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the uk folk revival in 2019

The Sandman 03 Oct 19 - 05:03 AM
GUEST,Observer 03 Oct 19 - 05:31 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Oct 19 - 05:32 AM
The Sandman 03 Oct 19 - 06:16 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Oct 19 - 06:55 AM
GUEST,Observer 03 Oct 19 - 07:45 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Oct 19 - 08:28 AM
Vic Smith 03 Oct 19 - 08:44 AM
GUEST,Jim Martin 03 Oct 19 - 09:39 AM
Acorn4 03 Oct 19 - 10:35 AM
GUEST 03 Oct 19 - 10:49 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Oct 19 - 10:53 AM
r.padgett 03 Oct 19 - 11:00 AM
Vic Smith 03 Oct 19 - 12:56 PM
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Jack Campin 03 Oct 19 - 04:15 PM
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The Sandman 04 Oct 19 - 12:22 AM
The Sandman 04 Oct 19 - 12:25 AM
r.padgett 04 Oct 19 - 02:47 AM
GUEST,Observer 04 Oct 19 - 03:01 AM
Jim Carroll 04 Oct 19 - 03:18 AM
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Jim Carroll 05 Oct 19 - 06:01 AM
Backwoodsman 05 Oct 19 - 06:28 AM
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John MacKenzie 05 Oct 19 - 07:20 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 19 - 07:32 AM
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r.padgett 05 Oct 19 - 11:44 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Oct 19 - 12:35 PM
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theleveller 06 Oct 19 - 04:03 AM
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Big Al Whittle 09 Oct 19 - 03:13 PM
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Jim Carroll 09 Oct 19 - 08:10 PM
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RTim 09 Oct 19 - 10:11 PM
Dave the Gnome 10 Oct 19 - 02:29 AM
r.padgett 10 Oct 19 - 03:35 AM
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Jim Carroll 10 Oct 19 - 03:50 AM
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Jim Carroll 10 Oct 19 - 05:56 AM
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GUEST,jim bainbridge 12 Oct 19 - 12:43 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Oct 19 - 01:06 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Oct 19 - 01:12 PM
Howard Jones 12 Oct 19 - 01:43 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 12 Oct 19 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,Starship 12 Oct 19 - 02:16 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Oct 19 - 02:35 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Oct 19 - 02:37 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 12 Oct 19 - 03:24 PM
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Raggytash 12 Oct 19 - 04:11 PM
Jack Campin 12 Oct 19 - 04:56 PM
GUEST 12 Oct 19 - 05:49 PM
Big Al Whittle 12 Oct 19 - 07:26 PM
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r.padgett 13 Oct 19 - 03:00 AM
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Big Al Whittle 13 Oct 19 - 06:14 AM
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Subject: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 05:03 AM

Is the uk folk revival rudderless?What direction is it taking?
here is an extract from the Newcastle degree course[ I could see no mention of teaching organisational skills or encouragement to teach how to run clubs or festivals?

Is the revival being directed by agents and professional performers towards Art centres and away from community based clubs?Or is it heading that way because of lack of available club rooms?
How do organisers overcome the lack of available pub rooms for venues other than approaching bowls clubs, cricket clubs, british legion clubs,


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 05:31 AM

To paraphrase Lord Nelson:

"I see no extract"

That being the case it makes it very hard to comment.

In the case of the Newcastle degree course I know for certain that they are taught the skills required to plan, organise, promote, run and bring to the public musical events. This I know as I have attended such events at Newcastle's excellent Sage venue - very good it was too.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 05:32 AM

Directionless, I would say Dick
No point of having a rudder if you can't agree where you're going
Jim carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 06:16 AM

In the case of the Newcastle degree course I know for certain that they are taught the skills required to plan, organise, promote, run and bring to the public musical events. if that is the case why are so few newcastle degree leavers organising events or are they? and if so who are they and are they organising clubs or festivals?
There has been criticism of MacColl, but at least he tried to help others, gave up his time, organised a club, who of the elder statesmen of the revival are doing that now?
who of the younger professionals are doing that now?
if people do not organise events, one day festivals folk clubs, festivals, workshops, there will be nowhere to perform.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 06:55 AM

Don't know what happens now Dick, but I do know that Critics member Sandra Kerr was taking workshops on singing there
We gave her copies of our archive in order than she could pass them on to her group
If that's changed and is no longer the case it would be a cryings shame

I was a little disturbed to receive an invitation to the launch of the Irish Art's Council's 'Liam O'Flynn Annual Awards' scheme in Dublin
I'm not against great musicians like Liam being remembered in this way, nor an I in principle against such awards being made, but it seems to me that, while there are so many youngsters coming onto the scene at grass level for the love of the music that is what should be concentrated on rather than glittering prizes - which basically for winners - you are, I know, fully aware of my distaste for CCE's 'competition ethos)
When Willy Clancy died nearly fifty years ago, the locals set up an annual week-long school
That school is still running and still turning out some of Ireland's best musicians, many of whom are also teaching
The fact that it is attended from students from all over the world is an added bonus

Once the scene is firmly established, there's no reason why all sorts of things should be done, but if money is tight it should be put wee it's needed
Trad music has always been grass-rots based - change that and you stand a good chance of making it short-term elitism
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 07:45 AM

I would rather imagine that, being the age that "most" of those successfully coming through such degree courses, those youngsters would want to play on stage at festivals and at concerts, not immediately rush out with a burning desire to set up their own festivals, clubs, etc at which they then could play. Accept that they have come to the music by a different route than most commenting here [Self included]. They, particularly those in England, have had to pay for it and work extremely hard to successfully complete their course. Some, a small proportion, will actually go on to make a living and a name as performance artists. Some, a greater proportion, will make a living by teaching music. But quite a large number will not pursue music as a way to make a living at all. No doubt they will still play out of the love of the music and their contribution will be welcomed and really appreciated wherever they appear and play.

Let those who want to start folk clubs, concerts, festivals get on with it. Signing up for a three year course to study Traditional Music does not include any absolute requirement that you have to provide work opportunities for others - hard enough finding those for oneself.

The opening post drew attention to an extract that was not quoted and not referenced to and stated that the students were not taught "how to run clubs and festivals" - I merely commented on the lack of detail given by the OP and the fact that to my certain knowledge the University Course mentioned DID teach their students the skills required to plan, organise, promote, run and bring to the public musical events. Those events planned and performed by those students as part of their course work are held in Newcastle, are normally sold out - their end of course concert in particular is absolutely splendid, so please do not say they are not taught these things because that is simply not true.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 08:28 AM

The youngsters in Ireland came to the music at grass roots level
In my opinion that is the only way it will survive
It really isn't about what brings the newcomers in bu how those already involved attract them in and what opportunities they are offered when they get her
If they come in for prizes and stardom they will rip the music out of its grass roots and it will become a spectator rather than a participatory activity
We really have been there and watched the music all but disappear in the past
Comhaltas has been in existence longer and had more establishment support that any other Irish music organisation - it even has an officer in The Irish Senate, yet, because of it's competition ethos, all it has ever been able to come up with is painting-by-numbers playing and Fleadhs
Up to the present uplift in fortunes it was bumping along the bottom - teaching kids formulaic playing that was essential to win competitions
Musician and scholar, Brendan Breathnach summed it up perfectly - "An organisation with a great future behind it"
Any scene has to cater equally for all levels but education and archiving are among the most important and it is these which will build the necessary foundations to guarantee survaival
Look into the Irish Traditional Music Archive website to see a magnificent example of what I mean

WONDER IF ANYTHING EVER BECAME OF THIS ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Vic Smith
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 08:44 AM

The daughter of good friends of ours was on the Newcastle course. She did very well. She then started a 2-year Masters degree and again was highly successful. She is an excellent musician, a fine singer and is a well organised person. Now, with a £25,000 student debt, very few gigs she is doing individual music tuition, bar-maiding, cleaning, rushing from one day's agency office job to another - anything to pay her rent and food which seems to take up all her time and energy with the constant worry of that debt hanging over her.
She supports local folk clubs and festivals when she can but is in no position to think about organising any musical event. She is now looking for employment in academia which she is well qualified for but severe cutbacks in university funding mean that these posts are now few and far between.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 09:39 AM

Vic Smith - "This is life, but not as we know it"! (with apologies to 'Star Trek').


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Acorn4
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 10:35 AM

Particularly relevant in the Midlands where several festivals have stopped due to the organisers having reached the age where they want to be handing over but no one taking on the mantle.

Our local one has been a bit luckier but this is a case of a group of energetic and enthusiastic "fiftysomethings" taking it on.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 10:49 AM

"Performance and group playing is at the heart of this course, reflecting the essential folk practices of playing by ear, and playing music with others.

Performance modules are enhanced by various applied and academic modules that create individual pathways through the degree, and reflect the diverse and exciting combination of research interests within the wider music department.

National and International artists teach as regular and guest tutors and we have close ties with Sage Gateshead.

Many of our students have gone on to develop high profile careers as performers, scholars, teachers and culture industry professionals."


"You can also choose to enhance your employability and develop career skills through modules in Music Enterprise and Student Placement for Education in the Community."


https://www.ncl.ac.uk/undergraduate/degrees/w344/#courseoverview



"Working in music – perspectives provided by musicians and people working in a variety of roles within the music business.
Entrepreneurship in a music context
Marketing and promotion
Finance and realising value
Team working and collaboration
Creative problem solving, idea generation, negotiation
Intellectual property and copyright, including royalty collection systems."

https://www.ncl.ac.uk/undergraduate/modules/mus2195


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 10:53 AM

Oh dear !!!
And another one bites the Duster
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 11:00 AM

The times they have changed

The uk revival in 2019 has many facets ~ folk clubs as such are getting rarer by the minute ~ some ppl will say it ok here ~ but there are more and more professional artists/folk singers many well qualified who see themselves as the elite and are looking for folk related work and have rarely if ever supported a folk club

Ray


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Vic Smith
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 12:56 PM

many well qualified who see themselves as the elite and are looking for folk related work and have rarely if ever supported a folk club

Some would say that this is a good thing. With one brother living in France and another in Italy, I am often in these countries and reasonably often go to events and festivals in them. I find that when traditional music events are presented in those countries, particularly in Italy, that many small towns present outdoor folk music concerts in the summer months, but they always seem to be advertised and promoted alongside other music events; they have the feeling of 'mainstream' about them. Even in areas where folk music is strong, like Puglia, there is nothing that is the equivilent of our "folk revival" or "folk clubs" so that the feeling of ghettoisation that I sometimes get in the way we present our music here does not exist.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 01:15 PM

guest 3 oct 1049,
well the degree course is not working properly in its entirety, if people are shown how to organise events but for various reasons do not. padgett talks about many performers who do not support events, it is very simple "use it or lose it" .
If there are too few venues and a surplus of performers, the only way around it is for an increase in venues, probably what is sensible is a 20 percent increase, it is up to pro and semi pro performers to organise events themselves, and perhaps once a month or fortnight.turn up and do a floor spot, this would hopefully help to bring up standards of performance and attendance. my argument may have flaws but can anone suggest a better idea


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 03:46 PM

yes fair points, Vic, but the good point about folk clubs[asa you well know] is that people are listening and have gone specifically for the music.
In Ireland where also the the tradition is more mainstream, I have recently been doing gigs in community centres [often in the middle of the day]and all the people love the trad nusic and songs, and on occasions sing local self composed songs, these are not songs [like some of the uk singe songwriters that are about personal relationships] but are songs about events that have happened locally]the difference between these gigs and pub gigs is that people are there specifically for the music


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jack Campin
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 04:15 PM

Is there a subtext "why aren't these young folks starting festivals... so they can book ME?"


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 19 - 06:07 PM

Maybe the festival problem is that the public expect something a lot more professional that we would get in the last century. Just look at Towersey's offer for 2020.

In much of England "folk clubs" are associated with a demographic such that a Saga outing turning up would lower the average age in the venue. Where younger people start up events they tend to be different formats and certainly not called "folk clubs".

I generalise of course and am talking about southern England. No doubt there will be a response from somebody along the lines of "we have one teenager at our club therefore all clubs have teenagers".


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 12:22 AM

Jack,not necessary,i am just about to fly off to a folk festival in the uk where i am booked, i have no shortage of paid work in ireland and the uk, wake up, Jack


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 12:25 AM

your unpleasant comment, does not alter the fact at in the lasst20 to 40years the amount of uk folk clubs has reduced considerably


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 02:47 AM

Some of you may be aware of Folk 21on fb ~

My view is that new potentially bookable folksingers should have their own folk clubs or run events no doubt showcasing their talents AND charging for it!

The problem is that sessions and similar tend not to ask even for a donation ~ yes some do and proceeds to say a folk festival or charity

Yes important to realise that few full time folk acts can make living wage

The down side is that as I think Bob Fox said it's like being a long distance lorry driver who starts work when he to the destination

Look at Flossie Mallavaille who must do many thousands of miles driving to gigs in UK and further ~ she is French but very popular and domiciled in UK

Ray Padgett


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 03:01 AM

It would appear from what those commenting here are saying that there is no 2019 "Folk Revival".


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 03:18 AM

I agree entirely Ron, if I read you correctly
Professionalism and making a living from folk has, up to comparatively recently been an optional appendage to the folk scene - now it seems a permanent and dominant growth being used as a yardstick to measure its success - that, in my opinion, is a cancer that needs treating - if it is not too late
We've always had professionals, some have given back something as well as taking from it, but many never did and became professional or semi-professional entertainers who (sometimes) chose folk music a their ladder to success
The more they did, the more some clubs came to rely on them and, in my opinions, the more folk music became a spectator rather than a participatory activity - as far from folk song's roots as you can possibly get - and both the ordinary enthusiasts and the music itself were the main casualties

I spent a day yaesterday going through a rammed folder of old cuttings from the early days of the revival - crammed with ideas, arguments, long letters and articles from people I had never met or hardly knew.... and bubling with positive energy and sometimes indignation
Now the scene seems to be welcoming imminent armchair-bound retirement, with nobody but nobody to take over
What a sad and undignified way for a beautiful art form to die

The Irish musicians and singers I grew to musical maturity with are, as I am, getting old, but the best of them have made damned sure that the music they devoted their lives and love to stayed healthy
I can't see that having happened back home and in never can without a grass roots base to nourish it
JIm Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 03:37 AM

I think that is basically correct Observer, society has changed to such an extent that "folk/traditional" music is no longer relevant.
The music was always about telling stories, illustrating life's joys and sorrows and involving the populace in participation in folk music as something life enhancing.    We seem to no longer value these things, and have become completely demoralised by modern society and politics.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 03:49 AM

I don't believe that folk - for what itwas - will ever be irrelevant, even if it's not fashionable
It is what it has always been recognised as (in my circles) 'The Voice of the People' a way for 'ordinary (terrible word) to shout - "this is what I am, what I want and how I feel"
The best of the new song-makers have used it to do the same
That basic function - the need of a voice - will never disappear, though it might lay dormant
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 04:17 AM

"Is the uk folk revival rudderless?What direction is it taking?"

I think it takes its direction from the collective activity of individual musicians, folk club organisers, live music promoters, writers, bloggers etc. Even in the 1960s or 70s, if you'd asked Martin Carthy or John Kirkpatrick that question, I think they'd have been hard pressed to give a definitive answer.

"Is the revival being directed by agents and professional performers towards Art centres and away from community based clubs?Or is it heading that way because of lack of available club rooms?"

Performers will play wherever they can and wherever they can find an appreciative audience and a decent fee. Most folk performers play a mix of folk clubs and established live music venues (and the two are not mutually exclusive).
House concerts too of course.

"How do organisers overcome the lack of available pub rooms for venues other than approaching bowls clubs, cricket clubs, british legion clubs"

Finding similar other places: cafes, galleries, bars within cinemas and galleries (Picturehouse Cinemas have thriving live music in their bars) and in summer playing outdoor gigs. The aforementioned house concerts: the house concert scene is under the radar but there are websites you can easily find.

"There has been criticism of MacColl, but at least he tried to help others, gave up his time, organised a club, who of the elder statesmen of the revival are doing that now? who of the younger professionals are doing that now?


Off the top of my head: Jon Boden and his partner Fay Hield run a folk club in Dungworth and the excellent Soundpost events; Paul Sartin (Belshazzars Feast, Bellowhead, Faustus) runs Otley Folk Club; Maddy Prior runs many events/workshops from her home. Look at Lewes Folk Club's Saturday series of workshops for a list of year-round workshops by their visiting professional guests.

Eliza Carthy organised the English Fiddle Symposium.

Archie Moore (or Moore Moss Rutter) taught an excellent all-day fiddle workshop here in London the other week.

The Askew Sisters, Paul Hutchinson and many other well known folk 'names' teach year-round weekly classes at Cecil Sharp House.

Here in London we have quite a lot of folk clubs. They are run by amateur musicians but often amateur musicians who nonetheless record albums and play gigs and festivals etc. Like much of the folk scene, the dividing line between amateur and professional is fuzzy.

All the above is off the top of my head and inevitably London-centric as that's where I've always lived. But if I researched I'm sure I could find more.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 05:12 AM

Well said Matt!


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 05:57 AM

"Folk music" is not really about the performers, it's about the audience.
There was something about the last revival which struck a chord with the general public who responded in droves. Folk music today has lost touch with the people in the same way as politicians have. It has become about performance rather than reflecting life and appealing to the myriad emotions of humanity. Many of the values promoted by the singers and songs of the last revival have been rejected by modern society, we no longer have much idea of who we are or what makes sense in life.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 06:21 AM

Folk music and song has to be about the muisc and song Ake
- the music hasn't lost touch with the people the people who perform it may have though
The first person a performer has to please and satisfy his him/herself
Until you are able to do that you will convince nobody
All the (old) singers we asked told us they say pictures of their songs as they sang them
Walter Pardon described at length how he could look at an audience without seeing them
Once you try to please an audience you become a performer of songs rather than an interpreter of them - they become external projections rather than inner experiences
I'm pretty convinced that this applies to all art
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 07:12 AM

Vic Lewis; "with the constant worry of that debt hanging over her."

There's no need for her to worry about it - though I'm not defending student loans. On Student Loan Plan 2, you pay back 9% of what you earn above £2,143 per month. If you earn less than that in a month, then you don't pay anything back. So you can regard it as a tax on income rather than a debt. 80% of student loans are not repaid in full; anything remaining after 30 years is written off.

Not many songs about it yet.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 08:20 AM

Some interesting ideas. But what sort of monster is satisfied with every performance.

Sounds a bit like Ernie Wise's plays wot he has written.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 09:15 AM

"But what sort of monster is satisfied with every performance."
No monster with any sense Al
This sums up how I feel about performing pretty well
It comes from a months-long interview we did with Ewan back in the 70s when we asked him about the standard of singing he expected from a club
I quote it when I can and I've just lifted it from a script of a talk we gave at a Salford weekend held to commemorate his work run by Mancunian friends shortly after he died
Never fails to get me in the gut
Jim

“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 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.
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.”


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Evert
Date: 04 Oct 19 - 12:30 PM

henryp: "There's no need for her to worry about it [...]"

That is all true for an undergraduate degree. But lots of masters students need to take a 'career developement loan', which is a commercial loan charged at commercial rates. (Unless they are lucky enough to get funding)


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 03:48 AM

Running folk music workshops is not the same as running a folk club ~ it is no different from appearing as booked guest ~ but you have to have gigs to make a living I think controversially I said elsewhere that a talk on running a folk club should be from someone with knowledge of the subject and not a guest artist or festival organiser

Yes there are some very successful folk clubs ~ be they weekly, monthly or summat else ~ firstly distinguish from a concert club ~ different animals

A club should have a membership and be run to a constitution ~ yes I know there are always other ways and one man bands who have many friends!

The point is that everyone relies on attracting an audience, but more to the point it is a social gathering: workshops etc can be useful to improve musicianship and other aspect of performance

Importantly entry fees are needed and personally I hate booking type purchase and the extra charge they make! ~ nor do I like extra hike of prices on the door ~ I'll stay at home!

I know many here know the pitfalls and the egos involved etc ~ folk clubs can be finely balanced on success and failure ~ clubs I find at sea sides tend to attract the older people too ~ its is without doubt an age thing ~ but the youngsters are fighting back and good luck to them

Ray Padgett


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 04:28 AM

Equity the actors union has many thousands of members, very few of whom are in regular employment, with the majority having to work in 'day jobs' to make ends meet. The unemployment exchanges are well supplied with unemployed university graduates, many of whom have degrees in subjects that aren't amenable to making a daily living. All in all, and especially since university status was awarded to almost every educational institute in the UK, we have the best qualified unemployed in Europe.
Why therefore should graduates from Newcastle and the like be any different? They are studying a niche subject, and the number of niches for them to fill is decreasing rapidly, of course there isn't enough work to go round, and there never will be !
Reasons are manifold, lack of venues, lack of audience, low entry prices, high artiste's fees, too many festivals, even the price of beer !
Answer ? I wish I knew, and so do many others.
I do know this, the world doesn't owe anybody a living, we all have to work to earn our daily bread, and the best way to get work, is to make yourself less dispensable than the competition.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 04:29 AM

" but the youngsters are fighting back and good luck to them"
Who are they "fighting", and why ?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 04:34 AM

It might well be that one reason why young folk-uni graduates don't start more clubs and festivals is precisely because they've had an education in arts management. They have the skills to predict when a project is doomed to failure.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 06:01 AM

Fauilure of the clubs has to be about the music and not whether University graduates can get jobs or professional singers can get bookings - once these two become an issue the music is doomed to suffer
In any club I've ever been involved in an evening was 'successful' if the singers and the audience went home having enjoyed an evening of well sung folk songs - the number of bums on seats was a bonus
The revival was launched and ran on the uniqueness of folk song - that's what people formed clubs for and that's what people came to here
One that was gone, the clubs went into a tail spin
I have to say I'm somewhat gratified to see the scene being discussed as if there might be something amiss
Not too long ago I was shouted down for suggesting something might be amiss
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 06:28 AM

You don’t need a university education to be able to ‘see when a project is doomed to failure’. All it takes is a pair of feet planted firmly on the ground, and a modicum of common sense.

My experience of employing graduates is that those two things are often lacking.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Steve Murray
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 06:38 AM

It does seem to me that with the possible exception of The Unthanks, there are no 'big acts' among folks younger generation who have managed to successfully step consistently as headliners of the major festivals. This years bill toppers at Cambridge were in the main well over the other side of 50. During their time, Bellowhead were the obvious exception and Eliza Carthy's Wayward band showed promise but all in all it seems to me that no-one has been able to fill the void that is being created by the ageing of Folks greatest performers. Similarly, Irish music seems to be affected by the same issue.

