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Still wondering what's folk these days?

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Jim Carroll 24 Oct 15 - 02:43 PM
GUEST 24 Oct 15 - 01:40 PM
The Sandman 24 Oct 15 - 01:14 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 15 - 08:15 PM
Lighter 23 Oct 15 - 05:57 PM
Jim Carroll 23 Oct 15 - 05:24 PM
PHJim 23 Oct 15 - 03:35 PM
Lighter 23 Oct 15 - 09:48 AM
GUEST 23 Oct 15 - 08:43 AM
GUEST 23 Oct 15 - 08:41 AM
Lighter 21 Oct 15 - 05:40 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Jun 15 - 04:19 AM
The Sandman 19 Jun 15 - 04:08 AM
Spleen Cringe 18 Jun 15 - 04:40 PM
Spleen Cringe 18 Jun 15 - 04:39 PM
Jim Carroll 18 Jun 15 - 03:56 PM
Lighter 18 Jun 15 - 03:41 PM
OlgaJ 18 Jun 15 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 18 Jun 15 - 11:35 AM
Spleen Cringe 18 Jun 15 - 11:20 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 18 Jun 15 - 10:10 AM
Lighter 18 Jun 15 - 10:07 AM
Jack Campin 18 Jun 15 - 10:02 AM
Spleen Cringe 18 Jun 15 - 09:01 AM
Lighter 17 Jun 15 - 06:44 PM
Lighter 17 Jun 15 - 06:44 PM
Spleen Cringe 11 Jun 15 - 07:02 AM
The Sandman 11 Jun 15 - 04:21 AM
Musket 11 Jun 15 - 04:11 AM
The Sandman 11 Jun 15 - 03:48 AM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 10 Jun 15 - 06:45 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Jun 15 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 10 Jun 15 - 02:03 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Jun 15 - 01:46 PM
The Sandman 10 Jun 15 - 01:37 PM
Jim Carroll 10 Jun 15 - 09:13 AM
GUEST,R Sole 10 Jun 15 - 08:26 AM
GUEST 10 Jun 15 - 08:13 AM
The Sandman 10 Jun 15 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 10 Jun 15 - 07:33 AM
Lighter 10 Jun 15 - 07:25 AM
GUEST,matt milton 10 Jun 15 - 06:16 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Jun 15 - 04:00 AM
The Sandman 09 Jun 15 - 07:33 PM
Spleen Cringe 09 Jun 15 - 04:55 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 09 Jun 15 - 04:03 PM
MGM·Lion 09 Jun 15 - 03:29 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 09 Jun 15 - 03:25 PM
GUEST,BrendanB 09 Jun 15 - 03:17 PM
Gibb Sahib 09 Jun 15 - 02:38 PM
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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Oct 15 - 02:43 PM

"Folk Song And Folk-Speech Of Lancashir"
I did say "at least".
It was probably Sharp's 'Some Conclusions' (1907) that made the first detailed effort to put flesh on the bones of the term
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Oct 15 - 01:40 PM

"It has always been accepted that there are a unique group of songs that have been identified as 'folk' (in the case of song, since at least 1899)."

_Folk Song And Folk-Speech Of Lancashire_ by William Axon [no date, 1870s or 1880s].
"Negro Folk Songs," _Dwight's Journal Of Music_, 4/5/1873.
.
.
.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Oct 15 - 01:14 PM

I was at a very good folk club last week...Bodmin, the standard of performance was good, I think you would have enjoyed it Jim, the club has been established many years, I remember doing it back in 1982, every song that i heard i would have described as a folk song,many of the songs were trad, i did not hear any pop songs.
lets put it this way i know a folk song when i hear it


