I'm sure!
Yours list doesn't even approach asking that clubs calling themselves 'folk' commit themselves to presenting a music that lives up to that description
I ask would it be acceptable if Jazz or Classical music were treated with the same disregard and contempt?
Answer comes there none
Has nobody the balls to address the damage that has been created by deciding that folk doesn't mean anything any more ?
Just time-filling here anyway
I'm off to Belfast tomorrow to spend a few days with 70 odd others (I understand) who have no problem understanding a term that has been with us as long as 'folk' has
I hope it'll lift some of the gloom
Jim


16 Oct 19 - 12:27 PM (#4013991)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,HiLo

Well, classical music is often treated with contempt, as are those who enjoy it..elitists, snobs, singers can'e sing..etc. There have been a number of threads here denigrating classical music;not to mention threads which denigrate, pop, country and almost anything American...but it's ok because I know you are tolerant of diversity....except in taste!


16 Oct 19 - 12:29 PM (#4013992)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - just having a matey piss-take at the dominant intolerant acoustic only orthodoxy...

How many years is it since Dylan was heckled "Judas"...???

It was certainly long ago in a past century...


16 Oct 19 - 12:42 PM (#4013993)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Some interesting names at Cottingham, Cap'n! I would say though that the names do not give us an indication of what the artists are going to perform and how they will perform it. Wilco Johnson, for instance, is a very talented blues guitarist. Should the blues be excluded from folk festivals? Maybe Steve Harley does a very passable famous flower of serving men or Sophie Ellis-Bextor plays melodion. I dunno! :-)


16 Oct 19 - 12:59 PM (#4013997)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Allan Conn

Re the comments from WAV about Celtic Connections. With the festival you get exactly what is stated on the tin. It does not claim to be a festival only for Scottish or any kind of wider Celtic folk music. Is it just this wee musical part of the world making connections with the rest of the world. It states on its website that the festival is over 300 events across "multiple genres of music" and it lists the type of genres as being Folk, Trad, World, Indie, Americana, Jazz&Soul, Gaelic, Blues, orchestral, rock&pop, fusion - plus various other genres. It does not claim to be narrow in outlook as WAV seemingly woud like it to be.


16 Oct 19 - 01:29 PM (#4014003)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

I agree that Cottingham Folk Festival is stretching the boundaries and doesn't look like something I'd choose to go to. At the other extreme, another part of Yorkshire is the location for a small traditional music gathering (it's too small to call a festival) which has a strong focus on both traditional songs and music. Capacity is limited so I won't give too much away.

My point is there is something for everyone. And while it's not to my taste, the line-up at Cottingham might attract someone who is then exposed to traditional music for the first time. We all had to start somewhere.


16 Oct 19 - 01:32 PM (#4014008)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

I don't kow much about jazz (although I know what I like!)but a quick Google of "jazz controversies" gives a set of results that suggest that the jazz world has similar issues.


16 Oct 19 - 01:38 PM (#4014012)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

.. so does 'eavy metal...

..and the various sub genres can get very nasty with each other..

I saw an arm get broken at the Hammersmith Odeon...


16 Oct 19 - 01:47 PM (#4014014)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

we had some rats under our shed - so we called in the rat man.

theres loads of food in the garden - why do you think they push it by going so close to the house, I asked the rat man.

Warmth, said the ratman.

That's really sad...just warmth, that's all they want?

Yes indeed, said the ratman, still they have have their place in nature, and its not under your shed.

I just think from the way you go on JIm - maybe we've been under your shed too long.
Perhaps we shouldn't call folk clubs, the sessions that house us pesky Beatles strumming gits. The problem, as I've said,will be that the great unwashed think Nowhere Man is a folksong - abd you wull have to politely direct them to our un-folk session, if they penetrate your aura.


16 Oct 19 - 01:49 PM (#4014016)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Kenny

"It would seem that those who turn up to play at the normal club nights only actually want to hear themselves and do not seem to be interested in learning or improving."
I see you've been to Aberdeen :)


16 Oct 19 - 01:56 PM (#4014019)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

£How many years is it since Dylan was heckled "Judas"...???"
Dylan had the decency to sing 'Its all over now Baby Blue and announce he was moving on to rock as a career move though many of the Bobby Soxers tend to forget this
I never liked him even though I tried at the urging of my mates,but I found him interesting inasmuch as way back he was actually basing what he did on folk song
I lost much of that when he refused to tack part in the Freedom Rides in the South he had made hi name singing about and had to be embarrassed ito showing his face when actor-folkie publicly Theodore Bikel presented him with his train fair to Mississippi

I'm not against experimentation, far from it (George Butterworth wrote the most EXQUISITE TAKE on a folk ballad I have ever heard - it only becomes a problem when it dominates the scene and gets mistaken for the real thing

Must pack my Knickers - will look in later in the hope that Brexit has bombed
Jim


16 Oct 19 - 01:57 PM (#4014020)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

I had an uncle, who every time he lit a fag - he'd strike the match and announce, 'See that! Bonfire night in Aberdeen...!'

No, we didn't laugh either....


16 Oct 19 - 02:06 PM (#4014021)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Stringsinger

This is not a legit discussion of semantics. It's a process of identification. What is folk?
It's a kind of music that when you hear it, you know what it is. When you hear a traditional singer who emanates from a specific area and has grown culturally in that area usually taught by parents or community that is generally isolated from other forms of music found on the radio, TV or movies, and is not prized for showmanship or popularity, then it's probably folk music. If you hear these traditional singers regardless of ethnicity, you know it's the real deal.

Punk Rock is a genre borne of a style of music that is part of the overall rock music genre which is a kind of manufactured music for a specific market. Some of it is quite musical, lyrically sophisticated and worthy of a listen. Some of it is pure hokum.

This can be said for some forms of folk music as well. Texts become bowdlerized, obscure requiring footnotes and some singers are better than others, pitch being truer, vocal production fuller, or instrumental players, some great others mediocre. Just because it's folk doesn't make it better but it does make it folk.

The current state of UK folk music has been obscured by the popular entertainment field.
There is no question that folk music has influenced the pop market as it has classical music but it ain't folk. Folk music is an acquired taste. You have to listen with a different set of ears. When you do, it's rewarding and unlike other forms of music.

The tradition of pub singing is viable in my opinion. You hear ballads in them, songs that you wouldn't hear otherwise and if a folk club is this, I think it works. If it's just a warmed over pop music with out of tune electrified guitars and sounds for the purpose of assaulting the listener or hyping them up into a frenetic contemporary "tarentella",
then it becomes boring quickly.

What Jim is advocating as traditional singing or playing is only appreciated upon listening, participating, suspending judgement reserved for evaluating other musical forms, and learning it and about it. It stands alone.


16 Oct 19 - 02:40 PM (#4014025)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

..except..

Many of those of us who were teenagers or slightly older in 1976
who were part of the punk scene from the beginning,
remember that punk and folk were very much inter-related in our small provincial towns...

Often the same people, same attitudes, same ideas, same themes of resistence and rebelion,
same musical competency and limitations,
same methods of indie cottage-industy self recorded and released vinyl and tapes..

etc...

Even sometimes sharing the same amps and PAs at our local gigs...

It's not a simplistic notion of punk or folk / punk versus folk...

Music and culture academics may like to pontificate more on my quick recollections..???

And we're now the 60+ years olds who care greatly about both branches from the same music family tree...


16 Oct 19 - 02:44 PM (#4014026)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

"Re the comments from WAV about Celtic Connections. With the festival you get exactly what is stated on the tin. It does not claim to be a festival only for Scottish or any kind of wider Celtic folk music. Is it just this wee musical part of the world making connections with the rest of the world. It states on its website that the festival is over 300 events across "multiple genres of music" and it lists the type of genres as being Folk, Trad, World, Indie, Americana, Jazz&Soul, Gaelic, Blues, orchestral, rock&pop, fusion - plus various other genres. It does not claim to be narrow in outlook as WAV seemingly woud like it to be." (Allan Conn)...here is Wiki on Celtic music
- a definition that would, indeed, make Celtic Connections seem more like Curious Connections.

And, from here
, "world-music stalls and stages should be places where folkies of different nationality present different unfused music to each other."


16 Oct 19 - 02:51 PM (#4014028)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

In some people' minds maybe
Punk has it's basis in sound - our singing traditions are word based, the words used to communicate information   

What String says about the recognisable sound of fork is spot-on and it can trancsend national and even language barriers
Sean Nós singer was once played a dozen recordings from all over the world, dome folk, some art, some pop
He identified all but one of the folk pieces correctly
That has to mean something
Jim


16 Oct 19 - 02:56 PM (#4014029)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

Also, Stringsinger (and it would be nice if it was an English cittern, plucked with or without a feather, being sung with) just made sense, in my opinion.


16 Oct 19 - 03:03 PM (#4014030)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

Stringsinger I think I can understand what you are saying but I come away with the feeling there is an unstated elitism behind what you are saying. Talking about 'out of tune guitars' and 'suspending judgement for other musical forms as folk stands alone' are statements I would take issue with.
Do you not use the same modes of interpretation and impact on the emotions to gauge the worth of a symphony or a pop song, or dare I say a folksong. It has to be a rare bird approaches folk music in isolation as though it is some mighty scientific work to be understood and interpreted as being a wholly unique construction. Is there not a commonality.The film Blackhawk Down used The minstrel Boy as a background and Apocalypse now used the Ride of the Valkyries. Both pieces were chosen for a reason.
What analytical tools can be applied that are specific to "folk"

Please correct me if I misunderstand what you are saying , but I feel what you say can hardly widen the appeal to attract a casual observer and encourage them to greater involvement and to become "Folkies".
But I can also understand that Folk attracts some that like to collect and research the origins of folk music, some like to 'perform', others are happy to be an audience.


16 Oct 19 - 03:32 PM (#4014034)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

I respect all who self identify as 'folkies'..

Though not so much those who consider themselve's superior because of that choice...

Which can be a real problem,
when that self regarding attitude is being passed onto kids
indoctrinated by the worst of the smug elitist acoustic only folkies...

Fortunately there seem to be fewer of them at mudcat than when I first joined 15ish years ago...

Btw.. Punk.. I'll add that at grass roots provincial level,
before the likes of EMI got £££$$$ in their eyes for a new fad bandwagon to leap on..

The average punk song lyrics were very similar thematically to a lot of old folk songs..

Just, the songs were mostly shorter.. [some might thank punk for that...]

Punk was just as close as Skiffle was to the folk tradition...


16 Oct 19 - 03:42 PM (#4014035)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

One thing for sure, when it comes to practising and performing the culture of others, modern English ARE among the world's best/worst - depending on your politics.

It really has gone from one extreme to another over the last 100 years or so - lording it over everyone else to letting everyone else lord it over us.

Why not just admit that our past imperialism was wrong and our present mass immigration is wrong, and that 2 wrongs...

Then, the state of folk music here will improve, along with many our culture and society in general.

Or, in WalkaboutsVerse, "Nationalism without Conquest"


16 Oct 19 - 03:44 PM (#4014036)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

"Punk was just as close as Skiffle was to the folk tradition..." That is an interesting comment. It's much like cell theory from a class I failed in high school: all cells come from previously existing cells. It is possible to isolate people from music, but I think even the groups of people who try to do that can't stop the leaks. Music forms will continue to develop and some will be accepted by people and some won't. I doubt anything can or should be done about it.


16 Oct 19 - 03:55 PM (#4014038)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

WV - please keep your right wing political doctrine out of this thread. I disagree with you completely but I don't want this thread to turn into a political argument

Focus on the music and the venues / media where it is performed / heard / discussed please


16 Oct 19 - 03:58 PM (#4014039)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

last quick recollection before I go downstairs for dinner...

.. and this should please UK nationalist muddcatters...

Punk differed from skiffle in that we refrained from singing in American accents...

At that time in the 1970s, us radicalised teenagers were getting sick of USA cultural imperialism in corporate rock music,
and made it a point of principle to sing with our own regional British accents...

.. to a large extent about small scale subject matter that meant something to our local community and mates...

40 years later, I may be generalising, but I do think it was mostly true of grass roots indie punk...

Not so different to folk song...???


16 Oct 19 - 04:03 PM (#4014040)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

I genuinely believe the recommendation in the last post, Joe G, would improve the state of folk music here.

And are you sure someone who hates capitalism as much as I do, and loves our world/UN being multicultural as much as I do, is Right wing?

In WalkaboutsVerse
, and by getting into my own good culture upon repatriation from Australia to England, after studying Aboriginal land rights, I have got it right.


16 Oct 19 - 04:07 PM (#4014041)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

Agree about singing in your own accent, PFR; having just gone over the 50/50 mark in terms of time here/in Australia, I speak with the mixed accent of a repatriate but could have done better, frankly; however, I at least try to sing English songs with an English accent.


16 Oct 19 - 04:17 PM (#4014042)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Cj

Surely WAV you and everyone else should sing in your own accent? Embrace being shaped by Australia. Otherwise you’re living a lie and presenting a lie to the audience. Or, acting.

I find the idea of “English” culture hilarious, not too long ago it was area vs area, village Vs village. The Idea of one unifying culture is bunkum. Even the language varies from region to region, let alone the music. How many times has the England / Scotland / Wales borders shifted? Are those areas suddenly Welsh? Or English?

It’s hogwash. Birds don’t care for borders, deer or rabbit either. Why should “culture”?


16 Oct 19 - 04:30 PM (#4014043)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

"living a lie" (CJ)...but I AM a repatriate - briefly, born in Saint Mary's Hospital, Manchester, the day Alf Ramsey's English team won the FIFA World Cup, I studied "Pre-colonial Aboriginal Society" and "Aborigines and the State," including Land Rights, at uni in Australia, before repatriating in 1997.


16 Oct 19 - 04:38 PM (#4014044)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Cj

i didn’t say you weren’t a repatriate. I just said that you should sing in your own accent. Stop pretending to be fully formed by England and embrace your Australian heritage. After all, if England’s football team can have numerous heritages in it, and rightly so, I’m sure your accent can.

What English accent do you choose, btw? A sort of BBC thing? An Alf Garnett?


16 Oct 19 - 04:47 PM (#4014046)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

JimCarroll, i agree that the best clubs are ones with strong residents,
at the same time i have seen floorsingers and residents raise their game, one example i remember was when i booked ewan and peggy, another was when Martin Carthy was booked the singers seemed to make an extra effort, i believe this was because they upped their game in the presence of professional performers


16 Oct 19 - 05:16 PM (#4014053)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

CJ - repatriating out of respect for Aboriginal land rights, I see myself as an English repatriate (although, technically a dual national); and, e.g., I came second in the unaccompanied trad song contest at the Alnwick Gathering, a decade or so ago, singing Cob-a-Coaling (not long to go now!) in a Northern accent.

Furthermore, being nearly 4 when my family left, I, of course, learnt to speak with a Northern English accent - maybe with a bit of RP thrown in, because Didsbury was/is quite posh...which was soon knocked out of me on the school playgrounds in Sydney.


16 Oct 19 - 06:33 PM (#4014059)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I was going to start a new thread on this but realised this topic was inexorably linked.

Should we perform only in our own tradition to preserve it? If so, at what point in time to we lay down what the tradition is? Do we perform only English traditions as they were in the 18th and 19th centuries? Do we go further back and perform Anglo Saxon folk? Or do we come up to date, where other cultures have mingled with the English tradition? Whatever that may be!

In much the same way as the Balti house has taken over from the fish and chip shop (itself stemming from Jewish culture), are American country ballads now more relevant to 'folk' than 18th century broadsides? Is Bhangra the new Morris? Or do we feel, as I do, that they should all play a part in our rich tapestry of culture?

Maybe Jim and the traditionalists (good band name) are seeing the dilution of our own folk songs by newcomers and reading it as a fading of the folk culture they grew up with. I am not postulating that this is the only, or even main, cause of their complaints. But does it have a bearing?

Over to you.


16 Oct 19 - 06:40 PM (#4014061)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Teaching by example can only have a very limited effect Dick and it's more likely to produce copyists in my opinion
Booking good guests can have the opposite effect - "I'll never be be able to sing that good so why bother?"
MacColl and others worked on the basis that. unless you had a physical problem, almost everybody could become a singer
He qualified it be saying, if you want to be a better singer you have to put in the hours
He went on to devise a technique whereby an aspiring singer could break down the problems - with help, if possible, but alone if necessary
I saw that work many times - beats the hell out of admiring somebody from afar
Jim


16 Oct 19 - 08:56 PM (#4014069)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

Mr Carroll, could you explain the technique? I would really like to know. Thank you either way.


17 Oct 19 - 02:39 AM (#4014079)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Observer

MacColl and others worked on the basis that. unless you had a physical problem, almost everybody could become a singer

If that is what he thought then I am sorry but he was wrong. MacColl himself was no great shakes as a singer, but that is only my opinion, years and years ago, I only ever listened to MacColl sing to pick up the lyrics, there was not one single song he sang that others (e.g. Luke Kelly) didn't perform and sing far, far better (Same goes for Bob Dylan who I have always regarded as a very poor singer)

He qualified it be saying, if you want to be a better singer you have to put in the hours

The first statement makes what he states here ridiculous, you first have to be able to sing before you can become a "better" singer, especially if you sing in public.

The ability to sing is a natural talent, it is a gift that once recognised can then be built on. The "anybody can sing" school must bear the blame for the absolutely abysmally poor standard of performance you come across in UK Folk Clubs - and no, running workshops within clubs is not the answer if you cannot sing, you cannot sing, best not to impose your shortcomings on an unsuspecting public - they don't deserve that degree of disrespect.


17 Oct 19 - 03:34 AM (#4014083)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

So Ewan got it wrong and Bob cant sing
not to mention the abysmal (absolute) standards in UK Clubs
what an insightful contribution, such humble opinion
truly a naturally gifted contributor
Keep coming back


17 Oct 19 - 03:37 AM (#4014085)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"If that is what he thought then I am sorry but he was wrong. MacColl himself was no great shakes as a singer"
That is a matter of opinion as you say.
Rather than having died with him, or, as with many singers, after having run their course when people became tired of them, MacColl's recorded songs have never been as accessible as they are now, thirty years after his death and are constantly being re-issued in different formats.
The release of a three?four volume set of live recordings is in the pipeline - that sort of thing doesn't happen with "poor singers" (apart from Florence Foster Jenkins maybe!)

I saw MacColl sing whenever I could; even when I had heard all the songs enough to almost be able to sing them myself - each time I came away having enoyed them and often, with a new take on them
That is, for me, the mark of a great singer
Let's face it, in the technical sense, Harry Cox, Sa Larner and even Jeannie Robertson were not 'good singers' in the technical sense, (I heard and read many criticisms of the speed at which Jeannie sang her songs)
Their greatness came from their interpretations of their songs and their abilities to relive them each time.
Sam Larner and Phil Tanner - old men both, still leave me with the impression that they are singing their best songs for the first time
I believe, as MacColl did, that anybody can learn to do that, jus as, with work, they can improve the quality of the voice with work and dedication
Many of us who have spent our lives singing were told by teachers that they would never be able to sing and were sat at the back of the calss while the others got on with it
Shame on you for your elitism

Incidentally - the abysmally poor standards weren't caused by telling people everybody could sing - they were caused by people telling them it wasn't necessary (and even detrimental) to do so - I was accused many times of being "elitist" and "putting people off" by suggest that clubs should set minimum standards of performance on their club nights
I always suggested (and still do) that the best chances of survival folk singing has is for clubs to set up workshops to help the inexperienced
Throwing them to the wolkves by letting them "have a go" is more likely to kill enthusiasm than it is to develop it

Starship
I have had recordings of the workshops where MacColl's ideas on teaching techniques wre developed and used - relaxation, voice and singing excrcises, along with the arguments for the need for each
I have been intending to make a 'user pack' of them for years but ahve never got around ot it, largely because of discussions like these where I have come away feeling "what's the point?"
I started to put the work of the Group up on the last MacColl threads, but never finished it - I mean to this time
Shortly after The Critics Group broke up I gave a talk on its work at a symposium at County Hall to celebrate Ewan's 70th (nobody wanted that particular
poisoned chalice' because of the acrimony)
I'm happy to let anybody have the script of that talk if anybody wants it - an e-mail address will do - it's not too bad a background (or so people said at the time)
Off to Belfast in a few hours so it'll have to wait till next week
Jim


17 Oct 19 - 04:02 AM (#4014089)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Of course there are those who do not want to sing. Those who enjoy folk song but just want to be entertained. And do not want to sit through some wannabe Harry Cox or Sam Lerner trying to improve their singing in public.


17 Oct 19 - 04:15 AM (#4014091)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Of course there are those who do not want to sing."
Of course there are Dave, but it's nice to know it's there if you want to
Jim


17 Oct 19 - 05:26 AM (#4014094)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,matt milton

When I look at the websites for the programmes of The Goose is Out, Tooting Folk Club, Islington Folk Club, Musical Traditions, Cellar Upstairs, Croydon Folk Club, Twickenham Cabbage Patch, there's more acts I'd like to see than I have time to attend.

And that's not counting singarouds such as Bermondsey FC, A Roving Folk Club, Sharps, the Harrison and others. And that's not counting gigs at The Green Note or the aforementioned Harrison. And that's not counting sessions.

So where I live there's plenty of folk.

Interesting albums being made up and down the UK by the likes of Nick Hart, Stick in the Wheel, Lankum, Alasdair Roberts, Cath & Phil Tyler, Burd Ellen and probably others I've not heard of; while the elder statespeople such as Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick continue to tour and record.

As spheres of musical activity go, folk's not doing too badly. Were folk to be cuturally 'bigger' in the UK, it would of course be a good thing for its professional exponents, but it wouldn't actually make much difference to my personal existence: I'm already at the limits of the time I have to engage with such content; I don't have the time to go to all the current folk clubs and gigs currently extant.


17 Oct 19 - 05:38 AM (#4014095)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Fine if you live within reach of the few remaining
This is Wiki's estimate - as rliable as anything Wiki comes up with I suppoose but then again the numbers speak for themselves

The number of clubs began to decline in the 1980s, in the face of changing musical and social trends. But the decline began to stabilize in the mid-1990s with the resurgence of interest in folk music and there are now over 160 folk clubs in the United Kingdom, including many that can trace their origins back to the 1950s.[43]
Complacency is going to do as much further damages as is identity theft
Jim


17 Oct 19 - 06:10 AM (#4014100)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,CJ

There's no such thing as a person who cannot sing, unless they have some physical or mental malady that literally presents them from opening their mouths and singing. Sure, we're not all Freddie Mercury, but we all have unique voices that are to be valued. For me, all those X Factor people who warble and vibrato and mid-atlantic meah are awful singers, as they have none of themselves and a whole lot of other people. Give me an untrained voice any day of year.

That said, Ewan M's techniques - as I understand them from Jim's explanations - for teaching people how to physically become a more at ease singer - more comfortable, more themselves - sound ok to me.


17 Oct 19 - 06:36 AM (#4014102)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

The number of clubs began to decline in the 1980s
It would be interesting to see the proof of that. Supposedly there were 300 clubs in the sixties.
The 60's were a unique time, the original teens of the late 50's were young adults, tertiary education expanded, disposable income soared. Any number of reasons can be postulated for the attraction of folk in the 60's. Dylan, Baez, The dubliners regularly hit the charts and thus got airtime, aided by the likes of radio luxemburg, Radio caroline etc.
Conscription finished and teens had cash, and could act as individuals as the national service mincing machine could not bust them all to the lowest common denominator. All these factors aided folk music.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_folk_revival

How popular folk is rather comes back to the ongoing debate. How do you define FOLK? Does electrification take the likes of the Strawbs, Run Rig, Fairport etc out of the equation? Is it a celebration of a fossil artform? If not, what are the modern equivalents? and of far more importance where and how do you categorize them?
Did folk actually decline or morph into other genres that fill the same void?
Could" I hate Mondays" be a modern folksong. It ticks many of the boxes!

The description below, if adhered to, defines folk as a fossil art form and takes no heed of modern technology. Either the music is an anachronism or the description.
a song originating among the people of a country or area, passed by oral tradition from one singer or generation to the next, often existing in several versions, and marked generally by simple, modal melody and stanzaic, narrative verse


17 Oct 19 - 06:55 AM (#4014105)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Derrick

The Wiki page has no date that I can see.
A look on this site alone gives a good idea of the number of folk type
clubs available.
What mixture of material you might hear will no doubt vary from club to club as in my experience of 50years it always has.

www.englishfolkinfo.org.uk

See regional resources


17 Oct 19 - 07:15 AM (#4014110)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,matt milton

I can't get that exercised over whether there are fewer folk clubs today than 50 years ago when I wasn't alive. There are enough ot them now to occupy my time.

If you don't live near a folk club, you probably don't live too near many live music venues either: I imagine the same could be said for jazz or rock or classical venues, or Korean restaurants. Them's the breaks.


17 Oct 19 - 07:24 AM (#4014113)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

A couple of events occurring.
http://www.folklondon.co.uk/venues.html

In the beginning

https://www.johnmartyn.info/node/1531


17 Oct 19 - 07:57 AM (#4014124)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

Jim, when you return I shall look forward to it. Many thanks, and have a great trip.


17 Oct 19 - 08:33 AM (#4014128)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

matt milton - enjoy being still youngish and living in a big city as long as you can..

I moved out of London 20 years ago to be closer to my recently widowed mum.
I was also only 40 and fed up being too skint to enjoy much of what appealed to me in the city nightlife...
..and it was getting near impossible to dodge ticket inspectors and railway police
on the tube line from the farest reaches of East London where we could just about afford to live.

I'm now 'retired' to a depressed west country town,
isolated with no easy affordable public transport to the regional cities.
City gigs would realistically need overnight hotel costs.

So the last time we could afford to make the effort was Bellowhead,
and as good as the band were,
the audience were a bunch of loudly over talkative smug middle class dicks
who spoilt the occasion for me.

Our town does have a small cramped poncey trendy student cafe that occasionally books lesser known touring acoustic acts,
who probably need the work and are swallowing their pride to gig in our town.

It's an expensive cliquey place for a miserable aging malcontent like me to enjoy spending an evening.
I suppose it's alright if you like cakes instead of rough cider...???

There used to be a proper good old fashioned pub with folk/blues sessions that went on into late night lock ins,
but it closed years ago.

Buying power of the wife's public sector salary has increasingly shrunk after 10 years of austerity,
while pints of cider have become a rare luxury...

That's when/why I gave up on the cultural desert I'm stuck living in,
and instead enthusiastically took up the worldwide joys of late night internet music
on the comfort of my own sofa..

"The current state of folk music in UK" is only something I'm really aware of to any extent,
by reading mudcat threads...


17 Oct 19 - 10:19 AM (#4014143)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,HiLo

If I may, I would like to clear up a total fallacy stated above, re Bob Dylan and Theo Bikel...Bob Dylan never refused to go to Mississippi. Theo Bikel never spoke directly to Bob Dylan. Bikel spoke to Dylans manager, Al Grossman who told Bikel that Dylan would probably not be able to afford the trip as he was playing only in small clubs at that time and his album had only just been released..none of his early records sold very well, so he was not rolling in dough. Bikel suggested that he (Bikel) would pay for Dylans ticket to Mississippi.
Bikel gave the ticket money to Grossman who then passed it on to Dylan. Dylan did not know the source of the money and assumed it was from Grossman. They did not go by train, they flew..Bikel sat next to Dylan en route, they chatted and according to Bikel, he seemed to think Dylan was happy to go.
So the story related by Jim is a total misrepresentation of what actually happened and Jim has repeated this fallacy many times.
The truth of this story is confirmed by several interviews with Bikel...interview with both Joan Baez and Albert Grossman.
Another wee correction..Bob Dylan did not steal Scarborough fair from Martin Carthy.
It is time to put these myths to rest.


17 Oct 19 - 10:27 AM (#4014144)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

It's all very well saying that clubs should organise workshops, and I don't disagree with the sentiment. However in my experience not many clubs have people with the knowledge and experience to run these, or the time available. Being able to play or sing does not necessarily mean the ability to teach.


17 Oct 19 - 10:49 AM (#4014148)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

For 10 years, the summer highlight for us was the Burnham on Sea Free Folk Fest...
It was a reasonably balanced program of 'Trad folk', 'Contemporary folk',
'World Folk', and 'Are you really sure it's folk ?' acts..

.. and the local Morris dancers...

A small scale unpretentious or snobby weekend festival in the town pubs and park..
Handy because we could stay at a relative's house..

A great under the radar weekend that more cosmopolitan folkies didn't seem to give a toss about,
The audience were mostly ordinary towns folk out for free entertainment and booze..

Sadly RIP due to tory austerity funding cuts, and the organizers getting older and tired...


17 Oct 19 - 10:51 AM (#4014150)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

Should we perform only in our own tradition to preserve it?

Which "we" do you have in mind? There are a lot of different people using it, with their own reasons for folk music to serve many different purposes.


If so, at what point in time to we lay down what the tradition is? Do we perform only English traditions as they were in the 18th and 19th centuries?

That we can be fairly definite about. Both tunes and songs from that period arose in a well-connected international culture. Any time you play a tune with I-IV-V-I chords you're using an Italian idea from the 16th century, and it was obvious by Child's time that most of the best-known ballad stories had cognates across Europe. The material English folkies perform today was never part of a purely English tradition, and you can say something analogous about every other part of the British Isles. Scottish Highland bagpipes were introduced from England in the late 1400s, were always made outside the Highlands using African woods, and for the last 150 years have usually been accompanied by drumming that comes partly from the continental European and Ottoman military traditions and partly from colonial Africa.

The music most people heard most often in the 18th and 19th centuries in the UK was hymns and psalms. Which mostly originated as a collaborative effort by Calvinists from all over Western Europe and never developed any regionalized idioms - the only ones that look that way (like the psalms of the Western Isles) are relics of once-widespread repertoires. The instrumental music that formed the core of most practical music making at the same time was in the army, and you played much the same stuff in the same way in military bands in Peterborough or Petersburg.

Cherry-picking the historical record to create a "national" idiom is inventing a past that never was. It may sell downloads and put bums on seats, though - which gets back to the your first sentence - who is this "we"?


17 Oct 19 - 10:53 AM (#4014151)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

"ordinary towns folk out for free entertainment and booze.."

ok.. I'll be a grammar pedant..

Unfortunately the booze wasn't free.. we can dream though...


17 Oct 19 - 10:56 AM (#4014152)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

HiLo,

It isn't uncommon with some folks to not let the truth get in the way of a good story. Or sometimes their own beliefs.


17 Oct 19 - 11:38 AM (#4014156)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Thanks, Jack. Very informative and pretty much what I thought - the English tradition is somewhat a fallacy anyway!

The "we" was just a description of anyone interested. No one specific in mind. The point I was making though was to anyone who thinks there is something pure and special about an English tradition. It is not English! Hence the mention of traditional English fish and chips springing from the Jewish culture as well :-)


17 Oct 19 - 11:51 AM (#4014159)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

The musics not pure, my mischling blood's not pure.. thank f@@kfor that...

Trying to maintain unhealthy incestuous purity of a lineage didn't do the pharaohs much good...

Nationalists please note - purity might sound ideal in theory,
but not in practice...

You'll have to look for other excuses for continuing to inbreed within a limited gene pool...

musically and literally...


17 Oct 19 - 12:07 PM (#4014160)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

200!


17 Oct 19 - 12:38 PM (#4014161)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

'inbreeding within a limited gene pool'- sounds like the Tory party....


17 Oct 19 - 12:46 PM (#4014162)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

I think your testimony about the state of the folkscene PFR seens about the most honest and decent I've read in a long time. I'm sure there are a lot of people in your situation. Players as well as audience of our generation.

Also I want you to know that I find it moving. Moving because in the little towns that I grew up in (Grantham and Exmouth) - there were in the 1960's, there were three folk clubs in each. well attended - and the standard of the floorsingers frightened any dummies like me who weren't really good enough. To be good enough to do a floorspot was my teenage ambition.

Something has been lost, but sadly something much too subtle for the people here to sort out. there was all kinds of music, and all kinds of approaches to folk music, which as i remember were accorded respect.


17 Oct 19 - 12:55 PM (#4014163)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

Jim - on your 16 Oct 19 - 06:40 PM you seem to be forgetting the oral tradition of songs being passed on through listening to others.

As I built my repertoire, if the tune was already on Mudcat or elsewhere on the web, I used it (occasionally transposing for my tenor recorder intros) but, if not, I learnt solely from the singing of others (at clubs OR radio, CD, etc.), them mimicked my voice with that recorder or keyboards and wrote it down using a simple ABC notation system - not trusting my memory.


17 Oct 19 - 01:36 PM (#4014168)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

"there were in the 1960's, there were three folk clubs in each" (Big Al)...and assimilation, rather than internal ethnic diversity, was being promoted by government and media, and the majority of mass economic/CAPITALIST immigration was yet to occur.

My poem, from WalkaboutsVerse, "Remember Them?"


17 Oct 19 - 01:46 PM (#4014170)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

this is true - think about songs like Blackand White , and Melting Pot that were in the charts and in the case of Black and White in the folk clubs.

We certainly thought and were taught differently in those days. What the NF and the other right wing gangs seemed to object to - was the friendliness between races....

I'm not sure how this impacts on the folk scene though WAV. i don't really think any foreigner coming into a folk club and doing a spot would be treated with anything other than courtesy. By and large - they don't come though, do they.

It was our project to make a go of, and we screwed it up bigtime.


17 Oct 19 - 01:58 PM (#4014172)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

...there are a lot of young English people enjoying steelpan music who could (without the relentless promotion of internal ethnic diversity here) just as well be enjoying their own good English folk music - and leaving steelpan performance to folks from Trinidad and Tobago.


17 Oct 19 - 02:13 PM (#4014177)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Walky - yeah.. it's a brilliant idea to proscribe the music and art races/nationalities are not permitted
to enjoy and participate in...

Then we can all merrily stick to the oficial list of sanctioned national cultural activities...

I don't know why no-one has ever thought of trying that before..

can't wait...!!!

Bring on the right thinking kind of government asap...

Do we get uniforms as well...??? I look good in black or dark blue...


17 Oct 19 - 02:21 PM (#4014179)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

...just quietly, PFR, I only have 5 sets of blackish trousers with white buttoned shirts, plus 2 fleeces and 2 suit jackets - on which I always do up the bottom button!


17 Oct 19 - 02:33 PM (#4014182)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

I've already got black steel toe capped boots.. no harm in being prepared...

I can always say I thought they were just nice for clog dancing...[nod..wink..]

Now to get some hefty sticks I can say are for morris dancing...

WE'll show those multiculturalists the cost of not respecting their own folk culture alright...

As a passing thought I don't look too good in a brown shirt, but if needs must...

Obviously, I'd prefer to wear a good traditional British Black shirt..

.. oh.. wait a minute... I'm sure this has been done before..?????


17 Oct 19 - 02:43 PM (#4014185)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

There's what we want and the tactics we are prepared to use, PFR - I prefer education and the non-violent non-cooperation of Gandhi, who, upon repatriation from South Africa to South Asia, did NOT say Europeans and their culture should stay in the name of internal ethnic diversity.


17 Oct 19 - 02:56 PM (#4014186)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Wait a sec.. you got me so swept up and carried away with nationalist ferver
I momentarily forgot I'm an internationalist multiculturalist...

Phew.. that's some powerful stuff you're peddling...!!!???


17 Oct 19 - 05:10 PM (#4014206)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

Just finished a band practice. Present: one Egyptian, one Turk. four Greeks, two Iranians, one Scot and me (English/Kiwi/Scottish, take your pick). Practiced four pieces, Iranian and Turkish/Greek (rembetiko) things we knew well, an easy Greek one we've nearly got down and a very complicated Arabic song it'll take a bit longer to get right. We'll try a Kurdish piece next week. All sorts of instruments, I mainly play Turkish ones. We play out quite regularly, if anybody near Edinburgh needs a typical Scottish band like us, just ask.


17 Oct 19 - 05:19 PM (#4014207)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Cj

Culture has always spread throughout the world, ideas and songs, instruments, poems, stories, from village to town to city to country, along trade routes. Stopping it now, in the name of keeping something "English" just seems deadly dull and completely ignorant of history. As if every culture just arrived where it is today fully formed! I call Hogwash.


17 Oct 19 - 05:37 PM (#4014213)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Captain Swing

So WAV, this is Mohsen Amini he is half Iranian and half English. He started learning the concertina when his sister started Irish dancing. He is a former Scottish Young Musician of The Year and a concertina virtuoso. Are you going to tell him he should really be playing Morris tunes on a qanun?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdcck3G8PXU


17 Oct 19 - 06:07 PM (#4014220)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

Firstly, CS. I have posted before that genuine asylum seekers should be helped to their nearest (in terms of culture and geography) safe nation and that, of course, may be England in some cases - e.g., persecuted Christians from Iran.

I don't know if that is Mohsen Amini's background but, either way, if he is "half Iranian and half English" he should, in my opinion, stay in England and practise English culture - such as accompanying Morris dancers with his concertina, or more challenging classical music with it (as I believe Alistair Anderson has got into a bit).

When I lived in Newcastle upon Tyne, there was an elegant old poet and poetry organiser who, I think, was a Christian from Iran.


18 Oct 19 - 02:35 AM (#4014264)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Singers with guitar accompaniment or other instrument ~ arrangements of traditional songs or /and contemporary or self composed songs

Unaccompanied singers singing mainly traditional style ballads and chorus songs ~ including industrial songs and shanties

Concert clubs meeting weekly/fortnightly monthly or regularly

Folk club with or without membership regular frequency of meeting

Audience or non singers or indeed singers supporting as audience

All support in terms of doing what is usual and more ~ a cheerful crowd out to enjoy themselves and the guest

Ray


18 Oct 19 - 04:29 AM (#4014267)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,RA

Mohsen Amini is Scottish, not English!!!


18 Oct 19 - 04:40 AM (#4014269)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Kenny

Mohsen lives in Glasgow, I believe his parents were from Iran and Ireland. Whether he is Scottish, Iranian, Irish or any combination of all 3 is up to him, and nobody else. His music is certainly based on the Irish tradition.


18 Oct 19 - 04:49 AM (#4014270)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Well I am off to Musicport where people from many countries play music from their own and other cultures to great effect. Particularly looking forward to seeing this fabulous young band who received a standing ovation bother times they performed previously

http://varldensband.com/


18 Oct 19 - 05:06 AM (#4014272)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,RA

Yes GUESTKenny - exactly right! Thank you.


18 Oct 19 - 05:32 AM (#4014274)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

An interesting stroll through history to the state of music in English Schools. It also resparks some old controversies:
https://books.google.ie/books?id=zptMAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT43&lpg=PT43&dq=should+a+folk+singer+onlysing+their+own+tradition&source=bl&ot

scroll right to the end


18 Oct 19 - 06:28 AM (#4014278)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

I believe the Bosnian Sevdah singer Amira is going to be at Musicport. Lewis the multi-instrumentalist I play with every week in Leith will be in her backing band. We occasionally do sevdah stuff in that session, I'll have a listen to the Amira CD I have before next week and see what I can figure out. (I've got Mohammed Zero's sevdah book).


18 Oct 19 - 08:34 AM (#4014289)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Yes its okay with the traddies if you toe the party line.

Because Sunjay's influences were mainly American based when he was runner up in the BBC Young Folk Musician of the year at the age of 18 - several people on mudcat felt entitled to be very sniffy.


18 Oct 19 - 09:47 AM (#4014295)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

Amira: Rosa


18 Oct 19 - 01:12 PM (#4014318)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

I'm looking forward to seeing Amira, Jack. I love music from that part of the world. Tonight's highlight for us will be the Warsaw Village Band - one of my favourite bands


18 Oct 19 - 01:33 PM (#4014322)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

"So the story related by Jim is a total misrepresentation of what actually happened and Jim has repeated this fallacy many times. "
A damn sight more accurate than most of the stories told my MacColl
I repeat the story as I read it in The Irish Times
I don't know whether Bikel and Zimmerman (real name!!) ever met, but in essence - he had to be persuaded to go to take part in the events he was building his career singing about
Would that stories such as this all be even handed and fair I really wouldn't bother - let's face it, they took place in the dim and distance past
At least Zimmermann is still around to put his side


"I can't get that exercised over whether there are fewer folk clubs today than 50 years ago when I wasn't alive. There are enough ot them now to occupy my time"
Too "Ding-ding - I'm on the bus" for me I'm afraid Matt
As things stand with the present numbers, I seean increase in clubs as the only way to guarantee a continuation of folk songs as a participatory activity rather than passive entertainment
Survial depends on new singers who don't necessarily see themselves as superstars - and new enthusiasts willing to organise and research   
Some of our best researchers came through the clubs, Vic Gammon, Roy Palmer and Bob Thomson spring to mind
When that stops the songs willl be confibed to the locked cupboards
Jim
(sory if this is full of typos, as usual - I ***** hate unfamiliar compuers and this hotel doesn't seem to go in for a aplellcheck)


18 Oct 19 - 01:56 PM (#4014325)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - have a little think about this..

Truly listening to music and engaging emotionally/intellectually with it,
is far from being a mere passive recipient...


18 Oct 19 - 02:11 PM (#4014328)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,HiLo

I doubt The Irish Times
would have printed this without having looked into the veracity of it..good journalists do not that.
Dylan did not have to be persuaded to go, He flew on a plane seated next to Bikel..Bikel confirms this in an interview readily available on youtube.
Dylan did not steal Scarborough Fair from Martin Carthy..Martin Carthy refutes that story. There are times when you have a rather outstanding credibility problem, yet you continue to tell this demonstrably untrue story.
I know you do not like Dylan, but that should not be a reason to malign him....should it ?


18 Oct 19 - 02:42 PM (#4014333)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Brian Peters

Dylan did not steal Scarborough Fair from Martin Carthy.

Indeed not, and I've never heard anyone claim that he did. It was Paul Simon who recorded an arrangement of the song uncannily similar to Martin's. Dylan did borrow elements for 'Girl From the North Country' from SF, but he was friends with Carthy and there was no suggestion of 'stealing'.


18 Oct 19 - 02:47 PM (#4014334)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Anyway.. no British folkies ever had a Magic Roundabout character named after them...?????


18 Oct 19 - 07:04 PM (#4014353)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Hilo

It was claimed on the Argo Guthrie thread that Dylan stole Scarborough Fair from Martin Carthy? I was simply stating that all evidence is to the contrary.


18 Oct 19 - 08:29 PM (#4014361)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Shaw

But Mr Zimmerman stole Canadee-I-O from Nic...


18 Oct 19 - 08:50 PM (#4014366)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,HiLo

Was it in the Irish Times ?


18 Oct 19 - 10:27 PM (#4014367)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Joe Offer

Martin Carthy had a misunderstanding with Paul Simon about "Scarborough Fair," but later cleared up the disagreement.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/4722968/Friends-again-with-Paul-Simon.html

Davy Graham composed the guitar piece "Anji," or "Angie,", which was later recorded by Paul Simon and others. Don't know if there was a disagreement on that one.

As for Dylan, I don't know of any UK musicians who accused him of expropriation, but Jean Ritchie sued Dylan for his copyrighting of "Nottamun Town." Ritchie claimed it was a traditional song that had been in her family for generations - and she won.

-Joe-


18 Oct 19 - 11:07 PM (#4014369)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,HiLo

I don,t think she actually won, Joe. There was a “ buyout” and the case did not go to court. it may have seemed to her lawyers that they would have a difficult time establishing Richie,s “ ownership “. Of a traditional song. For their part, Dylan’s laweywers must have conceded that Dylan’s arrangement was very much like richie,s .
that is my take on it anyway .


18 Oct 19 - 11:26 PM (#4014370)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,HiLo

Paul Simon and his brother,Ed, performed Anji live on television and stated that the song was written by Davy Graham. the same song has been recorded by many people including Bert Jansch and John Renbourn.


18 Oct 19 - 11:48 PM (#4014372)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,HiLo

canadee io did not belong to Nic Jones ,so could not have stole from him   ,nor did Dylan steal Jones,s arrangement, Dylan’s guitar onCanadee io is VERY different from that of Nic Jones. so there are really no grounds for the accusation of theft.


19 Oct 19 - 04:00 AM (#4014381)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Guest Tim

We are lucky down in the far south west away from the metropolis, within 10 miles radius of my home, Helston Cornwall, there are pub sessions virtually every night, some better than others I must admit. Because of the lack of public transport down here they do not attract the same players.
What I have noticed is that they all attract a good audience and the occasional contribution from them, some songs that just don’t get heard outside of the Dutchy.
My local is renowned as a singing pub, most weekend nights someone will strike up with a few songs, mostly trad, I wonder if that is because of the choir tradition down here. It’s not just old folks as well, there are a bunch of youngsters from Porthleven who have been to the sessions and have learnt the songs, great voices, now taking them out to new audiences in their own age group.
It’s not all doom and gloom


19 Oct 19 - 04:20 AM (#4014384)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

"I doubt The Irish Times "
None so convenient as those you wish to doubt, as they should have said
Lat'e be clear about this
We weer involved in the music with out aspiring to make a careere out of it
Robert Zimmermann (real name) was involved as a step on te road to fame
So we should shed tears fpr someone stugglibng to hget to the top on songs of the tarvails of black people, who is more concerned about getting to the top using those songs
I was just out of my apprenticeship at the time and was struggling to pay my way at home, yet me and many more also had to find the fares to Aldermaston to try stop the nuclear madness, and South Wales and Faslane to stop Britain being used as a US Nuclear base
And pay what we ddi to keep up with our involvement in the musiC
Sorry - not many tears for Booby ran down my cheeks, especially as I am now being asked to be happy that the clubs should now stand aside for the scene to become something for young people who want to make careers and win prizes

"Truly listening to music and engaging emotionally/intellectually with it,
is far from being a mere passive recipient... "
Are you serious ?
That is exactly what it is
We set up the folk scene to give people the opportunbity to play an active part in our art
We could have satyed and got Emotionally amd intellectually involved in Max Bygraves
Must go - folk song proper calls
Jim


19 Oct 19 - 05:17 AM (#4014389)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Sol

Tbh, I generally listen to music I like (and occasionally some stuff I don't like). I don't restrict myself to any one style although I appreciate there are those who prefer to stick to a well-defined genre. That's fine by me. Seek and ye shall find.

Btw, nobody apparently 'steals' anything these days, they call it 'sampling' now :)


19 Oct 19 - 09:49 AM (#4014398)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

""Truly listening to music and engaging emotionally/intellectually with it,
is far from being a mere passive recipient... "
Are you serious ?
That is exactly what it is
"

Jim - it's called "music appreciation"..
it's an active skill,
which can be improved with training and experience..

"We set up the folk scene to give people the opportunbity to play an active part in our art"

That's nice of you.. Thanks..

But down here in Scrumpyshire where some bloke named Cecil many years ago collected songs
in villages where my dad's ancestors very likely lived, worked, drank cider, and entertained themselves with song..
Well.. seriously.. those long ago simple ordinay working folks may have beat you to it by a century or so...
..and with real social and cultural authenticity rarely ever to be found in later 20th century urban folk clubs...

"We could have satyed and got Emotionally amd intellectually involved in Max Bygraves"

You could have.. and nowt so wrong with that.. each to their own and all that...

But even in the 1950's there was a wealth of diverse music available on the radio, TV, and 78s
to be actively appreciated and enjoyed...
Not just "Pink Tooth Brush"..
as much sheer joy as that record was for a lot of folks...

My mum and dad had a great time in that era,
they were massive music fans...
There was no sitting passively still to the big swing bands and rock n roll...

Who know what they may have been listening to while I was being conceived...
Perhaps blame Stan Kenton or Frankie Vaughan...???


To put it rather unsubtly, it's complete bollocks to dismiss other folks personal relationship with music
if they are not opening their gobs and singing it themselves...

You are one of my favourite mudcatters, I have sincere respect for you,
and would be happy to know you in real life as a mate and mentor..

But sometimes you do work yourself up into talking such over-opinionated tripe...


19 Oct 19 - 10:03 AM (#4014402)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter

"To put it rather unsubtly, it's complete bollocks to dismiss other folks personal relationship with music
if they are not opening their gobs and singing it themselves..."

As a dancer who loves folk songs but has no intention of spending time learning them for performance, nor of using a crib sheet, I can relate to that.


19 Oct 19 - 11:16 AM (#4014419)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: WalkaboutsVerse

Mohsen Amini is Scottish, not English!!! (Guest RA)...of course he is, sorry - hadn't seen the video!


19 Oct 19 - 12:46 PM (#4014429)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

'We set up the folk scene to give people the opportunbity to play an active part in our art
We could have satyed and got Emotionally amd intellectually involved in Max Bygraves'

More people of that generation love Nax Bygraves - his songs,films, even his singalong amax albums than evercould get involved the supposed and largely imaginary merits of Sheath and Knife.

Must be a bugger pretending to like folk music when you don't like folk very much. Certainly you show no respect for the music they have taken to their hearts.

I have no idea how you intend (if you ever did) to promote folk song. But what precisely is wrong with having the ambition to make a living from folk music? they may end up as Max Bygraves or Cliff Richard - whose career does have a straightforward trajectory? Wanting to be a folksinger is better than wanting to be serial killer, or a tory Prime Minister. What pleasure do you derive from pissing on peoples' dreams? In some cases dreams is all some kids have.

My nightmare is they end up singing Sheeath and Knife and the Ballad of tam Linn to four manic depressives and me at Sidmouh Folk Festival.


19 Oct 19 - 05:48 PM (#4014462)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Following on from my earlier comments about how good cross cultural music can be the Vaarldens Band turned in another astonishing set tonight at Musicport
Jack your friend Lewis provided beautiful accomplishment to Amira - especially as they only met last night. A fine musician!
Jim Moray turned in a superb set of traditional songs too. Folk music from many lands in excellent health here :-)


19 Oct 19 - 07:17 PM (#4014476)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Captain Swing

JoeG - I must get to Musicport - sounds great!


19 Oct 19 - 07:37 PM (#4014477)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

It is our unmissable festival!


20 Oct 19 - 05:42 AM (#4014512)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

It has been affected by the lack of available venues due to changes in the nature of pub ownership, I notice some performers are now presenting themed nights in village halls.
My impression is that vocally the scene is more varied than it is in ireland where tradtional music is mainly unaccompanied ,instrumental traditional music[excluding vocals]seems to be of a technically higher performance standard in ireland, that does not necessarily make it more interesting music, while technique is necessary it is not the" be all and end all" of performance


20 Oct 19 - 05:57 AM (#4014513)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

"Jim - it's called "music appreciation".."
It should be callaed musical participation if it i to have a future
You can appreciate any knind of music without being actively involved in it
Jim


20 Oct 19 - 06:46 AM (#4014518)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

Simply listening is being involved.


20 Oct 19 - 07:42 AM (#4014522)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

Ham and eggs: The chicken was involved, the pig was committed.


20 Oct 19 - 08:22 AM (#4014526)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

Researchers have found a part of our brain dedicated solely to music. Because of this, all sorts of reactions occur in our brains in response to hearing it. ... Hearing music alters the neurochemicals in our brains and triggers the release of dopamine and endorphins.


20 Oct 19 - 10:33 AM (#4014540)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - so singing along and playing instruments whilst listening to recordings,
don't count as participation and learning...???

So recording a performance at home and posting it on youtube
for potentially thousands of other music entusiasts to sing and play along to,
don't count as participation learning...???

Nah.. that's all passive reception and consumption.. innit...!!!???

is it, bollocks...

It's 2019, not 1959, folk clubs could die off overnight and eventuially not be missed,
but folk music will continue to thrive as long as younger generations of folks all around the world
share and communicate, and express themselves freeely on the internet...


20 Oct 19 - 10:38 AM (#4014541)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

..and we are not too far away from faster and more reliable internet connections
that will enable folks from all around the world
to enjoy sessions playing together in real time
from their own homes.
Where-ever they may be...

Though the UK may continue lagging behind because of our shite Internet provider companies...


20 Oct 19 - 12:44 PM (#4014559)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

"Jim - so singing along and playing instruments whilst listening to recordings,
don't count as participation and learning...???"
That is little more than cultural masturbation - we never needed clubs for that - we might as well have stayed at home and done it for ourselves
Is that really how you view cultural participation ?
You are perfectly describing alienation
Humanity is basically gregarious - we have always tended to express ourselved and shared our abilities communally
We spent a full day yesterday swapping experiences annd ideas on folk songs with about fifty others - then we adjourned to a pub room and swapped songs till about midnight
We enjoyed the company, we value the knowledge we took away from our meeting up, and it's a long time before we'll forget some of the excellent singing we heard
We returned to our hotel and were having a last pint in the bar when one of the young women singers we had been listening to joined us - and we spent another hour talking with this fine new singer (soeone who had not long come to singing)
We're off for a meal with a similar bunch shortly
Beats staying at home and pulling youtr pud any day - or posing yourself on the net in the hope someone will like you
Both, I find more than a little sad though I do understand why some people have to do it
Jim


20 Oct 19 - 12:50 PM (#4014560)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

Well said, Jim.


20 Oct 19 - 12:52 PM (#4014561)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

If joining in with something from home is cultural masturbation then many people talking about folk music on an internet forum must be a mass debate.


20 Oct 19 - 01:18 PM (#4014563)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

Anfd performing Dave
Jim


20 Oct 19 - 01:33 PM (#4014564)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Well.. I'm keeping both hands on my keyboard whilst I'm here at mudcat...

I never thought Jim could be that kinky...!!!???


Btw.. What I type in this thread is two parts serious to one part playing devil's advocate...

But the internet will become the most effective communal worldwide folk club
long after we're all gone......


20 Oct 19 - 01:51 PM (#4014566)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

We come here to discuss music. When we play or participate, it's not through a computer, it's in the physical presence of living people. Bleedin' obvious, I would've thought.


20 Oct 19 - 01:59 PM (#4014568)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Observer

"Jim - so singing along and playing instruments whilst listening to recordings,
don't count as participation and learning...???"

That is little more than cultural masturbation - we never needed clubs for that - we might as well have stayed at home and done it for ourselves. Is that really how you view cultural participation ?
You are perfectly describing alienation


Excellent observation Mr. Carroll. Brilliant comment, well said indeed!!


20 Oct 19 - 02:03 PM (#4014569)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - what's most important..

the music...???
or being within touching and smelling distance
of a bunch of the same old folkies you're stuck with week in and week out...

The internet future offers potentially more and improved possibilities to combine the best connectivity and community of both options...


20 Oct 19 - 02:05 PM (#4014571)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Jon

Well pfr, Mudcat did have a spell of live Internet music, starting with Hearme and moving on to PalTalk   but I think it fizzled out. At one point, as well as taking it in turn sessions, there were a couple who would do “concerts” that way. Time zones are a bit of a problem with that sort of thing but there were for example someone from UK and another from NZ sometimes getting online at the same time.

I’m not sure what to think about online sessions. Even if the speed and absence of lag were there, I might still have doubts. Thinking now, to me, at least in a good session, there are other interactions such as the way one can get caught up in the overall atmosphere, sound and visual clues that might not translate too well over distance.


20 Oct 19 - 02:06 PM (#4014572)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Jon

"I’m not sure what to think about online sessions"

(Join in together that is)


20 Oct 19 - 03:13 PM (#4014587)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

"The internet future offers potentially more and improved possibilities to combine the best connectivity and community of both options..."
How sad.


20 Oct 19 - 03:33 PM (#4014588)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

How exciting...

Folk and their music adapt, evolve, and survive...


20 Oct 19 - 03:45 PM (#4014591)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

Actively participating listeners have been an essential part of musical performance ever since music was invented. In some genres, the performers can expect the audience to know in depth how the music works and express their appreciation - audibly - when something special happens. This is true for Indian classical music, Arabic art and popular music and pretty much every variety of African-American music. It often makes the performance completely unrecordable, since you need to be there and be able to discriminate the music from the reactions to it - but so what? Who needs all their music pickled?


20 Oct 19 - 03:56 PM (#4014593)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

The Musicians Union motto used to be [ I hope still is ] "Keep Music Live". As relevant today as ever.
What do you do when your internet connection goes down ? - or did Jim supply the answer to that above already ?


20 Oct 19 - 04:27 PM (#4014594)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

How many different GUESTS here at the moment while Jim is temporarily signed out..

Jim - sorry if I've responded to others thinking they are you...???


20 Oct 19 - 05:16 PM (#4014599)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

What do you do when your internet connection goes down ?

It's usually down for a short while so I suffer in silence until it comes back.

What do you do when your folk club closes down?


20 Oct 19 - 05:20 PM (#4014600)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Shaw

I'm assuming that any posts ostensibly by Jim that are not headed "Jim Carroll" sans the hateful "guest" addendum (and I mean it: no-one here should be posting unless registered and signed in, my long-time hobby horse, and sod democracy, and I don't care what you think) is not by Jim. I'm playing safe.
    Yeah, there are some people trying to yank our rope in this thread. If any guest posts in this thread have even the slightest hint of animosity, I've been deleting them. Anyone trying to hide behind anonymity, gets no "benefit of the doubt."
    -Joe Offer-


20 Oct 19 - 05:23 PM (#4014601)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

"What do you do when your folk club closes down?"
What folk club ? We don't need them.


20 Oct 19 - 06:50 PM (#4014609)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

I tend to agree to a large extent to pfr's general gist re the importance of the internet in discovering folk music (and indeed sharing it which I frequently do via Facebook and occasionally on here) Of course the experiences of listening to, performing or sharing music live are wonderful things (I'm just coming down from an astounding weekend at Musicport!) but they are not the only means of access to folk and nor should they be as that would exclude many people who for whatever reason cannot attendsuch events


20 Oct 19 - 07:22 PM (#4014610)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

The Musicians Union motto used to be [ I hope still is ] "Keep Music Live". As relevant today as ever.

When I made a scrap-plywood case for my C melody sax it ended up looking just like a coffin. So I painted on a pair of vampiric hands trying to escape from it and a slogan on the lid: KEEP MUSIC UNDEAD.


21 Oct 19 - 03:50 AM (#4014628)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

"the music...???
or being within touching and smelling distance
of a bunch of the same old folkies you're stuck with week in and week out..."
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but one is dependent on the other
None of us same oold folkies would be here without the music)a very specific music) And we wouldn't have that music withoutt a bunch of us same olds hadn't got tgether to share the songs and the knowledge that we had gained from them
Do you think the songs and music got here in the first place because people loged into Utube, or read a book or boaught a broadside (as some would claim it did)
The thing that makess folk song unique is that is arises afrom shared experiences and aspirations and the desire top record them and pass them on
I live in rural Ireland - I think sometimes that people tend to forget how many people remain uncomputered and technology illiterate - certainly very many my age do (my partner Pat crosses herself and hangs up garlic at the sight of a computer screen and she was a skilled administrator of a swish upoholstry firm)
It is both arrogant and communal suicide to believe that we don't need the company of one another to be creative human beings
This ia almost as depresibng as the suggestion that we don't need folk clubs
Sad, sad, sad   

I take it we have had an attack of cowardly, identity-grabbing trolls -
I have come to reagard this as one of the highest comliments to be awarded
Jim


21 Oct 19 - 06:41 AM (#4014650)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

Some genuine research. Make of it what you will. (Cannot see a date but definitely post 2011)

http://livemusicexchange.org/wp-content/uploads/Investigating-the-health-of-the-UK-folk-club.pdf

British folk music has rarely been in more vigorous health than it is today(The British Council)Oct. 2018


https://music.britishcouncil.org/news-and-features/2018-10-15/british-folk-in-the-21st-century


21 Oct 19 - 07:31 AM (#4014655)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

The date in the header data of that British Council paper is May 2012.

It tries to cover everything but doesn't do much more than repeat what a few informants say. Okay as far as it goes, but not my idea of research.

It also perpetuates the Not Invented Here chauvinism of the British folk scene - there are other ways of doing things which have to some extent been imported from elsewhere (the American "folk camp" and "house concert", the Breton "fest noz") and which don't necessarily need to stay tied to a particular style of music. A lot of British-invented formulas have been failures in the long term, mainly through cohort-based generational exclusiveness. It's well worth looking around to see where things work better.


21 Oct 19 - 07:47 AM (#4014657)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

I'm thinking it possible that as Jim is, as he has told us, away from home, he is posting as a guest because he can't or hasn't logged in from whatever device he is using at the moment. I'm also thinking that perhaps he was not fully sobered up before posting some recent contributions. Also that detailed accounts of What Jim did on his holiday in the foreign country where he lives are not the most useful way of forwarding a discussion of the state of folk music in the UK.

For me, the use of metaphors like 'cultural masturbation' adds little to the discussion and do have a hint of animosity.

But when Jim asks whether 'the songs and music' got here via the internet in the first place, obviously not. However, they did mostly get here via the technologies of the past time, as Jim himself has frequently explained: manuscript and printing, radio, television, tape recordings etc.

It seems to me that it would be romanticising, possibly with an underlying ideological bent, to assert that the songs got here because of what people who are now old (including Jim) did in their youth. Also it seems that there is potential conflict between taking this view and claiming that folk music is based in some sort of continuous historical 'oral tradition'.

The idea that human sensory experience of the world is ever a purely 'passive' thing seems to me to be at odds with common sense and a great deal of research.

ha ha pfr some humour much needed


21 Oct 19 - 07:52 AM (#4014658)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Also ironic that Jim is insisting on the need to 'actively participate' in folk music when a) as far as I am aware he is not and has never been a musician, and b) when some of the comments he has made on these threads about technical aspects of singing with which he has engaged as a listener have been technically incorrect (and some of the historical glosses provided on songs). So arguably, more and better informed passive listening would have resulted in learning in this particular case.


21 Oct 19 - 07:58 AM (#4014661)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

To use Jim's metaphor (I feel he cannot really object) some people are better wankers than others. And what's all this puritanical/Papistical (take your choice, trying to avoid denomination bias here...) objection to self-pleasuring? Lloyd famously liked dirty songs; are we arguing that the frisson of enjoying this has to be a group activity as opposed to a private one? Hmm. Kinky or what????

:)


21 Oct 19 - 08:01 AM (#4014662)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

To interpret my own metaphor (or my use of Jim's) some people are better interpreters and commentators on the music that they listen to in an allegedly passive manner than others. And just listening to more music may not be the way to improve in this area.


21 Oct 19 - 08:29 AM (#4014666)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

Participation is important (it certainly is for me) but Jim's insistence on participation would seem to exclude those who go to folk clubs simply to listen to and enjoy the music. In my experience these usually make up the majority of folk club audiences (with the possible exception of singarounds and expressly singers' clubs), significantly outnumbering the floor singers in most cases.

