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What is Happening to our Folk Clubs

TheSnail 29 Oct 17 - 03:13 PM
Iains 29 Oct 17 - 03:08 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Oct 17 - 03:06 PM
TheSnail 29 Oct 17 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 29 Oct 17 - 03:03 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Oct 17 - 02:55 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 17 - 02:36 PM
TheSnail 29 Oct 17 - 02:36 PM
Dave the Gnome 29 Oct 17 - 02:35 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 17 - 02:34 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 17 - 02:33 PM
Iains 29 Oct 17 - 02:02 PM
Raggytash 29 Oct 17 - 01:48 PM
Backwoodsman 29 Oct 17 - 01:47 PM
Iains 29 Oct 17 - 01:46 PM
RTim 29 Oct 17 - 01:45 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 17 - 01:36 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 17 - 01:32 PM
Big Al Whittle 29 Oct 17 - 01:30 PM
TheSnail 29 Oct 17 - 01:23 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 17 - 01:08 PM
Iains 29 Oct 17 - 01:08 PM
Jack Campin 29 Oct 17 - 01:04 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 17 - 12:58 PM
The Sandman 29 Oct 17 - 12:50 PM
Big Al Whittle 29 Oct 17 - 12:42 PM
RTim 29 Oct 17 - 12:36 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 17 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,Captainswing 29 Oct 17 - 12:01 PM
RTim 29 Oct 17 - 11:56 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Oct 17 - 11:54 AM
Backwoodsman 29 Oct 17 - 11:24 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 17 - 11:24 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 17 - 11:21 AM
The Sandman 29 Oct 17 - 10:50 AM
Backwoodsman 29 Oct 17 - 10:37 AM
Vic Smith 29 Oct 17 - 10:34 AM
Iains 29 Oct 17 - 10:32 AM
Raggytash 29 Oct 17 - 10:30 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 17 - 10:05 AM
TheSnail 29 Oct 17 - 09:59 AM
Backwoodsman 29 Oct 17 - 09:56 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 17 - 09:47 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 17 - 09:34 AM
TheSnail 29 Oct 17 - 09:28 AM
Raggytash 29 Oct 17 - 09:20 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 17 - 09:13 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 17 - 09:10 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Oct 17 - 09:08 AM
Big Al Whittle 29 Oct 17 - 08:59 AM
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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 03:13 PM

Raggytash

I've been pondering this afternoon over a pint or two.

In Jim's mind he considers that because he was acquainted with the Critics, McColl etc and they laid down the "definition" set in stone so to speak that he, as the last surviving member, is the keeper of the flame,


Actually, there are still others around. We've booked several.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Iains
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 03:08 PM

According to the purists what is happening in our folk clubs is that they do not restrict themselves to folk.
The wider the definition, the wider the appeal, and hence the greater the popularity, I would have thought.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 03:06 PM

Steve, I cannot dispute anything you say in defense of Jim and have made the same points myself before. Jim's knowledge of folk music is encyclopedic. His contribution is phenomenal. His passion is unquestioned. What I can dispute is its bearing on the point in question, which is modern day folk clubs. I have a friend who is as knowledgeable about the long bow as Jim is about folk music. I would not dream of relying on that knowledge in a battle against nuclear missiles or computer controlled drone attack bots.

Jim's contribution is without question. Which makes it all the more difficult. It is like having to let go of the butler of 60 years service who knew more about the running of the house that anyone but now, to coin a phrase, cannot find his arse with both hands. Let alone the key to the pantry.

DtG


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 03:03 PM

Nothing to disagree with about the Shirley Collins quote.

From an interview with her here - https://www.m-magazine.co.uk/features/interviews/interview-shirley-collins/

What do you think about current folk music trends?
It?s wonderful that people are turning back to it. There?s a growing interest in folk, which is lovely. It?s no longer something you have to despise or laugh at. It?s lovely now at my age to see young people playing the songs really well. The singing and the accompaniments these days are light years away from what it was when I was starting out.


I wonder what she'd have to say about you. I won't ask, I wouldn't want to upset her. She has certainly had a few comments about MacColl.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 03:03 PM

Well my alternative approach worked well didn't it! I thought we might find some common ground, but then a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Yep! Time to knock it on the head. The thread I mean (or I think I mean.)