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 15 - 08:15 PM

"No amount of specialist wishing or insisting will make the latter "misuses" go away. "
The general public don't have a single definition - folk music has passed them by.
There was a (sort of) definition at the time of the 'folk boom' largely based on 'the real thing' as presented by the folk superstars - The Clancys, Dubliners, Spinners....
Dylan, in the early days, based much of what he did on 'the real thing' - but he walked away from that and became a born-again rock performer.
In the early days, the media, certainly in the form of radio, had a pretty clear veiw of what constituted "folk" - Lloyd, Deben Bhattacharya, John Levy.... produced some of the finest examples of folk music ever to be publicly broadcast.... the media walked away from it and the term "folk" has become meaningless to them as it has in the "folk" clubs.
You can't 'wish' or manipulate a definition into existence into being to suit yourself - one has to evolve through popularisation or constant misuse by a significant enough number of people for it to pass into common currency - hasn't happened.
What has happened is that a small and dwindling group of people have decided to hang their hat on a hook that is already occupied because they either can't or can't be bothered to create a term that covers what they do.
Personally, I walked away from the folk clubs when I stopped hearing folk songs - no reason to hang around when they all turned into lucky dips and magical mystery tours.
If I want to check what the term 'folk' means I only have to pull down one of several hundred books from the shelf, or dig around sites like 'The Library of Congress' (far more succinct and satisfying than anything ever produced in Britain, as I am finding at the present time).
So far - nobody has come up with an alternative, so what is happening today is that there are efforts by an extremely small,agenda-driven group of people not to re-define 'folk' but to de-define it - to make it meaningless - as has been stated here "whatever else sounds sort of like it - as long as it isn't classical" - this is cultural vandalism.
It has always been accepted that there are a unique group of songs that have been identified as 'folk' (in the case of song, since at least 1899).            
In my opinion, based of forty years of questioning field singers, these songs have a social, cultural and historical significance to our culture as a whole - "The Songs of the People" - "The Voice of the People" - "The Common Muse".... whatever term you care to choose - take your pick.
In making the term meaningless, you stand to marginalise and eventually silence that voice - and in doing so you take away a significant piece of our oral history.
If you are going to do that, you should at least have the common decency to come up with an alternative definition - "folk is whatever I choose to call it" really doesn't hack it.
Sorry to be such a bore
One more thing - Irish instrumental traditional/folk music is at present enjoying a renaissance - its future has been guaranteed for at least another two generations.
That future has been built on a solid foundation of the accepted definition - not by re or de defining the music but by saying - "this is your heritage" take it as it is or go and do whatever you wish with it - the real thing will always be here if you want to revisit it".
That's why we now have thousands of young people playing and teaching traditional music - in some cases, to virtuoso standard.
Wouldn't have got here if the few people who dedicated their lives to building that foundation had decided to please everybody - that way, they would have ended up pleasing fewer and fewer as us oldies died off.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Oct 15 - 05:57 PM

What interests me here is less how the term is used by the well-informed, but how it's used by the media and the general public.

No amount of specialist wishing or insisting will make the latter "misuses" go away. They may even be burgeoning. And as the playlist of Guest's "Best of" CD proves, the "misuse" is what you're far more likely to meet with beyond the library walls.

As I've suggested previously, that's the way the cookie crumbles. But it doesn't mean that the narrow, technical definition is useless or obsolete; only that relatively few people, educated or otherwise, will know what we're talking about.

That's certainly been my experience for many, many years.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Oct 15 - 05:24 PM

Folk music is probably the most clearly defined well researched, documented and published of any other musical form and the basis of all this documentation dates back to 1846 when William Thom coined the term 'Folk'.
From then till now, nobody has produced an alternative definition, so whatever misuse the term is put to, that definition remains - it refers to a music, song, arraive, custom, belief.... from a specific social group, serving a specific cultural purpose.
So is anybody can come up with an alternative acceptable to us all --- "then bring your witness love and I'll never deny you".... as the song says.
A small group of self-interested folkies who can't even agree among themselves doesn't hack it, I'm afraid (neither does the predatory pontifications of a self-interested music industry).
I'll show you my books if you'll show me yours.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: PHJim
Date: 23 Oct 15 - 03:35 PM

Lighter said, on 04 Jun 2015 at 01:18 PM
"Singer-songwriter music is preferred. In fact, it might be the most important element.
If so, "folk music" chiefly means music and (especially) song performed by the composer/songwriter, along with whatever else sounds sort of like it - as long as it isn't classical.
True?"