It also occurs to me that most other genres have a far lower ratio of active performers to listeners, yet most of these seem to be in a far healthier state than folk, in terms of size of audience and public perception as well as financial sustainability.


21 Oct 19 - 08:39 AM (#4014667)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Yes Howard, but it still seems self-contradictory to put it at as gently as I can to insist on people participating in the production of music when one has reached a ripe old age and not achieved that oneself, especially as low standards are another reason you give for people not attending.

I am afraid Jim's positions have the (for me) uniquely irritating quality of being passionately held to the point where language verging on the abusive is hurled at opposing views and deeply self contradictory. One might sympathise or even agree at times, but the approach at persuasion (if that is indeed what it is, as opposed to wilful cruising for a bruising ), for me at least goes beyond failure.


21 Oct 19 - 09:10 AM (#4014672)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

The British Council piece praises Sam Lee, whose name provoked a lot of hostile commentary on this site when he appeared on a BBC folk prom.


21 Oct 19 - 09:23 AM (#4014681)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

I know of people who have been subsidised by the British Council   to inflict folk on parts of the Middle East and South America. A good gig if you can get it!


21 Oct 19 - 09:29 AM (#4014685)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,no Jim

"What do you do when your folk club closes down?"
What folk club ? We don't need them.
My apologies for the above. I should have said that I - personally - don't need folk clubs. My opinion, my choice, and nobody is going to tell me I'm wrong.


21 Oct 19 - 10:58 AM (#4014701)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim may or may not be aware that the sex toy industry has a thriving new product line of USB and WI FI devices
that transmit and simulate the stimulating touch of a distant 'partner' from any point on the planet connected by the internet...

There is potential for such equipment to be modified to keep far-flug folkies in touch with each other...???

For example, such a device could be programmed to blow smoke in your face, spill beer on you, and emit noxious smells,
all to your preferred settings in the comfort of your own home...

Advanced, more adventurous, users could select a Folk Festival level option...

It's a brave new world...


21 Oct 19 - 11:10 AM (#4014703)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

pfr you seem worryingly familiar with the products of the sex toy industry - it's not that quiet down your neck of the woods is it? ;-)


21 Oct 19 - 11:23 AM (#4014706)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

You'd be surprised [ or not ] of what you can find out on the internet
in the early hours of the morning whilst listening to the sound track music
of 1970s Turkish equivalents of "Carry On.." and "Confessions of.." soft core sex comedies...

Added bonus, 1970s Turkish actreses are very watchable......


21 Oct 19 - 11:43 AM (#4014712)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Er best we get back on topic...... :-)


21 Oct 19 - 11:55 AM (#4014713)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

May I perhaps suggest that UK has basically two sides to it:

A ~ The Professional side where guests are invited by clubs and promoters to perform in front of a paying audience to entertain

B ~ The participatory side where singers and players get together on a regular basis to enjoy the performance of song and music

Ray


21 Oct 19 - 12:35 PM (#4014719)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Seems perfectly reasonable to me Ray. Both are valued and have equal merit. I prefer the former but also enjoy the latter. Not being a singer or sufficiently proficient at playing an instrument I would rather those who are do the performing - though I will join in on the choruses or refrains.


21 Oct 19 - 02:26 PM (#4014746)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

The clubs used to have a foot in both Ray's camps, usually combining a "professional" guest with unpaid floor singers. I put "professional" in inverted commas because these were not necessarily making a living from it, and could be fairly local singers offered the opportunity of an extended spot. The requirement to entertain the audience tended to encourage at least minimum standards of performance.

These days the clubs seem to have polarised and more seem to fall into one or the other camp.


21 Oct 19 - 02:40 PM (#4014748)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Perhaps a look at Hobgoblin's accounts might give an indication
of the health of the UK folk scene...???


21 Oct 19 - 06:28 PM (#4014761)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

Perhaps a look at Hobgoblin's accounts might give an indication
of the health of the UK folk scene...???"
Why? how would hobgoblins accounts or any other music dealers accounts do that,for instance many musicians have had the same instruments for years, and also the sales of instruments does not reflect the amount of instruments being played or the health of the uk folk scene,
after all some of those imstruments that have been sold in the last year might well be going abroad and not for the use in the uk folk revival at all., and sales within the last year do not reflect accurately the total amount of instruments being played in the UK folk revival.
I find it necessary to have places to play and sing folk music where people go to listen to words of songs, much as they might go and listen to classical music or opera , that is why i think it is good to have folk clubs, Jim Carroll has in the past stated that when he goes to folk clubs he expects to hear traditional music but not popsongs and presumably he now no longer wants to go to folk clubs because he believes that he cannot hear the music he wants to hear in them .However he has not given us an indication as to how many he has visited in the uk in the last year.
I would state in fairness to Jim that compared to 40 years ago there is now less traditional music played in uk folk clubs and a small to medium increase in buddy holly and pop, that is my experience, other people may have different experiences. if people want elvis or buddy holly why dont they clear off and watch am n ELVIS or buddy holly tribute band


21 Oct 19 - 07:06 PM (#4014763)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Dick - Why..

because it's bloody obvious supportive evidence... that's why...!!!

no matter how much you are grumpily making a meal of refusing to acknowledge this...

For instance, how many beginners folk instruments sold per annum might be of particular interest...


"if people want elvis or buddy holly why dont they clear off and watch am n ELVIS or buddy holly tribute band"

As I said a few posts ago..
It's 2019, not 1959...

Though a good rock n roll band does sound like a better night out than a bunch of miserable old folkies...


21 Oct 19 - 07:16 PM (#4014765)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Keep it friendly please folks - we can disagree or argue but try to keep it respectful. I know I haven't on occasion in the past which I regret - and it doesn't help the debate :-)


21 Oct 19 - 07:28 PM (#4014768)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

I'm too friendly..

My first response was to post the lyrics to the Frankie Avalon song "Why"..

"I'll never let you go
Why? Because I love you
I'll always love you so
Why? Because you love me
No broken hearts for us
'Cause we love each other
And with our faith and trust
There could be no other
Why? 'Cause I love you
Why? 'Cause you love me
I think you're awfully sweet
Why? Because I love you
You say I'm your special treat
Why? Because you love me
We found the perfect love
Yes, a love that's yours and mine
I love you and you love me
All the time
Yes, I love you
(I'll always love you so)
(Why? Because you love me)
Yes, you love me
We found the perfect love
Yes, a love that's yours and mine
I love you and you love me
I love you and you love me
We'll love each other, dear
Forever
"

But then I thought, nah.. as much as we all love him.. Dick aint in a mood for classic rock n pop...


22 Oct 19 - 03:21 AM (#4014793)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

first of all hobgoblin are a private company ,of course they will not open their accounts to you,
secondly as i said, new sales of folk instruments are not supportive evidence of the health of the uk folk scene or the amount of people playing instruments because they do not record the amount of existing instruments being played, therfore that would not be overall evidence. , i replied to you politely. please keep it civil ,because, my post destroys your argument it does not make it a grumpy post.
the amount of beginners playing instruments would have to exclude people playing violins or other instruments for classical music,or pop jazz or brass band music , even if hobgoblin and other dealers were willing so your idea it would involve so much paperwork to just record instruments for folk use only , it becomes a non starter, your idea is flawed in more ways than one[ and that is a polite statement]


22 Oct 19 - 03:22 AM (#4014794)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

What I suspect Hobgoblin's sales figures would show: less general purpose guitars and more specialized ones, less specialized and expensive melody instruments (partly because people buy them from specialist dealers now), and a LOT more ukuleles.


22 Oct 19 - 03:29 AM (#4014795)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

PUNK FOLK ROCKER,
But then I thought, nah.. as much as we all love him.. Dick aint in a mood for classic rock n pop..." your post is taking the discussion in a personal direction, pack it up, and debate the point about hobgoblin letting people know their sales[ even though it will never happen]


22 Oct 19 - 03:37 AM (#4014796)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

pfr.

Insults are the arguments employed by those who are in the wrong.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau


22 Oct 19 - 03:39 AM (#4014797)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,LynnH

I look at folk music this way - what we now consider 'folk song' was the pop song of its' day just as songs from Buddy Holly, Elvis, Joy Division etc. will, in time, become 'folk songs'. Of course, 'it ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it....' plays a role.


22 Oct 19 - 04:02 AM (#4014801)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I agree, Lynn. Especially the last bit. Of course there are those who will argue that it is what you do and only a specific list of songs (of which there are many) can be classed as folk songs. Meaning of course that there can never be any new folk songs. They also seem to argue that some people can never perform folk songs and if, for instance, Roger Daltry or Kylie Minogue or Rod Stewart turned up at a folk club and sang Matty Groves unaccompanied it would not be folk either. I suspect some people are just contrary ;-)


22 Oct 19 - 04:08 AM (#4014802)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

Most of those posting from the UK suggest folk is quite healthy. Those who do not live in the UK say UK folk is in a dismal state. Who to believe?
This thread has the same arguments played out by the same people as one earlier in the year:

uk folk clubs high standard. It would be best just to agree to disagree.


22 Oct 19 - 04:36 AM (#4014805)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,guest

" if people want elvis or buddy holly why dont they clear off and watch am n ELVIS or buddy holly tribute band"

So where does Molly Windley by the singing postman fit in a folk club Dick


22 Oct 19 - 05:54 AM (#4014814)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

what we now consider 'folk song' was the pop song of its' day

No it wasn't. Look at some Victorian or Georgian popular music publications. The only (small) part of them to have survived in folk tradition are those that started off as folksongs anyway.


22 Oct 19 - 07:08 AM (#4014824)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

"So where does Molly Windley by the singing postman fit in a folk club Dick"

This makes me think of a regular at a singers' club I went to in the 1970s. He was probably in his 60s or 70s - maybe average age for folk clubs now, but then it was considerably older than most of the rest of the audience. He sang unaccompanied and had only had a few songs, and this was one of them. It was always well received, and why not? No one pretended it was a genuine folk song, and anyway in the course of an evening you expect to hear a broad range of music which was all 'folk' in the wider meaning, including plenty of traditional song.

It was a great club where I made a lot of friends and learned a lot about singing and performing, and most importantly had a lot of fun.


22 Oct 19 - 07:22 AM (#4014826)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

all 'folk' in the wider meaning

Isn't that the big bone of contention though, Howard? I agree with you but there are those who would say that there is no wider meaning. It is the inclusion of a broad range of music that has destroyed the 1950s folk club.


22 Oct 19 - 07:42 AM (#4014828)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter

That sounds like Ernie the singing bus conductor Howard. I remember him a few years earlier at Brentwood before he retired. He would sing Hev You Gotta Loit Boy or the theme song from the Beverley Hillbillies. I think he had a third song but I can't remember what it was.

The decline of that club was down to the pub going downhill after the druggies were thrown out of the High Street pubs and moved there rather than with his floor spots.

My experience is that the use of contemporary popular music in clubs followed on from the general decline in the 70s rather than being a cause of it.


22 Oct 19 - 07:55 AM (#4014830)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Sorry my last post did not make it clear that I disagree with those who believe that broadening the range is a bad thing.


22 Oct 19 - 08:17 AM (#4014833)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

The hoary handed sons of the soil are too busy driving tractors and those on the shop floor terrorised by time and motion experts so where does modern folk music originate? Is it now a fossil genre or has the medium and it's proponents changed?
It either has to be one or the other.


22 Oct 19 - 08:40 AM (#4014837)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Captain Swing

The notion that the pop songs of today will become the folk songs of the future is spurious. It suggests that folk songs and old songs are interchangeable - they are not. Pop songs differ from folk songs in many ways, not least in the range of themes they cover. Pop songs are predominantly about love and romance and almost always in the first person. Love and relationships in folk songs can be first of third person and often include developed plots. But folk songs also cover the themes of travel, food and drink, immigration, law and order and crime, separation, war, politics, class struggle, work and unemployment etc, etc. In pop songs, where these themes are touched upon they are few and far between and seldom with any depth or enlightenment. There are seldom any good stories in pop songs that will stand the test of time.

By the way, I like pop music and was a massive Beatles fan. The Fab Four were not folkies though!


22 Oct 19 - 09:02 AM (#4014843)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Dick - so you are still carrying your ages old petty grudge over into any thread you find me in...

Get over yourself and stop playing the victim.. yet again...

Now, let's consider this.. which one of us is habitually most grumpy, and starting fights in threads...???

Which one of us habitually starts fights then blames the person they pick on,
whilst then playing the victim...?????

Which one of us is nearly always in good humour and friendly,
though sometimes a little too irreverent and sarcastic...???


22 Oct 19 - 09:03 AM (#4014844)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Guest

Howard,
       I asked Dick the question in view of his statement on Buddy and Elvis songs, because he sings Molly Windley.
I, like you see little harm in the odd song or two of a non folky nature
if they are well performed and well received. A little variety is a change.


22 Oct 19 - 09:03 AM (#4014845)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Dick -
Did I actually suggest Hobgoblin should surrender their accounts to the folk authorities..

No of course not...!!!

So stop making such an exagerated fuss taking it so literally..

I merely made a quick off the cuff generalised remark indicating a POSSIBLE
practical line of evidence in considering the state of UK folk...

Hobgoblin being possibly the primary shop of interest beginner folk musicians...

I can suspect 2 reasons why you are making such a meal of it,
and so can most other mudcatters used to your personality...

So please give it a rest...


22 Oct 19 - 09:30 AM (#4014850)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

What genre something belongs to and how good it is are unrelated questions. Saying the difference between folk songs and pop songs is that folk songs are better is just going to make you look an idiot if you're trying persuade people to listen to folk music.

It also make you an embarrassment to anybody else today who is trying to get people to listen to folk music of some sort. "Before you can appreciate what I'm trying to get you to listen to, you have to agree with me that Ed Sheeran is crap" - fuck that.


22 Oct 19 - 09:38 AM (#4014853)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

PFR,I disagree with a comment you made , i explained why i disagreed with it, you can make what you like of that ,that is your problem.
guest guest, I consider some of the work of Alan Smethurst to be good well written songs , i have no problem with them being sung in folk clubs.,I THINK THEY ARE WRITTEN IN A FOLK STYLE.
However i do not want to hear Elvis songs, when i go to a folk club, unlike Jim, I do not think that is why folk clubs are in decline, HOWEWVER it would put me off from attending a folk club, it is not what i want to hear, if i go to a classical concert i expect to hear classical music not country and western
i think there are a number of other reasons, why folk clubs are in decline
whether pop songs will become folk songs is debatable ,but should have another thread.
I HAVE EXPLAINED MY POINT OF VIEW ,I HAVE A LOT OF OTHER THINGS TO DO RIGHT NOW INCLUDING WORK ON PREPARING A FOLK FESTIVAL SO GOOD BYE FOR THE TIME BEING


22 Oct 19 - 09:54 AM (#4014856)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Dick - no problems...

Mudcat spats are light relief compared to the daily real life problems and fights
us ordinary folk have to contend with..

Will there eventually be trad folk songs concerning the trials and tribulations
of claiming social care benefits for aging parents under a tory governmnent...???

Or buying and fitting expensive key safes
that a child could easily break into within minutes..???
That the key safe industry must surely be aware of..
fer instance...

Agreed, there aren't that many pop songs written on such topics..

But punk bands would tackle these mundane domestic 'folk' issues...


22 Oct 19 - 10:11 AM (#4014857)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Joe Solo and Reg Meuross to name but two artists I saw this weekend are writing songs on similar issues pfr :-) Reg sang his song 'Faraway People' which is the possibly the most poignant song demonstrating the tragic impacts of austerity on people. A folk song if ever there was one - in my opinion of course!
Reg Meuross - Far Away People


22 Oct 19 - 10:28 AM (#4014859)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

I agree with the remark made by Jack Campin in the first part of his last post. Indeed, I had framed a reply to the post by Captain Swing, but didn't bother to post it. I wondered whether Captain Swing was in fact Jim Carroll in an usually calm and proof-read mode.

People ought to engage with music on the internet, not least because I am aware of local music-makers who make up songs giving far-right perspectives and post them on sites with a lot more far-right stuff, Breitbart-type inspired 'libertarianism', often anti-Islamaphobic to boot. That is grassroots 'folk music' if anything is, and not consumed passively or intended to be, but intended to persuade. We get links to US far-right stuff stated by the Southern Law Poverty Centre to be 'hate speech' posted on local music pages. So don't assume grass roots song making is dead, and don't assume none of it is online and don't assume it will be forgotten soon. Some of these youngsters didn't grow up as we did in the shadow of WWII and, it appears, cannot see why oldies make such as fuss about them being far right. This dreamy fantasy about 'the people' producing lefty/liberal (in the nice sense not the tea party libertarian anti social democracy sense) songs is nice, tempting, but potentially dangerous.


22 Oct 19 - 10:28 AM (#4014860)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

Pop songs are predominantly about love and romance and almost always in the first person. Love and relationships in folk songs can be first of third person and often include developed plots. But folk songs also cover the themes of travel, food and drink, immigration, law and order and crime, separation, war, politics, class struggle, work and unemployment etc, etc. In pop songs, where these themes are touched upon they are few and far between and seldom with any depth or enlightenment. There are seldom any good stories in pop songs that will stand the test of time.

Songs vietnam war
Fortunate Son
Creedence Clearwater Revival · 1969
For What It Is Worth
Buffalo Springfield · 1966
Eve of Destruction
Barry McGuire · 2016
We Gotta Get out of This Place
The Animals · 1965
The “Fish” Cheer / I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag
Country Joe and the Fish · 1967
Gimme Shelter
The Rolling Stones · 1969
Waist Deep in the Big Muddy
Pete Seeger
Paint It Black
The Rolling Stones · 1966
War
Edwin Starr · 1970
Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)
The Byrds · 1965
Hello Vietnam
Johnnie Wright
A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall
Bob Dylan · 1963
Give Peace a Chance
Plastic Ono Band · 1969
Goodnight Saigon
Billy Joel · 1982
Ohio
Crosby, Stills & Nash · 1971
Masters Of War
Bob Dylan · 1963
Run Through the Jungle
Creedence Clearwater Revival · 1970
I Ain't Marching Anymore
Phil Ochs · 1965
Draft Morning
The Byrds · 1968
Riders On The Storm
The Doo

or from Oz
"Only 19" is the most widely recognised song by Australian folk group Redgum. The song was released in March 1983 as a single, which hit number one on the national Kent Music Report Singles Chart for two weeks
or from South Africa
Fernando by Abba was adopted by troops involved in the Angolan bush war and had a lot of airtime in country.

Difficult to say how American troops reacted to the songs above. I have worked with many Americans who served in Vietnam. Not one of them would ever speak about it.
Pop song or folk song? Sometimes the boundaries are blurred and dictated more by personal experience than scholastic endeavour.


22 Oct 19 - 10:32 AM (#4014861)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

JoeG: that is a beautiful and powerful song. Thanks for posting the link to it. It tells a story and touches the heart of social protest like so many others in the pantheon of this thing called folk. He has one dynamite voice, too.


22 Oct 19 - 10:33 AM (#4014862)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

So when Jim posts I always have in mind that he and Lloyd and MacColl were in fact a type of 'agit prop'. And Jim seems to me to be trying to continue in this vein, though for me he is as likely to alienate those he is trying to reach as to persuade them. Don't assume that 'the folk' will produce nice lefty stuff in line with Marxist views about base and superstructure and progress towards a classless society is what I am saying or even with liberal views about what the poor/weak/exploited will write. Folk music as in "the dream" is and let us be very clear about this under serious threat by a right backlash, anti minority, anti feminist (when a lot of the folk world hasn't even caught up with 2nd wave feminism).

Humph!


22 Oct 19 - 10:42 AM (#4014865)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

"Is it better to say 'person of obesity' than 'obese person'? I'm asking for a fat c**nt"


That's a quote (presumably some will find it funny) from a modern roots music web site featuring self written music. Pro freedom of speech. Determined to say what they like. People who hate hate speech, they say, simply 'hate speech'. Pictures of tongues in barbed wire to make their points.

Written by somebody definitely 'one of the people'. About politics, certainly. Lots of it in the first person.

So be careful what you wish for.


22 Oct 19 - 12:04 PM (#4014877)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Captain Swing

Iains - so, hardly a massive catalogue of songs about Vietnam, considering the pop output during the period of the war. Also, a number of them have only a tenuous link to say the least. This is not a criticism of pop music or the quality of pop music. There are some great songs in that list.

On the whole, pop is not equipped to deal with issues in depth - that's not the function of pop.


22 Oct 19 - 12:07 PM (#4014880)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"I'm also thinking that perhaps he was not fully sobered up before posting some recent contributions"
Lot oto read here but I'll start by aking why people feel so insecure that they feel they have toyo be so f**** rude
Grow up Pseud - I've suggested you do before now - you don't seem to have reached adulthood so far
If you can't answer arguments, ignore than please
Jim


22 Oct 19 - 12:11 PM (#4014881)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

I'm glad you like Reg's song Starship - he has many others which are well worth a listen - as you say he has a stunning voice to. Reg is well worth seeing live - as is Joe Solo who is possibly the most passionate performer of any I have ever known


22 Oct 19 - 12:37 PM (#4014883)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

like JIM,I do not want to go to folk clubs to hear pop songs, if people want to play pop songs in an acoustic manner call it an acoustic music club.but do not expect me to be there
I HAVE PEOPLE COME UP TO ME AT MY GIGS AND SAY HOW NICE IT IS TO HEAR TRAD SONGS and VERY FEW PEOPLE ARE SINGING THEM,you can draw whatever conclusion you like from that but that is my experience


22 Oct 19 - 12:42 PM (#4014884)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

May as well get the misinformation out of the way first
"Also ironic that Jim is insisting on the need to 'actively participate' in folk music when a) as far as I am aware he is not and has never been a musician, and "
I have been a singer for over fifty years -
I started by accompanying myself but never thought I was good enough
so I worked with a friend for about two decades
Since moving to Ireland I have settled on unaccompanied singing, first out of necessity, later because I found I preferred it
Totally immaterial anyway - it is sheer elitism to suggest that a listener can't have as good an understanding as does a performer
In my opinion many of them have a far greater grasp of many of the singers I have listened to and thought "Someone needs to tell him/her....."

" Jim Carroll has in the past stated that when he goes to folk clubs he expects to hear traditional music but not popsongs and presumably he now no longer wants to go to folk clubs because he believes that he cannot hear the music he wants to hear in them "
I've sort of said that Dick =- I actually said that I stopped going to clubs when I found my self not hearing anything that resembles one
Tousands of others did the same - that's when the clubs started to disappear, as did the shops, record labels magazines and everything that went with them
We are down to a tiny handful of magazines - no shops few labels - and 130 folk clubs
I also made the point that I didn't believe folk clubs were the place for pop songs -
I don'r suppose there are many pop fans who would appreciate being given unaccompanied ballads if they turned up to hear their chosen music
Maybe ours isn't as important to us as theirs if to them
Jim Carroll


22 Oct 19 - 12:56 PM (#4014887)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

" 130 folk clubs" - who counted them ?


22 Oct 19 - 01:02 PM (#4014888)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

" 130 folk clubs" - who counted them"
I was shocked some time ago to be told there were 180 and to be told that that was propf of a healthy scene
Since then, the wiki article has dropped the number to 130
This has been on offer in during these arguments for a few months now and nobody has challenged it to date, so I assume that people are fine wiith that
The argument seems to have turned to "We don't need folk clubs"
Please try to keep up
Jim


22 Oct 19 - 01:13 PM (#4014889)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

The thing to remember is that we are all* here because of our enthusiasm and repect for 'folk' music..

[* discounting a minority of politically motivated 'trolls'...]

That is what unites us as being on the same side..

I personally prefer 'trad folk' to singer songwriters..
I personally, for whatever reasons in my history, do not go to folk clubs;
though I do support the need for them to exist for as long as other folks want them..
I personally prefer some types of music to most UK folk..
I personally have more emotional engagement with the sound of the music and singers, than the words of old songs..
I personally think electricity is a good thing..

We are not all the same, or here for the same homogenous reasons...

But I stand resolutely alongside any mudcatters I may have petty disagreements with,
when it comes to continuing the survival of our trad music...


.. Right then, who fancies a gratuitous squabble about anything most folks don't give a toss about....


22 Oct 19 - 01:18 PM (#4014890)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Jim Carroll in an usually calm and proof-read mode."
I have always believe that people who regularly indulge in childish insulting such as this while at the same to=ime leaps on the rarest chair screaling "insult" at the faintest hint of a challenge to their statements is a sign of limited intelligence
We already have our resident one of those
Can we assume that, now I am back to defend myself we've seen the back of this childish behaviour that is more in the schoolyard pseud
Pack it in eh, there's a good lad !!
Jim


22 Oct 19 - 01:21 PM (#4014891)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter


" 130 folk clubs" - who counted them ?

By my reconing that puts about 20% of the country's folk clubs within Greater London. But then how are you defining a "folk club"? When does a guest booking club turn into a "concert" and when does a singers club turn into an informal singaround?

I am not sure how you would count folk clubs in a realistic manner. There is no central reguister not every county still has a folk association (Ex EFDSS district) that could provide figures.


22 Oct 19 - 01:24 PM (#4014892)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

We already have our resident one of those
little jimmie you are being a pain, Behave!


22 Oct 19 - 01:34 PM (#4014893)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

There are more than 100 listed in Tykes News and over 40 in Folk North West. Just out of interest. Perhaps the 130 refers only to clubs that conform to the 1954 definition? ;-)


22 Oct 19 - 01:39 PM (#4014894)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Can we continue with the assumption hatchets are buried? Most posts here have been friendly and interesting. Petty squabbles don't help debate. As pfr says the great majority of us are on the same side (though possibly in the way that Labour supporters like me are ;-). I assume we all want to see traditional music survive but have different views on how that is best achieved


22 Oct 19 - 01:57 PM (#4014896)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Joe G - It's too tempting to paraphrase myself [..ooer.. mrs...]

"But I stand resolutely alongside any Labour voters I may have petty disagreements with,
when it comes to ending the survival of our tory government...
"

well.. nowt wrong with a bit of self indulgent solidarity on a miserable overcast Tuesday evening...


22 Oct 19 - 02:57 PM (#4014906)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Petty squabbles don't help debate."
Tell those specialise who hurling insults
I just tried to put it into context
"little jimmie you are being a pain, Behave!"
You've been warned above the line - not sure what they can do about your behaviour up here, but you seem to have more friends (not difficult as you have none down below)
"I am not sure how you would count folk clubs in a realistic manner."
I assume they do so by counting those who choose 'folk' in their job description - whether singaround or residents/guests/ floor-singers set ups
As I said earlier, it's beside the point if folk song clubs aren't needed, as is being argued

We had a superb night at a folk-based evening on Saturday - not a bad singer or out-of place song all night (I think I was the only one to sing a non-folk song all evening and I had three requests for the words of it at the end)
Mixture of ages, including half a dozen English visitors from the TSF conference, and half-a-dozen relatively new-to-the-scene singers, mainly women, who were singing like veterans - the whole evening unaccompanied
They had to drive us out at twelve, but I'm told some of the singers draged out musical instruments and joined in the trad session till three in the morning
I got six requests to be linked to my PCloud box by singers looking for new material
THe secrat seems to be that the organiser has been running workshops aimed at drwing in new blood

Bit of a let-down to come home to comments on typos, personal insults and accusations of insobriety
I'd rather the people here lerned from those I met than Saturday's singing crowd learned from the nastiness here
Jim


22 Oct 19 - 03:16 PM (#4014909)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

it's beside the point if folk song clubs aren't needed, as is being argued"

Jim - if you are refering to me..

I've made it explicitly clear I was playing devil's advocate..

part seriously, part in response to other mudcatters ingrained prejudices...


22 Oct 19 - 03:20 PM (#4014910)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Jim -
Tousands of others did the same - that's when the clubs started to disappear, as did the shops, record labels magazines and everything that went with them
We are down to a tiny handful of magazines - no shops few labels


You are describing specifically the folk scene but actually, you are also describing a malaise that exists over all the minority musics and a good part of the Indie and mainstream rock scene. You might add the severe decline in pubs and small music venues and the fact that many festivals, folk and mainstream, are having to look way beyond their purely music content to satisfy today's tastes. You try to ignore the fact that this is a societal not a folk scene only situation. Actually the folk scene is better structured than most to cope with the and well attended song sessions and tune sessions and mixed sessions are thriving as never before because of the high participatory and low or no financial elements. If you lived here you would see these changes for yourself. "No shops few labels" - this is because so many people make their own releases and the sales of digital downloads outstrip the declining CD and vinyl sales.

It has been said by me and others before but I'll say it once more. Fixating on the number of folk clubs does not help because the scene is much more varied, more diverse than you claim. Folk song and music is welcome in many non-specialist venues and in many ways is much healthier than inside the folk ghetto.


22 Oct 19 - 03:33 PM (#4014911)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Very good points Vic. Totally agree. Many of the younger bands & artists who perform traditional material eg Lankum, Jon Boden, Jim Moray, are being heard in a wide range of venues and being discovered by non folkies through You Tube, Spotify etc


22 Oct 19 - 04:21 PM (#4014914)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I know where the fixation on numbers came from. The article in Wikipedia about folk clubs that says

The number of clubs began to decline in the 1980s, in the face of changing musical and social trends. In London Les Cousins in Greek Street, where John Renbourn often played, and The Scots Hoose in Cambridge Circus, were both casualties.[13] The Singers Club (George IV, Lincoln's Inn) closed its doors in 1993.

The decline began to stabilise in the mid-1990s with the resurgence of interest in folk music and there are now over 160 folk clubs in the United Kingdom, including many that can trace their origins back to the 1950s


Whoever is fixating on the number is completely missing the point about the decline being down to changing musical and social trends and now stabilising.


22 Oct 19 - 04:38 PM (#4014915)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

Jim - I apologised, and amended my statement "WE don't need folkclubs" - which referred to where I am musically and geographically - to "I [ personally ] don't need folk clubs". It may have been presumptious of me to speak for the other musicians whom I regularly play traditional music with, but it is an undeniable fact, that very few of them have felt the need or desire to set foot in any of the local folk clubs for many years, in some cases, never. You, and nobody else here are in a position to refute that statement, so I would humbly ask you to believe me, and accept it as the truth.
But please, it is at least disingenuous of you to bring this quote up again when I have corrected it. I was speaking solely for myself. I don't think I can be any clearer, or more honest, than that


22 Oct 19 - 05:45 PM (#4014920)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Just a reminder of the title of this thread...

anyone notice the word "clubs" in it...???

Now as much as clubs were/are important to the folks they are important to...

We were asked to discuss UK folk music in 2019,
not just fixate on one restricted aspect of it...


22 Oct 19 - 06:43 PM (#4014925)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

How do people involved in folk music ever find the time to go to folk clubs?

Wednesdays, I've been going a session of some sort for years, currently a "multifolk" one where all kinds of stuff happens. That's Edinburgh Folk Club out (and they do often have good guests).

Thursdays, Middle Eastern band practice. That's my village folk club out (ten minutes walk away but I haven't been there in 15 years).

Tuesdays, klezmer session - not every week but often enough that I've hardly ever been to Leith Folk Club (which can also have good acts).

I do occasionally get to sessions at weekends (not much this summer with either Middle Eastern gigs or drumming on Scottish independence marches) but midweek is when clubs meet.


22 Oct 19 - 08:15 PM (#4014932)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"I apologised, and amended my statement "WE don't need folkclubs" - which referred to where I am musically and geographically "
The argument has been "we don't need folk clubs" has been a long-running and all encompassing one for a long time now - your saying it was a latecomer into these discussions - it's become the mantra of a dying folk scene
We've had alternatives like concerts and festivals, the internet; and excuses like "folk is no longer relevant" or whataboutism like, "look at what's happening on the music scene in general
Anything but "what can we do to put things right, or even, "is the music worth putting things right for
I don't want apologies - I would like to know what people think
Instead we get insults about alchoholism and typos and snideswipes from the feller who presented 180 odd clubs a sign iof a healthy scene
I think the music is far more important to be sunk under this nastiness and indifference and I have yet to see a single suggestion of how the music willl draw in newe people, as it has in Ireland, without starting at the bottom and rebuilding the foundation it once had

I know the music still has the power to create a buzz among a mixture of experienced veterans and young people - it will be a long time before how it worked on Saturday - I can't see urban Belfast being that much different to London or Manchester or Liverpool
For me, the music is worth it

Dave
The Singers ran steadily till Ewan died - it ran on a little later until Peggy went back to the states
Ftar Peggy got over Ewan's death she played to a packed audience at another club in Hamstead before se reopened The Singers - there was never the lingering demise due to a loss of direction or enthusiasm
In its history, the clubs had a few 'thin' nights but mostly enjoyable comfortably attended ones, because people knew they would hear the music that it carried on its label
In the summer months it became a sort of Mecca for folk lovers from all over the world - particularly the States, but plenty of other places
The residents used to argue that they were committed to presenting w reasonable night whether twent or two hundred were in the audience
If got recordings of club nights where you could walk on the atmosphere - with ewaan and Peggy, or the others

For them, the music was worth it
Jim


22 Oct 19 - 08:59 PM (#4014936)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

I wonder if the entire notion of hobbyist clubs is on the wane..

When I was at school from the early 60s to mid 70s
clubs were very much part of the fabric of our lives.
Pets club, cycle club, angling club, stamp collectors club, war gamers club, model rail club, D&D club, etc...

All actively encouraged and supported by school and parents..

Do clubs still matter to that extent any more these days..??
Are they a fading reminder of past cultural pursuits and social structures..???

Some clubs for adults do seem to be thriving locally,
but what they get up to behind closed doors is best not mentioned here.
They are an open secret seemingly tolerated by the town council and the police.
As long as any folk instruments they may use are thoroughly washed afterwards...


23 Oct 19 - 02:47 AM (#4014948)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

I believe and know to some extent that clubs do meet and have regulars and guest booking policies ~ best is either a sole enterprise or a well run and set up committee! all have pitfalls

Note that clubs are not necessarily all Concert clubs who predominantly book guests and have a wide remit of choice, good for the professionals

Sessions to my mind are different: Mixed sessions instruments, melodeons largely with strings and reeds also and songs usually chorusy ~ or just music sessions of course

Workshops usually attracting up and comers in specific types of instrument, or song

Unaccompanied song sessions with harmony type ideas

Do students bother to read any of these postings?

Ray


23 Oct 19 - 03:46 AM (#4014950)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Jim, as far as I can see no-one has said we don't need clubs apart from the above guest who has apologised and explained and PFR who was playing devil's advocate. Nor has anyone said that 180 (sic) clubs is the sign of a healthy club scene. If they have, I suggest that you link where they said it.

As far as I can see the vast majority on here have said they can attend folk clubs in their areas very easily. No indication that they are not needed.

It was me who first introduced that wiki article (many years ago it seems) to point out that it says that clubs declined through changing social and musical trends and the decline stopped in the mid 90s with a resurgence of interest.

The figures in the article, seeing as it is you that keeps quoting them, are over 300 in Britain in the mid 1960s down to over 160 whenever the article was published in the 2000s. Whether the figures are right is disputed but the trend indicates an almost 50% reduction. Whatever the actual number, it seems to be plenty enough to satisfy current requirements.


23 Oct 19 - 04:18 AM (#4014952)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Do clubs still matter to that extent any more these days..??"
Thye don't if you reduce the Songs of the Peiople to "hobbyist' and place it next to "pets" and "stamp collecting" PFR
I've never ever come across it placed in that category
I came onto the scene looking for alternative entertainment too Max Bygraves and Ricky Nelson - I was immediatly swept up in the tidal wave of what folk song was really about
The first concert I ever attended was a benefit raiser in a posh Liverpool Hall, by Rambling Jack Elliot for the then dying Woodie Guthrie, who carried his guitar into war against Hitler bearing the slogan "This machine kills fascists"
I picked up a leaflet for a Pete Seeger Benefit Concert - he had been sntenced to ten one year sentences by the House Un-American Activities Committee
I joined The Spinnrs Club - somewhat bland and over-friendly in the view of an apprentice electrician working on the docks, but the experience, but their singing of anti Apartheid and Ban the Bomb songs immediately got me to realise that, while these songs were very entertaining, they were much much more than that
Topic Records were pouring out records about people just like me - seamen, soldiers and factory workers and when I met Ewan and Peggy I realised that songs such as these went back centuries and operated as a voice for people on the same social level
I listened to and saw Dominic Behan sing songs about a week-long event in Dublin that sent the many-centuries old British Empire crashing about its ears
All this happened in the "hobbyist" clubs that were set up to give youngsters like me a voice of our own, to listen to songs about our forefathers, and and to encourage us to song them ourselves
I wouldn't have got that in the West Liverpool Goldfish Association in Speke
Later I met Lomax, who had toured the Texas prisons taking songs from black Convicts and Charles Seeger who, with his wife Ruth, helped introduce American youth to their heritage duruing Roosevelt's 'New Deal' project

I met Pat and we plunged into recording singers from the lower echelons of society - the despised Tinkers - we took them to folk clubs so others could meet them - we even to three singers, storytellers and musicians to the somewhat starchy Cecil Sharp house and sat them in front of an audience of young people to hear them sing play and tell stories and - most important of all - to swap their knowledge, skills and personal experiences with each other and the listeners - all carried out under folk-club conditions
Those clubs lasted for decades and allowed us to explore our songs and via them, our backgrounds (mine Liverpool post famine Irish, Pat's Anglo Scots) though the songs we listened to and weer able to sing - at the "hobbyist" folk clubs
None of this would have been possible without a club scene and it would be a crying shame to see the generations that come after us deprived of this by being condemned to life sentences of staring at little screens - not if I can help prevent it by making myself a pain in the arse to those who advocate on behalf of shuch inhuman life-sentences

I've got a clear enough view if the state of folk music in the UK, if the opinions of a small handful of people who post here are anything to go by - it's been betrayed and sold back to to the predatory Music Industry we managed to escape from all those years ago
The history of the British Folk Scene is beginning to read like THIS HISTORIC SERIES
Hobbyist - really ???
Jim


23 Oct 19 - 04:21 AM (#4014953)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

we don't need clubs
Read through all the arguments Dave - you don't have to go back further than PFR's four postings up
Jim


23 Oct 19 - 04:26 AM (#4014956)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Read it Jim. Nowhere does it say we don't need clubs. Are you sure we speak the same language?


23 Oct 19 - 04:49 AM (#4014961)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

...and I hate to break it to you, Jim, but most of us are hobbyists. Aside from professional artists and the handful that make a living from folk academia, none of us are reliant on folk songs for our living. It is a passtime, an entertainment and even an education but so is keeping the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway open. So is enacting civil war battles. So is watching football. No matter how passionate you are about it, to most of us folk song is a hobby.


23 Oct 19 - 04:56 AM (#4014964)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

Ah, fuck it. I tried to explain, I tried to be nice, and what do you get ?
Enjoy your folk clubs. I'll carry on with the music somewhere else, and also stop wasting my time on "Mudcat Cafe".


23 Oct 19 - 05:09 AM (#4014967)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Jim, but most of us are hobbyists.
I'm beginning to gather that Dave and find that very depressing
Read it Jim.
Nobody needs hobbies in the age of the computer - we have a little screen that does everything for us
Jim


23 Oct 19 - 05:36 AM (#4014972)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

A hobby is a regular activity done for enjoyment, typically during one's leisure time, not professionally and not for pay

Most of us are, therefore, hobbyists.It has always been thus, Jim. Even in golden era of the folk club. Why does the truth depress you?


23 Oct 19 - 06:19 AM (#4014980)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Much more than that Dave
If you are serious about your subject you don't have any spare time, for a start - it becomes an extenstion of your life
These are PFR accuriate lists of hobbies
Pets club, cycle club, angling club, stamp collectors club, war gamers club, model rail club, D&D club, etc..
A far cry from how I - and many others regard folk song
Yoy were somewhat disparaging about the idea of talking for a day on folk song
On Saturday we did just that, had a meal and then spent four hours listening to and singing the type of songs we'd been talking about
John Moulden gave a stunning talk on collector Sam Henry and later went and sang about shipwerecks
Maurice Leyden spoke on Belfast Mill Songs and then sang |about them
Fergus Woods talked on Monoghan Songs and then sang them
I talked about Irish Child Ballads and later sang a MacColl song about Navvies and one about A Liverpudlian escaping enlistment in the English army
A perfect end to a perfect day and a massive ruch of adrenaline thrown in for good measure
I came home with a bundle of promises I have to fulfill to share our collection with what will eventually be over a dozen singers, some of them starters out
If you think that's hobbyism, then we live in different Universes
That's the club scene at its best, as I remember it - room for a wide spectrum of all levels on involvement

I have no intention of being part of degenerating this still very promising discussion into one of semantics, by the way - I suggest you look ad PFR's list again
Jim


23 Oct 19 - 06:27 AM (#4014981)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Jim,
Could I politely ask you to re-read through your long post at 23 Oct 19 - 04:18 AM and then answer these two questions?

1] Is there one word in that post which deals with the subject of this thread which is The current state of folk music in UK?

2] Is there one point or statement in that post in that list of your life experiences in this music that we have not read previously, some of them many times, on the Mudcat Café?


23 Oct 19 - 07:16 AM (#4014986)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

I have suggested elsewhere that the figures in that wikipedia article are highly suspect. There is no mention of how they were arrived at. My recollection from when I started going to folk clubs in the late 60s and early 70s is that there were at least a dozen clubs within a 20 or 30 minute drive. Scaling up over the whole county, and even allowing for the more rural areas, that would suggest that 10%-15% of folk clubs were in Essex alone, which I don't find remotely credible. Similarly, when I look at the number of clubs in my region today the wikipedia figure looks like an underestimate.

Folk clubs are pretty special. I can't think of many other situations where amateurs get to perform alongside professionals, or where both floorsingers and general audience are able to easily meet with and talk to their heroes. However none of the clubs I went to, over 20 years and in many different parts of the country, were anything other than places of entertainment. I can't think of any which regularly held discussions or workshops. Of course people chatted about music in the intervals, as well as the other usual topics of conversation, but the clubs of my experience were not centres of education.

However folk clubs are not the only place to listen to or perform folk music. To focus solely on the clubs while ignoring or dismissing all the other options is to gain a false impression of the true state of folk music today.


23 Oct 19 - 07:17 AM (#4014987)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

None of this would have been possible without a club scene and it would be a crying shame to see the generations that come after us deprived of this by being condemned to life sentences of staring at little screens

The average age of the people involved in this folk-based event would be a bit under 30. I don't think there's much screen time involved in it. And even less time sitting around listening to twisted old guys whining.

https://beltane.org/beltane-fire-festival-2019/

Maybe Valmai can chip in about the bonfire societies in Lewes, which are along the same lines. As are the Mari Lwyd events in Wales which Mick Tems here used to play a big role in.

Would they be miffed by having it described as a hobby? I doubt it.


23 Oct 19 - 07:27 AM (#4014989)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Absolutely agree with Vic Smith about people using streaming and to let others hear their songs. Soundcloud and lots of others. And if we define folk songs as songs composed by 'the people', as is sometimes done, then you will find a lot of it online.

Also would add a questions 3) to Vic's list that I feel I am not the only one who much prefers long posts to be proof-read and therefore is it not in the interests of people with an idea to convey to do this in the clearest way ie in reasonably well crafted prose?


23 Oct 19 - 07:31 AM (#4014990)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

On the latest post reporting on the current state of folk music in the Republic of Ireland we read:

"I picked up a leaflet for a Pete Seeger Benefit Concert - he had been sntenced to ten one year sentences by the House Un-American Activities Committee"

Jim, have you got this right? I believe you have stated that you first got into the music courtesy of The Liverpool Spinners in 1960.

If that is correct then your memory isn't.

Pete Seeger had had his travel restrictions lifted and as a result was able to appear in London in concert on 4th October 1959. The concert was promoted by Ballads & Blues. It is quite possible that he also came to Liverpool but presumably at this time you were still enjoying Max Bygraves.

Peggy and Ewan were in the audience and can be heard on the recordings made and issued by Doug Dobell.


23 Oct 19 - 07:42 AM (#4014993)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

It's still a hobby, Jim. Every passionate hobbyist in the world is convinced that their own particular passion is the most important. From preserving railways to LARP, everyone will make the same arguments as you. And do you want me to quote Bill Shankley on the importance of football? All you are doing by saying your own hobby is more important than theirs is alienating a lot of people and giving the impression that you think their passion is worthless.

As to Yoy were somewhat disparaging about the idea of talking for a day on folk song

Was I? Just when and where was that? Once again you are arguing against what you think I said rather than against what I actually did say.

Anyway. As I believe I did say, many moons ago. You believe there is something rotten in the state of folk. I, and many others, don't. You left for greener fields. We stayed to enjoy what we have. Win-win situation. We all have what we want. These discussions are interesting but will never achieve anything.


23 Oct 19 - 07:56 AM (#4014995)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - you seem to make the same mistake someone else did yesterday..
Taking light hearted off the cuff words of mine too literally,
and then going off on a rant with them...

But having said that,
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 23 Oct 19 - 04:18 AM
is a prime example of why you are one of my favourite mudcatters..
and also one of our most prickly

Remember, I'm from a working class council estate.
My dad was a factory machine operative, and shop steward.
My mum a cleaner and care worker
She had also been a member of the Labour League of Youth,
and both were idealistic young lefties in the 1950s..
It's their belief in the power of education that got me to grammar school and off the estate.

Despite the fact I am from a region that was source for Cecil Sharpe,
folk music did not exist to any degreee in my upbringing.

Our working class culture was the factory social club and pop covers bands..
and the telly..
Real authentic provincial 1960s and 70s working class culture.
It was grammar school and 6th form college that got me into the town library,
where I found shelves of folk LPs.

As much as you tend to belittle hobbyist clubs,
they have always been of immense importance in working class self education and pride.
School hobby clubs enpowered me to at least care enough about learning to be selected for the best state school in the area..
[rights and wrongs of grammar schools ought be another thread..]

My list was off the top of my head late at night,
and nothing like a serious academic treatise.
But you seem to take it to heart and respond as if it was.
I could have included working men's pigeon clubs and competetive vegetable clubs...
You can be sure those blokes are just as passionate as you about their committment to their life's interest,
and that their clubs are possibly better symbols of working class pride,
than the average posh village folk club.

It was school hobbies that shaped us as people..
and adult hobbies that gave us sense of individuality and status..
Jim, you are a power house of the working class cultural history and music movement,
which is why I admire you.
But you unjustly underestimate the value of other folk's interests and activities, and popular entertainment.

That's why I interact with you the way I do.
A mix of respect and irritation..
If I wind you up occasionally, it's out of friendly mischief, not malice.
Same as I'd do with difficult old opinionated mates in a social club...

Btw.. the humble traditionl working men's clubs and social clubs,
which some pundits say are also living on borrowed time,
mean more to my life than urban middle class folk clubs..
That's just the way it is..
So, I don't take well to patronising put downs on our real working class culture
as it's actually lived in our contemporary era...

..and yes that does include well pissed up kareoke nights,
where ordinary working folks have a great time letting off steam,
and showing off there singing skills for the enjoyment of their friends and strangers...
One old bloke is an excellent 1950s style crooner.
It's probably the highlight of his week and perks his life up a bit...
I'd rather spend a night out in their company than with a bunch of condescending folkie snobs..

That's if I could actually afford to go out drinking anymore...


23 Oct 19 - 08:10 AM (#4014997)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

ps.. In my post late last night I was specifically focusing on the general cultural concept of 'clubs'..

I deliberately avoided mentioning 'folk clubs'...

The post before that, I considered whether this thread topic
should even be monopolised by discussion about folk clubs..

Seems some folks just can't help filtering the world through their own entrenched bias...


23 Oct 19 - 08:12 AM (#4014998)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Allan Conn

I've got to agree with Howard the number of clubs stated does sound far too few if comparing it on a local level. If there are only 300 in the whole of GB (ie Scotland, England and Wales) then by using percentage of population there should only be 12 in the whole of Scotland. The Scottish Borders only consists on 2% of the Scottish population so there should be only a quarter of a folk club. There are of course far more than that. Here in the central Borders three long establised clubs spring straight to mind. My own at Kelso as well as Denholm and the Rolling Hills in Melrose. Add to that there are other regular sessions etc which are maybe not quite so organised along club lines. There are regular song sessions in Hawick, Duns, Selkirk, Yetholm and Morebattle. There are trad mostly tune sessions again here in Kelso as well as Jedburgh. There are regular more small concert type nights in St Boswells, Selkirk and Hawick. This isn't taking into account any clubs or sessions over in the far west or far east of the region.

Likewise as to how people access their music. I love going to the club but it is clear there are lots of people who enjoy folk music who don't go regularly, if at all, to the clubs. There are great online resources for playing music, for discovering music and for sharing music with others.

I use all of the above methods and personally would miss my weekly live club sessions but I also appreciate how others get their music differently.


23 Oct 19 - 08:14 AM (#4014999)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Allan Conn

Apologies that should read 25 in the whole of Scotland and half a club in the Borders


23 Oct 19 - 09:00 AM (#4015000)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Allan
Online resources for playing, discovering and sharing music.
Yes.


23 Oct 19 - 09:13 AM (#4015001)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

I am totally appalled at the level this has sunk to with its ageist and personal insulting
I have put my arguments without rancour and have avoided insulting anybody - would that everybody had doe the same

Vic
If we can't compare what is happening now to what has happened in the past and what we believe could and perhaps should happen - in essence - putting the present scene in its context - then there is little point debating at all other than to say how great things are - there are more than enough sites fro doing that- "thread drift" is usually an escape hatch for those with no answers, in my exerience
Yes - I have said all those things before and have received no replies as any times as I have raised them so I will repeat them as often as I consider necessary

Hoot
Elliot was handing leaflets out at the Guthrie Benefit Concert in 1962 - the year Seeger's sentence was quashed - I can't remember if I had joined the Spinners club then - it was nearly sixty years ago
I still have that leaflet

PFR
Your working class background does you proud - it's a pity it's nort reflected in your attitude towards an extremely important part of working class creative culture
You appear to regard working people like me who indulge in the study of that culture as dogs walking on their hind legs
a bunch of condescending folkie snobs..Shame on you

Jack's ageism is beneath deserving an answer
Jim


23 Oct 19 - 09:40 AM (#4015005)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

Yes - I have said all those things before and have received no replies as any times as I have raised them so I will repeat them as often as I consider necessary

I don't suppose I'd get many replies if I posted as often about something comparably interesting, like the composition of my bellybutton fluff.


23 Oct 19 - 09:43 AM (#4015006)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"like the composition of my bellybutton fluff."
You have as high an opinion of folk song as you do for old people Jack
well done you
Jim


23 Oct 19 - 09:58 AM (#4015008)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim's right..

everyone else is wrong and should be ashamed of themselves..

ok.. got it...


23 Oct 19 - 10:07 AM (#4015009)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"everyone else is wrong and should be ashamed of themselves.."
Don't twist my words or take them out of context - my remarks are addressed to someone who boasts of his working class heritage and compares the only chance working people ever had of actively participating in workers culture as "trainspotting"
That's you, I think
It isn't a matter of being "right" or "wrong", it never has been - I came here to find out how my opinions stood up in the light of public discussion
There's been little response to that so far
I've long (or short) shown you mine - your turn now
Jim


23 Oct 19 - 10:23 AM (#4015011)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I have put my arguments without rancour and have avoided insulting anybody

Sorry Jim but I must pull you up on that one.

What about the dozens, if not hundreds, of folk club organisers who put their heart, soul and, often as not, money into folk clubs who you accuse of not knowing What folk music is?

What about the tens of thousands of hobbyists of all types who live their lives for a hobby which you decree is not as important as folk music?

What about me, who you have repeatedly misinterpreted and will undoubtedly continue to do so?

But, once again, is there any real point in continuing this? It seems to have got to the stage where we all know what everyone's views on the current state of folk music in the UK are and are all happy with our own environment. Why try to convince anyone here otherwise? New blood is what is needed and if that brings changes, so be it.


23 Oct 19 - 10:25 AM (#4015012)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

There are now an estimated 500 folk clubs thriving in British pubs and backrooms and, contrary to what you might think, they’re not weirdy-beardy or fusty.
In 2015, they embrace wider genres, inspire younger generations and are tremendous sources of fun, friendship and creativity.
Leave your woolly Aran jumpers at home, pull your finger out of your ear and join the "crumblies?".............

https://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/entertainment/music/21st-century-folk-clubs

Probably not the most reliable source of statistics, but then neither is wiki.


23 Oct 19 - 10:32 AM (#4015015)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

I have put my arguments without rancour and have avoided insulting anybody   ….

Good luck with that line of argument!


23 Oct 19 - 10:50 AM (#4015017)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

btw.. accusing any of us of agism is a bit comical..
I don't know how old Jack is,
but at 60 I'm probably one of the youngest here...!!!???


23 Oct 19 - 10:52 AM (#4015018)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

Jim,

Did I mention Jack Elliott or Woody Guthrie ???

Do you not digest anything you read before firing off a reply?

I guess not.


23 Oct 19 - 11:07 AM (#4015019)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Joe Offer (administrator) 13 Oct 19 - 09:32 PM
OK, now let's talk about "The current state of folk music in UK" - and nothing else.

Jim Carroll 23 Oct 19 - 09:13 AM
Yes - I have said all those things before and have received no replies as any times as I have raised them so I will repeat them as often as I consider necessary.

Well, it seems to me that you are getting no replies because those participating want to concentrate on the subject in hand which has led to some interesting and thoughtful posts rather your expressed wish to "repeat them as often as I consider necessary." Another reason is that you expect answers to questions but we do not see much evidence of you giving answers asked of you.

It also seems to me that you should consider the statement made to you by an administrator as he was forced to close yet another recent thread down through your intransigence -
You know lots of good stuff about music, and yet you seem to turn every discussion into a discussion of yourself and how you are offended. Most of us here, don't give a rat's ass HOW offended you are and who offended you. We want to talk about music, not about Jim Carroll.

I am not trying to be unkind in quoting this, Jim, but I don't want to see another good thread closed down and I know that even if you are not up-to-date with the UK scene that you could contribute much of interest to the current thread. Do you think that I could ask you to do so?
To me, it seems to me that people here are bending over backwards to accommodate you. I certainly feel as though I am. I feel that the closure hammer is close again. I want to discuss the state of the UK scene and here I am - being suckered into talking about Jim Carroll again.


23 Oct 19 - 11:07 AM (#4015020)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

"someone who boasts of his working class heritage "


Jim - and why would you think I was boasting...??????

I think the word you might have been struggling for was 'explaining'..

or some other neutral word like that..

Yet again, you get yourself worked up into confrontational/defensive mode,
when most of the rest of us are just having a matey straight forward, sometimes hypothetical, discussion..


23 Oct 19 - 11:15 AM (#4015021)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

There are now an estimated 500 folk clubs thriving in British pubs and backrooms and, contrary to what you might think, they’re not weirdy-beardy or fusty.
In 2015, they embrace wider genres, inspire younger generations and are tremendous sources of fun, friendship and creativity.


And folk music also includes the kind of event I mentioned where music is only part of the spectacle - these involve far more effort than any folk club night, on a vast scale with script development, prop and costume making, makeup, pyrotechnics, circus skills training, first aid, working with children... in other words pretty much the same sort of commitment popular festivities anywhere have involved for millennia. They attract audiences of thousands. Folk music is also the kind of act I was doing a couple of weeks ago as one of the musicians on the Edinburgh Scottish independence march - 200,000 people ranging from facepainted people in their 90s being pushed in wheelchairs to pre-school girls in unicorn costumes. Popular creativity doesn't have to involve sitting through a raffle with 30 pensioners.


23 Oct 19 - 11:21 AM (#4015022)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"confrontational/defensive mode,"
Not me
But yet again, you fal to respond to what I argue

"OK, now let's talk about "The current state of folk music in UK" - and nothing else."
Joe has no more right to direct the way a thread should be discusses as any of us has if it can be shown that the direction it has taken is relevant - I believe I have done that on numerous occasions
When I said my poit have not been responded to I was referring to other threads, as you were when you referred to my repeating points
Nobody has suckered you into talking about me - you have chosen to do that in order to stop this present discussion
Sop blaming others for your own bahaviour
If you are not going to respond to what I have said, please make your own points and stop trying to prevent me from making mine

Hoot
I put in Guthrie and Elliot in order to confirm my having picked up the leaflet - 1962 - the same year as Seegers's sentence was finally quashed
Go and look it up before you indulge in insulting please
Jim


23 Oct 19 - 11:37 AM (#4015023)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Good post, Vic.

Can I suggest we concentrate, as you suggest, on the thread topic.

What is good?
What can be improved?
How can we help to improve it?

I can kick off by repeating my views that the current folk club scene seems healthy enough but, in my experience, does need an injection of new blood. I don't think we will get that new blood by insisting that only traditional songs, sung in the traditional manner should be performed. Tradition should certainly always be in the fore but young people need to be given their head to find new ways to enjoy it. I would certainly never subscribe to the "anything goes" school (despite being accused of just that) but I see nothing wrong in trying something new.

I accept that there are whole new ways of enjoying folk music too. How can these be utilised to inject new ideas into the way us old gits enjoy our folk? Usually over a pint or three :-)

Next!


23 Oct 19 - 11:49 AM (#4015024)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

On a roll now. Virtual sessions have been mentioned. There are problems with latency etc. but how about a virtual room where people can perform without the pressure of a live audience? Ok. You cannot join in but a skilful and sympathetic room admin could use it to help and encourage performers by inviting constructive criticism from viewers. A sort of virtual critics group :-) It may be better than the original as we would soon see which viewers should be allowed to comment and which should be kept on a tight leash!


23 Oct 19 - 12:01 PM (#4015028)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Dave
How can we help to improve it?

By constant analysis, evaluation and discussion about development followed by action. In many ways this is already going on; Jack Campin enumerates a lot of things that we should feel proud off, but there are still ways in which things can be improved and one of my bugbears has been the use of cribsheets & electronic devices to read the words. Here I would distinguish between a free admission singaround and a paid event like a guest night at a folk club. I resent paying money to her someone read a song that they have not bothered to learn. My own impression is that this is not anything like as common as it was five years ago in Sussex but I am old enough not to give a monkey's about what I say so if I encounter it I will always gently point out to singer and compere my feelings that a song cannot be expressed until it has been learned.
I can see more of a case for in free singarounds but it still irritates because it never used to be considered good enough.


23 Oct 19 - 12:18 PM (#4015030)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Could having a virtual room where inexperienced performers could practice their act and be "judged" by sympathetic viewers help with that, Vic? If you saw someone live who had obviously not learned their songs you could suggest they try out on virtualcritics.com first :-)


23 Oct 19 - 12:18 PM (#4015031)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

Jim,

Your posting seemed to imply that a benefit concert was being held for Pete Seeger.

As Pete had appeared in the UK in 1959 it seems unlikely that he needed a benefit concert in the 1960's.

He had also appeared at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 16th November 1961. I still have the flyer and I quote

"Phillips Recording Star PETE SEEGER SINGS"

"a Singers Club Presentation"

I am NOT attacking or insulting you just trying to clarify/correct what your posting implied.


23 Oct 19 - 12:28 PM (#4015033)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Your posting seemed to imply that a benefit concert was being held for Pete Seeger."
Sorry Hoot - could have sworn I said it was for Woodie who was suffering from Huntigon's Chorea - my fault
It was at the Bluecoat Chambers in Liverpool
I saw Pete at the AH in the seventies - a spectacular show in extremely luxurious surroundings
Our singer friend, Oliver Mulligan was an accountant for McAlpine's and he got us seats in the Company's box, right over the stage - should have saved the wood-chips from Pete's chopping logs onstage
Not at my best today - I returned from Belfast with a streaming cold as well as a load of books

"Can I suggest we concentrate, as you suggest, on the thread topic."
You too - not really surprised any more

Jim


23 Oct 19 - 12:28 PM (#4015034)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Phew - you've all been busy whilst I've been away - we must be past the 300 by now Dave?!

Thanks to the last few posters for trying to get the discussion back on track - lots of interesting stuff here - let's keep it that way and not descend once again into pointless arguments. I'll keep my tongue bitten if everyone else will when it comes to the comparative importance of preserving our transport heritage, civil war re-enactments and folk song collecting and singing :-)


23 Oct 19 - 12:43 PM (#4015036)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

DtG - I'm out of touch with how well it's progressing,
but online musicians communities have been working on solving latency problems...

Maybe in the not too distant future,
with faster more reliable internet connections,
it may be possible for folks within a reasonable distance from each other
to play together in real-time sessions on line...???

But right now it is possible to work out simple set ups for online turoring and mentoring...

. even auditions...


23 Oct 19 - 01:22 PM (#4015047)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Joe G. If I remember rightly either the KWVR or the Embsay Railway have had folk events in the past. Moira Furnace festival always had a civil war re-enactment event. Maybe we can combine the lot. Would I need to wear an anorak over my Aran jumper though and where would I keep my halberd?


23 Oct 19 - 01:26 PM (#4015048)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Us folkies often have a lot of common ground with other enthusiasms - I'm a bus and beer man myself. Fully paid up anorak :-)


23 Oct 19 - 01:29 PM (#4015049)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Moira Furnace Folk Festival that is!

BTW. Forgot to mention. I was in Whiby on Friday but didn't realise Musicport was on! Not that I could have got tickets but maybe I could have bought you a pint somewhere. Ah well. Next time perhaps :-)


23 Oct 19 - 01:44 PM (#4015054)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

No one is obliged to make comments on others views ~no matter how many times the views are expressed!

The question above is seeking views as to the "current state" of folk music in the UK~ this does pre suppose that views and comments are invited from people attending or participating in folk music (however defined!) or song as a hobbyist or professional

Thread drift once again is not appreciated (hope Joe G agrees)

Ray


23 Oct 19 - 01:53 PM (#4015055)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

btw..

"Your working class background does you proud
- it's a pity it's nort reflected in your attitude towards an extremely important part of working class creative culture
"

That's insulting and patronising... and very wrong...

Even though we on the same side, with similar objectives,
you are too wrapped up in your own preconceptions
to show fair respect for my different experience and knowledge..

"If you aint with Jim exactly, you're against 'im..."...???


"You appear to regard working people like me who indulge in the study of that culture as dogs walking on their hind legs
a bunch of condescending folkie snobs..Shame on you
"

Again.. wrong...!!!
That's just you distorting what I said to fit your own misunderstanding
of what I posted...

I dont care what class background a condescending folkie snob is from...

I just don't take well to smug elitist folkies who think they and their music
are superior to mass popular entertainment,
usually associated with real life modern working class culture,
and the millions of folks who love/live it...

Now I'm not saying you are the class traitor,
because neither of us is..