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 02:55 PM

700!


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 02:36 PM

Shelve Ian's article next to Shirley's statement under "not wanted on voyage"
Aden and 'The Last Post' calls
Jim Carrol


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 02:36 PM

So bloody-minded to the point of dishonesty isn't insulting?

You damn well know exactly where I stand on what should happen at a folk club - howe many times have i pointed out MacColl's output and my repertoire

Well! There we have it! If you'd just like to send us a comprehensive list we'll know just what to do. Not a rule but what Jim Carroll says SHOULD happen at a folk club.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 02:35 PM

Well, I have had a lovely 4 days off, part of which included listening to Nick Dow's marvelous 'A poor man's gift' and watching the DVD he sent me showing what we had before folk clubs ;-)

Surprised to see the same arguments are being bandied about and not at all surprised that Joe has spotted the circular argument syndrome creeping in. It is things like Jim's comment of 27 Oct 17 - 12:45 PM that keep this things going.

I appear to have erected a hurdle nobody has been able toi get over, what kind of songs should one expect to find in a folk club?

I have addressed that point on 27 Oct 17 at 10:54 AM and, as I predicted, Jim did not like the answer so responded with some daft comment about selling frocks.

Ah well.

DtG


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 02:34 PM

G'night all
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 02:33 PM

"I am afraid I regard MacColl as a communist"
What kind of a **** argument is that?
I suppose the same goes for Lomax, Moe Asch, Guthrie, Charlie Seeger, Lloyd and all the other left wingers who introduced us to this wonderful music
The revival was floated by The Workers Music Association - Topic records was a development of their label
Did you ever meet Joe McCarthy - he shared your views when he wasn't jailing homosexuals while at the same time dressing up in frocks
"That is a remarkably stupid and divisive statement even for you Jim."
Why aren't I entitled to gibve an opinion on a singer who is apparently incapable of producing a musical note, but who relies on recitative to deliver his songs
"Folk is what the people define it as"
Which people - the people don't give two monkeys - that's why there are so few clubs and many of those who are around are =blowing for tugs
If you people don't know what folk is, how do you expect "the people" to
"I know Jim doesn't like to be contradicted "
Who says I don't - I'm having a ball here
"McColl etc and they laid down the "definition" set in stone so to speak"
No they didn't, unless they did at the meetings you attended - not in my time
You are as dishonest as the rest of the Raggy - stop making things up.
"Ian Campbell,"
Watch who you're quoting Raggy" - wasn't he a Commie too!!
I've got one of the most beautiful statements by Campbell on folksong somewhere - will dig it out when I have taime
He came from the generation that had no doubt about the beauty and importance of folksong - a truly admirable man
Should have stuck to the shandy Raggy
I'm fed up with this bombardment of distortions and outright lies
Hard not to notice that Shirley Collins; statement has been ignored - ven by her fellow Sussex by the Sea-ers

Gotcha 'yr 'tis

IAN CAMPBELL
Contemporary songs or song-writers, whether British or American, can have no influence or effect on British folk music, if we accept, as we must, that British folk music is that body of music and song which has been created and handed down in a largely oral tradition, and which is thus no one man's creation, because it has arrived at its present form by passing through the folk process. Please let us work towards a clarification and standardisation of nomenclature. A magazine such as Folk Scene can only do harm by perpetuating and encouraging the current widespread confusion in this field.
If in your question, by British folk music, you mean the folk club scene, then the answer is obviously that contemporary songs and writers have already made their influence strongly felt, and will continue to do so. The validity of their contribution is another question again.
If the folk song revival were to consist merely of the reverent re-exhibition of songs hallowed by time, it would be a futile and sterile exercise. To make sense the revival must produce new songs, and presumably, to be valid, they must show the influence in form at least, of the tradition. MacColl demonstrated years ago, that it is possible to create vital contemporary songs within the traditional frameworks.
Unfortunately, most of the contemporary songwriters, who find favour among the folk song club audiences, show little interest in, or concern for, the traditional song forms. The idiom in which they most commonly compose is that of the pop songs, no matter how un-pop their lyrics. This is a pity, because with contemporary "folk songs" continually growing in popularity, the eventual result will be that the folk song revival, and the clubs, will lose all contact with folk songs.
Folk Scene Magazine.
No 14.
December 1965.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Iains
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 02:02 PM

I am afraid I regard MacColl as a communist primarily and I give as much weight to his views and I do those of gary lineker the walkers crisp man and his views on brexit.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 01:48 PM

I've been pondering this afternoon over a pint or two.