I once went to the Flying Cloud Folk Club in Toronto wearing a Shelter Valley Folk Festival T-shirt. I was told by a group of folks at the next table, "Shelter Valley is a nice festival, but it sure ain't FOLK. It's more of a singer/songwriter festival. These people considered folk music to be traditional or, as Michael Cooney once (probably more than once) said, "If you know who wrote it, it's not folk."


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Oct 15 - 09:48 AM

What, no CocoRosie?


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Oct 15 - 08:43 AM

that's - not hat's


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Oct 15 - 08:41 AM

Various Artist - Best Folk (2015)

[16 tracks compilation | Sony Music Hong Kong]

Tracklist:

01. The Brothers Four - Try To Remember
02. The New Christy Minstrels - Today
03. Harry Belafonte - Jamaica Farewell
04. Bob Dylan - In The Wind
05. Simon & Garfunkel - The Sound Of Silence
06. Loggins & Messina - Danny's Song
07. Jim Croce - I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song
08. Dan Fogelberg - Longer
09. Mary MacGregor - Torn Between Two Lovers
10. Dolly Parton - I Will Always Love You
11. Willie Nelson - Always On My Mind
12. Jennifier Warnes - I Know A Heartache When I See One
13. Albert Hammond - It Never Rains In Southern California
14. Art Garfunkel - (What A) Wonderful World
15. Heart - Dog & Butterfly
16. Kansas - Dust In The Wind



welll... there you go... hat's the best folk...


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Oct 15 - 05:40 PM

Once more from The New Yorker (Oct. 26, 2015):

"Sierra and Bianca Casady, the two sisters who form the freak-folk band CocoRosie, were grabbing lunch. ...

"Their music combines Bianca's surrealistic lyrics and Sierra's operatic arias with children's windup toys and broken instruments."


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jun 15 - 04:19 AM

" so to some extent I agree with you."
Whew - that's a relief!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: The Sandman
Date: 19 Jun 15 - 04:08 AM

Jim, at the festival there was a spot from the lisheen school choir, the spot involved team work in the performance [not competition] the high standard was noteworthy, so to some extent I agree with you.
please note TO SOME EXTENT, in fairness it may be that in your area there is less CCE input and less emphasis on competition.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 04:40 PM

Sorry, that was in reply to Lighter, not Jim.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 04:39 PM

This might be down to different interpretations - my sense is that she is being figurative, yours is that she's being literal. For instance I described Song for the Setting Sun Part 1 & 2 by Daniel Bachman as follows in a review: "the first part is a small group of friends passing around a bottle as they sit close by the fire they have lit on the riverbank - when the tempo changes half way through to mark the setting of the sun, you can see the embers flying away into the night sky. The second part is like a slow dance tune, couples coming together, drifting apart and melting into the darkness." Clearly none of these things are literally correct - it's a two part fingerstyle acoustic guitar instrumental.

I listened to a track off the new Jenny Hval album - I'd describe it as influenced by Bjork and Hissing of Summer Lawns era Joni Mitchell. As the mainstream media and music industry labelled Joni a folk singer, that might be the point of reference. And unless the reviewer is deeply involved in the folk scene and aware of its nuances and precisions, there's no reason why she wouldn't call it folk - to her no doubt it is. As far as I can see, it's only a subset of folk enthusiasts and academics who are particularly taxed about such things, and this is probably not her intended audience.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 03:56 PM

"In case anyone might think from what Jim and Dick have written above that all is fine and dandy in the Irish music scene"
Never said it was.
The point I made is that the progress made over the last twenty years has been built on the solid foundation of the tradition - youngsters listening to the older singers, no competitions, no attempting to re-define (or, in the case of the U.K. un-define the meaning of the words "folk" or "tradition") - just progress based on the roots of what has gone before - you have examples of what is happening - many, many more of the same to be had played by enthusiastic youngsters.
Wheter the youngsters stick with what they've learned, or decide t's not for them, remains to be sees, but at the moment there is a healthy scene with the chance of a health future.
I have to say, I watched the final of the three programmes on the singing revival in Northern Ireland with some despair - the same old dead-end approach - experimentation and career chasing.
We'll see!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 03:41 PM

Presumably the "experimental" is of greater significance to Hval and Crawford than is the "folk," but Crawford clearly describes Hval's music as "a kind" of "folk music," whether Hval thinks so or not.