But you are lining up with middle class folkie snobs
in your dismissive disdain for what most ordinary folks take great pleasure and comfort from...

.. and let's not have any of that 'opiates for the masses' bollocks...
We already had you dusting of 'alienation' from our old marxist text books...


23 Oct 19 - 02:14 PM (#4015056)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

One aspect of the current scene that we haven't discussed is the way in which all musicians have altered their attitudes to recording their music.

I think this has impacted on folkies in many ways. Sometimes I think the recorded versions of songs are more comprehensible, Its easier to understand and apprediate than the live version.

I also think some people who have something to say are not robust public performers find the recording situation more comfortable than singing in the competitive pub atmosphere.


23 Oct 19 - 02:39 PM (#4015058)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

I can kick off by repeating my views that the current folk club scene seems healthy enough but, in my experience, does need an injection of new blood. I don't think we will get that new blood by insisting that only traditional songs, sung in the traditional manner should be performed.

Or perhaps the folk club regulars could haul their arses out of their comfy armchairs and make the case for the music they care about in the outside world? The sort of large-scale ritual/drama I was talking about can easily incorporate traditional song, and often has done - but better it comes from somebody willing to get their hands wet in the papier mache first.


23 Oct 19 - 02:43 PM (#4015059)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

In the past 5 years I have visited Essex, Devon, Cornwall, Lancashire, and North wales.

I found folk clubs for each night we where in those counties.

When I am North Yorkshire there are two weekly clubs close at hand and in the town I live in their are sessions EVERY night of the week.

That seems pretty healthy to me.


23 Oct 19 - 02:50 PM (#4015061)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"That's insulting and patronising"
"If you aint with Jim exactly, you're against 'im..."...???
"But you are lining up with middle class folkie snobs"
THink were're finished here - don't you ?
I've told you exactly where I'm coming from - over and over again
You have obviously made up your own mind on that and nothing I'll ever say will change that
That little diatribe along with the ungainly rush for the 'thread drift' escape hatch just about finished me for now - I really have had enough
I'd happily continue this till Tim Henman takes the Mans' Singles, but not under these fouled-up circumstances
I'll leave you to it
- for now at least
Enjoy
Jim


23 Oct 19 - 02:59 PM (#4015064)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Perhaps because posters here are relatively old, few if any posts have referred to University Folk Clubs. I have googled and quickly found evidence of clubs at the following unis:
Leeds, Sheffield, Bristol, Durham, Glasgow, Nottingham

Some of these specify that they are interested in a range of folk music, not just that deemed to be of UK or British Isles origin, but this is within the range of the subject line of this thread. So that is a positive, I hope. Some seem to run events open to town as well as gown.


23 Oct 19 - 03:03 PM (#4015066)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Jim wrote:-
Not at my best today - I returned from Belfast with a streaming cold as well as a load of books

I can suggest a remedy for your first ailment but I'm afaid there is no cure for your second one; I suffer from it myself....

OOPS! Both off topic! Slapped wrists for both.


23 Oct 19 - 03:07 PM (#4015069)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Or perhaps the folk club regulars could haul their arses out of their comfy armchairs

I'm a folk club regular, Jack. Sing a bit. Play a bit. Not particularly talented but I enjoy it. Until about 7 years ago I helped to run a weekly club and annual festival. I have been involved in ritual dance and drama in the community. I have booked acts from across the globe to appear in free community events. I worked full time until July of this year and juggled the needs of an extended family with health issues, high pressure support work and moved house in the meanwhile.

I now just want to enjoy my visits to local folk clubs and have a good few years retirement. I am sure you will excuse me if I no longer want to haul my arse out of my comfy armchair and would like someone else to have a go for a change.

Perhaps Mudcat contributors would get better discussions if they stopped using antagonistic phrases?


23 Oct 19 - 03:10 PM (#4015071)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I'll leave you to it

If only, Jim. If only... ;-)


23 Oct 19 - 03:24 PM (#4015076)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Well..

Jim's had his say,
jumped to the wrong conclusions again,
and still continued having his say regardless of what we actually meant and posted..

..whilst insisting other folks here have closed minds...???

He's a good bloke, but he can be so disagreeable to be in agreement with...????????


23 Oct 19 - 03:44 PM (#4015079)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

OK Dave, I get it.

The point about university clubs is a good one. There's one in Edinburgh too. I noticed a sign in a window about them when I first arrived in 1976, but the sign and window were so grubby I assumed they'd closed years before. I only found out different about 5 years ago - they're still going and fairly active, but they don't bother having a public profile.


23 Oct 19 - 04:07 PM (#4015082)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Thanks, Jack. Much appreciated.

Continuing the uni club theme I used to occasionaly enjoy Keele uni folk club when my eldest lad was there. There was a young lady fiddle player called Fluff who was absolutely brilliant. Some years later I had the good fortune of catching an Incredible String Band concert in Brighton and who should be playing fiddle for them? Yes, Fluff!

Thread drift complete... :-)


23 Oct 19 - 04:15 PM (#4015083)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

There is also a club at the University of Sussex - very active from their intranet website (which I can access as a Sussex graduate) but now exclusively for students it seems and steering more towards workshop and learning skills than club style performances.


23 Oct 19 - 05:39 PM (#4015092)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

Well visiting clubs in different counties provides you with experience to some degree, Raggytash,
but does not alter the fact there are a lot less guest booking clubs, particularly weekly booking guest clubs than there used to be. I regard that as not a healthy sign..
I would base my argument on this phenomenon, resident singers and floor singers appear to try harder when there is a respected national guest,such as Carthy, NicDow Wilsons JohnKirkpatrick,PeteCoe conversely singers clubs that allow many unpractised paper plonking practitioners seem to drive away practised performers


23 Oct 19 - 06:04 PM (#4015098)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

I can't disagree with you Dick that fewer clubs book weekly guests.

In my youth in Manchester and surrounds, late 60's through the 70's and early 80's most clubs had a weekly guest.

Hindsight being a wonderful thing, many of those guests were not much better than your average floor singer today.

A few more songs perhaps and a lot more "bottle" certainly!

I don't consider myself to be a great musician or a great singer but I would suggest I'm as good today if not better than a lot of people who got bookings then.


23 Oct 19 - 06:18 PM (#4015101)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter

The guest + floor spot format is definitely in decline. I know a couple of clubs that have abandoned floor spots and gone to guest + booked support and others have moved more and more away from guest nights.

This is in terms of overall numbers, there are still good clubs out there with weekly guests and floor spots so the fact that club X is doing well every week doesn't meant that clubs Y and Z haven't stopped booking and turned into singarounds!


23 Oct 19 - 07:23 PM (#4015106)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"If only, Jim. If only... ;-)"
That may come with a smile Dave but it's still a snide comment along with the rest of them
I'd vey much appreciate if you didn't talk behind my back
Jim


23 Oct 19 - 07:33 PM (#4015107)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

I'll keep insisting on the best behaviour Jim - and I am sure Dave was being affectionate rather than snide. There is absolutely no need for us to fall out. Always remember that things said on any form of social media can be misinterpreted or can be expressed clumsily - it's more difficult than a chat in the pub where we know when we are joshing each other. As I keep saying let us continue with the spirit of friendship and tolerance that the folk scene is (well not always admittedly!) renowned for :-)


23 Oct 19 - 07:43 PM (#4015108)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Sorry to miss you in Whitby, Dave - would have been good to have met up for a beer! You should try to get to Musicport - it really is very special - we have been going for 16 years now and it is the one unmissable event in our music calendar! A superb mix of music from across the world including plenty of great stuff from the UK. This year we were especially blessed with Reg Meuross, Joe Solo, Jim Moray, Commoners Choir, Belinda O'Hooley, Joshua Burnell and several other UK artists

If you are ever heading to York let me know!


23 Oct 19 - 08:01 PM (#4015112)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Well - how is the guest plus floorspots a loss - so many people despise the kind of music that someone like Brimstone, Alex Campbell, etc played.

Despised as a dilution of the tradition. It was a tradition that had somehow bypassed our parents. It was only to be found in obscure enclaves and in University libraries. Folk music frankly wanted nothing to do with us.

Folk music has changed its focus. The skills of minstrelsy and entertainment are out of favour.

There's nothing much to be done about it. Its a bit like thinking of starting a mining industry forty years after they've closed it down.

Its no use wishing for the audiences back, you sent away as too stupid to appreciate folk music.
Folk music will maybe survive, but it won't be in the way that we knew it.


23 Oct 19 - 08:32 PM (#4015116)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Al - I can reasonably surmise that my ancestors were living, working, and carousing,
in the towns and villages where Cecil Sharpe was collecting songs...

If those songs were a vital element of their culture and social lives,
it certainly was no longer the case by my childhood in the early 1960s.

In my small town my only exposure to anything remotely 'folk song'
was the few times I was dragged to Sunday School,
and a weird looking uncle who played guitar and sang Burl Ives songs
at a cousins birthday party..

Perhaps it's not unreasonable to speculate that west country factory fodder workers
living in small town council estates,
just didn't like old fashioned songs their grand parents may have sang in fields
when Victoria was still on the throne...

That is until Adge Cutler and The Wurzels scraped into the pop charts in 1967...???

My experience is of a radio and TV folk revival in the late 60s, early 70s...
..and a few Art centre 'folk' concerts by the likes of Jake Thackerey and Brenda Wooton in the mid 70s...

Scrumpyshire may have been a mother load of songs for the Edwardian collectors,
but those olds songs must have lost their appeal to us locals within a few decades later...???

Who knows.. ask an expert...

All I know is TV and radio played a major role in getting me and my schoolmates interested in them again...


23 Oct 19 - 08:45 PM (#4015118)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Though if, as I suspect, folk song and country dance did exist as a minority interest hobby
in the posh villages and toff manor houses...???

It's not a part of rural society we ever had had any contact with...

well.. maybe my uncle when he may allegedly have been on their land
with his dog, ferrets, and shotgun...


24 Oct 19 - 02:16 AM (#4015123)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

The advantages of the guest floorspot system was that it gave many the chance to do a small showcase and improve., and unlike the paper procrastinationg singers seen at some of todays singers clubs they did improve
I would disagree that the standards of guest singers was lower,I remember Stephane Grappeli doing a guest spot at a folk club[ yes the jazz musician]RalphMCtell,Donovan,MacColl,Seeger, Paul Simon Martin Carthy Julie Felix, all of whom became household names.


24 Oct 19 - 02:28 AM (#4015124)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Sorry if you felt that addressing a post directly to you in the full knowledge that you would read it was behind your back, Jim. Now, maybe we can get on with discussing the current state of folk music in the UK. Will you really "leave us to it" this time?


24 Oct 19 - 02:44 AM (#4015127)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Certainly where a guest is booked in a folk club it can cause problems if the MC feels duty bound to put on his/her regular floor singers/audience /supporters of variable experience/talent ~ the state and constitution of the club can a limiting factor!

Frequency and venue of the club will also have a bearing on how the night is configured and expected quality of the paid for entertainment and of course the audience knowledge and expectations

Joining in with choruses can be off putting if not in a familiar venue, for audience members who are not expecting it!!

Ray


24 Oct 19 - 02:55 AM (#4015129)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Will you really "leave us to it" this time?"
It might come as a surprise to you Dave, but I find that far more insulting than all the name-calling and snide
I can't promise, of course, but I'll see if I can find a bell to hand around my neck so you can here me coming
Jim


24 Oct 19 - 03:12 AM (#4015130)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I thought not.

I shall finish there in the hope that we can continue the proper discussion. If you feel the need to vent your spleen further, Jim, feel free but don't be surprised if you get ignored.


24 Oct 19 - 03:45 AM (#4015133)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

Back in the 60's and 70's "folk music" was frequently in the charts and thus got plenty of exposure in the UK both on radio and TV:
Julie Felix on Frost and later with her own TV series
The Spinners with a TV series
Joan Baez in the charts
Chris Christopherson
Gordon Lightfoot
The Strawbs
Fairport Convention
The Dubliners
These are just off the top of my head without researching the subject.
An eclectic mix of contemporary and traditional Folk.
The music was very much in the public eye during this period and other modern media forms were not available - the transition from 78 to 46 records had only just occurred (my first record by Elvis was on a 78)
During this same time period tertiary education leapt from 3.4% to 8.4% from 1950 to 1970. These numbers also aided the growth of college folk. The same is not true for the explosive growth in higher education numbers post 2000.
But it must be remembered that society has changed over the last 50 years as have entertainment mediums. The state of the music is a very different beast to the state of the clubs, yet the two seem to be treated as the same by a minority posting here. As has been stated, a person can be a closet folk aficionado and no one would be any the wiser. Therefore there is no way of counting them. If those with a heavy involvement say the scene is healthy who are we to argue. This is a subject where google can give conflicting answers.


24 Oct 19 - 04:27 AM (#4015136)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,P.Dant

Chris Christopherson ? 46 ? You might want to correct that.


24 Oct 19 - 04:43 AM (#4015139)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

Though if, as I suspect, folk song and country dance did exist as a minority interest hobby in the posh villages and toff manor houses...???

It's not a part of rural society we ever had had any contact with...


Probably depended on where. In Scotland, the toffs were so spread out that they could only have toffs-only gatherings while based in their city flats for the winter. On their estates, gatherings were much less exclusive. Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurchus describes how it worked in "Memoirs of a Highland Lady", for the Eastern Highlands in the early 19th century.

Inclusive might not have meant fun. Most of the big ballads are heroic glorifications of aristocratic families in their petty sadistic feuds. You can bet their peons were expected to sit quiet and listen approvingly while the laird's tame bard went through 37 tedious verses of grievances against the landowner in the next glen.


24 Oct 19 - 04:54 AM (#4015140)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Joe Offer

I think that as in all things in life, we're best off putting our focus on what we do ourselves, not on finding fault with what others are doing. I know my own inadequacies very well. Many times, I think I'm not good enough to sing in front of other people. But if I get past that and stand up and sing, I lose my fear and find my audience is having a good time - and so am I.
Would it be better for me to listen to the real and imagined voices who say I'm not good enough? Isn't it enough, for us to forget all the negatives and just have a good time with the music?


24 Oct 19 - 04:56 AM (#4015141)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

Guest P. Dant
I would debate your point but I draw a wide boundary as in below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WaLZt11D7E&list=PLg10TRfvxFqokuBiEbERg5mr450uyfIEw&index=12&t=0s


24 Oct 19 - 04:56 AM (#4015142)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

Ians

Somewhat surprised that you omitted Robin Hall & Jimmie MacGregor from your list. In the early sixties they were on five nights a week on alternate weeks in the early evening news/current affairs programme "Tonight" on BBC television and were responsible for introducing the music to a very wide audience.


24 Oct 19 - 05:10 AM (#4015146)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Captain Swing

"Back in the 60's and 70's "folk music" was frequently in the charts and thus got plenty of exposure in the UK both on radio and TV"

I agree completely Iains. I knew at, least something, about folk music before I got involved in it due to the different types of exposure on the TV. Most Saturday night variety shows would include spots from non-mainstream pop. I also had an inkling about some World genres such as Flamenco, Latin American, Calypso. Equally, I knew what jazz was and could distinguish modern from trad jazz. I knew of Oscar Peterson, The Dudley Moore Trio, Buddy Rich, Kenny Ball, Acker Bilk and many more.

It's sad that this doesn't happen these days - even the mainstream pop is no longer authentic.


24 Oct 19 - 05:22 AM (#4015151)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

Hootenanny. The omission was not deliberate and you are quite correct about Robin Hall and Jimmy Macgregor. As I said the list was off the top of my head from what I could remember. The Corries were another group of that era and there were many others. It is hard to imagine today that the Dubliners starred on Top of the Pops.
I would still be interested to hear from someone to tell me where modern "traditional" folk is created, would I've got a brand new combine harvester qualify?


24 Oct 19 - 10:18 AM (#4015184)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

"I'm enough of a showman to have learned at least this: If people don't want to come, nothing will stop them." (Sol Hurok)


24 Oct 19 - 12:38 PM (#4015195)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

When I was approx 13 and spending my pocket money on my first 45rpm singles,
the two main pop chart infuencers on my emerging music preferences
were Glam Rock and Folk Rock...

Any UK mudcatters now in their 60s may recall a similar mass media lead entry into folk music...???

This primed my curiosity for exploring the Trad Folk LPs in the town library,
later on when I was at 6th Form College,
and listening to Pentangle LPs at a local hippy squat...

Nobody here disputes the importance and need for folk clubs.
But, some may be over-estimating their influence on the state of UK folk music
since their own youth in the 1950s and 1960s...???????????????????????



[Is that enough "????"s...???
but apparently need to make it very very clear when I am posing a question,
and not stating it as fact, or provocation...]


24 Oct 19 - 12:48 PM (#4015198)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Well the Wurzels are still - despite their great age - very popular in the Dorset area. And they have inspired other bands in that genre. Notably the Skimmity Hitchers.
Round here if you start Where be the Blackbird To? - the whole pub joins in.

Of course the IRA supporters used Combined harvester for their song about Army Boots. You used to hear it a lot in Irish Pubs.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-I8bB3K07c


24 Oct 19 - 05:07 PM (#4015234)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

I thin PFR raises an extremely important and profound point.

He says the generation of his pareents and maybe before - perhaps really didn't like the old folk songs.

I can remember finding myself on a recording course i the early 80's with a wonderful old black guy called carl Kirton.
Carl used to record all sorts of gigs round London. I went to see him record the sax player Dudu P'kwana and the trumpet player Harry beckett.
Carl proudly showed me his record collection, and said - I bet I have every kind of music here - you name me an artist..
So, i said Big Bill broonzy
He said, No - i can't stand that kind of music - that relates to a time my people were being treated like that. And its still going on...

Also I remember the artists on The Blues Project Album saying that black American people were rejecting the country blues, and looked forward to a 'Baldwinian future'. this was in the mid 60's.

So perhaps something similar happened in England. From round about the 1870's when American artists were very popular in the English music halls. Perhaps the old music represented a time when when people lived on the edge of starvation, when there was no opportunity to break out of your place in the almost feudal society.


24 Oct 19 - 07:20 PM (#4015249)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

I have much enjoyed music by Katherine Tickell over the years. It seems to me that the tradition of Northumbrian pipe playing is relatively strong. For anybody interested, there is a society dedicated to it which you can find via Google. Here a link to an example of that music:

https://soundcloud.com/user-717826690/richard-butler-reels

The history of Northumberland is interesting, going back to the ancient 'kingdoms' of Bernicia and Deira, the former of which went a long way into what is now Scotland.


24 Oct 19 - 11:49 PM (#4015259)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Yes I think the North East has always had an almost separate identity.

Quite exotic for the rest of us. Its almost like people like Johnny Handle and Jez Lowe have the aura of emmissaries from a far off land.


25 Oct 19 - 01:56 AM (#4015264)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

My parents liked folk music.In fact my father used to sing the bold feninan men[ and he was english.
When i compare singers clubs in ireland with singers clubs in the uk, the standard in ireland is much higher, i do not see anybody reading from notes in irish singers clubs ,people have practised their songs, i think jim carroll will confirm this.


25 Oct 19 - 02:11 AM (#4015266)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

the standard of song accompaniment in uk guest booking folk clubs is higher thasn the standard i hear in ireland, wheras in my experience the standard of instrumental tune playing is higher in ireland, or rather there are more players of a higher standard per general population in ireland than there are in england


25 Oct 19 - 06:43 AM (#4015292)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

When I was a teenager getting into folk on the telly and radio
back in the early to mid 70s,
I associated folk music with Northern accents...

That's something I only just remembered, but I can't recall exactly why..
Apart from the most blatantly obvious Lindisfarne signature sound.

At that time I didn't even know
that the folk revival was to a large extent founded on songs
collected in my own region..

We did have Brenda Wooton prominent on local TV shows,
but her accent seemed a quaint oddity to us.
Even though I was a west country lad,
Folk just sounded 'right' done in a Northern accent...???????


But in 2019..
The current state of folk music in UK,
folk seems increasingly public school English accent...???


25 Oct 19 - 07:30 AM (#4015302)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Allan Conn

"The history of Northumberland is interesting, going back to the ancient 'kingdoms' of Bernicia and Deira, the former of which went a long way into what is now Scotland."

I think you're really meaning that Northumbria rather than Northumberland stretched into what is now Scotland. Northumberland being the English county of the second millenium and Northumbria being the earlier ancient kingdom that at one time stretched from the Forth to the Humber.


25 Oct 19 - 07:31 AM (#4015303)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

But pfr, and I know this is controversial, the great Child was crystal clear that in his view the original and great old Ballads had been written by the elite and not the lower ranks. This point has been made, with references to what Child actually wrote, on this thread and elsewhere. Child didn't imagine that they came from the lower ranks and villeins any more than he imagined that the classics of Ancient Greece came from slaves or plebs.

'The people', or 'the folk', yes, in Child's view, but for him this meant 'the people' as in the whole civilisation/culture, not in any way the lower orders. Child was explicit about this.

So whatever we might feel about 'public schools' (for US readers this means private non-state schools) and the products thereof, I don't think we can dismiss it as non-authentic in terms of the national tradition for public school accents to be singing it. However, I agree that more or less everything sounds better with at least a Midlands accent if not a downright Northern one.

But I think we can agree that folk music is being played by a lot of middle class people in the UK today. That point is relevant to the thread as I see it.


25 Oct 19 - 07:39 AM (#4015304)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Allan you are of course right about Northumbria. Perhaps I was being lazy, I was of course not claiming that the modern county of Northumberland dated back to the time of the Angles or the original British. I was using the term loosely to refer to an area of the country. I was on the island of Lindisfarne recently, the place where the first Viking attack is supposed to have taken place (in 793). I have been reading a couple of books about the Anglo Saxons which go through the complicated history of kingdoms in those times.


25 Oct 19 - 07:58 AM (#4015306)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

I can confirm that you do find people reading song lyrics from mobile phones or ring binders and I don't much like it either, though if it helps convey the song via oral communication there may be something to be said for it. Better than nothing if that is the choice?


25 Oct 19 - 08:28 AM (#4015308)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"the great Child was crystal clear that in his view the original and great old Ballads had been written by the elite and not the lower ranks. "
I intended not to get involved in this at present but I feel compelled to correct this
"The great Child" said no such thing and, as he had little or no contact with the oral tradition, whatever he said would have totally immaterial anyway
The fact is that nobody knows who composed the ballads and probably never will, ut the probability is that, due to their vernacular make-up, their familiar use of folklore, which didn't become a studyable sciemce until the fist half on the 19th century (much later than the youngest of the ballads were composed), the fact that some motifs used go back as far even as Homer, possibly Ancient Egypt, and their relationship with the art of oral storytelling, it is highly likely that most of them were orally composed by the 'common people' - but, as I said, nobody knows (as they say on QI)
Regarding Child's authority, on previous threads mentioned Child's scholarship, including that on formal poetry, came in for a great deal of kicking by those who are happy to use him as an authority when his opinion coincides with theirs
Nuff said on that for now

"i do not see anybody reading from notes in irish singers clubs ,people have practised their songs, i think jim carroll will confirm this."
Absolutely concur Dick - I also believe the standard of singing and instrumentation is far higher here, especial among the youngsters who are now taking both far more seriously that in the UK
Sorry to interrupt
Jim Carroll


25 Oct 19 - 09:10 AM (#4015317)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

The big ballads often state their origin explicitly. They are frequently glorifications of aristocratic thuggery - we know of some songwriters among the gentry themselves, but it seems more likely that they paid their more literate retainers to write for them, in the same way that many lairds had their own musicians (where music was often only one of their jobs, as with William Marshall's employment by the Gordons of Huntly). Why would any farmworker want to write a song praising his master for fighting a feud? (Sometimes the power of the elite is treated as a problematic matter, as when the heroine of "Lord Gregory" ends up pointlessly dead; Kipling followed the same path when writing about how the British in colonial India fucked things up for themselves - but Lord Gregory" is not a call for revolt against the patriarchy any more than Kipling's descriptions of disastrous marriages were).

A really interesting treatment of the way elite ideas get circulated and transformed in non-elite cultures is the work of Carlo Ginzburg, in "The Cheese and the Worms" and "Ecstasies". The relationships are not at all simple, but you can get definite answers about where intangible cultural artifacts came from.


25 Oct 19 - 09:14 AM (#4015319)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Sorry if you want me to read long posts, please proof-read them so that they make sense on first reading.


25 Oct 19 - 09:15 AM (#4015322)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

In Stuart Gilbert's book about Ulysses - he advances the idea that the ballads originated with the 'bareserks' sort of seers , members of the Vikings skilled in ballad making.

Gilbert says they had Viking feasts, where the berserk would go into a trance (under the influence of booze and he had a theme but he would extemporise for days at a time sometimes. Apparently if he was interrupted, he got very violent and killed people.

It was all part of Joyce's vision of Dublin as the omphalos; the belly button of the world.


25 Oct 19 - 09:26 AM (#4015328)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"please proof-read them so that they make sense on first reading."
If it's mine you are referring to anybody capably of pronouncing on the origins of ballads can surely manage to interpreting two (sorry - three) typos
Perhaps some statements might be worth a second reading
Jim


25 Oct 19 - 10:29 AM (#4015334)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,patriot

And all you Scots out there- don't forget that your capital city is named after King Edwin of Northumbria- time we claimed it back?- we still have Berwick, but that's not quite the same


25 Oct 19 - 10:53 AM (#4015337)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

two (sorry - three) typos

Nobody's complaining about occasional typos. The problem is a narcissistically arrogant refusal to make any effort whatever to format text for readability. Simply adding blank lines between paragraphs would get you halfway there.

Anyway - nobody in the currently active generation of folkies writes like that. It was a fad in fanzines about 40 years ago.

tENTATIVELY a cONVENIENCE

He was actually fun, for small values of "entertaining".


25 Oct 19 - 11:12 AM (#4015342)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"The problem is a narcissistically arrogant refusal to make any effort whatever to format text for readability"
What I wrote is perfectly understandable Jack
I am a product of the English Secondary Modern system - may of those who post her have no academic writings skills and do their best, as I have to do
It is literary snobbery describe lack of skill as "narcissistically arrogant arrogant" - us manual workers tend to write as we write otherwise discussion fora such as these would be restricted only to the educated
Usually I find that those who claim not to understand what I write do so because they are unable to provide an answer to what I say.
What I wrote is perfectly clear and to describe eight lines as "long" is a bit of a joke - I know attention span is reducing nowadays, but come on!!

I wouldn't be so churlish to comment that the first letters of the main words of your blue clickie are lower-case

Why do you people have to be so nasty - you are usually the first on your high horse if anybody looks at you sideways
No wonder so many threads get closed
Jim Carroll


25 Oct 19 - 11:34 AM (#4015344)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

I think those criticising Jim's post for its typos etc are being somewhat petty - I found it perfectly understandable - who here has not made typos on a public forum - certainly not I. Let's keep to the discussion on the subject please - I for one am finding it very interesting and antagonism is not helpful


25 Oct 19 - 11:36 AM (#4015345)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

" I found it perfectly understandable"
Thanks Joe - you're blood's worth bottling, as they say in Dublin
Jim


25 Oct 19 - 11:45 AM (#4015347)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

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


25 Oct 19 - 11:50 AM (#4015348)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Time for a new thread...???

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

Are the standards of squabbles declining ?

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

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

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

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


25 Oct 19 - 11:52 AM (#4015349)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

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


25 Oct 19 - 11:54 AM (#4015350)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Month Python Argument Sketch


25 Oct 19 - 11:55 AM (#4015351)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Sounds familiar :-)


25 Oct 19 - 11:55 AM (#4015352)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

And apologies for the typo in the blue clicky!


25 Oct 19 - 12:02 PM (#4015354)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

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

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

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


25 Oct 19 - 12:12 PM (#4015356)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

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

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


25 Oct 19 - 12:34 PM (#4015362)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

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


25 Oct 19 - 01:16 PM (#4015366)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - I like you warts n'all..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


25 Oct 19 - 01:33 PM (#4015367)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

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


Here's a test example...

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

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


25 Oct 19 - 01:44 PM (#4015369)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

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


25 Oct 19 - 01:49 PM (#4015371)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Back to the subject.

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

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


25 Oct 19 - 01:57 PM (#4015374)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

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


25 Oct 19 - 01:58 PM (#4015375)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

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


25 Oct 19 - 02:11 PM (#4015377)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Stringsinger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


25 Oct 19 - 02:12 PM (#4015378)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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

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

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

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


25 Oct 19 - 02:14 PM (#4015379)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Punkfolkrocker I concur wholeheartedly with your post of 01.16.


25 Oct 19 - 02:16 PM (#4015380)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

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

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

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

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

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

Read back..

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

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

It's frustrating there are unneccessary misunderstandings...

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

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

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

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


25 Oct 19 - 02:16 PM (#4015381)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Hello Dick...


25 Oct 19 - 03:20 PM (#4015383)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

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

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

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


25 Oct 19 - 03:48 PM (#4015386)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

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


25 Oct 19 - 03:58 PM (#4015387)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

The Oysterband are touring. That's good news.


25 Oct 19 - 04:00 PM (#4015388)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

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

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

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

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

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

Halycon days !!


25 Oct 19 - 04:08 PM (#4015389)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

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

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


25 Oct 19 - 04:12 PM (#4015390)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

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


25 Oct 19 - 04:21 PM (#4015391)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

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


25 Oct 19 - 07:02 PM (#4015398)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

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


25 Oct 19 - 07:12 PM (#4015401)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk muGarbutt, sic in UK
From: Steve Shaw

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

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

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

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

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

Halcyon days!"

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


25 Oct 19 - 07:32 PM (#4015403)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

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

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


25 Oct 19 - 07:42 PM (#4015404)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Shaw

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


25 Oct 19 - 07:46 PM (#4015406)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

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

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


25 Oct 19 - 08:51 PM (#4015410)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

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


25 Oct 19 - 09:13 PM (#4015413)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

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

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

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

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

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


26 Oct 19 - 12:05 AM (#4015418)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


26 Oct 19 - 03:37 AM (#4015427)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

Al Whittle.
Early career

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

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


26 Oct 19 - 03:45 AM (#4015429)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

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

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


26 Oct 19 - 03:56 AM (#4015430)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

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


26 Oct 19 - 04:26 AM (#4015435)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

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


26 Oct 19 - 04:27 AM (#4015436)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Hope that doesn't get me blacklisted Dave
Jim


26 Oct 19 - 04:28 AM (#4015437)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

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

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

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


26 Oct 19 - 04:38 AM (#4015439)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

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


26 Oct 19 - 05:05 AM (#4015442)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

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

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

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


26 Oct 19 - 05:11 AM (#4015443)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

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


26 Oct 19 - 05:14 AM (#4015445)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

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

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


26 Oct 19 - 05:16 AM (#4015446)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter

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

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

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


26 Oct 19 - 05:30 AM (#4015449)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

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


26 Oct 19 - 05:32 AM (#4015450)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

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

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

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

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

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


26 Oct 19 - 05:51 AM (#4015455)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

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

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

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

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

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


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


26 Oct 19 - 05:51 AM (#4015456)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Derrick

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


26 Oct 19 - 05:58 AM (#4015457)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Exact!y my experience too, Derrick but I only go back to the late 70s.


26 Oct 19 - 06:03 AM (#4015460)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

The Martinengo-Cesaresco book is fascinating - I have it. It's cheap and easy to obtain second hand - search on http://used.addall.com - Gutenberg's OCR is usually close to unreadably garbled.

Its strength is that she saw European folksong as a unity, which Child and Lloyd did but not many others in the British folk scene.


26 Oct 19 - 06:39 AM (#4015465)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Putting an unsubstantiated claim across as fact. Give us details of these folk clubs
You mean the thousand of clubs that have disappeared
Can't remember all their names - they disappeared
I substantiate what I say when I point out the number of people who has said they no longer
You ask for further substantiation after you've ignored all you've already been given
You were around when I was told that if I wanted fol song I had to go to some of the gatherings that don't call themselves "folk" and I might hear some
I argued with you far too long over whether Ed Sheeran was fit stuff for folk clubs
I tell you stopped going to folk clubs because I stopped haring folk songs thare - you tell people that I have no right to have an opinion on folk clubs because I don't go to folk clubs
Joe Heller wrote his classic novel on something like that situation

My experiences was not unlike that described by Guest Derreck the only difference being that there were plenty of other venues around that had policies that guaranteed that most of the evening consisted of folk and folk based material
That is no longer the case - I've been told (by Al I think) that there's no need for that now - it's old hat
Jim


26 Oct 19 - 06:52 AM (#4015468)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

Dynamic search link for the Cesaresco-Martinengo book (never search on Amazon again). Currently the cheapest is £1.00.

http://used.addall.com/SuperRare/RefineRare.fcgi?id=191026034709415346

From the way it looks up here, an interest in continental European folk tends to go along with a better perception of British folk as well.


26 Oct 19 - 06:58 AM (#4015469)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

sorry I got lost in there - what did I say was old hat? I'm not denying it. Just can't recollect.


26 Oct 19 - 07:08 AM (#4015475)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"what did I say was old hat? "
I'm not sure it was you Al - whever it was wasn't th first
I was told that folk music (as I know it - by past experience) is not what people want any more and I have to look somewhere else other than folk clubs
Didn't mean to involve you - it's been said by so many that I shouldn't have mentioned a name)
Jim


26 Oct 19 - 07:29 AM (#4015481)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

mention away! I need the publicity.

I will say this. I think its difficult for purely trad singers to function sometimes when the room has been rocking away to more familiar stuff. Particularly if you are intent on singing one of the long ballads, and particularly when there isn't a strong narrative (like Matty Groves) to hold the audiences attention.

Let's put it another way. If you were planning to do a floorspot at The Sailors Return in Weymouth - its a singaround, very popular (no one gets more than two song). I usually settle for one. Its on every Wednesday.

What would you sing in those circumstances, and what would you be frightened or wary of singing. I don't like to think of ANYONE's vision of folk song being rejected out of hand.


26 Oct 19 - 07:30 AM (#4015482)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

Some places you might hear folk music that aren't folk clubs:

films
old people's homes
schools
theatre performances
churches
political rallies
private parties
station waiting rooms
football matches
dance events

Comments?


26 Oct 19 - 08:14 AM (#4015486)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Keith Price

Dave the Gnome took your advice and found https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYT6OeEwVi6JSOEb4PDsj3Q Swinton Folk Club Youtube, your old club I believe 2010 is this what you mean ?


26 Oct 19 - 08:15 AM (#4015487)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Comments?"
Beyond commenting - point made, I think

"I think its difficult for purely trad singers to function sometimes when the room has been rocking away to more familiar stuff. "
Never metioned 'purely trad" singers Al - never attended many of those clubs and would never have been booked in one had I wanted to due to the fact my own repertoire is about non-"purely trad"
It's what you here at a folk club I'm interested in, not the format

Can I say that I've just opened a thread to learn that my name is now being used by a racist to post anti-Traveller bucket-scum
I've even managed to upset the pond-life - must be doing something right
Don't know if there's any connection but I've been told by Google that my account is being hacked (didn't know I had one)
Dale Carnegie-move over
Jim


26 Oct 19 - 08:19 AM (#4015488)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Two points to take up with Al along with questions to ask him (because unlike some who post here, he is the sort of person who gives considered answers to questions posed of him):-
He wrote:-
Maybe the ringbinder and tablet readers do get on my nerves a bit. But I'd rather have that inclusivity. I want people to feel that they all have a right to have a go. I don't want people to feel intimidated like I did.
But would you agree with my post earlier that whereas it may be OK for someone to come and read a song that they have not bothered to learn in a free admission singaround, it is simply not good enough in a situation where people have paid an admission fee?

Then later he wrote:-
However Froots has bit the dust mainly because of its dogged unshakeable belief that we had nothing much to offer compared to the Zulu's, Mexicans, Norwegians etc.
.... and in a previous thread, you wrote that it was Mongolian Nose Flutes (though there are no such thing!) that caused the demise of fRoots. Could I ask you, Al, if you have read my post at 15 Oct 19 - 06:16 AM where I explain that their policy of spreading their editorial content beyond these shores had nothing to do with the magazine's demise? In fact their readership and subscriptions had increased considerably in the years since they started to include World Music, yet the content was always at least 50% from English speaking countries or the minority British languages.
You have claimed elsewhere that the decline in folk clubs has been caused by the concentration on what you seem to regard as the sterility of those with a serious approach to folk songs in favour of the type of performer that you admire - and you have named Derek Brimstone and Alex Campbell. If we are to exlude the British tradition and we ignore foreign language roots music, are we not left with a folk scene with a very narrow compass indeed?


26 Oct 19 - 09:21 AM (#4015495)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

Jim, one of your earlier post suggests that your expectation of a folk club is that people will hear folk songs (by which you presumably meant traditional songs) or songs based on folk styles. You seemed to endorse JoeG's description of "plenty of folk songs (both traditional and contemporary - the latter of which I mean from songwriters who work in the folk idiom"

I don't think that is unreasonable, although it has always been the case that you could also expect to hear other forms of acoustic music, some with little or no connection to traditional styles, which have nevertheless come (rightly or wrongly) to be called folk.

If you stopped going to folk clubs because you could not find the music you enjoyed that is entirely understandable. However I think you may have been unlucky, because large numbers of people keep telling us that music of the sort you and Joe have described is just what they hear in modern day folk clubs.

Not going to folk clubs does not of course prevent you from having an opinion about them. But why should we believe your assertions of what is now being played in folk clubs, which you don't attend and are in a different country from where you live, over the descriptions of those who are actually attending them?


26 Oct 19 - 09:38 AM (#4015505)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

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


26 Oct 19 - 09:44 AM (#4015509)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

I posted above without comment ~ and this is just the sort of "out of touch" comment we can really do without!

Please Jim go to a folk club (however the term is currently being derived) the year is 2019 October ~ try one or two and one or two guest nights

Report back and if there is nothing you liked stay away from them, thread discussion which are inappropriate and let FOLK CLUBS and concerts get on with present day entertainment, even if they are misnomers

Ray
sorry Jm


26 Oct 19 - 09:51 AM (#4015514)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

More places where folk is one of the genres you might hear:

School playgrounds
TV
Fitness clubs
Buskers
Piped music
Military parades
Nurseries
Tour parties on foreign holiday trips
Historical re-enactments

Implying folk clubs are your only or best option is like saying the place to look if you've lost your coffee mug is at a ceramics museum.

What can we say about it as part of the wider culture?


26 Oct 19 - 10:01 AM (#4015519)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Howard
I have been arguing for a long time on what I believe should be on offer at folk clubs and from the responses, I think I have been able to form a reasonable picture
I am still in touch with some in the same position as myself who make forays into the clubs and give up - some of them are/were once highly regarded singers
Some of the people here have argued for the type of things that cause us to leave in the first place
When you get a regular poster telling you that you should look elsewhere for folksond you don't get closer to a 'horse's mouth' statement than that
Look - all of you - I don't cmain that there are no clubs catering for folk songs
I just suggest that if the number of clubs is anywhere near close to how many clubs, then there are not enough and, if not many of those do the real stuff, then the red light should be flashing for all who love folk song
Rod Stradling has intimated that the general situation has influenced his sales of Traditional CDs - 3 cds sold of England's finest source singer

On the other hand, I've just met the widow of Tom McCarthy the late Clare piper (and a dear friend)
She's not long returned from London where her piper daughter, Jacqueline and her piper husband Tommy Keane played to a packed house at the Musical Traditions Club
The audiences are out there for good traditional stuff
Troll alert - by the way
Someone has opened a thread in my name denigrating the refugees who froze to death in the truck (Fast Food thread) and someone has put up a racist attack on Travellers on the Irish Music Sessions thread
While I am honoured to have been noticed byt the scum-life on this planet, am appalled to see this forum infested by vermin
The subject matter of both of these leads me to suspect who it is, but I ahve no proof - so I have passed on my suspicions and left the matter in respoonsible hands
Jim   
Jim


26 Oct 19 - 10:31 AM (#4015533)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Blimey.. I'm away for a few hours for the best and longest kip I've had all week,
and now come back to find this thread banging on again about folk clubs..

Almost word for word repetition of countless previous days postings on the same done to death subject...

Crikey.. Have I woke up on Groundhog Day...!!!!!?????

Oh well.. here we go again...

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

Thank you.. though "profound" may be over stating my very reasonable and objective observation..
Arrived at after approx 15 years mudcat membership,
reading the same negative strictures, and snobby anti pop culture hostility,
from the loudest and most belligerently opinionated mudcatters...
year in and year out...

By now, 2019, I've read far too much "Thou shalt, and shalt nots.." at mudcat when it comes to performing folk music...

So much so, I might tend to gain the wrong impression about this place...???

I could almost feel like a heretic, fearful of folk puritans out searching the west country for me.
No wonder I stay at home hiding in my computer den...!!!

Fortunately I've also come to know there are very positive open minded mudcatters,
who do redress the balance somewhat...


26 Oct 19 - 10:42 AM (#4015535)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

" I think I have been able to form a reasonable picture"

Jim - Guess what.. I also think I I have and can continue to do that...

Neither of us has been particularly active paricipants in UK folk clubs this last few decades...

But do I dismiss, or disdain, the validity of your ideas,
as you so readily do mine..???

No, I'm just cheesed off with the opinionated way you relentlessly broadcast them...


26 Oct 19 - 10:48 AM (#4015536)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

You mean the thousand of clubs that have disappeared

No I don't and you well know it. You keep saying you cannot hear folk music at a folk club. I am asking you for examples of folk clubs where they do not play folk music. Surely, if they are the norm, you must be able to come up with some examples.

Guest Keith Price. Yes, that was my club until about 7 years ago. Not quite sure what you are replying to with "is this what you mean?" Sorry. I will say though that the guy doing the filming did have his favourites and they were, mainly, contemporary so it is not really a true sample of a typical Swinton folk club night.


26 Oct 19 - 11:01 AM (#4015538)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Question:
Maybe the ringbinder and tablet readers do get on my nerves a bit. But I'd rather have that inclusivity. I want people to feel that they all have a right to have a go. I don't want people to feel intimidated like I did.
But would you agree with my post earlier that whereas it may be OK for someone to come and read a song that they have not bothered to learn in a free admission singaround, it is simply not good enough in a situation where people have paid an admission fee?
My answer:
I suppose I have an advantage, in that I was brought up listening to all sorts of nonsense in Quaker meetings. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus told us 'Judge not,lest ye be judged.' And so I judged not.Try it. Fuck knows what sort of life leads one to read out song lyrics in public. Either that or put a contract out on the stupid bugger.

Then later he wrote:-
However Froots has bit the dust mainly because of its dogged unshakeable belief that we had nothing much to offer compared to the Zulu's, Mexicans, Norwegians etc.
.... and in a previous thread, you wrote that it was Mongolian Nose Flutes (though there are no such thing!) that caused the demise of fRoots. Could I ask you, Al, if you have read my post at 15 Oct 19 - 06:16 AM where I explain that their policy of spreading their editorial content beyond these shores had nothing to do with the magazine's demise? In fact their readership and subscriptions had increased considerably in the years since they started to include World Music, yet the content was always at least 50% from English speaking countries or the minority British languages.
You have claimed elsewhere that the decline in folk clubs has been caused by the concentration on what you seem to regard as the sterility of those with a serious approach to folk songs in favour of the type of performer that you admire - and you have named Derek Brimstone and Alex Campbell. If we are to exlude the British tradition and we ignore foreign language roots music, are we not left with a folk scene with a very narrow compass indeed?

Answer
Well I think we disagree about what you call a serious approach to folk music. The reason I loved Brimstone is because I was doing a job I hated and I found a bloke who for the last five years since I last met him, had found a way to sing folk songs and make a living. His repertoire ranged from Broonzy, the Copper family, to the African guitarist Jean Bosco M'wenda and further afield. In following him. I found my own muse and skill set
That's what I call a seriouds approach. I can assure you, it takes dedication. Not an indifference to your audience and a willingness to bore the bollocks off them and arrogantly demand respect. .

Froots never engaged me because it talked about the lateest product the 'world music' was trying to foist on us. It had NO interest in the practicalities of thousands (possibly Millions) of us running the folk clubs. You put it down, no wiser than when you picked it up. It had no interest for the activists and ground troops. Thats why people stopped reading it.


26 Oct 19 - 11:07 AM (#4015540)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jack - your list can also inclde..

at home..

Family and friends in impromtu informal 'folk' sessions,
around the kitchen table, or in the front room, or even garden and shed...

After pub parties..

That was my experience when I used to travel more and kip round mate's houses...
But we're getting old, and the band stopped gigging;
and over the last decade looking after my mum has taken over...


oh.. and in Lighthouses... well 100 years ago anyway..

A couple of nights ago I watched "The Vanishing"..
A low budget Scotish movie about a 1900 light house mystery.
It was a bit of a disapointment,
but quite a good folk performance from lighthouse keepers
winding down afer a long day..

[I presume at least one of the actors was actually singing and not dubbed...???]


26 Oct 19 - 11:42 AM (#4015545)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Jim Carroll wrote:-
Rod Stradling has intimated that the general situation has influenced his sales of Traditional CDs - 3 cds sold of England's finest source singer.

Rod is also aware that the world has continued to change in the last few years and has fairly recently instituted digital downloads of all his CDs and as far as I know they are doing rather well. See his editorial post for 30/12/18 at http://www.mustrad.org.uk/editor.htm
I don't have a modern car but ones that I have been in are no longer fitted with a CD player; just a socket to plug in your iPod, phone or other digital device.
Banging on about CD sales is about as productive as statements about the sole importance of British folk clubs.
I believe that I am quite a few years older than you, Jim, but I am still trying hard to live as though it is 2019.


26 Oct 19 - 12:06 PM (#4015548)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"I believe that I am quite a few years older than you,"
Really - I thought 78 was bad enough - my sympathies
Won't continue this - might not be here for much longer (the forum - I hasten to add)
Jim


26 Oct 19 - 12:26 PM (#4015554)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Al:-
Thats why people stopped reading it.
But they didn't, Al. The paid-up subscriptions were at their healthiest ever when the magazine ended. The reasons for the financial loss were complex and due to a number of factors but the four main ones were:-
* The near impossibility of an independent magazine (of any nature) being distributed to shops. This was possible at one time but now the distributors only want to work with the big boys of the magazine industry.
* The collapse of the adverts from World & folk labels. At one time this was the magazine's main source of income. Artists make their own CDs and they sell nearly all of them at the end of gigs.
* The cost of printed a glossy high quality magazine has rocketed in recent years and there is only so much that can be passed on by increased cover charge.
* The rapid decline in all magazine sales as everything moves on to the internet. My daughter is an art editor of two of the BBC magazines and is worried about her future.

Al again....
Froots never engaged me because it talked about the lateest product the 'world music' was trying to foist on us. It had NO interest in the practicalities of thousands (possibly Millions) of us running the folk clubs.
No, Al. World Music is not a 'product', it is a movement very similar to folk clubs except that when I go - as I do - to, for example, WOMAD in Wiltshire and MUSICPORT in Whitby, I love the vitality amongst the young people who decades ago might have gone to folk clubs but who are the sort of people that do not go along with the slightly dodgy view found in many clubs that folk music ends at Dover.
Tell you what Al, why don't you listen to my programme on Rocket FM on Monday at 7pm. The playlist is already up on my thread for these programmes.

I have to go now as Tina and I need to run through the songs that we are going to be singing at a folk club tonight. Incidently, I'm glad that we bought tickets in advance for tonight (Andy Irvine) as they sold out over a fortnight ago.


26 Oct 19 - 12:47 PM (#4015557)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Howard - I answered your questions because its nice to have one's presence acknowledged. However I do think maybe we are making the classic mistake of ezamining the entrails of the past.

THe way forward surely is to look forward. We need our own television channel, our own national radio. And not the glum middle class buggers of BBC4. If we have a platform, we need people with some concept and experience of entertainment.

We need the political power to be wrested away from the weakened music industry. When I was gigging old peoples homes - before I did my gig. The radio was always blaring away - totally ignored by residents and staff - we need a radio stations with old people in mind.

If you entertain you will gain importance and be able to advance your agenda. Who would have thought a programme based on ballroom dancing would have any econpmic importance?


26 Oct 19 - 03:15 PM (#4015568)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Richard Bridge

Referring to one of Al Whittle's posts above on the 25th, said trances and improvisation and violence were probably due to the edible (if you would take the risk) Fly Agaric, reported as being consumed by Viking invaders to fuel their berserker rages.


26 Oct 19 - 03:23 PM (#4015569)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Hi Richard. Good to see you. You are not around often enough nowadays.


26 Oct 19 - 03:23 PM (#4015570)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

All I can say is that I've always gone to folk clubs, and the most usual reaction when you mentioned Froots was a look of total despair. hardly anybody I knew read it.

The impression it gave was not that folk music stopped at Dover.

It stopped somewhere in the middle of polltax band B.


26 Oct 19 - 03:25 PM (#4015571)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Fly Agaric have also been linked to the myth of Santa Claus...

Trippy Xmas boys and girls...


26 Oct 19 - 03:32 PM (#4015573)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

"All I can say is that I've always gone to folk clubs, and the most usual reaction when you mentioned Froots was a look of total despair."

I think by now we may be establishing that folk clubs are no longer
a significanly representative and authorative voice
on anything in the wider world outside their clubs...????


Maybe folk clubs are the music world equivalent of the DUP...???

Though at least for the moment the DUP are still allowed to exert disproportionate influence on the present & future of the vastly larger UK...


26 Oct 19 - 03:32 PM (#4015574)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Richard Bridge

Oh fnard, Whittle again also on the 25th "However Froots has bit the dust mainly because of its dogged unshakeable belief that we had nothing much to offer compared to the Zulu's, Mexicans, Norwegians etc." There are two main things to be said about that. First if was "Froots" not "Anglicana" AND THEREFORE BY DEFINITION MULTICULTURAL.

Secondly the Froots approach reflects the underlying truth of the Karpeles definition - namely that the concept of "folk" music had to be applicable without distortion across cultures. There are other minor issues about the Kaarpeles definition but we can (alas, and again) debate those later or elsewhere.


26 Oct 19 - 03:40 PM (#4015576)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

I agree with Al's complaint about Froots and "world music products" - its primary focus was commoditized music. Which is why I never subscribed. There just wasn't enough for me about the kinds of musical experience you can't put on a disc, no matter where from. (This was deliberate. I was once planning a trip to a place whose music is not well known outside, and asked Iain if he'd be interested in an article. He said, only if there are commercially available recordings. Well there weren't and still aren't, though YouTube has since caught up).


26 Oct 19 - 03:57 PM (#4015579)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Try a subscription to the "Living Tradition"

Ray


26 Oct 19 - 06:51 PM (#4015597)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Still no details of folk clubs where there is no folk music then?


26 Oct 19 - 09:43 PM (#4015606)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Richard Bridge

The Zulus don't give a fuck about me, so I don't get the moral imperative for me to give a shit about them.

You and Jim might think it behoves me to be crippled with post imperialism guilt - but frankly I've been too busy, and I think you'll find that's the way of the world in which most folk club attendees live.


27 Oct 19 - 04:00 AM (#4015612)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Still no details of folk clubs where there is no folk music then?"
Answer my question Dave and you have your answer
You really have avoided your own attitude long enough
If you can't or refuse to define folk song you have no right to the title 'folk song'
Probably not going to be around long enough to continue this
Jim


27 Oct 19 - 04:30 AM (#4015614)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Your selective memory has kicked in again, Jim. It was only a few posts back I reminded you of this


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

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


I also told you that as a fellow singer I have a "loose definition" too. If it sounds like folk music, it probably is. If you can have a loose definition, so can everyone else.

As I have now answered your question, how about you answering mine? Just where are these folk clubs where you can no longer hear folk music?

That is all I am asking. This thread is not about me or you. It is about the current state of folk music in the UK. You state quite categorically that there are folk clubs where you can longer hear folk music. If that is true we can do something about it. We can let people know that they do not deserve the title. If you cannot back it up, I can only assume it is not true and ask you to stop spreading misleading information.


27 Oct 19 - 04:43 AM (#4015615)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

Dave , there is some truth in what Jim says.There is now on the uk folk scene an increase in songs that are similiar to pop music,in content, particularly SOME contemporary songs about personal relationships being played in folk clubs, and also to some extent buddy holly and elvis etc, i think it is still a minority.


27 Oct 19 - 04:44 AM (#4015616)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

We've been though ti=hnis over and over again Dave
Loose definition doesn'r mean squat unless it relates either directly or at least in form to the long documented meaning of folk
Take The Penguin Book of English Folksong as your starter for ten
Does your club guarantee that you will here something relating to (not exclicely to) YTHos songs
If so where does your Ed Shreerin sound fit into this?
If your club goes into this for this sound why do you hound my postings by saying I am wrong ?
You were not responsible for making the statement that if I wanted folk song I should go to places that don't necessarily cater for them but you most certainly have never contradicted this statement though you are fully aware it has been made
Sorry - have no time to waste on someone who avoids issues as you consistently do
Jim


27 Oct 19 - 04:47 AM (#4015617)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

My loose definition is based on songs like those composed by MacColl, Bogle et al
Not an Ed Sheerinalike among them - that is the pop sound and has no place in any folk club - that's what they were set up to escape from
Jim


27 Oct 19 - 04:52 AM (#4015618)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I know it happens, Dick, but Jim is implying that he can go to a folk club and hear no folk music. I have never in my life been to any folk club where no folk music has been performed. Have you?

Jim, it was you that said that as a singer you used a loose definition. I do the same. If it sounds like folk music to me, I am happy to believe it is. Now, once again, where are these clubs that no longer present any folk music?


27 Oct 19 - 05:05 AM (#4015619)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

Dave, do you disagree with this post
ubject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 04:47 AM

My loose definition is based on songs like those composed by MacColl, Bogle et al
Not an Ed Sheerinalike among them - that is the pop sound and has no place in any folk club - that's what they were set up to escape from
Jim


27 Oct 19 - 05:07 AM (#4015620)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

in my opinion folk clubs were set up as an alternative to pop music, and i wish them to stay that way,so does Jim


27 Oct 19 - 05:12 AM (#4015622)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Jim is implying that he can go to a folk club and hear no folk music"
I am not implying it Dave - I'm repeating what I have been told here
My loose definition is based entirely in the sound and the structore of folk song forms - is yours ?
If not, why do you describe it as "folk" ?
Jim


27 Oct 19 - 05:22 AM (#4015623)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Dick, yes, MacColl and Bogle and many others do write folk songs. I agree. What I disagre with is some songs written by other contemporary writers cannot be performed in a folk style. Jim is fixated on Ed Sheeran but I was only using one of his songs as an example. I still maintain that his "Nancy Mulligan" could be performed by a folk artist and not be out of place in a folk club. Have a listen to it and see if you agree but don't get hung up on just one song. I am talking of the principle that there are many songs that can cross genres. After all, many folk songs have entered the pop charts.


27 Oct 19 - 05:28 AM (#4015626)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I'm repeating what I have been told here

Ok. Where on here have you been told there are folk clubs that present no folk music?


27 Oct 19 - 05:51 AM (#4015630)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Sorry Dave - you are not responding to what I have said
Am I lying when I say that someone said I have to seek places that don't necessarily call themselves folk if I want folk song ?
Sorry don't want to discuss with anybody who believe I tell lies
Byee
Jim


27 Oct 19 - 06:12 AM (#4015632)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I'm just asking you to substantiate your statement that there are folk clubs that no longer present folk music, Jim. If you cannot do so, people can draw their own conclusions. If you chose to take offence by my asking for proof we can only assume that no proof will be forthcoming.


27 Oct 19 - 06:43 AM (#4015637)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

And I have been asking you to justify your hounding me by telling we exactly what you disagree with me on
My stance is simple - any club describing themselves as "folk" should have some idea of what that term means and present it or songs using folk forms as a major part of their evening
The term should never be used as a catch-all for what people wish to put on as an alternative
'Folk' refers to a very distinct and unique form of song/music/storytelling/dance/lore.. that is part of the heritage of the 'lower orders' of the given people (English, Scots, Irish... whatever), has overwhelmingly been created by them and has been claimed by them and taken and adapted by them for centuries - probably millenia.
I see nothing whatever wrong with taking the form and creative functions of folk song to create new songs, in fact, without doing so, folk will be no more than a museum piece
What problem do you have with that - if none - why do you insist on giving the impression you do ?

I askk again - do you believe I have been told on this forum that I should look elsewhere other than folk clubs if I wish to find folk songs - yess or no will do nicely   
I have always answered questions that I ahve ben asked - how abouut replying to mine
Now will do
Jim


27 Oct 19 - 07:40 AM (#4015641)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I am not hounding you, Jim. Unless asking you to substantiate your statement is hounding you. Sorry but I am not prepared to blindly accept your assertion that there are folk clubs where folk music is not performed. If such a beast exists we need to know where it is so we can correct their misconception. Absolutely nothing to do with anything else. Just let us know where these phoney folk clubs are.


27 Oct 19 - 07:54 AM (#4015645)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"I am not hounding you,"
By sending posting antd efusing to answer starigtforward questions you are refusing to do exactly that
Over and out
Jim


27 Oct 19 - 07:54 AM (#4015646)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

First note in my FB feed this morning...

Get yourself down to the refugee kitchen fundraiser at meadows pavilion where ill be playing bayan akkordeon in edinburgh's newest balkan band skotchka republik at 3. We will be playing in reduced lineup minus drums and tuba etc. THEN and OR come down to noble's on constitution street for the gypsy jazz night where im playing guitar. We kick off at 8 30 or thereabouts.

Dunno that I'd call gypsy jazz "folk" but the Balkan stuff certainly is. And it's at a venue I've been to a lot more often than any folk club in the last few years; it often features music (78s on a windup gramophone, djembe groups, Arabic oud playing, tarantella, Swedish fiddle... could equally well be English melodeon if somebody could be bothered turning up to do it).

Seems bizarre to hear somebody from a country that never had folk clubs in the first place whining about how they aren't what they should be in the UK. Seems Ireland doesn't need them. I don't think the UK ever did either, and it doesn't need them now.


27 Oct 19 - 08:05 AM (#4015648)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Over and out

What? Again!

I think I can confidently predict that will disproved along with the myth of folk free folk clubs.

Is it really so difficult just to say that all folk clubs present at least some stuff that we can all agree is folk music? I have always conceded that some of the stuff I hear I would not class as folk myself. We are arguing about the categorisation of a small part of what is presented.


27 Oct 19 - 08:15 AM (#4015649)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Let me quailfy my "over and out" Dave
I didn't say I was going to stop posting to this thread, which continues to interest me - just to posters who demand questions and refuse to answer those put to them - who don't interest me in the slightest
Over and out
Jim


27 Oct 19 - 08:38 AM (#4015651)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

'Folk forms': presumably Jim means *British* folk forms or some such?

In fact, even the cheapest seats at Shakespeare's theatres would have excluded 'the sweepings' if by that is meant the poorest in London. Might be useful to read some proper social history instead of trying to learn about it via 'folk songs'.

Also, I think current thinking is that Barbara Allen was originally composed as a commercial piece.


27 Oct 19 - 08:41 AM (#4015653)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I thought as much. No substantiation of the folk free folk club. I think we can safely ignore the concept then. I will continue to remind you of that every time you mention it but, aside from that, yes, let's move off the Jim has been offended show.


27 Oct 19 - 09:12 AM (#4015658)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

My apologies. My last remark was uncalled for. Can we just move onto what this thread should be about please?


27 Oct 19 - 09:15 AM (#4015659)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

It was, but it's what I've come to expect
That was called for - I've spent far to long involved in folk son as singer and researcehr to deserve such contempt even if I do make myself a pain in the arse
It makes you wonder if it's all been worth it
Jim


27 Oct 19 - 09:22 AM (#4015660)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

So, we are agreed. There is no proof of the folk free folk club so that particular concept can be ignored. How do we now move on? Going back to something I said earlier

What is good?
What can be improved?
How do we improve it?

Over to you, Jim.


27 Oct 19 - 09:40 AM (#4015662)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

"any club describing themselves as "folk" should have some idea of what that term means and present it or songs using folk forms as a major part of their evening"

Lik it or not, the idea of what the term "folk" encompasses is broad and (like any other genre) the boundaries are vague and open to interpretation. I suspect in most cases club organisers have their own idea what the term means, Jim's problem is that it may not be the same as his. In any event, "folk" isn't a protected term like Champagne or Stilton so we can't complain to trading standards if we think someone is misusing the term. No doubt there are some "folk clubs" which are open-mics masquerading under another name. However the experience of most of the people posting on here is that folk, in the sense of traditional or folk-based contemporary songs, can usually be found in folk clubs.

I get as frustrated as anyone when the music presented at a folk club doesn't suit my own tastes. But other people are entitled to their own likes and dislikes, and if their interpretation of folk is different from mine that doesn't make them wrong. If the audience is enjoying it the problem is mine rather than theirs. The solution to a club where the music doesn't meet one's own preferences is the same as it always was - go somewhere else.


27 Oct 19 - 10:18 AM (#4015665)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I find it even easier, Howard. The clubs I visit are mainly to my taste and fit my definition of folk music. There will always be things I don't like or appreciate. When they come on, I go to the bar. I go home either full of folk music or full of beer. Win-win :-)


27 Oct 19 - 10:47 AM (#4015667)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Well let's say you're right Jim, and there are people - lots of people - who won't go to folk clubs, because they don't sing folk songs there any more.

What do you suggest?
a) the Arts Council sue the errant club for misappropriation of the term folk club...?
b) Jail sentences for faudulent conversion of the term folk club...?
c) armed resistance - a terror campaign against companies who sell Paul Simon albums in their folk caralogue...?

You see what I'm saying - it doesn't take us any further from where we are now. And we do need to move forward in as positive a way as we can.