I know Jim doesn't like to be contradicted and I think I have figured out just why.

In Jim's mind he considers that because he was acquainted with the Critics, McColl etc and they laid down the "definition" set in stone so to speak that he, as the last surviving member, is the keeper of the flame, the last bastion of resistance, the defender of the faith.

Folk music is so, it will remain so, as long as I have breathe in my body no-one can convince me otherwise.

So people like Ian Campbell, Cyril Tawney, John Connelly et al can go swing.

I have already indicated I believe this view to be exclusive and elitist and I have to say I am somewhat surprised and disappointed at reaching this conclusion.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 01:47 PM

Amen.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Iains
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 01:46 PM

"Pete St. John"
The bland leading the bland

That is a remarkably stupid and divisive statement even for you Jim.
There are a lot of "folk" groups perform his material on a regular basis, as do performers in "folk Clubs" and I have heard his compositions on a regular basis in sessions.
Just because you have collected material it does not give you the last word on any definitions. Many here recognise contemporary folk and much of it is heard regularly in folk clubs.

The Dubliners was described as an Irish Folk Group. How much of their material was traditional Folk and how much modern compositions?

Folk is what the people define it as, not the EFSDS and academics!


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: RTim
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 01:45 PM

I have got to stop reading this Tread - it gets more confusing with every post - I know longer know who is saying what why or when - maybe it is time to close it down, because it is not going anywhere.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 01:36 PM

"yet also insist the folk process is one of continual evolution."
The folk process is dead - it died when we ceased being participants in our culture and became passive recipients of it or customers for its wares.
Being aware the meaning of a term is not purism - that's one of those insults sliung around by the "anything goes" merchants


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 01:32 PM

"I ask for clarification and you reply with insults."
I did not insult you Bryan and your anking me a question I have replied to over and obver again is an insult in itself - I wish you wouldn't
"you contradict yourself at every turn."
No I don't - another insult -
You damn well know exactly where I stand on what should happen at a folk club - howe many times have i pointed out MacColl's output and my repertoire
I have never at any time suggested "no definition and no limits?"
You know what my definition is and you know I have saidover and over again that it is not a rule for clubs
I think we're finished her before another dialogue wrecks an interesting subject
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 01:30 PM

so O'Carolan, Peter St John, Ralph McTell and The Spinners, and me.....not folk music. does it flipping matter?

All those things are in folk clubs. happening in folk clubs....right or wrong....happening.... happening in a folk club near you tonight. Have you seen the old man in the fields of Athenry.?

so where does that leave us?

the OP was pissed off about declining standards of technical ability. has that any relevance to what people play. I don't think so. Any kind of music can be buggered up.

perhaps we need a sort of Blind Pew character to come and tip the crap singers the black spot. deposed by thunder!


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 01:23 PM

You know that is not what I am saying Bryan - that's just being bloody-minded to the point of dishonesty

I ask for clarification and you reply with insults. I really wish you wouldn't, Jim.
I honestly don't know what you are saying because you contradict yourself at every turn.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 01:08 PM

"Pete St. John"
The bland leading the bland
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Iains
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 01:08 PM

Steve Shaw if you substitute aural for oral tradition I might accept what you say. But: The modern world does not require oral transmission, modern rates of literacy and the growth of electronic mediums have supplanted this mode of transmission. In the modern world oral transmission is an irrelevance and probably causes much of the lyric alteration over time.(If you ever spent anytime with a single sideband transmitter you can easily understand how this happens)

"The term can be applied to music that has been evolved from rudimentary beginnings by a community uninfluenced by popular and art music and it can likewise be applied to music which has originated with an individual composer and has subsequently been absorbed into the unwritten living tradition of a community."
I regard the above as an extremely patronising statement. "Rudimentary beginnings" implies that it originated with the peasantry, poorly educated, verging on,if not actually, illiterate. Modern society has blown that assumption into touch. As has been stated, the definition is outdated and no longer fit for purpose.