Crawford doesn't call it "experimental music that [kind of] resembles folk music, with few hooks or choruses."

She says flatly it's a "kind of experimental folk music." That logically means "an experimental subset of folk music." Whether some "folk music" has "few hooks or choruses" doesn't change that.

In fact, the phrase "few hooks or choruses" seems at least as likely to modify Hval's music as it does "folk music."

Moreover, Crawford's review comes from the same editorial office as Donahue's. To influential and highly educated New Yorker reviewers (and thus presumably to many, many others), one kind of "folk music" seems to be little more than "non-mainstream music."

> humans like to see connections between things

Not me.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: OlgaJ
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 01:17 PM

Got down this thread until it turned into what most threads turn in to so I might have missed something really important but in my limited experience of Comholtas concerts (in Ireland) all those talented young people look so bored playing exactly as they are instructed that they appear never to have learned how to enjoy the music of their own heritage. Maybe that is why some of their dancers from England and the USA manage to win competitions over the Irish contestants. On a different point we were in Ireland a few years back (we go most years) and it was obvious that the songs expected to be learned that year were Ellis Island and Caledonia. Some of the young singers in a session we attended actually thought Caledonia was Irish! We had to point out that the clue was in the title which is the Roman name for Scotland. They didn't know neither song was traditional either.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 11:35 AM

Spleen - yeah... all part of enjoying a multi faceted living and breathing dynamic 'entertainment' culture..

I like discovering modern day set movies that put me in mind of classic westerns...

eg the recent Aussie "Mystery Road" where an aboriginal cop is easily recognisable as the 'new sheriff' in town...

that's just one very good example of intelligent use of stylistic echoes and references linking seemingly separate genres... 😎


[bollocks.. if only I could remember the seriously clever big words
I used to write in cultural product critique essays 30 odd years ago.....]


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 11:20 AM

THe writer, Lighter, is absolutely clear about this. What puts her in mind of folk music is the sense that the music:

"Resists the rhythmic and melodic efficiencies...of chart pop in favor of something slower and more irregular, with few hooks or choruses."

This would also be an apt description of an unaccompanied folk ballad, so I think it's a pretty good analogy. It doesn't mean she's saying it is folk music. I hear plenty of music that puts me in mind of something it isn't. I think humans like to see connections between things.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 10:10 AM

Lighter - My advice ? Stop reading The New Yorker....😬


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 10:07 AM

It doesn't matter what Hval says. In the world of criticism, the author/composer's word is never definitive. Obviously *Crawford* thinks the music is enough like "folk music" to invoke the f-word.

> evoke something recognisable

But what? The sentence would be clearer without the "folk." It's an "experimental kind of music." If "folk" adds anything, what is it? Maybe a warm fuzzy feeling. Or does it just mean "non-mainstream"?

Of course, it could mean folk-all.

But there has to be something about Hval's music that strikes Crawford as "folky" (not "folksy").


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 10:02 AM

In case anyone might think from what Jim and Dick have written above that all is fine and dandy in the Irish music scene, listen to the sound of barrels being scraped:

Zelda: A Link to the Celts

(The uilleann piper is pretty good. But...)


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 18 Jun 15 - 09:01 AM

Jenny Hval doesn'the call herself a folk singer. Mainly, I would imagine, because she isn't. I don't even think the reviewer is describing her music as folk music. In fact this is the only use of the word "folk" in the entire review. I suspect by using the phrase "a kind of experimental folk music," the reviewer is using the f-word to try to evoke something recognisable for the reader, rather than bluntly describing this as a folk album. Folk ballads are often slower than pop,are irregular and have few hooks or choruses, so it seems quite an apt analogy to make.