Also, the meteoric rise of some solo performers who could loosely be described as a folk singers has contributed to the problem as they have shorn folk festivals of younger 'star attractions' simply because the performers know they can perform in Wembley stadium as opposed to the main stage at Cherry Hinton.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 07:20 AM

There are quite a few good younger acts around, I could mention Ellie Beaton, Iona Fyfe and Siobhan Miller from my end of the world for a start. Many festivals book the same peeps every year, and they all seem to draw from the same small pool.
Might help explain the previously mentioned lack of openings/work, for Newcastle graduates?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 07:32 AM

"it is no different from appearing as booked guest ~"
Sorry Ron - I couldn't disagree more
Running workshop should be a vital part of developing a club - a way to constantly bring in and develop new people, their talent, energy and enthusiasm
Booked guests are, or should be an opportunity for the residents to lie beck and let someone else do the work while, at the same time, take a peep at whhat's happening elsewhere within your club's scope of interest
Workshops I've participated in have included developing and understanding singing, instrumental and style talks, songmaking sessions, local collecting projects.... even the showing of films and playing radio programmes
The London Singers Workshop once listened to and debated MacColl's 10 'Song Carrier' programmes
While it is sometimes necessary to employ 'experts', the best of them were given to residents and committee members to do as a act of commitment
I can neve remember there being a shortage of volunteers
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 07:46 AM

Look at Lewes folk club and how that's run, workshops are a regular part of their programme. They are a great example of how to run a club.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 11:44 AM

"it is no different from appearing as booked guest ~
Sorry Ron [Ray] - I couldn't disagree more"

Artists have come to rely and enjoy being paid to put on a workshop

"Running workshop should be a vital part of developing a club - a way to constantly bring in and develop new people, their talent, energy and enthusiasm"

Totally agree ~but the number of clubs who are able and set up to do this are,I believe less frequent ~ audiences/talented floor singers are not that common and workshop people will be overjoyed to have a folk club set up everything for them ~ how many folk club organisers would do this in this day and age and why would or should they?" Dungworth and EFDSS do do this as part of an annual folk weekend btw


"Booked guests are, or should be an opportunity for the residents to lie beck and let someone else do the work while, at the same time, take a peep at what's happening elsewhere within your club's scope of interest"

Above agreed but that's aint what necessarily happens ~ booked guests ~ now what are they? and booked by whom and will the audience come ~ attitudes to booking guests and type of guest and retaining interest is currently a total riddle

Ray Padgett


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 12:35 PM

"Artists have come to rely and enjoy being paid to put on a workshop"
I'm sure they have, but I used to enjoy going to and running clubs that didn't have to worry about whether they could afford to continue
I can see no reason why people capable os say, playing instruments should be able to talk about doing so
I have long come to the conclusion that folk singing can't really be taught - the depressing habit of giving a roomful of people crib sheets to repeat like parrots I believe does more damage than good
The most efficient and all-inclusive method of improving singing is sympathetic group work - gat a group of people who can sing and know a little about the songs, stick a newbie in front of them, get him/her to sing and ask or comments and suggestions
That way, everyone in the room gains something
We don't need superstars - we never have
We need clubs full of competent singers and people given the opportunity to learn - activate them and you open the way to an improved scene
I was involved in workshops got going on twenty years - I can never remember having to pay anybody
Replacing the club scene with Festivals
Someone was griping some time ago about everything being centred in London
The beauty of the self-help group is that it's portable and it's self generating - and it can be operated "where-ever as little as three people are gathered' (two- if they establish a tust between each other)
Pat and I (both ex long-time workshop members) were invited to speak at a weekend dedicated to MacColl in Salford Uni not long after he died
We did our bit on The Critics Group and a handful of people asked if we could explain how the group worked
We found an empty room and set up a mini two hour workshop with results that staggered us and all we did was chair it and let them do the work
I'd walk over broken glass to be allowed to do that again
Audiences can become teachers, given the opportunity
Instrumentation is a different matter (if it's necessary) but we've all tried the three chord home-made accompaniment, I'm sure
Only dedication will make it better, no matter how many teachers you can afford

We helped run London Singers Workshop for getting on twenty years, during which time we accumulated a huge archive of recordings - songs, lectures, radio programmes, recorded workshops, articles, digitised books.... you name it....
I've spent years trying to get it housed and used in the UK, so far without a nibble
Anybody wishing to take a copy is more than welcome to do so if they will use it to pass on and improve the scene   
Waiting For Godot simply isn't going to work
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 01:02 PM

As the song says...

Things ain't what they used to be

Whether that is a good or bad thing is the point of contention.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 02:17 PM

not really - you were shouted down for saying the current scene in England was total rubbish.

I think we acknowledge that things aren't as we would have wished.

If there was time when it seemed perfect - maybe it was because we were young. I certainly remember nights when I thought I had witnessed greatness in a folk club.

I also remember my parents saying - well we had to sit through a whole load of shit before you get to the decent bit. I seem to remember my rejoinder - well you'd have sat through an entire evening if you stayed and watched telly.

I think maybe as you get older - you get a bit less shit tolerant.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 03:00 PM

Who was that addressed to, Al? I have certainly said no such thing.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 03:03 PM

"If there was time when it seemed perfect "
No Al - we wree up to arses in good club, good magazine more record labels that there are albums now
I remeber when I could go to folk clubs and hear folk songs

Many of the postings here are about how things have deteriorated
Take your head out of the sand bucket if you want our kids to get the same pleasure that we did out of making our own music rather than having to pay for it
I'm afraid we'e talking about a different kind of music Dave
We really have been here
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 04:00 PM

I don't mention any kind of music, Jim.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 04:23 PM

I would say not exactly deteriorated Jim ~things, people and attitudes have changed ~

It is not the folk scene of the 1950/60/70s it is a new millennium indeed 2019 and though traditional songs and contemporary song is the new remit of the youngsters, there is nothing to stop the singing of songs for pleasure by we oldies and the continued enjoyment of singing and playing of songs and tunes

It seems to me that instrumentation and accompaniment of songs is what the young artists are at nowadays and good luck to them

I certainly would hope that the "oldies" can teach the youngsters some thing or other!

I would add in passing that songs learnt from books by the young thruster seem to my mind lack the feel of songs from recorded sources ~ they are bland ~ however accompaniments do often add a great deal to the original material ~but not always ~ and not necessarily a good thing!

Ray Padgett


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Oct 19 - 08:50 PM

Things have changed. They multi-multiplied. Like Topsy, the folkscene growed and growed,

Have you seen the number of folk albums released every issue of Rock and Reel. As Michael Caine said in Zulu, farsands of them!

You no longer have to go round to see an artist half a dozen times to 'get' a song. You no longer have to read a review by dear old MGM, or Karl Dallas.

You can get lyrics and chords if you just put the words you do know on the internet. You can see most artists on Youtube, and decide for yourself if they have anything for you.

Your kind of folk clubs have all but disappeared. I sympathise - so have mine. I'm sure some people from your folk clubs came into my folk clubs and hated it. I know damn well many of my friends.ventured into the traddy folk clubs and weren't enraptured.

I still find singers, I like and respect though. Amazing singers. And they're there because we were there.

And the world is smaller - you can link up with singers in Texas or Russia, or Australia - with a few clicks of the computer mouse.

The scene is out of our control, and that's how it should be. We wouldn't have wanted our parents laying down the law everything rattling on about how they knew everything. Not that it stopped them...


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 02:46 AM

well said Big Al Whittle

Ray


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 03:12 AM

"I don't mention any kind of music, Jim."
You have in the past Dave
Al
You have just confirmed my worst fears
Those who took up the voice of the people and formd the clubs and sang the stuff themselves are no longer of interest unless they make an album or even have human contact with one another
The music that was made by and relied on human contact is dead
Do I have that right
How ********b depressing to know that we have all turned into recipient audiences who have to pay for our songs and music
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 03:32 AM

Incidentally Al - the one thing missing from the 'Brave New Folk' world you describe is the very thing the revical was set up to provide CHOICE
We were pissed of at the 'Pink and Blue Toothbrushes' that were being pumped at us so we went and took up our own stuff
We enjoyed what we did and we enjoyed doing it in company - what a great time we haven't managed to manage to pass onto our kids - at leat - you didn't pass on to your kids
This little one-street town in the rural west has live sessions six nights a week at present - I'm not sure how many exactly, around ten, I think
Tonight I can go to two sessions where round-the-room singing will take place - one devoted entirely to singing (and singing has yet to catch up with the booming music scene)
Come in - the water's lovel
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: theleveller
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 04:03 AM

"I could see no mention of teaching organisational skills or encouragement to teach how to run clubs or festivals?"

Why should that be part of the course? Most Humanities degrees are non-vocational - they are about studying the subject, not how that knowledge will be applied. Application may come later, with perhaps a Masters, PGCE or whatever. My son. for example, took a History and Politics degree then went to work for Nestle and Northern Powergen. Only later did he decide to go into teaching and took his PGCE. If every degree course had to include practical ways of applying your degree you would wipe out the entire Humanities syllabus.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 05:32 AM

Well said Al! The opportunity to listen to folk music from across the world is far greater now than it was previously - and contrary to what Jim says often at no or little cost other than a broadband connection. As Jim does say however there is probably less opportunity to participate in performance on a regular basis - though many festivals have sessions and workshops


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 05:39 AM

I would add though that here in Yorkshire there are many thriving clubs, sessions and singarounds so here at least the situation is not as bleak as Jim appears to fear. That is confirmed by the number of young artists who are still coming through the folk clubs and moving on to be touring musicians. Not as many as when I was first introduced to folk admittedly but along with all the other people performing folk there are enough to ensure a thriving scene


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 06:03 AM

Internet folk is like internet sex - it's what you watch others do
Maybe that's what the modern crowd prefer - it never suited us (either music or sex)
Strangely enough, the only real folk music on the internet I find satisfying was never done for putting on line - it is of live performances or films made to encourage others to become involved - 'The Singer and the Song', 'End of an Old Song' ot the filmed Radio Ballads..... - masterpieces all
The home made, poorly produced stuff leaves me cold because it appears to have no objective other than to promote itself
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 06:31 AM

You have in the past Dave

What is the relevance to my comment on this thread?

You are just stirring up old arguments. Why?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 07:07 AM

"You are just stirring up old arguments. Why?"
I'm not stirring up old anything Dave
The future of folk song rests on how it is presented to the world - that folk clubs call themselves "folk" yet quite often claim that that title no longer means anything, is a major issue which will and never should become "an old argument unitl it is resolved
Sorry - wasn't having a pop at you personally - It's an important, as yet unresolved problem
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 07:33 AM

Apology accepted. Thanks. I shall repeat my post then as it seems to have been lost down some sort of unintentional sidetrack

As the song says...

Things ain't what they used to be

Whether that is a good or bad thing is the point of contention.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 08:10 AM

One of the differences today is that there is no obvious political influence in the development of the music. In the early sixties, Communists and socialists like Seeger and MacColl tried to manipulate folk music to serve their political ends.....in doing so they attracted a large number of young people who simply wanted change without regard to the fact that we were in the throws of a huge economic and manufacturing revolution, many complicated issues to be overcome simply by singing about the perceived injustices.    Fortunately their false gods like Dylan and other popular celebrity folkies soon showed that they were, like most of us, more interested in personal advancement than in changing society, to the fury of the politically engaged.
The folk movement today is all about personal advancement. The great traditional songs were not about changing society, but were a celebration of all the facets of humanity, a pride in the hardships to be endured...competitions of strength, ability to do hard jobs like mining, farming, fishing and even soldiering. Many of the songs of poor working conditions were a celebration of human spirit over adversity.
Today's society has lost everything that folk music celebrated.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 08:22 AM

"Seeger and MacColl tried to manipulate folk music to serve their political ends."
No they didn't - the movement was lauunched by left wingers before either appeared on the scene - WMA, Topic
Ewan and Peg and Bet and Leon Rosleson... and all the other left wingers took up the music as 'The Voice of the People and concentrated largely on presenting that music well
Everbody has the right to express their own views - our tradition is often about the same workers rights and suffering that the later songwriters wrote about - transportation , social misalliance, starvation and xploitation
Not much to 'celebrate' there
I do wish this right wing propaganda would take a long rest
"Things ain't what they used to be"
But folk reamins the same until somebody comes up with and agrees on a new identity for it - "Nobody knows" may be fine for Q.I. - it doesn't help when you're running a club
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 10:37 AM

I did not say that Seeger and MacColl launched it, but that they manipulated it. It was seen especially by Seeger as a means of making extreme left wing socialism popular with the younger generation.
Most of the folk performers of the fifties and sixties before the revival were seen as members of a niche minority group, and the new young folkies like Baez Dylan etc were looked upon as Messiahs for the cause, Of course, it turned out that they were not Messiahs, but very naughty boys and girls. The real strengths of traditional music to enhance life and society were subsequently diminished.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 11:03 AM

Music of the people in its beginnings was carried from place to place by minstrels of various skills and abilities. I'm sure that a Darwinian process worked itself out as to who was listened to and who wasn't. However, the advent of mass communication starting in the 1800s has grown so much in recent decades that local minstrels can be broadcast to the world, but unless the subject matter resonates with the listeners the minstrel will be ignored to a greater or lesser degree. I am reminded of Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit 451' movie in which people memorize books in order to preserve them, printed matter being a crime in the novel. The diminishment of people like Dylan does not obviate their popularity, and the fact is they became very popular with their respective audiences. As is obvious from this thread, there is no general agreement even among the scholars who post here, so some arguments are a hiding to nowt, because it seems we still struggle to say what we mean while concomitantly connecting with the reader. It's the same in many ways with the music itself I think.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 11:12 AM

Starship, I had no intention of diminishing Dylan, in fact I own many of his LPs from the sixties and seventies. What I mean is that Dylan and other did not follow the route planned for them by the politicians of folk music; they being the ones who diminished traditional music and obscured its true purpose.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 11:27 AM

"but that they manipulated it."
Please don't do this Ake - he did not - the revival was hevily politicised from day one
The Topic Choir was singing The Red Flag and The Soviet Airman's song lang before Ewan appeared on the scene
Politics has been a a part of the songmaking tradition as far back as the 12th century when they were making songs about the evil King John
I never heard a left winge complain about the glorification of the slaughter of pressed ploughboys and factory workers at Trafalgar, or the btchery of ordinary soldiers who were unfortunate enough to be in the front line of the harge of The Light Brigade - political songs all
It's not politics you people complain about but the slant of the politics
The strength of traditional song is that it encompasses every aspect of human experience, from vicious cruelty to high achievement - society, wats and all

My favourite ballad, Tiftie's Annie is typical; on the surface a tragic love song, but on examination, a close up study of how women were regarded as chattels to be used to climb the social ladder, a peep into a society that ws shifting from not very benevolent feudalism to the rise of the new tradesman class, with a pinch of the witch-trals thrown in for taste - superb social history
Our poaching songs deal with the seizure of common land and the resistance to this by land-dwellers who used it to feed their families
Press gang song, transportation and forced conscription, appalling working conditions brought bout by the new Industrial Revolution
How dare anybody describe songs about the bomb,Apartheid, Vietnam, Chile, anti Thatcherism, anti McCarthyism as "extreme" - you have to be an extreme right winger to do that
It seems you are not objecting to politics (how could you) but just fighting your corner
MacColl, Rossleson, Seeger were humainsists - none called for violent revolution but pointed out the evil things that were happening in the world as songs have always done
In the States, the folkies lined up with the Southern Blacks to get the vote - even Bobby was reluctantly dragged onto the 'ride-ins when Theodor Bikel paid his fair down South)
I do hope you don't thik you have the rght to censor what we want to sing about - surely not ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 11:27 AM

I wasn't saying things are great Jim. I was just saying that's how they seem to be to me.

I got asked to play at a folk club this morning - by text, naturally! (I still haven't learned how to text - my wife told me, I'd got the text - I wouldn't have known).

I feel like a fossil.

I don't see anything wrong with the internet being the medium of folksong and the agent of social change. Perhaps there are Chinese citizens even now who are getting inspired by stories of Woody Guthrie.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 11:55 AM

No problem, Guest, akenaton. This will be interesting methinks: https://www.mixcloud.com/mike-norris3/classic-folk-383-first-broadcast-30th-september-2019/?fbclid=IwAR3kSkM5XEZRh9SI_PTIokWJt-G2t1A7beS2QeOJzCPyxmddyLgvJ_F4K_I


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 12:11 PM

"I was just saying that's how they seem to be to me."
And I was suggesting that rather than lay back andf think of England we should try to do something about it so our kids have the same opportunities to get as much pleasure and satisfaction from folk song as we did
For me, it's a personal commitment because we promised all the lovely old singers we met that we would do our best not to let their lovely old songs die (can't find the correct spelling but in Irish folklore it's called 'an geasach- binding pledge)
"I feel like a fossil."
Wouldn't bother - I've tasted one - they taste rotten
There isd nothing wrong with the internet being used to communicate songs - far from it
It's when it's put up as an alternative to to clubs that it becomes problematical
I'm sure someone said the same about print at one time
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 12:16 PM

Thank you for that Starship, I have played one track and will look at the whole link later.
Jim, please don't lecture me, I was a YCL member during the last revival and understand exactly what was happening. There was protest and even revolution in the air, civil rights in America and anti-nuclear/anti war protest in UK, the left tried to tie folk music to a political agenda, fortunately the young musicians were not interested in totalitarianism and bought into personal freedom. It took me many years to work out that the trade off worked in the negative...something that Seeger and MacColl never came to terms with.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 12:21 PM

None of these shenanigans had much to do with the ethos of traditional music.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 12:31 PM

"Jim, please don't lecture me,"
Wouldn't dream of it Ake - I'm responding to what you said, not what you used to be
Please don't describe Anti Apartheid, Anti-Bomb, Anti-Thatcher as "totalitarianism" - it's not nice, nor is it accurate
The young people I knew took to the streets in their hundreds of thousands in support of such causes - and Travellers, and the Miners, and against the Greek Royals' visit to London, and the massacres in Chile - I was scared shitless standing next to Peggy in Grosvenor Square on the historic day that helped drive the Yanks out of Vietnam - a proud moment for me
The thing I remember was how many of them jammed into The Singers Club later to laisten to Ewan and Peggy sing - on that and many other memorable occasions when we managed to "Overcome"
Still got the segs on the soles of my feet from Aldermaston, Faslane and South Wales
Extremism - how dare you !
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 01:23 PM

'I was scared shitless standing next to Peggy in Grosvenor Square on the historic day that helped drive the Yanks out of Vietnam - a proud moment for me'

Yes it was scary. Got to admit though - I thought some of the people I was marching with were pretty scary. I often wonder what became of the young ones. One American lady standing near me said,' if this was in America someone would be dead by now'


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 02:13 PM

Jim, I only mention this for your information, I was pro civil rights, anti/nuclear, and at one point, anti/thatcher, most of the young people of our generation were, but the road being outlined by the likes of Seeger and MacColl headed straight towards a Chinese Russian style totalitarianism which has been roundly rejected by those young people who, as I believe Al is gently reminding us, became the boring old farts of today.....us.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 02:38 PM

I really am not interested in discussing this with you Ake
You were thrown off this forum because of your appalling extremist behaviour which means yopu can't post below the line
I'm damned if i'm going to help you strut your your extremist stuff above the line
I've told you what Ewan and Peggy are and where their political and humanist sympathies lay
You want to discus the political and social implications of our folk songs, do so
Otherwise, as I've told others, please allow the thrirty years dead to rest in peace - MaccOll is not here to answer for himself and I doubt if he'd have bothered with this if he weer still around - he was far too busy promoting the folk songs he loved

"I was marching with were pretty scary"
Me too, especially the crod I saw hurling banners at the police like spears on the front line and next minute standing shoulder-to shoulder with the bobbies in their human chain, keeping the marchers back
Nevr quite worked that one out - well - I ahve really
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 02:42 PM

I must say I shit blue ollies when I learned later that, had we broken through the barricades, there were armed American soldiers waiting to shoot us down inside the Embassy if we had tried to get in (pretty much as they did the students at Kent State)
We would technically been on American soil
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 03:38 PM

When a pop festival is on in England, I often use the hashtag and post something like "anyone who thinks American pop and rock are somehow above English folk and classical music is a fruitcake, frankly."

And, when ladies in the office are about to go for some Indian yoga, I ask "are you about to go for your English clog dancing session?"

The ocean is made of many drops.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 03:47 PM

I'm desperately trying to remember the name of the rabid Sots communist who ran a folk club in (Oxford Street) London in the 60's. Talk about left wing folk ;) (Bruce? )


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,John Bowden
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 04:31 PM

Are you thinking of Bruce Dunnet, John?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 04:44 PM

"Many of the values promoted by the singers and songs of the last revival have been rejected by modern society, we no longer have much idea of who we are or what makes sense in life" (akenaton)...when people lose their own culture, society suffers or, in WalkaboutsVerse, "People Lose"


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 05:11 PM

Found this thanks to John Bowden's post mentioning Bruce Dunnet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spice_of_Life,_London


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 05:32 PM

It's not true to suggest, as some posts above have done, that folk clubs where you can hear traditional songs being sung are dying out. There's more than enough for me here in London. Maybe it's different elsewhere but there's more clubs than I have time to go to.

Yes, there were way more in the 1960s. But it's not the 1960s and it hasn't been the 1960s since the 1960s. It doesn't bother me that trad folk music is not as popular as it once was; just as it doesn't bother me that baroque music is not as popular as it once was; or that acid house is not as popular as it once was; or that formal metrical poetry is not as possible as it once was.

It exists, it's documented, the songbooks are there, the albums are there, and there are still folk clubs and folk festivals and singarounds and sessions. The seasons they change. Shit happens.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 05:37 PM

If we don't like capitalism (and the revolting inequality it produces) AND we don't like people emigrating for capitalism/"economic immigration" (and the relentless promotion of internal ethnic diversity/loss of indigenous culture) are we Left or Right wing?

And just a reminder/heads-up that, about a century ago, when several classical composers wished to give a nod to nationalism, they often turned to folk music.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 06:04 PM

Nasty Nick was also into nationalism and tried to turn to folk music. I think Chumbawamba summed up the situation far better than anyone else with their wonderful Dance Idiot Dance


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 06:13 PM

[demo in London 40 years ago]

especially the crod I saw hurling banners at the police like spears on the front line and next minute standing shoulder-to shoulder with the bobbies in their human chain, keeping the marchers back

Someone on FB reported similar provocateur tactics yesterday at the gigantic All Under One Banner independence march in Edinburgh. There is always a tiny squad of Unionists at these, waving Union Jacks and shouting sectarian obscenities: their numbers have been steadily declining, as the response of the police is to do no more than contain them and the indy marchers do no more than crank up the volume a bit on the slogans, drums, horns and bagpipes while marching straight past. This time, somebody purporting to be an independence marcher tried to start a fight with them. On being frustrated in the attempt, he started shouting obscenities about Nicola Sturgeon, moved into the Unionist group and picked up a couple of their flags to wave and hide his face. Not subtle. He won't have been local police - their attitude has been consistently tolerant and constructive - but I suppose he could have been from a British state organization (albeit not likely to pass the GCHQ entrance test any time soon).

