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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Dreadnought Mike Harding #2 (14) RE: Mike Harding #2 12 Apr 04

Now this discussion has calmed down a bit I'll stick in my two-pennath.

Bottom line I reckon is that for all its faults (and God knows it has them - bluegrass versions of "Supercalifragalisticexpialidocious" I can just about live with but did we really need "El Paso" for Christ's sake) the fact of the matter is Mike does play some good stuff too. Countess Richard mentioned the June Tabor album and there were also tracks from Martin Simspson, Blue Murder and an unusual track from Pentangle amongst others which is none too shoddy imho. In fact if you consider just how bland and boring the majority of the rest of Radio 2s output is I would guess that those tunes were amongst the most challenging to be broadcast on the station that week.

I'm glad that the Harding show enables that music to have a presence on the biggest music station in the country no matter how unsatisfying and frustrating it may be for the real folk aficionados and I'm always mindful that I first heard Coope, Boyes and Simpson on the show and I'm sure I'm not the only one so lots of things to be grateful for as well.

How's this for an idea? Rather than getting steamed up about MH wouldn't we be better off lobbying the BBC to get a more rounded and challenging specialist show broadcast on Radio 3. I'm thinking of something along the lines of Resonance Radios wonderful "Traditional Music Hour" but with the BBC's library and ability to get artists in the studio for sessions. Obviously if I were the controller of BBC radio I'd put it on all networks at 8:00am every morning but taking into account the current perceived status of more challenging folk music in the mainstream media (check out the reviews of the recent reissue of the early Richard and linda Thompson albums in the national press and see how many snide and unprovoked comments about the "finger in the ear brigade" and whatever you see) I suggest there is a lot to be said for the establishment of a quality presence on a national media even if that's on a minority station. We would after all be sharing the space of other such notable minority interest artists like Mozart.

Know what I mean, init?

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