27 Oct 19 - 11:11 AM (#4015669)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

Dave, when i visit clubs as a guest , i have people come up to me and say how much they enjoyed hearing some trad songs , and that it is rare now to hear guests singing traditional material , i possibly have played more clubs than you visit DAVE ,BUT POSSIBLY NOT.Dave maybe you like what you hear, at the placesyou visit and perhaps you prefer other material to traditional songs? but i have lots of people say to me theo not hear many trad songs and how refreshing it has been to hear sing them


27 Oct 19 - 11:24 AM (#4015671)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"What do you suggest?"
I assume your suggestions are humorous Al - always welcome (well - sometimes, maybe, though the Paul Simon suggestion does have its attraction).
I don't believe there to be a cure-all Al, it's far too late for that.
In the end, the ball's in the court of those who still care to come out of their closets - I've had enough discussions with old friends to know they're still about and occasionally, during discussions like this someone pops up his/her head and raises the flag.
My personal solution is limited to offering what we have in the way of recordings, books, lectures, radio programmes etc. via my PCloud site to whoever sends an e-mail address and sticking needles under my fingernails on threads like this.
I'm but even sure it's worth putting in the time with the National Sound Archive/British Library to finally get our collection fully sorted and usable
I have been knocked out by the number of newbie kids who have used the Clare Library site to learn songs, but that's in The West of Ireland, and they're already forging their own path
You can't do much about those who don't care and are not even interested in discussing the damage they have done to the future of folk music

I argued fiercely with Ewan when he suggested that Folk Song might die as a performed art if it fell into the hands of those who don't understand it and don't even like it - I think he might have had a point.
It won't disappear of course; it's one of the most closely studied and well-documented of the oral arts - but I've always been against confining anybody to solitary confinement, particularly old friends like Walter Pardon
It might be a good start if people sorted out the differences between liking something, being able to understand it, and recognising its importance.
Thanks for asking
Jim


27 Oct 19 - 11:36 AM (#4015674)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I have no idea what you last post was supposed to be addressing, Dick. I am sure you visit more clubs than me. Have you ever visited any club where they do not welcome folk music? Do you think the song I mentioned could be performed at a folk club?


27 Oct 19 - 12:04 PM (#4015679)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Given time all things change. Be it the height of mountains or the breadth of the seas.

Sadly some people seem to think that folk music was set in aspic sometime in the 1950's. It wasn't, it isn't' it will continue to change.

Hooray for that. I for one would be sick to the back teeth if I'd to listen to an unaltering diatribe of the same songs for the past 60 odd years.

I say again hoorah!!!


27 Oct 19 - 12:10 PM (#4015682)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

As long as you say hoorah unaccompanied and in the style of Fred Jordan I am sure it will be fine :-)


27 Oct 19 - 12:21 PM (#4015684)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Sadly some people seem to think that folk music was set in aspic sometime in the 1950's."
I wonder why the only ones who quote '54 are those who reject it
MacColl was writing songs right up to his death in the late 1980s and I sang three of them last week-end
MacColl left around 300 songs which he made uing folk forms and (according to Peggy), forgot as many again
How does that relate to "setting folk in aspic" - that question has been ignored so many times as to lead me to believe that even those who make such distorted statement don't even believe it themselves
It really doesn't do you any credit to keep repeating that lie PFR
It is believed that Shakespeare wrote his last play in 1613 yet his plays are still regarded worldwide as the best and most important theatrical creations ever
Is the constant drive to perform them (saw four last year) "setting the British Theatre in aspic"
Why do you insist on making this stuff up when you must realise it bears no resemblance to what is being suggested ?
Not god for your image
Jim


27 Oct 19 - 12:29 PM (#4015685)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

In the past 406 years thousands, if not tens of thousands play have been written. Some good, some bad, some indifferent.

The theatre world does not say they are not plays because we know who wrote them, or that they do not conform to a ideaological bias set at some point in the past.

Your argument is spurious to say the least, most people would not be so kind, most would say it is total b*****k's.


27 Oct 19 - 12:29 PM (#4015686)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Playing Shakespeare in theatres does not preclude Alan Bennett plays from being staged. Is it not theatre if it is not Shakespeare in the same way it is not folk if it is not MacColl?


27 Oct 19 - 12:39 PM (#4015687)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

BTW. I have only ever seen 3 Shakespeare plays. MacBeth at the Liverpool playhouse in 1968. The taming of The shrew at the Manchester Royal Exchange in the 90's and A midsummer night's dream at the Lowry in the 00's. I only remember enjoying the last one. Maybe I am a philistine.


27 Oct 19 - 12:40 PM (#4015688)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

"It might be a good start if people sorted out the differences between liking something, being able to understand it, and recognising its importance."

But to what extent are the understanding it and recognising its importance the function of folk clubs? Most clubs aim to entertain the audience, not to educate them. Of course an understanding of the background to a song helps with its enjoyment, and many people who go to clubs are deeply interested in the subject. But I believe the primary reason people go to folk clubs is the same as they go to performances of other genres: they like the sound folk music makes. Folk clubs provide the opportunity to enjoy listening to it and and perhaps perform or participate in a friendly and sociable atmosphere. Some understanding and awareness of its importance should spring from that, but they are not the purpose of most folk clubs.

I use the word "entertainment" in its broadest sense - it need not all be light and jolly. People read serious books and watch films and plays which may be tragic or even distressing, and they do so for enjoyment.


27 Oct 19 - 12:42 PM (#4015689)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Playing Shakespeare in theatres does not preclude Alan Bennett plays from being staged.
"But claiming something to be folk song when it isn't does enormous damage to the real thing
How many folk cubs did you say there were 186 wasn't it

Damn - bang goes my resolution not to respond to you until you started providing answers of your own   

Nop PFK - my argument is not spurious
You were the one who describe d 54 as 'setting in aspic' - personally, I never do - I ahven't read through it since Bert Lloyd put it in his Folk Song in England in 1967
Whatever my argument is, it's an honestly giiven one, not a 'makkie-up' (good Travellers folk word)
Jim


27 Oct 19 - 12:50 PM (#4015690)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Jim, you don't even know who you are discussing with Punkfolkrocker did not mention aspic or nor did he say your argument was spurious.

I forgot I am not playing to the rules which according to you are:

Rule 1. Jim Carroll is always right

Rule 2. If Jim Carroll is wrong rule 1 applies

Just one thing Jim I will not and cannot play to those rules.


27 Oct 19 - 12:58 PM (#4015691)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Raggy
1. You have had every opportunity to prove me wrong - you have never even tried
2. I have no rule book - I have a desire to see a folk scene with a future where I know kids in the future have the same opportunities we had to decide whether they like what their predecessors had to say about their lives

You have at no time ever addressed that - if I am wrong, show me where I am insted of hurling insults - that's what I get accused of doing
Jim


27 Oct 19 - 01:06 PM (#4015692)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

OK Number one Punkfolkrocker did not mention aspic.

I do not believe in making rules in this context, they are unnecessary and extremely restrictive. I've already said I won't play by your rules because, frankly, they are a load of bollocks.

Care to go back to Shakespeare.


27 Oct 19 - 01:10 PM (#4015693)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Richard Bridge

There appear to be the usual and possibly deliberate misunderstandings here. And, Al, it is nothing at all to do with post-imperial guilt.

It is also nothing at all to do with form.

Folk arts of all kinds (crafts, dance, music, song and doubtless others too) are distinct because of their derivation. Therefore any attempt to define "folk" has to be cross-cultural. Two things follow from that.

First there is a great deal to be said in favour of the Karpeles definition, although bits of it could do with some tweaking not least to do with the modern widespread emancipation (sic) of communication.   I would suggest that a requirement for unknown authorship is probably obsolete. Also some qualification of the meaning of "community". And if you bother to read it it does not purport to set folk music in aspic. It expressly allows for addition to the canon.

Second, until there is at least SOME agreement on what "folk music" is, this thread is largely meaningless.

Now, Raggy, it is your analogy that is senseless. "Theatre" is a form, as is "music" - but there are types of theatre that differ from others. Perhaps the single most obvious would be mumming plays - mostly traditional, mostly of unknown origin, and mostly nothing like Japanese NO theatre (which has its own rules and conventions).    Nobody is saying that music of known authorship is not music. Thereby your argument falls entirely.

So what do I think is happening in the marketplace? Most places where one may perform or participate in performing farouche music see less Karpeles definition song. This may well be true of participative events associated with house events and concerts. I prefer to go to things where there is more Karpeles definition song, and indeed at Forgotten Lands two years ago (it wasn't called "Forgotten Lands" then, it was just a private party at Stepping Stones Barn, for maybe 40 people but with most performance via a VERY good sound rig) and I did a little set of traditional mostly chorus songs (well, one was trad arr Burns) and I had a number of ppl seek me out to say how much they enjoyed and missed the sort of stuff that I had done. There might have been half a dozen people under 40 and this year there were more and a couple under 20.

They also much loved the sound of my then latest guitar acquisition - a 12 string Daion jumbo, intoned and set up and fitted with a B-band system using an undersaddle and a stick-on contact strip and stereo outputs by Brian Rodgers. But I disgress.

On the other hand at a house concert in leafy Leatherhead recently, the pre-concert session was mostly contemporary involving several guitars (including two 60 year old or more Martins, a very rare guitar with a three-letter name which I have forgotten - AYL or something like that, and an all ebony guitar which I think is the only one like that in the world, a cahon and a mandolin and a quantity of massed voices) - and I think everyone enjoyed that too - and the youngest person there by about 10 years would have been 44 and she plays wholly contemporary pop stuff and last year I heard her described at another festival as the performer most improved over the year.

So I don't think that the quality of the music is in the general proximity of what might be called folk-ish music declining - but I do wish that people would use accurate descriptors for what they do - harking back to Martin Carthy's exemplary description so long ago of himself as a "folk-song-singer" rather than a "folk singer".

On the other hand there isn't half some dogshit in hip-hop and rap! And the occasional jewel.


27 Oct 19 - 01:14 PM (#4015695)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Richard for the sake of clarity I did not bring threatre into the discussion.

By the way do you still have a well stocked caravan for festivals. I seem to recall happy times there!!


27 Oct 19 - 01:17 PM (#4015696)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I haven't claimed there are any number of folk clubs and PFR has never said anything about setting things in aspic. Until you get the basics right, Jim, how is anyone supposed to discuss anything with you?

Have you now agreed that there are no folk clubs that do not present folk music?


27 Oct 19 - 01:18 PM (#4015697)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Now despite me saying this before at mudcat..
some might find it surprising that I kinda support Jim..

If I wanted to go to a folk club, ideally I'd prefer to hear predominantly trad songs and tunes..

But real life don't cater for ideals, so I gave up looking where I live.

If public transport round here was not so shite,
or if me and the mrs had learned to drive,
and if we had significantly higher income;
then maybe we might have become regular folk club going enthusiasts.
Venturing as far as Bristol, Bath, and Exeter...???

At least a decade ago we decided to splash out and spend our wedding anniversary in Clevedon,
planning on getting the last Bus that would be any use getting us on our way home..

So.. afternoon seafront walk, did the pier, looked round the nearby music instruments shop, [is it still there ?]
had an early evening pub meal overlooking the channel.
Then as we prepared to leave for the bus, saw posters for an Acoustic night in a seafront pub,
but more interestingly.. a Folk Music night advertised
at the lovely old fashioned proper cider pub on the way back into town..

So happily decided.. we've already had a few pints, bugger the bus.. we'll treat ourselve's to a taxi later..

So.. the sea front acoustic night was exactly what it said on the tin..
young student types [probably performance arts and music technology...??]
playing acoustic versions of recent rock songs,
all to a high enough standard for Simon Cowell auditions..
Pleasant enough, but we were keener to get to the real old cider pub,
it's posters advertising "Folk Night"..

Got there, found a seat at a polite distance from the local regulars,
all our age and older
[we joked they could have been the parents and grandparents of the kids at the trendier seaside acoustic session...???]..
Sat there swigging cider in anticipation of a trad folk session..

The first man up was an old hippy with a fiddle..
This is more like it.. real cider and real trad folk tunes..

But after he'd been allowed to play about two tunes to fairly indiferent reception,
a duo of middle aged men in smart white shirts, with well groomed hair,
and expensive acoustic guitars,
took centre of attention and began strumming and singing Beatle songs.
They were adequate performers, but looked every bit like they'd been smarmed
for a photo shoot for publicity photos for a major concert tour...
Far more ego & style than talent..

We tolerated them.. surely the fiddle player will be back on soon.. won't he...???
Someone else will get up soon and sing folk won't they...???

Nope..

Fiddle man sat across the room on his own looking unwanted and dejected,
while the two Beatle bores continued dominating, playing to their clique of family and friends fan club
for the rest of the evening..

After a few more pints I became restless and irritated, heckling sarcastically quietly under my breath..
Well, I thought I was being quiet until the land lady reprimanded me
for starting to be a problem on their folk night..

We ordered a taxi, which cost a painful fortune to get us home,
after a sour end to a good wedding anniversary at a posh seaside resort...

That was justy about the last straw...

So Jim, sorry if I shock too much by having been in close agreement with you all along...


27 Oct 19 - 01:22 PM (#4015698)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

crikey..i see there are plenty more posts here to wade through while I was away
typing up my trip to the seaside...

I think I'll take my tablet into the bog for a quiet read...


27 Oct 19 - 01:30 PM (#4015699)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

ps.. memory plays tricks,
uncertain now if it was a duo or just one smarmy MOR Beatles cover singer
monopolising the session...???


27 Oct 19 - 01:43 PM (#4015701)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"So Jim, sorry if I shock too much by having been in close agreement with you all along..."
I didn't really believe we weer that far apart and I reallt don't have a problem with people's own personal circumstances - I have to content myself with going to a monthly singing session where there is no recognisable policy
Fortunately it is run by a very fine singer whose repertoire tends towards traditional songs and new ones made using old styles - her pièce de résistance is Con 'Fada' O'Drisceoll's BEN HUR
She has also a fine sense of balance which gives a great mix to any evening

For me, I have a foot in oth camps - I love to sing and listen, but am also involved in putting fifty yeears of work into a context that people will bw able to access long after I've moved to Northern Greece (or whichever heaven they're sent to when they've finished here)
Jim


27 Oct 19 - 02:09 PM (#4015704)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - so you're still here for the moment, that's a relief..
But now that I've read back a few posts I see so far today you've been confusing me with Raggy,
And who knows who else...?????


You even got me scratching my head puzzling where I'd mentioned aspic...???


27 Oct 19 - 03:03 PM (#4015713)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Sorry - shellshock
Just listened to a superb hour-long radio tribute to Seamus Ennis on Irish Lyric FM - stacks and stacks of examples so his collecting work in Ireland and Scotland
It should be available for listening in a couple of days time
Warra star
Will open a thread giving details later
Jim


27 Oct 19 - 03:13 PM (#4015716)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Stringsinger

I am unclear as to what a folk club really is? Is it a place to hear traditional folk singers, (usually unaccompanied) or a showcase for the generic acoustic music? It seems to me that Ewan and Peggy meant something quite different from what is being discussed here.

Here, in the States, we have lost what were commonly thought of as folk clubs in coffee houses. There are a few left. Most of it is singer-songwriters who play acoustic music.
Some of it is good, some not so. Generally they are more intimate than the larger venues that popular music acts are forced to play.

I'm not sure that traditional folk singers who have been documented in field recordings would find a suitable stage in the generic acoustic music scene.

What may die out is the fad for acoustic music bars or pubs that feature the singer-songwriter or Beatles players. I think that a genuine society based on interest in traditional folk music can survive as long as people know what it is and are educated to appreciate it.

Sometimes shoddy guitar players and unmusical strident voices that imitate what they consider to be "authentic"prevail in these so-called folk places. And this is augmented by unscrupulous live sound people who set levels and leave.

I find the traditional field recordings of folk music to be far more musical for the most part than the imitators or stylish ripped jeans of the scroungy persons who pretend to be somehow "working class". Working class people generally dress up when they appear on stage, suits, ties, or something that would be called respectable.

I understand rebellion. I am sympathetic to the Left and would like to see the world changed. I attempt to write topical songs as a kind of therapy for the onslaught of the disasters in the world, politically,economically, socially etc.

Still, when it becomes an affectation, even when well-intentioned, it's subject to criticism.

The solution is to embrace traditional cultures worldwide and avoid the music imperialism of the popular music industry that puts performance up to sell.


27 Oct 19 - 08:40 PM (#4015743)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

PFR.....its like Shakespeare said
When sorrows come, they come not single spies
But in battalions.

I bet there were two of the bastards. Actually it might have been me.


27 Oct 19 - 09:30 PM (#4015746)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Richard Bridge

Different caravan, similar stock. Obviously too well stocked as I cannot remember who you were Raggy!


27 Oct 19 - 09:38 PM (#4015747)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Shaw

Good to see you still up and running, Richard!


28 Oct 19 - 04:15 AM (#4015765)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Is it a place to hear traditional folk singers"
I think the clubs were a compromise for urban audiences - for me they worked and were infinitely preferable to concerts
Many singers took to the clubs with no effort - Sam Larner loved his visit to London
He had sung before larger audiences in the Fishermen's Concerts when he was at sea and sang weekly at the local pub, 'The Fishermen's Return, but he made the point that "the serious singing was done at home or on board the trawlers"
Granger's Linconshire singers described singing concerts and competitions
Walter Pardon had never sung publicly before he was 'discovered' but he enjoyed the clubs
He described how he developed the technique of "looking down my nose" so the massed faces didn't put him off

"PFR.....its like Shakespeare said - When sorrows come, they come not single spies"
I thinks he might have said "come in mutton pies" in Titus Andronicus - but he did have a twisted sense of humour at times :->
Jim


28 Oct 19 - 04:58 AM (#4015770)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Observer

An opinion, strongly expressed, from another thread on a completely different subject:

A sausage has got meat in in it. So do not call something with no meat in it a sausage. It's bad enough that you make it look like a sausage without you adding insult to injury by calling it a sausage. Do your own misguided thing, eat what you like, but do not call a non-sausage a sausage. And I know not what tofu is and I never will.

Now just transpose "folk club", "folk song", "folk music", "folk night" as representing what the author of the above thinks a "real sausage" is and you basically get what Jim Carroll has been trying very hard to get across to people on this thread.

Just out of interest I'll be attending a festival this coming week-end that specifically advertises itself as a "folk" festival. Over the course of the week-end I am going to take note of what is performed on stage and what is sung/played in the sessions - If this thread is still running I'll get back to you all a week from today.


28 Oct 19 - 05:17 AM (#4015775)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Very good analogy, Observer. The thing is a sausage is composite and will often contain less than 50% meat. (32% is the legal minimum). I would hope a folk club contains more than 32% folk music but as long as it contains a substantial portion of folk music it is a folk club. What Jim has been saying is that there are folk clubs that contain no folk music at all. If that is the case I agree absolutely that it is wrong and something needs to be done. What we are having problems with is finding any such club.

Enjoy your festival and hoping that it contains more than 50% meat :-)


28 Oct 19 - 05:19 AM (#4015777)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Like it or not, a lot of Beatles songs have entered into the wider pool or repertoire of songs that live performers, including the newest generation will draw upon. So has Neil Young, for example. I believe that this mirrors the process whereby commercial songs in the past got taken up, and so I welcome it.

It is an old and, you could argue, 'traditional' process. Indeed, as Jim knows very well, Pardon himself believed that the songs his uncle taught him had come from come from (commercially produced) broadsheets. I know he was marketed as a 'traditional' singer, but this glosses over the facts.


28 Oct 19 - 05:45 AM (#4015779)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

Good for you, "Observer". At least we'll have one [ partial ] answer to the question posed. I look forward with interest.


28 Oct 19 - 05:50 AM (#4015780)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"a lot of Beatles songs have entered into the wider pool or repertoire of songs that live performers, including the newest generation will draw upon."
Doesn't make em folk songs
Try telling their estate that their songs are in the public domain and wait for the writs to com pounding on the doormat
Jim Carroll


28 Oct 19 - 06:00 AM (#4015782)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Performing copyright songs in Folk clubs has never been subject to writs or any such legalities. That is a red herring. In recent years the PRS take a blanket payment off any live music clubs to cover any payment due to copyright holders. One argument for having a completely trad based club is that no such payment would be due. It has never happened as far as I know but it would be an interesting test case.


28 Oct 19 - 06:29 AM (#4015787)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

The fact that Walter Pardon appeared in 'folk clubs' does not make him part of some 'oral tradition' reaching back, possibly, to Ancient Egypt.

Though it would appear he was 'marketed' as such.


28 Oct 19 - 06:32 AM (#4015788)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

See Jim's post above which, 'traditional folk singer'. He was an old man who sang old songs he believed had come from broadsides.


28 Oct 19 - 06:37 AM (#4015789)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Performing copyright songs in Folk clubs has never been subject to writs or any such legalities. "
It would become one if the clubs gained popularity and singing this ttuff became regular practice
Not the point I was making Beatles songs are the property of those who on the Beatles estate - folk songs are common property - ours
I wouldn't want a purely trad-based club, I don't know many who do - this is becoming a regular red-herring
There is an issue of accompanied songs' in Ireland, but that's about something else

Whatever the percentage of folk song is acceptable the overall output of any folk club needs to be folk or folk-based songs and never anything that is diametrically opposite to folk-style creation - people (used to) come to listen to a distinctive style and sound
In my ealy days in London you seldom heard music hall songs in the dozen or so clubs I frequented - latterly I drank far too much because of the number of "Oh no - not again" type songs that drove me and others down to the bar
If you hope to draw newbies onto the scene, they need to know that what you are giving them is what you say you are   

"Pardon himself believed that the songs his uncle taught him had come from come from" Walter knew or believed no such thing - he thought a few of them might - Walter's family were hoarders who never threw anything out but he told us he never saw a broadside
He knew Bonny Bunch of Roses' came from a pamphlet, which he still owned

have but, as we don't really know whether folk-songs appearing on broadsides were penned by the hacks or taken from rural visitors to the towns it doesn't really matter anyway - even the most insistent of 'print-origin merchants hae been forced to admit that the broadside-oral tradition relationship was a two-way street
We owe the survival of our ballads and many narrative songs to communities that were overwhelmingly illiterate - the Travellers


28 Oct 19 - 06:38 AM (#4015790)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Prem ejac.
Last para should start
As we don't know..
Jim


28 Oct 19 - 06:41 AM (#4015792)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

one reason why pop songs and beatle songs cannot become folk songs is that they are not altered by oral transmission except possibly when sung at football matches, but if sung in folk clubs they are sung in my experience as they were written, if one takes the 1954 definition then by this judgement they will never be folk songs because they are not folkprocessed.


28 Oct 19 - 07:06 AM (#4015795)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

I was hovering to get the 600th post in but missed it. Over 600 posts and we're still speaking to each other. Keep it up :-) I'll post some thoughts later when on the PC. Thanks for all the contributions sofar


28 Oct 19 - 08:26 AM (#4015810)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Walter's grandfather, he said, was musical and could note down tunes from broadsides. Walter also said his singing style was his own, and not traditional. For me, when you pick away at these claims that people are 'traditional folk singers' so much of it appears to be based upon rosy tinted spectacles rather than on reasoned argument.

Ironically, I used to subscribe to a similar view of 'folk music' as being the music of the people. It was Jim Carroll's rantings that put me off it.


28 Oct 19 - 08:27 AM (#4015811)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

And I had never heard of Walter Pardon, but and I am just being honest here, some of the offerings on Spotify are so embarrassingly bad I would be cringing if hearing them live.


28 Oct 19 - 08:49 AM (#4015813)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jeri

You should probably stick to curated and slick studio recordings if the "warts" bother you.

I've thought about this for years: why is there a cut-off of x years ago? When was the "tradition" authentic, and now, it's not, because it changed? And what will the folklorists of the next century say? What is the long view here?

People now learn songs from recordings or books. If there are what some deem "traditional" singers, how do they exist apart from mass media? "Tradition" has to change, no matter how much people bitch about it.

(Over 600 posts, and nobody's saying anything new, but then, it's a traditional subject. [insert winky face here])


28 Oct 19 - 09:25 AM (#4015817)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"I would be cringing if hearing them live."
Walter was lionised as one of Britain's best singers, along with fellow East Anglains, Harry Cox nad Sam Larner
If you don't get his singing you don't get what traditional singing is about
Your Walter quotes are totally out-of -context and misleading
We spent twenty years recording him in minute detail and have Bill Leader's early recordings of him as well
Mike Yates spent a deal of time with him too and gave us some of his recordings
Walter was very precise on how he viewed folk songs, their importance and how they differed from other non-folk items in his repertoire
Now that National Sound Archive have decided to put our collection on line, I'm hoping they will include what he had to say as well as what he sung
One of the greatest gaps in our knowledge of the tradition is that we have litle idea of what the singers thought, which has led to all sorts of wild speculation, the most inaccurate being that because they sang every type of song they couldn't tell the difference between the different types
Walter would have been very amused (and confused) to see his 'When The Fields Were White With Daisies' being designated as a folk song and given a Roud number - he firmly stated that this type of song was not and said why - often at length.

Folk song is like every other artistic endeavour - you have to work at it to understand it and you have to understand it to like it - it is not superficial - good things never are

I hated Harry Cox's singing when I first heard it - now it never fails to move me and I never cease to find something new in it whenever I revisit it

"Over 600 posts, and nobody's saying anything new"
Pay attention, that girl !! :->
Jim


28 Oct 19 - 10:16 AM (#4015824)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

one reason why pop songs and beatle songs cannot become folk songs is that they are not altered by oral transmission except possibly when sung at football matches, but if sung in folk clubs they are sung in my experience as they were written, if one takes the 1954 definition then by this judgement they will never be folk songs because they are not folkprocessed.

Somebody who performs a note-perfect replica of what a "source singer" recorded 50 years ago is doing exactly what a covers band does with the Beatles (in fact the covers band is more likely to introduce changes). So where's the difference?

We owe the survival of our ballads and many narrative songs to communities that were overwhelmingly illiterate - the Travellers

Twaddle. Not one of the ballads in Child's collection came through any Traveller source, neither did anything Sharp collected, and only a handful of songs in the Greig-Duncan collection. The vast corpus of British folksongs owes nothing to the Travellers. It was interesting to find a bunch of people singing those songs by oral transmission as late as the Fifties, but that is absolutely as far as it goes. We have no reason to think that their performance style has anything to do with any ancient and general tradition either - there are plenty of old recording by non-Travellers that sound completely unlike the Stewarts of Blair orthodoxy. Traveller culture is a nice historical footnote but no more. And it has zero relevance to the current UK scene.


28 Oct 19 - 10:36 AM (#4015828)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Not one of the ballads in Child's collection came through any Traveller source, n"
Nobody knows where all Child's ballads came from - he was largely working from print despite his despising the broadsides
We know that in the twentieth century they were a major source in Scotland - I am now finding the same applies to Ireland
There is no reason why that shouldn't always have been the case
Our knowledge of the oral tradition dates back only as far as the twentieth century
As you say "twaddle"
Would be interested to find you know anything different
THe indications are that the same applies to storytelling - I'm pretty sure that ballad singing and storytelling are related within living traditions


28 Oct 19 - 11:49 AM (#4015839)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Folk song is like every other artistic endeavour - you have to work at it to understand it and you have to understand it to like it - it is not superficial - good things never are

There are lots of things that I like that I never have had to work at. Including some, but not all, traditional singing. If you have to work at it to understand it and understand it to enjoy it then 95% of the population would never get round to enjoying it. Most people want their pleasures handed to them on a plate. How on earth can it be the music of the people of it takes academic effort to appreciate it?


28 Oct 19 - 12:24 PM (#4015845)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Stringsinger

Appreciating traditional folk music is available to the people. Many people have been brainwashed by manufactured consent to the ruling elite and dumbed-down entertainment industry. The appreciation for folk music relies on digging through the weeds and onto the rich soil. Many people do not expect instant gratification depending on which people we mean. A metaphor this would be healthy food. Many don't care. Some do. Agribusiness has desensitized people for the need to have organic food in their diet. Nonetheless, this doesn't stop some from wanting to improve their lifestyle.

This is the metaphor for understanding traditional folk music. It's always been there and even though vestiges of it seem like it's dying out, it pops up again and again in unlikely places. As people crave a healthy lifestyle, they also crave the musical nutrition of traditional folk as it documents important aspects of human history. Fast-food music appeals to those who don't know any better. It's not their fault, but the fault of the music merchants, businessmen, financial wheelers-and-dealers and those who run the world.
Their job is to hypnotize the public to buy their product so that they can stay or become wealthy.

In short, commercialism in music is the enemy of traditional folk music as it engenders a musical imperialism. The musical copyright laws in place are meant to keep the exclusivity to those who have profited from fast-food music.

The answer is to understand and own the traditional folk music of a country. It is important and nourishing when people are freed from the propaganda that the commercial music industry has handed us.


28 Oct 19 - 12:28 PM (#4015847)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

I can barely remember now,
but nearly 40 years ago on my degree I was arguing against the elitist snobbery
of middle class literary accademics and critics..

The name F. R. Leavis springs to mind, but I remember eff all about him now.
A quick google reminder is too much to take in for the moment..

But here's a random sample from his wiki

"..uncompromising zeal in promoting his views.. sanctimonious prick.. narrowness, spitefulness, dogmatism..
provocative, and idiosyncratic..
characteristics of a religious or ideological sect..
"

Thank goodness the state of folk music in the UK in 2019 is more easy going and open minded than that.. eh..???

Anyway, I was allowed to write my dissertation favourably comparing H Rider Haggard and Joseph Conrad,
my two favourite novelists at that time..
One considered high brow, the other middle to low brow,
But as I keenly argued far more similar than convenient
for the stale orthodoxies of the critical establishment...

Well.. I was young and full of rebellious intellectual vigour back then...


28 Oct 19 - 12:38 PM (#4015849)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"If you have to work at it to understand it and understand it to enjoy it then 95% of the population would never get round to enjoying it."
If you don't work at it and make a balls of it, you don't even get to enjoy it yourself
If you want to paint you learn the techniques of painting - writing, playing an instrument,,,,, you m name it, to need to put in the work in if you are going to do it well - nothing to do with being academic
Are you suggesting that the people aren't capable of understanding and enjoying academic subjects - surely not !!
You want to get behind a couple of Liverpool supporters who've never kicked a ball in their lives discussing the finer arts of football sometime
You might not understand that coming from Yorkshire :->
Jim


28 Oct 19 - 12:39 PM (#4015850)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"elitist snobbery"
Sigh---- not again
Jim


28 Oct 19 - 12:41 PM (#4015853)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Pseudonymous wrote
And I had never heard of Walter Pardon, but and I am just being honest here, some of the offerings on Spotify are so embarrassingly bad I would be cringing if hearing them live.

I don't know which recordings of Walter are on Spotify but I'd imagine that they would be taken from the various commercial recordings that he made. I have all of these and there would be no doubt in my mind to say that Walter Pardon is one of the finest of all England's traditional singers. His phrasing is sure, his tone and pitch are spot on and he has a large and very interesting repertoire.
Of course, for many ears, I realise that the solo voice of the traditional singer is an an acquired taste for some people but once you have acquired that taste you come to realise that in his own field, he is a great artist.
Get Martin Carthy or his daughter Eliza talking about Walter's singing and what a lovely man he was and you find that is difficult to get them to stop.


28 Oct 19 - 12:47 PM (#4015854)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Stringsinger - I suggest you are going too far in your apparent disdain for 'commercial product' music and culure

"Fast-food music appeals to those who don't know any better. It's not their fault, but.."

AS much as you may not intend it, that still comes over as patronising and insulting...

My conclusion to my disssertation nearly 40 years ago,
about novelists from the late Victorian and Edwardian era,
was basically...

"Conrad was a high brow artistic writer trying but failing to make more money,
whereas Haggard was a commercially succesful populist hack writer
who aspired to be taken more seriously by the critics..
But both appealed to an educated readership..

Likewise, well rounded open minded listeners can and do enjoy obscure minority interest music and crass bubble gum pop...


28 Oct 19 - 12:54 PM (#4015859)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Jim, once again you fail dramatically with your "facts"

Dave was born and reared in Lancashire, the same county as you I believe.

You really should take a step back before you start attacking people, which I may add, you do with boring repetition.

Oh once again I forgot the "rules" 1 and 2.


28 Oct 19 - 12:56 PM (#4015861)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Mike Yates wrote an interesting article on Walter's non traditional songs for Musical Traditions entitled 'The Other Songs' and I wrote a response to it - both are still on line
When Tom Munnelly was quit ill some of us wrote articles in his honour which was published as a Festschrift
Pat and I did one on Walter entitled, Walter Pardon - a Simple Countryman? (note the question-mark)
We chose the title after having an arument with a well-known English folkie who, after our explaining how Walter approached his songs, replied, "How could he - he's just a simple countryman - he must have been got at"
Happy to pass that article in to anybody interested
A similar thing wa said about Joe Heaney when his approach to singing was made public
Jim Carroll


28 Oct 19 - 12:57 PM (#4015862)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

""elitist snobbery"
Sigh---- not again
Jim
"

Jim - why sigh.. elitist snobbery is a reality, and the bane of working class culture and aspirations..

I think the trouble is you see these words printed in any context,
and your brain targets in on them and triggers you into thinking
these two words are being written there and then about you...???

You really don't need to be so over-defensive...

Unless in this instance you were a middle class academic/ literary critic in the early to mid 20th Century...


28 Oct 19 - 01:09 PM (#4015867)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"elitist snobbery is a reality,"
Elitist snobbery is the domain of those who believe that you have to be educated to think about art
I'm not over-defensive about anything - I just get bored with hearing this 'instinctive as birdsong' approach to folksong
You really need to listen to what some of the old singers had to say about folksong sometime
Try this from a non-literate Irish traveller talking about how he understands 'What Put the Blood'

"“I’d say the song, myself, goes back to.... depicts Cain and Abel in the Bible and where Our Lord said to Cain.... I think this is where the Travellers Curse come from too, because Our Lord says to Cain, “Cain”, says Our Lord, “you have slain your brother, and for this”, says Our Lord, says he, “and for this, be a wanderer and a fugitive on the earth”.
“Not so Lord” says he, “this punishment is too severe, and whoever finds me”, says he, “will slay me, “says he “or harass me”.
“Not so”, says Our Lord, says he, “whoever finds Cain and punishes or slains (sic) Cain, I will punish them sevenfold”.
And I think this is where the Travellers curse come from.
Anyway, the song depicts this, this er....
1 call it Cain and Abel anyway; there never was a name for the song, but that what I call it, you know, the depiction of Cain and Abel.”

Wexford Traveller, 'Pop's' Johnny Connors,
Reccordded on a field next to Heathrow Airport
July, 1973


"


28 Oct 19 - 01:30 PM (#4015871)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

If you're doing it right, it shouldn't feel like work.
No doubt codifying and tabulating folk music is laborious, but you'd never get anywhere clock watching. you work on the music until it sounds right.

Its not like a music exam - where you get 6 out of ten and you get a pass. you have to be confident enough that you've got it as right as you can. And if it still sounds like shit - play something easier in public that you are capable of.

Pesonally, i'd rather hear a Beatles song played properly than a traditional song buggered up.

Not that the Beatles are easy - they were clever blokes - 2nd generation working class musician in Paul's case. the songs were written so well, that I can adapt them to my style, which I would characterise as mid 20th century English folk club. i don't try to sound like the Beatles, but I love doing their songs - and audiences love them.


28 Oct 19 - 01:33 PM (#4015872)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - are you confusing me with other mudcatters again today...???

I've not said a word about our elder singers..

Remember, like you, I'm a a lifelong proponent of working class self education movement...

My guess is you tend to get full steam ahead with your arguments,
and accidentally confuse and conflate several posters at a time when you answer back...???


28 Oct 19 - 01:48 PM (#4015875)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Sorry misunderstood - I was still in my replying to Dave mode
Apologies
"Dave was born and reared in Lancashire, the same county as you I believe."
Sorry - it was a joke
Who on earth suggested that Liverpool was in Lancashire anyway - whatever happened to the 33 county of Ireland !!

"Personally, i'd rather hear a Beatles song played properly than a traditional song buggered up."
Why does it have to be either or Al ?
I'd rather hear traditional song sung properly - I've heard as much as I want of the Beatles songs - them and football drove me away from home
Jim


28 Oct 19 - 01:52 PM (#4015876)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Elitist snobbery is the domain of those who believe that you have to be educated to think about art

And from the same pen...

Folk song is like every other artistic endeavour - you have to work at it to understand it and you have to understand it to like it - it is not superficial - good things never are

So, on the one hand you believe that you have to understand it to enjoy it but do not believe you need to be educated to enjoy it. How do you think people are going to understand something of they do not educate themselves in it?

Anyhow. I think we were talking about different things before. If you mean you have to work at something to enjoy performing then, yes, I agree completely. It came across as you have to understand to appreciate listening and I disagree with that.


28 Oct 19 - 02:14 PM (#4015877)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

I don't believe ou have to be educated to understand art - as my Traveller example shows
When I talk about education I'm not referring to formal or higher education - I think people reach their own understanding of things - quite of ten in ways that educated people fail to do sometimes
We do live in a society governed by educated morons, after all
Jim


28 Oct 19 - 02:21 PM (#4015879)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Ok. That is clearer. Thanks.

I still disagree that you need to understand something to enjoy it. I enjoy all sorts of things I don't understand. Ok, part of the enjoyment can be learning more but it is not a prerequisite.


28 Oct 19 - 02:35 PM (#4015881)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"I still disagree that you need to understand something to enjoy it"
I don't say you can't enjoy it - I do say the more you understand it, the more there is to enjoy, that's all
Whan I started listening to the ballads I was knocked out by the stories, when I began to learn them I began to realise there were things I'd missed
For instance, I loved Ewan singing Gil Morricwe, but when he explained one of the lines the whole thing hooked me

A husband kills a hermit boy because he believes his wife is having an affair because she is aked to meet him in the woods
She explains he is not her lover but her illegitimate son who she has exiled
She confesses:
"I once was full o' Gil Morrice as the hip is of the stone" - one of the most beutiful descriptions of pregnancy in poetry, as far as I'm concerned - in the vernacular language of the folk

Just stick your thumbnail into the thin latyer of flesh of a rose-hip and you'll see what I mean
There - I've got a lump in my throat !
Jim


28 Oct 19 - 02:47 PM (#4015883)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Richard Bridge

So, Raggytash, which festival was it that you encountered my caravan?


28 Oct 19 - 02:50 PM (#4015884)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

1. Folk song is like every other artistic endeavour - you have to work at it to understand it and you have to understand it to like it - it is not superficial - good things never are

2. I don't say you can't enjoy it - I do say the more you understand it, the more there is to enjoy, that's all

There is where I, and I suspect many others, have problems with what you are saying, Jim. Two seemingly contradictory statements. Version 1 says You have to work at it understand it. You have to understand it to enjoy it. Version 2 days you don't need to understand it to enjoy it. Then when I ask you to clarify you go ballistic and accuse me of hounding you. Please make yourself clear so us thick Yorkshire twats can understand what you obviously high IQ Scouse gits are trying to say.


28 Oct 19 - 02:54 PM (#4015886)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jeri

I will say one thing, then leave this.
This is not a discussion, it's a tennis match. Enjoy.


28 Oct 19 - 03:01 PM (#4015887)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

""I still disagree that you need to understand something to enjoy it"
I don't say you can't enjoy it - I do say the more you understand it, the more there is to enjoy, that's all
"


Me and the mrs enjoy subtitled foreign movies...

We wouldn't be entirely buggered if the translation was missing
while watching an old kung fu movie, or 1970s soft core slapstick sex comedy..

But subtitles really are vital with complex serious drama...

Having said that, I readily enjoy foreign songs where I haven't a clue what they're singing about,
but the instrumental arangement and voice convey emotion that resignates with me...

..and again, I openly acknowledge I also tend to concentrate listening to the musicality of our trad folk songs,
the words and story often just wash over me as I concentrate on the emotionality of the sound...

That can be a blessing when zoned out and suppressing hearing really rubbish lyrics
that could pop out and spoil my listening pleasure..

For instance I like Lankum,
but was listening to one of their more long winded songs yesterday,
when the lyrics just started to irritate me,
and distracted from my connection to the song and enjoyment of it...

It wasn't the subject matter that started to bore me,
it was the the quality of the writing...

Obviously this is about my own personal tastes,
I'm not a qualified know it all creative writing teacher...

But don't even get me started on a lot of 1970's rock lyrics...


28 Oct 19 - 03:18 PM (#4015892)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

What's wrong with going through a desert on a horse with no name, PFR? :-)


28 Oct 19 - 03:20 PM (#4015894)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Can't say for certain Richard, I probably had a dram or two too many in your company. It was numerous years ago and on more than one occasion.

Yourself and your good lady had a well deserved reputation for wonderful hospitality.

Trying to think logically, Cleckheaton, Saddleworth perhaps, or even Bedworth. Upon reflection Bedworth may be the festivals !!


28 Oct 19 - 03:30 PM (#4015896)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

DtG - bloody America misspelled "Dessert "...???


28 Oct 19 - 03:31 PM (#4015897)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Two seemingly contradictory statements."
They aren't
You can look at something ant take immediate superficial pleasure from it - you enjoy it
Look at it more closely and you see more - you enjoy it more
I find, say, the ballads something you can approach from different directions and get different levels of pleasure from because you see it differently each time
I believe this is the essence of good art - there's always something else to find,
Sometimes it's in the picture or song, sometimes it's something you remembered ot has just happened in your own life and it clicks

THere's a version of the Golden Vanity abot the cabin boy who volunteers to sink the enemy ship
Theres a verse in ir which describes the French crew relaxing, when the water pours through the olles the lad has drilled in the ship

Some were playing cards and some were playing dice,
Some where standing around giving good advice

You don't have to have been to University to appreciate that wonderful image- anybody who has worked in a factory and watched the lads playing cards or chess or cribbage at dinnertime with all their work-mates standing around whispering "You shouldn't have done that" know what that's about
Our ballads and folk songs are full of things like that - you can use images like that as a singer all the time - that's not education, it's observation

Off to watch shit on tele all night
Jim


28 Oct 19 - 03:40 PM (#4015898)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Agree absolutely, Jim. So why say you have to understand it enjoy it in the first place? I am just trying to get a better understanding of what you are trying to say to avoid future misunderstandings.


28 Oct 19 - 03:40 PM (#4015899)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - I'll be watching "Sisters Brothers" again [2 day hire from Amazon prime]
The best new Western I've enjoyed this century,
possibly one of the best films regardless of genre..

I couldn't fault it..
It has wide audience appeal..
It's both instantly entertaining, and at the same time deep with complex meaning
But a commercial flop...?????
.. I've not seen a bad review so far by anyone who has seen it...


28 Oct 19 - 03:50 PM (#4015901)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

You've set my nights viewing, PFR. Looks good and has the late and very lamented Rutger Hauer in it!


28 Oct 19 - 04:34 PM (#4015911)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Damn! It's a pay one. You know what he tight Yorkshire sods are like. I might get sent back to Lancashire.


28 Oct 19 - 04:48 PM (#4015913)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Yeah.. we got it on the £1.99 deal..

even at that price you don't get much Rutger Hauer cameo for the money...


28 Oct 19 - 05:30 PM (#4015916)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I get to watch the great model railway challenge as consolation. :-)


29 Oct 19 - 03:00 AM (#4015942)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

It is my opinion there are quite a lot of duos trios who are very competent musically and vocally but when you examine the content of the songs, there is little social comment and neither is there very much trad material. a large proportion their repertoire is singer songwriter songs about personal relationships,this can produce an overall sameiness, lightened only by instrumental variety , to precis more concern about presentation than form
there are also one or two singer songwriters who are masters of comic genre, who are an oasis in a desert of bland folk pop


29 Oct 19 - 03:54 AM (#4015944)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"So why say you have to understand it enjoy it in the first place? "
It's the difference between watching The Simpsons and reading Dickens Dave
You enjoy both (if you have any taste) but you have to put more work into one of them
Same with any Art - you can enjoy Renoir and Banksie - one takes more work to appreciate than the other
If you take on folk song as a performer you take on an important piece of social history created by a people that have largely been considered creativeless - 'The People's Songs'
I have always enjoyed listening to them - the better they were sng the more I enjoyed them, but the songs themselves are quite interesting
I didn't bother too much how I sang them when I started until I noticed the special buzz it gave m when the songs workd - for me and for the listeners, so I worked at them, technically and getting to understand them
I can pretty well get the same level of pleasure from a song I leaned fifty years go than I do when I find a new one
I won't live long enough to do all the things I want to do with folk song now - I'm only just beginning to understand folk song and its implications
That's what I call a half decent alternative to waiting for the next episode of Holby City - it's called fulfilling yourself (and, when it comes to research) leaving something behind you when you go.
Come in - the water's lovely
Anybody who just listens to folk songs for the music is just chewing the wrapping and throwing the sweet away - folk song is words and stories, the tunes are there to provide a matrix for them to be appreciated
Jim


29 Oct 19 - 04:08 AM (#4015945)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Ok, Jim. I will just put it down to differences between how we communicate. Out of interest. Which do you think needs more work? Renoir or Banksie?


29 Oct 19 - 04:12 AM (#4015947)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

"Anybody who just listens to folk songs for the music is just chewing the wrapping and throwing the sweet away

Humbug...


29 Oct 19 - 04:15 AM (#4015948)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Renoir of course - Banksie works on the instantaneous impact principle - you see everything first time around with him, you see something new everything you visit the masters (if they are good and if you put the work in)
There are a series of war sketches by Goya - each tome I see them is like being punched in the face
That goes beyond simple enjoyment
Jim


29 Oct 19 - 04:29 AM (#4015950)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

Well said Jim,


29 Oct 19 - 04:51 AM (#4015953)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Humbug..."
I prefer Maltesers with a figure like meine
Jim


29 Oct 19 - 05:04 AM (#4015955)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I see the pattern emerging here. Renoir is better tnan Banksie. Dickens is better than Groening. Pardon is better than Sheeran. Old is better than new. Fine. Everyone to their own. As long as you do not insist that your tastes are better than anyone elses, there is no argument. Moving back to the state of folk in the UK...

Yes, Dick. There are a number of singer/songwriters who are a bit samey. On the other hand there are those who write about many things other than relationships. I think the best ones do, as with everything else, get to the top. This is where the folk world differs from pop. They get there by being good, not through marketing. There are a number of pop artists who are exceptionally good too but public exposure can have a much greater bearing in pop than it does in folk. That is where folk still has, to me, the advantage over mainstream.


29 Oct 19 - 05:32 AM (#4015957)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Well, the consensus seems to be, that we don't agree what folk music is - so we don't agree about the present, and thus the future is totally unfathomable.

nuff said , really.


29 Oct 19 - 05:55 AM (#4015958)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Well, the consensus seems to be, that we don't agree what folk music is "
This thread and those similar represent a tiny handful of posters in a centuries old music which has been clearly identified and documented for over 100 years
That fact that some pf ' we few. we few, we band of brothers' chooses not to accept the work of over a century and, apparently, is not prepared to pull a book off the shelf to prove or disprove that work, doesn't amount to a hill of beans Al
Those who can't define folk don't want to - probably because it suits them that it goes unrecognised

Old versus new - are you serious Dave - ?
I seriously hope not
As always, the proof is in the pudding
Once you drag an art-form down to that level you trivialise it beyond all discussion
Jim


29 Oct 19 - 06:11 AM (#4015960)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I am serious, Jim. On everything mentioned you have said you prefer the old to the new. It does not get us anywhere but helps me to understand where you are coming from. There is no better or worse as far as I am concerned and has sweet FA to do with the current state of folk so, as you are fond of saying, I think we are done with that.


29 Oct 19 - 06:50 AM (#4015962)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

Another partly-folk event spotted on FB which isn't a folk club. "Lord Bateman" would be a perfectly appropriate song for the context.

18 hours of music for 18 days of the Lebanese revolution

In solidarity with the joyful revolution bubbling across Lebanon, I will be playing an 18 hour concert at my home this coming Sunday to celebrate 18 days of the revolution.

The concert will start at 6 am and end at midnight. I will be playing electric guitar/electronics and curating the day.

I would like to invite all my fellow musicians, performers and artists (as well as non-musicians, non-performers and non-artists) to join us for this 18 hour long celebration.

This is a small gesture of support to help fuel protestors on the streets of Lebanon and support them in bringing about change in a country in desperate need for change.


This is in Edinburgh, I'll provide more details for anyone who messages me.


29 Oct 19 - 06:55 AM (#4015964)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

For me Jim's comments on Shakespeare suggest that he has, despite his long associations with the political left (a history which I to some degree share, though I am younger and was never a communist), never come to any kind of critical analysis of the way that particular playwright has come to be lionised as a 'great' of British history. This is about various things including patriotism, selective readings of his plays, and what might crudely be described as British Cultural Imperialism.

I think he is now - even perhaps subconsciously - setting out to portray himself as culturally sophisticated and discerning because this backs up his claim (which is relevant to the credibility of his claims to be the Big I Am relating to the current state of folk music in the UK) to be qualified in terms of bourgeois art appreciation to pontificate on which folk songs are 'great art' as produced by the lower orders as opposed to 'crap' produced by men of middling rank who got paid for it (leaving out Irish Travellers who got paid for it, who don't count as producing crap, apparently).

And yes, he contradicts himself all the time, and his famous definition of folk is a cumbersome and unwieldy composite. This relates to several things including a) his insistence on including MacColl within it and b) political bias and c) the element of subjective 'aesthetic' judgment which is the main basis for his decisions about what songs are and are not folk music. If he likes them they are, if not, not.

What I first noticed about this Jim Carroll who I first encountered through these threads, having never heard of him before, was his aggression and rudeness, his frequent use of metaphors relating to violence and toilets and such like, coupled with a tendency to go into sorry for himself mode when anybody really stood up to what looks very much like bullying. I speak as somebody who resigned from below the line as a result of insults heaped by this man.


29 Oct 19 - 06:56 AM (#4015966)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Kenny B(Inactive)

Since artists have been introduced to keep this thread running I would suggest that GOYA is the message for folks on here that don't support acoustic music venues and DEGAS is my opinion of the folk who just talk about it and don't really support "folk / acoustic" venues.

Long Live acronyms!


29 Oct 19 - 06:58 AM (#4015967)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Sorry to sum up, I would prefer to discuss the state of folk music in the UK with somebody with recent experience, and ideally with some experience and knowledge of music per se and without this load of baggage. And I get a bit fed up of the few who pussy foot around him, and appear to feel guilty about hurting his feelings, to be honest.

God help his wife, I have often thought, if he is remotely like this at home. Are there folk songs on such topics?


29 Oct 19 - 07:07 AM (#4015968)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

Not one of the ballads in Child's collection came through any Traveller source
Nobody knows where all Child's ballads came from - he was largely working from print despite his despising the broadsides


And none of his print sources mention Travellers at all.


We know that in the twentieth century they were a major source in Scotland

They were a minor source. By an enormous margin, most of what people sing or play now has never been transmitted through them.


There is no reason why that shouldn't always have been the case

There is not a flicker of reason to believe that. Travellers were even more marginal in past eras, with less opportunity to communicate with the rest of society.

The fad for Traveller culture (hyped up by Hamish Henderson and MacColl/Seeger) is now long past in the folk scene. There are only two active British performers I can think of who still exploit it, Thomas McCarthy and Sam Lee. Nobody in Scotland does.


29 Oct 19 - 07:31 AM (#4015970)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

My thinking is that Travellers - of Irish, Scottish or other background - had to communicate with the rest of society to make a living, unless they lived by poaching/thieving/foraging etc as unfortunately reputed. Otherwise, how did they live?


29 Oct 19 - 07:41 AM (#4015974)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

But communicating songs didn't come into it. They were not like the Gypsy professional musician caste of eastern Europe.

One exception, the itinerant tailors of western Ireland described by David Thomson in "People of the Sea" - but nobody would call them "Travellers" - they were ethnically different and had homes to go to.


29 Oct 19 - 07:43 AM (#4015975)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"And none of his print sources mention Travellers at all."
Nor does anyty of them go mention farmers or fishermen or any particular social group
The 'fad' as you so intelligently put it' for Travelers goes back to the early Irish collectors y who filled notebooks from singers and storytellers like The like Delargy who filled notebooks from singers and storytellers like The Sherlock Family and made a point of notint their importance as song and tale carriers
English collectors like Charlotte Burne and Alice Gillinton were taking songs down from Travellers
One of the earliest albums by Topic was of The Willet Family sweet fuck all to do with macColl, Henderson (or anybody else you care to take a pop at)
If MacColl Henderson et al drew attention to the importance of Travellers as tradition carriers, they should be credited for drawing attention to an important aspect of a usually despised social group - not accused of "hyping" anything up
I'd be interested to know if you count Pat and my thirty years of work with Travellers, or that valuable stuff turned up by Mike Yates, is part of your "hyping up"
Illiterate and extremely impoverished Traveller John Reilly gave us about ten big ballads, including the long-disappeared Maid and the Palmer
I know damne well, as you should, that Sheila Douglas, Timothy Neat - and the School of Scottish Studies as a whole are proud of the contribution made by Travelers - The Journal 'Scottish Studies' is full of articles on and examples of Traveller culture
Books like those by Betsy Whyte, Sheila Stewart, Willie McPhee, Duncan Williamson and those on Jeannie Robertson by Gower and Porter are filling shelves on their contribution to Scots culture
I suggest a quick trip to 'Kist o' Riches' might benefit those who doubt this   

Thravellers may be of no interest to those folkies to whom folk "isn't really their thing", but to those of us who are involved. I casn assure everybody - they are major contributors to both our pleasure and our knowledge

I'm really not sure what is going on here

"God help his wife, I have often thought, if he is remotely like this at home. "
Can this abuse attempt to involve my home life be deleted please - it is personally offensive and totally uncalled for
Jim Carroll


29 Oct 19 - 07:52 AM (#4015976)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

" poaching/thieving/foraging "
Interesting summing of of tinsmiths, newsdealers and rural agricultural workers who eventually took to scrap metal salvaging, house clearance, tarmacking and now fancy drive designing - strait from the pages of a Ukip pamphlet
Jim Carroll


29 Oct 19 - 07:54 AM (#4015977)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Pseudonymous wrote:-
God help his wife, I have often thought, if he is remotely like this at home.
Rather a cruel and uncalled for comment, I would have thought.
The persona that Jim portrays on Mudcat is intensely irritating and I have crossed swords with him on numerous occasions as have many people here. We all know the aspects of his posts that we find utterly frustrating and it is difficult to know why he does it. It must give him some sort of perverse pleasure.
However, to assume that the particular type of character that he displays here aligns with the actual Jim Carroll shows simplistic thinking.
I have never met Jim, probably never will, but I do know that outside of Mudcat and in my communications with him by email and by private message, I find a man that is polite and entirely generous with information that he has gained and by sharing aspects of his vast personal archive.
Neither have I met Pat but I do know that they have worked together on a huge number of projects together in song, lore and story collecting, in preparing and releasing some of this material, radio programmes, archiving, presentations at academic conferences, books, articles, etc. This record suggests that they are a good team.
I don't know anything about their relationship, but I do know that what I have quoted at the beginning of this post, I find more hurtful than anything Jim has ever written. I also know that the pair of them have devoted years of their lives - unpaid to various aspects of the furtherance of the study of folk song, particularly amongst the travelling community and that we owe them a debt of gratitude.


29 Oct 19 - 08:06 AM (#4015978)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Thank you for encouraging personal attacks by adding your own Vic - much appreciated
For your information - Pat and I met and married in the seventies and have worked together for the near half century we have shared

Can I suggest than anybody genuinely interested in folk song ignores these personal attacks now involving my family life in the hope that a mod deletes them rather than closing down this discussion
This reall doed bring 'em out of their closets
Jim Carroll


29 Oct 19 - 08:10 AM (#4015979)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Jim wrote
"Illiterate and extremely impoverished Traveller John Reilly gave us about ten big ballads, including the long-disappeared Maid and the Palmer
I know damne well, as you should, that Sheila Douglas, Timothy Neat - and the School of Scottish Studies as a whole are proud of the contribution made by Travelers - The Journal 'Scottish Studies' is full of articles on and examples of Traveller culture
Books like those by Betsy Whyte, Sheila Stewart, Willie McPhee, Duncan Williamson and those on Jeannie Robertson by Gower and Porter are filling shelves on their contribution to Scots culture.

All the books that Jim refers to are on my shelves and I consult them frequently. All the people that he names are in my opinion, the heroic figures of our music. I would not detract a single name from his list but would want to add all their recordings which speak for themselves; and I would add Charlotte Higgins, Jane Turriff, Lizzie Higgins, Stanley Robertson.... I could go on but I would just like to add that I have met all the Scots listed by Jim and by myelf and feel that my life has been enriched by these meetings.


29 Oct 19 - 08:38 AM (#4015981)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

I'm not apologising for anything I put.

And it isn't worth the effort to request that Jim responds to what was written, and not to what wasn't. Because I don't suppose he will change his habits after all this time.

Just more evidence for me that what Jim says isn't reliable. Because what he says about me isn't.


29 Oct 19 - 08:42 AM (#4015984)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

Every single one of the Travellers mentioned in Vic's post is dead.

For the current generation of folk performers, the fad is over, and Traveller culture is only one of many sources they draw on. It has no unique importance.


29 Oct 19 - 08:48 AM (#4015985)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

I am sorry but what he posts here is posted by the real Jim Carroll. Unless somebody is pretending to be him. He chooses to do it freely, and has to live with the impression of himself he gives. To claim this isn't what he is 'really like' seems irrational to me.


29 Oct 19 - 09:03 AM (#4015987)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

And I have a particular contempt for people who cry 'racist' on spurious grounds in their own self-defence. It does the anti-racist agenda no good. Indeed, a lot of current 'folk music' in the UK comes from the young alt-right and pours scorn on anti-racism and for that matter feminism of all sorts and liberalism and tolerance, picking holes in cries of 'racist' and 'Nazi'. And this stuff is often acoustic, if posted on line, written by 'ordinary people' and as much 'folk music' as stuff by MacColl and Lloyd ever was. But nobody on this thread has seemed interested in learning about this or doing anything about it.


29 Oct 19 - 09:05 AM (#4015988)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Brian Peters

"Not one of the ballads in Child's collection came through any Traveller source, neither did anything Sharp collected..."

In Child's case, we simply don't know - he was not a field collector, so he could not have known the provenance of all his ballads, nor would his sources necessarily have chosen to record such information.

We do know, though, that Cecil Sharp collected from traveller singers, since he gave a vivid account of a visit to a gypsy camp where he met one Betsy Holland, a young mother who presented him with "the finest and most characteristic bit of singing [he] had ever heard". You can find Sharp's photographs of her and other members of her community online at the VWML site. He also wrote of setting out to collect songs from gypsy singers in the Forest of Dean. The interest in travellers as song carriers is hardly a late 20th century affectation.

"The fad for Traveller culture (hyped up by Hamish Henderson and MacColl/Seeger) is now long past in the folk scene. There are only two active British performers I can think of who still exploit it..."

I don't know about Scotland, but some of the younger singers in England are very interested in songs collected from travellers - Emily Portman, for instance. The rendition by her group The Devil's Interval of Queen Caroline Hughes' 'The Cuckoo' is one of the best modern interpretations of any traditional song I've heard in recent years.


29 Oct 19 - 09:25 AM (#4015990)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I think Nick and Mally Dow would dispute that the traveller culture is long passed as well!


29 Oct 19 - 09:29 AM (#4015991)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Thomas McCarthy will be in Lewes on 8th December to run a day long TRAVELLER LIFE, SONGS & STORIES WORKSHOP at the Elephant and Castle. On the previous evening he is booked to sing the songs that he learned from his family ay the Lewes Saturday Folk Club.


29 Oct 19 - 09:51 AM (#4015992)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Thanks Brian - I hope that helps clear the foetid atmosphere that has been allowed to enter this discussion
The fact that the Travellers Vic mentions are dead rather makes the point that they were't hyped but have ben around for far longer than the revival
I only hope that someone will get around to putting up Peter Hall's magnificent collection on line one day - the CD Rom of Scots Travellers that Musical Traditions issued some time ago ought to have been enough to prove the Travellers worth as song carriers

We're hoping that Limerick Uni will put up our Irish Traveller collection, not just for the songs but also for the massed of information on how they operated in a living Tradition and passed between the settled and Travelling communities
Ironically, the Travellers in Ireland played a great part in putting their orally learned songs into print via their prominent involvement in the 'ballad-selling' trade

The Folk enthusiasts should have learned what might be lost from Gavin Grieg's adopting this negative and dismissive attitude towards Travellers
A piper on his estate in New Deer was overlooked as a possible source for songs when Grieg was hunting for them because he was a Traveller
When the School of Scottish Studies was set up, the Traveller banged on their front door and gave them one of the few Robin Hood Ballads found in Scotland

I've been working on Irish versions of Child Ballads - one of the most interesting source singers, a Famine Refugee who fled to New England, got some of Ireland's rarest Child Ballads from itinerant fruit pickers - Queen Eleanor's Confession, Hind Horn and (unbelieveably) The Broom of Cowden Knowes.

My late friend, Tom Munnelly, was delighted at the acknowledgement to John Reilly's contribution to Bronson's 'Tunes of the Child Ballads'

"Tom Munnelly, in sheer goodwill, sent me a tape of his spectacular find of “The Maid and the Palmer” (Child no. 21), from Irish tradition"

He treasured Bronson's letter saying "your finding this rare ballad has immortalised your name in ballad scholarship"

Some people didn't need to 'Go to Specsavers to see what was before their eyes   
Jim Carroll


29 Oct 19 - 11:04 AM (#4016006)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

The Broom of Cowden Knowes" - Is one of Ireland's rarest Child Ballads???

Always thought that it was Scottish and Cowdenknowes, all one word, named after the farm/estate just south of Earlston in the Scottish Borders.


