Mudcat Café Message Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe



User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Fortunato What's wrong with 'Folk Music' (81* d) RE: What's wrong with 'Folk Music' 22 Mar 02


As I'm home sick with the flu. I'll jump back in here.

Rick Fielding and Jerry Rasmussen have expressed above two points that bear some attention.

Rick has expressed a preference for "authenticity (which CAN be entertaining if done right!)". I have the same preference (we went to different schools together as children but listened to the same music).

Jerry gave the perfect example of the schism between Bluegrass and Folk, (and Blues) in my opinion. The preconceived notions of each camp block the crossover of fans.

Now the great Folk Performers routinely cross the 'lines' to perform Old Time, Blues, and Bluegrass, (ever listen to Doc Watson?). Some great Bluegrass performers, like the Country Gentlemen and the Stanley Brothers perform Folk music. And who could say much Blues is not Folk?

But the 'Bluegrass Fan' may shy away from Folk music and likewise the "Blues Fan' because they have a vision of Joan Baez singing "We Shall Overcome", or Pete Seeger singing anything.

So if I want to bring an audience with wider demographics to my show, video, CD, movie, what do I do? Do I take 'authenticity' as my touchstone, or do I take 'connections' as my touchstone?

In my opinion the answer is connections. I want to build bridges from where music fans in related genres are to where my music is. Does that mean that authenticity can be dismissed? Absolutely not. But I MAY sacrifice some things to build a bridge.

1) Two examples. When I first saw OBWAT I disliked the repetition of lines by the 'back up singers' in "Man of Constant Sorrow". I was used to the 'traditional' singing of the song. But upon reflection, if that 'Motown' arrangement bridged the gap to a wider audience, and, by so doing, brought new ears to music I love, well, damn, Phil, what's wrong with that?
2)Recently when arranging a Carter Family song I found that I had learned it with the Carter's 'Cut Time', that is they dropped measures. But in order to make it more readibly playable for my wife and others we reinserted the dropped measures. Authentic? No. Does it change the song? Yes. Something gained, something lost, but a bridge was built to perfomance today.

I would make a case, when aiming for a broader, underexposed audience, for Authenticity with careful, intentional modifications that respect the music but may bridge the gap for the audience.

Regards, Chance. (I'll stop here, I have to go blow my nose and spray my throat and whine for a while. (Just kidding Jerry!))


Post to this Thread -

Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.
   * Click on the linked number with * to view the thread split into pages (click "d" for chronologically descending).

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.