"it is the re-fashioning the re-creation of the music by the community that gives it its folk-character."
This is merely an excuse for not remembering all the words and making mistakes with the tune. although I concede that certain Irish songs have certain verses deleted by some performers because of the political content.
Using the definition from 1954 would mean that the works of bards have to be disregarded and also the works of Turlough O'Carolan

On the one hand purists decry any departure from traditional works yet also insist the folk process is one of continual evolution.
Sorry boys something has to give. You cannot have it both ways.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 01:04 PM

To accept your rigid definition would immediately wipe out a complete body of Irish Ballads as typified by songs by Pete St. John

That's the best argument for 1954-ism I've ever heard.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 12:58 PM

Sorry Tim - I think we have the same concept of Morris but a different one of song clubs
The clubs I were involved in were not sing arounds - they were very much latecomers on the scene and pretty much equivalent to the singers circles I have described
You can neither control standards or repertoire in singaround clubs
Our clubs were resident based - if anybody wished to sing they were given a song in the singers from the floor spot - if they were good enough they might be given a booking and those desiring to do so could join our singers workshop to be helped improve.
The residents embarked on feature evenings around a theme, put on a Mummers Play occasionally - the Singers Club put on an annual theatrical event which took about three weeks to learn and rehearse and ran nightly for three weeks.
The residents researched songs and made albums based on their researches - they opened up the London repertoire and made two albums on the results, made one on the 19th century fight for the vote and the effects of the Industrial Revolution, two superb albums of sea songs and the women did an album of women's songs
They co-operated with some of Britain's finest actors and readers to produce two sets of albums of poetry and song for schoolchildren - 'Poetry and Song (14 discs) and the other 'Voices' (8 discs, I think)
You could never have done a fraction of that with a singaround set-up, nor could you have demanded a basic standard or repertoire
As I said, Morris was a revival - given the arguments here, there was no reason you shouldn't put on Swan Lake
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 12:50 PM

"Is it due to the extent that the tunes utilise the structures, cadences and keys of traditional music?"
yes and in particular are restricted to certain modes eg dorian mixolydian and major key and to a lesser extent aeolian.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 12:42 PM

I think the first twenty minutes of Appalachian farewell are toughest. Get past that and you cross the pain barrier.

sorry if i patronised. i think our beliefs are what drive us forward though. and probably if we didn't believe in our vision, we would find it hard to justify the effort we put ino our projects. for example the guys who built westminster cathedral probably believed in god. whereas we know they may be wrong on that one.

also
definitions do change.

people used to think the atom was indivisable - the smallest particle possible


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: RTim
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 12:36 PM

"Gloomy" ???? Why would you say that ??
It was far from gloomy - everybody loved it...............they were willing to stay in a cold room to take part - oh, and it sometimes doesn't start until 11 pm at night.......

As for Morris, I assume you know very little about it.........But there are three teams in the village concerned and it is dearly lived by all of them.
However - Morris is not a "social event" like a Folk Club. the only people directly involved a practiced group of experts - in a Folk Club or song session, anyone can be involved and take part - a very different medium.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 12:19 PM

"they perform their own village tradition,"
As I understand it Tim, Morris is as much a revival as the folk scene - very few, if any, are unbroken tradidions
Sharp had a great hand in reviving traditional dance.
Why not throw in ballet and hip-hop in that case?
That's the type of thing being suggested for folk song.
You paint a gloomy picture of your ballad sessions - I wonder why
At the height of the folk scene I was involved in we were screaming for someone to open a window on an overcrowded, overheated room.
"What does anyone else think?"
I think it depends on the writer cap'n
MacColl's best songs, in my opinion, were those he based on actuality - recordings of the type of people his songs were about - fishermen, miners, road-workers, gypsies....
There are some nice tunes being made by youngsters heer in Ireland - I find it difficult to distinguish them from the older ones
The thing the few older source players objected to strongly was the speed they were played and quite often the unnecessarily lod accompaniment
Don't get me started about bodhrans!!
Jim Carroll

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: GUEST,Captainswing
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 12:01 PM

I find it interesting that newly written tunes are more easily subsumed into the tradition than are songs. Tunes by the likes of, for example, Phil Cunningham, Jay Ungar or Ronald Cooper sit easily within the repertoires of traditional players.