29 Oct 19 - 11:21 AM (#4016009)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Always thought that it was Scottish and Cowdenknowes,"
It is Scottish, it is rare to get it from a source singer and even rarer to get it from a singer from Northern Ireland
I think most of us were introduced to it by MacColl's singing _ I was anyway   
I used the spelling given in 'British Ballads from Maine' - I am aware that it is probably incorrect
The Maine collection includes many other obviously Scots ballads taken from Irish singers - the 'The Two Magicians' for instance
Jim


29 Oct 19 - 11:36 AM (#4016011)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Just come across this extremely incomplete of Irish Traveller songs on Facebook
It's been posted by a Traveller woman and doesn't even begin to scratch the surface, but it's indicative of the number of songs contributed by Travellers
Jim

Barbary Allen Andy Cash
Mowing The Hay Andy Cash
The Half Crown Andy Cash
Marie (Maureen) From Gippursland Bill Bryan
The Factory Girl Bill Cassidy
Pretty Polly (false night upon the road / Outlandish knight) Bill Cassidy
Enniscorthy Fair Bill Cassidy
Sam Cooper Bill Cassidy
Biscayo Bill Cassidy
The Sea Captain Jean “Suace” Driscoll
Constant Farmer’s Son Josie Connors
Lady In Her Father’s Garden Mary Cash
I’ve Buried Three Husbands Already Mary Delaney
Green Grows The Laurel Mary Delaney
The Kilkenny Louse House Mary Delaney
Phoenix Island Mary Delaney
Navvy Shoes Mary Delaney
New Ross Town Mary Delaney
What Will We Do When We Have No Money? Mary Delaney
Donnelly Mary Delaney
Town Of Linsborough Mary Delaney
Charming Blue Eyes Mary Mary Delaney
If Ever You Go To Killkenny Mary Delaney
Fourteen Last Sunday Mary Delaney
Peter Thunderbolt Mary Delaney
In Charlestown There Lived A Lass Mary Delaney
What Put The Blood? (Child 013) (Edward) Mary Delaney
My Brother Built Me A Bouncy Bower Mary Delaney nee riley
Selling The Ballards Mikeen McCarthy
Malone (The Half Crown) Mikeen McCarthy
Finn MacCool And The Two-Headed Giant Mikeen McCarthy
Dingle Puck Goat Mikeen McCarthy
One Fine Summer Morning Mikeen McCarthy
Early In The Month Of Spring Mikeen McCarthy
Go To The Water Mikeen McCarthy
Flowery Nolan Mikeen McCarthy
The Blind Beggar******** Paddy Reilly
Maid Of Aughrim Peggy Delaney
There Is An Alehouse Pop’s Johhny Connors
Gum Shellac Pop’s Johhny Connors
Poor Old Man Pop’s Johhny Connors
John Mitchel Pop’s’ Johnny Connors
Rambling Candyman Rich’ Johnny Connors
Appleby Fair Rich’ Johnny Connors
Charlestown Town (Bottany Bay) Irish Travelers
Come All you Loyal Travellers
Queer Bungary ady
Blind Beggar
William Scallon
The Banks of Newfoundland
The Banks of the Nile
The Boys of Barr na Shráide
Coolhesta’s Glory (on the bridge of Graig’)
The Factory Girl T1S1-01
The Fair of Ross T1S1-01
The Green Fields of America T1S2-01
Killaloe Town T1S2-01
Willy Leonard T1S2-01 Willie O’Connors
Devil in the pisspot, The Crabfish
Mickey Connors, Wexford johnny barnes mary mcgras Mary McGrath
As I went out walking one morning in May Mary McGrath
Donnybrook fair Mickey Connors
Ellen Brown Mary McGrath
William Scallion William Scanlon
Willie leonard – Lakes of Coolfin Winnie O’Donnell,
Bernie Reilly’s Cant Song Bernie Reilly, Meath
False Labmkin (Lancombe)The Lord and His lady John Reilly Jnr,
I wrote to you Nelly
John Reilly – As i went out a walking down by a riverside John Reilly Snr, Roscommon
Lady Margret Martin McDonagh, Roscommon
Tricolour house every rose grows merry and fine Mary McDonagh, Leitrim
Come all you young rebeles
I am a true born Irish man a traveller am I
I Wish I lived in Carrickfergus
Sweet William Kitty Cassidy –
Jaglin the Cobbler
The Trees they grow High – Long Growing
Paul and nancy hogan Mary Connors
The lovely banks of lee Mary Connors
Come all ye loyal lovers Mary Connors
I wish I was in New Ross (let the wind blow high or low – the Irish girl)
The blind man he can see (2) Mary Connors with chorus
Young kate from ballinamore Paddy Doran
Where are you going, my pretty maid Paddy Doran
Dungarvan Paddy Doran
The black velvet band Paddy Doran
Down by blackwaterside Paddy Doran
Seven little gipsies Paddy Doran
Three jolly sportsmen Paddy Doran
The dark-eyed gipsies Christy Purcell
The tree in the bog Christy Purcell
Sweet athy Christy Purcell
The lodging house at Carrick-on-Suir Christy Purcell
William Scanlon Christy Purcell
The pride of Inishmore Christy Purcell
The bandy-legged mule Christy Purcell
The fair at spansil hill Christy Purcell
Dingle puck goat Christy Purcell
Puck fair Christy Purcell
WHAT BROUGHT THE BLOOD (Edward) Mary Connors with chorus
THE BLIND MAN HE CAN SEE Mary Connors with chorus
THE LITTLE BALL OF YARN*********** Winnie Ryan
THE COTTAGE OUTSIDE MAROO Lal Smith
LONDONDERRY TO THE COAST OF KERRY Winnie Ryan
JULIA DONOHOE Winnie Ryan
I AM A POOR GIRL MY LIFE IS SAD – Blackbird******** Winnie Ryan
THE GARDEN WHERE THE IRISH PRATIES GROW Winnie Ryan
YOU RAMBLING BOYS OF PLEASURE******* – van diemans land Lal Smith
GOING TO MASS LAST SUNDAY*********** Winnie Ryan
I AM A MAID THAT’S DEEP IN LOVE******** Lal Smith
THE THRASHING MACHINE Annie O’Neil
THE ROAD TO KILLALOE Lal Smith
WHO’S THAT KNOCKING AT MY BEDROOM WINDOW – Grey Cock********
DUBLIN CITY
Doran
WHEN I WAS IN HORSEBACK – sailor cut down in his prime Mary Doran
OXFORD CITY Mary Doran
THE COUNTY TYRONE******** Lal Smith
Lullaby: HUSH LITTLE BABY******* Winnie Ryan
THE GALTEE FARMER Lal Smith
DEAR OLD KERRY Lal Smith


29 Oct 19 - 12:00 PM (#4016017)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

According to the Southern Poverty Law Centre, the far right in the US is also taking to 'folk song'.

https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2017/10/09/alt-right’s-new-soundtrack-hate


29 Oct 19 - 12:06 PM (#4016019)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

I have not compared the lists, but if this is any use to you, Jim, here you go.

https://songcollectors.org/collecting/about-collecting/equipment/irish-traveler-song-list/


29 Oct 19 - 12:16 PM (#4016022)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Thanks Starry
That seems to be the same list
It's actually incomplete from their own archive
Whoever compiled it didn't manage to crack the combination on the safe that houses Tom Munnelly's collection
Tom was a great admirer of Traveller singing - Irish and Scots, mainly because of his catching the same ballad bug Pat and I have
One of the finst pieces of ballad singing I have ever heard was from Rosdcommon Traveller Marting MacDonagh singing Young Hunting - they really don't come any better than that
Jim


29 Oct 19 - 12:52 PM (#4016031)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

My apologies at lashing out to Vic by the way - I was furious at Pat having been brought into this wrangle by someone who is prone to that sort of thing and knee-jerked at Vic
Sorry Vic - I won't do it again until the next time I do it
Jim


29 Oct 19 - 01:02 PM (#4016033)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Stringsinger

Jim,

The Travellers are fascinating.

Was Margaret Barry a Traveller?

Are there any songs in the Shelta (Cant) language?

Romani use the term “gadgja” for outsiders equivalent to “buffer”.
Where does the term buffer come from?

Ewan's song was the first I heard of them. Then there was an article about
a community of Travellers from Tennessee or North Carolina.


29 Oct 19 - 01:22 PM (#4016036)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Was Margaret Barry a Traveller?"
Sort of - she was a street singer but I was once told she came from a settled background - she partnered the great fiddle player, Michael Gorman for a time in London
We have come across a couple of songs in Shelta - 'Stash all the Pavvies' (Look at all the Travellers) was one of the first songs we recorded; Tom Munnely issued one on his 'Songs of the Irish Travellers' album (Bernie Reillys Cant song, I think)
Travellers were still making songs when we started recording them - one of the best was 'Poor Old Man', a song about a feud between two Travelling families.
One of the best studies of Irish Cant/Shelta was carried out by schoolteacher Pádraig Mac Gréine PÁDRAIG Mac GRÉINE, who was still working with Travellers (and driving) right up to his 100 birthday - a truely amazing and admirable human being

21 - Poor Old Man (Roud 2509)   ‘Pop’s’ Johnny Connors

Three lines lilted.

"What brought you down from Kerry?" says the poor old man.
"Sure it’s the Connors’s is the blame and don’t the country know the same,
And look at them running down that lane," says the poor old man.

"Bad luck to you, young Gerry," says the poor old man.
"If you cook a stew* you don’t cook it near Ballaroo*
If you will, you’re bound sure rue," says the poor old man.
Three lines lilted.

"Oh, they were coming through Ross Town
And they had ponies big and brown,
And at me they did lick," says the poor old man.

"Bad luck to you, young Gerry," says the poor old man,
"I’ll run to take up my stick and I’ll got orders to drop it quick;
I’ll not, I’ll roar and squeal," says the poor old man.

"Bad luck to you, young Gerry," says the poor old man,
"But wasn’t I an unlucky whore, for to barricade my door?
Wasn’t I an unlucky whore?" says the poor old man.

[* Ballyroe, Co Kerry; * stew: great alarm, anxiety, excitement]

According to the singer, this song refers to a fight that took place in the town of New Ross, Co Wexford, sometime in the nineteen-thirties, between two travelling families, the Connors and Moorhouses. After a battle in the town, the Connors, coming off worst, fled and barricaded themselves in an abandoned cottage. The Moorhouses climbed on to the roof and brought the fight to a swift and bloody conclusion by tearing off the thatch and dropping down on their adversaries.

Other travellers have confirmed that the fight took place but they said that it was between two different branches of the Connors. Nobody is sure when the events took place although they thought it was over territory.
We were told: "The Waterord Connors was tinsmiths and the Wexford Connors didn’t want them coming into Wexford selling it."

One Traveler referred to the incident as "The second Battle of Aughrim"! The song is a parody of An Sean Bhean Bhoct, (The Poor Old Woman).


29 Oct 19 - 01:22 PM (#4016037)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

The fact that the Travellers Vic mentions are dead rather makes the point that they were't hyped

It makes no such point. They were. And some of them hyped themselves very effectively with a combination of arcane mystique and guilt-tripping that had nothing to do with musical quality or distinctiveness.

Though neither Henderson nor MacColl/Seeger would have gone to the loony extreme you're doing and imply that we wouldn't know any of their songs without them.


29 Oct 19 - 01:33 PM (#4016039)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Sorry missed a bit
You and me are 'Buffers' (Non - Travellers) - the English Travellers refer to us as 'Gorgies'
If you send me an e-amil address (and you want them, of course) I'll let you have three radio programmes on our work with with Travellers (we're rather proud of them)
They were made by local broadcaster, Paula Carroll (no relation so we're not guilty of nepotism)
The partial list of Traveller Trades given by Mikeen McCarthy in programme two gives the lie to the scurrilous "poaching/thieving/foraging etc" image that some people tend to throw about
Jim


29 Oct 19 - 03:43 PM (#4016063)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

It's a fact of life that Jim tends to misread things,
gets the wrong end of the stick, and confuses which mudcatter says what...

Jim knows this, and is big enough to apologise
and confess to being a bit of a pain in the arse sometimes...

We all need to proof read our posts better,
and ensuer wwe read properly and understood other mudcatters posts,
before we reply...

However this is mudcat, where we are an ageing membership,
prone to circumstances and health conditions
which too often impair our understanding and judgement...
.. and it aint gonna get any better...
Some of us more far gone than others..

I know I'm long overdue a visit to specsavres...

Any way mudcat long ago confirmed why I'm worried about ending up in an old folk[ie]'s home...


29 Oct 19 - 03:49 PM (#4016064)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

"We all need to proof read our posts better,
and ensuer wwe read properly and understood other mudcatters posts,
before we reply..."

It's difficult not to agree with you.


29 Oct 19 - 04:03 PM (#4016068)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Do you not understand irony, Starship? Cementing on spilling and grandma wild aching errors is a common vehicle fro comeby.


29 Oct 19 - 04:15 PM (#4016069)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

"Do you not understand irony, Starship?" Yes Dave. But lots of sloppy work gets called irony when in fact it's just sloppy work.


29 Oct 19 - 04:33 PM (#4016072)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

I never realised English folksong had so little to do with English people.


29 Oct 19 - 05:04 PM (#4016077)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Brian Peters

"they [travellers] are major contributors to both our pleasure and our knowledge"

I don't see how anyone with a knowledge of traditional singing could dispute this comment of Jim's. Not only have traveller communities maintained old ballads in oral tradition long after settled communities abandoned them, but their versions are full of departures from 'standard' texts and often have really interesting tunes. Go and listen to Caroline Hughes - I don't think there was a broadside in sight when she learned her repertoire.


29 Oct 19 - 07:58 PM (#4016096)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

I'm starting to lose the plot...... It's becoming like one of those TV dramas where you have to put the subtitles on and then wished you hadn't ;-) Seriously though I think we are starting to lose the wood for the trees. I appreciate the detailed comments here and have read them all but there does seem to be tangents that have been gone off at more than they perhaps needed to be. But hey that's Mudcat and I am not going to complain but perhaps we could refocus on the current state of folk music in the UK?

Also a reminder to please be respectful to each other. It does no one any favours if insults are traded

As you were ;-)


29 Oct 19 - 09:08 PM (#4016102)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Sorry Joe
I have tried to giv my opinion of the state of the Revival - that fact I feel myself to do so from the point of someone who was there a few years after it began makes it difficult to do so without referring back to how it was - even a couple of decades ago
I think the fact that there are people around who regard Walter Pardon, one of the last of our great benefactors in supplying us with our repertoires as an embarrassing poor singer and the Travellers who supplied us with a large and important part of our repertoire and gave us hours op pleasure at our clubs as "thieves and poachers", while so many stand by in silence (with a few notable exceptions) and allow this to happen, says everything that needs to be said about the state of folk music in the UK today.
Somewhere along the way the folk scene has lost its way and forgotten why we came together in the first place.
Many of us became involved not only to sing and listen to the songs but to try to put them into our lives by researching them aand passing them on to those following us in the hope they would get as much out of them as we did
Now we can't even discuss between ourselves what we are passing on and why - it is virtually impossible to discuss these subjects without screaming at each other - as for those we used to look up to with respect - this last distasteful episode has summed that up pretty well

If I have come away with anything, it is the impression that it is a total waste of time trying to drum up any British/English interest in all those recordings we have made of all those wonderful, knowledgeable, talented and generous people - I might just as well weigh them down and throw them in the Shannon

I won't do this of course - they are far to precious to be wasted because some people today just don't care
It's been shown over hear that youngsters can surprise you and take up the baton when you least expect it
I live in the hope that what has gone on here is not representative of the rest of the scene

My thanks Brian - I really needed your blast of intelligent dedication

WHAT DO YOU THINK MARY ?
Jim Carroll


29 Oct 19 - 10:10 PM (#4016105)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle - PM
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 04:33 PM

I never realised English folksong had so little to do with English people."
A comment that is debatable, however we are talking about the uk folk revival that involves scotland wales and northern ireland.
Ihave never heard such disgraceful inaccurate twaddle as this boolocks from jack cmping the man that on a previous occasion also insulted one of Englands great revival performers RoyHarris [Burl aka mudcat] upsetting Roy Harris very much, JACK YOU ARE A WONKER
subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin - PM
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 01:22 PM

The fact that the Travellers Vic mentions are dead rather makes the point that they were't hyped

It makes no such point. They were. And some of them hyped themselves very effectively with a combination of arcane mystique and guilt-tripping that had nothing to do with musical quality or distinctiveness.

Though neither Henderson nor MacColl/Seeger would have gone to the loony extreme you're doing and imply that we wouldn't know any of their songs without them.


29 Oct 19 - 10:42 PM (#4016107)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

jack campin dismisses jeanie robertson belle stewart lizzie higgins,in this statement . And some of them hyped themselves very effectively with a combination of arcane mystique and guilt-tripping that had nothing to do with musical quality or distinctiveness.
of course jack, is second only to god in being an arbiter of musical quality and guilt tripping , is jack a priest? has he spent so much time in the confessional he knows so much about guilt tripping.


30 Oct 19 - 03:23 AM (#4016113)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Anyway. Back to the state of folk music in the UK.

Folk music is in pretty good condition. Not only can we go to clubs, sessions, festivals, concerts and all sorts of things to hear good folk music anytime but it is getting more exposure on mainstream media than it has for a long time. Most people on here seem to be in agreement. The disagreements arise from differing views of what folk music is.

Of course the Mudcat is only an online forum and may not reflect the true situation but, in my experience, there is not much wrong with the folk scene as it stands.


30 Oct 19 - 03:51 AM (#4016114)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Many recordings of singers and songs including traditional ballads exist the recordings provide an insight in to HOW the songs were being sung and owe their existence in many cases to that oral transmission


30 Oct 19 - 03:56 AM (#4016115)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

~~ from travellers as collected ~ they are surely the song Carriers ~ songbooks carry words and tunes ~ pleased that the likes of Jon Boden have put their collections available to give the tune and words ~ however the collected traditional singers give that "bit" more in their interpretation of the songs ~ so which better to try to emulate in the folk song clubs?

Ray


30 Oct 19 - 04:07 AM (#4016116)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Folk music is in pretty good condition"
Sorry Dave - you can repeat this until the cows come home and it doesn't make it any truer
It most certainly isn't and it won't be while nobody knows what it is
Folk song, by its very nature and origins is the act of communal sharing of each other's experiences - what you describe is people having to pay to become audiences or switching on the box to watch people perform
The media had hold of folk music once before and they demanded tha singers sat on hay-bales and dressed up like yokels, and sang anodyne songs that wouldn't scare the ladies or the horses - when they found it wasn't 'popular' they spat it out and turned elsewhere - and 'The Folk Boom' was over
Handing the songs back to the media is a betrayal of everything we stood for and it's shown in the crap that's doled out in The British Folk Awards ot programme two of the Sam Henry tribute
A similar thing is being tried by the Irish media at present - I turned on the RTE Folk Awards for five minutes last night and turned it off in disgust - it was as depressing as reading some of these postings
The media is the last thing to hold up as 'success'

The Festivals were showcases for the best - a display of what could be achieved - they were never the alternative to the clubs they are being trumpeted as now - they were a breather from the real thing

There is no reason that people shouldn't know what folk song is - it's uniqueness sets it apart from any other form of composition - you only have to open a collection and see waht it is - The Greig Duncan Collection wiill do or the massive Carpenter Collection or the stuff on the British Library or the Lomax on line web-sites
You want new songs to learn - I was exploring the Helen Hartness Flanders web-site a couple of months ago - full of English, Irish and Scots ballads and folk-songs that were taken to America at the end of the 19th century - just before Sharp and his crowd were mopping up their gems
These are not easy listening because of their condition, bu jaysus - if I was building my repertoire I'd think all my birthdays had come at once
The only reason people can claim they don't know what folk song is is because they don't want to

Folk song in Britain (England at least) is dangerously near extinction as a performed art and pretending it isn't is an act of euthanasia
The clubs gave us folk songs in a big way in the first place and their camaraderie and mutual respect built a scene where we could maybe disagree and maybe choose different aspects of this music/song, but we all moved in more-or-less the same direction   
A club scene with ony 130 or 186 clubs (your "success" figures Dave) is not healthy - it's on life-support and waiting to be switched off
Jim


30 Oct 19 - 04:21 AM (#4016120)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

A club scene with ony 130 or 186 clubs (your "success" figures Dave) is not healthy - it's on life-support and waiting to be switched off" furthermore many of those clubs are not weekly guest booking clubs as was the case 30 years ago


30 Oct 19 - 04:38 AM (#4016122)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Sorry Dick - with respect, a healthy scene was when guests were a welcome break from norm, not an end in themselves - the clubs stood or fell by the quality and the hard work of their residents, not how much you could afford to pay a guest

If you ever wanted a slogan for the folk scene try - REAL FOLK CLUBS DO IT FOR THEMSELVES
That way, both the amateur and the paid professional are the winners
Jim


30 Oct 19 - 04:42 AM (#4016124)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

It wasn't my success figure Jim. It was a figure quoted in a Wiki article and is in doubt anyway. How many more times do I need to tell you?

You can keep whinging on about how it is not like the good old days as much as you like as well. It doesn't stop me and countless others enjoying the healthy current state of folk in the UK. I really don't care what you think. I will believe the evidence of my own experience.

Dick, sorry you are not getting the bookings. Maybe the market is saturated?


30 Oct 19 - 04:44 AM (#4016125)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Folk song, by its very nature and origins is the act of communal sharing of each other's experiences

Nonsense. Not if it's singing songs hundreds of years old which nobody can agree about who wrote and what it is about.


30 Oct 19 - 04:54 AM (#4016127)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Not ashamed of not thinking Walter Pardon wasn't particularly good as a singer either. I find the way he was lionised verging on the patronising, and one of the online recordings of an interview with him is a masterpiece of leading questions demonstrating poor research skills.


30 Oct 19 - 06:32 AM (#4016149)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

"with respect, a healthy scene was when guests were a welcome break from norm, not an end in themselves - the clubs stood or fell by the quality and the hard work of their residents"

Perhaps I was fortunate, but the clubs I attended in their heyday had both. They booked quality guests most weeks, with occasional singers' nights, but the standard of the residents was also high - possibly because performing on the same stage as a professional makes you up your game, and partly because singers who hadn't achieved at least some mastery of the craft weren't given floor spots on guest nights.

Whilst I don't share it for a moment, I do understand Pseudonymous's opinion of Walter Pardon. Most people get into folk music via revival performers - for me it was the Spinners and then BBC2s Folk on Friday. For many years I had no exposure to authentic traditional singing, and didn't realise that it even existed. Listening to traditional singers can be challenging when you are used to different styles of performance, and it takes time to develop an appreciation of their skill, which on first hearing can seem to be concealed by an apparently unpolished approach. This can be even more difficult when you have only recordings, and don't have the benefit of the singer in the same room.

Some of us who start through the revival eventually learn to understand and value traditional singers, but many others just don't get it. For many, "folk" means only the more polished interpretations of the folk revival.


30 Oct 19 - 06:54 AM (#4016152)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,CJ

Pseudonymous, we all know Jim can be crotchety, but most of us can just ignore it and take his opinion as opinion. Like it or not, he does have a wealth of knowledge and experience. If the way he interprets that winds you up so much, just do something else with your spare time. He's only a man on the internet. When you first began posting on Mudcat, your posts were interesting and knowledgeable. Now when I see you have posted, I automatically suspect you'll be moaning on about Jim. Just ignore him, or communicate with him in a way that takes on board and accepts your obvious differences.


30 Oct 19 - 08:35 AM (#4016163)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

By thee way Howard
"opinion of Walter Pardon"
No open furum like this should ever include attacks or even strong criticism of source singers dead or alive - we need too take this sort of thing to our conferences and meetings where they are not likely to give hurt and offence
These people are/were not part of our revival - they were contributors to our knowledge and enjoyment
They are nearly all dead but their relatives aren't - I know at least two relatives of source singers who have posted to this forum and I have no doubt there have been more
One of Walter's relatives was Peter Bellamy's tutor - we met him on several occaions
I'm sure he was delighted to read his uncle's singing being described as it was
A little care and consideration goes a long way when you are dealing with human beings
Jim


30 Oct 19 - 08:42 AM (#4016165)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Guest Tim

It’s interesting to read some of the stuff on here, glad I have the ability to speed read over some of the bile being spouted.
Last year the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival attracted (estimated) 60,000 people into the town over the weekend..., we performed at Teignmouth festival, every venue was rammed..even in Milton Keynes when our shanty group performs we sell out.
Since the advent of the Fisherman’s Friends so many people have been drawn into singing these types of songs, forming groups and performing in good style. Look at how many festivals around the county and particularly in my area, the south west.
In my opinion get out, bring the music to the people and attract folks to try, otherwise the tradition will die...


30 Oct 19 - 09:12 AM (#4016167)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

the collected traditional singers give that "bit" more in their interpretation of the songs

True, but there are a lot to choose from. If I was making the choice between sounding like Joseph Taylor or Sheila Stewart, the traveller heritage wouldn't swing it.


so which better to try to emulate in the folk song clubs?

Maybe you might want to emulate somebody mannered and obscure but historically significant when in a club, but not if you were trying to make converts for the music in the outside world.


30 Oct 19 - 09:40 AM (#4016171)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

No open furum like this should ever include attacks or even strong criticism of source singers dead or alive

That's ludicrous fetishism.

And horribly destructive to the project of making the music moire widely known. If you tell everybody curious about folk "sorry, any doubts you may have about the quality of any of this are out of line" nobody will give it the time of day.

Irish trad buffs are happy to admit that Michael Coleman's pianist was a bozo. Klezmer buffs would tell you the same about Belf's. Why should it be different for singers in the British Isles?


30 Oct 19 - 09:53 AM (#4016173)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"That's ludicrous fetishism."
Fetsihism !!!!
What the hell does that mean ?
Michcahel Coleman's pianist was playing professionally in the 1930s - anybody performing on albums for payment lays themselves open to the criticism they are likely to get
A bit different from a village carpenter giving his songs in order to keep them alive - a non-professional singing fro the love of his songs and very much entitled to have their singing protected from some of the brutality on display here
If you hadn't offered that you would never have persuaded any of them to go anywhere near a tape recorder
THese people were faerm workers etc, not seasoned performers
We would never have heard Harry Cox has this ham-fisted attitude been adopted
The BBC's taking the piss out of some of our best singers, as they did wwith shit programmes like 'My Music' (and they still do with Morris Dancing on "Have I Got News For You" made us all look like a bunch of freaks for liking such raw music
Jim Carroll


30 Oct 19 - 10:15 AM (#4016176)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

In amongst the false reports of the demise of folk music there have been a couple of genuine concerns that on reflection may be linked. The first is people not learning their songs. I agree that it is bad form to stutter and stumble through a large ringbinder, or small iPad, without having put any effort in to learning the words. It reflects badly on the singer and the club and does no favours to the folk world in general. If I was entering a club for the first time and it happened, I would be put off. I must say though that I do not see it that often. Maybe others do.

The second is not as many clubs booking artists. I can see this too. At Swinton, for instance, we used to have one or two singers nights a month. Now it is one guest a month. Where I am now though, both my local clubs have guests every other week in the main.

Where I see the two things being linked is through something Howard said. Where there are regular professional guests the whole standard seems to improve. I also agree with him that on guest nights, those not really prepared to put in the effort should not be inflicted on a paying audience. If they were to find they were only being offered floor spots on singers nights, maybe they would put a bit more effort in.

Just a thought.


30 Oct 19 - 11:22 AM (#4016183)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

" false reports "
You are just putting up unsubstantiated statements
A scene with only 130 clubs where the audiences have been turned from activ participants to to passive observers cannot be described as 'healthy'
Jim


30 Oct 19 - 11:54 AM (#4016187)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

" but the clubs I attended in their heyday had both. "
I too experienced both good guests and competent residents
The clubs I was involved in avareged no more than on geust a month, often less
We ascertained that guests were of high enough standard to not put off new people and were performing songs that were comparable with those of the residents - no "something new to draw in new people"
These included Seamus Ennis, Sarah Grey, Paddy Tunney Walter Pardon, Kevin Mitchell.... and a whole bunch of Irish London Musicians who took to the clu scene like ducks to water
One of our clubs gave a fresh-faced Irish fiddler Kevin Burke his first booking
When we booked Na Fili we ran an extra event to allow Tomás Ó Canainn to take a workshop the following day
The residents evenings - usually three/four performers, included Singers from the floor spots just before or sometimes just after the interval and were usually restricted to one song - two if time allowed it and the singer was good enough
Residents were asked to not repeat the song within two months if possible unless they were requested so audiences were not asked to listen to the same-old-same old week after week
The Audience committee frequently discussed the standard of singing so it didn't fall beneath an acceptable level
We ran regular themed feature evenings which sometimes included poetry and prose; actor Ian Cuthbertson turned up one night and volunteered to do one of these
One of the most enjoyable types of feature weer our "you name it, we'll sing it" - audience members sent up coded clues or subjets for songs and the residents (chosen for their size of repertoire) would try to oblige
I remember a feller sending up a slip reading "gazumphed builder and accomplice executed for torturing and killing wife and child of cheating customer" - he wanted 'Lamkin'

We called for volunteers regularly and asked for suggestions for themes and future guests
We also asked residents to volunteer to help aspiring singers if they wanted advice and eventually set up a permanent workshop both for newbies and to do work and research among ourselves
Sandra Kerr set up our first permanent workshop at the request of a number of new singers - it ran for nearly fifteen years
It worked
Jim


30 Oct 19 - 12:06 PM (#4016188)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

I do think it important that folk singers listen to source singers and as many of them as is possible that have been recorded ~similarly MacColl, Lloyd; Bellamy and the other revivalist singers

Care of course is that singers can end up getting too close to some of the source singer voice affectations ~ of course it is vital that singers "use their own voices" in performance of song material

Ray


30 Oct 19 - 12:36 PM (#4016192)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I have give up discussing it with you, Jim. Whenever you proclaim that English Folk is a basket case I shall put the record straight and leave it at that. There is no point in doing anything else.


30 Oct 19 - 01:22 PM (#4016198)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

So then.. has "The current state of folk music in UK" improved much as a result of this thread...???

Will folks be jubilantly celebrating..

"Folk music has now entered a new golden era in 2020
thanks to the tireless squabbling of a few cranky old blokes at Mudcat...
hip hip hooray... three cheers for grumpy old mudcatters!!!
"...


30 Oct 19 - 01:38 PM (#4016200)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

Jim a n udeal but the reality in my experience is tghia floor singers and residents up their game when the likes of martin carthy ewan maccoll, nic jones, fred jordan margaret barry watersons nic dow lou killen cyril tawney were available and playing to a high standrad in weekly guest booking clubs , now we have ,lots of singer clubs with some poor unprofessional papoer shuffling performances


30 Oct 19 - 01:41 PM (#4016202)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"I have give up discussing it with you, Jim"
You really haven't begun Dave - you have refused to respond to a single point I have made so far
If you have any doubts about my claims about EFDSS I suggest you log into its on-line musical examples - second rate singer songwriters all with the exception of one competent box-player
THe clun downstairs was one of those I left swearing never to go back - crib sheets, and mobile phones and a lorra-lorra poor, out of tune singing of indifferent or non-folk songs

I'm a little surprised you should advocate on their behald because the only thing they are doing well at present is aimed at researchers like me with putting the Sharp Diaries on line - not your bag, I would have thought
I spent hours volunteering for work in Sharp House, largely due to my respect for Malcolm and the other Librarians and my friendship with Nibs and Jean Matthews, all the work we did then was gradually negated by 'them upstairs' who were more interested in formal dances for the nobs than they were folk song and music
They made the lives of the Librarians Gawd Luv 'Em an utter misery
Their refusal to move the Library upstairs to expand shelf space meant the turning down of important collections, like The Leslie Shepherd and other major collections and, for an organisation that heralds itself as being about music, their listening facilities are a joke for England's leading/only folk establishment
They should have sold the building instead of clinging onto is as a mausoleum to 'Dear Cecil'
I really have been there and done that and got the scars to prove it

If you don't wish o discuss my ideas or put forward any of yours, that's your prerogative, but please don't try to pretend you have

"Care of course is that singers can end up getting too close to some of the source singer voice affectations "
A thousand times yes Ray, but this isn't just confined to source singers - I got as tired of hearing Martin Mimickers and Bobby Bleaters and Joanie Clones as I did MacColl soundalikes in the early days
"use their own voices" should be part of every singers DNA, though imitation can be an invaluable for finding how the voice is produced
Jim


30 Oct 19 - 02:37 PM (#4016206)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

WWhich bit of "I have give up discussing it with you" are you having problems with, Jim?

If you have anything to refute my claim that we can see and hear good quality folk music at any time in the UK, feel free.


30 Oct 19 - 02:46 PM (#4016208)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Jim, by your own admission you haven't been on the English folk scene for years, if not decades.

Dave is a regular visitor to folk cubs, I think he may have a better insight into the folk scene, at least in the area he travels in than you do.

The folk scene in my area, when I am in England is vibrant, AND by two closest clubs are not mentioned in the lists provided as I suggest dozens of others are not.

I and I suspect most people do not NEED or WISH to define folk music, we leave that to people like yourself.

I will add that had I met your in the late sixities when I started visited clubs I would hve run a mile, you would have bored me stiff and I certainly wouldn't have gone on to perform, run clubs and help orgainse festivals.


30 Oct 19 - 03:07 PM (#4016211)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I think Jim does have a point. Things are just not what they used to be. I shall not comment on whether that is good or bad but shall say that there is no point dwelling on past glories. The irrefutable truth is that good quality folk music is available to anyone all over the place. If anyone wishes to dispute that claim, I would be interested to hear the evidence.


30 Oct 19 - 03:36 PM (#4016212)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Jim, by your own admission you haven't been on the English folk scene for years, if not decades."
I get rather tied of saying that I don't have to have been
People here have told me what I can expect there over and over again
I know that the numbers have dropped by thousands
I know that people have argued that folk clubs are unnecessary
I've been told that if I want folk clubs I need to look elsewhere
I've been told that folk son means different things to different people
I am still in touch with old friends who left the scene as I did and have re-tried over and over again
If I visit a successful club which does folk songs
I always follow recommendations of good singers and find most miles away from folk song proper, mostly swimming in musical soup
What's going to a folk club going to tell me that you lot haven't
You are contradicting yourselves like mad - on the one hand you say that my (the long-established) idea of folk song is dead; on the other, you say folk song is alive and kicking
Which one of your answers do you want me to accept - 'you can't b true to two' as teh old song used to say ?

No-one is dwelling on past glories Dave - yet another red herring
I'm saying hose who call themselves 'folk' have a responsibility to the title they chose

If you spent as much effort answering questions as you do dodging them this discussion might get somewhere
Please dont insult my intelligence (again) by asking "whicch questions - take your pick
Jim


30 Oct 19 - 03:55 PM (#4016214)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Incidentally
To anybody interested
I've just been rea
ding a report ov the collecting work carried out by Tom Munnelly
He collected 22,000 songs or part songs from Travellers
That's got to be worth something - it staggered me
Jim


30 Oct 19 - 03:57 PM (#4016215)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim..

What I'm interested in hearing is what you'd have to say to a young [UK.. not Irish..] teenager in 2019,
who lives nowhere near any regular folk clubs,
who's family and community have no background in or care for folk music,
but has heard a few recent folk flavoured chart pop hits,
and expressed an interest in finding out more about 'folk music'...???

..and do you think that kid's curiosity might be further encouraged,
or put off by your advice...???


30 Oct 19 - 04:06 PM (#4016217)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

No doubt about the answer to that.

If they listened to Jim they'd probably run a mile.

If they listened to the (much maligned) Spinners or even Ed Sheeran they may be encouraged to look further.

Who has done more for encouraging the wonders of folk music .........?

Certainly not the Carrolls of this world.


30 Oct 19 - 04:11 PM (#4016219)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

So then Jim. Seeing as your finger is so on the pulse of what is happening with folk music in the UK, do you have anything to refute my claim that we can see and hear good quality folk music at any time in the UK? After all, it is all about the music isn't it? Not collecting songs like train numbers or old blokes talking about how good things used to be.


30 Oct 19 - 04:23 PM (#4016220)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Now now mudcat mates...

I'm genuinely asking Jim to try to shift his focus,
and indicate how he'd be a positive influence on potentially embryonic young UK folkies in 2019...?????


30 Oct 19 - 04:32 PM (#4016221)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Thinking back to when I first got involved in folk clubs one of the people about at the time was one of Jim's ilk, Harry Boardman.

He was UNIVERSALLY known as Harry BOREDOM.

I was lucky, I knew and befriended many others who encouraged me and others.


30 Oct 19 - 04:34 PM (#4016222)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Good idea, PFR but I suspect you may be disappointed.


30 Oct 19 - 05:12 PM (#4016223)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

I knew Harry Boardman he was a good performer who was not boring.this sort of insulting of dead people who contributed to the folk revival is in my opinion appallingmost people i know and that includes many present stalwarts of the folk revival such as brian peters and mark dowding hold Harry in high regard. Raggy tash I am fairly sure he will be rememberd respectfully when you will be forgotten


30 Oct 19 - 05:24 PM (#4016224)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Dick, I am merely stating fact. If you do not like that fact it doesn't alter it was a fact.

I didn't know Harry very well, I was a kid and he was about 40 at the time, our paths crossed on many occasions but he possibly thought of me as a young whippersnapper and I, like many others, thought of him as a boring old fart.

Take that as you will.


30 Oct 19 - 05:31 PM (#4016225)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

I should have added he may have been a thoroughly nice man who helped little old ladies across the road but on the folk scene he was a bore to many people of my age.


30 Oct 19 - 05:39 PM (#4016228)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

it was not a fact , Harry was not regarded by many on the uk folk revival as boring apart from perhaps you and your mates, your little bunch of mates[was not the universe] and hardly representative of the uk folk revival. you claim he was universally known as harry boredom ,well i played his club a couple of times and also played ring of bells middleton and star salford and many clubs in the manchester area and never heard him referred to in that way., in fact he was a very well respected club organiser and national performer, you however are unecessarily unpleasant about someone who did much for the manchester folk scene and who appeared regularly on national folk radio and was in demand for many years on the uk folk scene, give it a break


30 Oct 19 - 05:52 PM (#4016230)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Dick, I lived in Manchester, I went to the MSG, the Ring o' Bells, the Star at Higher Broughton and many other clubs around South East Lancashire.

I can assured you he was UNIVERSALLY known as Harry Boredom.

I seem to recall Harry Ogden, who fronted Piccadily Radio's folk programme in the late 70's, referring to him as such on the radio on more than one occasion.

I am not castigating him as a human being. Can you understand that?


31 Oct 19 - 04:00 AM (#4016277)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

To call him harry boredom on a public forum is to castigate him, Harry was a nationally respected figure on the uk folk scene, you are an insignificant twerp hiding behind a psudonym, who also used this phrase to link harry and jim. you and your puerile young twerps may have called him childish names, that does not mean he was known as harry boredom on the national folk scene,he cartainly was a respected figure who will be remembered long after insignificant twerps like yourself have been forgotten. not only are you an insignificant little twerp. you are atempting to destroy his musical reputation kindly fuck off


31 Oct 19 - 04:15 AM (#4016279)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Only met Harry Boardman twice ~ once at Barnsley folk club ~ have/had a recording someone did once! and at Sidmouth ff ~ "You Yorkshire lads like your growlers he said to me and my mate Johnny Booker" finding food at the time was a problem! [at the festival]

Songs and material Harry had was deeply Lancashire and had historical social interest ~ he was good musician in his accompaniments on banjo and concertina ~ Mark Dowding has researched and sings a great number of Harry's collected music andis a fine presenter of his material

Ray


31 Oct 19 - 04:17 AM (#4016280)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Coming back on track while you are on here, Dick. I asked a couple of questions earlier. Your answers would be appreciated but not vital. Just out of interest.

Have you ever been to a folk club where there was no folk music?

Do you think that this song would be acceptable at a folk club?


31 Oct 19 - 04:22 AM (#4016281)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"I can assured you he was UNIVERSALLY known as Harry Boredom."
Except to those who filled his several clubs every week you mean Rag, Funny how personal taste can become "Universal'
My first regular club out of Liverpool was The Wayfarers at the Waggon and Horses - I hitched up the East Lancs Road every Friday to attend
The lineup was tremendous - Terry Whelan, Harry Boardman, Tom Gilfellon Dave Hillary, and the magic Terry Griffiths (sigh) who could make Billy Holliday sound like a wet teacloth when she was at her best)
Harry was by no means top of my list as a singer, but he was entertaining and, apart from his Lancashire stuff, which was non-folkey and sometimes mawkish (would go a bomb on today's scene), he had a great traditional repertoire which he was well able to put over
I saw Harry sing to an audience of 200 student at The Manchester University folk club at the Toastrack and he went down a bomb (especially when a couple of students sitting on the stage managed to set the curtains on fire while trying to light up a splif as he reached the end of 'The Flying Cloud'
Harry's clubs were among the most popular in the Manchester area in the four years I lived there I residented at two of them (The Blue Anchor was one)
At one stage he had two going at once, one in Manchester and one in Failsworth
Whatever his faults, Harry was a great entertainer with an interesting repertoire - far from boring
Personally, Harry Ogden was the last person I would have asked an pinion on on folk singing

"Certainly not the Carrolls of this world."
Sorry you feel the need to make this personal but it's become the habit on the folk scene - those who can do - those who can't spend their time denigrating the efforts of those who have
Perhaps you'd like to tell us how many of THESE you can claim credit to
We spent ovet thirty years of our lives making sure that the songs and singers that are now meing replaced by media weren't forgotten and we are spending teh rest of it putting teh stuff in order to make sure it can be used easily
That site is now being used all over the West of Ireland, largely by youngsters newly introduced to their folk songs
The first thing the Clare County council did when it was opened was to appoint two singers to visit schools to introduce the kids to the songs of their County using those singers - they worked at it for two years

When Walter's stuff goes in tp the British Library people will be able to listen to Walters songs on line and, hopefully what he had to say about them - I doubt if there will be too many folkies on the present scene - Walter doesn't fit into their world from what's being argued here
Some people in Limerick Uni are talking about basing a Traveller website on the Traveller songs were recorded

I've shown you mine - how about you showing me yours
Will deal with some of the rest when I open a few windows
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 04:35 AM (#4016282)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

FORGOT ABOUT THIS
SUMMED UP HERE

Pissing contest over
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 04:51 AM (#4016283)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

yes the song [imo= is acceptable ,i have certain criticisms of the perfomance, the fake american accent, the use of the drum machine ,i would not give him a booking but i might give him a floor spot but not ever week and not till he improved his diction threw away the drum machine started accompanying the song instead of following the drum machine.
yes, i have, it was colchester folk club and the guest was andy caven, to be fair to andy he performed buddy holly very well, but it was not imo folk music


31 Oct 19 - 04:52 AM (#4016284)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

It must be time to bring on the morris dancers and work off all that aggression! How any performer is received in an individual response.
I have little time for unaccompanied singing, I find it painful. I have only ever encountered a few people that could carry it off. Others are free to disagree. But this thread is about how widespread performances are, not individual foibles of performers(sitting arse about face on a chair and warbling with a finger in the ear springs to mind)
Some performers wear woolly pullies, others have been known to sit in rocking chairs - Who cares? These people must have been "good" otherwise I would have to give them names. In the UK everyone will know who I am referring to. On TV and radio folk is a very small niche rarely catered for, in contrast to the halycon days of the sixties. But other media has largely supplanted TV and radio and statistics are not easily obtained.
The exact number of clubs is uncertain as I believe the typical folk venue and audience size requires no licensing any more(post 2012)I could be wrong on that.But if I understand correctly it is still required to obtain a music license from PRS PPL, Again I may be wrong on that, not having run folk clubs. Ir would seem the body issuing the permits would be able to answer the question of how many venues and give a definitive response to the number of clubs by year.(depending on how detailed their data collation.) It would need someone more clued up than me to pursue the question.


31 Oct 19 - 04:58 AM (#4016285)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

I agree with jim.
harry ogden ,nice fellow but someone i would not ask about folk singing


31 Oct 19 - 05:01 AM (#4016286)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"sitting arse about face on a chair and warbling with a finger in the ear springs to mind"
Yet another example of those who can't pulling down the massive contribution of those who have done
If those whose sole contribution to folk has been to snide at performers who have given us enough petrol in our tanks to keep us singing most of our lives (like ewan and Bert) - had spent a fraction of their time actually putting something back into folk songs, we wouldn't have to worry about whether folk song has a future
Jim Carroll


31 Oct 19 - 05:01 AM (#4016287)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Thanks, Dick.

Jim, I apologise for doubting your folk free folk club. There has been at least one incident so I guess there must be others. In fairness though, if Dick, with his massive ecperience, can only come up with one then I guess it is not widespread. Maybe someone in the Colchester area can update us on whether the club is now doing "what it says on the tin".

Interesting that a folk artist thinks that, given a couple of tweaks, that song would be acceptable at a folk club. I shall remember that if the need arises.


31 Oct 19 - 05:03 AM (#4016288)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

YES A DENIGRATION OF ONE OF THE UK FOLK REVIVALS FINEST SONGWRITERS


31 Oct 19 - 05:10 AM (#4016289)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

One last thing, Dick. Would you give this young busker a floor spot and what advice would you give him?


31 Oct 19 - 05:10 AM (#4016290)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

""sitting arse about face on a chair" - again
It's not as if the sniders who go in for this sort of invective put any thought into their sniding - this ignorant stupidity has been lifted directly from something that has done the rounds for as long as I have been on the scene
A bit of intelligent, creative and original imagination in criticism of singing would add to discussion like this no end
Itt like a scratched record stuck eternally in the same groove

"Interesting that a folk artist thinks that, given a couple of tweaks, "
There's far too much unused and unsung folk material to need tpo tweak pop songs that you ca never make your own Dave - why bother - they're largelt crap songs anyway compared to the great stuff that is lying dormant
I'm damn sure that kids who like such stuff would much rather hear it performed well rather than read from crib sheets by indifferent singers in folk clubs
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 05:29 AM (#4016292)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Don't know about Dick but I'd suggest he learned to make narrative sense of the words of a beautiful song and try singing in his own voice rather than the false "little-girl breathiness he's using
what advice would you give him?
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 05:34 AM (#4016293)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

Are you after the "getting offended award of the year" jimmie.
The behaviour was a theatrical affectation, otherwise we would all be doing it.


31 Oct 19 - 05:45 AM (#4016297)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

It's pretty clear by now that Jim is not going to be budged from his opinion that he won't find folk music in UK folk clubs, just as it's clear that the rest of us aren't going to budge from our own belief that we are finding it there, and in other venues too. Either we are all completely deluded or there is a difference between us over what we mean by "folk".

For me, "folk" encompasses not only traditional music but a wide range of other material, and a wide range of performing styles. It encompasses (to give only a few examples) Walter Pardon and Sam Larner, but also Peter Bellamy, Nic Jones, the Carthy/Waterson dynasty, John Kirkpatrick, Tony Rose. It encompasses Granny's Attic and Pilgrims' Way. It encompasses Oysterband and Steeleye Span. It also encompasses a lot I don't personally enjoy, and some I actively avoid.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect to hear traditional music in a folk club. However there have always been clubs which have focused on the more contemporary aspects, just as there have been others who have specialised in trad. If I went to a club with little or no trad music I might be disappointed and decide not to go again, but I wouldn't necessarily think it was wrongly described, neither would I take that as representative of every folk club.


31 Oct 19 - 05:55 AM (#4016300)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

Howard Jones. An academic view

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/popular-music/article/performing-englishness-identity-and-politics-in-a-contemporary-fol

They discuss a resurgence!


31 Oct 19 - 06:07 AM (#4016301)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

You may believe that Howard but you are a long way od showing that it does
"For me, "folk" encompasses not only traditional music but a wide range of other material,"
The pri=oblem with the folk scene is that nowadays everybody wants to have their own definition of what folk means - that's why the scene no longer has a centre
The populatr description of what is happening now used to be "horse music clubs"
If nobody can agree on what folk song is then the real stuff doesn't stand a chance of survival
"I don't think it's unreasonable to expect to hear traditional music in a folk club."
Very kind of you Howard - I always felt cheated because I stopped hearing it - that;'why I gave up on most folk clubs
"other musuc" now appears to be a description of stuff that it more akin tp pop than any known folk style
Do you really think a heavy metal fan is going to sit through a long narrative ballad - why the hell should folk song lovers sit through pop pap - usually poorly perfortmed
That's downright insulting
Jim



"The behaviour was a theatrical affectation, "
Usaual expected defensive insults aside, sitting back to front of a chair was a technique, devised in Theatre Workshop, to allow a clear flow of air through the body into the mouth - a form or relaxation, particularly useful in handling long-line songs
Everybody would have used it if it hadn't become so popularly identified with Maccoll
The finger-in-the-ear teccnique was a millennial old technique for listening to your own voice while singing while at the same time cutting down exterior none


31 Oct 19 - 07:16 AM (#4016309)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Hootennanny

"sitting back to front of a chair was a technique, devised in Theatre Workshop, to allow a clear flow of air through the body into the mouth - a form or relaxation, particularly useful in handling long-line songs"

Air through the body into the mouth ?

Which orifice was used for the intake?

One wonders if they were inspired by Le Petomaine. The result was sometimes similar.


31 Oct 19 - 07:30 AM (#4016310)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter Laban

'Air through the body into the mouth ?'

It's called breathing out.


31 Oct 19 - 07:32 AM (#4016311)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

From the lungs
The people I know tend to carry an air supply around with them in case they need it
The technique was devised to use the air in the most efficient way to meet the singers needs - coupled with the relaxation exercises it enables you to handle long lines without having to take a break
I have never used it publicly, but have constantly done so while practicing - it's proving invaluable at the moment with a difficult version of 'Banks of Newfoundland' - the lungs aren't what they used to be

"Le Petomaine."
I very much doubt if the technique would be of use to you as you appear to produce most of your utterances from the orifice that particular gentleman specialised in :-)
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 07:56 AM (#4016312)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Jim wrote:-
he went down a bomb (especially when a couple of students sitting on the stage managed to set the curtains on fire while trying to light up a splif as he reached the end of 'The Flying Cloud'

Now I would suggest that a rather than the metaphor used; and given the context of this sentence, it would have been better to use a simile and make the phrase - he went down like a house on fire (especially.... etc. perhaps extending it to incorporate a development of the simile/metaphor into clouds of smoke and 'The Flying Cloud'.

Just suggestions - and an attempt to insert humour into a particularly turgid and insult-strewn section of a depressing and repetitive thread.

Right! Creative Writng lesson over, let's get back to the important back-biting.


31 Oct 19 - 08:12 AM (#4016314)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Thanks for the humour Vic
Personally, i think your "turgid and insult-strewn" needs to be addressed elsewhere - I havee insuted nobody but have neen the constant victim of it for daring to challenge some of the ideas that have sent most dedicated folkies running for the hills
Your myopic choice of your targets has become a feature of your postings and your failure to acknowledge apologies does you no credit
I feel as necessary to repeat things I have said as often as people claim I haven't replied to things I have - but then again, that must be difficult for a myopic to spot
If an important issue gets dealt with it's worth repeating a hundred times
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 08:13 AM (#4016316)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

That sort of stuf f is beyond people of our age

I think Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and Rod Strewart to name but 3 would disagree with you, Jim. Are you seriously suggesting that those of us in our later years should stick to music that has been around since Adam was a lad and have nothing to do with anything produced recently? If so, you may as well have me out down now!


31 Oct 19 - 08:45 AM (#4016320)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

Thanks for the clarification Jim. I thought I had spent the last 50 years going to folk clubs, whereas in fact they were all "horse music clubs". No wonder we are at cross purposes.

In the parallel universe I apparently move in I find plenty of traditional folk music. I am unable to comment on "pop pap" because I can't recall the last time I heard anything meeting that description in a folk club. I do hear some contemporary songs, but resembling folk rather than pop. I have very occasionally heard pop songs given a folk treatment, but usually very well performed, and certainly not often enough to make me think that proper folk music is being driven out.

By the way, one of my bandmates who is a very fine fiddler and performer of mainly traditional music and song is also a heavy metal fan.


31 Oct 19 - 09:25 AM (#4016322)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

I would direct him to the version known as the braes of bal quidder,but before that i wou advise him to work on his guitar technique, learn some melody picking either carter style [ eg maybelle carter donovan] or piedmont [etta baker, missipi john hurt].
improve his diction, no need for american accent[he is not american]. school report, has potential should improve diction and sing in natural voice acct work and harder on guitar even experiment with diferent open tunings, or learn to flatpick like doc watson or malcolm price.
if he had not had a number of hits i would give him a floor spot but not a gig, would suggest he learned the banjo or the concertina and i would tell him to buy one of my song accompaniment tutors. I would advise him to always remember to accompany the song but not let the instrument force the accompaniment, in that respect he is ok, better than that fellow you put up he used a feckin drum machine.


31 Oct 19 - 09:42 AM (#4016327)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

I'm coming to the conclusion - this isn't really about the artists.

Its about the audiences.

Something none of us can control. Put up the sign folk club, and what turns up, turns up.

If you don't like what turns up. try again somewhere else. if nowhere suits you - maybe its you who's the problem..


31 Oct 19 - 09:57 AM (#4016330)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and Rod Strewart to name but 3 would disagree with you, Jim."
All of whom have spent a large slice of their lives perfecting their art in contrast to some of the pathetically incompetent attempts I have witnessed at trying to emulate them at folk clubs

Pop and folk come out of totally different stables - style, function and purpose is not only different but is often contradictory
Pop is non-narrative and repetitive - music rather than word based
Whatever the composers may wish to convey, unless it is profitable to the predatory music industry it doesn't get a look-in - this is a precondition of a song becoming pop(ular)
That is as about as far away from folk song as you can possibly get

Howard
The 'Horse music clubs' were based on the 'anything goes' policy of far too many of them
Nobody objected to an occasional departure but when it became a set policy to flood your evenings with non-folk many people found themselves down in the bar with occasional trips upstairs to see if any of the songs they thought they were going to hear were being sung
Our choice of what we wanted to listen to had been taken away

Regarding taste
I love Haydn and Mozart and jazz and early Sinatra - and that Peggy Lee -mmmmm!! but I wouldn't expect to hear any of these at a folk club but I used to know where to go if that's what I was looking for

Can I say something about the nature of this thread
Of course it's fractious - any serious discussion about the state of folk song will inevitably become heated because of the present state of the scene (no-I am not the only one who feels angry about what has happened to the scene -- those thousands that walked away from it didn't just drift into the stratosphere)
Some people have spent more time tryng to close this thread down than they have contributing to it - that has become a more and more common phenomenon on this forum
Mudcat has racked up more folk song no-go areas that it has opened new subjects - MacColl, Definition, now the club scene (if we're not careful)

I joined this forum to exchange ideas with people who shared my devotion to folk song - I was introduced to the ideas of people like Malcolm Douglas, Sandy Paton, and Brian Peters and some of the Scots singers and songmakers who used to post regularly
Posters like that have grown less and less and the attitude to serious discussion of traditional song has become more and more openly hostile
That cannot be right for a forum that describes itself as it does

Far from discussions like this being closed down, they need to become a permanent feature of this forum unless we want it to become a part of the malaise that is now infecting the folk scene
I am left feeling uncomfortably unwelcome whenever I say what I have to say about folk song
I am fully aware that I sometimes overstate my case, but, despite accusations to the contrary, I try to avoid losing my rag and insulting people - I damn well wish others would grant me the same courtesy
I've done my homework and served a long enough apprenticeship in folk song to have a degree of confidence in what I say - if I am wrong, I expect a little more than personal abuse and derision (which reached new depths recently when my family life was dragged into it (un-commented on by those who are happy to join in the kicking sometimes)
If I can no longer discuss folk song seriosly I'll piss off below the line and leave you all to it.

I treasured the friendships I have made on this forum and, even more, what I have learned from being able to take part, but I am far too old to go tip-toeing gingerly through the minefield that has been laid around some of the subjects I hold as important
There - that's my "rant" for the time being
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 10:02 AM (#4016331)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

I'm genuinely asking Jim to try to shift his focus, and indicate how he'd be a positive influence on potentially embryonic young UK folkies in 2019...?????

We're obviously never going to get anything helpful from that direction, and JoeG of the original question wasn't asking him.

So. Up here in Scotland it isn't very difficult. If you want to find out about traditional music and song there are lots of people who can give helpful information and constructive advice: Steve Byrne, Chris Wright or Cathlin Macaulay in Edinburgh come to mind. For instrumental playing, each instrument has its own network, and it's easy enough to find helpful people for fiddle, bagpipes, accordion or harp. Archives for sound, paper and video are easy to access and use (except for Edinburgh University thanks to its jobsworth management). Everything has got much more convenient over the last generation - the opportunities to perform may not be getting better at any great rate (they are at least getting more varied), but for finding out WHAT to perform, you can find what you want without negotiating self-righteous petty megalomaniacs - there have been a few and still are, but they're avoidable.

Performers under 30 know this and know where to look.

From what I know about Northumbria it's pretty similar down there (it's really part of Scotland anyway).

Is it so different for someone wanting to make their way in trad music in the Faragian Caliphate? I kinda doubt it.


31 Oct 19 - 10:03 AM (#4016332)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

The audience is a fickle beast. If going out for entertainment they expect to be entertained. If they want education they go to night school. With venues shrinking due to pub closures, the breathalyser, possibly greater distances to travel, etc, etc if the audience is paying they have a right to be discerning. For sessions the motivation is different, although the same constraints apply. Compared to 50years ago the average pub business model has had to change drastically. Letting a room out for simply alcohol sales for folkies is not going to be a money spinner, it is more likely a loss maker.
When taliking about folk are we
Talking about the number of venues
the size of the audience
the number of participants
the number of session both music and singarounds
performance of a largely moribund genre
or are we PC and inclusive of contemporary folk, and even the odd pop song such as Yesterday or Those were the days
In the UK several universities offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in folk music. THis suggests the subject has more vibrancy than some would admit.


31 Oct 19 - 10:20 AM (#4016335)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"I'm genuinely asking Jim to try to shift his focus, and indicate how he'd be a positive influence on potentially embryonic young UK folkies in 2019"
I' have done this over and over again Jack
I see youngsters with potential being drawn into a star system ans being encouraged to be 'performaers' rather than participants in the folk scene
I actually produced an example of what I mean - a superb television programme on one of Ireland's most important collectors followed by another of performances of some of Sam Henry's most important songs, over-accompanied, with the their words drowned out largely by electronic soup - as far from the original singer's intention as you could imagine
I listen to the English and Irish folk awards with the same impression

I've seen youngsters here in Ireland come to the music with respect and perform it with high skill and have read postings by you denigrating what's happening on the Irish scene
Sorry - you seem to be wanting it both ways
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 10:20 AM (#4016336)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,crumbly

Northumbria part of Scotland- wot??
Might accept the reverse, especially as your capital city is named after a Northumbrian king....


31 Oct 19 - 10:21 AM (#4016337)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Back to "The current state of folk music in UK"...

A UK teenager becoming intersted in folk music can ask Amazon's Alexa
to play any of these...

Folk Playlists 2019


Clicking on the pictures reveals the tracks and artists currently 'curated' as "folk" music by Amazon...


31 Oct 19 - 10:24 AM (#4016338)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Northumbria part of Scotland- wot??"
Who knows what's going to happen after Brexit - the way things are going I can see Devon and Cornwall applying to join as aprt of independent Scotland - Northumbria h=jut has to take an eraser and rub out the line on the map
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 10:32 AM (#4016340)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Had a dip into your playlist PFR
Would be interested to be directed to anything resembling folk
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 10:39 AM (#4016343)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

I certainly agree that folk song and music is about attracting the audience or even supporters and as I have said before the different facets of folk song and music have their own devotees and audience

The folk clubs of old had a weekly following, many of them having regular if not weekly guests ~ these guests varied from ppl like Tony Rose and Nic Jones to Tony Capstick and Derek Brimstone and Jasper Carott ~ certainly the 1970s were made up of younger audience and knowledge of the traditional singers repertoire was embryonic ~ Fred Jordan I saw a number of times over the years at clubs and festivals ~ the Yetties worked hard and travelled to clubs.

There are a good number of younger artists doing the rounds with lots to offer ~ Hannah James, Eliza Carthy, Nancy Kerr and Jon Boden and many more

I checked the website of Leeds College of music this morning and was pleased to see their curriculum and list of lecturers and included Jamie Roberts and Katriona Gilmore (past graduates) who are very popular and doing regular gigs at concert venues ~ the indicator of the future I suspect

Ray


31 Oct 19 - 10:40 AM (#4016344)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

Jack, I think the position is different in England. Scotland has a strong sense of its own identity and culture, and has institutions which support those as well as more informal networks. The same applies to Northumbria.

The same can't be said for the rest of England. A few universities may offer opportunities to study folk music but that's about it. I may well be mistaken, but judging by the course details on its website the main undergraduate degree seems to put as much weight on world and 20th/21st century popular music as it does on the "music of these islands". It has modules on Baroque opera, hip hop and DJing but nothing which expressly addresses English music.

Down here it is left largely to enthusiasts and whilst many do excellent work it is inevitably localised.


31 Oct 19 - 10:43 AM (#4016345)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

To the vast majority of people, and I reckon that could easily be 95%, the Amazon categorisation of folk is a much better indication than anyone else's. I am not saying it is right. Just that most people would believe Amazon over you, Jim. Sorry but that is just the way of the world.


31 Oct 19 - 10:53 AM (#4016347)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Whoa Amazon's categorisation is a load of tosh compared to what "we" are talking about here

Ray


31 Oct 19 - 10:54 AM (#4016349)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - not 'my' list..

But Amazon UK's..
whether the many different folk lists are compiled by humans or AI algarythms, I do not know...???

On page 3..

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Best-60s-Folk-Revival/dp/B07P7HV2SN/ref=sr_1_39?qid=1572533287&refinements=p_n_format_browse-bin%3A5685


"Best of the 60s Folk Revival
2 hrs 44 mins, 50 songs
Curated by Amazon's Music Experts
"

When I was a young teenager, the nearest big town library had shelves of Topic and other niche lable Folk LPs..

Now for better or worse / like it or lump it,
kids taking their first independent steps in discovering folk have Amazon music, spotify, youtube.. etc...


31 Oct 19 - 10:57 AM (#4016350)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

From: Dave the Gnome - PM
Date: 31 Oct 19 - 10:43 AM

To the vast majority of people, and I reckon that could easily be 95%, the Amazon categorisation of folk is a much better indication than anyone else's. I am not saying it is right. Just that most people would believe Amazon over you, Jim. Sorry but that is just the way of the world.
ha ha, the way of the gnome,is more like it.


31 Oct 19 - 10:57 AM (#4016351)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I did say I am not saying it is right, Ray. Just that most of the general public, as opposed to anyone familiar with folk, would believe Amazon.


31 Oct 19 - 10:57 AM (#4016352)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

.. and mising completely from any playlists is the massive and important lost Bulmer hoard...


31 Oct 19 - 10:59 AM (#4016353)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

You need to work on your jokes, Dick. That last one was ok but lacked a vital ingredient. The funny bit at the end :-)


31 Oct 19 - 11:07 AM (#4016355)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Just that most people "
Most people were never involved in folk Dick - we are talking about a minute and diminishing minority
same with you Dave "95%" wouldn't have to queue to fill a telephone box the way things are going
The Amazon list is depressingly appalling - if I'd have been aware of it I would have put it up to make my case
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 11:13 AM (#4016358)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

How about wiki for a list.? I cannot find much to argue about there so I will only book the 5 minute argument room


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:British_folk_songs


31 Oct 19 - 11:16 AM (#4016360)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Just been through the list - out of 50 there are about five I'd walk as far as King Georges Park to listen to free
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 11:29 AM (#4016362)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Some on The Wiki list would be grand if anybody sang the stuff
Someone needs to hand it around the clubs
Jim Carroll


31 Oct 19 - 11:42 AM (#4016366)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

"Just been through the list - out of 50 there are about five I'd walk as far as King Georges Park to listen to free
Jim
"

Jim - I'm sure you do understand how much your pride in such a statement marginalises you..
Rendering you an irrelevence to most UK teenagers who might take an interest in folk music in 2019.