ObMusic: the number of musicians at these marches is declining as the marches get bigger. Which means those of us still doing it (like me, one-man freelance pipers' drum section with a Turkish davul) it have to work ridiculously hard to make enough noise to suit the occasion. There must be 76 pro-indy trombonists in Edinburgh, surely?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 06:58 PM

Certainly don't agree with Nick Griffin on everything, Dave, but I would not say or sing that he is an "idiot" for choosing an aspect of his own culture, rather than, e.g., the medium of American pop.

I vaguely recall his attempt making the news (I think he sung unaccompanied) but am not sure of the quality..?

The lyric and politics aside, the quality of folk musicianship from Chumbawamba via your link (thanks) is very good in my opinion, and glad they too didn't turn to American pop or rock.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Oct 19 - 07:02 PM

who was nasty Nick?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 12:06 AM

When not Nick but Mick Jagger sings "it's only rock and roll" we need to build on that and get the majority of English (plus Scots, Welsh, etc.) to think that copying an aspect of American culture is a childish idiotic thing to do.

And we need to get English football fans to think that fanatically supporting a World 11, who earn about 100 times more in their country, is a childish idiotic thing to do.

And, when something good happens here, we need to get people saying "that folks" instead of "that rocks".

Much more here.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 02:49 AM

Regarding the politics of the revival; I have this and similar in our clippings library, from that now deceased bastion of free speech and democracy; "The People"
It is as laughable now as it was then - a hangover of McCathy's 'Unamerican Activities" Witch-hunts and a long dead relic of the Cold War
I really though this a part of our antediluvian past, like Bear Baiting and women and children working in the mines
You live and learn, or some do
Jim Carroll

"Some Strange Facts about the Latest Craze By Peter Bishop (Nov 17th 1963)
Just how INNOCENT are signs like these?
This is the sign outside Collet’s record shop in London, where folk music fans buy their discs.
A new teenage craze is sweeping Britain—folk music. Bearded, duffle-coated youngsters squat on the floor of cellar clubs listening to folk songs telling of love, of death, of oppression.
There are more than 200 of these clubs in Britain, with 250, 000 members. More clubs open every week.
But this boom has some people very worried. For many of the movement’s big names—singers, agents or record sellers—are either Communists or they hold extreme left-wing views.
And it is feared that, with folk music attracting more and more young people, there is a danger of their being wooed by Red propaganda.
Just how great is that danger? Last week I took a close look at the folk music world.
There is no doubt that the Communist and left-wing element among its leading personalities is powerful.
For example. Topic Records, Ltd., of Hampstead, London, the leading com¬pany specialising in folk music, is controlled by a top intellectual Communist.
Not capitalist
He is 62-year-old Alan Bush, a rugged, bearded composer of serious music. His work is familiar and well liked in Russia. He has been there many times as a composer, conductor and as a fratrnal representative at the Congress of Soviet Composers.
Folk music fans who want to buy the latest records can go to a shop in New Oxford Street specialising in folk songs. It is owned and run by Collet’s Holdings, Ltd.
Collet’s also run several book shops selling left-wing publications.
The company was once described in the Communist “ Daily Worker ” as a “ commercial firm, but not a capitalist one,” with its directors taking neither dividends nor profits.
The Folksong Agency, In Paddington, London, represents such top artists in the folk field as Ewan MacColl, Dominic Behan and Peggy Seeger.
‘Revolutionary’
It is run by Bruce Dunnett, a Communist. He told me: “I have been a member of the Communist Party for many years.
“But I can assure you that politics and folk music don’t mix.
“There are left revolutionary songs, of course. But then there are also traditional songs, songs of love and songs of protest.
“I am interested only in promoting and developing interest in folk music.
“If I or any other Communist, or Tory for that matter, tried to trot out dogma at a folk music club or. concert they would soon tell me to shut up.”
Mr. Dunnett agreed that folk music circles have a definite left-wing atmosphere.
“That is because most folk, songs have been, and are even now being, created by ordinary working people,” he said.
The biggest name among folk singers in Britain is Ewan MaCcoll, a bearded ex- playwright from Salford, Lancs, and a Communist. He sings in clubs up and down the country on such themes as the sad Irish workmen who laboured on the Ml, and on Timothy Evans, the man hanged for a murder which some people believe he did not commit.
Candlelight
MacColl, aged 45, told me: “Of course there are Communists and left-wing people who go to folk-song clubs.
“ But then there are also Tories, Socialists and Liberals. They go to listen to the music, not politics.
“ They are inclined to be individualistic, who would make known their objections if they thought attempts were being made to organise them—politically or any other way. ”
Another folk singer is Karl Dallas. He specialises in the guitar and contributes articles to the “Daily Worker.”
Now let’s take a look at one of the clubs. The 200-strong Swindon Folksingers Club is run by, Ted Poole, aged 37, and his wife, Ivy. Mr. Poole is a Communist. He told me:
“The music we sing is left- wing because it comes from the workers.
“Most of the songs reflect the thoughts, emotions, oppres¬sions, passions and struggles of the working peoples. ”
The club meets on Friday nights in a candle-lit room at the rear of The Greyhound Hotel, Swindon. It costs 2.6d to join and admission to sessions is 3s – non-members 4s
Mt Poole added: “There is music are. anti-Bomb, anti-apartheid, anti most things.
“They’re not yet sure what they are for—but they would resent any attempt to introduce politics of any sort.”
So even if the Communist Party is contemplating a planned programme to recruit from the folk-singing fans, it seems they will be out of luck.
But, clearly, it is a situa¬tion which needs watching.
"


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 02:58 AM

He was an idiot for trying to appropriate our music for his own ends and then trying to join in a Morris dance with absolutely no idea what he was doing. The good thing that came out of it was Folk against Facsism and the fall of Griffin himself. Sadly the right wing nationalists are still at and trying to push their agenda via folk music. As witnessed here.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 04:38 AM

The attitude of that article from The People might have been quaint, but was there much wrong with its facts? From what I know of the people they mention, they were quoted and characterized accurately.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 05:02 AM

It was based on the idea that there was something wrong or illegal to hold left wing views, as was the Cold War
In fact, that has never been the case in Britain - yet
The left didn't "infiltrate" the revival, as suggested, but were a major part of setting it up -
The promotion of the People's Music always dominated their efforts - Alan Bush, Gerry Sharp, Bill Leader, Dallas, MacColl, Lloyd et al - even Sharp in the early days, who was a Fabian Socialist of the post- Victorian, Edwardian type
The right attempted to make fols song anodyne and harmless - songs sung by 'The Salt of the Earth' or 'The Sons of the Soil'
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 05:14 AM

Do you know, this thread has sort of crystallised a thought that has been lurking undefined in my head for quite a few years now. and it is this.
Folk music has become middle class !
It has become like so many of the people I know who proudly declare their working class roots It is/they are, singing the songs of the working class life, while leading the lifestyle of the middle class.
Discuss


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 05:44 AM

I once heard a comment from a Chilean who dropped in to a Scottish singaround: "you know, this kind of music is what social workers sing the whole world over".


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 05:47 AM

"Folk music has become middle class !"
Think you need to define 'middle class' John
When I came in I was still an apprentice on the Liverpool docks with a Secondary Modern education - my dad was a navvie
My fellow folkies were overwhelmingly milkmen, factory workers, building workers, factory workers.... not even that many students in those days
That has changed, but I link there are enough 'educated working class' people around for the revival to still claim working class roots
Tom Munnelly was the greatest collector I ever knew - he began working life operating a knitting machine
MacColl was a self-educated worker whose father claimed the honour of being the only worker ever to be deported FROM Australia for Trades Union activities
Bert worked his passage to Australia and worked as a sheep shearer
I don't really regard these people as 'middle class' - they all had to earn a living rather than live on invested wealth and use the labour of others rather than create their own
Peggy always admitted to being middle class, though her and her families association with working people made them different than the run-of-the-mill MC
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 06:02 AM

Oh! Nick Griffin! Iremember him.

One of his followers made up false website about me saying I was a member of some right wing group. Iwas almost flattered to be considered important enough for them to go that much trouble,

Folk music hasn't become middle class. The people always express themselves through music. When there were coalmines in this country, the miners themselves found expression in country music - nearly every miners welfare had a country music night. I found myself supply teaching in a school in Hucknall - taking over the music class in the early 80's. Nearly every kid in the class knew all the words of merle travis's Dark as a dungeon.

I'm not saying that Tommy Armstrong'sstuff, or the blantyre pit explosion aren't considerable works. Its just that things change.

Like punkfolk rocker said about the punk thing... a lot of working class angst was in that music.

I think that the question of what is folk music - might seem like an old chestnut. But when a society keeps changing so quickly, through technology and other reasons - ethnic make up etc. - the question will never be static.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 06:35 AM

"One of his followers made up false website about me saying I was a member of some right wing group"
His mod infiltrated this forum and set up a false 'Irish terrorist' facebook account on my behalf
I never use Facebook and didn't realy understand it, but a fellow Mudcatter warned me about it
Interesting days when some of the rabid right showed some initiative, rather than the imagination-free lot we are left with here
"I'm not saying that Tommy Armstrong's stuff, or the blantyre pit explosion aren't considerable works."
More than considerable Al - they are universal and agelessly relevant whereas your pop and C and W come with a sell-by date and are constantly being replaced
I here none of the old C and W stuff I cut my teeth on in my youth, yet I thought it would last forever then
Society may change but the hopes and aspirations that gave rise to folk songs never do   
I'm using a quite from an Irish traveller in a talk I'm giving in Belfast in a couple of weeks regarding his attitude to the centuries old Ballad, 'What Put the Blood'
Jim Carroll

Love of a good story was certainly a part of the survival of ballads, but the first Traveller we met, Pop’s Johnny Connors, from Wexford, gave us a deeper insight
One of the earliest songs we got from him he called ‘The Ballad of Cain and Abel’; not only did he link it to the Biblical legend, but he used it to describe how he believed Travellers first took to the road,
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.
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Warwick Slade
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 06:39 AM

Of course folk music has become middle class. In the 60s we were young and idealistic attending the new folk clubs on our bikes, on the bus or clapped out old Ford, with the those new Japanese guitars or Ekos and the like . Now we are in our older years, retired, playing high end guitars and arriving in 4x4s. It’s a different world and we are different from the younger folk enthusiasts. The days of the folk club, as we knew it, are passed and a new vibrant gang have taken ‘folk’ to a new place. That’s the way of the world because in 10 or 15 years our version of ‘folk’ will be dead along with us.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 07:28 AM

Don't knoww about oyr world Warwick - neither of your weer mine
"our versions of folk" arose from teh one that had always existed
That will never die - hopefully
You can't change the history of the culture of the people like a pair of socks -
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Vic Smith
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 07:50 AM

At 04 Oct 19 - 07:12 AM        GUEST,henryp - wrote
Vic Lewis; "with the constant worry of that debt hanging over her."

I come back exhausted from a very busy but very satisfying programme at a weekend folk festival where virtually everything that I heard, saw, sung or played was traditional dance, song or tunes.... only to find that my name has been changed!


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 07:56 AM

Could be worse, Vic Smith. When I was seven my parents sent me to the store for milk, and when I got back they'd moved.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 08:28 AM

perhaps a subconscious reference to journalist, prankster and TV producer Victor Lewis-Smith?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Lewis-Smith


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 09:25 AM

If there is a working class in 2019, their music is not grunge,nor hiphop nor heavy metal- it's C & W or R & B or modern day crooners- they don't have any interest in politics of any kind (excluding Brexit).

Thats why they buy tabloid newspapers rather than what's good for them (who decides that, by the way?)


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 09:30 AM

Vic Lewis was a musician and led a dance band way back in the days of my youth and real dance bands, I moved around to his band on one or two occasions.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 09:49 AM

Well, Guest, that IS a sweeping statement, but not unexpected here. You just had a Hillary Clinton moment, did you not.
The tastes of the "working class' are as varied and sophisticated as those of any other group. They are not, as you seem to think, a homogeneous bunch of cretins.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 09:58 AM

"If there is a working class in 2019,"
In modern Britain, they tend to be 'the Unemployed class' but the massive increase in the gap between haves and have-nots have made permanent the class structure of Britain - go check it out
When we used to be participants rather than passive recipients of our entertainment/ culture the folk scene was largely made up of working lads and lasses - I hope that hasn't changed too much
After all, our folk songs were made fro working people about working people
Have to say, I find your generalisations a little patronising, guest
In theis wold run by educated idiots, some of the working people I know and have known could out-think and out-reason the Trumps and Johnsons of this world hands down before breakfast
Education has nothing to do with intelligence and opportunity is everything
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 10:00 AM

Cross-posted Hilo - that's what I should have said
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 11:32 AM

well i seem to have caught up with the working classes of the 1960's. Now I'm going to folk clubs in a clapped out car and a Chinese guitar...


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 12:07 PM

"the right wing nationalists" Dave...so if someone does not like capitalism NOR economic/CAPITALIST immigration but they do love our world/our UN being multicultural, including their own folk music, would you say they are "left wing nationalists"?...and, given that, are you sure, Jim, that Ewan MacColl would not be among the latter?

Traditions exist because folks have been impressed by THEIR OWN forebears way of doing things - against which is the relentless promotion by government and media here now of internal ethnic diversity (not that long ago "assimilation" was the go - remember?).

Modern England and the cargo cults of Papua New Guinea are among the more extreme examples of locals being badly over-impressed by others - say the very basics in broken English, e.g., and you too can be a wealthy "Premier" League manager!

For too many modern English, their idea of culture is going out to support a wealthy world 11, after a night of Indian curry and American pop or rock.

My background - my first job being as an assistant milk vendor, I've worked in factories and offices in Australia and England, travelled on a shoe-string through about 40 countries, and majored in anthropology, including the study of Aboriginal "Land Rights"

"Education has nothing to do with intelligence and opportunity is everything" (Jim Carroll)...I'm a 100% sure that education can change what we believe in and where we end up.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 12:16 PM

No walkabout. I am referring to people who are politically to the right and have nationalistic attitudes. Of which there are plenty on here.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 12:25 PM

Could   You explain nationalist for us Dave . Much culture around the world evolves from shared national,erhnic,tribal-or religious commonalities, does it not. is it not folk music of the uk that is Being”revived” ? at least that is what the thread title implies. so , what is this nationalistic attitude you are talking about. you need to define it Dave, before disparaging g it, do you not ?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 12:44 PM

I think the thread title is incomplete, as there is a question mark lacking :)


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 12:52 PM

I don't believe I do HiLo. Nationalism is, as far as I am concerned, well explained everywhere. I am using the standard definition which includes supporting your own nation to the detriment of others.

I, for instance, happily support traditional English folk music and dance but not to the detriment or exclusion of others. I am not, therefore, a nationalist.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 01:06 PM

Well, Dave it is not well explained by you, is it. Nor do I think it is particularly well explained in some other quarters. The standard definition does not mean supporting your own nation to the detriment of others.
   So, why do you support ENGLISH folk music...But not to the exclusion of all others..Your definition is very odd simply because it is not a definition at all. Music rises from cultures..see my above post.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 01:14 PM

""left wing nationalists"?."
Ewan was an internationalist, as I believe most socialists are, (I certainly am) or at least not hostile to other races or cultures
If you are familiar with 'The Song Carriers' (worth getting to be if you are not) he made a point of showing the similarities of singing internationally using first an Azerbajan singer and Irish singer Paddy Tunney, then a Spanish Canto Hondo singer and Street singer, Margaret Barry
MacColl's take on singing in your own tradition had to do with the fact that British singing Traditions are "word based" rather than musical performances
Having said that, Ewan's finest composed song (IMO), Joy of Living was set to a Sicilian traditional tune
Education-intelligence - the former is the information you receive - the latter is your ability you interpret it      
Let's face it, our world is run by educated morons who have bought their education - I can think fwo world leaders without breaking step
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 01:20 PM

"politically to the right with nationalist tendencies" :0). There he goes again! Absolute rubbish, Hilo was 100% correct in his comment.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 01:23 PM

For a long peroids I worked for some of the wealthiest people in London
I remember on my first job I went into a house where they had a line of Degas drawings on the wall which, I was told weer original
They were the ballet sketches which I was familiar with - I tried to discuss them with the owner and all he could tell me was how much they were worth
A common experience was to be gobsmacked by beautifully bound first editions of 1st edition books - go upstairs to do my work and find Jeffry Archer on one bedside table and Jilly Cooper of the other
Those downstairs were for decoration
One of the best bookshops in Cambridge used to sell books by the yard to decorate the rooms of visiting American lecturers
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 01:51 PM

I find John's remark about folk music becoming middle class, interesting. I think he has a point, I attended a concert lately....a pretty well known folk singer of whom I had been a friend for quite a few years. The audience was sparse and consisted mainly of a pseudo artistic elite who obviously knew nothing about the music but wished to socialise in an "artistic/cultural" atmosphere. These people are everywhere, middle class liberals, most from an educational or social work background, but with no understanding of life as portrayed by traditional music.   My memories of the revival include groups of young working class kids singing, joking and drinking with their old neighbours and family. Very few of the audience were middle or upper class but strangely quite a few of the performers were.....no matter how hard they tried to hide it.

and just for the record, there is no "working class" anymore, or at least no organised working class.....the political war these days is all about social issues and social views.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 03:12 PM

Well Jim there is no doubt that MacColl was a political extremist, but I am more interested in the effect political extremism had on the second revival. You surely cannot deny that political issues drove the later part of the revival, in fact they ultimately drove it completely off the rails.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 03:34 PM

Walkabout Verse.....very true and thank you for posting.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 07 Oct 19 - 04:00 PM

...what I posted above about romantic classical composers turning to folk to give a nod to nationalism (here is what wiki says on it) relates to the idea that, ideally, the law, the culture and the land of a nation should be closely linked and, in England, e.g., they were much more-so than now, as is reflected in our traditional songs.

Mass economic/CAPITALIST immigration (in the 1950s less than .5% of the population were not born here) is certainly not the only reason for this but it is a major factor, I feel.

Also, I definitely have over the years changed my mind and one or two of my poems from what I've read here on Mudcat, but I sometimes question how much others have..?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Oct 19 - 01:38 PM

i never really thought of MacColl as an extremist, Ake. Most communists of that period were a lot less respectful of British institutions and culture.

I don't really know what you're basing it on. I always think of Ewan and Peggy as being polite. Perhaps that was because we had so little in common - and amongst people in their own set, they were more blunt.

Did he say something to you that struck you as extremist? I can't imagine either of them wanting to plant explosives or shed blood.

Their weapons were words and music, and setting an example of creativity.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Oct 19 - 01:57 PM

"Well Jim there is no doubt that MacColl was a political extremist, "
I have no intention of spoiling this WBV, but in fact he wasn't
MacColl wrote songs on causes, not party politics - he hadn't been involved with any political movement since 1949 - it's all in Ben Harker's biography
He wrote songs on South Africa, The Peace Movement, Vietnam, poverty, Chile, Cuba, racism, Thatcher, the Miners, Travellers.... none of which can be by the remotest stretch be described as 'Extremist' - not unless you regard a large slice of the civilised world as "Extreme"
He certainly supported some of the the ideas coming out of China for a time, as did many others, but his only song on the subject was a brilliant satire comparing Britain's material values compared to those of Modern as compared to the previous feudal China
I one heard MacColl deliver a blistering attack on China for their supid condemnation of one of his Threatre heroes, Konstantin Stanivlaski
I'm sure if he'd been alive he'd have written a brilliant song about refugees and asylum seekers being forced to wear 'yellow star' type armbands and paint their doors red so the thugs could find were they lived - I'm sure some remember when that was discussed on this forum.
No bloody revolution, no extremism just openly expressed and totally acceptable views - I'm sure some remember when that was discussed on this forum
If MacColl was an extremist, so was Peggey Seeger and her half-brother, Pete, Dick Gaughan, Ed Pickford, Leon Rossleson, Eric Bogle, Hamish Henderson, , Jack Warshaw ..... and all the other dreamers who dreamed of a better world
If that is 'extremism' we live in different worlds and - as I say - have nothing to say to each other

That is all I intend to post on this issue - I fully intend to use the welcome opening of this thread for far more satisfying things

Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Oct 19 - 02:49 PM

'I here none of the old C and W stuff I cut my teeth on in my youth, yet I thought it would last forever then'

Still in my song bag!


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 08 Oct 19 - 02:52 PM

In my opinion, and this is one area where, as suggested above, I seem to disagree with Nick Griffin and some in the BNP, genuine asylum seekers should be helped to their nearest (in terms of culture as well as distance) safe country - with the UN playing a stronger role.

I was in China in 1988 and recall a doctor being so keen to leave he asked me if I had a sister, before describing how much he earned compared with a factory worker - I don't recall the amounts but it was not enough/we need some economic inequality so folks have the incentive of an economic ladder to climb and those who do more critical work have a few more creature comforts; but, talk about one extreme to another, China, it seems, now needs a socialist revolution to get rid of the Chinese Capitalist Party and all its billionaires!

My poem, from WAV, "Global Regulationism"

I just have "The Anthology" of EM but, as said, think it's a great folk voice.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Oct 19 - 02:56 PM

"Still in my song bag!"
Keep it there Al - the world outgrew it - it's not folk anywaty
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 08 Oct 19 - 03:39 PM

Hi Al....nice to talk to you again. At the time of the revival all communists were regarded as "extremists" by employers AND the general public.
I got married at the end of the 60's a was rented a house owned by my employer....we had four children under four, and if my political views had been discovered we would have been out on the street.
Communists never got much public support, many hid under the label of "democratic socialist" or just "left wing".
Looking back at MacColl, Pete Seeger and other hero's of the comrades I think how lucky we are to have been rejected. As I said in another thread the trade off between an "organised society" and the faux democracy we enjoy today is too much of a negative.
I still think that we shall end up under a Chinese type of society, which will ensure our survival for afew more decades....but will be no fun at all.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 08 Oct 19 - 03:53 PM

Sorry Al, I meant to add that many communists were polite, intelligent and extremely law abiding. The man who introduced me to Marx, Pam Dutt, Tressel and other socialist writers was one of the gentlest and kindest people that I have ever encountered. Yet he fought in the East End riots against Moseley. It's like a religion, it never leaves you he used to say...…..thankfully after many years I left it.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Oct 19 - 06:46 PM

"Still in my song bag!"
Keep it there Al - the world outgrew it - it's not folk anywaty
Jim

well its not England for the main part behind all these Country Music TV Channels. I think you'd be surprised how well Oh Lonesome me would go down at the next session!

Take it from that Ake you aren't keen on MacColl or Pete Seeger. Got to admit - I thought they were both great. I had nothing but kind words from both guys. Still - you must speak as you find.

But both of them did great things. Pete....there was the songwriting of course - but what I really loved was his banjo version of Blue Skies on the Goofing Off Suite album. And macColl - his songs are still everywhere.