If we cleared reviews of descriptors, they wouldn'the tell us anything. And no folk music was harmed in the writing of the review.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 06:44 PM

I hate to quote The New Yorker again, but it *is* a highly respected publication. According to reviewer Anwen Crawford,

"As an answer to [singer-songwriter Jenny Hval's own question on the first track of her last album], 'What is soft dick rock?' [her new album] presents a kind of experimental folk music, which resists the rhythmic and melodic efficiencies...of chart pop in favor of something slower and more irregular, with few hooks or choruses."


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Jun 15 - 06:44 PM

I Hate to quote The New Yorker again, but it *is* a highly respected publication. According to reviewer Anwen Crawford,

"As an answer to [singer-songwriter Jenny Hval's own question on the first track of her last album], 'What is soft dick rock?' [her new album] presents a kind of experimental folk music, which resists the rhythmic and melodic efficiencies...of chart pop in favor of something slower and more irregular, with few hooks or choruses."


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 11 Jun 15 - 07:02 AM

Can I add that as I sit here in my office, the sound of traditional tunes played on an accordian is wafting in through my window from the shopping centre outside. It's an old fellow who often turns up to play when the sun comes out. It makes ploughing through key performance indicators less arduous...


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jun 15 - 04:21 AM

for the next 4 days , I will be busy organising thishttps://fastnetmaritime.com and unable to participate in discussion.
as can be seen from the programme, the following good irish trad musicians have been booked, Matt Cranitch Jackie Daly, MaryTisdall Tom Sullivan Richie Tisdall PatFleming, ifJim Carrolls ridiculous and pathetically inaccurate statement that I am denigrating IRISH TRAD MUSICIANS was true, I would hardly be promoting and booking top irish trad musicians ,WOULD I?
jIMcARROLL , Please stop making slanderous comments and stop saying inaccurate things about me, you are a person who cannot play any instrument to any degree of competence yet you attack my musical abilties, and make comments about my opinions that are inaccurate.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Musket
Date: 11 Jun 15 - 04:11 AM

I suggest the rest of us folk off.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jun 15 - 03:48 AM

I am not begrudging anybody, I am giving my opinion, that the irish traditional music scene in ireland is not as rosy as you portray, anmd that is partly because of the input of CCE.
My abilty and your lack of ability is irrelevant to the entitlement to have an opinion, lets face it Jim you have no competence as a musician, yet you still feel free to give your opinions, the fact that you can produce a few examples of very good players proves nothing.
CCE receives massive financial assistance from the irish government
Its current Director General is Senator Labhrás Ó Murchú. it has more than 400 branches worldwide, in Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, France, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Russia, Australia and New Zealand.
   "CCE hardly features in today's upturn"
what a ridiculous statement, typical uninformed claptrap, the national fleadh and all the regional fleadhs attract thousands of musicians who play in a competitive style to become a champion,CCE attracts thousands of people who go there to make music in sessions , CCE closed down the clontarf branch and tried to prevent musicians from making music in A DICTATORIAL STALINIST FASHION
these are facts, not UNINFORMED opinion, to say that this has no or little effect on the irish trad music scene is inaccurate, AND WELL YOU KNOW IT.
You are a person who cannot play any traditional instrument to any degree of competence ,you have a vested interest in promoting tradtional music collections including your own,and talking up the irish trad scene, the truth of the matter is that country and irish and country and western is more popular in IRELAND
I believe that the irish music scene is not as healthy as your portrayal,
i have NOT said that it does not contain some very good players of all ages chris droney edel fox, noel hill, enda scahill and a lot more THEY ARE VERY GOOD PLAYERS, but it also contains a lot of CCE trained players who play with a competitive attitude, in CCE homegoeonised style, and who do not play in any known regional style., These are facts
Game, set and match, GO OFF AND PLAY IN YOUR FOLK MUSEUM.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 06:45 PM

"ukuleles" Which the folk (e.g. Ada Powers) played in the late '10s and '20s because _everyone_ was.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 03:39 PM