Which is a shame, because your legacy, your work, your recordings, your archives and memories, are invaluable...

But being positive and optimistic, even if you make yourself so difficult for UK youth to relate to,
the institutions you donate your life's work to for safekeepig
will hopefully provide accessable oportunites for future generations to gain inspiration from...

You'll always deserve credit and respect for this...


31 Oct 19 - 11:44 AM (#4016368)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

"safekeepig".. oops.. I corrected one mispilleng to only make it even worse...


31 Oct 19 - 12:09 PM (#4016372)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Derrick

Looking through the Wiki lists I estimate about 75 percent of the songs given on the British, Roud,and Cornish lists I have never heard sung in
the local clubs I have been to over the years. I have heard a great number of trad and contempory (in the folk Style such as MacColl)far more than the material Jim deplores.
I think most attempts to produce a list of what people consider folk songs are subject to the writers own opinion and largely a waste of paper.


31 Oct 19 - 12:17 PM (#4016374)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"I'm sure you do understand how much your pride in such a statement marginalises you.."
If I chose what I listened to based on what other people do I'd line up to be sheared regularly
I know what folk song sounds like - little there does
We've never managed to draw many teenagers in to folk and I certainly wouldn't wish to con them by pretending it's something else
We have too many adults with those misconceptions
I can remember cries of "wheve cracked the teenage market" when Shirley Ellis took 'Rubber Dolly' into the charts - a perfectly good black US children's song
Nobody stayed to listen to the rest on offer
Folk song will sing or swim on its own merits - personally I would rather see it sink than be presented as something else and create even more confusion
THIS IS THE THING I'M HOPING WILL HAPPEN
MAYBE WE'LL SEE A BIT MORE OF THIS
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 12:41 PM (#4016375)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"I have never heard sung in the local clubs "
Me neither - I'd walk over broken glas to hear a half decent rendition of The Battle of Otterburn
Many of the Wiki list are half decent folk songs - if they are no longer relevant - fine, but I can't see many that aren't
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 01:32 PM (#4016387)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

dave, humour is subjective it was not a joke, however yor statenment about amazon is a joke but not very funny,
here is a good throwaway line that is appropiate for the insignificant twerp who attacked harry boardman { when they circumsised him they threw away the wrong bit.


31 Oct 19 - 01:54 PM (#4016391)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Sorry Dick. Your saying "ha ha, the way of the gnome,is more like it" seems to indicate that you thought it was funny.

How is saying that more people go by Amazon's categories than by anyone else's be a joke? Must be one of those deep meaningful things that only clever people understand.

Your "throwaway" may have been funny once but after the 1000th time it gets a bit monotonous. Mind you, I suppose at traditional folk clubs only jokes as listed in the the "Bumper book of laughs", 1928, are permitted.


31 Oct 19 - 01:59 PM (#4016393)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"How is saying that more people go by Amazon's categories than by anyone else's be a joke?"
Totally agree
There's nothing funny about the British people being mislead aby a iant company - especially one with an iffy reputation like Amazon

"Bumper book of laughs", 1928, "
Sums up the respect for "The Voice of the People" some folkies seem to display, I suppose
And another one leaps out of the closet
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 02:13 PM (#4016396)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

I'm very disappointed that people are starting to throw insults about again. Please let's keep it civil and respectful of each others' views even when we disagree.


31 Oct 19 - 02:15 PM (#4016397)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - so what happens to Trad Folk CD and LP collections
when local tory councils close down the public libraries...???

There's not much choice left then, apart from big global internet corporation's 'free' playlists...


31 Oct 19 - 02:24 PM (#4016400)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Now if Bulmer's estate were to realise the benefit's of existing internet based technology,
and even just offer a balance of free taster and subscription playlists...???


31 Oct 19 - 02:32 PM (#4016402)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Jim, as you are so fond of saying, it was a joke"
I say it was a joke whe I intend to eb funny Dave - sorry, I find dating the songs sung in folk clubs over a century out of date is asun funny as it gets - but not uncommon in discussions like these which basically are about folk song proper being forced out to make room for pop-type songs

Jim - so what happens to Trad Folk CD and LP collections when local tory councils close down the public libraries...???
I don't know and I don't really care - there's not a chance of that happening in a County that has come to respect its traditional music and song as not only a peice of its heritage but also a massive drawer for visitors who wish to become involved
WE have vistors all the year round in this one-street town who come to listen to the music (from four to six nights a week) depending on the weather
Our stuff is lodged firmly in Arts Council-supported archives so if anything hpppens, we won't be around to see it

I'm not exactly Morris Dancing's greatest fan, but I was watching 'Bargain Hunt' yesterday when they showed a lovely section on the custom - it struck me what a great attraction it would be to visitors if it was presented for visitors without compromising it
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 02:44 PM (#4016403)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

It was the Mudcat Morris dancers, by the way
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 02:49 PM (#4016404)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Right I'll say this just one last time.

I AM NOT DENIGRATING HARRY BOARDMAN AS A PERSON OR EVEN AS A PERFORMER.

It that clear enough for everyone, he may well have been a truly wonderful man, I didn't know him that well.

All I was saying was that he was known as Harry Boredom.


31 Oct 19 - 02:51 PM (#4016405)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - yeah.. but.. this thread aint about Ireland...

[though ok.. Northern Ireland still counts as being in the UK for the time being...]


31 Oct 19 - 02:55 PM (#4016406)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Jim - yeah.. but.. this thread aint about Ireland..."
Then why raise libraries ?
Ireland is an example of how the fortunes of traditional music can be turned when everybody thought it was finished
Our work shows that English and Irish traditions are very similar - dying scene can learn from a growing one - surely ?
I believe Ireland can learn from Britain - nowadays that seems to be confined to what to avoid
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 02:55 PM (#4016407)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Fine Jim. Whatever. You are the ultimate arbiter not only of what is folk music but also what passes as humour. It must be tough having all that responsibility. I hope that you are up to the job. Good luck.

Now, back to the thread, have you managed to find anything to dispute my claim that good quality folk music can be found anywhere in England, any day of the week and any time of year?


31 Oct 19 - 02:58 PM (#4016409)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

I don't recall ever hearing Harry Boardman on South West England TV or Radio One back in the 1970s...???

Though I'd be surprised if Brenda Wooton got much media exposure up north...???

Earlier today, I asked Alexa to play any of his tracks.. but not available for streaming...

So I found and bookmarked some of his songs on youtube,
but the one I had a quick sample taste listen too didn't appeal to me too much.
I'll try some more later...


31 Oct 19 - 03:01 PM (#4016410)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

It's no sin to dislike some of the source or revival singers, PFR. Although the way some go on you would think so...


31 Oct 19 - 03:08 PM (#4016411)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

"Then why raise libraries ?"

Jim - do what...??? you actually really don't care...!!!???????

Why would that even need explaining to you...???
as it's so obvious to any small UK town
that no longer has a public library stocked with Trad Folk CDs/LPs,
amongst everything else that is now taken away from ordinary UK citizens
seeking free self-education in austere tory Britain...

Maybe, living so long in Ireland has detached you too much from our UK reality...???


31 Oct 19 - 03:20 PM (#4016412)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

he was known s harry boredom by raggytash and his chums but for many others throughout the uk folk rvival he was a well respected performer, the very fact you call him harry boredom is an insult and a slur on a man who ran a club for many years and who gave the chance to and encouraged many performers such as brian peters myself mark dowding, you are insignificant compared to Harry, when you have acieved half of what he achieved someone might respect you, in the meantime, stop this boring mantra, if you had repeated this slur to my face ,i would have told you in al ess polite manner my opinion of that shitty remark


31 Oct 19 - 03:22 PM (#4016413)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Why would that even need explaining to you...???
as it's so obvious to any small UK town
that no longer has a public library"
Ennis is a County Town and has taken on the musican and song heritage of the whole county
It has done that because they have been persuaded of its cultural and historical importance - that is never going to happen if the so-called exponents of folk song don't take their responsibilities seriously
It was through the eforst of people like me and Pat, Reg Hall, Malcomlm Taylor and a few others going to the National Sound Archive who, in their turn,, went to the British Library, that Britain Got it's 'Bright Golden Store' online-archive so dion't come the 'living in Ireland' bit please
Scurrying behind "you don't live in England any more" is wearing a little thin
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 03:30 PM (#4016414)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

Dick - but for folks who grew up never knowing him or his music,
he is still an unknown quantity...

For me personally, it's only since I joined mudcat 15 or so years ago that I've noticed his name mentioned occasionly...

Listening to his recordings is something I now intend to do,
and I'll do it with an open mind,
and come to my own conclusions about how much I enjoy him in 2019...


31 Oct 19 - 03:33 PM (#4016415)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

That guest was me pfr..
My mobile phone has signed me out without me realising...


31 Oct 19 - 03:41 PM (#4016416)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

I sometimes wonder if some people can actually clean their teeth from the inside.


31 Oct 19 - 03:42 PM (#4016417)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - no I'm not having you lump me in with your perceived enemies..
I've never once before mentioned anything about you living in Ireland disqualifying you from having an opinion..
No idea what doing that now..

But here I can't accept you completely dismissing our problems in England, while you then continue to bang on about how great island is...


31 Oct 19 - 03:43 PM (#4016418)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

To Peter Laban,

Thank you for your answer to my query way above but I would just like to point out that "breathing out" does bot bring air INTO the mouth.

I don't recall any other singers or even Theatre Workshop players adopting this pose. But I wonder did Christine Keeler ever sing a folk song???


31 Oct 19 - 03:44 PM (#4016419)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

That should have read "neither am I doing that now"..

Bloody mobile phones...


31 Oct 19 - 03:53 PM (#4016421)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

You can't afford a mobile phone PFR. They are the province of us nouveu riche middle class folkies... :-P


31 Oct 19 - 04:00 PM (#4016423)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"I don't recall any other singers or even Theatre Workshop players adopting this pose"
So you saw their plays and monologues then
This gets stupid
Maccoll used it for the reason he said
We tried it and it worked
It's a part of relaxing the bod i otderr to produce an uncluttered sound - S.W, developed it from the ideas of an expert on relaxation, Nelson Illingworth
Why do you do this Hoot - it really does you no credit
"Jim - no I'm not having you lump me in with your perceived enemies.."
I wouldn't do that P - I have people I disagree with heer but I couldn't very few of them as "enemies" - I leave that to those who consider argument insulting
You mentioned that my "living in Ireland" has put me out of touch with what's happening in British Libraries - maybe I'm knee-jerking in memory of all those who tell me I don't know what's happening on the club scene because I "live in Ireland" - if so, I apologise - (long day and still not shaken off a heavy cold)
I don't regard them "enemies" - just lost sheep in need of a shepherd :-)
Jim   

Jim


31 Oct 19 - 04:03 PM (#4016424)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

I'm back on my PC now..

This is a corrected repeat of that post...
=====================================================

Jim - no, I'm not having you lump me in with your perceived enemies..
I've never once before mentioned anything about you living in Ireland
disqualifying you from having an opinion..
Neither am I doing that now..

But here in this thread about the UK,
I can't accept you completely dismissing our problems in England,
while you then continue to bang on about how great Ireland is...


31 Oct 19 - 04:08 PM (#4016427)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - we cross posted..

No problems, no sneers ever intended...

I was just a bit astonished that you'd not give a monkeys about our libraries being cut by tories...???

Which you obviously would never seriously mean like that...


31 Oct 19 - 04:12 PM (#4016430)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

DtG.. I have a "Peoples mobile phone" best value for money budget price smart phone..
A cheap Lenovo/Motorola..

I'd never have one of those flashy conspicious consumption Apples or Samsungs...


31 Oct 19 - 04:45 PM (#4016442)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Ah, Ok. Is it like "The Voice of the People"?

:D tGs


31 Oct 19 - 04:59 PM (#4016444)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

hello.. hello.. sorry the signal is breaking up... hello.. hello.. oh sod it.. been cut off...

The peoples voice goes unheard...


31 Oct 19 - 05:18 PM (#4016451)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Hello Hong Kong! What's weather like over there?


31 Oct 19 - 06:02 PM (#4016458)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

Compare the irish folk awards with the uk folk awards in my opinion the irish are closer to the roots of the music


31 Oct 19 - 06:28 PM (#4016462)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

So what ? It's not an international competition. I believe Scotland has "Folk Awards" too, but obviously they are not worth mentioning - or of course, you are totally dismissive, or more likely, ignorant of them.


31 Oct 19 - 06:32 PM (#4016463)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

Jim,

Obviously you are unaware of this and why should you be but I once lived about two miles from The Theatre Royal, Stratford.

I wouldn't say that all of this thread was stupid but as with many posts above I can't understand why you think that the situation in Ireland is relevant to what is or is not going on in the UK.

You admit that it is second hand knowledge that you have from this side of the Irish Sea.


31 Oct 19 - 06:49 PM (#4016468)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

hoot look at irish folk awards and then see the difference with the english folk awards , that is the relevance comparing one country that is closer to its indigenous roots and the uk which has moved further away from oits indigenous roots


31 Oct 19 - 07:29 PM (#4016483)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

no guest 31 OCT
i love scottish music, i am critical of how English FOLK MUSIC HAS MOVED AWAY FROM ITS ROOTS ,ENGLAND IS PART OF THE UK SO MY COMMENTS ARE RELEVANT, IT IS NOT A COMPETITION YOU SILLY BILLY BUT A COMPARISON


31 Oct 19 - 08:06 PM (#4016490)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Obviously you are unaware of this and why should you be but I once lived about two miles from The Theatre Royal, Stratford."
So - I once worked with one of the founders of Theatre Workshop - for over twenty years
What's your point ?
Incidently _ I met both of Ewans wives - three if you count Peggy (who is still a friend)
I've told you what the technique was used for - I use it occasionally - I suggest you do
"You admit that it is second hand knowledge that you have from this side of the Irish Sea."
Did I say that - no - course I didn't
My forays into British clubs is nowhere near as frequent as they once where but every time we visit the UK we make a point of trying to vissit one or two
Impossible in some places as tere are none, but thee ones we have managed (partoicularly that in the home of the English Folk Song and Dance Society) haas confirmed the description of what many have defended here - folk clubs minus folk songs
I see seem to remember The Ballads and Blues was beginning to look like that when MacColl left

"I was just a bit astonished that you'd not give a monkeys about our libraries being cut by tories...???"
Of course I do - but it is not relevant to your excuse (sorry - argument)
I became a member of my local library at the age of 13 and remained one ti;; we left Britain, when I joined The Patrick Hillary Library (Miltown Malbay)
Not having a library would be like having part of my brain removed

I'm rather proud of teh fact that my merchant seaman grandfather helped start the forrst btanch of the seaman's branch of the Worker's Education Association
He later translated several of Shekespear's plays into fluent Scouse and was invited to talk on his interest to students at Stoke on Trent college of (something or other)

""The Voice of the People"?"
Humour or more piss-take I wonder
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 08:11 PM (#4016491)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

Yes there are Scottish folk awards too. Lots of them in countless categories the general public doesn't give a monkey's about. A meaningless boondoggle of mutual backpatting.

There are a lot of things Scottish folk does very well but handing out gongs isn't one of them.


31 Oct 19 - 08:26 PM (#4016498)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

""I was just a bit astonished that you'd not give a monkeys about our libraries being cut by tories...???"
Of course I do - but it is not relevant to your excuse (sorry - argument)
"

Jim -"excuse"...???

What am I supposed to be making an excuse about...!!!???

What is it you think my argement is, because I'm buggered if I know..

Have you got me confused with someone else again...???

I seriously can't fathom out what's going on in your head,
why you are being so argumentative about the forced closure of UK public libraries,
and the loss of local small town free to borrow collections of folk music CDs and LPs...??????????????


31 Oct 19 - 08:47 PM (#4016504)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"What am I supposed to be making an excuse about...!!!???"
The state of local libraries maybe?
Again, if I mistook your meaning, I'm sorry
County libraries are the places to aim for

"why you are being so argumentative about the forced closure of UK public libraries,"
I'm not - I know what's happening - it's happening to a degree over here with local libraries being centralised in Dublin, but in my experience some of the larger UK libraries were open (sort of) to expanding their activities
I've lectured on folksong to specialist libraries and the Deptford Library once hosted a day devoted to Travellers which enabled us to bring in singers and storytellers to perform to schoolkids - one of the most memorable days I've ever spent
This is the type of thing that could be done by EFDSS if they cared enough about the music to get up off their arses
Jaysus - how I miss Malcolm Taylor even if his taste in folksong was sometimes a bit iffy)
Jim


31 Oct 19 - 09:22 PM (#4016511)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - We moved out of London nearly 20 years ago back to tory dominated south west England....

The library here and in the next town down the road have both been closed permanently in the last 2 or 3 years..
We used to have a substantial CD collection,
accumulated over years by a Librarian
who was obviously a UK Folk Music enthusiast...
Also a lot of British folk books,
I know that because of all the late fines I used to pay on them...

The loss of such resources is far more immediately important to us out here in the provinces,
than any big specialist library in the capital city...

It's great that those special academic collection libraries continue to flourish,
but they are not so relevant to ordinay folks as our local public lending libraries were for so many decades...


31 Oct 19 - 09:28 PM (#4016512)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Why.. it's almost as if the tories don't want ordinary small town citizens
to educate themselves.....?????

Unless they fork out hard earned cash to commercial tuition companies
selling vocational courses the tories approve of...


01 Nov 19 - 04:14 AM (#4016528)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

PFR
I have to say you weer right to a degree to say I didn't know the full situation of the local libraries in Britain - so I looked it up, and was horrified to see the level they have been driven too by the Government's..... - some would say 'neglect' but I believe it's more deliberate that that - one of the tenets of the Slave Trade was that it is dangerous to educate those you would dominate
THE SITUATION TEN MONTHS AGO
I'm grateful for the education

That aside, it doesn't stop any enterprising group from going higher up and attempting to involve the County or even National libraries in folk song, as we did in Clare
This is an example of what might be attempted, instigated by two friends, Michel Fortune and Aileen Lambert, from Wexford
TRADITIONAL FOLK SONG PROJECTS

Mick and Aileen devised a number of projects, got together groups of singers, (good but not necessarily widely known and certainly not professional performers), approached The National Library of Ireland, who agreed to sponsor them in taking their work around venues in various parts of Ireland at irregular intervals (not a 'tour') and putting on mini-concerts to schools and colleges.
Each one had an increasingly positive effect, the best know and most successful was the 'Man Woman and Child' Project
The immediate effect was the marked increase in the singing of Child Balllads in clubs and sessions, almost unheard of previously.
I was inspired to fulfil a long-time intention of gathering all the Child Ballads that had been captured from the older generation of singers - I've now been working on it for over two years and am hoping to finish it in the next few months
Then I will get all the example I have found, get singers for the ones from print, and pass them on to whoever is interested (probably via PCloud, but I ham hoping that ITMA might consider putting them on line for me

I see no reason why similar projects can't be taken, say to The National Sound Archive at the British Library and try to win their interest
The British Library has, at long last, shown an interest in folk song, thanks to pioneers like Lucy Duran who herself a renowned field worker
This would fit in perfectly with the B.L's putting collections of folk song and music on line, as it has been doing for some years now.

It needs to be confined to folk song as documented and not "I don't know what folk song is" wishy-washiness, which will give it roots in the academic world while at the same time showing the 'entertainment' value of the people's culture.
Its aim should not be to provide work for established singers, but to give the job to folkies who are there for the love and promotion of songs, not for earning a wage or making their name - hopefully there are enough competent and dedicated singers to put together such schemes without them costing a fortune -
Groups could be put together in various parts of Britain rather than them being centralised in London and having to travel to the venues - but they would need to be well-co-ordinated
By using non-stars you would be introducing songs showing you don't have to have been singing before audiences for years - every man and woman a singer (if they work at it)
Mick and Aileen's work did much to increase folk song nationally in Ireland - I wonder if anybody had such dedication in Britain

Ideally, EFDSS not only could, but should do it - I doubt if they would be interested
I thought of broaching the idea with The Traditional Song Forum when we were in Belfast a couple of weeks ago but didn't get the chance.
Something needs to be done, and quick, if Britain is not going to lose its greatest cultural asset
Jim Carroll


01 Nov 19 - 04:28 AM (#4016530)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

Jack you are right there are more important things than handing out gongs, i thought that comparing the irish and english awards might throw light on each countries state of folk music and i think to some extent it does,of course that is not a reason for having the silly awrds in the first place


01 Nov 19 - 04:29 AM (#4016532)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

jim,perhaps norfolk county sound archives might be ther lace for Walterand Harry cox recordings


01 Nov 19 - 05:06 AM (#4016539)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Dick
Thanks for that - I'll look them up and if I ahve any trouble locating them, I'll get back to you
They're all digitised and listed so it would b e a formality to just pass them on
Who's in charge of The Norfolk Archive?
Jim


01 Nov 19 - 05:50 AM (#4016548)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

no guest 31 OCT
i love scottish music, i am critical of how English FOLK MUSIC HAS MOVED AWAY FROM ITS ROOTS ,ENGLAND IS PART OF THE UK SO MY COMMENTS ARE RELEVANT, IT IS NOT A COMPETITION YOU SILLY BILLY BUT A COMPARISON
Then if you're comparing England with Ireland, you should have titled your discussion "The Current State of Folk Music in England", which I'm fairly certain is not the same as the state of folk music in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
There's not a single person here who is in a position to judge "the current state of folk music in the UK". For that to be meaningful, you would have to know what's going on in Shetland down to Lands End, and all points in between. If anyone has that experience let them come forward.
What's happening her is that people are reporting their own personal local experience and extrapolating it to cover the whole of the UK, which is meningless.
It was a badly-worded "discussion" in the first place, and nobody's any the wiser since it started.


01 Nov 19 - 06:15 AM (#4016549)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

I'm assuming by the use of capitals that was you Dick? Apologies if not but Guest 31st October wasn't the person who titled this thread. That was me. Thanks for the criticism anyway. For a badly titled thread it has received over 800 responses - ok some were pointless arguments but I personally think there has been a lot of interesting reading


01 Nov 19 - 06:18 AM (#4016551)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

I know everything you say is true Guest - England has a great deal to learn from what if happening in parts of Scotland (I would love to believe "all of Scotland)
I am constantly turning on Northern Irish television and seeing programmes of Sc
ots and Irish singers co-operating in musical projects) - Julie Fowlis is a regular and our Clare Musician Edel Fox made one a couple of weeks ago
The Scots have a tradition to be proud of - hopefully there are more people recognizing that fact than there are in England at present
Lang may your lums.... whatever !!
Jim Carroll


01 Nov 19 - 06:35 AM (#4016552)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

yes joe g, that was me, but this below was not so i do not know what is going on
Then if you're comparing England with Ireland, you should have titled your discussion "The Current State of Folk Music in England", which I'm fairly certain is not the same as the state of folk music in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
There's not a single person here who is in a position to judge "the current state of folk music in the UK". For that to be meaningful, you would have to know what's going on in Shetland down to Lands End, and all points in between. If anyone has that experience let them come forward.
What's happening her is that people are reporting their own personal local experience and extrapolating it to cover the whole of the UK, which is meningless.
It was a badly-worded "discussion" in the first place, and nobody's any the wiser since it started.


01 Nov 19 - 06:36 AM (#4016553)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

joe g , i reckon someomne hacked in and added the bottom bit


01 Nov 19 - 06:45 AM (#4016554)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

According to the living tradition there are 178 folkclubs in the uk. They do not claim the list is complete. (6 in N. Ireland)


Interesting resources:
one among many(not yet online)
Jim Carroll & Pat MacKenzie's Collection

http://www.livingtradition.co.uk/magazine/articles

Sessions and useful links

http://www.livingtradition.co.uk/session-index

In Ireland the listing is different (apples and oranges)


http://www.folkandhoney.co.uk/ireland/venues/


01 Nov 19 - 06:46 AM (#4016555)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

I am talking about england as a whole, in the north east the folk scene is stronger imo, there are more tradtional bsed folk clubs with strong resident singers, however Newcastle bridge folk club apparantly gets more people when they book local acts that is an intersting phenomenon, the conclusion could be viewd in different ways ,it could be inward looking,or it could be a sign of a strong local scene


01 Nov 19 - 06:50 AM (#4016556)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

"I see seem to remember The Ballads and Blues was beginning to look like that when MacColl left"

Jim,

I just cannot ever take you seriously. You have said in the past that you had never been to the Ballads & Blues Club but your future wife had. The above event took place in 1961 when I believe you were still up North not having moved to London until 1966.

How can you 'seem to remember' something that you didn't witness?


01 Nov 19 - 07:02 AM (#4016559)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Thanks Djck. I thought it was unusual as you have made some helpful and interesting contributions to the debate

Wonder how they hacked in? Very sad and potentially very disruptive. It's already too easy to fall out here without people attributing comments to others!

I agree with your later comment about the north east of England being very strong. My first club was the Hartlepool Folk Club at the Nursery - I've lost touch with what has happened up there in detail but many of the clubs that were around in my early days still seem to be going strong


01 Nov 19 - 07:15 AM (#4016561)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"How can you 'seem to remember' something that you didn't witness?"
Of course I didn't witness it, but I actually have recordings from the period - one done by the BBC
MacColl was quite clear what he believed was happening to The Ballads and Blues when he wrote "Why I am starting a New Club" for Dallas' Folk magazine - we have it here
I knew Ewan and those around him long enough to have some picture
Even one folkie who was not particularly sympathetic wto Ewan's ideas wrote in his reminiscences of the period that the B and B was becoming a bit of a free-for-all
He told the story of Nixon doing a runner with the club's finances in the same piece

I still find it amazing how people who revel in MacColl Urban Legends leap on their high chairs demanding proof when their own flavours-of-the-month are criticised

From Iains's list, it seems pretty conclusive that there are less than 200 clubs in Britain (and I never really think of Northern Ireland as being part of the British scene - for historical reasons and because of the fact that Ieland never really had a strong club ethos)
Jim


01 Nov 19 - 07:57 AM (#4016567)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

No one "hacked in", Joe. They copied Dick's comment into their own post and then tagged their own comments on to that. Both posts are still there to view.


01 Nov 19 - 08:01 AM (#4016568)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Dick wrote:-

look at irish folk awards and then see the difference with the english folk awards , that is the relevance comparing one country that is closer to its indigenous roots and the uk which has moved further away from oits indigenous roots

Dick, this would only be true if the awards had any relevance, which in my opinion they do not. The organisers are a self-appointed coterie of interested parties who decide themselves who the awards should go to without any reference to public opinion and who have their own axes to grind.
What you are saying, Dick, is that the Irish candidate selection cartel is more inclined to the tradition than the English candidate selection cartel.

As for the Scottish Awards, we have heard that they are a meaningless boondoggle of mutual backpatting.. Now I don't speak jackcamipnese but I am assuming that this means the Scottish shortlists and awards, like the other two are selected by a very small panel with no sense of how the judges are appointed.


01 Nov 19 - 08:30 AM (#4016571)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Jim Martin

Jim Carroll

You mention N. Ireland tv but I think you'll find most of the Irish/British trad music co-operation is between RTE & BBC Alba - & very good it is too.


01 Nov 19 - 08:39 AM (#4016572)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Ah thanks Dave - yes I see now! Thought it was odd!

Whoever that particular Guest was needs to read the posts on here more closely or just save all our time by not commenting


01 Nov 19 - 08:54 AM (#4016574)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

Just from my own knowledge of my local area (which itself isn't comprehensive) I can see that the Living Traditions lists are far from being complete.

It is probably impossible to know how many clubs and other folk events there might be. Lots of smaller events are still publicised by word of mouth or very local advertising and may not have a web presence. I know of one local folk evening which is publicised through the pub's website and doesn't show up if you google "folk club" I am confident that any attempts to calculate the number of clubs will substantially underestimate the correct figure.


01 Nov 19 - 08:58 AM (#4016575)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

On the topic of libraries, I know that Essex County Record Office has many hours of reel-to-reel recordings of evenings at Chelmsford Folk Club (both guests and floor singers) and a separate extensive collection of recordings of folk club and other folk events. However I cannot begin to imagine what it might cost to digitise all this and make it available.


01 Nov 19 - 09:17 AM (#4016576)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Iains

However I cannot begin to imagine what it might cost to digitise all this and make it available.

A worthy candidate for a lottery grant for some enterprising person.


01 Nov 19 - 09:24 AM (#4016579)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"RTE & BBC Alba - & very good it is too."
It is of course Jim
The fact that there is so much good tratitional music (and song) ifs available in Ireland at the present time makes it a little hard to keep up with where it's coming from - we're certainly spoiled for choice sometime
It's heartening that, by and large many of the programmes may be hosted by well-known names (like Julie Fowlis) quite often they concentrate on lesser-known singers and musicians
The Seamus Ennis dedication was an example - a programme dedicated to possibly Ireland's finest piper which concentrated on the Hebridean an Irish source singers
It could so easily have been (yet another) hour of Ennis's own musicianship
TG4 specialiased in local sessions and events
Thanks for clearing up my point
Jim


01 Nov 19 - 09:47 AM (#4016583)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

With respect to the OP, my view (and I don't intend to read any response that Jim Carroll posts, because too often experience them as bullying or generally belligerent in tone) is in agreement with the thought expressed above that the discussion title might not have been the perfect springboard for discussion. Moreover, I will also add that very often the concepts we are using are in some sense 'theoretical' rather than 'factual' or 'definitional'. Moreover, these and other concepts are also at times blurring historical reality, which was mentioned above.

Partly it depends on how long your historical view is. I have just read two books on the history of Scotland, one on the Vikings and one on the Anglo Saxons. And of course I have read more history than this.

Just because today we have a clear geographical sense of where Scotland, England and the island of Ireland, together with the border across it when the UK ends and the Republic of Ireland begins, it does not mean that if we go back historically and culturally the same borders applied.

And if (big if and I'm not sure how far I subscribe, especially if the argument is one about pure orality of cultural transmission) we apply these same labels and areas to whatever cultural practices existed in the past we are likely to be going wrong.

To give a micro example, I recently learned that the word 'craik' which people I know use almost as in indicator of Irish ethnicity comes from 'Anglish' via Scotland, and was popularised by some TV programme mid-29th century.

So for years history books have been telling as that the tribe known as the Scotti (that may not be spelled correctly) actually came from the island of Ireland. There were kingdoms that straddled the borders over water, including one of Viking dominance and, as I understand it, earlier Celtic ones. So a neat Scotland/Ireland/England distinction falls down. Neither was Scotland as monolithic as all that. It is believed that the people in the far North East spoke a different form of Gallic to those in the West. At the time of the 'Anglo Saxon' invasion/immigration, the Angles came to occupy much of what is lowland Scotland as well as England, hence the language.

For a long time, the Church in Ireland was not the Church of Rome. There was a synod at Whitby. So many concept we now take for granted, such as Roman Catholicism in Ireland are on a long view, reflections of cultural interchange via one route or another, in more or less violent ways in different contexts. Ironically in the theory of the middle ages rulers got their legitimacy from God via the Pope who authorised the Anglo Norman invasions of Ireland.

Part of what led to this line of thinking is the use of the term 'indigenous' by somebody above. This reminds me of the sort of cultural threat that the far right assert hangs over 'British culture' and the young far right who claim, virtue signalling their patriotism, that this is under threat. One young acoustic song=writer I know of posted a poem amid he songs including the phrase 'kick a Moslem' or some such, and actively supports Tommy Robinson and the far right party supported by Morrisey (an interesting example of cultural interchange as his Irish roots are something he has commented upon). I think we need to be careful.

And nobody here has posted anything about the people in the UK playing or drawing upon folk music that is not 'indigenous' in the sense intended by the original poster. Not to mention the overwhelmingly male posters. Where are the traditional lullabies?

My understanding is that nobody knows much about what music people outside churches and the educated elite were making in England in the past. My belief is that some 'definitions' put forward of folk music and better described as 'theories' because they beg so many questions about what happened when and how far back practices observed in the 20th century, all too often by researchers whose research methods seem almost designed to pollute their ethnographical reports.

What is plain is that some people claim that their favoured definition is the one that has always been used, and this is so far from the truth that it is difficult to escape the thought that such claims are used as some sort of conversational battering ram.

I agree with some posters in that cannot see how the state of clubs related to the state of folk music as this is defined in some definitions. A revival seems to me to be something different from a tradition. I could stuff a chicken so that it looks lifelike and leave it on the kitchen table for all to admire: it could not be said that I had 'revived' the chicken.

I have seen some very enjoyable acoustic music recently that I suppose is folk, some from China, some from Iran. This is the sort of 'folk scene' we might usefully be promoting, I believe.


01 Nov 19 - 09:48 AM (#4016584)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Sorry one or two typos, it should be border 'where' the UK ends and the Republic begins, of course.


01 Nov 19 - 10:43 AM (#4016588)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Some useful points there Pseudonymous and, as the OP, I have no problems in you saying that the thread title is not a perfect springboard for discussion (nothing on Mudcat is ever perfect ;-)) - it has however resulted in a long running and, in my view, mostly interesting discussion.

Like you my own interests lie far wider than the music of the folk revival and what followed in folk clubs and the like and I would see no harm in widening the debate to cover such music - as an attendee at the Musicport Festival for 16 years of its 20 years existence I have seen great examples of music from other traditions being made by musicians who have lived in this country all their lives as well as of course music made by musicians who live in the countries where such music originates. Sorry that all sounds a bit clumsy! Unlike some I welcome cross cultural experiment eg Afro Celts, E2, Imagined Village, Keetama, Vaarlens Band etc. It doesn't always work but when it does it can be extremely powerful. I consider such cross cultural music to be folk music every bit as much as an unaccompanied singer at a singaround. There of course I would differ from some here but, as has been demonstrated, we all have our own impressions of what we consider folk music to be.   

I had meant to respond earlier to your comments about the far right using acoustic or folk music to further their cause - I must admit I hadn't realised that this was still such a threat though I remember well the odious Nick Griffin and his cohorts trying to use the music for their nefarious ends. So I think the fact that other people hadn't raised the issue was more because, like me, they were not aware of it still being a significant problem rather than not being concerned. i hope I am correct on that point


01 Nov 19 - 10:51 AM (#4016589)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Anyway the current moment is a very good time for folk music in my opinion as both Jim Moray and Jon Boden have just released their new CDs :-)


01 Nov 19 - 10:59 AM (#4016591)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Pseudonymous wrote
....was popularised by some TV programme mid-29th century.
I have just checked and this programme is not yet available on BBC iPlayer.


01 Nov 19 - 11:00 AM (#4016592)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Any mention of nasty Nick is a good excuse to play Chumbawamba's marvellous Dance, Idiot, Dance they

I have already linked It once on this thread but It is always worth repeating. It is the perfect response to the misappropriation of our traditions by the extreme right.

Sadly, Joe, it is still going on and Griffin's pet attack dog is still active on here, regularly using the names of other Mudcatters to spread his bile.


01 Nov 19 - 11:01 AM (#4016593)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"and I don't intend to read any response that Jim Carroll posts, because too often experience them as bullying or generally belligerent in tone"
I'll tell my wife and my travller frioiends that - should make them smile
Jim


01 Nov 19 - 11:01 AM (#4016594)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

Going back to A L Lloyd's book, which, when read for the first time long after its publication seems so plainly to have been written by a lefty in the thrall of Soviet propaganda (if not directly pointed out by the Soviets as the biography of Lloyd points out did happen).

He was hoping for a new folk music, which, because of the political stance underpinning the book, in effect meant music reflecting the sort of political movement he hoped to see emerge. That part of his dream one might share in without following his flawed analysis of the benefits of Soviet domination and the command economy.

Well, for me, the sort of folk music we need is one that addresses the problems with racism, nationalism, religious hatreds and fundamentalism of various sorts, and, last but definitely not least, environmental issues. All of which, of course, come across as middle class issues irrelevant to the needs of the white indigenous population …

I do enjoy a variety of music which goes under the label 'folk', am quite happy to live in a world where this term has varying definitions, but for me any attempts to limit or control how people sing, or even decry people making a living out of making music, there I tend to lose interest.


01 Nov 19 - 11:12 AM (#4016596)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Hootenanny

Jim,

Just as I expected "hearsay".

Re your Malcolm Nixon story which you raised before on another thread it just points out how much you rely on gossip and second hand information. If you had any real knowledge of the folk scene in London at the time you would realise how laughable that accusation is. I pointed that out then. And if I remember correctly you complained many times of what I think you call "grave dancing".

Re the BBC recordings I was there that night but don't know what relevance that has any more than meeting Ewan's three wives.


01 Nov 19 - 11:39 AM (#4016603)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"any more than meeting Ewan's three wives."
My having met them and been there when reminiscences on how Theatre Workshop operated has far mre relevence to your challenging the technique I was describing than does how far newr The Theatre Royal you lived
Jean Newlove was one of the main members of T.W. who helped devise some of the techniques that they used - including its relaxation methods
It is both arrogant and insulting for you dismiss something I have heard discussed, have been taught and am still using out of hand based on your living in Stratford East
The technique worked then and still does - please don't ridicule it bey comparing it to a fart - there has been far too much arrogance and insulting as there is

"Soviet propaganda"
This type of language used to attack leading figures in the revival who gave us the chance to make our music should have died when the MacCarthy witch-hunt trials were ended
Lloyd's book was, and still is inspirational and far more relevant in my opinion is the other book bearing that title
Pete Seeger narrowly escaped a jail sentence for being a "lefty"
These peopel Maccoll, Lloyd and Seeger had a perfect right to hold whatever views they chose to - none of them were politically active in any way shape or form anyway, but even if they had been so what
I met them all and found them intelligent, kindly and far mor humanistic than most people I have met
Even out of common courtesy, they ought to nbe left to rest in peace - as Peggy wrote to The Living Tradition - they're not around to speak for themselves any more
Jim Carroll
Jim


01 Nov 19 - 11:46 AM (#4016604)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"or are you simply trying a bit of troublemaking by making very pointed accusations with zero to substantiate"
Now there's a description to conjure with
Jim carroll


01 Nov 19 - 11:53 AM (#4016605)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Come on people - arguing about things that may or may not have happened decades ago has nothing to do with the topic under discussion - if you want to discuss historical issues that have no relevance to this subject it would be far better to do so under a new thread. It might surprise you but the great majority of people here almost certainly have little interest in your arguments


01 Nov 19 - 11:54 AM (#4016606)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

I do apologise: the last guest, was me, I forgot to sign the piece about Lloyd. And also for the typos; read the biography of Lloyd and all will become clear.


01 Nov 19 - 12:10 PM (#4016609)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

And, yes Joe, you are right. This thread is about folk music but some are out to close it down. Just ignore tnem.


01 Nov 19 - 12:13 PM (#4016611)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Psuedonymous said ' For me, the sort of folk music we need is one that addresses the problems with racism, nationalism, religious hatreds and fundamentalism of various sorts, and, last but definitely not least, environmental issues.'
'I do enjoy a variety of music which goes under the label 'folk', am quite happy to live in a world where this term has varying definitions, but for me any attempts to limit or control how people sing, or even decry people making a living out of making music, there I tend to lose interest.'

I couldn't agree more!


01 Nov 19 - 12:49 PM (#4016614)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Vic: Ha ha! Of course the 29th was a typo for 20th century: I owned up to these in advance! No need to search iplayer further:

Sorry if raising the past as I have seems irrelevant; it just seems that views of it permeate in a variety of ways so much discussion of the state 'folk' is in today.


01 Nov 19 - 01:19 PM (#4016622)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Joe Offer

I'm tempted to close this because of the animosity that keeps popping up here. Please stay on topic.


01 Nov 19 - 01:19 PM (#4016623)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

I don't have any problem with people referring to the past where it has a direct relevance to the topic of discussion - I imagine I will do so at some point! It's the petty arguments about specific incidents that I feel have no place here


01 Nov 19 - 01:21 PM (#4016624)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

I can understand that Joe but hopefully people will desist and keep on topic - thanks for being tolerant so far


01 Nov 19 - 01:44 PM (#4016632)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

The current state of folk music in UK..

Not as bad as some folks fear, not as good as some folks wish for...

But it's best not to overgeneralise from any individual point of view...

At least there is a new younger generation of folks
who will continue to care enough about it,
even if some of us don't welcome what they might do with it...


Well at least I like this recent 'collaboration'...

Lowlands


01 Nov 19 - 01:44 PM (#4016633)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

On topic
The problm when soeone writes "'I do enjoy a variety of music which goes under the label 'folk', am quite happy" I believe they need to define what they mean in relation to folk clubs
Some people are quite happy to listen to pop ot pop type songs that have lbeen labeled 'folk' somewhere or other on today's folk music scene, which brings the discussion to square one - what are we entitled to hear if we turn up at a folk club - or are we no longer allowed to choose what we hear?
Folk song cannot be the only medium to remove the meaning of it's description, but that appears to be the case
In my opinion, it is why we have lost most of our clubs and our followers
Until this one is sorted out, folk song will not move an inch
Jim


01 Nov 19 - 03:25 PM (#4016651)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

For a long time, the Church in Ireland was not the Church of Rome"THEAT IS STILL THE CASE THERE IS A PROTESTANT CHURCH CALLED THE CHURCH OF IRELAND PLUS METHODIST AND PRESBYTERIAN AND EVEN QUAKERS.
If you check the irish constitution,Article 44 of the Constitution deals with religion. You are free to practise your religion and your freedom of conscience. The State guarantees not to endow or favour any religion and not to discriminate on the grounds of religion.Dec 24, 2018


01 Nov 19 - 03:38 PM (#4016655)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

Okay, I've stayed out of this one hitherto. I've plenty more important things to do with folksong, like singing it and writing about it for publication.

When people express their opinions that's fine, we can't argue with that,
but presenting statements as facts >>>>>Until this one is sorted out, folk song will not move an inch<<<<< has to be challenged.

You have been told repeatedly that the UK folk scene has evolved/changed from the 60s when we were all young and fresh to the music and had the time to dance, play, sing, research, act to our hearts' content. Many many people here have stated fact that folk music now takes place in a wide variety of places. Technology has advanced significantly. Many people, young and old like us, are working extremely hard to promote folk music all over the country, in a wide variety of forms. One way of introducing new people to the scene is to run sessions where a wide variety of styles and genres can be included, and as long as our traditional music forms an important part of that, performed well, then it will draw in new people. This happens most days of the week where I live and I know of plenty of other places where it thrives even more.


01 Nov 19 - 03:39 PM (#4016656)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

But this has been said here many many times. There's nothing new to add and nothing needs adding.


01 Nov 19 - 03:48 PM (#4016657)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

But just to pile it on, in my immediate area, say 3 miles radius, there are 3 folk clubs and numerous sessions and singarounds and I can guarantee that 90% at least of what is performed is of that material that Jim has said he would approve, i.e., traditional, or of the type that is of the Radio Ballads, local material using traditional tunes and largely of some sort of local heritage connection. Added to that there is a local Folk Archive and a charity Folk in Hull that runs bigger events throughout the year, oh and I know the Sheffield area has 10 times this amount.


01 Nov 19 - 03:52 PM (#4016658)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

Oh and while I'm on a roll our Maritime Concert at Hull Maritime Museum is on the 9th but don't bother coming as the last 2 have been packed out and we've had to turn people away as the room can only hold a 100. And this is just with local artists performing sea songs, all of the type Jim would approve.


01 Nov 19 - 05:02 PM (#4016666)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

Is this folk music. We were practising the other day and now I don't know whether I am a folk person or not.

Confused. Moi. Aye

Oldish song

If it IS folk then we are a folk band round York.


01 Nov 19 - 05:16 PM (#4016668)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

Sorry. Computer problem. If we weren't playing about 3 miles away I would have gone to Terrington to watch Dan Webster's band. Is Dan folk? Is the wonderful Emily Lawler folk? Or the rest of the band.

Who knows

It is at least part of some tradition.

Mr Gnome (who I have had the pleasure of meeting as I have several people on this thread) will know where I nicked Nat Shapiro from in the spirit of the folk tradition.


01 Nov 19 - 05:26 PM (#4016671)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

Okay GUEST, if you're after an opinion, this song 'The Water is Wide' performed in much the same way has been a staple of the folk scene for at least 70 years so if it isn't part of the folk tradition it most certainly is part of the folk scene tradition. Very pleasantly performed as well. I enjoyed it. I much prefer it sung with straight notes but that's a minor quibble.


01 Nov 19 - 05:29 PM (#4016672)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Yebbut is that folk music, Nick? :-)


01 Nov 19 - 05:39 PM (#4016673)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

It's jazz


01 Nov 19 - 05:40 PM (#4016674)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

As a big fan (and friend of) Dan Webster I would say a good proportion of his original music would fall under my definition of folk and he also performs some tremendous covers of folksongs during his more informal gigs


01 Nov 19 - 05:44 PM (#4016676)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

I blame James Taylor for messing with proper songs.

Steve I hope you are well I enjoyed sitting in a garden of a pub in Helmsley some years ago. With Mimi... outstanding talent+-

I shouldn't play proper songs wrong I know but I'm bad

Is it the song or the performance.
Or the arrangement.

Late to the party.

I have a lot of friends who love Walter Pardon (? I may have got this wrong) and I find it hard work. But at least I listened

There are purer versions of the water is wide - but we will sing it to a 'non folk audience' tomorrow night and they will go 'wow'

Unless I'm mad


01 Nov 19 - 05:48 PM (#4016677)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

Guest Joe G

I think we'll get away with it

Dan comes from a tradition. And Emily blows my socks off.

Is it folk. I have no idea


01 Nov 19 - 05:56 PM (#4016680)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

I think I realised it's easier to post music than all the theory stuff.

Jim C was a very nice man to me some while back. Courteous and good.

Dave (a gnome) is a lovely man.

Raggytash (and Mrs Raggytash interesting thought -who is a very fine singer)is wonderful. I'm sorry we were one day wrong at Whitby

Why do people have to fall out?

Steve G you are very good player and singer

For me it's much easier to post something and then we know what we are talking about.

If you all go "well that's rubbish" I'm ok about that. And then critique it.

SO GETTING BACK to THE THREAD

IS THAT FOLK?


01 Nov 19 - 05:56 PM (#4016681)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Yes Emily is a phenomenal fiddle player and the rest of Dan's band are top class musicians too


01 Nov 19 - 06:06 PM (#4016682)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

Joe - If we weren't playing at Farlington at 7pm ... I would I have gone. But it's rude to leave especially if we are doing the sound.

If you are going to Dan detour round to Farlington for a few mins a couple of mins off your journey. I don't think I know you. If you get asked for your ticket say Nick said it would be ok - "I'm the other sound man"

We do a bit of folk and a bit not


01 Nov 19 - 06:07 PM (#4016683)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

Folk for me still exists just not as other people know it.

Now you can go to Huby on a Wednesday. Very trad. And very good


01 Nov 19 - 06:11 PM (#4016684)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Whenever someone mentions Jazz I am reminded of a scene in "The Commitments". Can't remember the exact details but someone does some sax impro. The leader tells him to stop it because that's Jazz and that is musical wanking :-)

Before someone jumps on me from a dizzy height, no, I don't believe it!


01 Nov 19 - 06:13 PM (#4016685)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Thanks for the invite Nick but unfortunately I'm not going to the gig as I have dodgy eyes and can't drive far in the dark.


01 Nov 19 - 06:20 PM (#4016687)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Jazz is a derivation of African traditional music and probably nearer to real folk than much that is passed off at folk clubs nowadays
G'night all
Jim


01 Nov 19 - 06:21 PM (#4016688)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

I'd certainly call this folk though it probably does not meet others' more rigourous definition

Dan Webster - Haul Away


01 Nov 19 - 06:21 PM (#4016689)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

Guest Joe G

Be nice to meet you one day

Do you play?


01 Nov 19 - 06:25 PM (#4016690)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

Hi Nick
Basically we fall out when someone deliberately attacks the hard work we put into what we do.

I was a little confused there as to who I was talking to. Now I see you are GUEST. The line-up I heard sounded like 2 ladies and a guitar, all coming across very well.

Although all the verses come from other love songs in the tradition I can't find any oral tradition versions of this composite older than the 1950s when Pete Seeger sang it.

I'm very happy to say it's 'folk' to me, both in performance and in the song itself. I could also set out an easy case for it covering most of the descriptors in the 54 declaration.

I am also currently blushing!


01 Nov 19 - 06:28 PM (#4016692)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

Steve

You sing with Mick and Les

Les can do a million verses of Childs I know

So are Mick and Les folk?

And you are a very fine singer and player by the way (smoke up arses..)


01 Nov 19 - 06:32 PM (#4016693)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

Joe
If I can't use the word 'folk' in its modern sense to describe that I'd struggle to give it any other appellation. I'm happy with it. I'm more at the traditional end of the spectrum but I enjoyed what they did.


01 Nov 19 - 06:36 PM (#4016697)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

I would rather ask Jim and Dick whether our interpretation of song is ok

The song or the singer?

There are two ends of this.

The song is THE THING.

Regardless of the performance

Or does interpretation matter?

As I said we'll go and sing this tomorrow - to a NON folk audience. They will appreciate the craft of the singing and playing.

So are we harming the song that we care about performance?

It's there I get confused.

When my friend does his listen to Walter Pardon thing - I listen for the song rather than the performance.

Much like in the early 60s I used to listen to proper blues.

Is this a purely folk thing or can we talk abuut blues?


01 Nov 19 - 06:41 PM (#4016699)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

Took 2 goes but got there!

There are 6 of us in Spare Hands. (see website)
Mick, Les, Bill, Tom, Andy & me.
I'm not familiar with 'Childs I Know' but we've all been around for a long long time.

Also not familiar with 'smoke up arses'. It sounds painful and dangerous.

I've never heard Mick or Les sing anything else but 'folk' for the last 50 years but there's always a first time.


01 Nov 19 - 06:43 PM (#4016700)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

Steve

Always been my thought.

Mick occasionally does that Oirish stoff


01 Nov 19 - 06:51 PM (#4016702)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

The song is probably a product of the folk scene. The performance is typical of folk scene. Where's the problem? Of course interpretation matters but the most important thing is the audience and if they like it. If they do then there's no problem. You are most definitely not harming the song in any way.

I enjoy listening to the old boys, but I like some better than others. Joseph Taylor, Phil Tanner, Sam Larner are 3 of my favourites. I have the utmost respect for Walter but he's not one of my favourites.

Thanks to Jim there is a marvellous new 2 CD set of North Yorkshire songs out on the Musical Traditions label recorded from traditional singers in the 60s. Well worth a listen for some excellent songs and singing.

Blues fine. In the 60s I used to go to the American Folk Blues festivals in London. Some marvellous stuff. Sleepy John Estes, etc.


01 Nov 19 - 06:51 PM (#4016703)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

In pretty sure it's not what you do, it's the way that you do it. But there are certain songs that will be folk no matter how they are performed. Just IMHO.


01 Nov 19 - 06:53 PM (#4016705)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Thanks Steve - glad you like it. When I first moved to York we 'discovered' Dan at a local beer festival and were immediately impressed by his covers of contemporary and traditional songs as well as by his original material. Since then we have become good friends and have promoted gigs together under the Green Chilli Roots banner - just doing occasional mostly Americana gigs now.


01 Nov 19 - 06:57 PM (#4016707)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Be good to meet you sometime Nick - perhaps next time Dan plays York or if you are at the Black Swan FC anytime. Next week's guests Winter Wilson are highly recommended. I don't play or sing but mess about on the computer trying to compose stuff in various genres. Mostly unsuccessfully!


01 Nov 19 - 06:58 PM (#4016708)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

I have amended my guitar part. This thread has been useful to me.

Fussy guitar parts. ---> bin


01 Nov 19 - 07:01 PM (#4016711)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Just missed the 900

Keep it friendly everyone and Joe might let us make the 1000 - only if there are enough interesting things to say of course!


01 Nov 19 - 07:03 PM (#4016713)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

Sarah McQuaid will be my next visit to Black Swan

I'm the man in the moleskin shorts the white fedora the pink feather boa and the subtly themed top

I doubt you'll spot me


01 Nov 19 - 07:06 PM (#4016714)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

Joe Offer is the nicest man in the world. And we have a mutual regard for Janet Russell for all sorts of reasons

When I was in California (he helped me to go to the best places) one of my regrets is that I didn't meet him

Next time perhaps


01 Nov 19 - 07:08 PM (#4016715)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

I hit the 900, Joe, but Joe deleted it. I think they must be passe now.


    No, I wouldn't delete a "900" and I certainly wouldn't delete "1000." I think they're fun, but some of the other moderators don't like them.
    -Joe-


    I see the OCD counting posts as blank. They are certainly free from any relevant content.
    -Other moderator-


01 Nov 19 - 07:23 PM (#4016716)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Glad to hear it Joe. Just a shame I can't delete the Asian dating site advert that just appeared. Maybe that's the prize for getting to 900 ;-)

I don't think I'm at that gig Nick but no doubt our paths will cross!


01 Nov 19 - 08:30 PM (#4016724)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

Joe G

I think I might have met you in the past

Here's a little 60's song (10 years too late) by Malvina Reynolds
But then the Searchers did it. How weird is that? Searchers

It feels a bit like folk but it might be a pop song. Or written too late

Desperately trying to wonder why it matters. They are just songs written at different times.


01 Nov 19 - 08:37 PM (#4016725)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Ah meant to say Steve that I am glad you have waded back in with some positivity - I would't disagree with any of your comments. Last night in York I paid a rare visit to an excellent musicians session as a friend was visiting. If I hadn't been going there I would have been at the Black Swan Folk Club where an artist I haven't seen before, Dan McKinnon, was performing - I understand from a friend from the US who attends gigs all over the UK that he is a superb singer who performs many Stan Rogers songs amongst others. Next Tuesday I'll be attending thefairly new Devil's Own Acoustic Club where the Rich Hardcastle Band and Marin Heaton will be performing a mix of folk and non folk material. If I could drive at night I would be in Terrington tomorrow to see the Dan Webster Band as mentioned earlier.
I have listened to the excellent new Jon Boden CD on Spotify today and will be listening to Music Planet on Radio 3 tomorrow. To be honest I like a good singing session but I really don't see not being able to attend one nearby as a failure of the UK folk scene. The songs and music will survive by people doing interesting things to them and committing them to recordings eg Jim Moray rather than them just being preserved in their more original versions - though that too is important and I thank Jim and others who do this important work. Time moves on and I am certainly more happy with the state of folk music now than I was say in the 90's before a new generation took it up and gave it their own interpretation.


01 Nov 19 - 08:39 PM (#4016726)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Basically we fall out when someone deliberately attacks the hard work we put into what we do."
One of the disturbing aspects of modern research is the it has become a tendency to denigrate the work done by past researchers - Sharp and his colleagues have always been victims, of late, Child has been described as incompetent, even regarding his Poetry research
MacColl and Lloyd... need one say more ?
Unless we learn to incorporate all research into our understand we will end up knowing less than we know now

"I would rather ask Jim and Dick whether our interpretation of song is ok"
The song or the singer? The song every time - the singer should be a conduit between the narrative and the listener
It's the singers job not to get in the way of the song by 'telling it' rather than performing it

The song is THE THING.
"All the time"

"Regardless of the performance"
Depends on how competent it is; a good song (particularly a ballad) can survive an indifferent performance, but if it's bad your audience listens to the faults
In the end, the first person the singer has to move is him/herself

"Or does interpretation matter?"
It's essential - it has to be good enough to communicate to an audience what you FEEL about the song

"As I said we'll go and sing this tomorrow - to a NON folk audience. They will appreciate the craft of the singing and playing."
You can sometimes get over this with a short, clear introduction
The thing to remember is that most audiences want you to succeed - if you convince them you 'have the right to be there' (an old theatre saying), you have won their attention and even maybe their respect

So are we harming the song that we care about performance?
Technical performance and interpretation (reached at by understanding your song) is essential - as long as you pass on how you feel about it - technique and even over-performance can often be a diversion

"When my friend does his listen to Walter Pardon sing - I listen for the song rather than the performance."
Great - that means the song is working and your audience is listening to the song and not you
Walter "saw" his songs, he mentally dressed up his cahracters and placed them in familiar localities
He sang. 'Pretty Ploughboy' once and then pointed out at the field opposite his cottage and said, "He used to plough in that field" (he didn't mean that literally, but's that where he placed the action for the duration of the song.
He one sang his long version of Van Dieman's Land, flopped back in his chair and said, "That's a long old song, but it was a long old journey"
Traveller, Mikeen McCarthy said singing a song was "like sitting in the cinema.
We had similar examples of things like this from many singers
"Is this a purely folk thing or can we talk about blues?"
Blues is the folk music of Black America drawn from their own experiences (as I believe our folk songs are
Broonzy once heard MacColl sing 'Four Loom Weaver" and said "I never knew honkys had blues".
All my opinion, of course
Jim

Repeat I'm afraid, from an interview Pat and I did with MacColl in the 80s

Now you might say that working and training to develop your voice to sing Nine Maidens A-milking Did Go or Lord Randall is calculated to destroy your original joy in singing, at least that’s the argument that’s put to me from time to time, or has been put to me from time to time by singers who should know better.
The better you can do a thing the more you enjoy it. Anybody who’s ever tried to sing and got up in front of an audience and made a bloody mess of it knows that you’re not enjoying it when you’re making a balls of it, but you are enjoying it when it’s working, when all the things you want to happen are happening. And that can happen without training, sure it can, but it’s hit or miss. If you’re training it can happen more, that’s the difference. It can’t happen every time, not with anybody, although your training can stand you in good stead, it’s something to fall back on, a technique, you know. It’s something that will at least make sure that you’re not absolutely diabolical
The objective, really for the singer is to create a situation where when he starts to sing he’s no longer worried about technique, he’s done all that, and he can give the whole of his or her attention to the song itself she can give her or he can give his whole attention to the sheer act of enjoying the song."


01 Nov 19 - 08:44 PM (#4016730)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

I wonder if people argue about fish and chips in the same way.

That's not REAL fish and chips!

Oh yes it is. There chips and theres fish...

Macdonalds aren't REAL chips.....(and so on....)

Its not the 1954 definition of fish and chips , etc.

Real fish and chips only exists in isolated communities, where they they remember the traditional way they were wrapped in the News Chronicle and The Daily Sketch...

Real Fish and Chips must be unaccompanied. the battered sausage was brought in by food business professionals who din't care about the integrity of of a great part of English culture....People who have battered sausages are stinkers!

Many of my friends stopped going to fish and chips shops, when they were faced with an evening of Pukka pies, Scampi and saveloys...

I haven't been in a fish and chip shop for years, but I've heard what passes for fish and chips in such places....


01 Nov 19 - 08:51 PM (#4016733)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

You're just being mischievous Al ;-)

Try talking to bus enthusiasts - makes us folkies seem quite relaxed - I say as a bus enthusiast :-)


01 Nov 19 - 08:51 PM (#4016734)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

The first time I met Dan Mckinnon was at our little session. Nice man to sing and play with. Did we run a folk club who knows.

Are Blackbeards Tea Party folk? Is Stan Graham folk? What is Graham Hodge?

For me people just play music. I had a great time last year on the Falls Road in Belfast listening to a friend playing and loving it and with no problem - just music.


01 Nov 19 - 08:53 PM (#4016737)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

You're getting dangerously close to the what is folk question Nick - don't go there - really - it will all end in tears :-)


01 Nov 19 - 08:56 PM (#4016739)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

I'd say they were all folk but some wouldn't.


01 Nov 19 - 08:58 PM (#4016743)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

So the Water is Wide is a good song or not. doesn't matter
Performance - sing it well sing it badly. doesn't matter
The words of the song - doesn't matter
The tune - doesn't matter


What matters about a song?

Is it just provenance?


01 Nov 19 - 08:59 PM (#4016744)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

Joe g
If you had met me you would know how broad my shoulders are :)


01 Nov 19 - 09:06 PM (#4016746)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

Folk is a little part of music

I realise for some people it's everything

I feel equally sorry for people who think jazz is everything

Or classical music is everything.

And if we didn't such a limited span of 12 notes we could do other stuff.

I love it that Jim and co love what they love. I love a bit of it.

They are not wrong or right and it genuinely doesnt matter.

I was a very lucky man who grew up liking music rather than genres


01 Nov 19 - 09:21 PM (#4016747)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

I'm off

Just dipped in and gone

Sorry!!!


01 Nov 19 - 10:04 PM (#4016750)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

Jim

As we went from Cork to Galway. We could have waved. Enjoyed the sessions n Galway (always start an hour late)

Gosh they are onto religion now. Oh gosh

I loved music in Ireland. Like everywhere else.

This is not a folk song but it's about making music and all our insecurities and rubbish. The interesting bit is when it goes wrong...

whoops

I doubt anybody else does this stuff...

We get away


01 Nov 19 - 10:14 PM (#4016754)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Off to bed now but that link doesn't work for me Nick

You are right about liking music - I love everything except for the stuff I don't love! Orchestral, jazz, folk (form most places in the world - I have a problem with much Chinese / Japanese / 'far eastern' music but that's me not the music), pop, rock.

Folk music is very important to me but not more important than the music of Sibelius or Vaughan Williams or even Abba at their very best

Good night and no doubt we will meet soon!


01 Nov 19 - 10:17 PM (#4016755)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

And Jim you are right.

It's the song.

Or is it?

I genuinely don't know



I happened to hear a young man sing a verse of Moon River when we played a gig and I thought 'what a great tune' and it's not a bad lyric.


My heart surges for special tunes (Canyon Moonrise for example)


For me it's the tune rather than anything. But I'm not a singer.


02 Nov 19 - 03:55 AM (#4016763)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

1 There is a difference between denigrating and critiquing.

2 "One of the disturbing aspects of modern research is the it has become a tendency to denigrate the work done by past researchers … Unless we learn to incorporate all research into our understand we will end up knowing less than we know now "

I would rather take advice on how to think about the researchers of the past from somebody capable of grasping the issues raised by point 1 and the flaws in point 2, and who understood that publishing not one but two accounts of English folk song underpinned by the Marxist historical thinking of the day (as Lloyd did) is a political act.


02 Nov 19 - 04:36 AM (#4016768)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Frances Child, who was really more of a student of the grammar of old forms of English than a student of English Literature as we understand that term today taught a range of subjects including mathematics and history. He was a founder member of a journal of the American Folklore Society. One can find the first edition of the journal of the society online, for nothing, including a piece setting out the general approach and aims of the society. It includes references to 'primitive races' and 'the savage mind', meaning, basically Black and Native Americans.