I think its a bit like the the painting of the Mona Lisa - you don't have to be a Christian and subscribe to the belief system that inspired the painter, to appreciate.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 08 Oct 19 - 08:24 PM

I'm a bit of an outsider when it comes to this "folk revival" malarkey. I've been involved in mostly Irish traditional music meself, though I'm an aficionado of a goodly number of English/Welsh/Scottish turns. I mean, haven't we been using that "folk revival" term for about fifty years? Dammit, if we haven't revived it by now... And another expression that grates a bit is "folk scene." Let's enjoy what we do and what we love, say I, without resort to these pretentious terms.

I'll definitely get me coat, so don't shoot...


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 03:20 AM

"Take it from that Ake you aren't keen on MacColl or Pete Seeger. Got to admit -"
I take it you're still referring to me Al
Take nothing from Ake if you don't want to catch something -
I admired Pete Seeger very much and I was folk-weaned on Ewan and present when he and The Critics Group did the work that could change the fortunes of folk song for the better, if we were allowed to discuss it without all this nonsense
Pat and I spent a fscinating hour or so with Pete, Ewan Peggy and Kirsty one afternoon
Ewan and Peg were recording an album and Pat and I had been asked to help out on the Choruses of 'White Wind' - Ewan's South African epic in their home studio
When we finished, Pete and Toshi walked in on a visit to do a concert
The difference between Ewan and Peg's and Pete's approaches was fascinating too observe
We were also lucky to have met Peggy's father, Charles while we were interviewing Ewan - different again
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 03:31 AM

Oh no Al I think Ewan MacColl was a fantastic writer and Pete Seeger not so much, "The First Time" is in my opinion one of the greatest love songs and the Radio Ballads in comparable. The problem was when they began to see the music as a vehicle for political change. I think they failed to realise that there would be any "trade off", and that those like themselves would be the first in line for re-education.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 03:44 AM

I would also add that the political direction adopted by people like MacColl did their musical careers no good at all. Who outside the folk scene have much idea who MacColl was or what his writing consisted of?
Extreme politics and popular music don't really mix.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 04:05 AM

Try Ireland Ake
You can here MacColl's songs being busked on the streets - many of them are regarded erroneously as traditional and Irish
The Travellers regard some of them as Traveller's songs and one learned American researcher, Horace Beck, in his ' Folklore of the Sea' referred to 'Shoals of Herring' as typical of the songs sung by Kerry fisherman
The suggestion that any artist should hide their political views for the sake of their careers sums up perfectly everything that has gone wrong with the English Revival - and would of course giv people like the excuse of describing MacColl as a "clandestine extremist communist" which would play ino your hands perfectly
MacColl's honesty and frankness were what made him so many enemies, fair enough - who wants friends who prefer dishonesty and hypocrisy
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 05:46 AM

Aligning Ewan MacColl with 'extreme politics' doesn't ring true to me. He was a socialist. I don't recall any 'extreme politics' in his songwriting; as far as I'm aware he never called for anyone to be executed.

There were times when he was supportive of Mao's China and Stalin's Russia: like many on the left in the mid-20th Century, he was unaware of what lay behind those regimes (and like many on the left in the mid-20th Century, perhaps reluctant to face up to it).


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 05:47 AM

While I like talking about this stuff (see previous post above) it seems daft to be doing so in a thread called 'the uk folk revival in 2019'


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 06:17 AM

"Aligning Ewan MacColl with 'extreme politics' doesn't ring true to me."
The constant repetition - (by an proven extremist in his own right) has become a manta - it's chanters have never responded to what has been said here and they have produced no evidence of this accusation
Basically it is being used as a substitute for "I didn't agree with his politics"
Anybody claiming Ewan or any of us) to be extremists were obliged to prove their accusation
Now it' too late - the concentration on politics nearly got this thread closed and it cannot be allowed to happen again
I suggest it should be left there
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 06:20 AM

"'the uk folk revival in 2019'"
I suppose that's right, but it's hard to think of things that haven't been said - often acrimoniously, about what's happening now - we have hardly scratched the surface on the early days
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 06:35 AM

I think I can see what he's driving at.
When Vin Garbut made a big deal about writing an anti abortion song, I think it narrowed his appeal.

70's rockstar Graham Parker also alienated a lot of fans writing a song on a similar theme.

Its the Salman Rushdie phenomenon , isn't it?.. Stand up and be counted and your enemies will be drawing up the firing squad.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 07:04 AM

The thread Matt is where it is because there is NO 2019 UK Folk revival. The OP is worth a visit by all who wish to comment. You would then discover that the thrust of it was that youngsters coming out of traditional music courses in UK Universities are failing to set up folk clubs to provide artists with paying gigs.

That a learned American researcher thinks of "Shoals of Herring" as being typical of the songs sung by Kerry fisherman doesn't surprise me, I mean the words fit so well don't they!

"Oh it was a fair and a pleasant day
Out of YARMOUTH harbour I was faring" - East Anglia

"Well we fished the Swarte and the Broken Bank" - both famous herring fishing areas in the North Sea off the coast of East Anglia

"Well we left the HOME ground in the month of June
And for canny 'SHIELDS we soon were bearing" - North Shields the fishing port for Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Be interested to hear what Kerry fisherman's song our learned researcher is using as his point of comparison. Another big difference however would be that a traditional song about the sea/fishing as sung by Kerry fisherman would in all probability have been composed by someone who actually knew and had experienced what they were singing about, whereas "Shoals of Herring" was written to order for the BBC by an actor/singer/songwriter as part of a trilogy about the North Sea fishing industry.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Vic Smith
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 07:13 AM

Akenton wrote:-
I think Ewan MacColl was a fantastic writer and Pete Seeger not so much, "The First Time" is in my opinion one of the greatest love songs and the Radio Ballads incomparable. The problem was when they began to see the music as a vehicle for political change.

I think that you are missing a big point here. If the Radio Ballads are not political, then I don't know what is. Apart from being one of the most stimulating pieces of broadcast ever put together in any form, radio or television, The Travelling People is intensely political. It is a fierce argument against inequality, the marginalisation of a minority group and a celebration of attitudes of positivity in the face of adversity. To my mind, you cannot get much more political that that.
We could do with some programmes of such intensity today to deal with racism, intolerance, attitudes towards immigrants and a host of other pressing issues.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 07:36 AM

Yes I do agree and there are songwriters writing good political and social comment songs Peter Morton and Ray Hearne spring to mind

Ray Padgett


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 07:49 AM

I think you will find, Ray, that Jim will dispute whether songs being written now or any written recently and in copyright are folk songs. I am sure he will correct me if I am wrong but I am sure Ewan himself said his songs were not folk songs. It is a view I disagree with but it is a view all the same. The logical conclusion from that view is that a folk revival cannot exist unless it is reviving traditional folk songs.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 07:55 AM

@ Vic

There are songs of the sort you list, but not giving the attitudes you would support and also produced by 'the folk'. I have made this point before, which seems important to me, not because I in any way support for example islamophobia but because they undermine this view that 'folk' will/has automatically express/ed sentiments of which the left/liberal left would approve.

Also @ Al, of course as I'm sure you would agree, it isn't only a radical minority of one religious group that persecutes or has persecuted those publishing material they dislike. The murder of Jo Cox and indeed death threats received by MPs across the floor of the House demonstrates this. Just been reading a book about Thomas Cromwell which at points is a list of people executed for heresy and/or treason, this is historical. So while I see what you mean by the Salmon Rushdie example, it is on my view potentially unfortunate in that it points a finger at a community subject to racist attacks on an increasing level. Think Tommy Robinson demonstrations. But you are of course right that musicians/song writers may alienate those who disagree with the views expressed in their music.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 08:07 AM

Vic, In my opinion the Radio Ballads celebrated work and culture of the past and of the 50s. They celebrated a spirit and cultures in decline, no whining, but a portrayal of working people dealing with life as it was independently......a big difference from changing the system into some command economy totalitarianism, or as is happening here, ever more state dependence and abdication of personal responsibility.
MacColls writing was excellent but his politics....I suppose encouraged by Seeger, were simply wrong.
The main point though is that the young "folkies" like Dylan and co did not wish to be trapped in the political stranglehold espoused by the older generation of American and UK politically inspired performers. These young performers went on to fame, inspiring a generation, while the Seegers and MacColls are forgotten except in backwaters like this.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 08:22 AM

That a learned American researcher thinks of "Shoals of Herring" as being typical of the songs sung by Kerry fisherman doesn't surprise me, I mean the words fit so well don't they!

The researcher was presumably talking about the style and the way the song was constructed, not the specific placenames. MacColl's song is like nothing in British tradition, so well done that researcher in finding something that might have inspired it. Why shouldn't it have been a pastiche of an Irish musical idiom? From somebody who thought he was imitating Japanese melody in "Schooldays End", you don't expect British nationalist purity.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 09:24 AM

"I think it narrowed his appeal."
That is neither proven or important
You make songs to express what you want to say, not to please the punters - that has always been what distinguishes music churned out by the industry that that from the clubs (at least it was when I was actively involved)
That's not to say that writers in the pop field don't make songs that please themselves of course, but in the long run, what sells is what counts

"Its the Salman Rushdie phenomenon "
Only if you regard the mass of the British Public who are happy with the present laws governing pregnancy termination as the same as a bunch of Muslim religious fanatics
I don't
Anti abortion has long been a minority (some would say "extremist" view in Britain (or at least the Scottish and English bits) - the same is now the case with the Republic of Ireland TBTG (as they say over here)

Shoals of Herring
People have actually recorded versions of the song from local singers as 'The Shores of Erin'
MacColl was always insistent that none of his songs were folk songs, though he was happy that they were mistaken for them
In my opinion, the nearest that any of them came to becoming folk songs were those the non-literate Travellers took up and claimed as their own, though many Irish people regard 'Dirty Old Town' as being about Dublin

Travellers had a living tradition into the early 1970s and their non-literacy meant that creative their oral tradition did not fossilise the songs - they (and the Irish in general) also had strong song-making traditions-----------
A few singers described how they were present when songs were made by a group of people rather than a single composer - was a Traveller song made by a bunch of lads sitting on a grassy bank waiting for a wedding to begin, the other was made by four locals in the next villiage to here who, following an arson attack on a local police station during The War of Independence "stood at the crossroads and threw verses at each other till they came up with a seven verse song"
Incidents like this made it clear to me that it is unwise to reject past theories of folk soong making out of hand - these being perfect examples of group composition
Another theory pretty well junked was David Buchan's suggestion that some songs had no set texts but were recreated each time they were sung
We've recorded different versions of the same song from one singer, or, in some cases from related singers who learned them from the same source
It is exactly this which makes me cringe when I see earlier collectors being dismissed as ignorant or romantic

Dave
I believe, as did Ewan, that songs didn't become fork because of style or sound - they went through a process of acceptance and adaptation and eventually, (the folk process) and evolved into folk songs
Despite claims to the contrary, there are hardly any folk songs that can be traced to a definite origin
The ballads have motifs that date back beyond Homer to Ancient Egypt - and, while we know there was an oral tradition when the Venerable Bede got pissed off at cattlemen passing around a harp and singing lewd secular songs during his sermon, a reasonable knowledge of that oral tradition dated back no further than the beginning of the 20th century   
Much of the confusing nonsense surrounding the term 'folk' arised from the myth that bacause traditional singers sang everything they didn't differentiate between the different types

None of this is important to what happened in the clubs, of course - it is a matter of trying to understand our traditions by those of us who wish to do so

Sorry to have banged on about this to such length but I'm preparing for a talk in Belfast next week (details should be up on the Traditional Song Forum website) and this stuff is lying around in my head at present

I couldn't agree more with Vic's statement about The Radio Ballads and politics - Charles Parker put it in a nutshell for me when he wrote, "A good love song sung well by a worker is a fist in the face of the establishment"
Vic Gammon had similar things to say about folk song
I'm fully with both of them
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 09:32 AM

"Why shouldn't it have been a pastiche of an Irish musical idiom?"
The text of 'Shoals of Herring' was lifted directly from interviews wwith two elderly East Anglian fishermen - the tune is an adaptation of that used for 'Famous Flower of Serving Men' in the Gavin Greig Collection
In my opinion, the most moving song Ewan ever wrote, Joy of Living', was given a traditional Sicilian tune
Like most songs he wrote, they quickly took on their own identity, wherever they came from
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 09:36 AM

So Jack what songs about fishing and the sea do Kerry fishermen sing similar in style to "Shoals of Herring"?

My guess their "go to" genre would most likely be Country & Western.

the Radio Ballads celebrated work and culture of the past and of the 50s. They celebrated a spirit and cultures in decline, no whining, but a portrayal of working people dealing with life as it was independently - Spot on Akenaton

McColl is right "Shoals of Herring" is NOT a folk song - McColl did know what Folk Songs are, as does Jim Carroll. The all to common view prevalent today that whatever folk sing is a folk song has destroyed "folk music" and to what end? Just to provide tolerant venues where the mediocre can rehash earlier attempts and aspirations of being pop stars trotting out 50s, 60s & 70s pop songs.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Stringsinger
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 11:12 AM

What I think needs to be done is small concerts in available halls or theaters with a good sound operator. Look at these events as an educative rather than totally entertainment following the monetized model. There should be a vital M.C. who can place the songs into a historical perspective. It should be someone with knowledge of Jim Carroll or others who are grounded in traditional English folk music. This is why Ewan was needed. The problem with folk clubs is the alcohol which minimizes the appreciation of the music.
Maybe Cecil Sharp House could take up the project I've suggested.

Folk music needs to be taught to those unfamiliar with it. It's not basically an entertainment form of music and a small intimate house concert or small hall or theater would suffice to present traditional singers. It should run like hell from rock concerts or any commercialized approach. The audience will be small at first until they are exposed to the values that it offers. The performers should be presented not just as performance masters but in context as an example of the traditional singing and instrumental styles.
Both Ewan and Lomax did something like this in their incipient days. It persisted.

Large folk festivals and a traditional approach to folk music are antithetical. You need the intimacy and being close to the trad singer or player.

Also, in conjunction, there should be students who learn to play and sing these songs. Unless the public owns the music, it will not survive.

Think small. And allow it to grow. Someone ought to be able to capitalize these types of performances.

Lomax introduced Leadbelly to the concert stage. Pete Seeger spent a year touring with Sonny Terry to expose his talents to an audience.

At the Old Town School in Chicago, we featured Horton Barker, a tradition octogenarian who made a huge impression with his unaccompanied ballads and stories. Dick Chase added an educational dimension with his story-telling ability. They both were vital traditional American performers. They were presented in an interesting fashion with context and explanation.

I am a fan of the ballad tradition and I see it as needing context to present it properly.
If people can understand the music and the need for the tradition to persevere than it will. I think the same for Black music as well with traditional blues artists or folk artists such as Vera Hall (google her) or Leadbelly or Iron Head Baker. I believe there is an English black artist that reflects a different kind of music from that of African-American.

You've got to redefine what entertainment is. Glitz, glamor, loud noise, superficial meaningless songs, hype and ego, money and general musical decay have to be fought.

A true national spirit comes not from alienating foreigners or uneducated audiences but embracing the native culture and explaining the need for it to those who don't get it.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 11:36 AM

Sorry, Stringsinger, but I did not run a small, intimate and primarily traditional folk club for many years for educational purposes. Although it was an education at times ;-) I ran it because I enjoyed doing it and the audience came because they enjoyed the music. Not quite sure how you would run one as an education but if you manage it, good luck to you!


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 12:06 PM

"Sorry, Stringsinger, but I did not run a small, intimate and primarily traditional folk club for many years for educational purposes"
Whether you like it or not Dave, education i one of the essentials if folk is to survive
WE were lucky in the early days because there were plenty of people of our age doing the same thing - now "our age" has become a hindrance
Traditional singing is alien to most people - I've heard youngsters describing it as "Paki music"
People need to be first won over to the 'folk sound' and to the idea that you need to concentrate on what you are hearing - and eventually, to think about it
I am constantly being given a boost when I hear a young Irish singer bring a maturity to their singing that you would expect from a veteran - nowhere near enough yet but we're getting there

We were once very moved when we took a Traveller friend to sing and tell stories to a bunch of Deptford schoolchildren
The teacher had them all sitting around Mikeen in a polite circle, until he started to sing and tell stories; gradually they all slid on their bums until they formed a tight circle at his feet - magic

Every time a singer introduces a song hhe is 'educating' his/her listeners, I see nothing wrong with extending that to workshops were this becomes more formalised
The ideal is, of course, your residents tool up to do this rather than buy it in
I jump at any chance of giving a talk - I would rather not get paid for   it because it then becomes work - though an occasional bed , I suppose, counts as payment
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 12:11 PM

Just because someone is a good artist - it doesn't mean they will share your political views.

Roy Porter was a brilliant poet of the 1930's and translator of Baudelaire, but he was an ardent Catholic and supporter of Franco.

TS Eliot wrote a letter to the papers in support of the hanging of EDith THompson.

They were both gifted writers.

I like to think of MacColl as part of that wonderful optimism and artistic renaissance that sprang from the aftermath of World War 2. Plus the uneasiness that came with the country voting Conservative. The interest in folksong as the birthright of the British Isles - you find it in Chips With Everything by Arnold Wesker when (unlikely) the whole of the RAF mess joins in a chorus of The Cutty Wren - much to the discomfiture of the officers, who go off in a huff.   Also you find folksong John Arden's plays. Sergeant Musgrave's Dance, and Armstrong's Last Goodnight is a play based on a folksong that many of us will have encountered in folk clubs.

What I'm trying to say is - I think its about a spirit that was abroad in England at that time. The Radio Ballads and much else in Ewan's work. The zeitgeist of the times, if you like. I don't see it as a dedication to Marxism in the abstract sense.
That actual point in time, socialism was in the air. Like in Tudor times - people found it easier to believe in God. In that period - people found it easier to believe in the prromise of a better life offered by socialism.
Ewan was a man of his times. I sort of envy him in that.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 12:14 PM

Frank,
I don't know if you are familiar with English folk clubs(I doubt it) but the few venues that I visit normally serve a really good pint.

If alcohol minimized the appreciation of music then there would be even less traditional songs preserved than have been.

The truth of the matter is that folk song is again a minority sport just as it was before the "Folk Scare".

Even if we still had some traditional singers around appearing on a good stage in a good setting with a knowlegeable compere (few of those around) with or without alcohol you would still have a problem finding an audience. It just isn't there.

Like one of Jimmy Witherspoon's songs said "Time brings on a change, nothing remains the same".

C'est la vie.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 12:18 PM

I didn't say I disliked it being an education, Jim. Just that education was not my reason for running a folk club. If education was a by-product that was a bonus, but it was never my primary concern.

I am intrigued by why anyone should refer to traditional English folk song as "paki music". Can you tell us who they were referring to and what song was being performed. I hope you educated them on both the difference between the genres and their racist attitude!


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 01:05 PM

"Just that education was not my reason for running a folk club"
Is it anybody's Dave ?
The best education you can possibly have is that which comes naturally because you make   yourself receptive to it

The Closed thread was based on the idea, which was quotes as having come from Bob Davenport, that education has no place in folk song

The 'Paki' quote came from a class of schoolkids Charles Parker was talking to - I have heard similar myself, with Chinkie-music'
I have always assumed it referred to what some have called 'The clear, natural open tones of traditional singing'
I have always known from personal experience that the natural singing voice that kids instinctively use is often considered ugly, which is why so many of us were told to "sit at the back of the class" because it was deemed that we couldn't sing

If I wanted to 'educate' them I would tell them what folk song was about - they have their own imaginations to decide what it sounds like to themselves
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 01:06 PM

Sorry - should have said that Charles was using recordings of Sam Larner
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Modette
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 02:03 PM

I think Al Whittle is referring to Roy Campbell as the Franco sympathiser, not 'Roy Porter', whoever he may be.

T.S. Eliot did not 'wrote a letter to the papers in support of the hanging of Edith Thompson'. What he did write can be read here: Eliot's letter to the Daily Mail.

I won't comment on their respective worth as literary figures (not my field), but neither has done very well in terms of posterity.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 02:50 PM

Stringsinger, your method of calling out chords with the digits of your hand is really clever. It keeps beginner guitarists, banjoists, etc., together while they chord the song. Great idea.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 02:56 PM

"I like to think of MacColl as part of that wonderful optimism and artistic renaissance that sprang from the aftermath of World War 2"
Ewan and Joan Littlewood were putting on agit-prop playlets ouside factory gates in the Thirties while Gracie Fields was encouraging strikers in the texitile industry to scab and go back to work
The Radio Ballads were not intended as political productions but it was the fact the it was the first time working people were allowed to speak on the radio without a script or interviewer made them just than
The folk scene was built on the desire yo make your own music rather than buying it, its imminent death is largely because that is no longer the driving force and name and fame is now the over-riding objective
The hostile takeover by those who neither understand nor care about folk music and just want to use the clubs as musical dustbins hasn't helped

At least the revival gathered enough material and information together to ensure that it won't disappear altogether (locked in cupboards no doubt), but to be honest, I would rather be around when the youngsters find the same goldmines we were lucky enough to.
We have just received the wonderful news that the National Sound Archive at the British Library had received a sizeable grant and wants to put our collection on line
Hope to get rat-arsed on the strength of that tonight
Al last people will be able to hear what Walter Pardon and Mikeen McCarthy, and Peggy Delaney and Mary Delaney..... and all those other wonderful people had so say about their songs
Wheee !!
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 02:59 PM

On a lighter note, I've got home and done my bedtime reading here well before bedtime!

Maybe what Stringsinger describes is a bit like the Early Music scene?

"The truth of the matter is that folk song is again a minority sport just as it was before the "Folk Scare"." (Hootenanny)...unless you go back further to a time when it was one of the main forms of entertainment, by far.

Also, folk music here has been swamped by Americanisation (which has not waned despite the unpopularity of Trump) and the recent relentless promotion of internal ethnic diversity. American country music and (c)rap are more popular in England than English folk music due to hype not quality.

My attempt at defining the terms "folk" and "traditional":

"FORKS
Folk music may usefully be divided into two main categories – Traditional (unknown composer), & Composer (known - either deceased or contemporary, which may appear as self-penned or covers)." From here - http://davidfranks.blogspot.com/p/messages.html


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 03:13 PM

My apologies ...yes Roy Campbell - college was a long time ago.

Not sure about the TS Eliot letter.

I will explore the link.

Thank you for your interest in my post modette.

pleased to meet you


www.bigalwhittle.co.uk


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 03:36 PM

Re Walkabout Verse above

"unless you go back further to a time when it was one of the main forms of entertainment, by far."

Exactly, before the advent of the gramaphone, radio and television.

I think it is referred to by some as The good old days when times were bad.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 03:37 PM

Jim,
Congratulations! Wonderful news. Better late than never! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh!