Edel Fox, former pupil at Willie Clancy Summer School, now ateacher of music to many young peole young
concertina player


Padraig Keane winner of last years Gradam Ceol - grandson to Irish/London piper, Tom McCarthy - third generation musician
Padraig Keane - Clare/London piper Tom McCarthy's grandson

Young piper and fidlde player
Maitiú Ó Casaide

Young Sean Nos singer
Young singer

Young dancer "wearing ridiculous wig and over the top apparrell"
young sean Nós dancer

Can I say, I have always found attacking a thirty year dead singer pretty distasteful, but for a performer to make up for his own inability and lack of talent by taking it out on aspiring young musicians is way beyond anything I've experienced
Gane, set and match, I think
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 02:03 PM

... well it's taken a week since the thread opened,
but after a slow build up the fight is now on...

Two evenly matched Irish based contenders,
maybe no longer at the absolute peak of their game,
but still guaranteed to pull in a crowd...

No gloves.. no gumshields ..

just a time honoured traditional rules free brawl in a muddy field behind the caravans...

Maybe this time we'll see a clear winner...???

Soooo..Let's get it on before the police arrive and throw us all in the van...😜


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 01:46 PM

"thousands of kids playing in the style of CCE"
CCE hardly features in today's upturn - it is living up to its description as "an organisation with a great future behind it"
Whay are you trying to denigrate the many thousands of young people who have coome to the miusic of their own volition without the help of Comhaltas - not trying to sung like "Roscoe Holcomb" maybe.
The facts of the healthy state of Irish music are to bee seen and heard virtually every night on the radio and television - stop begrudging young mussicianswho are streets better than yourself (maybe that's your problem)
Jim Carrol


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 01:37 PM

Jim
"Wall to wall traditional music programmes on the radio and television, two of the finest traditional music archives in the world, year round - music festivals and schools, thousands of kids playing like maestros - a respect for Irish traditional music throughout the world, applications for research and performance grants as easy as pushing on an open door (up to the Bankers shenanigans having naused up the economy)"
thousands of kids playing in the style of CCE, some looking miserable, dancers wearing ridiculous wigs and over the top apparrell,technically proficient players but who lack the joie de vivre of the emigrant irish playing in england, in the sixties and seventies, jim in my opinion you are talking up the situation, but then you have a vested interest in doing that, you fool nobody.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 09:13 AM

"But I don't think thats right, its more akin to those who follow classical music deciding to introduce a bit of Schoenberg"
Would be nice to think so, but gave up that idea when I found myself leaving folk club after folk club in Britain without ever hearing a song remotely resembling folk
I've had enough arguments on this forum where I've been told that folk ain't folk any more but now includes anything people choose to call "folk"
I was attracted by the comment here quoting the American Scene describing the old English folk songs as in need of modernising, and I still get a bit of giggle about the American "Traditional" Folk Festival that has a policy of only booking guests that "write their own stuff".
Not so long ago someone produced a horrific ad from a University folk song course in England saying that its study course would commence with (some modern pop group whose name totally escapes me (tbtG)
"who have to give everything a label."
Labels are so we know what's in the bottle when we but it - without them, we could well be swigging cyanide
"that is not acurate"
It most certainly is
Wall to wall traditional music programmes on the radio and television, two of the finest traditional music archives in the world, year round - music festivals and schools, thousands of kids playing like maestros - a respect for Irish traditional music throughout the world, applications for research and performance grants as easy as pushing on an open door (up to the Bankers shenanigans having naused up the economy)
Beats the old "diddly-di music" image that we encountered when we fist started recording over here.
You may not have it in your corner of the country, but please don't denigrate the the progress that has been made elsewhere
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: GUEST,R Sole
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 08:26 AM

I got dragged into a similar discussion at the office last week. Is baroque classical or are they different genres?