I was introduced to this through a book which some might complain about as sweeping aside the research of the past so that we end up knowing less than we knew when we started, but which I found to be a reasoned and well argued critique from, I guess, a point of view of what one might call 'liberal'. It is called Segregating Sound by Karl Hagstrom Miller. One might agree or disagree with some of the analysis, but I think one would find it difficult to argue that it is not an excellent piece of research, even though it calls into question the orthodoxy of the past and points to the effects of that orthodoxy.

Oh, dear, I seem to have denigrated the great Child. And gone way off-topic.


02 Nov 19 - 04:45 AM (#4016769)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

The issue I have with it being all about the "story" is foreign language songs. I have enjoyed many Russian songs for instance but I lost that language when I started school so, apart from a few words, I don't understand what they are saying. Are they not folk songs? Of course they are. I also enjoy instrumental music. Are Morris dance tunes not folk music either? The sung or spoken word in English is only part of it. Take "The carnival is over" by the Seekers for instance. It is based on the Russian Folk song "Stenka Rasin" . Or Elvis Presley's "Wooden Heart" which uses German folk tune "Muss i denn". The music and genres are all inexorably linked and impossible to categorise exactly. In my opinion.


02 Nov 19 - 05:12 AM (#4016773)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

For me it's the tune rather than anything. But I'm not a singer."
Tune is a contributory factor,but for me it also lyric as a singer the lyric is important.
Dave music and genres are OCCASIONALY LINKED BUT NOT ALWAYS.FOR example the HarryChapin song the shortest story, i heard this sung by richard grainger performed in a folk style, it was very powerful, however we are all going on a summer holiday by cliff richard or lily the pink are typical popgenre that imo have nothing to do with folk music.
then because something uses a folk tune that does not automaticaally mean it is a folk song.
jazz by its defintion has to use some improvisation, so pop songs can become jazz,likewise folk music tunes can become jazz and there will be crossover situations where it could be both, i am sure if charlie parker had played miss mcleods ree[originally a scottish tune]it would have sounded more like modern jazz than a dance tune , so treatment comes into the equation ,for treatment to make miss mcleods reel to use improvisationand still souns folky charlie parker would have to have been steeped in irish folk music ,he was not he was steeped in jazz result it would sound more like jazz .
likewise when a performer is a pop singer and sings a folk song he wil make it sound like a popsong .there are of course grey areas Dusty springfield did a fairly good job of lagan love better than ed shheran singing wild mountain thyme , but as i understand both had some irish roots subsequently they did in the first case fairly well and in the second ok[ although ed should drop the american acct and sing in his natural accent , but can you imagine buddy holly trying to sing adieu sweet lovely nancy.


02 Nov 19 - 05:15 AM (#4016774)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

to continue, i am also steeped in the blues and jazz genre ,but i do not feel i can sing it as well as uk folk material, so one cannot be too didactic in thend subjectivity enters the equation


02 Nov 19 - 05:16 AM (#4016775)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Nick
Yes - the song is the thing - every time
The secret is to regard each song as an individual carrier of pleasure and information
Once you lift the corner to see what lies underneath you guarantee that you will never be bored again
Walter sang everything that took his fancy, but he was quite clear and extremely articulate in pointing out that not all of them were the "old folk songs"
He told us that he first took an interest in them when he realised that his cousins and other contemporaries had lost interest in them and were followng the latest musical tends
He set out to write his family's songs in a big notebook (which turned out to be two) and learned the melodeon to memorise the tunes
He relived every one of his songs each time he sang them - the secret for all of us it to treat each song a an individual statement
Eventually, he was persuaded by a relative to put them on tape - a story in itself

"Frances Child, who was really more of a student of the grammar of old forms of English than a student of English Literature"
Child is remembered for his magnificent work on ballads - that work had given us ove a century of pleasure and need to nbe treated with te respect often lacking in today's scene by a tiny handful of researchers who treat research like a pair of old socks, regularly discarded to make room for new ones
That is appalling research
I knw Bert Lloyd and never once heard him utter a 'Marxist' statement - he was, as most Marxists are, a socialist humanist seeking a better world - Sharp was a Fabian socialist who went out to use county songs to creat a new National Music and came home having realised that the People's Voice was far more important in its own right
If it hadn't been for people like Lloyd, MacColl, Gerry Sharp, Bill Leader.... and all those wonderful humanitarians who devoted their lives to gathering and making songs and sharing them and their findings with the rest of us we wouldn't have had a modern scene and people like me wouldn't have had the more than half a century of pleasure and interest that we have been blessed with

I fully accept that not everyone wants to take the songs and music as seriously as some of us do but it would be a very repressive and limited scene that doesn't allow us to do so and to share that with others
That's why it disturbs me when I see people being urded "don't go their" when things like definition raise their head - if you don't want to, don't try to stop others from doing so

They remind me of the story the two schoolkids coming out of a class given by a popular teacher
One says, "You've got to watch that buggger, drop your guard for a minute and you find you've learned something"
Jim Carroll


02 Nov 19 - 05:21 AM (#4016778)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"The issue I have with it being all about the "story" is foreign language songs."
I have the same problem with Irish language songs - you learn to enjoy them for different things and realise the similarities, if there are any
Why shouldn't Morris tunes be folk ? - they are by and large not songs and what words there are tend to serve the dance, but they are certainly part of our folk heritage
Jim


02 Nov 19 - 05:32 AM (#4016779)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Here is another point of view on how to treat research from the past, from Vic Gammon:

" I must admit to some ... diffidence when I published my 'Song, Sex and Society' article … a couple of years ago. I found it hard to criticise a man who had given me so much. We have to overcome such feelings if the work is to progress. We have seen the results of intellectual fossilisation ...'

Gammon wrote this way back in 1984. It is one of several pieces which explain how Lloyd was influenced by AL Morton's Marxist history of Britain. I think it is well worth a read, as is more or less anything by Gammon. He has a website for anybody interested.

Roy Palmer has also analysed and critiquing Child's work; producing a well-argued piece in 1996, which has the additional merit of giving us a fair account of what Child's 'dunghill' comment actually meant, together with some insight into the complicated and, possibly, ultimately confused thinking which determined which songs and versions went in and which were left out of the work and which put in.

To complain about these interesting and well=argued critiques seems to me to be unreasonable. Sharp, Child, and Lloyd, were not gods before whom we are required to prostrate ourselves and there seems to me to be something rather unfolk-like about behaving as if they were.


02 Nov 19 - 05:53 AM (#4016782)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Sigh
Marxism is as valid philosophy as is any other branch
MaCarthist witch-hunting was exposed for the horror that is was in the sixties when it tried to jail Pete Seeger - i has no place here
Please stop it - now
Jim


02 Nov 19 - 06:01 AM (#4016783)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

Sharp, Child, and Lloyd, were not gods before whom we are required to prostrate ourselves and there seems to me to be something rather unfolk-like about behaving as if they were."
But where would we be without them, I do not know who you are PSEUD, BUT WITHOUT THE EFFORTS OF ALL 3 OUR REPERTOIRE WOULD BE COMARABLY SMALLER.now can we stick to topic please


02 Nov 19 - 06:29 AM (#4016791)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

No they are not Dick - we don't need gods - but we do need everyy ounce of information gathered by them and others if we are evevr going to understand our music
As you say, we would be far less informed than we are without them
Perhaps it's time to put this "Marxist" nonsense to bed once and for all
Pseud quotes Vic Gammon - who I have laways understood to be a Marxist or at least fairly left
Vic certainly wrote for teh Marxist, Histort Workshop Journal edited by Marxist Raphael Samuels
We still have his excellent article claiming that songs like "All Jolly Fellows" were political outbursts
If there is to be a blacklist, then Vic's name would be on it

One of teh most outspoken and extreme Marxists on the scene was Dave Harker" who was doing exactly what Pseaud and others are doing in pulling down the work of Child, Sharp, MacColl, Lloyd, and even the timid Frank Kidson and Lucy Broadwood
He had a hitlist of all the poineers which he once decared he woul d expose for the romantics and charlatans they were one of Pseaud's supporters here once declared Harker "a great scholar"

"I would rather take advice on how to think about the researchers of the past"
I would much rather not need to be advised on how to think about anything and would much rather read everything, compare it to my own researches and think for myself
The supporter I mentioned above, rather than discuss the problems his own theories raised, offered to provide me with a list of people who agreed with him - that's a tad Messianic as far as I'm concerned
Relying on Gurus rather than your own common sense is as likely to produce a Charles Manson or a David Koresh as it it a Mahatma Ghandi
Jim Carroll


02 Nov 19 - 07:38 AM (#4016808)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

Gammon wrote this way back in 1984. It is one of several pieces which explain how Lloyd was influenced by AL Morton's Marxist history of Britain.

Gammon wouldn't have had any colleagues left at his job if the ones influenced by Marxist history all went. It's a standard item in any academic's toolbox. I suspect you are taking this out of context.

Lloyd never made any secret of his Marxism and his work is the better for it.


02 Nov 19 - 08:56 AM (#4016819)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

Someone out there may enjoy reading this:

https://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/lloyd2.htm


02 Nov 19 - 09:35 AM (#4016821)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Someone out there may enjoy reading this:"
Great article based on an interview I instigated when I was editor of The Singer's Club Magazine, The Lark, (I irritated Ewan no-end by referring to it as "Thrush")

I really can't understand how people can challenge Bert's massive contribution to folk song
He approached it from the perfect position - as a singer, and he put some of or best folksongs into the repertoire
I've discovered recently that several of the songs he sang came from English singers who emigrated to the North Eastern States of America and to Canada
He was vague about their origins sometimes - it didn't seem to bother too many people before folk research went ivory-towerist and became a status symbol rather than something to be enjoyed and understood by all
I remember Pat being told she was wrong about something we had discovered about Irish Travellers by the co-author of one of the major books on English Folk Song, she was firmly put in her place by being told, "I've done a course on it".

Bert's international stuff is stunning - 'Songs of the People', 'Folk Song Virtuoso', 'The Lament', 'Voice of the Gods', 'The Savage in the Concert Hall'.... and all the other wonderful stuff the BBC sneaked out for the intelligentsia on The Third Programme
If anybody would like to avail themselves of this gold-mine, send me your e-mail address - I've just put it up on my PCloud for distribution (this offer includes anybody I may have fallen out with - it's far too important to allow personal differences to stop it being distributed)

Personally, I found Bert far more difficult to communicate with than I did Ewan and Peggy - he was a far more private person, but his work still stands out as a monument to 'The best of times' of the English revival
Jim


02 Nov 19 - 10:09 AM (#4016826)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave Hanson

Having known Joe G [ not well ] but for a few years I can tell you that his main interest is NOT traditional folksong but modern conteporary song, I don't think he really likes traditional stuff.

Dave H


02 Nov 19 - 10:41 AM (#4016832)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

Songs that last tend to share a few similarities: beautiful melodies that catch the ear and won't let go; lyrics to which one might feel kinship with. I'm partial to major key melodies, can think of very few minor key melodies I care for at all. (And remembering the latter would be a task.) The beautiful melody part is something I first noticed five or six decades ago--time flies when you're having fun. If the song's not got a good melody or at least one that works with the lyrics then I doubt it will be long remembered--but having made more than a few misjudgments along the way, I could be wrong. Nice offer and I'll likely take you up on it, Jim. Thanks.


02 Nov 19 - 10:43 AM (#4016833)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Hi Dave - well you are partly correct - I generally do prefer modern songs that are written about current day or relatively recent issues eg - to name some better known contemporary folk singers - the songs of John Tams, Jez Lowe, Joe Solo, Steve Knightley, Reg Meuross etc

Where you are incorrect though is that I certainly don't dislike traditional songs especially those that relate to urban working life and sea songs. My earliest experience of folk music was very much focussed around mining songs and shanties as they were very commonly sung at Hartlepool Folk Club. I have a particular passion for the songs of Tommy Armstrong - I assume his songs would class as traditional? The only songs I would say I am not keen on (again generalising massively) are those of a more rural nature - especially if they have fol de lol refrains in them! I mentioned earlier that Jim Moray has released a CD of traditional material and I enjoyed his concert at Musicport where he performed almost exclusively traditional songs. I am also a fan of Jon Boden's Folk Song a Day. I particularly enjoy York based Joshua Burnell's take on traditional song where he takes a prog rock approach to the material very successfully in my view - and in the view of others given the fact he is often invited back to festivals and other venues

What I do not enjoy is paying to see an artist at a folk club and then having to sit through a dozen mediocre or worse floor singers over the course of the evening - fortunately the club where this happened no longer exists and most clubs I have attended limit floor spots to two or three each half. Having said that I am a firm believer in the value of the floor spot and have discovered and encouraged many artists I have seen doing such a spot. I rarely attend singarounds or music sessions as I do not sing or play but when I do I enjoy them.

Hope that clarifies things


02 Nov 19 - 11:09 AM (#4016836)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Yes as I believe I mentioned earlier (somewhere) clubs' support is often from regular singers of whatever ability ~ the need to have a lot of floor singers is sometimes necessary

Concerts are a different matter

Ray


02 Nov 19 - 11:14 AM (#4016837)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Nice offer and I'll likely take you up on it, Jim. Thanks
I'm away for a few days from tomorrow - off to Dublin to see the new Ken Loach and listen to some wonderful new singers at The Cobblestone - might even fit in some piping while we're there
If any non-member would like to contact me with an e-mail address I hope Dave or someone else who has mine will pass it on

"a dozen mediocre or worse floor singers over the course of the evening"
I see nothing to dispute here Joe - I share your frustration
It really doesn't have to be like that and it never was a major problem - the general feeling used to be that, if you sang in public you needed to put in the basic work first - that seems to have gone by the board
Folk singing has always been the pursuit of amateurs (in Britain anyway) the songs weer sung, adapted and probably created by fishermen, farmers mill-workers, soldiers, sailors.... they was not a weakness - it is what makes them unique
Any club that couldn't hold its own without guests wa, in my opinion, doomed to be little more than mini-concerts for stars and passive bums-on seats - indistinguishable from manufactured entertainment
I often used to skip guests because I could buy their albums
Seeing a group of friends and associates pull off a good evening without outside assistance was as good as it got (almost) - being part of such an evening left you walking on air till the next time
I used to get a buzz from hearing some of our top guests saying what a great night they had had being part of these nights
It was interesting when some of London's best Irish musicians used to come and sit quietly at the back because they ahd enjoyed being a guest - beats all the best write-ups
Jim


02 Nov 19 - 11:21 AM (#4016839)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Mmmm - not sure about that Ray - the club where I suffered that closed many years ago - the ones I have been to more recently stick to the two or three floor spots. I can imagine a lot of people like myself would never go back there - there were four of us there that night so they lost four potential customers for future gigs

Another issue can be MC's hogging the limelight - this very rarely happens and most club MCs are excellent in my experience but I do know of one who was alienating the audience by insisting on performing a couple of songs each half preventing other (almost always always better) floor singers performing - most nights half of the audience were out in the bar for a good portion of the night to avoid him. The club dealt with this after one particularly bad episode but I'd suggest that such issues, combined with the greater number of alternative sources of music and the loss of venues, has as much to do with the loss of clubs as does Jim's concerns about folk music 'not being heard' at them


02 Nov 19 - 11:53 AM (#4016842)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

It stands to sense to me that if you cease to guarantee to give an audience what they expect based oon 'what it says on the label' people will stop coming
That's what began to happen at the end of the eighties and the scene hass never recovered
Liverpool's 'Hustler' solution using the jacks door used to sort out pain-in-the-arse MCs quick enough without losing too many audience members
Jim


02 Nov 19 - 12:03 PM (#4016844)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

"That's what began to happen at the end of the eighties and the scene hass never recovered"

Jim - but what scene exactly, has never recovered...???

The folk club scene, or the wider folk scene...????


Club centric folkies seem to disagree on whether to lament or celebrate in 2019 UK..

..and many folkies at mudcat enjoy folk music from far more diverse sources than ever before in 2019 UK...


02 Nov 19 - 12:22 PM (#4016846)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"The folk club scene, or the wider folk scene...????"
The wider folk scene
THe club audiences went down the clubs began to disappear, shops like Hobgoblin ad Free Reed closed, long term gmagazines like Folk Review ceased to exist and the labels dwindled to a few
Topic - the label based on producing traditional-based material along with The Living Tradition and Greentrax are among the few survivors
'Many more' and 'folk music' are moot descriptions of much that goes on on the net as far as I can see, but, even if that were true, it indicates that folk as become a spectator rather than a participatory activity
We are back to having to take what we are given, like we were in the fifties
How good is that
That's not progress - that's loss of creative opportunity
Quite honestly, it depresses te to see the mass alienation that has taken place thanks to mobile phones and the internet - communication by isolation (and that doesn't begin to describe the decline of literary skills and the use of language usage
We're turning our kids into illiterate, uncommunicative loners via a media that is rapidly becoming a threat to their personal safety and well-being
Jim


02 Nov 19 - 12:32 PM (#4016849)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - your personal overview present much that can at the same time be agreed and disagreeed with...???

Pint glass half empty, or half full...????

Perplexing times...


Personally I'm considering a bit more optimistic outlook for the future of UK folk music post 2019 ...


02 Nov 19 - 12:34 PM (#4016851)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

btw.. Hobgoblin shops closed...???


02 Nov 19 - 12:38 PM (#4016853)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Jack: I am sorry you seem to have missed the context for my comments on Lloyd. It has been alleged that Lloyd never did anything political. It seems plain to me that this is incorrect, and I quoted Gammon in part to back up my view that he was political and did political things.

I do not think that at any point in my post do I dismiss Marxist thinking, by the way. Nor do I claim that Lloyd sought to conceal his own Marxism.

I have read enough about the 'tinkering' that Lloyd did to come to a view that he is not entirely reliable as an authority. Some of this may have been politically motivated, some mainly due to his own tendency to 'improve' the material he had. One thing he says in his book on folk song is that literacy can be an advantage and lead to better songs, and I sometimes wonder whether he came to this view on the basis of his own 'improvements'.

This leads in to my other point that I disagree that 'research' into folk song is some sort of cumulative enterprise, a more and more business so that if one rejects or critiques or contextualises the works of the past one is somehow subtracting from the accrued total.


02 Nov 19 - 12:41 PM (#4016854)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Derrick

Neither shop is closed.

Justgoogle hobgoblin music and free reed


02 Nov 19 - 12:57 PM (#4016856)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Derrick

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


02 Nov 19 - 01:00 PM (#4016858)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Derrick

Sorry Jim misread the line about Topic records


02 Nov 19 - 01:17 PM (#4016862)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

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

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

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


02 Nov 19 - 01:19 PM (#4016863)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

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

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

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

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


02 Nov 19 - 01:21 PM (#4016864)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

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

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

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


02 Nov 19 - 02:11 PM (#4016869)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

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

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

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

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


02 Nov 19 - 02:13 PM (#4016871)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Sigh...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


02 Nov 19 - 02:15 PM (#4016873)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

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


02 Nov 19 - 02:40 PM (#4016875)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

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


02 Nov 19 - 02:56 PM (#4016879)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

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

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

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

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


02 Nov 19 - 03:07 PM (#4016880)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

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

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

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

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

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

Ray


02 Nov 19 - 03:22 PM (#4016881)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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

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

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

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

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


02 Nov 19 - 03:34 PM (#4016882)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

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

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


02 Nov 19 - 03:55 PM (#4016885)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

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

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

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


02 Nov 19 - 04:15 PM (#4016888)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

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


02 Nov 19 - 04:33 PM (#4016890)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

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


02 Nov 19 - 04:34 PM (#4016891)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

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


02 Nov 19 - 05:10 PM (#4016898)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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

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


02 Nov 19 - 05:27 PM (#4016903)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

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


02 Nov 19 - 06:08 PM (#4016912)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

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

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


02 Nov 19 - 07:12 PM (#4016915)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

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

Maybe there are other crypto-Hobgoblins around the UK?


02 Nov 19 - 07:32 PM (#4016916)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

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

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


02 Nov 19 - 07:47 PM (#4016918)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Good points there Ray


02 Nov 19 - 08:12 PM (#4016919)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


02 Nov 19 - 08:24 PM (#4016920)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


02 Nov 19 - 08:34 PM (#4016922)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

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


02 Nov 19 - 09:04 PM (#4016924)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

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

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


02 Nov 19 - 09:12 PM (#4016925)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

Have a good and safe trip, Jim.


02 Nov 19 - 09:21 PM (#4016926)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

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

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

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


02 Nov 19 - 09:55 PM (#4016930)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

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


02 Nov 19 - 09:59 PM (#4016931)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Stewie

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

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

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

My Bonny Boy

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

--Stewie.


02 Nov 19 - 11:09 PM (#4016934)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

"If the scene dies, as looks imminent"

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

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


03 Nov 19 - 03:18 AM (#4016942)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


03 Nov 19 - 03:44 AM (#4016944)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

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


03 Nov 19 - 04:09 AM (#4016948)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

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


03 Nov 19 - 04:16 AM (#4016949)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

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

Ray


03 Nov 19 - 04:35 AM (#4016954)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Yes just checked John and Vic do have their CDs available


03 Nov 19 - 05:01 AM (#4016957)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,John Bowden (not a typo!)

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

Sorry for the thread drift!

John


03 Nov 19 - 05:08 AM (#4016959)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

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


03 Nov 19 - 06:51 AM (#4016974)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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


03 Nov 19 - 06:58 AM (#4016975)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

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

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


03 Nov 19 - 07:02 AM (#4016976)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,John Bowden

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


03 Nov 19 - 09:26 AM (#4016988)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Jim - please re read what I said (Joe)

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


03 Nov 19 - 09:54 AM (#4016991)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Hootennanny

Pseud,

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

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

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


03 Nov 19 - 11:08 AM (#4016997)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

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

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


03 Nov 19 - 11:23 AM (#4017000)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Joe,

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

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

Best wishes
Pseu.


03 Nov 19 - 11:33 AM (#4017001)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

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


03 Nov 19 - 11:39 AM (#4017002)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jeri

"do what I do. Let it go."

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

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


03 Nov 19 - 11:44 AM (#4017003)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

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

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


Hopefully this will be the 1000th post!


03 Nov 19 - 11:53 AM (#4017004)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


03 Nov 19 - 11:56 AM (#4017005)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Obviously I was still typing while Jeri posted...


03 Nov 19 - 11:57 AM (#4017006)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

60s TV jingle

'1001 cleans a deep, deep carpet for less than half a crown' discuss


03 Nov 19 - 12:00 PM (#4017007)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I thought it was a big, big carpet.

Is this the folk process in action?

:D


03 Nov 19 - 12:15 PM (#4017014)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,John Bowden (not a typo!)

That's right Dave -

"1001, 1001 gets rid of that workaday frown,
1001 cleans a big big carpet for less than half a crown
[basso profundo:] For less than half a crown.."


03 Nov 19 - 12:17 PM (#4017015)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

ok.. now we've got a big carpet, what can we sweep under it...???


03 Nov 19 - 12:39 PM (#4017019)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

The current state of folk music in UK (Report from Lewes)


Lewes is the smallish (18,000 people) County Town of East Sussex
Let's start with the Lewes Saturday Folk Club workshops.
The workshops mostly last a full Saturday or Sunday & the tutor performs at the Elephant & Castle, White Hill, Lewes BN7 2DJ, in the evening. Booking forms can be printed from the website :-
www.lewessaturdayfolkclub.org/ about three months in advance.
The workshop programme for the remainder of 2019 is as follows:-
RILEY BAUGUS: US OLD-TIME BANJO WORKSHOP - Sunday 10th. November 2019
SIMON MAYOR MANDOLIN WORKSHOP - Saturday 23rd. November 2019
HILARY JAMES VOICE WORKSHOP - Saturday 23rd. November 2019
SIMON MAYOR FIDDLE WORKSHOP - Saturday 24th. November 2019
THOMAS McCARTHY TRAVELLER LIFE, SONGS & STORIES WORKSHOP - Sunday 8th. December 2019

Then into 2020 (and there may be some later additions):-
7 Mar - Narthen - Vocal harmony
28 Mar - Daoiri Farrell - Bouzouki
18 Apr - JIB (Jim Mageean, Barrie & Ingrid Temple) Shanties & sea songs
25 Apr - Ben Paley - Fiddle
6 Jun - The Wilsons - Vocal harmony
13 Jun - Emmanuel Pariselle & Didier Oliver - Dance music from Gascony
11 July - Alistair Anderson   Tunes by Northumbrian tunesmiths, any instrument
11 July - Dan Walsh   Banjo
5 Sept - Keith Macdonald & Ange Hauk - Dance tunes from German C18/19 Manuscripts.
12 Sept - John Kirkpatrick - Dance Tunes Any instrument
13 Sept - John Kirkpatrick - Singing
24 Oct - Bryony Griffith - Vocal harmony using winter & Christmas songs
14 or 21 Nov - Jody Kruskal US Old-Time for concertinas & other instruments

In addition, there are guest nights every Saturday night. fairly often with capacity crowds, apart from August when themed singarounds take place. One that I would like to draw your attention to for personal reasons is this one
1st February "ALL THE BIRDS OF THE AIR"
presented by Tina & Vic Smith


Tina and Vic present only the second performance of their new multi-media show that celebrates our feathered friends in song, tune, verse and lore.
The live performances will be interspersed with a few recordings of relevant songs from some of Britain's finest traditional singers.

There are also regular monthly sessions in five other pubs in the town - two for English dance tunes, and one each for American Old Time, Irish music and West Gallery singing. We have just returned from one of the Sunday Lunchtime tune sessions at The Volunteer - Very enjoyable with fifteen musicians and a very high standard of musicianship.
The are also two monthly mixed traditional song and sessions at village pubs with five miles of Lewes.
Three display dance teams are based in and have their practices in the town including The Knots of May which is regularly booked at all the country's leading folk festivals.


03 Nov 19 - 12:43 PM (#4017020)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

So, after a thousand posts I think it is fairly safe to say that afficianadoes of folk music fall into two camps.

Those that know folk music when they hear it, whether it was written last week or 200 years ago are one group.

Those that have to disect, inspect, and analyse folk music (as they see it) ad nauseum are a second roup.

I am firmly in the former camp. I have enjoyed folk music for over 60 years having first come across it sitting on my Grandmothers knee, and then encouraged by my father to sing.

I don't need to disect, inspect, analyse folk music in order to enjoy it. In fact I find the above tends to waste time that could be spent enjoying it.


03 Nov 19 - 12:50 PM (#4017021)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

That's pretty impressive Vic! Certainly no sign of folk music being in trouble in Lewes!

Raggytash as you would imagine I'd like to be admitted to camp 1!


03 Nov 19 - 01:09 PM (#4017022)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Lewes continued
Just as I'd finished typing my previous post, the impressive local 136 glossy paper monthly free magazine dropped through our letterbox. I looked first as always at the listings pages to see what is on in the town and it reminded me that often at weekends here are Barn Dances in the town's All Saints Arts Centre - usually as a fundraiser for some cause or other - and there is one this month -
Saturday 23rd November Barn Dance.
Bar, snacks, raffle and The Sussex Pistols with caller Vic Smith play . Raising funds for FoCK (building schools in Africa, protecting the local wildlife and environment whilst preventing Female Genital Mutilation) All Saints. 7.30pm. £15 (two for £25), see chemaldzzi.com.


03 Nov 19 - 01:19 PM (#4017024)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Lewes Addendum
... and then an email arrives saying that another All-Day workshop has been added to the 2020 list :-

26 Sept - Will & Pippa Noble - Ballad Workshop

with the additional information that two more are being finalised.


03 Nov 19 - 01:27 PM (#4017026)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

with respect raggy, inspecting and analysing performance of folk music is one way of improving, the problem with some performers at singers clubs is that they do not listen to themselves and do not practise, and do not realise that is why they give folk music a bad name, in noother form of music do i hear this other than perhaps some cpuntry and western[eglack of practice]. classical and jazzand blues and rock musicians all practiseand listen to their perfpmances. i am not saying i am perfect but i strive to improve


03 Nov 19 - 01:31 PM (#4017027)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

to continue i have said i do not want to go to a folk club and hear buddy holly , but at least andy caven did it well, but there is no excuse for asnyone to shuffle through buddy holly or anything else with bits of paper fallin out of folders


03 Nov 19 - 01:52 PM (#4017028)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

with respect LewEs used to have two good clubs, Nobody was prepared to come forward and take over from vic and tina, so one closed. PEOPLE HAVE TO REALISE THAT UNLESS THEY ORGANISE EVENTS. EVENTS DO NOT HAPPEN.
One succesful club, closed because no one suitable came forward FORTUNATELY LEWES HAS ANOTHER CLUB WITH DEDICATED ORGANISERS. IMO a scene is not healthy if there are eventually no venues to play because there are no organisers,even music instrumental sessions even require someone to organise them.


03 Nov 19 - 02:00 PM (#4017029)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Quite agree Dick.

BUT.

I listen my myself and disect analyse if I could sing that song better, could I improve on my performance of it.

I do not discuss, disect or analyse whether the song is 'folk music'.

You may consider a song to be folk music, the next man may say it is not, the next man may say something different again.

So that's three people not singing, not participating and not enjoying the music.

Waste of time in my book.... and I suspect the books of many other people.


03 Nov 19 - 02:10 PM (#4017030)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Dick - Do the pressures most young people are struggling under in austerity Britain 2019,
allow sufficient spare time for hobbies and organising clubs devoted to them...???

Is there too much of an inbalance of fairly well off baby boomer pensioners
who have enough time and money for this now;
but unfortunately not much lifespan left to keep things ticking over,
until ordinary younger folks are in a more positive lifestyle position
to take over and carry on...??????

Does this make UK folk music even more dependent
on comfily well off upper middle class public school educated folkie millenials...?????????


03 Nov 19 - 02:30 PM (#4017031)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

raggy The current state of folk music in UK, i suppose it becomes unavoidable that what is sung in folk clubs and whether it is folk music, has to come in to it , i too would prefer and think it would be more useful to not discuss that aspect ofthe folk scene, but strictly speaking it is not off topic
.PFR Yes good points, but here in ireland many young people play, this partly down to CCE[DESPITE THEIR FAULTS]and government funding and dedicated teachers, this is despite the austerity in ireland


03 Nov 19 - 02:33 PM (#4017032)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

however in scotland, i am sure it is more like ireland, and of course nobody mentions Wales[ can anyone update us on the forgotten province


03 Nov 19 - 02:45 PM (#4017035)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-ogTQqP6NQ thought you might enjoy this


03 Nov 19 - 03:37 PM (#4017049)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

well if the aim was to clear the air, and convince me that I was no part of anything. it worked.


03 Nov 19 - 04:07 PM (#4017058)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

Still in the same place I was a 100 and a thousand posts ago.

I used to play with Lonnie Donegan's kids when they lived round the corner in South Woodford back in the 60's. Very nice they were as was their mum


03 Nov 19 - 04:09 PM (#4017059)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

And I used to go out with Jimmy McGregor's ex wife, Shirley, briefly. So always been close to folk music but never enough


03 Nov 19 - 04:10 PM (#4017060)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

Lighten up folks...


03 Nov 19 - 04:14 PM (#4017062)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,ottery

Train got cancelled. Wandering at a loss through the streets of Shrewsbury I heard sound of fiddles, a drum and a melodion coming out of an attractive old pub - Loggerheads is what it says above the list of licensees by the door. Have been sitting with a beer for half an hour listening to live folk music encountered in its natural habitat. Wish it would happen more often.


03 Nov 19 - 04:30 PM (#4017064)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

It does. Take York

Golden Ball in York in Bishophill would be very similar tonight and every Sunday for a good session. Maltings on Tuesday. Mixed session and song on a Friday at the Three Legged Mare.

Black Swan on a Thursday for a more organised 'folk club'.

Mended Drum in Huby on a Wednesday - lot of traditional song.

This lack of music is passing me by. I must take it with me as I go because it always seems to be there. And nip across to Beverley and Hull along that corridor and there is oodles of music.

And North Pickering and Scarborough. And Whitby. And Robin Hoods Bay

And that's without trying.

If I hadn't been playing on Saturday I would have gone to see either Dan Webster (might be a bit modern for this thread) or Eliza Carthy at Goathland (she must have some roots surely?)

Ridiculous amounts of music about of a folkish nature including a lot of traditional song.


03 Nov 19 - 06:15 PM (#4017084)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

It's why we moved to York - and the pubs of course! I think we are particularly well blessed here though. I imagine many towns and cities have a less flourishing scene


03 Nov 19 - 06:40 PM (#4017087)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,ottery

I lived in Leeds for a while, and enjoyed the liveliness of the folk music scene in Yorkshire. Powys so far seems to be a bit quieter on that front afaik, and York, Otley, Whitby etc. are now out of my reach.


04 Nov 19 - 03:20 AM (#4017115)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

I imagine many towns and cities have a less flourishing scene"I THINK you are probably right,LEWES LOST ONE OF ITS folk clubs macclesfield used to have two it now has none ,the isle of wight used to have two, idont thik it has any now, bishps stortford has lost its folk club,ipswich no longer has a folk club sudbury and haverhill no longer have clubs and that is just for starters


04 Nov 19 - 03:24 AM (#4017116)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

With respect i have been travelling the uk folk clubs for approx 45 years, there are fewr folk venues than there were 45 years ago. i am pleased to hear york is healthy, however it used to have2 flourishing folk clubs in the late 70s .I PLAYED THEM BOTH A NUMBER OF TIMES


04 Nov 19 - 03:28 AM (#4017117)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

IN YORK there was a club run by noel dobson NOEL DOBSON, plus the ancestor of the black swan folk club, scarborough used to have a club, hull had a club selby had a club, i dont thik any of these exist now


04 Nov 19 - 04:25 AM (#4017126)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Peter

The loss of folk clubs is probably under stated because of a trend from weekly to monthly when new clubs do start.

in the nineties and noughties there was a definite move away from clubs to sessions. Where I am now this is suffering due to pub closures and the shift in pub culture from drinking to eating.

Comments above about Yorkshire suggest that people up there still eat at home and drink in the pubs but south of the Humber the trend is definitely to eat out and drink cheap supermarket booze at home.


04 Nov 19 - 08:21 AM (#4017143)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Loss of many pubs and similar venues does contribute greatly

The collaborations between pubs micro breweries and sessions and folksongs should be noted and this does not necessarily pre suppose the use of microphones ~ provides real ale and a ready audience!

Some great mixed sessions at Doncaster Tap, Kelham Island, Fernandes Tap and folky Polka Hop

Ray


04 Nov 19 - 10:11 AM (#4017154)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Any body interested in hearing Walter Pardon's own statement that the songs he learned from his Uncle Billy mostly came from broadsides can do so here, towards the end. The 'Tom' referred to is Billy's father, Walter's maternal grandfather.

They can also hear Pardon deny point blank that they called the songs they sang 'folk'. Pardon says he did learn some 'folk songs' at school, but plainly differentiates between what he learned at school and the 'old' songs he learned from Billy.




I am collating the information I can find about Pardon, who, it seems to me, was most certainly lionised. I was particularly interested to find one of the many Pardon researchers reporting that Billy would go to music hall/variety and then go through the songs at home since some of Pardon's delivery reminded me of variety singers I recall seeing on the TV in my youth. I have lost the reference for that but I'll post it in a thread later, and then people will be able to add other information they have.


04 Nov 19 - 10:28 AM (#4017156)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Pseudonymous wrote -
Pardon says he did learn some 'folk songs' at school, but plainly differentiates between what he learned at school and the 'old' songs he learned from Billy.

I found this to be quite a common experience when we used to book the old singers in Sussex at our club in Lewes, particularly for our 'Sussex Singers Nights' when the entire evening was given over to them. Every time George Spicer came - and like most of them, he didn't wait to be booked to show up, he came because he enjoyed the evenings - he would say "I don't know any folk songs, you know!" and then he would disprove this by singing them in an absorbing and entertaining way.
There was also some mutterings about where Bob Blake and Bob Lewis learned their songs.... but it didn't actually matter that much. They were all good singers, they had that authentic style of the pre-folk revival singers and those who came learned a lot from them.
That was all that mattered.


04 Nov 19 - 10:29 AM (#4017157)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

Pseud if you want to discuss walter can you start a new thread thanks,are you trying to wind jim caroll up or are you just trolling


04 Nov 19 - 11:50 AM (#4017175)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

I agree with Dick - any discussion about Walter Pardon or any other singer should really be in a new thread otherwise we'll drift way off topic again!



04 Nov 19 - 11:59 AM (#4017176)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Walter Pardon would be an interesting thread in it's own right now in 2019,
but is he really that relevent here in a thread about 2019...???


04 Nov 19 - 12:43 PM (#4017182)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Great source of songs on MT I have a number of CDs and Vinyl, see online lyrics

Ray


04 Nov 19 - 03:36 PM (#4017207)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Martin

Whoever asked the question about the state of folk clubs in Wales - I'm sorry I just can't find the message amongst the morass of stuff on here - have you searched casbar.co.uk? May be of help.


04 Nov 19 - 04:50 PM (#4017216)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Martin

I've tried to do a 'blue clicky' link on the casbar.co.uk website but for some reason it didn't work! I downloaded it & it was grand - it says it covers S Wales but I've been assured it also encompasses Mid & N too! Hope this is some help?


04 Nov 19 - 04:51 PM (#4017217)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

I asked the question


04 Nov 19 - 06:22 PM (#4017233)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

Jim Martin, I have begun to think it's in the way one holds his tongue ;-)

http://casbar.co.uk/folk-clubs-festivals/


04 Nov 19 - 06:46 PM (#4017240)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Brian Peters

Evening all.

I've been lurking on the margins of this thread waiting for a moment when I might have something useful to contribute. I've carried out no extensive surveys, so any evidence here is purely anecdotal, and based on the experiences of a performer who generally inhabits the more traditionally-inclined areas of the folk world.

The distinguished Cajun fiddle player Dewey Balfa – both a ‘traditional musician’ and an active revivalist of his indigenous music – once made a very interesting statement: “A culture is preserved one generation at a time”. I take this to mean that it’s up to the next generation to decide what they do with the old music I’ve loved all my adult life, without people like me telling them what they should and should not be doing. I say this without denying the inspiration and advice I received back in the day from more experienced singers like Harry Boardman and Roy Harris, but my approach is to perform and teach the music as best I can and hope something rubs off on the people who hear it.

Over the last few years I’ve worked with several very talented musicians thirty or more years younger than myself, and it’s been a lot of fun. They are all different in character, and their musical interests have varied from a passionate focus on the old songs, to a talent for new compositions of their own - but all of them have had a huge respect for traditional song and music. As far as I’m concerned, that’s as it should be. The best thing their elders can do is to make the musical resources – song collections, source recordings, anecdotes about singers, etc - available to young singers and players like that, to use in whatever way they might choose. There is no shortage of interest there – one of this year’s festival hot tickets, Granny’s Attic, play a high proportion of the kind of songs Cecil Sharp would have nodded approvingly at, to an extraordinary degree of musical virtuosity – and they’re all in their 20s. If that’s the kind of music that floats your boat, you’ve plenty of reasons to be cheerful.

But all of those young musicians – whether or not they’re trying to base a career on their talents – are well aware that their audiences contain more than a few grey hairs, and that folk clubs are dwindling as their organisers lose some of their youthful energy, and I think there’s a growing awareness that they need to be organising things for themselves. However, much as I’ve always found the folk club format very well-suited to the kind of songs that came to us from the tap room, barn and nursery, we also have to accept that the venues of the future may not tick all the boxes of the upstairs pub room, the two 40-minute guest spots, the floor singers, and the raffle.

While I’m here I can’t resist commenting on a couple of the tangential discussions aired in this thread. I first saw Walter Pardon (yes, I know, sorry...) onstage when I was just over 20, at Whitby Folk Festival. I’d never heard of him, and was certainly unaware of any ‘lionization’, but he completely won over his audiences with a good mix of songs well sung, an entirely unassuming – yet very committed – approach to them, and plain old modesty and warmth. There was nothing of the variety performer about him, even when singing Music Hall – he looked down at his shoes while singing. Forty years later I still listen to his recordings and play them to workshop classes - he didn’t have the flamboyance of a Tanner or a Larner, but was one of the best in my opinion - though of course that doesn’t mean everyone has to like his stuff.

Secondly, although I would always say that folk music should be immediate, and be able to grab an audience from the off without any kind of analysis, the fact is that learning about the history of the music and the way it works is fascinating in itself. I’ve always believed that the old songs are not ‘just songs’. They come from particular historical periods, they tell particular stories, they have interesting melodies, and they were sung by real people whose own stories are often colourful and fascinating. Audiences tell me they like to hear some of that; it really isn’t a binary choice.

I’m sure there was another point I wanted to make, but that’s probably enough for now.


04 Nov 19 - 07:17 PM (#4017242)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Thanks Brian - some very good points there and I totally agree with you that it is up to the next generation to decide what to do with the songs.

From what I have witnessed - and Granny's Attic are an excellent example - they are in very safe hands. Re communicating the background to the songs to the audience, Jim Moray did this very well during his recent set at Musicport. All of the young (or youngish!) singers I have heard and met have huge respect for the source material but they, quite rightly want to put their own stamp on it - whether that is keeping close to the original - as I would say Granny's Attic tend to do, or rocking them up like the Whiskey Priests did with mining songs in the 90's (and more recently when they reformed), or using electronica (Jim Moray, Broadcaster) or small orchestral or brass ensembles (Jim Moray again, Bellowhead, Unthanks). That in my view is what will keep the music alive for people to enjoy in the future in whatever venues exist in the future.


04 Nov 19 - 08:24 PM (#4017246)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Martin

'The Sandman' - Ah ha, right - thks!


05 Nov 19 - 03:46 AM (#4017262)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

hello brian hope all is well in dock green.Iwuld agree there are some talented younger peformers Gemma Khawaja[ who has been influenced by Harry Cox] ans who is booked this year at www.fastnetmaritime.com. jack rutter is another i have noticed.
That does not convince me that the state of the uk folk scene is as healthy as it was 40 years ago. my advice would be do not turn professional, i was lucky i made a living during my years ,thank god i now have a pension.
my advice to aspiring performers would be have another string to your bow, one that allows you time to spend on music, but means you are not entirely dependent on it ,
there are also singers[ they are a minority] who are happy to be slipshod at singers nights but who are not prepared to listen to guest singers who have worked at their craft,the same people are treating audiences with a lack of respect by not bothering to work harder at their performing, this has not always been the case, there was a time when people procrastinating with paper portfolios was unheard of


05 Nov 19 - 09:23 AM (#4017268)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Hello All

I agree about the Unthanks, but when they were on the folk proms, hardl anybody on Mudcat had a good word to say on them, and some comments focussed on their weight not their music.

Pardon is relevant as he is a 'case study' from a former time which is used as a basis for comparison with the current state of music.

I had looked at previous material on Pardon on Mudcat and considered starting a thread, as Pardon and the journalism and other literature etc framing him for public consumption seem to me to provide the basis for an interesting case study.

To me, this is an elderly single man, living in quite a large farmhouse who occupied some of his leisure time working out tunes on a melodion, and remembered a lot of what look to me like Victorian pop songs which he believed his maternal grandfather had learned from broadsides. He stated in an early interview that he did not regard his material as folk, folk being something they did at school. He got taken up by a group of enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, copyrighted, presented as coming from the lowest ag lab level despite the plain educational achievements of his family and their place on the electoral register at time when there was still a propertly qualification. He gets presented as an expert on 'the tradition', a 'source singer', a person able to identify what is folk and what his not, as if he is even an expert on what the tradition is, he is subjected to all sorts of third rate qualitative research which itself portrays how not to do it, he gets a booking agent (albeit the gigs were not always easy to obtain, and I am interested in the ideological framework within which all of this takes place. It isn't just that people put in opinions as if they were 'facts', stuff that doesn't fit the required image seems to get left out.

But I am sorry, and it was a good idea to open op a separate thread.
Jim Carroll winds himself up.


05 Nov 19 - 09:31 AM (#4017270)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

Twelve year old thread resurrected: 'Walter Pardon - which song first?'


05 Nov 19 - 09:50 AM (#4017274)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Pseud - that sounds like a synopsis for a movie satirising fad hungry music industry / showbiz,
and hack academics & critics...

In 1954 it could have been a gentle Ealing comedy..
In 2019 a darker tragi-comedy...

I'd watch both versions on streaming...


05 Nov 19 - 11:10 AM (#4017278)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

I think that, as always, Brian has summed things up very well. I don't think anyone would claim that the folk scene is as healthy as it once was, but neither is it as moribund as Jim would have us believe. There are certainly fewer folk folk clubs, but these have been at least in part replaced by other types of venue, and these are not all passive "bums on seats" but many allow for participation. I agree with Brian that the familiar folk club format may no longer be how people want to enjoy folk music.

There is a sizeable body of young performers who, as Brian describes, are full of both enthusiasm and respect for the music. However they are doing things their own way, and if those are not always what the older generation would approve of perhaps that is no bad thing. I am confident the music is in good hands.

One thing I find sobering is that at least one younger musician of my acquaintance regards me and others of my generation as genuine links in the chain of the tradition. I have always regarded myself as a revival singer and musician, and distinguished what I do from the source singers who were the "real thing". But because I have heard Walter Pardon, Fred Jordan and others sing and played in sessions with Oscar Woods and Reg Reader, because I have heard Peter Bellamy, Tony Rose and Swan Arcade sing live, he regards me as a direct link to all that. I used to go to listen to the "old boys", and now he sees me as one of them. That is quite a responsibility, and not one I feel I deserve. But that is what folk music is, it is passed from one generation to the next by whatever means possible.


05 Nov 19 - 11:20 AM (#4017279)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Two recent projects that suggest to me that the situation for traditional folk song isn't as bad as some fear - whatever the state of folk clubs (The Jon Boden webpage has some odd technical text at the top but works fine!). As stated in the review of Songs From The Seasons, Joshua recorded a song each week - I can't find these on line now but next time I see him I will ask if he plans to republish them

Jon Boden - A Folk Song A Day

Joshua Burnell Songs From The Seasons


05 Nov 19 - 11:34 AM (#4017281)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Derrick

My take on the final paragraph of Howards post at 11-10 is does it matter if you are the authentic article or a revival singer.
He was inspired and came to folk music by the revival,and became a
singer
of the songs of the old singers.
As a the result songs are still sung, if the revival had not happened they would have survived only in dusty collections.
The old singers only knew the songs because they were in the right place when their forebears sang them.
The songs and tunes will only survive if sombody plays or sings them be it in a folk club,a pub session or any other place where people hear them.The singer who regards him as one of old singers is singing the songs himself and hopefully will inspire some of those who follow him to
keep the sons going


05 Nov 19 - 11:36 AM (#4017284)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Howard wrote:-

I used to go to listen to the "old boys", and now he sees me as one of them. That is quite a responsibility, and not one I feel I deserve. But that is what folk music is, it is passed from one generation to the next by whatever means possible.

Jim Causley, one of the times that he was staying with us after playing at our club said over breakfast (well, something like...)
Your generation took great inspiration from the wonderful traditional singers that so many of you heard and met and talked to. It makes me jealous to realise how much you admire them.
Our generation hasn't got them, we have got you lot. We like what your generation has done and want to admire you but you won't let us. Your people are always saying, 'No no. Don't listen to me; listen to.... and then you reel off the names of the generation that inspired you. Why do you do that?

Good question, Jim!


05 Nov 19 - 11:37 AM (#4017285)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Derrick

Not only the sons but the songs as well


05 Nov 19 - 01:13 PM (#4017306)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Observer

Well what did I hear at the "Folk Festival" between last Thursday and Sunday?

In the main it was what I'd describe as "Americana"
Then "contemporary" singer/songwriter contributions
1960s "pop music"
Very, very little was delivered in concert or in sessions that one could describe as "Folk Music".

As I said the Festival IS promoted as a "Folk Festival".


05 Nov 19 - 01:19 PM (#4017309)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Brian Peters

Hello Mr Sandman - I quite agree about Gemma Khawaja, and Jack Rutter's stuff sounds good too from what I've heard. I'm sure you're right that it's much harder to make a living from folk music than it was 40 years ago, and many of the young musicians I know certainly do have as many strings to their bow as they possibly can. I'm not going to go into possible reasons for that decline, but it doesn't strike me as surprising given how much the world has changed since the the 1960s, and the particular circumstances that made folk music a prominent counter-cultural movement back in those days.

I remembered what I was going to say last night - again small-scale anecdotal evidence for what's going on at ground level, aside from my own professional engagements which I'm way too modest to boast about (winking emoji). My wife and I, when we're at home, attend two informal monthly sessions. One is at he Gaslamp in Manchester, where a singaround takes place in an acoustically-excellent tiled basement room, the repertoire is predominantly traditional with plenty of choruses, and the expectation is that people will sing unaccompanied. The other is at Glossop Labour Club, where singers and instrumentalists gather to share a more eclectic mix of a few trad songs, a few songwriter pieces, maybe a bit of Americana, a recitation or two, and some (generally English) tunes. The more traditional one is the more likely to feature younger singers, though last time I went to Glossop there were some recently-converted and very enthusiastic young shanty singers. At both sessions the standard ranges from excellent to a bit less excellent, and there are sometimes one or two phone cribsheets in evidence. Despite the quite marked difference in repertoire, what both sessions have in common is that they're an opportunity for musical friends and acquaintances to get together and share the kind of songs they like, in a very informal atmosphere, helped along by the odd glass of intoxicant. I really enjoy both - it's the kind of event that's very definitely part of my understanding of 'folk music'.

Vic asked why we "are always saying, 'No no. Don't listen to me; listen to.... and then you reel off the names of the generation that inspired you."

We do this because we're enthusiasts and we want to share the objects of our enthusiasm with others. It doesn't mean we think we're rubbish ourselves. I love watching the expressions when I play a class a recording of Phil Tanner singing 'Young Henry Martin' or Sam Larner chortling his way through 'Butter and Cheese and All'. Ry Cooder always used exactly the words Vic quotes, and no-one thought he meant that he was rubbish.

Lastly, since Pseudonymous has brought up Walter Pardon again, I have to refute a couple of suggestions. Walter's repertoire clearly didn't consist of 'Victorian pop songs', not least because a number of them predated Victoria's reign. Many were certainly popular broadsides, but is calling 'Van Dieman's Land' a 'pop song' in any way useful? He acquired his reputation on the folk scene because of his extensive and interesting repertoire, his skill in singing it, and the sense that he might be the last of his kind. His views on the nature and history of his songs are of great interest not only because he was by all accounts an intelligent and articulate man, but also because folksong academics have often been very good a deciding for themselves what constituted 'folk', without asking the very people who had been singing it for the last couple of hundred years. I've no idea who is alleged to have copyrighted his songs, and as for a 'booking agent', when I saw him (on more than one occasion) he was being driven around by the Watersons and sharing their gigs. Methinks here's too much 'ideological framework' being erected here, but Martin and Norma are still around, as is Bill Leader (who recorded WP), and of course our own Jim Carroll knew him pretty well, so there are plenty of people to ask.

Oh, and as usual I agree with Howard Jones!


05 Nov 19 - 01:58 PM (#4017315)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Brian Peters

Ah, I see that the Walter Pardon thread is up and running. I promise not to so as much as breathe his name on Joe's thread again.


05 Nov 19 - 02:08 PM (#4017320)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,ottery

Jim Martin, thank you for the link to casbar.co.uk - I think it may have been me you were responding to. This thread is so long it's hard to go back and find anything once you've passed over it once.

Enjoyed reading Brian Peters's posts.


05 Nov 19 - 02:20 PM (#4017322)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

You're forgiven Brian :-)


05 Nov 19 - 02:33 PM (#4017326)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

Vic, Jim Causley's comments are pretty much what my friend says. I think the reason I am so reluctant to accept it is that I discovered folk music (almost by accident), I didn't grow up with it all around me as part of a living tradition. I don't feel I can claim to be a "folk singer" in the same way the term applies to those who were part of that tradition, what I am is a singer of folk songs. I feel there is a genuine distinction to be made. However that is from the privileged position of having been around at the same time as those "old boys", and for those who now don't have that opportunity perhaps we are the next best thing. I still find it difficult to think of myself in those terms though.


05 Nov 19 - 02:48 PM (#4017333)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

I guess "Observer" can't be in Scotland - where as far as I know the only folk festival last weekend was Denholm. The entire membership of the session that would otherwise have happened at Stow that Sunday went to it, and I doubt any of them COULD have done Americana or 1960s pop if you'd asked. (I wasn't there - working).


05 Nov 19 - 04:58 PM (#4017350)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

guest ottery, here
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman - PM
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 02:33 PM

however in scotland, i am sure it is more like ireland, and of course nobody mentions Wales[ can anyone update us on the forgotten province


05 Nov 19 - 05:32 PM (#4017361)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Allan Conn

I couldn't get to Denholm as I am down in Yorkshire at the moment but as far as concerts go it very much did involve folk bands. Malinky on the Saturday night and Northern Company on the Friday. Can't comment on the sessions but they generally tend to be more mixed


05 Nov 19 - 07:16 PM (#4017387)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Walthamstow Observer?


06 Nov 19 - 02:48 AM (#4017421)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

I realise how lucky i was to have met played sang and got to know all the tradtional musicians and singers from a period of 1968 onwards, these include julia clifford reg reeder isobel sutherland oscar wilde,oscar woods, billy bennington bob lewis   fred jordan, my thanks to all of them sorry if this sounds a bit like widdecombe fair.


06 Nov 19 - 06:14 AM (#4017433)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

Oscar Wilde ?


06 Nov 19 - 06:43 AM (#4017441)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

GUEST asked -
Oscar Wilde ?
Yes! Have you never heard his wonderful interpretation of that great traditional ballad, "I can resist everything except temptation." It's magical.


06 Nov 19 - 07:42 AM (#4017452)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

“You don't love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.”


06 Nov 19 - 07:55 AM (#4017456)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Nagh, for me it has to be the cooking.


06 Nov 19 - 07:56 AM (#4017457)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

And a sense of humour.


06 Nov 19 - 08:10 AM (#4017461)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Dick -
“You don't love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.”


06 Nov 19 - 11:09 AM (#4017490)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Looks like the current UK scene is streets behind in televised folk artists ~ although guitarist over the last 50 years seem ok, as do the American likes Dylan, Paxton and Paul Simon etc

I suspect that BBC and the likes have little on Eric Bogle, Nic Jones, Tony Rose, Pete Coe, Dave Burland, John Kirkpatrick and other solo singers/musicians that is on film, what a great pity

I love the Scottish/Irish stuff on "Port" with Julie and Mairead and the Gaelic stuff, likewise Celtic Connections and Transatlantic sessions with Phil Cunningham and Aly Baine but it aint English folk music

Ray


06 Nov 19 - 11:20 AM (#4017493)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

'Julie and Mairead'

Muirreann nic Amhlaoibh?


06 Nov 19 - 11:35 AM (#4017498)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Live music content of all sorts on mainstream UK TV is drastically less than the 1980s / early 90s...


06 Nov 19 - 12:34 PM (#4017515)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Bain and Cunningham. Agree, not English but is UK. WOnderful


06 Nov 19 - 12:44 PM (#4017518)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,crumbly

what do you want your 'folk' on Telly for? Surely the main idea is to get out and DO it & not watch a lot of three chord plonkers on the box?


06 Nov 19 - 01:35 PM (#4017527)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Jim Carroll winds himself up."
Jost got back from a thee day break of spectacularly good films and two nights of unsurpassed and singing and music by people who do it for the love of it to this shit
It makes me realise that the maing thing that's missing on the scene today is the ability to disagree without discussions degenerating to schoolyard level
Was that really necessary Pseud - nobody alse seems to have thought so ?

Walter and his ilk needs to be banished to another thread in order to discuss today's situation
We went to a hour-handed recital of singing and music last night where I counted the names of seven classic performers - Willie Clancy, Seamus Ennis, Johnny Doran, Elizabeth Cronin, Joe Heaney, Junior Crehan and Margaret Barry, mentioned with respect as performers and teachers
Maybe there's a lesson to be learend there - and maybe someone to learn it?
It seems the individual most in need of learning about our folk traditions is the least likely to do so
Please don't let that happen again Pseud - at least not until my back is when I'm not around to comment
JIm


06 Nov 19 - 01:40 PM (#4017528)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

:)


06 Nov 19 - 01:48 PM (#4017529)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Yeh well
I sem to remember school bullies reacted to being caught out behaving stupidly with w moronic grin
Grow up when you're among adults
Last word
Jim


06 Nov 19 - 01:50 PM (#4017530)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Doesn't seem even much point in discussion Walter in present company - it would demean a great man
Jim


06 Nov 19 - 02:28 PM (#4017539)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

Ennis Trad Fest

Ticket prices 20 Euros a throw.

Performers include BBC Young Performer of the year, Jarlath Henderson, born in Tyrone. an award given in the UK. Topic of this thread. Also featuring UK award nominee Ross Ainslee, from Scotland, UK.

UK folk clearly in such good state we are exporting some of it to County Clare.

:)


06 Nov 19 - 02:47 PM (#4017543)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Ticket prices 20 Euros a throw."
Ennis trad fest is one event in a year and will be packed to the gunwhales with music loving takers
Ennis, a small market town, has at least four good traditional free pub sessions a week - we've (about twenty miles away) got about eight at present spread over six nights
Still got that moronic grin I see , make sure you don't face the wind or you'll stick like that
You appear to have nothing else to offer when someone stands up to you
Game set and match, I think
Jim Carroll


06 Nov 19 - 02:55 PM (#4017548)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Muirreann nic Amhlaoibh? Yes very sorry I am not Scottish even!

Regarding folk on tv many of the artist of yesteryear are of course no longer with us, that is a great shame and we will therefore never see them!


06 Nov 19 - 03:01 PM (#4017549)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

oh and isn't Julie Fowlis wonderful ~ lol

Ray

What I would like to see is more recording of the older established singers as well as newcomers in the traditional style before it is too late!


06 Nov 19 - 03:11 PM (#4017552)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Brenda Wooton was on our west country telly a fair bit in the 70s...


06 Nov 19 - 03:40 PM (#4017559)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Its quite hard to play three chords well, and appropriately.


06 Nov 19 - 03:43 PM (#4017560)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

'Muirreann nic Amhlaoibh? Yes very sorry I am not Scottish even!'

Just as well. Neither is she.


06 Nov 19 - 03:59 PM (#4017563)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

The trouble with comments like "game, set and match", Jim, is that they turn discussion into competition and do not add anything. Surely it would be better just to discuss without trying to score points?

Oh, and it sounds remarkably like "you lose".


06 Nov 19 - 04:10 PM (#4017568)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Rule 1. .....................

Rule 2. .....................


06 Nov 19 - 04:16 PM (#4017569)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

And her name's Muireann (only 1 r).


06 Nov 19 - 04:53 PM (#4017572)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Starship

Welcome back, Jim.


06 Nov 19 - 05:22 PM (#4017578)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

its life jim but not as we know it.
there are gnomes on the starboard side


06 Nov 19 - 05:44 PM (#4017588)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I'm always on the Port, Dick.

I've already used the Star Trek joke BTW.


06 Nov 19 - 06:56 PM (#4017599)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Welcome back, Jim."
After watching the denigrating piss-taking of one of Britain's finest and intelligent singers after he has been manhandled off this thread - I'm certainly not back
I'll leave you to iy - I'm truly sickened
Jim Carroll


06 Nov 19 - 07:19 PM (#4017605)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Jim - sorry but he wasn't 'manhandled off this thread' I felt - as did many others I suspect, that the ongoing arguments about a particular singer had absolutely nothing to do with the thread topic which is about the state of folk music in the UK today. Far better for a subject of relatively narrow but clearly passionate interest be discussed elsewhere surely.


06 Nov 19 - 07:21 PM (#4017607)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Yes its not nice denigrating other peoples favourite folksingers.


06 Nov 19 - 07:41 PM (#4017613)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

What we take and learn and how we respect our source singers has everything to do with the state of any revival
I think you mean it's far better to forget these people and move on if you're no longer interested in what thay gave us

"
Yes its not nice denigrating other peoples favourite folksingers."
To suggest that "one's favourite folk singers may not be doing what the folk scene has committed itself to do is not "denigrating them Al"
The disgusting treatment Walter has been given by being kicked off here on;ly to be given a kicking by some of the same paopkle of the tread he has been exiled to says everything that needs to ne said, for m anyway
Yo all should be ashamed of yourselves and the fact that there is little chance of that happening tells me everything I need to know about today's folk scene   
I think I'll leave y'all to it
Jim


06 Nov 19 - 08:01 PM (#4017618)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Absolutely no one has the right to set the agenda, and compel conformity - be it for reasons of tradition, musical theory, or anything else.

In this country we enjoy artistic freedom. And that extends to folksingers.

Being a good folksinger - one with the talent and commitment to work in the medium is as much about what you reject as what you revere, and absorb.

No one had the right to insist that Lightning Hopkins played strictly four beats to the bar.

If there are any rules in this game - they are made by God, and he doesn't exist... I don't know if you're trying out for the part Jim. But I don't reckon you'll get the job.


06 Nov 19 - 08:08 PM (#4017619)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

I've never heard Walter Pardon and am not that curious. English singing has never been a very big thing for me and I almost entirely bypassed it when getting into folk. I don't identify any more with England than with any other foreign country.

While my multinational biography is a bit odd, I'm far from alone. Have fun with this thread while you can, there isn't going to be a UK to have a folk scene for much longer.


07 Nov 19 - 11:16 AM (#4017639)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

This is nice

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ji6b-EbfXy8


07 Nov 19 - 12:13 PM (#4017647)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Look I am keen on listening to the likes of "Port" which has Gaelic and I think Irish as well as English ~ I am sorry I get some of the facts wrong ~ some of the comments on here really do no favours and some quite frankly do not help ~ for gawds sake you lot lighten up, where are we going in this polite conversation?


07 Nov 19 - 12:23 PM (#4017652)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Jim - I am certainly not 'ashamed of myself' and you are being impolite to suggest that everyone here should be

The main reason I suggested that the discussion on WP would be better on another thread is because it always ends up in tedious arguments between you and others.

I think most people here are more interested in discussing what is happening today not decades ago - yes the singers from back then have an important influence on folk music but they are not the only influence.

The work of Steve Knoghtley, Robb Johnson, Jez Lowe, Reg Meuross to name a tiny handful are as much of an influence on the folk scene now as are the voices from the past - we don't have endless arguments about them so I see no reason to have endless arguments about other singers here. I enjoy traditional song but it is not the only form of music most of us consider to be folk today. It is easy really - there are traditional folk songs and there are contemporary folk songs. Both are equally important in charting life. Traditional folk songs contribute to our history just as songs which are being written now will provide a history to people the future.

I'm off to see Winter Wilson at the Black Swan Folk club shortly - Dave Wilson is another songwriter who writes excellent songs about contemporary issues and the couple are superb performers.