Is it due to the extent that the tunes utilise the structures, cadences and keys of traditional music?

Is it due to the fact that the best of them have become part of the currency of sessions and so are actively traditional?

Is it due to their continued practical use, i.e. dancers need dance tunes, pipers need pipe tunes?

What does anyone else think?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: RTim
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 11:56 AM

Jim C says - "I asked RTim if his Morris side did ballet or hip-hop - reply came there no, so I took that to be a n unsounding "no"

You are correct - a resounding No - in the same way they don't sing opera or be a String Quartet - they perform their own village tradition, but they have created and perform dances that are modern, ie. written in recent years, thereby keeping it alive and relevant - something I thought you of all people would support.

I think your attempt to suggest they obviously only do what they set up to do, is a clumsy way of suggesting Folk Clubs should do the same.
I have been to Sessions here in the USA where a group of people will happy sit in a relatively cold room and sing Child Ballads for hours - but I recognise that is not everyones cup of tea.
Similarly I am involved in a Folk Music Society that is now in its 46th year that puts on a very wide range of music, from Traditional (English & American) to Blues to Irish to Singer Songwriters - a very type of event than late night Ballad singing, but they are all - Folk Music - and I like that Diversity and is seems many other do to. I am also sure that I would enjoy events that you frequent.

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 11:54 AM

"The academic definition of folk renders the genre to be an anachronism and now fossilised. I do not accept this and I am sure many others do not."

1954 definition: Folk music is the product of a musical tradition that has been evolved through the process of oral transmission. The factors that shape the tradition are: (i) continuity which links the present with the past; (ii) variation which springs from the creative impulse of the individual or the group; and (iii) selection by the community, which determines the form or forms in which the music survives.
The term can be applied to music that has been evolved from rudimentary beginnings by a community uninfluenced by popular and art music and it can likewise be applied to music which has originated with an individual composer and has subsequently been absorbed into the unwritten living tradition of a community.
The term does not cover composed popular music that has been taken over ready-made by a community and remains unchanged, for it is the re-fashioning the re-creation of the music by the community that gives it its folk-character.


I'd say that the definition is promoting the very antithesis of fossilisation, so I don't know where you got that from.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 11:24 AM

The clubs I frequent (at least two a week) are existing very happily with a 'mixed' menu, very much as described in the second half of my previous post. Can't comment on what's happening elsewhere.

Some are 'performers' clubs, some are a mix of 'performers' on some weeks, and 'guests' on others. All seem to be doing OK. If we accept that folk music is a minority interest which is in competition with Open-Mics etc., we must also accept that clubs will never be a huge draw for the general public. But most of the ones I come across are ticking over nicely, with fluctuations in numbers depending, I guess, on what else is happening on any given night.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 11:24 AM

"subj4ect that has been done to death so many times on this forum it is almost tradtional"
'Fraid not Dick - it's been a no-go minefield since I joined this forum, running neck-and-neck with one of folk songs great exponents, Ewan MacColl
Every time it has come up some eejit pipes up, "this subject has been done to death"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 11:21 AM

Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent blokes Baccy - not my experience at all
"encountered in a successful folkclub."
So if a club booked a Pavarotti soundalike and filled it each week for that sort of music it would be "folk"
Do I have that right?
Substitute Pavvi for Led Zeppelin, or frank Sinatra.... or whoever you like.
I asked RTim if his Morris side did ballet or hip-hop - reply came there no, so I took that to be a n unsounding "no"
"If you insist on a strict academic definition of a genre"
I don't and never have - I say the existing one remains until another comes along
Whatever happens in a folk club doesn't hack it
There's a nice quote from Shirley Collins in yesterday's Irish Times' review of her new documentary 'The Ballad of Shirley Collins'
"Folk song belongs the despised and neglected people of the hard-working classes
They deserve to be known"
My grandparents and my mum came from the labouring classes"
Sorry folks, "you can't take that away from me" with your T-Rexs and your Bob Geldofs - as the song should have said
Nice to know I'm not alone
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 10:50 AM

we should be discussing: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs.
what you are discussing is a definition of folk musica subj4ect that has been done to death so many times on this forum it is almost tradtional[ except that it does not fit with the 1954 DEFINITION[ because it does not appear to be evolving in fact the discussion is stagnating, and is about as interesting as looking at a blank television screen


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 10:37 AM

Strange thing is, Jim, I 'walked away' for fifteen years or so for precisely the opposite reason - the 'side' of the music that is my preference, 'folk-styled' modern songs reflecting the lives of people in the 20th century, began to be edged out by the 'Traddies' who scowled and snarled, "Not folk" on hearing anything which fell outside the strait-jacket of the almighty and hallowed 'Definition'. Whilst I genuinely enjoy 'Trad' songs, the prospect of an entire evening of them filled me (and still fills me) with gloom - as I've said previously, variety is the spice of life AFAIC, and there's room for both types of song.

We obviously moved in very different circles!

I came back to folk-clubs reluctantly in the late-'80s, when my son's head-teacher (a superb singer of 'Trad' material, BTW) was trying to get a club on its feet locally. Very wary, I said, "I don't do any Trad stuff", he replied, "That's fine, we like nice mixture of Trad and Contemporary", and the rest is history.

I still only 'do' one Trad song, but I enjoy hearing others sing them. Just not the whole of the evening.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Vic Smith
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 10:34 AM

I think that we are moving in circles
I was posting about circumlocution days ago and certainly nothing has moved forward since then.
But before we can move forward, we need to all agree what a folk song is..... well, that won't be difficult, will it? Mmmmm perhaps it will. Perhaps we could shift our attention to something else. How about What is Happening to our Folk Clubs?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Iains
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 10:32 AM

Jim I hear what you are saying but I am afraid we will just have to differ in our interpretation of what folk is.
1)My simple test would be that it encompasses the range of material    encountered in a successful folkclub.
2)The modern world has swallowed the traditional sources of folk in the western world. There are no hoary handed sons of the soil left-they drive around in air conditioned tractors with the radio blaring full blast.They do not have time to sit under a hedge, chewing a bit of grass while composing folksongs. The travellers may have some remnant of the old ways of generating and transmitting an oral tradition, but the modern world is shrinking their numbers daily.
3)To finda genuine folk tradition you would have to go beyond the confines of the modern world and there are not too many places left.
Maybe in parts of Namibia or the Gibson desert you might find traditional lifestyles, but even there the modern world has encroached.
3)The academic definition of folk renders the genre to be an anachronism and now fossilised. I do not accept this and I am sure many others do not.
4)To accept your rigid definition would immediately wipe out a complete body of Irish Ballads as typified by songs by Pete St. John
5)If you accept folk is a living, constantly evolving and expanding entity then modern works have to be included. No matter how peripheral the lyrics may be to the human experience, if they encompaass any part of it I would argue it is folk.
If you insist on a strict academic definition of a genre that has no modern contributors you have sentenced it to death.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 10:30 AM

Could you point out any post that has said anything even remotely akin to folk songs no longer have any relevance.

Just one will do.

You're making things up to fit your agenda.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 10:05 AM

So no definition and no limits?
You know that is not what I am saying Bryan - that's just being bloody-minded to the point of dishonesty
Baccy
Sorry - the complaints I here point out that your experience is not a general one, a few decades ago folk songs weer rapidly disappearing from the club scene
I walked away when I found myself leaving folk clubs without having heard a folk song - so did many others
I am not aware of any renaissance
What is being argued here is that sons defined as "folk" no longer have a relevance, which confirms my experience
I think were moving in circles - let's move on eh?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 09:59 AM

It worked quite well for a couple of decades, until one edged out the other

Yep. Can't remember when I last heard a Dylan song in a folk club.