I tend to be suspicious of the types of people who have to give everything a label.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 08:13 AM

Jim says:

"It's always struck me that those folkies who find folk song proper 'old and boring' and feel the need for 'something new, are not unlike, say, those who follow Classical Music saying, "we've got fed up with that old Beethoven and Mozart crap and have decided to introduce a bit of Heavy Metal onto the scene (still remember the embarrassing 'Classics Go Pop' campaign that fizzled out - not soon enough)"

But I don't think thats right, its more akin to those who follow classical music deciding to introduce a bit of Schoenberg. Which they do. So if those who follow folk wand to introduce a bit of Olivia Chaney, or Laura Marling, or in past times Fairport Convention, or, dare I say it, Mumford and Sons, whats the problem. Clearly some people do have a problem though.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 08:12 AM

"Here in Ireland over the last 20 years, there's seen an amazing upturn in the fortunes of traditional/folk music proper, with many thousands of young people taking up traditional instruments and going to the older musicians, either in the flesh or through recordings, to learn the older styles of playin - no need for constant searching for 'something new' - they've realised that, played well and with respect, the traditional tunes and styles work as well as they have for centuries.
Doesn't mean that some don't experiment with new forms, but the fact that the improvement has built a firm foundation in the tradition to come back to means that folk music has been guaranteed a future for at least another two generations and does not need to seek constant change to keep it alive"
some of the upturn is due to CCE, However their competitions do not encourage innovation, to be fair they get a lot of children playing ,but the downside is that it seems to encourage a competitive attitude, their marking system encourages over ornamentation and a homoeoginsed CCE STYLE, Their marking system d couragesis harmony and innovation in certain competitions, in my experience there is very little experimentation within CCE and not much experimentation or innovation outside CCE, If this trencd continues the music will not progress.
In my opinion Jim is painting a rosy picture , that is not acurate


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 07:33 AM

"It also seems to be true that the audience for "contemporary folk" tends to be more affluent and better educated
than audiences for other non-Classical genres, and tend strongly to be white, female, and politically left of center.
"

Lighter - if nothing else, it seems you've just summed up a prominent current faddish niche market for ukuleles... 😜


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 07:25 AM

It also seems to be true that the audience for "contemporary folk" tends to be more affluent and better educated than audiences for other non-Classical genres, and tend strongly to be white, female, and politically left of center.

I think that by calling one's music "folk," a performer suggests that in some way he or (more often) she represents the "voice of the people" speaking out to the cultural and political Establishment.

The limited popularity of "folk" in any sense, however, calls that assumption into serious question.

Once again I'm only describing what I see.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 06:16 AM

Jim - to add to your post, do you know the Dublin band Lynched? Very encouraging young Dublin singers

https://lynchedfolkmiscreants.bandcamp.com/album/cold-old-fire


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Jun 15 - 04:00 AM

It's always struck me that those folkies who find folk song proper 'old and boring' and feel the need for 'something new, are not unlike, say, those who follow Classical Music saying, "we've got fed up with that old Beethoven and Mozart crap and have decided to introduce a bit of Heavy Metal onto the scene (still remember the embarrassing 'Classics Go Pop' campaign that fizzled out - not soon enough)
Here in Ireland over the last 20 years, there's seen an amazing upturn in the fortunes of traditional/folk music proper, with many thousands of young people taking up traditional instruments and going to the older musicians, either in the flesh or through recordings, to learn the older styles of playin - no need for constant searching for 'something new' - they've realised that, played well and with respect, the traditional tunes and styles work as well as they have for centuries.
Doesn't mean that some don't experiment with new forms, but the fact that the improvement has built a firm foundation in the tradition to come back to means that folk music has been guaranteed a future for at least another two generations and does not need to seek constant change to keep it alive      
Nice feeling.
An unexpected offshoot of this upturn has been that is has fed into the Irish economy and now brings many thousands of visitors to Ireland in search of 'the real stuff' - it's helped weather the economic crash caused by the bankers bleeding the nation dry.
In a few weeks time this one-street town in The West will be hosting the 42nd annual, week-long Willie Clancy Summer School, dedicated to the teaching and promoting of traditional music and song, and throughout the year we boast at least half-a-dozen traditional music sessions ranging from enjoyable to world-class.
It seems there is life in the old music yet, if you put your mind to it.
The same has yet to happen with traditional song, but there are signs that things are stirring in that direction and some of the best singing can be heard in Dublin in a club set up and run by young people who have adopted the policy of encouraging people of their own age to perform.
Similarly, earlier this year we heard some stunning singing from young people at a two-day conference at Limerick University's 'World Music Centre' - came home walking on air.
We are hoping that the new websites of song that have been facilitated by The Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin and our own Clare County Library site will be the start of making available the large collections of recorded song that are, at present inaccessible.