07 Nov 19 - 01:24 PM (#4017673)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Hi Joe, if you can give them regards from Nick & Christine, sorry we won't see them when they are up North.


07 Nov 19 - 01:37 PM (#4017675)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Jim - I am certainly not 'ashamed of myself' and you are being impolite to suggest that everyone here should be!"
Anybody who takes the piss out of a long dead field singer (whether they like his singing or not) damn well should be ashamed - I've never encountered such behaviour in the fifty years I've been involved in folk song - are you serious
Anybody who sneers at old people's eating habits (imagined in this case) is guilty of ageism anyway
Sign of the times in today's ervival I assume

"Absolutely no one has the right to set the agenda, and compel conformity"Nobody is "compelling conformity Al - just asking that the clubs live up to what they all themselves - if it was anything other than folk song it would be covered by the trades description act - as it is, it has to rely on the honesty off the clubs - somewhat in short supply nowadays
You've never said how do you believed a yongster paying to listen to a night of their particular taste in pop would react if the venue decided to put on a night of big ballads
It really is disappointing the way you constantly distort my arguments - thought better of you

As I doubt if anybody is going to acknowledge their behavior to Walter and his generation - I' think I'll piss off - nothing to be had here
Jim


07 Nov 19 - 01:43 PM (#4017678)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Jim - you said 'you should all be ashamed of yourself' Why should we 'all' be. The great majority of people contributing here have not been disrespectful of anyone. I certainly haven't and I find it somewhat annoying to be accused of something that I haven't done.


07 Nov 19 - 01:45 PM (#4017679)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Will do Nick!


07 Nov 19 - 01:49 PM (#4017681)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I have made sure to catch Winter Wilson every time I go to Moira Furnace Folk Festival and agree entirely, Joe.

On a complete tangent, have you ever seen Mostly Autumn? They are from York and while not exactly folk, you can certainly see the folk and folk rock influences. I heard them via a Spotify recommendation and a few weeks later saw that they were on at the Crescent so I made a day and night of it in York. I had a great time!

Anyhow, back to the thread...

I think I'll leave y'all to it

What, Jim? Again! You have made it very clear what you think about the state of folk in the UK. You made the decision to leave it and go somewhere that suits you better. That's great. Good for you. There are many, as witnessed in these threads, that are more than happy with the state of folk, so we have stayed. It seems pointless to me to keep telling us it is shite when, to us, it is obviously not. You had a choice. Stay and try to fix it or leave. You chose the latter. Nothing at all wrong with that. I only wish you would really leave us to enjoy it rather than keep on telling us how wrong we all are.

But I very much doubt you will.


07 Nov 19 - 01:58 PM (#4017686)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

Hi Dave - not seen Mostly Autumn yet but I note they are on at The Crescent in December. Heard good things about them from others too so may well good it doesn't clash with another gig I know is happening around then


07 Nov 19 - 02:07 PM (#4017689)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

More comebacks than Frank Sinatra.


07 Nov 19 - 02:39 PM (#4017697)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"The great majority of people contributing here have not been disrespectful of anyone. "
Some have the reast have let the abuse of an old and respected singer happen without protest or even comment - all who consider themselves decent tolerant human beings and say nothing should be ashamed of themselves, especially those who claim to have an affinity with folk song
That goes for you to Dave - all you can offer is continuing snide - so much fro your healthy folk scene
Jim


07 Nov 19 - 03:40 PM (#4017715)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

the abuse of an old and respected singer

No such abuse has occurred. Unless you are describing yourself as an old and respected singer and believe disagreeing with you is abuse.

What happened to leaving us all to it?


07 Nov 19 - 03:57 PM (#4017719)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Dave, you know the rules..........................


07 Nov 19 - 04:04 PM (#4017720)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Always been a bit of a rebel, Raggy. Rules are there to be broken :-)


07 Nov 19 - 05:04 PM (#4017727)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Folk based musicians have as much right to reject the influence of Sam Larner and Walter Pardon, as you have to reject Donovan. The syntheses you make of the artists that influence you - that's what you hear in folk clubs.

The thing is - if you listen to Ewan MacColl records or see Brian Peters performing - in a way you will be influenced by what you call the source singers.

If you wish to promote the cause of the source singers, the way to do it is to not to disparrage others. Think of the way Christy Moore has championed the work of John Riley.

Surely this positivism is what is needed.


07 Nov 19 - 07:24 PM (#4017767)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

An excellent night with Winter Wilson - I passed on your & Christine's good wishes Nick which were gratefully received

There were certainly a few songs there that will stand the test of time - and one of which is already being sung at singarounds at Whitby and has a direct personal connection to someone who heard it there and has inspired a prequel to the song. The folk process in action. I reckon we're doing ok :-)


07 Nov 19 - 07:34 PM (#4017771)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Well said Al

I must admit, from a brief listen, if WP had been the first person I heard at a folk club I suspect the he wouldn't have attracted me into the genre. Fortunately the first person I heard was Graham Whitley (who I though was the guest as he was so good!) then, later Johnny Handle who inspired my life long love of mining songs.

And before Jim complains that is not to denigrate WP in any way - he simply would not have appealed to me. Nothing wrong with that. If he (and others) have passed down great songs that's good - it doesn't mean we have to like the sound of their voices. Many people don't like Jon Boden or Jim Moray but they are doing the same thing - handing the songs down to new generations - and to many more people through the existence of the internet.

Folk will survive and a positive attitude to disseminating information (which I know Jim has) and a tolerance to how the music is performed will serve us all and our descendants (not that I have any!)


08 Nov 19 - 02:35 AM (#4017805)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Julie Fowlis and Muireann NicAmhlaoibh investigate the music and culture of cities and areas across Scotland and Ireland

I will check their credentials too ~ Julie usually co presents BBC folk awards ~ had a cameo role this year

Ray


08 Nov 19 - 02:38 AM (#4017806)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh (born 1978) is a musician and singer from County Kerry, Ireland. Until 2016, she was the lead singer for the traditional music group Danú, and from that year on she has been half of the electronica duo Aeons. Her name is pronounced Murr-en Nick OWL-eev

Ray


08 Nov 19 - 02:42 AM (#4017807)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

In 2015, Fowlis and her frequent musical collaborator Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh hosted a television series Port dedicated to traditional Scottish and Irish music.[22] In each episode, Fowlis and Nic Amhlaoibh travel to a new location to highlight local folk musicians and the local traditional music scene. The program is narrated by Fowlis in Scottish Gaelic and Nic Amhlaoibh in Irish, with English-language subtitles. It is broadcast on both BBC Alba and TG4. The first season ran seven episodes, and a second season of seven episodes in 2016.[23][24]

both above from their respective Wikis check out the rest!!

Ray


08 Nov 19 - 02:51 AM (#4017810)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

Muireann in irish language means seafarer so i have been told


08 Nov 19 - 02:53 AM (#4017811)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

i remember graham whitley well, he booked me many times at hartlepool folk club,he was very amusing


08 Nov 19 - 04:37 AM (#4017845)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

I thought you'd remember Graham, Dick. A lovely bloke if a bit mad at times. We were heartbroken when he died so young.


08 Nov 19 - 04:58 AM (#4017856)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

but his mcing made the club ,fond memories of him and the club


08 Nov 19 - 05:43 AM (#4017867)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Howard Jones

It gives me no pleasure to say so, but from my own observations I believe that the vast majority of people who enjoy folk music and who go to folk clubs, festivals, sessions and other events, have no interest in true traditional singing. Their points of reference are exclusively folk revival performers. The folk revival has its own aesthetic values - largely accompanied, and a lot of outside influences from America, Europe and elsewhere. It is a modern interpretation of folk music, it is not re-enactment. I love it (well, most of it), but it is a different animal from traditional singing.

At first hearing many of the old singers and musicians can sound a bit rough-and-ready to modern ears. Like any art form, traditional singing takes time and understanding in order to learn how to appreciate it.


08 Nov 19 - 05:50 AM (#4017872)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,JoeG

It did indeed Dick. Had many very happy nights down there before I moved away and on the occasional return home when I could get a Monday off work


08 Nov 19 - 06:53 AM (#4017884)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I think you are right, Howard. When only traditional singing was available, it was what people listened to. We now have a massive choice and people will gravitate towards their own particular tastes. I have no doubt at all that people still love some traditional singing. I do myself. But given that there is such a massive range of folk music and so little time, we should not limit ourselves exclusively, or even predominantly, to a tiny part of the range. No matter how important some think it is.


08 Nov 19 - 07:06 AM (#4017887)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Vic Smith

Howard wrote: -
At first hearing many of the old singers and musicians can sound a bit rough-and-ready to modern ears. Like any art form, traditional singing takes time and understanding in order to learn how to appreciate it.
It is bit like riding a bike. Difficult for some people to master, quite easy for others, but once you have learned, it can give you pleasure for the rest of your life.


08 Nov 19 - 09:39 AM (#4017918)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

I've loved cycling all my life,
but in the last 10 years it gave me an increasingly severe pain in the arse,
so I've now reluctantly left my much loved bike in the hall gathering dust...

Vic - errrmmm.. dunno how that fits with your bike/trad metaphor...???


08 Nov 19 - 09:42 AM (#4017921)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Shaw

"...but in the last 10 years it gave me an increasingly severe pain in the arse,"

Have you tried riding it with a saddle on? :-)


08 Nov 19 - 09:58 AM (#4017924)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

I do think it is important to say that true traditional singers are diminishing by the hour!

Revival singers and enthusiasts tend to seek earlier revivalist singers for material and even re arrange heir arrangements ~ as well as writing contemporary sing in the traditional style

I for one always advise singers to seek out the true source of songs ~ largely from the traditional singers and to listen to a range of these old singers

Ray


08 Nov 19 - 10:52 AM (#4017938)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Coming from a punk rock and indy 'outsider music' background,
I've kind of grown up accepting rough unpolished untutored singers, with more individual personality than skill,
as my norm.
It's the technically proficient slick over polished MOR singers,
the vocal acrobatic skills show offs,
that fail to engage my interest and emotions...
I tend to prefer self-taught naturalistic singers.
That's why Walter Pardon immediately sounds ok to me...


08 Nov 19 - 10:57 AM (#4017939)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

.. and why I don't enjoy a lot of current corporate music industry folk singers...

However, I liked Kate Rusby's voice, but found her band arragements too distracting.
I'd have prefered it if she'd just had simple droning reed instruments backing her,
not that show off strummer who tended to over indulge himself..


08 Nov 19 - 11:22 AM (#4017944)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman

“It gives me no pleasure to say so, but from my own observations I believe that the vast majority of people who enjoy folk music and who go to folk clubs, festivals, sessions and other events, have no interest in true traditional singing. Their points of reference are exclusively folk revival performers. The folk revival has its own aesthetic values - largely accompanied, and a lot of outside influences from America, Europe and elsewhere. It is a modern interpretation of folk music, it is not re-enactment. I love it (well, most of it), but it is a different animal from traditional singing.”

Pretty much sums it up for me too, Howard.

I’d go further, and say that it was the traddy-rule-makers who set themselves up as arbiters of what may, and may not, be sung in folk clubs who drove me out back in the mid-70s. I recall all-too-clearly my final attendance at a local club, when the MC ran down to the stage shouting, “No, no, no - this isn’t what we want, get off!” at two young men who had just begun a self-written, highly political song. I don’t know who was more embarrassed, the would-be singers or those in the audience who, like me, had been drawn to the clubs by the American and British revival singers and writers.

It was fifteen years before I set foot in a folk club again, by which time the overwhelming control of the “Strictly Trad//That’s not Folk” brigade had waned considerably.


08 Nov 19 - 12:10 PM (#4017953)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

With respect I have never been to a traditional only folk club as far as I know

The scene 50 years on in sessions and clubs I visit have encompassed the revivalist, traditionalist and contemporary singer songwriters that call themselves (rightly) folk singers and new singers and others love to be part of the scene ~ joining in is to my mind part of the enjoyment in both music and chorus songs ~ though not necessarily always a good idea at concerts and clubs where there is paying audience!

I am not keen on Americana ~ simply it is not what I like for a number of reasons, and feel I am wasting my time ~ alright for concert goers ~ not me sorry

Newcomers to the scene are and should be encouraged to seek out the traditional and all the other music in the folk genre and sing unaccompanied or with accompaniment which is "appropriate" and they are ~good luck to them

Ray


08 Nov 19 - 12:11 PM (#4017954)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

That would be Metagamma Joe. Dave and Kit sang it one night in the Tap & Spile. At the end of the night I asked if they had it on CD and secondly could we use it.

The answer was no they hadn't as yet recorded it, but they would put in on their website for 24 hours so I could download it, which they duly did.

Christine and I started using the song, which is truly superb, a proper folk song. It became our 'stadium' song, one that we could rely on to bring the house down.

On roll a few years and Kit and Dave where again playing in Whitby, when they came to that song I think they were amazed at how the audience took up the chorus !!

Someone said to Christine 'they're singing your song!' No said Christine we were singing their song!!

Lovely, lovely people.


08 Nov 19 - 12:12 PM (#4017955)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Joe I should have said Thank you for passing on our regards, so Thank you.


08 Nov 19 - 12:42 PM (#4017962)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman

Raggy, it’s Kip, not Kit.

You’re right, Dave and Kip are friends of mine, and they’re a grand couple - funny, musically very talented, and very generous with their material to other performers. I’ll be doing a floor-spot with my band at WW’s Boston gig on Monday evening - I’ll give them your regards!


08 Nov 19 - 12:51 PM (#4017964)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Joe G

Yes that's the song Nick - I couldn't recall the name after a few pints! It must have been you and Christine I remember singing it at new year. When they were singing it I was thinking ' I know this song but not from them singing it!' so when they said it was popular in Whitby the penny dropped!


08 Nov 19 - 02:05 PM (#4017986)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Brian Peters

I've never come across a 'strictly traditional' folk club in over 40 years as punter and performer, though I don't deny they may have existed back in the mists of time. What I have come across are folk clubs in which traditional or traditional-style songs are favoured by the organisers who make their preferences known through the performers they book, or by assembling a like-minded group of friends who like the same kind of thing. If the 'wrong' kind of singer turns up to do a spot then I hope they'd be treated with generosity. However I was told many times in my days of cold-calling organisers that such-and-such a club didn't like'that finger in the ear stuff' at my first mention of traditional songs, so prejudice clearly works both ways. I don't have a problem with that - if someone volunteers to put the work in to run a regular venue, they're entitled to put on whatever kind of music they want, as far as I'm concerned.


08 Nov 19 - 02:11 PM (#4017987)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

if someone volunteers to put the work in to run a regular venue, they're entitled to put on whatever kind of music they want

Thank you, thank you and thank you again, Brian. That is what I have been trying to say for ages. You just summed it up so simply :-)


08 Nov 19 - 02:14 PM (#4017989)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

what's wrong with 'Americana'? Only the name, maybe, and quite possibly the way it's promoted, but if it means dismissing American music entirely, that's nonsense- a definition maybe needed here?


08 Nov 19 - 03:14 PM (#4018005)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

Guest ............ I think we perhaps have enough problems on this thread with 'definitions' without adding to them !!!!!!


08 Nov 19 - 04:19 PM (#4018014)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman

It’s some people’s insistence on everyone else sticking to their outdated, outmoded ‘definitions’ that have caused the problems.


08 Nov 19 - 07:51 PM (#4018047)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

correct Dave, but dont expect me to turn up for andy caven, even though he does what he does well, and certainly dont expect me to turn up to see unpractised singers practising with portfolios. andy may not be my taste but he does what he does well


08 Nov 19 - 08:19 PM (#4018049)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

We were quite a poor family, and I didn't own a really playable guitar til i was 23 - although I had learned to play on five quid Rosettis and the like.

Still since i owned that first good guitar -(a Jedson, my wife got me one Christmas from Kays Catalogue) - probably the most important thing in my life has been trying to play the instrument better than I could the day before.

What I am trying to say is - that probably to guys like me and BWM, who take playing very seriously, the blokes (and women) with ringbinders and and still struggling with the three chord trick and coming out to play in public - probably jar more on us that than they do on you.

However that's only half the story Guys like Roger Quigley who has run the The Sailors Return in Weymouth every Wednesday provides a place where people can get started and more experienced singers can perform as well. Roger also runs the Wessex Folk Festival which is a terrific festival for traditional dance.

in a typical sailors evening you will hear every aberration and variety of folk music imaginable, and it is welcoming and inclusive. And that is a damn sight more healthy than the scene I grew up with where either you were trying for a career in showbiz, or you were looking for a neurotic alternative to being an ordinary human being. Either way, you had a licence to look down on others.

The scene isn't a comfortable place for those of us who remember evenings of great entertainment, and rubbing shoulders with the great professional performers of our generation. but it has its merits. and its not our go.


08 Nov 19 - 10:25 PM (#4018054)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman

”What I am trying to say is - that probably to guys like me and BWM, who take playing very seriously, the blokes (and women) with ringbinders and and still struggling with the three chord trick and coming out to play in public - probably jar more on us that than they do on you.”

Well, as the Basal Joint Thumb Osteoarthritis gets worse and worse (in both hands, due to manny years of finger-picking), my playing is going backwards I’m afraid. I can’t take anti-inflammatories due to my other, more important, medication fighting with them, but I rub the Voltarol 2.32% on, grit my teeth, keep playing, and try to ignore the pain!

Y’know, it’s not the ring-binders I object to per se - I have my electronic version of the ring-binder, with my set-lists set up in OnSong on my iPad, the lyrics are there for quick reference should I forget a line, and I regard a quick glance down to get my equilibrium restored and the song flowing is far preferable to the all-round embarrassment of cue-dropping, freezing, and having to abandon a performance mid-song when my brain-fade kicks in. I mount my iPad about waist-height - on my mic-stand if I’m playing plugged, or on its own stand or side-table with my picks, capos and tuner if unplugged - so there’s no barrier preventing contact with my audience.

So, whilst I prefer well-rehearsed performers and dislike ‘habitual readers’ - those who rely on reading entire songs despite having sung them many, many times, and who hide their faces behind their binders instead of looking out at their audience - I don’t have a problem with singers for whom an occasionally-referred-to aide memoire provides comfort and confidence, and helps them make a better fist of their performance.

And, as I get into my eighth decade, I find that, whilst my playing and vocal skills remain plenty good enough for playing-out, where my memory is concerned “Fings ain’t wot they used to be” and discreet electronic assistance is something I appreciate.

As always with this kind of thing, the usual disclaimers apply - IMHO, YMMV, etc.


09 Nov 19 - 12:50 AM (#4018060)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous

I get where Backwoodsman is coming from. I'm thinking this is about context, a sense of what people expect where. In a context where the emphasis was perhaps on camaraderie, welcoming offerings from all, perhaps a private social oriented get-together, no money charged on entry, free butties for all, I could put and do up with performer shyness. In a more public 'performance' focussed context, one might expect a little more.


09 Nov 19 - 02:22 AM (#4018062)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Yes nothing wrong with American folk and of course Americana all in their respective place and certainly makes fine concert style entertainment ~ also fine for musicians and people joining in

Simply I prefer club singarounds where ppl get a chance to sing and play largely British songs and music in turn

Ray


09 Nov 19 - 04:03 AM (#4018073)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

back woody, i wouldnt mind portfolio practioners so much if they practised and tried to improve their presentation


09 Nov 19 - 05:17 AM (#4018087)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Workingtonman

for me , the problem with most folk/roots/americana type music is it is performed sometimes hundreds of miles from west cumbria - don't these performers know it is difficult to get to - though i love live music. very inconsiderate of them


09 Nov 19 - 06:09 AM (#4018094)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,8 Nov guest

What does Americana mean- or is it a vague term just like 'folk'- as in daft statements like 'I don't like folk music'


09 Nov 19 - 08:39 AM (#4018128)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

Very sorry to hear about your athiritis BWM. I always think of you as a talented singer/guitarist/songwriter and conscientious performer.

There are few of us unmauled by the ravages of time. I can't bring myself to think of the loss of my guitar playing. I know its coming - I've seen all my mates lose either the love of the music or the capacity to play.

I used to guitar teach this follower of the Divine Light. Followers of a little Chinese kid guru.

He assuired me all that I had would be taken away. My reaction at the time was - lets get on with you acquiring C, F and G7.

At the moment - I'm learning to play the ukelele. I'm no George Formby - but I'm getting there.


09 Nov 19 - 08:54 AM (#4018129)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Workingtonman

like most forms of contempary music americana was invented by neil young. his song 'borrowed tune' and much of the rest of his 'tonight's the night' album being a good example - though all of his accoustic, shambling stuff from the early days would do. then add a bit of blue grass, a bit of acquired honest authenticity, modern day low-fi hippyness, gillian welch and dave rawlings. then finish off with the latest 'sitting in a lonely shack watching geese fly by and worrying about my woman and the environment' style. this may sound like i don't like it but i do - it's great.


09 Nov 19 - 09:19 AM (#4018132)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

To that I'll add the gothic alt country of the late 1990s onwards..
probably developing from earlier country punk
with added touches of eastern european 19th century immigrants to america minor key music..

It's doomy and depressing.. the kind of Americana I like...

Blanche & 16 Horsepower were a good exampless...


09 Nov 19 - 09:22 AM (#4018133)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Brian Peters

I'm one of the people who used 'Americana' loosely, many posts further back. I tend to use it to describe the whole gamut of US folk, including old-time, bluegrass, country and blues, all of which I love with a passion. However, it's also a genre in its own right - with dedicated festivals to prove it - and seems in this context to be a pretty slick kind of country-pop.


09 Nov 19 - 09:36 AM (#4018135)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

it's the weekend.. enjoy...??? BLANCHE- Red Head


09 Nov 19 - 11:08 AM (#4018148)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman

”back woody, i wouldnt mind portfolio practioners so much if they practised and tried to improve their presentation”

I do, and I always have for the past 58 years of performing.


09 Nov 19 - 11:45 AM (#4018152)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jack Campin

What does Americana mean- or is it a vague term just like 'folk'- as in daft statements like 'I don't like folk music'

Nostalgia trips for people thick enough that they thought the Eagles, Neil Young and James Taylor were worth listening to 40 years ago and want to hear that stuff one more time before they get shuffled off to the eventide home.


09 Nov 19 - 12:31 PM (#4018160)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

Must be great to be such a superior being.


09 Nov 19 - 12:34 PM (#4018161)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

I blame the Scots myself... https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12283961.balladeer-taylor-returns-to-his-roots/


09 Nov 19 - 12:51 PM (#4018166)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman

”What does Americana mean- or is it a vague term just like 'folk'- as in daft statements like 'I don't like folk music'

Nostalgia trips for people thick enough that they thought the Eagles, Neil Young and James Taylor were worth listening to 40 years ago and want to hear that stuff one more time before they get shuffled off to the eventide home.”


Could you give us the name and address of the charm-school you attended please, Jack? It’s obviously a failing school, and I want to warn my kids not to send my grand-kids there.


09 Nov 19 - 01:01 PM (#4018167)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

"Could you give us the name and address of the charm-school you attended please, Jack?"

who put the "offensive" in charm offensive...???

Who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong...


09 Nov 19 - 01:24 PM (#4018171)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Workingtonman

i saw neil young on a bbc arena programme early '70s it was important to me - and i've liked him since. from joni to to the clash i always thought '70s music was the best and listen to it more and more as i get older (63). some days van morrison is all i can deal with. of course, i am very stupid, jack. whose music would you recommend to make me a bit brighter?

jeez louise, i have seen some offensive comments on mudcat = but being thick for enjoying some music?


09 Nov 19 - 01:55 PM (#4018175)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

Iagree with jacks taste, but it has nothing to do with being thick, just different people like different stuff , bit like food ,i dont likecockles but i would not call anyone thick who did


09 Nov 19 - 01:58 PM (#4018176)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

heres another example walter pardon aparantly did not like the farmers boy but like old browns daughter, to me they are both sentimental squit,. but i would nt call walter thick because he like one but not theother


09 Nov 19 - 02:18 PM (#4018180)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

A friend of mine (who is coming to hear us play in a few weeks) was very involved in traditional music in York at the Lowther I think. Long time ago.

We come from different places and traditions but we don't fall out.

He will champion unaccompanied song - and I enjoy much of what he does - AND I always encouraged his wife to sing when I ran the little local thing I did each week

But as I'm broader church I would be happy when we played some tunes and all sorts of stuff. But - and I know a friend in New Zealand who has the same battle - you have to decide what you are.

I have been into a totally trad thing - in Lymm. When I walked with a guitar the immediate comment "well you are not playing that here". I said 'it's a walking stick in case I fall over". Which is fine and I didn't. I have had this conversation on mudcat donkeys years ago with the person who has a different recollection. (Bernard something?)

It was very reverential if I remember

Same week way back when I went to Wigan folk club/gathering (Tues and Thurs) run by Joan with the wonderful red hair. What a wonderful all encompassing brilliant place to go. Where everyone was encouraged and everyone smiled.

I went to Swinton and met Dave the Gnome and people like Pete Ryder (I still sing that song...)

Is it folk. Who knows?

I sympathise with people who want it all to be one thing but - for my sins - I like many things. And don't see them as different.

I have a friend in Belfast who is a million miles better than me played for years in the US professionally. And we still love music. He came from a strict proper irish traditional music world (champion player and all that) and he sees the similarities between jazz and Irish Traditional music. Because they are tension and resolution.

It is the world of I have a better lawnmower.

Whereas they are all just lawnmowers


09 Nov 19 - 02:58 PM (#4018187)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Bernard Cromarty at Lymm, Nick.


10 Nov 19 - 03:37 AM (#4018250)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

So is the scene becoming more isolated and entrenched by professionals V sessions? That is the need to make a living for the "true" professionals against the for fun people and where does "audience" come into it?

Just asking! er um

Ray


10 Nov 19 - 03:38 AM (#4018251)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

those electronic ringbinders with a pedal to turn the page are pretty cool.


10 Nov 19 - 03:51 AM (#4018254)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman

Al, I don’t need an Airturn pedal - I make each song fit on one page and, if it’s too long to fit in the standard screen, I tap the scroll arrow on the screen to make it scroll up slowly. That way, I have less gear to lug, go wrong, lose, or have nicked!


10 Nov 19 - 04:25 AM (#4018259)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett - PM
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 03:37 AM

So is the scene becoming more isolated and entrenched by professionals V sessions? That is the need to make a living for the "true" professionals against the for fun people and where does "audience" come into it?

Just asking! er um

Ray"
some professionals also go to sessions, howeer lots of singers who attend singarounds and could do with improvement do not go to guest booking clubs because it appears they are not interested in listening to anyone else but themselves, then you have the people who attend irish music sessions who never go to anything else, make of thatwhatever you will people are perfectly entitled to attend ITM SESSIONS ONLY , IT IS MEANT TO BE MORE OF A STAEMERNT OF FACT


10 Nov 19 - 05:33 AM (#4018264)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

Our latest concert in Hull Maritime yesterday. The Museum Curator decided that for safety reasons the room had to be limited to 100 capacity. As it was he relented and allowed in 120. Many many were turned away disappointed. I'd say less than half of the audience were aware of the folk scene. Comments from audience afterwards were as the previous 2, 'This has been the best one so far'.

Many many thanks to the following performers who gave their services free.
Spare Hands (6-piece group)
The Smugglers (4-piece group)
Paul and Liz Davenport
Sam Martyn
Linda Kelly
Shanty Jack
Hull Chanty Crew (varies between 8 and 12 singers)
Maggie Graham
Ralph and Helene Marks

IMO all of the songs were either traditional or in traditional style with local heritage as the subject.


10 Nov 19 - 05:45 AM (#4018265)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

I love gadgets. When they go out of fashion after a few years, you can get them cheap.

got a great yamaha keyboard for forty quid plus stand, and a yamaha drum machine on ebay.


10 Nov 19 - 06:02 AM (#4018267)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

If I might ask Steve, the audience what proportion do you reckon were new or fairly new to folk song and music? What proportion do you think were under 50

Basically do think Hull's Maritime Concert were attracted to the Free side of things and were simply if I might use the phrase "punters" of the wider variety?

Ray


10 Nov 19 - 06:42 AM (#4018283)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

To maybe partly address The Sandman's comment re people not attending paid guests at folk clubs and concerts ~ from my own point of view I do go to sessions and folk festivals, these are to some extent confined to time and money and travel ~I have sessions such as straight instrumental ones a month, mixed song and music twice a month, unaccompanied song once a month, occasional guests ~ last one Pitmen Poets (£20)concert

Limited time and fitness requirements does limit the time spent on folk activities!

Folk clubs presuppose that people are happy to spend time developing folk song and music band of people who are dedicated to the promotion of the aims of the club and pay good money to see professional guest

These to my mind are the heroes and should be applauded for their work

Concerts are a different matter and tend to be more in the realms of entertainment

Ray


10 Nov 19 - 06:53 AM (#4018288)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

Hi Ray
Yes, the majority of the audience were definitely over 50. Some were over 90 (my mother 96, a source singer). I would say more than half were fairly new to folk music. There were significant numbers of younger people 20s 30s both in the audience and performing and this is very important. Considering the nature of the music, mostly unaccompanied, no PA, I'd say the numbers of younger people there was encouraging.

As for 'they came because it was free' all I can say is that when we run paid ticketed gigs with the same performers we get good audiences, mostly the same people as well. Also don't forget some of the performers and audience had travelled more than 30 miles to be there and we didn't pay for their travel.


10 Nov 19 - 06:56 AM (#4018290)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Would it be ok if we brought Walter back in from the cold?
Just joking, of course
Jim


10 Nov 19 - 07:44 AM (#4018298)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

Has anyone said we can't discuss Walter? It would seem a bit pointless as there is now a full thread devoted to Walter.

Just joking of course.


10 Nov 19 - 07:52 AM (#4018300)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

Ray,
Folk music in Hull is now on the up. We have a dedicated group of people with a wide range of ages and we are a registered charity (CIO) running events, and a wide circle of quality performers who are very supportive. We ran the festival last year on a shoestring but we have a much more proactive group running things now. Hopefully next year we will at least be able to pay expenses. BUT we have proven now we can run a festival on a shoestring and we are hoping the Council will now come in and help at least with the logistics.


10 Nov 19 - 08:13 AM (#4018305)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

It seems quite likely that the other thread will be made unworkable by saboteurs
Will it be ok if I bring Walter here ?

"Has anyone said we can't discuss Walter? I"
Somebody opened a thread so he wouldn't be
Is he really that much of a threat to your scene??
Jim Carroll


10 Nov 19 - 08:14 AM (#4018306)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Brian Peters

<"I have been into a totally trad thing - in Lymm. When I walked with a guitar the immediate comment "well you are not playing that here".">

Nick, are you sure you have the right club? I've been playing Lymm FC for a couple of decades, and it was never like that. The present organiser is Bernard Cromarty, who plays guitar and accordion. Before him it was Stewart Lever, who was a handy guitar picker and preferred contemporary song. The previous two organisers played guitar too, as did (I think) every resident and floorsnger last time I was there. It's a good folk club, and I wouldn't want it getting a reputation for intolerance.


10 Nov 19 - 09:15 AM (#4018313)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

What I had in mind with that characterization of Americana was some demographics that affect how the folk scene will develop. Performers of Americana are not all very old, but their audiences are, and so are the people who do that stuff in singarounds. The situation is a bit like the accordion and fiddle club scene in Scotland - the performers are often a generation or two younger than the audience.

But the players in an accordion and fiddle band have prospects. They can use their skills and repertoire for many other musical purposes (and usually have done before they even start playing A&F gigs). But if your USP is doing John Denver covers, who's going to listen to you when your present audience dies?


10 Nov 19 - 09:41 AM (#4018317)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,HiLo

The audience dies Jack, the songs often go on long after. I believe there are many contemporary songs that people will sing for many years to come.
Oh, and I would suggest that Neil Young may be more Canadiana than Americana.


10 Nov 19 - 11:48 AM (#4018334)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Allan Conn

I agree with Hilo and I find these songs are quite entrenched. Our later pub session gets a lot of local younsters in, from teens to 30 somethings, and they seem to know and always respond well to these songs. Country Roads, Leaving On A Jet Plane, The Gambler, You've Got A Friend, Lying Eyes etc etc. I can understand that a folkie might prefer to not hear these but the idea that people are thick if they like them is a wee bit off.


10 Nov 19 - 12:49 PM (#4018343)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Thanks Steve ~ pleased that your collective efforts are reaping their rewards and folk song and music is being introduced to "new" people and good for you all

Folk isn't to every one's taste of course and trad style can be a turn off if people are not aware of its history

All the best to you all for your efforts in furtherance of "folk"

Ray


10 Nov 19 - 01:20 PM (#4018347)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

tried to follow the other thread ....dropped out somewhere round bananagate.


10 Nov 19 - 01:26 PM (#4018350)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

Brian. It was about 2008 and it closed subsequently. Railway perhaps but that’s a guess. There was one on a Tuesday and one on a Thursday but this is pushing memory more than is sensible. Doesn’t sound like the place you are talking about but it was definitely Lymm or near.
May have been a wonderful place but just not for me on that particular night


10 Nov 19 - 04:52 PM (#4018385)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: The Sandman

Nick , i have played lymm several times , as brian says bernard plays guitar
i think you are describing a different club.it cannot be lymm brian has geusted there for decades and plays guitar , i did it and played banjo anmd concertina and dave howard played guitar with me


11 Nov 19 - 02:28 AM (#4018424)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Steve I see Shanty Jack listed as a performer ~has her resurfaced ~ spoke to him at Wff and he seemed non performing


11 Nov 19 - 02:40 AM (#4018426)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Backwoodsman

He’s still running Louth FC, but not performing as much as he used to (I think because of his and Meg’s health issues).

A very nice guy, and a great entertainer.


11 Nov 19 - 06:33 AM (#4018446)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

**** THREAD CREEP - re: FOLK IN LYMM IN 2005 - A LITTLE CORRECTION TO A COUPLE OF POSTS TELLING ME I WAS WRONG. NO ANGST or problem with people from my end *****

Nothing to do with the state of folk now - or is it? Who knows?

But I was neither slagging someone off just giving a straightforward factual account of what happened when I visited Lymm. I read the write up and went on a Wednesday and it wasn't for me. It was more closed and traditional than I thought so I left. I'm not even sure anyone would have noticed though there were few people there :). I was perhaps hoping for something more like the description. Perhaps they didn't like the cut of my jib. I have even been known (uncomfortably to sing an unaccompanied song though I am more comfortable with a guitar in my hands to hide behind)

Songs in the Snug

Brian Peters and The Sandman - do you ever get that feeling of deja vu? It was 2005 I visited Lymm and 2007 when this thread was going. Railway at Lymm

Not a dream but I do like to check my memories aren't deluded. :)


11 Nov 19 - 07:47 AM (#4018453)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

Re oldies liking Americana: not sure this is the case. I know of some youngsters ie under 40 who have Carter Family stuff in their repertoire, along with other 'genres'/'sub genres'...


11 Nov 19 - 08:14 AM (#4018456)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

I'm generalising, but British trad songs that travelled to America well before 1900;
which then got gradually 'Americanised' by the new world folk process;
[and the early 20th century USA country songs inspired by our trad]
sound more interesting to my ears at least...

I like what the American country roots bands, the intsruments played, the song arrangements, sound like..
The Carter Family are an important influence...

like a lot of Brits my age [60], we grew up through the punk and electro era,
then due to Monthly Music Magazines and their free cover mounted CDs,
discovered a surprising liking for old timey country music in our late 30s...
Just in time for the start of the 21st Century...


11 Nov 19 - 08:44 AM (#4018462)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Specifically, 20 odd years ago, hearing the Handsome Family's version of "House Carpenter",
reminded me that in my late teens/early 20s, I used to be heavily into Pentangle - who recorded that song..
Which in turn, jogged memories of all my folk rock vinyl
I'd not heard since leaving it stored at my mum's house when I left home
around 1980..

So just as I moved from London back to the West Country,
it was an Americana band that actually brought me back rediscovering UK folk music around 2000...


12 Nov 19 - 09:13 AM (#4018649)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

On a slightly different tack ~how many Weekly or monthly UK CONCERT clubs are we aware of and what makes 'em tick?

That is who are the stalwarts and what attracts the audience?

Ray


12 Nov 19 - 09:20 AM (#4018652)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Because of my anual attendence at the now RIP Burnham on sea Free Folk Fest,
and family links with the area.

I've long been aware of the Ritz social club acoustic/folk nights..

Even though I've never actually been to one...

It's big plus points for me are the rooms and stage, converted from a cinema,
and the local trad Rich's Farmhouse Cider on tap...

Though like I say, I've never been in the area visiting relatives on a 'folk club night'...


12 Nov 19 - 09:33 AM (#4018655)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

Pete still comes to our concerts because he is a very good friend and because it is such a laid back concert where he is fully appreciated for his unusual songs and humour. He used to help run the Shanty festival when it was run by the Council years ago, but he got attached to the place and is always welcome back.


12 Nov 19 - 09:40 AM (#4018658)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

Re American versions of British songs. I think Brian feels the same. What the folk process does to the printed originals is why we are here. They are polished and rounded by the people and the longer they are in the oral tradition the more rounded they become. I'd rather have an American version with 10 concise verses than the original with 20. The tunes also get rounded off as well. Some of the earlier theatrical tunes have far too much ornamentation in my opinion. That's not to say I don't also love the British versions from oral tradition but more often the American ones have passed through more voices. I love lots of Americana when I get chance to listen, bluegrass, blues, Jimmy Rogers, the lot!


12 Nov 19 - 09:56 AM (#4018665)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Not sure what you mean, Ray. Are the stalwarts the artists that are booked, the organisers and residents who support them or the audience that turn up every week or month?


12 Nov 19 - 11:41 AM (#4018690)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Brian Peters

"Re American versions of British songs. I think Brian feels the same."

Indeed I do. Obviously my first love is the English tradition, but the Appalachian variants often have a stripped-down, everyday quality that makes them very accessible. And often the Appalachians are the best place to go for oral versions of Child ballads that our ancestors gave up on over here.


12 Nov 19 - 11:45 AM (#4018692)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Not very good condition, but there are some amazing American versions of British ballads to be found on the Helen Hartness Flanders site, many taken to the US at the beginning of the 20th century
For researchers it's a goldfield largely unmined
Jim Carroll


12 Nov 19 - 12:04 PM (#4018696)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

the organisers and residents who support them or the audience that turn up every week or month?

Above is my request ~ and yes artists booked need to be appropriate to the venue and be supported in all ways by the organiser and the residents and audience ~ committees can be a good idea ~ sometimes a bad one if all not pulling together!

Ray


12 Nov 19 - 12:24 PM (#4018707)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Here's the The Ritz Acoustic Club 2019

It might be a useful example for objective discussion..

On the guess that hardly any mudcatters have ever been to this out of the way
small seaside town club,
or have any vested interest, or grudges against it...???

Is it a typical club in UK 2019...???

It has an excellent stage btw...


12 Nov 19 - 12:57 PM (#4018720)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Well, Skipton stalwarts include Nick Dow and Tom Lewis. Keighley includes Mary Humphries and Anahata. The audience for the former often includes me :-) I don't get to Keighley as much as I should but intend to rectify the soon. They are both exceptionally well run.

Artists I see and enjoy regularly on club-concert nights are all the above plus Anthony John Clarke; Mark Dowding; Stanley Accrington; Geoff Higginbottom; Jon Harvison: Jon Brindley and many more.


12 Nov 19 - 01:25 PM (#4018723)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

pfr,
Whilst I can see some folk artists on the site it calls itself an acoustic music club. That's maybe what Jim would approve of. Not the same as a folk club though, in that it would appear that any type of music is welcome so you could turn up and there would be possibly no folk music at all that night, or alternatively it could be all folk music. This is not to run down what the club does in any way as it is not calling itself anything but what it is.


12 Nov 19 - 01:55 PM (#4018730)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Steve - although I've never managed to go to this club's acoustic/folk music night..
I've been aware of it since I moved back to the west country 19 years ago..

There have been times I've noticed advertised guest artists, and wished I lived nearer...

Interestingly, they provide a link
list of guests since 2000...

Does it indicate a more general trend of artist availability,
and/or health of UK club finances as years have gone by...???

There definitely seem to be bigger names I've heard of,
going back a decade or more ago...

I really should have gone to visit relatives on a thursday night...


12 Nov 19 - 04:55 PM (#4018756)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

Although an eclectic mixture of all sorts of acoustic performers there's a significant number of artists from the folk scene proper in there, though none of them seem to have appeared twice at a quick glance, whereas the Carrivick Sisters (excellent bluegrass) have.


13 Nov 19 - 02:50 AM (#4018781)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Interesting ~ possibly indicative of the need for folksong to be integrated into main stream acoustic music to survive in concert clubs??

~ traditional song unless packaged will be squeezed out, maybe ~ certainly folk festivals tend to still cater more for traditional song, yet presenting more contemporary artists in the trad style

Ray


13 Nov 19 - 03:31 AM (#4018786)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

" possibly indicative of the need for folksong to be integrated into main stream acoustic music "
Self harm leading to self destruction
Mainstream music survives only as long as it is profitable to the investors
We learned that when they abandoned the Folk Boom and moved on to greener pastures
Madness
Jim Carroll


13 Nov 19 - 04:16 AM (#4018794)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Sorry - I should have said "cultural suicide"
Jim Carroll


13 Nov 19 - 05:18 AM (#4018807)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - here's an idea..

When you start a new day, try this exercise to warm yourself up..

"The modern world is shit,
but I will find one positive thing to say about 2019 before I retire to bed tonight..."

With the right spirit, by the end of a each week,
you might find at least 5 to 7 more things to like about the modern world before the end of 2019..

I know it's dificult, but why not give it a go...

I was in the town's small music shop yesteday,
a bloke of 72 just purchased his first electic guitar,
said "I should have done this 50 years ago"
then eagerly asked the young sales assistant to show him the basic 4 chords
that'll get him started...


13 Nov 19 - 05:39 AM (#4018816)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

Beats thinking about what's being suggested I suppose
Personally I prefer that, if it's ok with you
Whay do you people always resort to personal insults when faced with difficult problems ?
It really isn't necessary if you're prepared to put in the effort
You continue to disappoint me
I was around when the folk boom went down the pan and we had to pick up the pieces - that never includde rushing out to buy an electric guitar
Your stating that this is what constitutes the British folk scene is confirmation that the gold we spun has been turned to shit
For that at least, thanks
Jim


13 Nov 19 - 05:57 AM (#4018827)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - if I ever wanted to insult you, you'd know it..
As it is, I don't...

Stop looking for insults in everything folks say to you, and about you...

This place would be a lot less tense and fractious...

..and while you are at it, try to be less automatically dismissive
of everybody else's ideas and attitudes regarding keeping trad folk alive in 2020 and beyond...

Remeber we are for the most part an amicable fraternity, all on the same side...


13 Nov 19 - 06:51 AM (#4018844)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

You see, Jim. There You go again. Everything you did was gold. Everything since is shit. And you then wonder why people take offense. Have you ever been considered it may be you rubbing them up the wrong way?


13 Nov 19 - 06:58 AM (#4018846)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Remeber we are for the most part an amicable fraternity, all on the same side.."
AS far as folk song is concerned, I am no longer sure about sides
People I like and respect are cramming finto 'folk' things which I belive shouldn't be there
Folk is, by its very nature and origins a grass-roots music originating with the 'ordinary' (if there are such creatures) people
The songs were created to reflect the lives, experiences and aspirations of people who otherwise would have had no voice and no public identity as a creative class
People are b=now suggesting that that music be uprooted and handed to the predatory music industry to use, abuse and discard, as it has once before.
I wouldn't have bothered rejoining this if that suggestion had not been made

Folk song as researched is narrative in form, detailed in description and largely un-repetitive in structure - the direct opposite to how pop music is structured
It is word-based in structure rather than musical and is narrative in form - stories with tunes - miss a few words and you loase the plot of the songs
Electronic accompaniment can only be a hindrance to to such a form
Folk rock and electric folk may have been passable experiments for a time, but that's what they were - experiments - no different that those carried out by orchestral composers
They came and went and will have to be dug up again if they are to become a major part of any scene

Your folk scene has failed miserably - the numbers show that
Ours at least served its followers for three decades without a major decline - yours has bombed in half that time and now "nobody knows what folk song is "I'm constantly being told

I would much prefer your answering these points rather than the personal abuse, if it's ok with you
Jim


13 Nov 19 - 07:12 AM (#4018850)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Folk is, by its very nature and origins a grass-roots music originating with the 'ordinary' (if there are such creatures) people
The songs were created to reflect the lives, experiences and aspirations of people who otherwise would have had no voice and no public identity as a creative class


What, like Punk, Rap and Indie, to name but three, you mean? Or are they shit as well?


13 Nov 19 - 07:23 AM (#4018852)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - do what...????

Why are you calling it 'my' folk scene..

I don't own or control anything.....

Besides which your grasp of music history in the late 20th/21st century is not nearly good enough
for you to be so dogmatic about it.
Stick to IMHO and you'd at least have a better footing when you dismiss things
you no longer understand well enough...

Personally I'm [with the little free time I have] trying
to balance an interest in 'trad folk',
and how I might relate it to more than half a century of cultural and technological evolutiuon.
With any luck I've got another 10 years at least left to explore my love of music
in ways that stimulate me...

To this end I am eager to find positive things I can respond to and learn from,
in singers and songs that frankly are not much joy to listen to..

Fortunatly so much of it is good..

..and I'm only scratching the surface so far..

AS more archives are uploaded for accesible listening,
and if the Bulmer hoard is ever made available on the internet,
I won't live long enough to catch up on all I've missed..

THe state of folk now and in the future is optimistically secured
for at least one more generation after us...

Surely you can find something positive in that...?????


13 Nov 19 - 07:33 AM (#4018856)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - Btw...

Small town South West England 1976...

"Punk rock is, by its very nature and origins a grass-roots music originating with the 'ordinary' (if there are such creatures) people
The songs were created to reflect the lives, experiences and aspirations of people who otherwise would have had no voice and no public identity as a creative class
"

I know that as fact, I was there, I was doing it...

and so were thousands of others throught out the towns and cities of the rest of the UK...

A lot of us were also at the same time listening to and involved with folk music...
There was far more inter related crossover than you will ever recognise and give credit...


13 Nov 19 - 07:39 AM (#4018857)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Why are you calling it 'my' folk scene.."
Generally aimed P - nothing personal

"20th/21st century is not nearly good enough"
THen correct me if I'm wrong
I am responding to what it being said here - I was part of the 20th century revival so I don't need a gerrap of history - it was a major part of my life
If you only concentrate on the good things the bad things have a nasty habit of creeping behind up you and biting you in the arse, as seems to be the case here

"THe state of folk now and in the future is optimistically secured"
As often as you say this doesn't make it so
You need a foundation to secure a future - how can that be possible if nobody can define the term and is no-one is prepared to discuss it ?
I'd rather try bottling fog
Jim


13 Nov 19 - 07:43 AM (#4018858)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - and another btw... you might not have heard over the last decade,
but the'predatory music industry' is on it's last legs..
What's left of it is struggling to survive...

For most musicians, it's getting more like the small cottage industry
independant shoe string folk & punk music record lables
of the 60s and 70s...

Folks like me have been ideologically anti corporate music business for getting on 45 years...

Even if I do still buy CD compilation boxsets for a fiver..
Well.. principles can be a bit flexible...


13 Nov 19 - 07:47 AM (#4018859)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Jim. You have said in the past that you no longer listen to modern music as it all sounds the same to you. That being the case, how can you be so dismissive of it?


13 Nov 19 - 07:49 AM (#4018860)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

A lot of us were also at the same time listening to and involved with folk music...
There was far more inter related crossover than you will ever recognise and give credit...


A friend of mine was also well into the punk scene from the start. He figured that much of that generation ended up as world music aficionados - his way of resolving the dialectic was to set up a samba-punk fusion band.


13 Nov 19 - 07:53 AM (#4018861)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - For all practical purposes,
there is fair enough support system in place for 'folk' right now..
That is without doubt..

It might not be your ideal of folk.. but...

One thing for sure is neither of us can come back in 30 or 40 years
to check out how well folk music is surviving...

..and as men in my family don't make it to 70,
I'd rather spend my unknown time left trying to be positive...
Despite all the negativity foes and friends alike throw at us..


13 Nov 19 - 08:20 AM (#4018863)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Jim. You have said in the past that you no longer listen to modern music as it all sounds the same to you"
I'm not dismissive of it Dave - I say it has nothing to do with the folk scene
"What's left of it is struggling to survive..."
Than to put folk song into that situation would be like taking the passengers out of the lifeboats and putting them back on the Titanic
What's your point ?
Folk song has entertained people more or less up to the end of the 20th century in Britain
If you believe it no longer can - but you need to stop calling what is happening on the scene 'folk' to give future generations a chance to get the pleasure out of it that we did
Nobody is knocking any kind of music here (except those who say folk is no longer relevant)
All music genres would die if you started replacing it with something else because you no longer like it
That's simple logic
Jim


13 Nov 19 - 08:49 AM (#4018867)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - It's getting hard to make out who you are talking to,
and what you are trying to get at..???

I said your idea of the predatory music industry is outdated..
That dreaded music industry as you remeber it, is struggling to survive..

I didn't say folk is struggling to survive..

I don't think it's as unhealthy as you do..

To the best of my memory, nobody here has said "folk is no longer relevant"...???

I don't see it in your combative terms of folk versus other forms of music...

I like mash potato, and I like chips..
A nice treat is to have both on the same plate smothered in gravy and chilli sauce..

That's my metphor for today..

now I'm off for a mid day kip...


13 Nov 19 - 09:09 AM (#4018869)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

.. I suppose I could have extended that metphor to..

"Some folks don't like either mash or chips.. fair enough..
Rice and pasta are good too..
Just as long as nobody thinks everybody should only eat raw spuds
with muck from the field still on 'em..."...


ooh.. A packet of Smash anyone...??? aahhh the 1970s...


13 Nov 19 - 09:24 AM (#4018874)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Jim - It's getting hard to make out who you are talking to,"
I'll talk to anybody who listens PFR
Folk must be struggling to survive if the folk scene no longer knows what it is; how can it possibly be otherwise ?

I was brought back here by the statement
"possibly indicative of the need for folksong to be integrated into main stream acoustic music"
THat it totally irrelevant if it doesn't mean tying it to a dying industry - what else does "mainstream" man
I've described the structure, function and origins of folk song (as documented)
If my analysis is wrong then it's up to those who think that say where
All this shadow boxing is getting nowhere
How can a music that cannot be defined possibly be "healthy"?
I know what it is, many thousands like me used to know what it is, if it has become something else - what has it become ?
Jim


13 Nov 19 - 09:33 AM (#4018876)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 13 Nov 19 - 05:39 AM

...the gold we spun has been turned to shit...

Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 13 Nov 19 - 08:20 AM

...Nobody is knocking any kind of music here...


Can you genuinely not see how saying the music you like has been turned to shit is knocking modern music? I saw your first statement as being very disparaging of what happens in today's folk clubs. Does 'turned to shit' mean something else to you?


13 Nov 19 - 09:35 AM (#4018877)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

"Interesting ~ possibly indicative of the need for folksong to be integrated into main stream acoustic music to survive in concert clubs??

~ traditional song unless packaged will be squeezed out, maybe ~

certainly folk festivals tend to still cater more for traditional song, yet presenting more contemporary artists in the trad style"

This was my quote above ~ note the concert clubs and the double question marks, please

Once again I fell I am being constructive and commenting on the title question as above ~ as to how I find the scene is currently ~ for pities sake Jim, please, you are a total pain!

Ray


13 Nov 19 - 09:39 AM (#4018878)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

Jim - I seriouly need some sleep..

but, before I do.. I think you've got the wrong end of the stick again..
..actually I'm pretty certain of it..

"Interesting ~ possibly indicative of the need for folksong to be integrated into main stream acoustic music to survive in concert clubs??"

It seems obvious to everyone else, that Ray was posing a question referring to the guest list over 20 years
of one specific acoustic club way off on the somerset coast..

It is founded as an Acoustic Club - but the organisers seem to have been sneaking in real Folk guest artists,
to entertain and test out the general acoustic membership.
This appears to be a strategy that is working positively for folk.
Folk is being introduced in a positive way to a mainstream acoustic club membership...

So now that has been cleared up for you,
what's your complaint now going to be about that...

right I'm definitely off for a much needed sleep now...


13 Nov 19 - 09:43 AM (#4018880)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

" for pities sake Jim, please, you are a total pain!"
Still doesn't answer the points I am making Ray - perhaps your pain is self-inflicted
Jim


13 Nov 19 - 11:21 AM (#4018904)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

The point is Jim that you don't seem to grasp the function that folk clubs perform for us, and what we regard as folk music.

Why do you feel that your definitions should prescribe folk music for us?

You say that you want to make folk music available to future generations. Okay, you've told us where it is, If we want it, we'll know where to look.

Mean while, this generation has its own story to tell. And theres quite enough negativity for young songwriters, instrumentalists and dancers without theminence gris of the folk world pitching in.

I don't know why you stopped a thread about you either. The snatches of info you have revealed about yourself have been intriguing - I'm sure a lot of people would have been interested.


13 Nov 19 - 11:41 AM (#4018912)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

Jim ~ folk music as it was in the old days of thriving folk clubs was a different animal than it is today ~ audiences/customers and floor singers and guests are no longer "separate" entities ~ the life blood is in those who attend and more often than not attenders at sessions where paying guests are not actually needed ~ the audience do not pay and there are no "Stars" as such

Simply put currently "folk" is for performers, by and large and not for punters ~ the scene is complex and will and does differ ~ the thrust here is to look at how the more traditional scene is and how people would like it to be

Ray


13 Nov 19 - 12:01 PM (#4018918)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"Why do you feel that your definitions should prescribe folk music for us?|"
You do that by referring to yourself as folk - if that's not what you are doing you are not only conning your audience but you are damaging the music/song
Surely you can see that ?
You wouldn't sell apples and call them potatoes - why on earth should you call something folk and and then sell something else
I'm not interested in the Club scene any more - I'm beyond caring about that, but I am interestierd in preserving and passing on folk music, which I beliebve to ve an extremely important part of our (working people's) culture and history

"folk" is for performers, by and large and not for punters
THat is arrogant and elitist Ray and goes against the philosophy of all public performances
If that's your attitude stay at home and sing in your kitchens - please read what I've just written to Al
At least we are at last getting to what has gone wrong with the folk song scene
When MacColl said folk music would die when it fell into the hands of people who didn't like it or care about it I told him I thought that would never happen
You arwe proving me wrong - it has happened
Jim


13 Nov 19 - 12:29 PM (#4018927)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST,jag

...goes against the philosophy of all public performances.
If that's your attitude stay at home and sing in your kitchens"


I don't get this I thought 'traditional singers' were the ones who learned their songs in the family and in their communities. Kitchens, travellers vans and fires. No?


13 Nov 19 - 12:42 PM (#4018928)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

"I'm not interested in the Club scene any more - I'm beyond caring about that, but I am interestierd in preserving and passing on folk music,"

hold on a sec.. that's worth repeating...

"I'm not interested in the Club scene any more - I'm beyond caring about that, but I am interestierd in preserving and passing on folk music,"...

Jim - Right then.. WE... me and you are just about in total agreement...

I've never really been interested in folk clubs...

..so we both now accept that the internet is the future of folk preservation and passing on...


13 Nov 19 - 12:54 PM (#4018929)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Jim, if you are not interested in folk clubs, why are you so scathing as to how they are run? You freely admit you do not visit them. You now say you are not interested in them but you repeatedly tell us they are shit. Why is that?


13 Nov 19 - 01:09 PM (#4018930)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

""
How many times do I have to repeat this Dave
Because the sharp practice being carried oty by clubs using the term folk is endangering the future of folk song
It doesn't matter that I now no longer visit them - I and thousands like me stopped doing this because we felt we were being conned - you are telling me I have no right to demand folk songs when I go to a folk club
Out of the mouths of babes.....
This gets utterly ridiculous
"Kitchens, travellers vans and fires. No?"
??????????????????
Jim


13 Nov 19 - 01:16 PM (#4018931)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

But, but, but...

I'm not interested in the Club scene any more - I'm beyond caring about that

Is it just petulance that makes you keep harping on about them then?


13 Nov 19 - 01:27 PM (#4018932)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

" it just petulance that makes you keep harping on about them then?"
You are not responding to what I am saying Dave - I've long got used to that
I AM SAYING THAT THE DISHONESTY OF USING THE TERM "FOLK SONG" IN THE WAY IT IS BEING MISUSED IS DAMAGING THE PEOPLE'S MUSIC AND HELPING SILENCE THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE
I really can't put it more plainly than that
Jim


13 Nov 19 - 01:50 PM (#4018936)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: GUEST

".so we both now accept that the internet is the future of folk preservation and passing on..."
Fuck all of the kind.


13 Nov 19 - 01:51 PM (#4018937)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

Just who is using the term folk song if it is not the folk clubs then?


13 Nov 19 - 02:02 PM (#4018940)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: r.padgett

With respect it is Jim who has got this constant need to go back to the definition he prefers of "folk song" and no matter what sensible way anyone tries Jim will try to trip up people who do not agree that life has moved on and folk song definition is not what he still wants it be!

No point carrying on this thread as according to Jim the title is a misnomer Or perhaps WE are all out of step and not answering the question (as he sees it) gawd 'elp us


13 Nov 19 - 02:06 PM (#4018941)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

I was driving through Miltown Malbay yesterday and I found a pair of rose-tinted blinkers, does anyone know who may have lost them?


13 Nov 19 - 02:28 PM (#4018943)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Nick

Raggy - Did you put them on? Can you see the truth now? I hope so

I'm not sure whether to start another thread or put my questions here. It's both relevant but at the same time tangential.

From my end I don't have the same urge to polarise discussion that people seem to love here. And when I saw voice of the people I thought I was on a Brexit thread. It has the same passion to be RIGHT rather than to discuss. Jim, this is NOT directed at you - it is more general.

And I have just relistened to Walter Pardon from 1982 and realised that he was only a couple of years older than I am now. Also realised that I've played various of those songs in different guises over time in various styles. It's the song at the end of the day

While I ponder it here's something a bit lighter - one of my favourite music based cartoons EVER


13 Nov 19 - 02:36 PM (#4018944)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Big Al Whittle

The thing about 'sharp practice' and 'con' artists is that they are motivated by a deaire to make money.

I can honestly say that I cannot think of one club organiser who is motivated by financial gain. Really ...not one.

Folk music of the kind that you value has not fallen into my hands. I've never been a fan but I've recognised some of its strengths. However it has nothing for me as a singer/songwriter.

However many folk based music forms - blues; jazz; country music; poets like Noyes, Auden, Coleridge who use the ballade form; music hall artists; ragtime guitarists; have influenced the synthesis that I arrived at and which generally a modern audience can relate to.

The essential problem about your variety of folk music is that a lot of modern audiences cannot relate to it. There are artists who try to interpret traditional folk music to audiences and I respect that, but I'm not sure that you do.

I think anyone who tries to make that interface with a contemporary folk audience has respect when they see it being done with skill and sensitivity. They have come through the destructive civil war of traddy versus contemporary that emptied the folk clubs, and there has been a realisation that we are all folk. We have a common aim.

Catch up.


13 Nov 19 - 02:59 PM (#4018946)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Jim Carroll

"With respect it is Jim who has got this constant need to go back to the definition he prefers of "folk song" a!"
It isn't the one "I prefer" is is the century old established one
So far not one of you have com3e up with an alternative so that one ramains intact

"Just who is using the term folk song if it is not the folk clubs then?"
I used to respect you before you started al this ducking and divng Dave, I really did

More nasty insulting Rag - ah well - beats thinking I suppose

"The thing about 'sharp practice' and 'con' artists is that they are motivated by a deaire to make money."
Vonning is deceiving Al - nothing to do with making money (I've never mentioned it)
You are pretending to be something you are not and are daamaging a very important of people's culture
What you are involved in is identity theft - no more, no less - and you don't care what damage your hostile takeover has done
That saddens me
Another appeal to peoples' better nature down the tubes, I suppose
Jim


13 Nov 19 - 03:15 PM (#4018952)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

I think we just need to accept that while there are people with their heads firmly planted in the past and determined to detail any discussion on the present or future is impossible. I can only suggest that now the "good old days" have now been done to death, we ignore any further attempt to compare the then with the now.

We have seen that the current state of folk music is fit for now. How do we help to take it into the future?


13 Nov 19 - 03:18 PM (#4018954)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Dave the Gnome

DeRail any discussion...


13 Nov 19 - 03:24 PM (#4018955)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: punkfolkrocker

If I live long enough to 'interpet' trad folk songs the way I'd be interested in hearing them myself..
.. a valid approach.. a fair project to embark on..
.. and make them available for potential internet listeners..

I've never had any intention of calling myself a 'folk artist'...
..never...

I'll leave that sort of thing up to critics and academics,
if any ever stumble across me...

.. oh.. and also any big prize money TV/radio Music Awards shows...

.. and guitar sponsorhip deals...

and... etc..etc....


13 Nov 19 - 04:11 PM (#4018967)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Raggytash

No insult at all Jim, perchance a rather insightful description of your attitude ................. and I do mean attitude, because you do have one that resembles a belligerent bad tempered old bastard.

You want your 'folk music' wrapped in Aspic, the rest of us realise it is a vibrant, living entity that evolves with time.

We see and listen too the immensely talented singer/songwriters of today (and the past 60 years) and marvel at their talents.

All you do is denigrate them saying 'that not folk music'

Well it is to us and I and I suspect the majority of people don't give a flying **** for a usesless outdated 'defintion'

And if saying this upsets you I really don't care.

You, who claim to love folk music, damage it every time to start to pontificate about it.


13 Nov 19 - 04:39 PM (#4018968)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

For God's sake not the 'definition' again! This has been perfectly well covered in great detail in other threads. The only thing I'll say is that like most terms in the dictionary/encyclopedia 'folk' has several meanings and means different things to different people. Words evolve.

For someone who celebrates the evolution aspect of tradition, Jim, you are remarkably anti-evolution in your outlook.

The folk scene has changed. It had to. Many of us were there at the beginning when the folk club was the hub. There weren't that many festivals or workshops or singarounds or sessions, and there were lots of relatively passive people who made up the audiences. Nowadays because of the many more active participants, the festival, singaround and session are much more predominant.


13 Nov 19 - 04:47 PM (#4018969)
Subject: RE: The current state of folk music in UK
From: Steve Gardham

I must add that in my opinion the folk clubs started to fold because the teenagers and twenty somethings that made them in the 60s got married and had fam