Where the clubs are concerned, it is a starting point from which we present our songs - it is not a rulebook for what goes on there

So no definition and no limits?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 09:56 AM

"I'm not 100% sure but I don't think a single person has said that they don't like "singing and listening to centuries old ballads and folk songs"

I certainly haven't said any such thing."


And neither have I, Raggy. In fact, in my dream-club, 'modern' (for want of a better word) folk-styled songs would (and, in fact, are in the clubs I frequent!) performed and enjoyed alongside 'centuries-old ballads and songs'. I totally fail to see why one must exclude the other.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 09:47 AM

"Is it the 1954 definition or not and, if not, what?"
As far as research goes, the definition is relevant
Where the clubs are concerned, it is a starting point from which we present our songs - it is not a rulebook for what goes on there
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 09:34 AM

"Sounds like exclusive and elitist to me."
You tell me what your definition of 'Folk' is then Raggy and tell me how you have reached a consensus on your definition - a referendum, maybe?
I've given you a definition and can point you to a hundred books of research dating back over a century
I could also play you Tom Lenihan, Mikeen McCarthy and particularly Walter Pardon
"Ralph Mctell, Eric Bogle, Ewan MacColl" never featured in how they described their songs
One of the things I found out as a performer in the sixties is that if us and the Dylanites wished to perform our music in peace we needed to go our separate ways and agree to co-exist under separate roofs
It worked quite well for a couple of decades, until one edged out the other
Remember - we are a tiny minority anyway - the rest of the world doesn't give a tuppeny fart one way or the other
That's what we are discussing
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 09:28 AM

I have repeated over and over again that, flawed as it is, the '54 one will do till a better one comes along,

A fol song iss something specific - ifit has another meaning than that documented, then you are committed to saying what it now means
The '54 definition was accepted internationally as a guide to what folksong means
That remains the case

"thus not conforming to the 1954 definition of songs which states that:"
Why can't you accept that the definition has SFA to do with any of this?
You appear to be claiming that folk song as defined has no place in today's scene

In our little world of folk, however you define it, technically we are the majority and we can point to a definition and say - "that's what we mean" - you can't


I'm confused. Is it the 1954 definition or not and, if not, what?


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Raggytash
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 09:20 AM

I'm not 100% sure but I don't think a single person has said that they don't like "singing and listening to centuries old ballads and folk songs"

I certainly haven't said any such thing.

"In our little world of folk, however you define it, technically we are the majority and we can point to a definition and say - "that's what we mean" - you can't"

Sounds like exclusive and elitist to me.


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 09:13 AM

By the way
"equivalent of the US Constitution's 2nd Amendment...."
THe US Amendments are a declaration of Rights, not a definition of something that has happened
Apples and Passion Fruit, I'm afraid
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 09:10 AM

Bit patronising Al - and wildly inaccurate, but i'm sure yo meant it for the best
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 09:08 AM

How can a definition of something that happened in the past be rendered "out of date"
It can be wrong say because it has misinterpreted the information it was working with, but that is nor what is being argued here
Perhaps if you substitute "out of day" for "inconvenient in certain circles" you might be nearer the truth
That is the nub of all this
Some of you appear to believe that folk song is out of date and would prefer it to be something else
Definitions don't work like that
Some of us still enjoy singing and listening to centuries old ballads and folk songs, that you appear not to is your loss
I enjoy watching Shakespeare and reading Homer (in prose)
While I'm happy to read John Grisham and watch 'Fools and Horses' I don't want to replace one with the other - I enjoy them all
In our little world of folk, however you define it, technically we are the majority and we can point to a definition and say - "that's what we mean" - you can't
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What is Happening to our Folk Clubs
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Oct 17 - 08:59 AM

no one's dictating to you Raggy. Its Jim's opinion - that's all.

he needs a set of beliefs to operate the way he does. we need a set of beliefs to exist in our domain.

he may think, he's discovered an absolute truth. that's up to him.

it doesn't interfere with us, well not all that much = though i suppose grabbing the tags of intellectual respectability does impact slightly. still its not like we live in Iran where the orthodoxies are asserted by a bloke with a bloody big sword.


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