GOILÍN

CLARE COLLECTION

INISHOWEN PROJECT

Jim Carroll
"this very night i sang a roscoe holcomb song accompanied by banjo"
Sorry to have missed that !!!!


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 07:33 PM

jim carroll,
this very night i sang a roscoe holcomb song accompanied by banjo, it was well appreciated, i sold 5 cds, some of us still do the business and cut the mustard, and dont just talk about it. Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 04:55 PM

I've given up on these debates. I vascillate hopelessly depending on the time of day, though in my heart of hearts, I really know that folk is really the old stuff, passed on by word of mouth, in a way that isn't really done in the west anymore. You sometimes hear people imitating it in folk clubs and festivals...


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 04:03 PM

"Everybody has an opinion about what folk is, and they are all subjective. Consequently, it is entirely reasonable to say that folk is what you choose it to be." Non sequitur.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 03:29 PM

Might as well say that a dollar bill or a pound coin are "what you choose them to be". Now try going out with a piece of lavatory paper or a pebble, BrendanB, and see how much change you'll get if you offer it for a chocci-bar in the Five-and-dime or the corner shop.

One gives a shit becoz if one HumptiDumptifies the language, communication breaks down -- indeed, doesn't even start. You know that perfectly well. Devil's advocates are mostly the most boring of peeps.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 03:25 PM

"what is folk can always be boiled down to the simplest delivery." Not even close to true. Old-time folk fiddlers didn't respect each other to the extent that they played simply. Many folk guitarists weren't trying to make sure no one thought they had talent for the guitar that simpler guitarists lacked. Some of "the populace" can play instruments very fast, for instance, just like some of "the populace" can fix engines very fast.

Within oral transmission there were traditional ways to adorn. Within oral transmission there were traditional ways to change music, and whether we call a change "adulteration" is merely a matter of personal taste.

"Real is folk." There's no such thing as unqualified authenticity. Authenticity is always about authentically what.


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: GUEST,BrendanB
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 03:17 PM

Everybody has an opinion about what folk is, and they are all subjective. Consequently, it is entirely reasonable to say that folk is what you choose it to be.   'Purists' can rant and rave as they will, if you think it's folk then it's folk. Furthermore, why on earth does anyone give a shit?


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Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 09 Jun 15 - 02:38 PM

The earliest mention of this in the chanty literature—that I'm able to find at the moment!—is by C. Fox Smith in her 1927 collection. (I have looked at writing mentioning this song back to the 1860s, but, unless I didn't put it in my notes because I thought it wasn't notable, I don't find attention called to this feature.)

I'm not sure when in the year 1927 Smith's book was published, but the March 1927 issue of Gramophone had a review of a recent batch of recordings of chanties commercially released. The review covers 5 different groups' recordings (chanties were REALLY a popular fad at that time, it seems), and all contain renditions of "Rio Grande." About two, the author of the review notes that they pronounced Rio incorrectly--they sing Ree-o instead of Rye-o. I can't say whether the author knows this from experience with oral tradition or if he/she got it from a book like Smith's.

Doing a quick check, these field-recorded singers pronounce "Rye-o":

Mark Page - Carpenter Collection - at sea 1849-1879 - recorded in late 1920s

Joseph Hyson of Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia - Helen Creighton - recorded sometime between 1930s-1956

Leighton Robinson of Falmouth - Library of Congress, Sidney Robertson Cowell - went to sea 1888 - recorded in California, 1939

St. Vincentian whalermen of the 1960s sang "Royo Groun."


Myself attempting to sing in this style, "Royo Groun"


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