I have spent all of my life immersed in and enjoying folk music, but see no need to run down other genres. There are good and bad in all genres and one man's meat and all that.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 03:55 PM

"I think it is referred to by some as The good old days when times were bad." (Hootenanny)...but we should surely question those who say such; I, for one, love being in a crowded pub and joining in a big chorus, or just listening and tapping a foot at a session - very similar to what folks, albeit with less options, did in those days.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 03:58 PM

...I've had a packet of tic tacs in my pocket for years but when I went into a shop in the USA, I almost got a headache from the incredible number of options they stocked.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 04:08 PM

Sorry WV but your definitions of 2 types don't hold water.

Traditional folk songs are those that have undergone the traditional process, whether writer is known or not. Known writer is totally irrelevant.

Contemporary folk song, largely those that have not yet had time to undergo the traditional process.

Like almost everything else there are grey areas in between that people here can argue about.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 04:13 PM

Jim I'm reminded of the story about Horton Barker who was banned from singing for school children because his renditions made them cry.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 04:25 PM

From the same above-linked place, English folk music, at least, involves the repetition of a tune - to tell with words or for dance. Traditionally, more-sophisticated polyphony and chords would be found, rather, in church or court - eventually, i.e. Nowadays, of course, many turn up at folk clubs and accompany their songs with chords; I have heard Martin Carthy embellish the tune on his guitar, which sounded good but is probably closer to "art song" (another very old tradition).


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 04:46 PM

...a few years ago, in private, I tried accompanying Johnny Todd with chords on my keyboards (instead of simply doubling the melody or singing unaccompanied), but am 100% sure that it is not what English folkies are meant to do.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 08:10 PM

" but see no need to run down other genres"
I don't Steve - really dont
If there is an invitation to give my opinion on it, I will do so if it's withing my experience - it not always is so my veiws are based on superficial impression - like the 'All sounding the same' thread - that's what modern music sounds like to me, just as the music I liked as a youngster sounded like to my parents
I try to work ut why I feel as I do, and if I participate in discussions I hope to come away hoping to have learned something
I have fairly catholic tastes in music - from the true Classics Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven (in that order) to the middle years of Sinatra et al and most forms of Jazz and blues

Beyond that it becomes a problem; I have been totally absorbed in Traditional singing and all that it carries - social history and universal experience in particular - that includes politics, which, luckily, is another of my interests
If anybody has any ideas that politics and folk song aren't linked, I suggest they get hold of a copy of Terry Moylan's doorstep of a book, 'The Indignant Muse' - a giant collection of songs that helped change the course of of a nation

The main problem here of course is that Folk songs has been researched now for over a century
It has been identified for what it is, has been anthologised and documented as 'folk' and even defined (though that definition is in need of overhauling)
There is no need on earth why anybody should claim they don't know what folk is - its uniqueness screams at you.
Anybody who claims they don't know what folk is really doesn't want to know
It is that which is killing off the clubs and it is that which will eventually push folk song back into the shadows where it once lurked

I expect only two things; to be able to go to a folk club and hear folk songs and I expect to be able to post to forums like this without feeling out of place
Too much to ask maybe ?

"Johnny Todd" (Liverpool children's song)
The Critics Group and The London Singers Workshop was baaased n the premise that most people could sing if they worked at it
If people who had never tried to sing before came along to our workshops, they were given Johnny Todd to use as a starter -
As good a song as it may be, there are far better on the same theme in y opinion
It is a perfect song for introduce people to the practice of singing - if you like it, using it in this way won't spoil it
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 08:21 PM

Guest
"Jim I'm reminded of the story about Horton Barker who was banned from singing for school children because his renditions made them cry."
The sign of a good singer
Blind Travelling woman Mary Delaney was one of the finest singers we recorded - she bacame totally involved in everything she sang, forom high tragedy to bawdy belly-laughs
Her best songs was 'Buried in Kilkenny' - a superb Irish version of Lord Randal (I think it's on line somewhere)
It took half-a-dozen goes to get a full version of it - each time she sang it she broke down saying "It's too heavy"
We assumed she'd over-pitched it but in fact each time she sang it she emotionally choke up on it
A difficult experience for her, a moving one for the listener
Singers like Frank Proffitt, Horton Barker and Dillard Chandler do the same for me - knife-edged emotion each time
Horton's sister, Texas Gladden has the same effect
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 09:33 PM

Here's the link to Mary Delaney singing 'Buried in Kilkenny'.

https://www.itma.ie/digital-library/sound/buried-in-kilkenny-delaney


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: RTim
Date: 09 Oct 19 - 10:11 PM

This thread makes less sense everyday - and seems to have little to do with the Title...It seems to be adding nothing to the "Revival"......

Tim Radford

ps. I will probably NOT be looking, and certainly NOT reacting, anymore...


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 02:29 AM

Anybody who claims they don't know what folk is really doesn't want to know

Trouble is, Jim, when other people say what they believe folk music is, you tell them they are wrong. There is also the issue of contemporary folk music, which both you and Ewan say is not folk music at all. What you need to understand is that folk is a genre that is not appreciated by most and amongst those who do appreciate it there are not that many who, like yourself, fully understand it.

The majority may be wrong but they are the majority and it is the majority perception that matters. They believe that Bellowhead and Seth Lakeman perform folk music. They do not attend lectures on the structure of unaccompanied song. They believe the BBC presenters who tell them what folk music is. And, oft times, I agree with them.

Which brings us right back to the point of the thread. If the general public see a resurgence in what they believe is folk music, then it is flagged as a folk revival. It matters not one jot whether we agree or not. Sorry.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 03:35 AM

"The majority may be wrong but they are the majority and it is the majority perception that matters. They believe that Bellowhead and Seth Lakeman perform folk music. They do not attend lectures on the structure of unaccompanied song. They believe the BBC presenters who tell them what folk music is. And, oft times, I agree with them."

Yes I do agree largely but WE must NOT be led like a bull by its nose, folk music simply as stated by Folk music presenters is not always folk music ~ wishful thing and possibly for financial gain one way or another should be challenged

Bellowhead is/was a successful band singing and arranging traditional songs ~ largely one singer Jon Boden but with nigh a football team backing of instrumental player of the finest young artists!

Purpose entertaining folk festival and concert artists:

as soon as folk audiences are invited to wave their arms in the air it is NOT folk

Ray


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 03:46 AM

I agree, Ray. We are not led by the nose. We are individuals. Like everyone else ;-)


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 03:50 AM

"Trouble is, Jim, when other people say what they believe folk music is, "
Trouble is Dave that when I ask prople to tell me what they think fok music is, they can't tell me - they tell me it now means different things to different people
If folk music, particularly folk song, hadn't been as well documented as it has been, and accepeted for as long as it has for what it is, that would make sense
As it is, that argument is utter nonsense - we know what folk song is by pulling one of the eight large volumes of ;The Greig Duncan Folk Song Collection' or a copy of 'The Penguin Book of English, or Scottish, or American, or Canadian, or American or Australian Folk songs
There are many hundreds of collections of real folk songs and there are as many studies of the genre - -it is as well studied as any other cultural genre
The only way your argument can apply is to ignore the facts of what folk song is
What it boils down to seems to be that the only definition now being applied is "that's what I like to listen to and sing so I am going to call it folk and tell people what we do at our club is folk

That just doesn't make sense and, to my mind, it's sharp practice
There isn't one person I can ever remember that has responded to the fact that your non-definition - blame it on the people, definition is severely damaging the future of a music regarded by most as 'The Music, or The Voice of the People' - the cultural voice of 'ordinary' people who have created and sung songs that reflected their lives and experiences since time immemorial - a people who have long been regarded as mainly 'cultureless and non-
creative'

We knew what that the music/song we came to listen to back in the early sixties was unique - and it turned us on
We are now being told, by people who I otherwise like and respect, that that music has had its day
They/you are not offering a viable alternative - on the contrary - they/you can't agree among yourselves - cant, or refuse to give 'your knind of folk' an identity
In doing to, you have made the term 'folk' utterly meaningless - a convenient way of avoiding the bother of having to think up a title for the stuff you like
I find that totally unfathomable and totally unforgivable - a vandsalising attack on the people's culture

I hate to say it, but you are beginning to sound like an arch-Brexiteer - "that's what the people are voting for" - really ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 03:59 AM

Cross-posted
Tank you a million times for this
"The majority may be wrong but they are the majority and it is the majority perception that matters"
Where am hearing this constantly nowadays - every time I switch on a Brexit debate
The only difference is that a slim majority were conned enough to vote or this act of self-harm
Folk song, however defined, has never caught the interest, nver mind the support of the vast majority of the people
A "majority" Com onnnnnn !
The people don't care - the only people who do are us crumblies with one foot in the flower bed
Haven taken on the music, it is up to us to take on the responsibility for it
This is little more than populism without the opportunity to vote
Jim Carroll
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 04:16 AM

I think this thread has come full circle, there is no revival in 2019.
Basically there is traditional music and there is popular music which includes what we refer to as contemporary folk. Much of this contemporary music consists of producing a saleable sound especially amongst young performers here in Scotland. Regrettably much of the tradition is being pressed to this purpose, tunes and words battered beyond recognition, all suppressed by the interminable beat which seems to be compulsory.
I have a lot of sympathy with Mr Padgett's comment.... "as soon as folk audiences are invited to wave their arms in the air it is NOT folk".


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 04:19 AM

The adiscussion is jut mebinning and is now touching on the most important points
If you have nothing to say on the matter Ake, go away
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 04:26 AM

Brexit is a bit more important, Jim. Folk music will not ruin lives, businesses or the economy. Your analogy is fallacious.

As to the tomes of documented folk music. Are you really saying that unless it is in one of the books you mention, it is not folk music? If so, how can we ever get new folk music? Are we destined to sing the same songs for all eternity. If so, I must start to agree with the MP that said his idea of hell was a folk club!


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 04:42 AM

"Brexit is a bit more important, Jim. "
What kind of answer is that Dave ?
Ther removal of a large slice of worin history wil damage working people's perception of themselves forever
Brexit, whatever the ourtcome will pass into history like the memory of the bad fart it is
" Are you really saying that unless it is in one of the books you mention, it is not folk music"
Please do not distort my words Dave
I don't need a book to recognize a folk song - they are merely confirming records
We have talked inteminaly about making new songs using the old models - tyou suggestion is sheer dishonesty
I pointed out that you have no agreed definition - your silence and obvious evasion confirms that
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 05:08 AM

That people have to listen to the same song for eternity is the most ridiculous excuse ever
Do you know ham nay folk songs tht are no longer sung ?
Do you know how many new collections that have recently come available
If you are takling about folk songs as a genre - fair enough - if you don't like them don't get involved and certainly don't attempt to replace them
Shakespeare only wrote 37 plays yet he remains the most important and longest lasting playwright that ever lived - his pitiful number of plays have survived for centuries and there is no sign of tat ever changing
Our 305 traditional ballads are easily their equivalent - if not more so
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 05:35 AM

Jim,

If I am not mistaken you appear to be confusing Horton Barker with Hobart Smith.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 05:56 AM

"Horton Barker with Hobart Smith."
Possibly Hoot - memory for names is not what it was
Thank you
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 06:31 AM

I pointed out that you have no agreed definition - your silence and obvious evasion confirms that

I have told you many times what my definition of folk song is. What you call my silence is merely you disagreeing with it but here we go again. Folk song, to me, is any song with a story or meaning, sung unaccompanied or accompanied by traditional instruments, without electronic enhancement. This can be either traditional or contemporary. Copyright does not come in to it unless the song is recorded.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 06:32 AM

Sorry, I should have added sung in a traditional manner. It is not the content but the presentation that makes it folk.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 06:54 AM

Your definition goes directly against the things you have arfued for and is only partially true
A folk siong is a song made by the folk, and reprocessed by th e folk down the ages
The folk are no longer making songs so anything using folk techniques can only become folk songs when they are absorbed into a folk tradition
If they were what you are auging for there would be no problem - it isn't
"the storry and meaning bit is meaningless , most songs, from operatic arias to many pop songs have them

If this is what you want what in gods name are you talking about when you talk about "the same songs for all eternity"
Theer anr many thousands of folk song, most of those that were are no longer being sung - new collections are being made available regularly
I have a working repertoire of three hundred songs - folk an contemporary - if I was the one singing foull songs I could go on or a month without having to repeat myself
I haven't even begun to re-visit The Carpenter Collection yet
Last month I co-operated to with Rod Stradling to issue a collection of, as yet unheard Yorkshire folk songs
Rod has complained that he cant find customers for his collections - 3 purchases of a double album of Sam Larner - and I was one of those and you say I don't know what is happening on a perfectly healthy folk scene
If our secen is healthy - where is it and what is is singing
People here not only appear to not to sing it but some have advocated openly that it's had its day and it's time it shuffled off the scene and made room for something else
If you didn't agree with them, why didn't you say so instead of targeting my argument ?
As the old joke says, "you may claim to have bad eyesight, but your prick's pointing to West Point"
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 06:56 AM

We have just received the wonderful news that the National Sound Archive at the British Library had received a sizeable grant and wants to put our collection on line ............... At last people will be able to hear what Walter Pardon and Mikeen McCarthy, and Peggy Delaney and Mary Delaney..... and all those other wonderful people had so say about their songs - Jim Carroll.

Wonderful news, very pleased to hear that, well done Jim! It is good to see a real life example of belief and perseverance paying off.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 07:08 AM

You may disagree with it, Jim, but it is my definition. Why you say I have not given one when this is the umpteenth time is beyond me. Anyhow, hopefully, you will not say it again. So, next, how is that definition against anything I have said before? And if my definition is partly true, which bit(s) do you agree with?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 08:32 AM

"You may disagree with it, Jim, but it is my definition. "
It isn't a definition Dave - it's your own take - the "personal view" you always accuse me of having
You have not responded to a single poing I have made or a single question I have asked - particularly on 'The Voice of The People'
It seems we are both wasting our time

Thanks Obbo
Haven't quite come down from it yet
The gilyt was added to the gingerbred last night when I got word from the National Sound Archive that they are interested in examining the large Singers Workshop archive I have had left in my care
Hope I can sober up before Belfast next week
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 09:17 AM

Sorry about the "poing" it should have been point but poing is a pretty fair description of the feeling contantly having your aumennts being bounced back without substantial response - sort of like throwing a ball against a stone wall
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 09:21 AM

It is a definition, Jim, regardless of what you say it is. It is how I define folk song and of course it is personal, it is mine. I don't expect anyone to abide by it or even agree with it. As Ray said earlier, "WE must NOT be led like a bull by its nose, folk music simply as stated by Folk music presenters is not always folk music". I would add that folk music simply as stated by anyone is not always the full picture either.

But I do not believe we are wasting our time. You said my definition was partly true and I asked which bit(s). Let's start from common ground and work up from there. I expect we will agree about a lot more than you think.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 10:03 AM

In order for something to be a 'definition' it has to be agreed on by others, otherwise people stop communicating with each other - which I think is what happened to us here
Sorry - you are shadow-boxing and evading the important points
Shame
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 10:15 AM

You asked for my definition, Jim. Not an agreed definition. Not anyone else's definition. You asked me to define folk music. I did. Now, which part of my definition do you think is true?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 10:38 AM

Maybe if the 'folk' is still not revived, it's time to accept it's not going to.....


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 10:38 AM

"Not an agreed definition. "
Why do you think we are discussing this Dave - you have dismissed what I belive to be folk song as "my opinion" , yet you are now admitting that you are only giving yours
I don't want to fall out with you or anybody because our opinions differ, but I do care very much what is happening to the public face of folk song - the clubs
Are you honestly suggesting that any culture can thrive if it can't be defined and agreed on ?
I don't
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 11:09 AM

Is there an agreed definition of folk music that you agree with, Jim? If so, what is it?

And you still haven't said which part of my definition is true.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 11:13 AM

"Maybe if the 'folk' is still not revived, it's time to accept it's not going to.."
's up to you if you want to do that Guest
We are in the middle of a huge revival of traditional music here in Irland, song is now beginning to move in the same direction
I would hate to think the same thing can't happen back home
It won't if people sit on their bums and watch it slip down the pan
To borrow from the L'Oréal ad - folk song is "worth it" - in my opinion of course
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 11:54 AM

Can I just remind people of my permanent offer
Some time ago I purchased a lump of PCloud which I am using to share some of our archive of traditional song
I filled I started to distribute it some months ago and have had an encouraging number of takers right up to the present tim - still dipping in regularly
Anybody who wishes to help themselves to what's on offer can do so by giving me their e-mail address to enable me to link them to the box
The beauty of sharing digitised material is that it never runs dry
If anythone is seeking anything specific - If I have it, it's yours for the asking - no strings attached
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 01:12 PM

"Even if we still had some traditional singers around appearing on a good stage in a good setting with a knowlegeable compere (few of those around) with or without alcohol you would still have a problem finding an audience. It just isn't there."

I think there could be if it could be promoted. It would have to start small and grow.
Alcohol precludes youngsters from participation. Folk music is in its tradition often a family affair. Songs are generated through the aural fashion, lullabys, sketches of songs, even ballads handed down by parents to children.

My contention has always been that people who are exposed to folk music have to own it. One way, the way I've found, is to teach it through songs, instrumental accompaniment on folk instruments or a cappella. If people can use it in their own lives, it becomes appreciated when others perform it.

The reason it endures regardless of its mass popularity is that it contains human values and emotions that we can all identify with. The themes are those that when released from the popular music idea which is it has to be liked because it's popular, is a tautology that can be broken by educating the public.

Ewan and Peggy had an effect on introducing people to folk music who were not fans,   as did the Kingston Trio in America. Those popularized performers grew out of an interest in folk music by small groups of people.

For me, folk music is experiential. I had to learn to listen to it to finally enjoy and understand it. My mind had to slow down to a different time when technology had not robbed people of their leisure and created problems that it was intended to fix. The fast cars, cell phones, computerized data processing world can find relief in a simpler pace, a human transmission of emotions on a less manufactured scale. We can be trained to enjoy and listen to a song sung without excessive production values or basic accompaniment. Trying to define folk music is the old blind man with the elephant. Parts of it mean different things to different people. However, the main point for me is that once I hear it, it engenders a sympathetic vibration and it defines itself. I can be absorbed in a story/song/ballad with many verses done a cappella or with musical tasteful accompaniment that doesn't require a light show, dry ice or loud electronic noise. It's kind of like learning to enjoy the taste of a good organic apple instead of a meal laced with preservatives, chemicals and artificial flavoring.

I like simple and subtle rather than complex and crude in music. Folk music does that for me.

Many classical or musically sophisticated composers have agreed with me. Bartok, Vaughan Williams, Beethoven....you name it.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 01:32 PM

its not a question of academics coming up with a definition.

Its common usage that defines the meaning of words.

there are people who disagree with the meaning we have ascribed to the word 'gay'.

they write to the papers. they get worked up. they say its a sign of degeneracy.

sound familiar....?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 02:01 PM

I do not think a definition of "folk music and song" is possible ~ except maybe in very broad terms ~ that is an agreed one!!

Ray


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 03:02 PM

Spot on both Al and Ray. Words are defined by popular usage and folk song cannot really be defined in any meaningful way. There are so many facets of it it would be like trying define beauty!


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 03:19 PM

Frank

The thing that introduced people here in the UK to folk music that were not fans was Skiffle courtesy of Lonnie Donegan and Chris Barber and their version of a Leadbelly song. I am sure that you already know that.

Skiffle clubs started up and some morphed into folk clubs, some to rock.

Ewan, Peggy and Alan Lomax jumped on the wagon and formed and recorded as part of a skiffle group which included a couple of jazz musicians.

One club in London became the Ballads & Blues Club. Ewan & Peggy became residents.

In my opinion without skiffle Ewan might have found it hard to find an audience and probably never have met Peggy.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 03:22 PM

"I do not think a definition of "folk music and song" is possible"
Too late - it's been done and written up
If it hadn't been possible we wouldn't be here talking to each other
You don't really need a set definition - you can tell by the sound of the songs that they are something special

"Its common usage that defines the meaning of words."
There is no common usage Al - we never won enough hears and minds for there to be one
There goes that Brexit-like populism again
These changes have been brought about not by "common usage" but by a bunch of ageing folikies who neither understand folk song or care about it
Bye-bye 'The Voice of the People' which will remain the Elephant in the Room as long as the present diminishing revival is around
No one on you have come up with what this so-called "common usage" has re-defined folk music to mean - any takers
Won't hold my breath - too wheezy nowadays
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 04:19 PM

The meaning of words are changed for a purpose usually.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 05:26 PM

No such thing as common usage. I'm sorry I thought it was our appropriation of the word that was causing you such heartache.

Believe me, if I could make it mean what you wanted it to mean in ordinary coversation. I would. just to see you happy.

Meantime let me cheer you up with a folksong written by Roger Whittaker.

best wishes

Al


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 06:36 PM

So, what definition of folk song do you agree with then, Jim? Not mine obviously. The 1954 one? Your own one? The one that goes "you can tell by the sound of the songs"? Who judges the sound of the song? Me? Al? You?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 10 Oct 19 - 07:03 PM

I just got back from a swim after work and will read the rest tomorrow, but re Jim on me just once in private trying chords on Johnny Todd - "It is a perfect song for introduce people to the practice of singing - if you like it, using it in this way won't spoil it"...no thanks; I shall continue to sing it and the rest of my e-trad repertoire either unaccompanied or by doubling the melody on keyboards, after, nearly always, introducing the tune on my tenor recorder (and I have won a couple of folk festival competitions in Durham and Northumberland, by the way).

As said above, English folk music, at least, is all about the tune, and that is what I keep working at - playing and singing the top/only line melody.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 02:46 AM

Matt Milton answered the question and geve some examples what proprtion is that of t total guest booking us or existing clubs both guest booking and non guest booking?
Walkabout you consider yourself authority on english folk music?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 03:09 AM

"I do not think a definition of "folk music and song" is possible"
Too late - it's been done and written up
If it hadn't been possible we wouldn't be here talking to each other
You don't really need a set definition - you can tell by the sound of the songs that they are something special

Oh has it ~ by whom?? the term Folk was initially a term for songs and music ~ "from the people by the people" and really evolved with story telling to tell a story ~ the tunes of course helping memory and the conveying of that story

People are people (folk is folk) and all have their own ideas and definitions ~ "already defined" oh yes when where and what gives them that right prithee?

Something special does not necessarily equate with "folk"

Ray


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 03:16 AM

"no thanks; I shall continue to sing it and the rest of my e-trad repertoire either unaccompanied or by doubling the melody on keyboards, after, nearly always,"
Your choice of course, but you need to bear in mind that it was a children's song to be sung, or even chanted, in the Liverpool streets
You are free to do with it what you will
I always like to compare it with the versions of 'Bonny Light Horseman', and he children's 'Broken Heated I Wander' - one story, two entirely difrerent approaches
I know from personal experience that 'Johnny Todd' can be used as an exercise and still be enjoyed as a serious song - the last, somewhat disgruntled moral' verse gives it enough of an edge to lift it above the usuasal lament
English music may be all about the tune, but the songs have to be mainly about the words - theer are too many of them to be ignored, and their essence is in the stories they carry
As so many of them in the later days of the tradition were learned from print, it is not possible to claim any song was intended to be sug to a specific tune - the singers simple snatched an existing tune to fit the words
Many may have been anble to read the words but hardly any could read music, even if it had been available

"So, what definition of folk song do you agree with then, Jim?"
I don't need a "definition" Dave; I, like you, were you of the mind to, culd take any of the collections that have appeared over the last century and a half and the 'definition' would be staring at you in the face in the song
The secret lise in the two names out songs are recognised by. "folk" and "traditional" - two sides of the same coin.
"Folk" refers to the social group that probably made them, identified with them, and took ownership of them as being 'local' or Norfolk' or 'family' songs
"Traditional" refers to the way they were manipulated and adapted to suit the particular singers and their communities - the journey they take from their original composer(s) through their existence
The origins of these songs are unprovable and usually untraceable further back then the earliest printed versions, but even that doesn't guarantee that that's where they started
I'll be talking next week about the Ballad, 'Get Up and Bar the Door' - I have no doubt that some bushy-tailed academic can give you an earliest published date, but in fact, the story dated back as far as ancient Egypt and is told about tomb robbers eating stolen figs and arguing which of them should close the tomb door in case they are found out
That story lasted as traditional right into the 1970s and I would be surprised if it hadn't appeared regularly as a story and a song in the intervening years - it certainly turned up in "Ancient India" according to one anthology
Now that's what I call folk
That is why it is nonsense to claim that 'folk' can't be defined - the definition lies in the journey each song takes and the process it undergoes
Jim



Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 03:42 AM

Sorry ray - ised this
"Oh has it ~ by whom??
By the people who sang them and acrried tem through the ages - that's who
One of the great myths abot teditional singers is, because they sand all typse of song, they didn't differentiate between the different types - the songs are different and it is insulting to suggest that the singers were incapable of recognising those differences
WE spent hours talking to England's last 'large repertoire' traditional singers about how he categorised his songs
He sand all sorts but was adamant about which were folk and which weren't - he even attempted to analyse the difference musically using his Melodeon
He would have been mortified to found some of "that other old stuff" had been given a Roud number to identify it as a folk song
Blint Travelling singer, Mary Delaney, had a large repertoire of traditional songs which she referred to as 'My daddie's songs" - even though he probably knew lass than ten - she was referring to the type of song rather than its source
She had many dozens of Country and Western songs which she refused to sing for us "You don't want them old things - I only know them 'caose they're the ones the lads ask for down in the pub"
Non-literate Traveller, Mikeen McCarthy from Kerry divided his repertoire into three parts, the "street songs", he used for busking, "pub songs" which were sung in crowded pubs, often for pennies and "fireside songs" which were sund in the open air around a fireside to listeners who would give their full attention to what was being sung
Three different types of song, three different styles of singing
We got the same type of information from more-or-less every singer we talked to

The only reason not to to define a folk song is to choose not to - that has become a convenience used by people who appear not to be satisfied with the folk repertoire any more and want to give themselves an excuse to sing something else at a folk club
That is why the clubs are bombing at a rate of knots
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 05:16 AM

that's an interesting point


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 05:27 AM

Thank you Jim, unless you cross-posted !!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 05:40 AM

"Get Up And Bar The Door" - Thanks for the information on that Jim - It is one I sing as my "Christmas Song".


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 05:42 AM

All this navel gazing is tiresome, before the second revival proper, there was a revival of traditional jazz...I remember it well, and today in the US there is another revival of New Orleans style street music led by an amazing group of musicians called Tuba Skinny....positive and inclusive...I love them, especially the little "leader" Shay and the fantastic singer Erica Lewis.   This is the folk music of Black America, full of life and sometimes pathos.....Heads UP...and give it a listen!

TUBA SKINNY


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 05:43 AM

I `ad old Eric Tebble in my cab once. `e was raised in Deptford but moved out to Basildon and married Ethel Spelter, the last of the Essex women `ot dip galvanisers. She wrote that book, "Zinc or Swim" with all the songs she collected. Essential reading.
I said, "Morning Eric. Long time, no see. `ere, I know you post to that Mudcat. There was a bit about Deptford in it. when you were a kid at school there did you `ave anybody to come and sing folk songs for you?"
`e said, "Yes Jim. I do recall we `ad this geezer come along one time, a right charmer, `e was. `e `ad us all singing songs from "English Folk Songs for Schools". I`ve still got my copy."
I said, " Did you find it educational?"
`e said," I suppose so. But more for the `eadmaster."
I said, "Go on then."
`e said, "When they all came in the next morning they found `e `ad `alf-inched the pianner!"


Whaddam I Like??


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 07:07 AM

I don't need a "definition" Dave

And yet a few posts earlier you insisted that a definition was required if we were to preserve and grow it. Which is it be? Do we need a definition and, it so, which one do you agree with?

I just had a Star Trek moment.

It's folk, Jim, but not as we know it.

:D


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

"And yet a few posts earlier you insisted that a definition was required if we were to preserve and grow it."
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 - that was always the case with principled (as distinct from the minue few purist) clubs
Someone who turns up to hear 'The Flying Cloud' is going to be a little pissed off to be given Jarvis Cocker-alike sounds if they have a modicum of taste (and vise versa, of course)
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
Nobody turns up to a classical music recital is going to be too happy if they are given jazz instead - why the **** shouldn't the same apply to a folk club - isn't it worthy of that level of integrity ?
You no longer have the excuse that the 'anything-goes' approach works - the lubs ar bombing
In my opinion, this is because nobody knows what they will hear anymore, and the standard of what they are given has steadily declined

WE have a permanent definition and have had since '54 - it needs re-visiting, but it has worked for over a half century and nobody has come up with an alternative so far
If someone asked me where they could find a substantial represtitive collectiion of Folk Song, I would send them to The Penguin Books, or the Singing Island, or Greig Duncan, or Kennedy's British Folk Song collection, or Sharp/Karpeles - or the many and varied collections that have been coming out for over 100 years
Thare are as many articles, and analyses to satisfy anybody interested on any level


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 08:56 AM

Sorry - didn't quite finish
WHERE WOULD YOU SEND THEM?
Answers on any sized postcard you need, but I doubt if anything much larger than a postage stamp would be needed
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 09:30 AM

I dug this out for the talk next week
It explains how the old crowd differentiated between the different types of their song
It's from the time Appalachian singer Jean Richie was recording songs from singers in Ireland in 1950 - a definition using recognition and comparison

“I used the song Barbara Allen as a collecting tool because everybody knew it.
When I would ask people to sing me some of their old songs they would sometimes sing ‘Does Your Mother Come from Ireland?’ or something about shamrocks.
But if I asked if they knew Barbara Allen, immediately they knew exactly what kind of song I was talking about and they would bring out beautiful old things that matched mine, and were variants of the songs I knew in Kentucky. It was like coming home.”

Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 10:08 AM

But I have never suggested that anything goes, Jim. You are tilting at a straw man there. I also "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". I gave it to you earlier. Both yours and mine are subjective though. The only objective definition you quote is the 1954 one and, as you say, that is flawed. It is little wonder therefore that the layman is confused about what folk music is if a definition cannot be agreed by the aficionados. They may as well just listen to what Mark Radcliffe tells them.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 10:13 AM

"But I have never suggested that anything goes, Jim"
Oh - come on Dave
You have kicked against a definition and demanded mine
Your "healthy" revival descenede into pop song renditions at one time
Stop prevaricating - where would you send someone looking for fol;k songs ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Howard Jones
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 10:40 AM

We've been over all this many times. The clubs in their heyday included a broad range of music, not all of it traditional or even in a traditional style, but it all seemed to rub along and was broadly acceptable to the audiences.

I don't think it can be as simple as the other music driving out trad and trad-sounding songs, or we would still have a thriving club scene but with a different balance of music. However I think the open-mic movement stole our clothes - they saw how the folk club model provided an opportunity to perform in front of an audience, and adapted it to include a wider range of music than had been typical of folk clubs. Perhaps some of these were folk clubs which, deliberately or otherwise, broadened their base and haven't got around to changing how they describe themselves.

The other feature I see is that the standards of performance now cover a far greater range. At the top, I see far more people capable of playing and singing to a far higher standard than was the case when I started in the 70s. It is understandable that audiences, accustomed to high standards in other genres, expect the same and don't want to be subjected to mediocre random floor singers. That inevitably leads to more controlled events without floor singers, and in concert rather than club conditions.

At the other end of the scale, the philosophy that everyone should be allowed to sing has resulted in sessions with appallingly low standards where people who would never have been given a floor spot are encouraged to keep coming back. The needs of the performers take priority over those of the audience. It is hardly surprising that these tend to be shunned by both audiences and more accomplished performers and become remedial self-help groups of people singing badly to each other.

I deplore both these directions, but I'm not sure how they can be reversed.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 10:57 AM

Oh - come on Dave

Feel free to provide a link to me staying anything goes, Jim.

Stop prevaricating - where would you send someone looking for fol;k songs ?

It's difficult to see how I can have prevaricated over a question you have not asked before but, once again, please feel free to link where you have. Anyway, seeing as you ask now, I would send them to Skipton folk club on a Monday. Bacca pipes in Keighley on a Friday or the Topic in Bradford on a Thursday. I cannot say for other areas as I am out of touch.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Vic Smith
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 11:33 AM

Howard Jones wrote:-
The clubs in their heyday included a broad range of music, not all of it traditional or even in a traditional style, but it all seemed to rub along and was broadly acceptable to the audiences.

My first love have always been traditional folk music, song and dance. Throughout the decades that I ran a weekly folk club, the tradition was at the heart of what I wanted to present, though I never wanted to exclude the songwriters who were inspired by the tradition, those who were skilled in monologues and others who enriched the diversity of what was on offer
Having said that, I must say that Howard's summary of what - in general - he found in folk clubs concurs with my own memories of what they were like in the 60's/70's. It seems to me that to regard these years as a glorious halcyon era where the mass of those attending were seeking the true 'voice of the people' sounds like an attempt to rewrite the history of these years as a Golden Era, because that is not the way it was.
I wonder if there are any people who have been to (or compered) as many folk club evenings and concerts between 1962 and 2019 as I have - perhaps the likes of Carthy and Kirkpatrick who have been career folk singers. Certainly, there are fewer clubs and the average age of those attending has risen but overall - and this is only an impression - I would say that you are more likely to hear traditional song and tunes in the folk clubs that I still attend regularly now than in the days when the folk comedians, the music hall aficionados and the introspective singer/songwriters held sway.
The reasons for the decline in the number of folk clubs are complex and include a mass of inter-related socio-economic, political and societal reasons. The world has changed a great deal in my lifetime - probably more than in any other period of history.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 11:38 AM

I suggest you turn to the thread where names like The Kinks and ED Sheeran were bandies about and 'Galway Girl was put up as a folk song
If you really adhere to the real folk songs styles you claim you do why do you spend so much time jumping down my throat every time I say what I exopect from a folk club
Whay have you argued that my folk is no longer relevant
Why do you keep talking 'populist' and saying that the conception of folk is different nowadays
Do I detect a 100 mph backbeddling dieplay
A simple question to ignore, along with the others - why do you spend so much time disagreeing with me if you agree with me
I give oyu my definition by pointing to the books where my folk songs are to be found - you have yet to give me yours
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 12:15 PM

I don't think anybody has ever attempted to suggest an idealised picture of how it was Howard - I certainly am not
In Manchester, if you wanted tardition or tradition based, you went to The Pack Horse or one of Harry Boardman clubs, if you wanted singing pullovers, The Beggarmen ran a club, and if you wanted singer-songwriter, The Shakespeare Head - Christie Moore had a club somewhere
Liverpool earlier and London later were similar
The clubs co-existed without threatening the position of each other
Occasionally, you would get a stranger finding him/herself in the wrong venue but there was no doubt among the locals that thee were certain places to go if you were selective
I don't remember much "finger-in-ear" or "purist" nonsense thrown about and the nastiness of "folk police" or even "folk fascist" never occurred in my hearing
I don't think I remember anybody going around with a signboard saying "Nobody knows what folk song is"
Any claim that would 'the people have changed the meaning of folk" would have been laughed out of London Road or Piccadilly - we were fully aware that our interest was very much a minority one
This 'Utopian' image is a bit of a red herring
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 12:24 PM

Vic, I agree with you completely. I attended folk clubs in London regularly from around early 1957 until 1965 and ran one for over four years of that period and remember them as described by yourself and Howard Jones.
Most audience where I attended enjoyed a considerable variety of material in addition to traditional song.

On the odd occasion that I go to a club now I find a similar variety of material being performed and enjoyed.

Jim, with regard to the second line of your post above can I just say Pots and kettles come to mind.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 12:46 PM

The secret lise in the two names out songs are recognised by. "folk" and "traditional" - two sides of the same coin.
"Folk" refers to the social group that probably made them, identified with them, and took ownership of them as being 'local' or Norfolk' or 'family' songs

Nope ~folk song and music continues and does include the traditional~ but is being written and continues to expand and evolve ~ contemporary folk song ~ including industrial song and songs of social comment ~ you stick to your ideas Sir but the word is still very much in daily use and is properly used ~and yes I agree you can tell what is a folk song just by hearing it ~ pop or popular song and music is just that! and sod the folk programme guys

Ray


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 12:58 PM

My first love have always been traditional folk music, song and dance. Throughout the decades that I ran a weekly folk club, the tradition was at the heart of what I wanted to present, though I never wanted to exclude the songwriters who were inspired by the tradition, those who were skilled in monologues and others who enriched the diversity of what was on offer
Having said that, I must say that Howard's summary of what - in general - he found in folk clubs concurs with my own memories of what they were like in the 60's/70's. It seems to me that to regard these years as a glorious halcyon era where the mass of those attending were seeking the true 'voice of the people' sounds like an attempt to rewrite the history of these years as a Golden Era, because that is not the way it was.
I wonder if there are any people who have been to (or compered) as many folk club evenings and concerts between 1962 and 2019 as I have - perhaps the likes of Carthy and Kirkpatrick who have been career folk singers. Certainly, there are fewer clubs and the average age of those attending has risen but overall - and this is only an impression - I would say that you are more likely to hear traditional song and tunes in the folk clubs that I still attend regularly now than in the days when the folk comedians, the music hall aficionados and the introspective singer/songwriters held sway.
The reasons for the decline in the number of folk clubs are complex and include a mass of inter-related socio-economic, political and societal reasons. The world has changed a great deal in my lifetime - probably more than in any other period of history.”


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
This, this, THIS!!

Jim, your posts come over very London-centric and Ireland-centric, and you seem to be making your judgments based on those scenes. Those of us who live far away from those idylls don’t have the luxury of being able to choose from numerous clubs and venues, every night of the week, each presenting its own Individual style of music - we may have a couple, maybe three, sometimes only once a fortnight or even monthly, and often with an hour’s drive at each end of the evening. Those clubs have found that, in order to survive, they have to cater for a range of styles falling within the broad church of folk- and folk-styled music, and that insistence on adherence to one style only would soon sound their death-knell.

Those of us who attend and still perform in those clubs understand that, and we accept that during an evening we may hear songs in styles we’re not especially enamoured of, but we make an allowance for that because, otherwise, if we insisted on ‘our preferred style’ only, we’d soon be singing to an almost empty room.

Even in the one fairly-local club which had a strong reputation for being ‘Strictly Trad’, there has had to be a change of policy, because the Traddies either died off or buggered off. This one is now highly successful and is packed every week.

I can’t imagine anything worse than having to sit through an entire evening of Jolly Plough Boys, except having to sit through an evening of Teenage-Angst sung from an iPhone. But an evening of varied styles, including Trad and ‘Contemporary’ (for want of a better word) is perfectly acceptable for me and the many others who attend the clubs I frequent.

You may not like it, but that’s the way it is. As the Brexit-Bunch are wont to say, “Get over it”.

I repeat Vic’s final sentence - the world has changed a great deal in my lifetime, probably more than in any other period of history.

The usual disclaimers apply......IMHO, YMMV etc.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 01:07 PM

"Nope ~folk song and music continues and does include the traditional~ but is being written and continues to expand and evolve"
Yup - I'm afraid Ron
Yes - newly written songs were included in the traditional repertoire - all songs started somewhere, but it was the process that made them folk songs, not their being sung
The logic of your argument is that every song a traditional singer sings must be folk necause he/she sings it, so if Sam Larner sang Nessun Dorma, it would automatically be a folk song
One of the overwhelming tendencies of the tradition was that nobody knew where the songs came from - the authors were forgotten and the became 'anon'
The moved on and appeared in variants, adapting and taking root wherever they landed
Invariably they became the property of the area - a Scots song becoming Norfolk or West Country...

One of the findings I have never quite come to terms with is the large number of locally made songs that appeared throughout Ireland during the lifetimes of the singers we recorded - we recorded a dozen or so, but were told of hundreds
One old singer (now approaching 100) told us, "If a man farted in church someone made a song on it"
We have been unable to find the name of the maker of a single one of these songs.
This appears to have been the case throughout Ireland
All part of the song making tradition
The adapting of written songs is included in the '54 definition, but it is qualified by the necessity of 'the folk process'
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 01:19 PM

"Jim, your posts come over very London-centric and Ireland-centric,"
My conclusions were drawn from working with Travellers and in West Clare - the former still had a living tradition and the latter was still within living memory
The tradition in England began to die when the Industrial Revolution began to break up the rural communities and cause a shift to the town, literacy, commercial entertainment and technology dealt the coup-de-grace
Sharp et al reported that the live tradition was moribund and Tom Munnley in the sixties described his as "A race ith the undertaker"
This makes the information received from Travellers and rural Ireland so important
Walter Pardon was interesting as he was never really a part of a living sining tradition, but he learned all his songs from relatives who were
He sang what that taught him and he reached his conclusions from what his Uncle Billy and his father - repeated first hand information
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 01:52 PM

Galway Girl was put up as a folk song

Not be me it wasn't, Jim. Nor were the Kinks or Ed Sheran put up as folk singers. The nearest I ever said was that some of Ed Sheran's songs could be acceptable at folk clubs, and this next bit is very important, if they were performed in a traditional style. I have no idea who mentioned the Kinks but there are certainly some of Ray Davies's compositions that would lend themselves to be performed in such a way as well. You are putting up straw men once again. I have said this before and will probably say it again. The performance of a song is as important as the content to me.

As to why do you spend so much time disagreeing with me

Because I cannot agree with your analysis of folk clubs in general and because you keep misrepresenting my position. And because you enjoy it :-) You have said as much. I think you would leave it everyone began agreeing with you.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 02:15 PM

Think I misunderstood you Baccie
If you were talking just about the clubs, my experiance spreads over three major British cities and things that have been argued for as 'folk clubs' on this forum and in some now defunct magazines (I believe Froots went belly-up recently)
Not only is the Trad scene dying but some here seem to be saying 'good riddance - it's no longer a valid music'
Your point about a trad club being forced to change it's policy rather makes my point - from a folk club to a bums-on-seats club
Whatever the reason, it's no longer a folk club - I suggest that maybe my poing anot people coming to hear Sam Larner and being given Jarvis Cocker might have somethign to do with it
Those things tebd to happen when bums-on-seats becomes an issue - you really can't please 'em all Grand Opera founs themselves having to sit through big lumps of Taylor Swift
Pretty soon they's piss of elsewhere
Ireland has never really had a folk club scene
I wonder how the regs at the ROH would react if, they came to listen o

Dave
Not interested until you start answering basic questions -
Your point about Ed Shearan's un-folk-like repetitive, non narrative songs where the characters are shadows and cyphers makes my point perfectly
Instead of ducking and diving - what are your objections to my arguments - if there are none, why do you spend so long opposing what I say ?
Where would you send a newbie inquiring where they could learn about your brand of folk songs
I'll keep asking this as long as you keep ignoring it
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Acorn4
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 02:16 PM

The East Midlands Folk Magazine recently changed its title from "Folk Monthly" to "Folk and Acoustic Monthly" which seems to reinforce some of the points made above.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Acorn4
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 02:17 PM

Should have been "Midlands"rather than just "East Midlands" being published in Birmingham.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Nemesis
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 02:28 PM

DTG this song comes to mind as an addendum to your last post 01:52

Though my old man's a dustman he's got a heart of gold
He got married recently though he's 86 years old
We said 'Ear! Hang on Dad you're getting past your prime'
He said 'Well when you get to my age it helps to pass the time'


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 03:03 PM

"Walkabout you consider yourself authority on english folk music?" (The Sandman)...I got into it after a visit to the THE 35TH MORPETH NORTHUMBRIAN GATHERING - SPRING 2002 with a major in anthropology behind me; and whilst, frankly, I don't have the repertoire of some who have put more time into it, I'm sure I have a good understanding of the definitive factors, such as those I mentioned above.

More broadly, I also genuinely believe that the best way forward for humanity is my way, having been born in Saint Mary's Hospital, Manchester, the day Alf Ramsey's English team won the FIFA World Cup, been very highly trained in Australia, well travelled, and thoughtful.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 04:02 PM

I may not be the first to have the thought that I would not particularly want to hear a song about somebody farting in church. But when you are faced with an 'investigator' with a clear interest in finding out traditional stuff and about ordinary people who made up songs, then such is human nature that you will provide for him what he wants, keep him happy. Observer bias.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 04:04 PM

It's like Jim's methods are a casebook example of how not to do it in the first place coupled with biased interpretations of the data thus obtained, with a dollops of self-contradiction and verbal pugilism built into the write-ups.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 05:10 PM

Where would you send a newbie inquiring where they could learn about your brand of folk songs
I'll keep asking this as long as you keep ignoring it


1. Already answered you, Jim.11 Oct 19 - 10:57 AM

2. If you put up some proper points against what I have actually said rather than against something you imagine I said, I may start to respond. If you were to actually read what I put it may help. See point 1.

As much as I don't like to say this, I think you and I speak a different language.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 08:04 PM

Calling The Beggarmen 'singing pullovers' seems a bit harsh.

I only saw them once but I thought a pretty slick professional act. If you couldn't afford the Dubliners for your club (and who could by the 1970's) they had a fair stab at that sort of material.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 08:47 PM

"Calling The Beggarmen 'singing pullovers' seems a bit harsh."
Not really Al
It was't meant to be an insult; it was, I think, a term conjured up by Billy Connolly, to describe a type oe watered- down folk song that some peole cut their folk teeth on
I enjoyed it occasionally but, like The Liverpool Spinners, who introduced me to folk songs, it was afar to samey and unimaginative to hold my attention
Folk song is a largely unexploited mine of enjoyment, information and social hostory - these groups so the most superficial of it's aspects and used it as lightweight entertainment
You might have difficulty with this, but I once heard Luke Kelly say this one night when The Dubliners turned up to see Ewan one night as the singers club
Luke still thought the sun shone out of Ewan's arse right up to his death

"I may not be the first to have the thought that I would not particularly want to hear a song about somebody farting in church. "
But you're quite happy to hear a song anout a daughter's loverr having his hart ripped out and served up in a glass of wine, or a young servant accused of accosting a Lord's wife ripped apart by horses, or a ploghman being put to death by having his back broken across a plough coulter.... how quaintly selective -all part of Traditional Balladry, and are pretty offensive
I wonder how you feel about a young woman being raped, having her tongue and eyes torn out and her hands cut off so she couldn't identify her assailants (who were then killed, baked in a pie and served to their father) - Shakespeare at his most crowd-pleasing !!
It makes a fart in church pretty tame in my opinion - but that's high culture for you
One of the first local recitations I heard around here (never got to meet the reciter) was called 'The Farting Competition' - I can still smell it

"biased interpretations of the data thus obtained, with a dollops of self-contradiction "
Why the hell do you have to resort to unqualified personal insults all the time Pseud - are you really that insecure ?
Please stop fouling up these discussions with this unnecessary personal nonsense - it's what get threads closed, as we have learned
I haven't insuted you, please return the favour

"11 Oct 19 - 10:57 AM"
So you would send them to a club that can't tell the difference between Joe Heaney and Ed Shearan - must write that down

" If you put up some proper points against what I have actually"
You have been very unclear in what oy sauy Dave - one minute you vehemently oppose my view on folk song and demand how I define it, the next you are saying you are talking about whether the folk scene is healthyy or not
"I think you and I speak a different language."
No we don't Dave - we have different views on what constitutes folk song - I tend to take the one that has been fully accepted (up to comparatively recently) for around a century, yours appears to have been cobbled together by groups of folkies(sic) who can't provide a consensus for what they have come up with and can't even explain the terms 'traditional' or 'folk'
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 02:53 AM

So you would send them to a club that can't tell the difference between Joe Heaney and Ed Shearan

Let me by this straight, Jim. You reckon that neither Skipton nor Keighley nor Bradford folk clubs can tell the difference between Joe Heaney and Ed Sheran? Have I got that right?

As to your last point. Yes we do have different views on what constitutes a folk song. I accept that there is room for different views. Can you say the same?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 03:17 AM

Yes - newly written songs were included in the traditional repertoire - all songs started somewhere, but it was the process that made them folk songs, not their being sung
The logic of your argument is that every song a traditional singer sings must be folk necause he/she sings it, so if Sam Larner sang Nessun Dorma, it would automatically be a folk song

The new songs can never be traditional folk songs ~ they are contemporary folk songs ~ Jim you cannot pinch or copyright the word Folk or folk

Ray Padgett


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Keith Price
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 03:57 AM

"they are contemporary folk songs " I'm not shit stirring Ray but are you saying All new songs are contemporary folk songs,if not why not, what makes them contemporary FOLK songs ?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 04:12 AM

"Let me by this straight, Jim. You reckon that neither Skipton nor Keighley nor Bradford folk clubs can tell the difference between Joe Heaney and Ed Sheran? Have I got that right?"
No Dave - you told me that some Ed Sheran songs could pass as folk songs

Yes - we do have different views of what constitutes a folk song
I base mine on a more than a century's work by many researchers and collectors, on collections identified under that title, on research that stretches back into the 19th century, on a term, "folk", that was created in 1846 which identified the cultural customs and creations of "ordinary People' as THE FOLK, on a definition that was arrived at by an group of researchers in the genre to try and understand and assess the Music and Voice of the People and on a song revival that came together in the 1950s and lasted for around four decades to sing folk songs, which never seriously challenged or attempted to re-define any of the above until the last few years, when it was seriously on the wane and facing extinction
What do you base yours on ?      

Despite claims to the contrary, the definition I choose to use is not MY DEFINITION but the one that came into being ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY THREE YEARS AGO AND HAS NEVER BEEN REPLACED AS A DESCRIPTION OF THE CREATIVE CULTURE OF THE LOWER CLASSES OF THESE ISLANDS
Of course, there is room for adaptation and flexibility within that description, but if we are going to continue working and communicating with each other on this IN MY OPINION, EXTREMELY IMPORTANT CULTURAL PHENOMENON, ANY MAJOR CHANGES HAVE TO BE AGREED ON BY ENOUGH PEOPLE TO MAKE THAT POSSIBLE
Going 'native' and deciding that you are going to have your own personal definition and present your own species of 'folk' to the wider world, can only lead to confusion, loss of understanding and eventually irreparable damage to the 'folk genres' (not just song and music)
I don't want to fall out with people I disagree with - on the contrary
I value the communication and friendships and education my involvement with this bloody superb cultural phenomenon has given me for the best part of my life every bit as much as I value folk Song, lore, and music itself, in many of its forms

If you have an alternative definition to "folk" then tell me what it is, where I can find it and who agrees it
Please - none of you - do not revert to populism and claim "that's what the people want", we all know from current bitter, current experience what that sort of thing leads to
We never managed to win over enough of the "the people" for them to know what folk sing is or care - our music can't survive if it is not understood and cherished by large enough numbers of people

It strikes me that those who want a "singing horse" definition, neither like nor understand folk music - it may suit them personally but it bodes ill for the future
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 04:14 AM

" they are contemporary folk songs"
Not until the folk have processed and claimed them as their own
"folk" isn't a style - it's a process
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 05:10 AM

"Jim you cannot pinch or copyright the word Folk or folk"
Totally agree - it's already spoken for and had been since it was taken up all those years ago, pretty will like cabbages and baked beans - they are what they are
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 05:48 AM

Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 10:13 AM

...where would you send someone looking for fol;k songs ?
Jim

Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Dave the Gnome - PM
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 10:57 AM

...I would send them to Skipton folk club on a Monday. Bacca pipes in Keighley on a Friday or the Topic in Bradford on a Thursday.

Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 11 Oct 19 - 08:47 PM

So you would send them to a club that can't tell the difference between Joe Heaney and Ed Shearan - must write that down


Now how am I supposed to read that exchange other than you believe the clubs I mentioned can't tell the difference? Yet you deny that is what you meant. Just what did you mean then?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 05:56 AM

I still prefer my "traditional" versus "composer" (above/here), rather than "contemporary," Ray - some of Ewan MacColl's folk songs, e.g., were written quite a while ago now.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 06:40 AM

Well there's a saying in the music business - if it were easy, every bugger would be doing it.

At college The spinners used to turn up and do a professional gig. As far as I was concerned in those days (the 1960's) the answer was blowing in the wind (man!), so I wasn't really enamoured. Although I can remember being impressed with Hughie's version of Matty Groves.

I suppose it was the 1980's (when I had been, allegedly, a professional musician a number of years) that I grew to respect The Spinners dedication ....and achievement. Even started going to their final gigs. Their work on cd was available at every service station for a quid or less.

The stupid uniforms, the rather wet singalongs, the angularity and simplification of complex folksong forms....they were really clever compromises. They were the intelligent ones - not me (man!...stupid hippy). Because of the compromises they devised a way to make living out of performing a wide range of folksongs. They were the ones who performed The Bleacher Lass of Kelvinhaugh on Pebble Mill at One - and brought a beautiful folksong into millions of homes.

That's an achievement.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Howard Jones
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 07:38 AM

It was me who mentioned the Kinks, not to claim they were "folk" but as an example of how their songwriting, when performed in an appropriate "folk" style, might not be out of place in a folk club. In particular I had in mind Swan Arcade's three-part harmony version of "Lola", which always went down a storm even amongst audiences with a strong preference for trad. (Swan Arcade of course often included songs from outside the usual folk repertoire).

Jim in his usual fashion seized the wrong end of the stick and has refused to release his grasp in spite of my attempts to explain my meaning, and I don't propose to continue that discussion now.

Full disclosure: my band recorded a version of the Kinks' "Harry Rag" (with a morris tune as a middle 8) for a folk album for the BBC's Children in Need Appeal. That track was one of those picked out for praise by Folk Roots' reviewer, although perhaps some would not regard that as a recommendation.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 07:48 AM

".I would send them to Skipton folk club on a Monday."
I didn't respond to this Dave because I wasn't sure you were serious
I've had this before - "If you want to heare good folk song come to Lewes" last time
You are suggesting that a you would tell a newbie in say Taunton, or Glasgow or Chipping Sobury who posts to Mudcat asking for where he could find out about folk song you'd tell him -"Eee lad, just nip on a train Tae Kieghleigh or Bradford - and we'll put thee right" ?
I'll give that some serious thought - (not- of course)
If if those places were representative of good genuine folk song (???) how about if someone then posted, "Nay lad - they're a bunch of finger-in-ear folk police - tak naa notice o' them"
Once upon I time they could be told, contact EFDSS and they'll put you right - looking at what appaers on their website - no thanks
Once upon a time there were enough clubs around to at least be able to recommend some - now we are getting complaints on this forum that people singing folk songs - especially unaccompanied, are beginning to be made unwelcome
More late
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 08:13 AM

Sorry Howard - however Kinks material is handled and whoever by, it doesn't come within a mile of resembling a folk song
I wnet to a very enjoyable concert of singing in East Kilbride - at the end of the ecvenin a very fine singer of traditional songs finished the evening of with two Cliff Richards numbers
Still haven't got over the disillusionment
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Vic Smith
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 08:16 AM

Howard -
I had in mind Swan Arcade's three-part harmony version of "Lola"

I remember their performance of this song with affection. We booked Swan Arcade (Dave & Heather Brady and Jim Boyes) on a number of occasions. All excellent singers and with really sure and sometimes quite chilling harmony singing. They had a catholic approach to repertoire; largely traditional but they had no problem in placing Dives & Lazarus next to a piece of intelligent, quirky, funny songwriting like Ray Davies' Lola or Weary Whaling Grounds next to Paperback Writer. Their interpretation of these pop songs enabled them to be seen in a different light and the trad-loving audiences that we attracted could recognise the way they had arranged the harmonies for these songs had been achieved with care and skill... and yes, these "always went down a storm" but no more so than their arrangements of traditional songs. Nobody thought that they were inappropriate.
I was very saddened by the death of Dave Brady. The musical skill and the thought with which he brought to his singing and group arrangements was exceptional.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Howard Jones
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 08:25 AM

There are still some old-style folk clubs around but they are no longer commonplace and you can no longer expect to find at least one in any town. However there are still plenty of opportunities to listen to folk music, but these are mostly in concert settings. If you want to perform yourself, there are plenty of singers clubs and despite Jim's experiences many of them are not free-for-all open mics. However far too many of these have allowed standards to fall, so it is very hit-and-miss what you may find.

In both cases these are probably for economic reasons. Concerts seat more and can charge more, and can pay the performers a realistic amount. Small singarounds dare not risk turning people away because they are no good or because their material is not folk, or they would fold.

The younger generation now coming into folk seem happy to enjoy it differently from ours. They are happy to attend concerts and festivals to listen to music. Many of them sing and play, which they do in sessions (including at festivals). Many are very involved in folk dance. They just don't want to sit in a dingy pub back room with people who are their grandparents's age.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 08:59 AM

The BBC are partly at fault for a drop in standards: a few years ago, after Chris Wood won Song of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, with "Hollow Point", I made an online challenge for session musicians to try and double the melody of his singing.

It seemed to me there was no real attempt to count the syllables/use slurs, etc., in order to fit his words to a REPEATED tune yet, as I say, he, rather than others doing the right thing, won the award and, no doubt, several bookings.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 09:36 AM

"but these are mostly in concert settings."
So folk music has become passively participant rather than participatory - I think that makes my point perfectly
We go and pay for what we are given instead of being given a chance to make our own music
As far as long rejected pop music is concerned - as afr as I can see, it isn't going to attract a new audience oor it would have done when it was in the hands of the professionals, so it can only work as nostalgia for those whose youth it was part of
What's the point - ?
The repetitive and non narrative nature of things like Lola and Paperback Writer is about as far from our passion filled and concise folk songs as you can get
You may just as well call your clubs something like 'Folkieoki' - that seems to be what they are
If you call yourself folk clubs you need to set yourselves parameters based on folk styles over which you seldom, if ever exceed
The music you claim to represent has to be a foundation of everything you do
If it doesn't work, then the music has failed and we have to live with that and work around it to make sure it isn't forgotten, but what is happening is that the music I know to be folk is being challenged and driven off the public scene
I'm beginning to believe that what happened in Ireland in the early eighties needs to happen in the UK and quick
I came onto the Irish scene when people believed we would be the last generation to be able to enjoy traditional music
Then the effects of the Willie Clancy Summer School began to kick in, former pupils began to take classes, Nicholals Carolan and others established The Traditional Music Archive, the NPU Pipers established themselves a wonderful centre and before you new it, Traditional music had guaranteed itself an at least two generation future
Both the music and especially the singing still have some way to go, but at least there is now a consensus on what it is and they know where they are going - with plenty of room for experimentation and diversion
I'm not involved in the organisation in any of this but the mostly dead Clare singers are in a big way via our COUNTY LIBRARY   
Similar resources are available on the ITMA and other sires and hopefully, the rest of our recordings will eventually be available via the World Music Centre at Limerick University - I only hope Walter Pardon feels at home there

I find it hard to believe that there aren't enough lovers of genuine folk to regroup somehow nad win back the rapidly disappearing music - they are welcome to our substantial and now digitised archive anytime
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 09:42 AM

"they are contemporary folk songs " I'm not shit stirring Ray but are you saying All new songs are contemporary folk songs,if not why not, what makes them contemporary FOLK songs

No no I have said we can recognise a FOLK song by its style ~ a Contemporary folk song does not have to spend any time any more, in becoming recognised as such any more ~ yes traditional songs did have to pass that test in hundreds of years because their originators were far distant or unkown ~ they are called Traditional folk songs and no doubt include Child Ballads and Music hall

I would ask how would people classify: note what I have asked please ~

Eric Bogle

Ralph McTell

Ewan MacColl

Jez Lowe

Are they not established FOLK singers? writing contemporary folk songs? they are not pop songs the genre is Folk is it not?

Ray Padgett


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 10:57 AM

" I have said we can recognise a FOLK song by its style "
No we can't - folk isn't a "style" it's a process identified with a social group
Your list is how one of the most prolific composer on it describes himself - "a contemporary song-maker who makes songs using folk styles"
If he rejected the description "folk song writer" who the hell is anybody here to contradict him

Can't speak for all of them but I'm pretty sure Eric Bole doesn't describe what he writes as 'fok songs' - not that it matters too much
There's a not so slight problem here
Legally folk songs are in the public domain
How many on your list would be prepared to forgo the ownership of the songs they write ?
I know they all copyrighted their songs and I never knew Ewan to complain of other people using his without permission - but how would the rest of them feel about it ?
After he died, Peggy gave me a tape he labelled 'Chamber of Horrors' - about a dozen versions of 'First Time Ever' recorded commercially without permission or payment
Peggy said he didn't mind
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Howard Jones
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 11:41 AM

Folk hasn't become more passive rather than participatory, but these are increasingly happening in different and separate settings. Even in the traditional folk club, a floor singer would normally expect to perform only two or maybe three songs in an evening and the rest of the time would be spent listening to others. Now what seems to be happening is that people go to some events to be part of a listening audience (which does not rule out joining in with choruses) and to entirely different events to participate as singers and musicians. These are not necessarily being held in traditional folk clubs, and the (typically older) folk club audiences may not even be aware of what younger folk enthusiasts are doing.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 12:27 PM

"Folk hasn't become more passive rather than participatory,"
Your "concert settings" suggest they have
Never been to a concert yet where floor singers are invited up
"The "different settings" in my experience are anything goes singaround sessions where folk songs are included and sometimes tolerated (just)
In Ireland they are called 'Singing Circles' - very much a mixed feast
In a club I have bo hesitation in getting up and singing say, a 10-15 verse ballad - I would hesitate to do this in a singing circle because they would be at least twice as long as any of the non-folk material - selfish, you say the least
So you would suggest we abandon the folk scene we halped set up and go off and find venues where we may be given a chance to sing what we like - or maybe not
Good luck with that one

It's true that the 'singers from the floor' spot was limited in many clubs, - most I was involved with was, bu the 'club nature of the set-ups made room for workshops to bring less experienced singers in and maybe develop as residents
We had an archive and a library and a group of willing volunteers ready to give up their spare time to help bring on others
The grass roots clubs built a foundation for folk singing in Britain for many year- maybe it's a coincidence that
Now were'e beint told to piss of and go and find another place to sing - not necessarily a folk club
Sounds fair enough to me, I'm sure !!!
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 12:30 PM

I can think of several partictipatory events near me that describe themselves as "folk clubs". At one you will be lucky to hear anything that I would describe as a folk song, others are strongly trad. Tne unifying factor is that they are particpatory and they don't give a damn about the Folk Commissars who post here.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 12:43 PM

Maybe you've got over the shock, Jim C, but NO I wasn't referring to your post- the previous one (by Pseudo somebody) seems to have disappeared. I meant that one.
I hope you savoured the moment anyway, but as you know, I hardly agree with anything you say, nor your definitions, nor your views on the current UK folk scene nor your repeated and tiresome exaggerations about IRELAND- THE LOST WORLD OF TRADITIONAL MUSIC.

So I'll just leave it there- we are different people with different tastes- that's the root of it really


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 01:06 PM

" but NO I wasn't referring to your post
Ddn't think for a minute you were Jim
The one noted for his insulting and abusive behavior is very much more to your taste, no doubt
Nice example of what I'm talking about belowe
Jim
"Folk Commissars who post here."


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 01:12 PM

Gewst Peter
Would it be too much to ask that you didn't behave like a "Folk Commissar" when you visit this thread please ?
Nobody has insulted you - please reciprocate
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Howard Jones
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 01:43 PM

"The "different settings" in my experience are anything goes singaround sessions where folk songs are included and sometimes tolerated (just)"

But as you've admitted yourself, your experience of the current UK folk scene is limited. Even if it weren't, it is questionable whether someone of your generation (or mine) would become aware of what younger people are doing. These things are largely shared via social media, and whilst they don't mean to be exclusive and anyone is welcome they inevitably tend to focus on a particular group of people and a younger age range. I only have some insight because one of my bandmates is half my age, and through him I get to know other younger musicians. They are talented, and enthusiastic about all aspects of folk, including traditional music and song.

There's a lot of folk music out there, it's just not all happening in ways you would be familiar with, or would even get to hear about. Whilst the old folk club scene is undoubtedly in decay (fortunately with some exceptions) it is developing in new ways. Just because you don't approve doesn't mean that the music is being neglected.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 01:52 PM

" I have said we can recognise a FOLK song by its style "
No we can't - folk isn't a "style" it's a process identified with a social group (Ray and Jim)...I think good English folk singers have an earthy style as if from a social group that worked hard for a living - ploughing the earth or the main for some gold to gain.

And good folk singers from Mongolia, by way of comparison, are good at throat singing and mimicking their local natural sounds - rather than rapping or going into their sweeter head voice to mimic American pop singers as, sadly, the majority of young Mongolians and young English now do.

We need a huge surge in positive English nationalism, positive Mongolian nationalism, etc.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 02:16 PM

https://www.jstor.org/stable/738206?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

Excellent essay and worth a read.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 02:35 PM

"I think good English folk singers have an earthy style"tyle vary form area to area, and certainly from different social groups
The tendency seems to be that the Traditional singers use speaking tones and sing the words as near as they would speak them - no gaps, no breaking up where possible
Very different to the gappy, hiccoughy singing of some revival singers - and no interminable accompaniment breaks TBTG
The old crowd may have been past their peak but there were very few that couldn't teach the youngsters a few things   
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 02:37 PM

Thanks Starry
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 03:24 PM

Agree on the lack of gaps, Jim - just a quick breath after each line of verse (which surely relates to the unaccompanied tradition, as well as a desire to crack on with it).


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 03:58 PM

Thanks Starship - more bedtime reading!


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Raggytash
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 04:11 PM

I've just deleted my intended reply as I don't wish to upset the vast majority of people here.

I will just say the 1954 definition and its adherents have done a great deal of damage to the folk music of England and the UK.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 04:56 PM

I had never heard of Sydney Grew (author of that glob of cliched dreck Starship linked to) before, and there's a reason for that. I can't imagine any publication that had to spend money on real paper accepting that today.

Completely irrelevant to the present situation of any genre of music in Britain or anywhere else.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 05:49 PM

Meanwhile, what about the original question ? Anybody ?


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 07:26 PM

I'm not keen on village halls. I can see that those concerts provide money for pro folksingers.   And that's good. However the atmosphere is very much like a concert.....something is missing, as far as I'm concerned.

I think maybe its the working class.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Oct 19 - 07:54 PM

"And that's good."
Only if they are worth it Al
"something is missing, as far as I'm concerned."
Amen to that
"I will just say the 1954 definition and its adherents have done a great deal of damage to the folk music of England and the UK."
I have reservations about some of it's shortcomings but I think it did far more good than harm
I think those that have insisted that folk doesn't need a definition has robbed it of its uniqueness and bloody near killed it off
If '54 hasn't done the trick then nobody has come up with a better one to date

"just a quick breath after each line of verse"
We have singing exercises for breathing that can extend it beyond that
One of MacColl's Party pieces was to sing a verse of Galway Races in one breath - Tail Toddle he could manage at his best - - 2 choruses and a verse in one breath (I have recordings of him doing it somewhere)
I managed 'Galway' a few times when I was young and Tail Toddle twice
These were exercises - not for public performances
The trick with singing is to be able to manage a snatch break at a comma and a full breath at a full stop - as you would if you were speaking it
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 03:00 AM

"No we can't - folk isn't a "style" it's a process identified with a social group
Your list is how one of the most prolific composer on it describes himself - "a contemporary song-maker who makes songs using folk styles"
If he rejected the description "folk song writer" who the hell is anybody here to contradict him!

How do you know whoever he "rejected the description ~ folk song writer" if he is using folk styles he is doing what contemporary folk song writer do! He may well not be writing in the genre of course and therefore not be a folk song writer and of course be a popular song writer! Yes not all contemporary songs are folk songs!

It is the style, the content of the subject matter and intention of the writer and of course of the intended audience that defines whether it is a folk song or not

No no traditional and folk song are not the same thing no matter how much you would like it be

Ray


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 04:11 AM

"if he is using folk styles he is doing what contemporary folk song writer do!
That depends on the writer and the song he/she created"
I was referring to MacColl, of course - 300 plus known composed songs and god knows how many forgotton ones (according to his widow)
The term "folk" has been made so meaningless by (often deliberate) misuse that many of today's folk composers imitate non-folk styles anyway (Ed Shearan and Ray Davis's names have come up, for instance)
MacColl sang his own songs , but he sang far more traditional ones - (he breathed fresh life into around 140 Child Ballads), so it was inevitable that the two would merge

"Intended audience" was the last thing that influenced his songwriting - the subject matter was the be-all and end-all of all his creations - he made songs because he felt the necessity to say something - as I believe all those anonymous people who made our folk-songs did who made our folk-songs
His best songs (in my opinion) were made by taking recorded actuality from the people the songs were about and using the information and language to create new songs - Sam Larner, Ronnie Balls, Ben Bright, Jack Hamilton, Jack Elliot,,,,
It was this technique, not MacColl's folkness that made the songs the great compositions that they were
I know MacColl rejected the description 'Folk song writer' because he said it often enough in my company - he considered it important
He also considered it important that new songs were created using the old models if the revival was going to mean anything other than being a museum for old songs.

"No no traditional and folk song are not the same"
You can repeat this until your arse drops off, but until you explain yourself and prove it to be the case it will never be more than a denial.
I've shown you mine - now it's your turn to show me yours Ray

Your starter for ten:
Why are they not the two sides of the same coin ?
"Folk" refers to the social group that probably made them, identified with them, and took ownership of them as being 'local' or Norfolk' or 'family' songs
"Traditional" refers to the way they were manipulated and adapted to suit the particular singers and their communities - the journey they take from their original composer(s) through their existence

Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 05:54 AM

There is no revival in comparison to the fifties, which has been shown not to have been a revival at all..... moves to modernise the genre(if it is a genre)….have been totally unsuccessful, turning off "the people" in droves. The exhibition of the young people who perform under the banner of folk nowadays is excruciatingly painful to me as a listener with a lifelong interest in traditional music. The majority of these performers seem to have no general appeal and what they perform has only a passing resemblance to the inclusive amateur traditional music of my childhood.   I'm afraid time have changed right enough and modern society neither needs nor wants proper inclusivity.
On reflection traditional music differed greatly in different areas of the country and those variants did not transfer easily. Here in the West of Scotland traditional music was almost exclusively Gaelic, usually accompanied by jigs reels and waltz...always the dancing, an integral part. I suppose most parts of Great Britain had there own brand of traditional music with Morris or Irish dancing as part of the process.    The decline is definitely down to societal change an is almost certainly terminal if society continues to lose its cohesion.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 06:12 AM

What a strange piece of revisionist history
So many of us being fooled for so long
The "myth2 you described fooled the best of Scotland's intellectuals and poets and, as it was largely based on what was still being drawn from the remnants of living traditions, large numbers of traditional singers from both the settled and Traveller communities
I suggest you read and listen to what people like Sheila Stert and her like had to say and write - 'Scottish Studies' might be a good place to start
Utter nonsense on most counts there Ake - the best yet, in my experience
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 06:14 AM

'"Intended audience" was the last thing that influenced his songwriting - the subject matter was the be-all and end-all of all his creations - he made songs because he felt the necessity to say something - as I believe all those anonymous people who made our folk-songs did who made our folk-songs'

That's a very interestingf and profound thought - worthy of a thread on its own. After all I don't know what I'm going to do tomorrow, god alone knows what the folk revival will do before the new year.

I always thinkthe most successful song carries with them their own proscenium arch, like in a theatre.

Sometimes the proscenium arch is the speakers of a juke box. Sometimes its posh stereo system which lets you hear every harmony and overtone.

Sometimes its the song that gets the eleven o'clock drinkers in a pub get up and dance.

Sometimes that decision about the song can be made by the performer. I once saw a fabulous performance of the shanty lowlands sang as a chorale piece by the cast of a production of Treasure Island.

Ewan's proscenium was very flexible, because of the diverse skills that he and Peggy had as performers. But having said that they were masters of the folk club as the proscenium arch - the intended audience.

I never really saw Ewan's songs as a howl in the desert of human relationships - in the way that Robert Johnson's were. I doubt Robert ever got to play many of his own introspective songs in the dumps he seemed to play. Probably his hit Terraplane Blues.

Ewan was a master of language, and his words were by turn witty and heartbreaking. I'm sure he intended there to be an audience.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 06:25 AM

"just a quick breath after each line of verse"
We have singing exercises for breathing that can extend it beyond that
One of MacColl's Party pieces was to sing a verse of Galway Races in one breath - Tail Toddle he could manage at his best - - 2 choruses and a verse in one breath (I have recordings of him doing it somewhere)
I managed 'Galway' a few times when I was young and Tail Toddle twice
These were exercises - not for public performances
The trick with singing is to be able to manage a snatch break at a comma and a full breath at a full stop - as you would if you were speaking it
(Jim)...In my song about (just!) swimming from "State to State" in Australia, I use both one breath per line of verse, and one breath per stanza for affect; but, generally, I think one breath per line is good as it marks where each line of verse begins and ends - rather than put the words on a screen, as happens at some churches.

When I am reading poetry aloud I do the same - one breath per line of verse so folks know where I am at.

On my tenor records, I occasionally practise C - g and back again, chromatically, on one breath.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 06:54 AM

The UK folk revival in 2019

Can we all please address the title of this posting

I (we) have had enough about folk revival of the 1950/60/70 we I say again are in 2019

Constant harking back to minutiae does not help and it is current state of what is on offer ~ not what people think others should be doing

Frankly Jim you have got my goat!

Ray


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 07:08 AM

...but then, Ray, I have definitely seen footage from the 60s of folks involved in the revival then discussing/arguing over how things should be done.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 07:08 AM

Well Ray, that is exactly what I was saying in my last post, There is no folk revival and what is being presented today under the guise of folk bears no relation to the sound or the purpose of traditional music which was an essential part of our lives. Folk music has become a niche interest discussed ad nauseum by a bunch of old people in an internet backwater.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 07:32 AM

"Can we all please address the title of this posting"
Up to now you have been quite happy to follow this line of discussion quite cheerfully and enthusiastically now it appears, having been presented with a challenge that you don't wish to rise to you cry "thread drift" - hmmm
Sorry - no takers

What is happening today is directly related to how folk song is defined and interpreted - not 'minutiae' but folk song's raison d'être
If there is a case to answer that folk song proper has been exorcised out of the present folk revival, then it is not only acceptable but is essential that it is discussed, if possible, by a friendly and intelligent exchange of ideas, no matter how firmly and passionately put.
Frankly Ray, some of the backbiting, evasion and personal insulting has 'got my goat' - it is unpleasant and totally unnecessary.

There are more than enough 'fanzine-type' threads on this forum for anybody wishing to say how lovely everything is in the garden and who their heroes are, there are precious few enabling us to discuss our gripes, disappointments and misgivings
'Definitions' has become a heavily mined 'no-go area' as has the work of MacColl and The Critics.

You didn't start this thread - Dick Miles did - so far he hasn't called 'thread drift' and I think I know his feelings well enough to believe he won't - even if he did, nobody has a right to direct the direction of any opened topic
If you don't wish to take part in this discussion please feel free not to, but please don't encroach on anybody else's right to do so
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 08:12 AM

PS
Give my regards to the goat
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 08:17 AM

"in the US there is another revival of New Orleans style street music led by an amazing group of musicians called Tuba Skinny....positive and inclusive...I love them, especially the little "leader" Shay and the fantastic singer Erica Lewis.   This is the folk music of Black America, full of life and sometimes pathos.....Heads UP...and give it a listen!" (Akenaton)...but be inspired to practice and perform YOUR OWN culture; as I was allowed to say on the BBC's Free Thinking event at the Sage Gateshead a few years ago, "If you are not American don't Americanise, for the love of our world being multicultural."


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 08:35 AM

WV.....I fully understand and agree with your point, but that should not stop us appreciating other forms of traditional music.
Tuba Skinny are about more than just the material they perform. They lift the spirit and inspire emotions; I defy anyone to listen to them and keep their feet still.
Additionally they bring their music directly to the people.
In England, a banjo player called Dave Hum had the same idea RIP.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 08:55 AM

Agreed - I love listening to music from other nations, too, Akenaton.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 08:58 AM

R. Padgett

The revival in 2019 -state of the union type thing obviously has some deep resonance for you.

Give us a clue....what are your opinions?

Most of us won't dismiss them out of hand.

There are a lot of people in England, and a lot of diversity. I see a lot of differences here in the West Country to what things were like in the Midlands.

I think you will find it hard to generalise about England.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Howard Jones
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 09:35 AM

"If there is a case to answer that folk song proper has been exorcised out of the present folk revival, then it is not only acceptable but is essential that it is discussed, if possible, by a friendly and intelligent exchange of ideas, no matter how firmly and passionately put."

The difficulty is, Jim, that you seem to be the only person who believes that folk song has been "exorcised out". Whenever this is discussed plenty of people come along to show that this is not true and that folk song proper remains at the core of the current folk revival.

Of course there will be some venues where that is not true, but this was always the case, as your description of the different types of folk club that could once be found in Manchester shows. It may be that some venues describing themselves as "folk clubs" permit to wide a range of music and should more properly be called open-mics. That is unfortunate, but the term is not protected like an appellation controlee and there is nothing to be done to prevent this. At any venue it is ultimately the audience which decides what it is willing to listen to. Taking the scene as a whole, however, I still see traditional folk at the heart of it.

It may be that you don't like the way that traditional songs are now being interpreted. However the folk scene has always gone its own way, from Cecil Sharp's piano arrangements to the guitars of the 60s and 70s and the variety of instruments used today. On the other hand, I would say there is now much greater interest in traditional styles, and people now have much easier access to archive recordings, than when I started out, when we assumed that apart from the Coppers all the folk singers had died out at the time of Cecil Sharp. We took our influences from revival performers, not from the sources.

It is a pity that folk music has dropped out of most people's consciousness, except as something to be sneered at. Nevertheless the revival carries on and it has adapted to meet changes in society. It is unsurprising that the older generation thinks things were better back in its day, but things have to change. There is a younger generation which is enthusiastically and passionately involved with folk music, including traditional music, and who will carry it forward.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 09:58 AM

"The difficulty is, Jim, that you seem to be the only person who believes that folk song has been "exorcised out""
Really Howard
You haven't seen the postings which describe being left feeing uncomfortable or unwelcome for singing unaccompanied traditional songs
I was invited above to go and look elsewhere in places that didn't specialise in folk songs if that's what I wanted
The arguments put forward is't that folk song (proper) is thriving but that it is no longer relevant, or that 'folk' has come to mean something else, or it has become undefinable
I walked out of the scene when I spent nights in clubs without hearing a folk song - somebody above describes having exactly the same experience
When I left thousands of others like me did the same, for the same reason
We didn't evapourayte in the open air - many are still around but no longer involved
I know some excellent singers of folk songs who no longer bother because they end up being depressed at the content of the evenings and the abysmal standards
Pat and I were luclky inasmuch as we had a deep enough interest in the songs and their implications to continue working at them
I have never been so active as I am at present
One of my main regrets is that I can no longer hear or sing the traditional songs I love
Another is that the generations following us won;'t be given the opportunity we had to wallow in our wonderful traditional songs
That is why I'm still prepared to make myself the pain in the arse I am to some people - lonfg may I have the energy to be so
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 10:09 AM

I (we) have had enough about folk revival of the 1950/60/70 we I say again are in 2019
Constant harking back to minutiae does not help and it is current state of what is on offer ~ not what people think others should be doing


Count me as one of the optimists. I mostly know and play with people much younger than me; it hasn't always been that way, and the reason is mainly that I like and respect them more than folk of my generation and older. They are more likely to have done their research (after all, there is far more available now) and they are less likely to subject everyone around them to displays of raving egomania. No kind of music is worth participating in if the prerequisite is perpetual arguments with self-righteous arseholes.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Nemisis
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 10:48 AM

Jack Campin
I don't often agree with ALL the things you post but the phrase

"No kind of music is worth participating in if the prerequisite is perpetual arguments with self-righteous arseholes."

is a gem and should put forwards as be the Mudcat Cafe's motto


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 10:57 AM

"self-righteous arseholes."
Down goes my respect another notch for such unnecessary abusive language
THat it should find favour is somewhat depressing, if indicative of the level some people choose to operate at
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Raggytash
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 11:06 AM

I'll second that a very apt description.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Nemisis
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 11:09 AM

Jack Didn't mention any names but his arrow obviously hit the mark.
"Down goes my respect another notch for such unnecessary abusive language" coming from yourself that is really rich
I doubt if anyone would disagree


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 11:16 AM

"I doubt if anyone would disagree"
We already have one self-appointed oracle hovering above us waiting to be consulted - we don't need another
Please don't presume to speak for others
It always raises a smile when I see accusations of abusive behaviour delivered abusively - I have abused no-one, unlike your last post (and others) If you have anything to say on what I have argued please do so - preferably without te abuse
If not, feel free not to
Jim


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Nemisis
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 11:32 AM

I am not rising to your bait.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 12:19 PM

now now! girls! no handgags!


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 12:22 PM

'I have abused no-one'

you said we had abysmal standards....which is true, but its not nice saying it.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 12:35 PM

That was a general comment not aimed at anybody in particular Al and certainly nobody here, whether I share your taste or not
I've ben in arguments on this forum where an appeal for minimum standards has been described as "elitism that is bound to put off people
It seems to me, clubs that invite the public in are committed in principle not to allow their evenings to fall beneath a certain standard

"I am not rising to your bait."
No bait offered - feel free to gon and attempt to be someone else's Nemesis - your efforts have fallen on stony ground here as as far as I'm concerned :-)
Jim -


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 01:29 PM

Eric Bogle (born 23 September 1944) is a Scottish folk singer-songwriter. Born and raised in Scotland, he emigrated to Australia at the age of 25, to settle near Adelaide, South Australia. Bogle's songs have covered a variety of topics, and have been performed by many artists. Two of his best known songs are "No Man's Land" (or "The Green Fields of France") and "And the Band Played Waltzing

see the wiki also

Ray


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 01:47 PM

"the uk folk revival in 2019" Anyone ?
Aberdeen Folk Club - over 50 years old - has now apparently adopted a policy of not booking ANY professional guests, or at least, not paying them. I don't see that as an indication of a healthy folk scene, and certainly not progress.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: r.padgett
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 01:53 PM

Do you play or sing Kenny? or are you audience only?

How often does the club meet?

Are there many members and how many singers attending?

What has been the booking policy for guests prior to this change?

Ray


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Stringsinger
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 02:05 PM

As soon as folk performing becomes monetized, it falls under the category of professional entertainment or show business. I see that as being unhealthy in many ways. I have no argument with anyone who wants to be a professional entertainer singing folk songs or otherwise. But this is not the tradition of folk music which is reflective of a culture that stands apart from show business.

The professional folksinger is a contradiction and may be an oxymoron depending on the old what is folk music discussion. It could be in some cases argued that the two roles overlap since much of what we know of folk music emanates from popular entertainment. This discussion is relevant because a lot of traditional folk music has either been eclipsed or ignored by those in the music business. In America, it's part of our musical imperialism. But there is a body of tradition that doesn't come under the classification of popular entertainment and exists independently. This is what we might call "folk art" which sounds elitist but doesn't purport to be anything approaching classical music which is maintained for the concert stage. There are traditional singers and instrumentalists who evolve independently of the market place. They should not only be not ignored but relegated to a level of respect and enjoyed for what they bring to the table.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,Kenny
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 02:43 PM

Do you play or sing Kenny? or are you audience only?
Oh, I play a bit. What do you mean by audience "only" ?

How often does the club meet?
Every week.

Are there many members and how many singers attending?
No idea - you'd need to ask them. But it's a fraction of what it has been in the past. I no longer wish to have anything to do with the club. I was a member for over 30 years. I merely mentioned their change in policy for discussion, as it would seem to me to be relevant to this thread.

What has been the booking policy for guests prior to this change?
They've booked professional guests at varying times from 3 a month
[ 1980s ] to 1 a month.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 02:52 PM

Re payment
Love telling this story, which is why I tell it so often
Irish broadcaster, Cairán mac Mathunna was recording an elderly fiddle player who loved very frugally in remote rural Kerry for one of his programmes
They spent the night playing, recording and chatting until Cairán stood up and said, "Now there's the question of a small recording fee"
The old man thought for a minute and finally said, "I have no money in the house at present, but I'm taking a bullock too the mart tomorrow if you don't mind waiting"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 03:10 PM

It may have changed but, in 2010, Newcastle's Green Festival was free entry and no payment for performers - except a ticket for a free vegetarian meal and, thus, I have literally sung - including "Just Subsist" - for my supper!


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 03:12 PM

If ‘Kenny’ is who I think he is, Ray, he has a very great deal of experience of performing in folk-venues all over the UK and beyond.

Apologies if I’m mistaken.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 03:16 PM

'Junior Crehan (now twenty years dead) put it in a nutshell when he said "The music was ruined when money came into the picture"


Well maybe if you were sharing middens with him - you would know all his songs and agree with him.

However a lot of us only get to know about folk music through the activities of professional folksingers. To be honest - apart from a very lucky few - most folksingers could earn more money doing something else. They do it from devotion to the craft. And I, along with many others owe them - they have enriched our lives.

It takes guts and often considerable sacrifice to try and make it as a professional folksinger.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 03:29 PM

"It takes guts and often considerable sacrifice to try and make it as a professional folksinger" (Big Al)...and stamina I would imagine - big difference between committing about 10-15 minutes of poems and songs to memory and 1.5 - 2 hours worth for a gig at a folk club.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 04:47 PM

Here in Scotland we still get a few of the old favourites, we had Archie Fisher in a little village hall a couple of weeks ago. Archie is one of the few who can interpret traditional and contemporary songs in the folk idiom....I class his wonderful song Windward Away on a par with anything by Ewan MacColl.
Unfortunately the younger performers don't appear to favour solo work and the fashion is for a four or five piece group with guitars keyboards and the ubiquitous drum kit. There is usually a young female singer who can barely be heard over the din as they thrash their instruments to pieces....the volume is absolutely unbelievable and the genre of little account. These kids are carted around by adoring parents who are under the misapprehension that they had produced talent.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 04:51 PM

...I used to enjoy his radio presenting.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: RTim
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 04:54 PM

Walkaboutsverse....You have hit the nail on the head!! I have thought about going Professional a number of times in the last 40 plus years......and it is a tough row to hoe. It is not just having enough songs, etc. to fill 2 Folk Club slots - it is also a matter of travelling, meeting people you don't know - and then making enough money to have a living!! Besides missing your family and friends, and find time to keep your Repertoire fresh - ie. learning new songs...etc.etc...and this is without the horrible job of selling yourself and finding gigs...

I have nothing but respect for those who do it, and have been doing it for years, Todays Folk Scene - on both sides of the Atlantic depends on those who are brave (or stupid) enough to do it....

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 05:02 PM

I'd imagine, also, that after a while remembering all the next notes and all the next words would get relatively easy but, as you say Tim, other factors make it a hard (folky) way to earn a living.


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 05:24 PM

the original post asked the following questions. please could we stick to the questions
Is the uk folk revival rudderless?What direction is it taking?
here is an extract from the Newcastle degree course[ I could see no mention of teaching organisational skills or encouragement to teach how to run clubs or festivals?

Is the revival being directed by agents and professional performers towards Art centres and away from community based clubs?Or is it heading that way because of lack of available club rooms?
How do organisers overcome the lack of available pub rooms for venues other than approaching bowls clubs, cricket clubs, british legion clubs,


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 06:34 PM

Dick

Firstly apologies for an earlier comment a few weeks ago on another thread a while ago where I was uncharacteristically rude - must have had a couple of pints too many. Also apologies for the late apology - I should have said something earlier

Your point about availability of venues is a very good one. It is extremely difficult to find venues nowadays without a) having to pay or b) being confident about pulling in a significant crowd (and I have to be honest in saying that, in England at least, the likelihood of pulling in a significant crowd for events that only permitted traditional folk music would be very slim)

A club I was involved in previously has just had to move from its previously superb venue as it is closing. They have found a good replacement venue but it does have some issues I understand in terms of layout and size. It was probably the only realistic option in a city of over 200,000 people. It is no surprise then that more and more folk (whatever that is ;-) ) music is finding other outlets.

Jim's argument that folk clubs are closing because there is no certainty that his preferred definition of folk music will be performed is I believe almost certainly incorrect - in fact I think the people who love folk or folk orientated music are just finding other places to enjoy, or participate in, the music - be they sessions & singarounds in an open pub such as happens in several pubs in York where I now live or arts centres, theatres, festivals etc

Apart from the late 70's when I first got into folk music I cannot remember a time when the 'folk scene' for want of a better phrase was so vibrant with so many young people getting involved in the music I love


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 07:37 PM

"in fact I think the people who love folk or folk orientated music are just finding other places to enjoy, or participate in, the music "
Isn't that the point Joe ?
If we can no longer go to folk clubs to hear folk songs and have to go "somewhere else" to hear them, there is something seriously wrong with the folk club scene
The point is far more serious than that anyway
I've spent a half century enjoying folk song (not my preferred definition - the researched and extremely well documented definition which has existed for over a century, and which has produced all the major collections and researched works on folk song which fill libraries like that in Cecil Sharp House)

My concern now is that that music will be available in a recognizably form to the next generation, in places where it clains to be available, but isn't
What are you going so tell them - "Sorry, we don't do that stuff any more - go look somewhere else" ?
We set the folk clubs to perform and listen to folk songs - isn't it somewhat arrogant to suggest that we move off and let some other, totally unrelated music take over ?
To me, that looks like a mixture of a hostile takeover and identity theft
I have yet to see one single widely agreed definition that replaces the one that has served well and been documented for over a century - how do you define what you advertise as folk music ?

Dick hasn't said too much on this thread so far but I now that he is a professional singer who bases his repertoire on traditional songs
The concerns he expresses are an indication that he is finding that a problem

The editor of on-line magazine, Musical Traditions, Rod Stradling recently wrote of the difficulty he is having selling his albums of traditional songs and music - he sold three copies of Sam Larner's album - three copies of an album of one of Britain's most important source singers

In and article I posted above, published in 1962, it was stated "there are 200 of these clubs in Britain, with 250, 000 members).
A few years later that number had at least quadrupled and it continued to rise until it reached many times that total -
During my time in the South of England there were more than that in Greater London      
A month or so ago, I was shown an article claiming around 180 clubs nationwide as an indication that the folk scene was doing well

I don't know where your "so many young people " are getting involved in the music, nor do I know what kind of music they are getting involved in - it certainly ain't folk music - you've told me I have to go "somewhere else" for that
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the uk folk revival in 2019
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 13 Oct 19 - 07:59 PM

It is regularly censored...Akes behaviour was never as abusive as yours is. Are you now In charge here..YOU were once severly reprimanded for your combative, bullying style..so why are you still here. and you are well beyond intolerable and ridiculous.
now the subject at hand, music. there is no need for iron clad definitions of any type of music. music is one of the world great joys..it does not require conformity to narrow slots...just enjoy it.


    I really fight hard to avoid censorship in the music forum. If things get out of hand, I prefer to just close a thread - sometimes temporarily to cool things down, but usually permanently. That leaves the posts that people worked on, and yet forces participants to make a new start. This one is closed permanently, because as Emmylou Harris would say,That's all, folks!


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Mudcat time: 19 October 5:44 AM EDT

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