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Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?

McGrath of Harlow 18 Nov 04 - 08:39 PM
Santa 18 Nov 04 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,reggie miles 18 Nov 04 - 03:23 PM
Fortunato 18 Nov 04 - 02:40 PM
Dani 18 Nov 04 - 02:16 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Nov 04 - 02:13 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 18 Nov 04 - 02:03 PM
GUEST,Russ 18 Nov 04 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 18 Nov 04 - 12:10 PM
Terry Allan Hall 18 Nov 04 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,Arnie 18 Nov 04 - 09:37 AM
The Fooles Troupe 18 Nov 04 - 08:03 AM
GUEST 18 Nov 04 - 02:16 AM
GUEST,Boab 18 Nov 04 - 12:43 AM
GLoux 17 Nov 04 - 09:54 PM
GLoux 17 Nov 04 - 06:57 PM
GLoux 17 Nov 04 - 06:43 PM
BanjoRay 17 Nov 04 - 05:24 PM
GLoux 17 Nov 04 - 05:21 PM
pdq 17 Nov 04 - 05:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Nov 04 - 04:40 PM
Cluin 17 Nov 04 - 04:37 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 17 Nov 04 - 04:28 PM
Uncle_DaveO 17 Nov 04 - 03:50 PM
GUEST,Arnie 17 Nov 04 - 03:48 PM
GUEST,Pete Peterson 17 Nov 04 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Kaleb 17 Nov 04 - 03:44 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 17 Nov 04 - 03:40 PM
GLoux 17 Nov 04 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 17 Nov 04 - 02:44 PM
Once Famous 17 Nov 04 - 02:43 PM
Richard Bridge 17 Nov 04 - 02:38 PM
akenaton 17 Nov 04 - 01:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Nov 04 - 01:38 PM
Richard Bridge 17 Nov 04 - 01:32 PM
GLoux 17 Nov 04 - 01:13 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 17 Nov 04 - 12:38 PM
Peace 17 Nov 04 - 12:26 PM
Mrs.Duck 17 Nov 04 - 12:12 PM
Once Famous 17 Nov 04 - 12:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Nov 04 - 11:41 AM
mack/misophist 17 Nov 04 - 11:21 AM
BanjoRay 17 Nov 04 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,Mike, Halifax UK 17 Nov 04 - 09:47 AM
GLoux 17 Nov 04 - 09:27 AM
MMario 17 Nov 04 - 09:09 AM
Amos 17 Nov 04 - 09:03 AM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Nov 04 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,Arnie 17 Nov 04 - 08:57 AM
Maryrrf 17 Nov 04 - 08:56 AM
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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 08:39 PM

I tend to agree with those who've said that instrumental music is basically for dancing to, rather than sitting and listening to.

If the music is such that people couldn't dance to it, even if they were up for dancing, there is something wrong with the music. (Of course in England the about such things can get in the way, since when people start dancing in pubs - sets and such - it tends to cause problems with the law.)


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: Santa
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 04:00 PM

As an outsider I suspect I'm missing many of the subtleties, but it does seem to me that here there's the same split between those who play the tunes and those who sing the words. Those who like words, whether to sing along with or just to listen to, don't have the same appreciation of "tunes" as someone who just wants to go diddley-diddley all night. OOPs, was that a bias showing?

So there is a compatibility between a singer-songwriter and a singer of traditional songs, ballads or not, that can generate something of an antipathy to a "tune" that goes on and on with repetitive rythms until eventually stopping at some apparently totally random point.

I don't think this is a difference between singers and musicians, as such - few songs survive well without their music. Perhaps its a difference between music and "tunes"?

But whichever you go for, they're all folkies in the UK. Two nations divided by a common language again? Maybe our ghetto is just too small to form significant sub-groups, but the borderline modern singer-songwriters and their fans tend to be loud in distancing themselves from mere folk music.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GUEST,reggie miles
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 03:23 PM

Terry Alan Hall, Cluin, Boab, I'm with you. It is all good. Enjoy what you will and can.

As to the why of this festival's choices, we may never know. I've faced the same from other venues, just as friends of mine have at still other events.

Some friends, mostly originating from the up state NY area, played in a wonderful jug band, and for years, try as they might, they could never get their foot in the door at a certain festival. Oddly, a little combo I played with was hired off the street by the event while busking in the area.

We never applied or even had any interest in performing at the festival. We were all from the Northwest and most of the band didn't even want to spend the time waiting for the event. So, when everyone in the combo I was playing with split to go back home, I stayed and did the gig with the jug band. We had a great time and a great show. The festival didn't get what they initially hired but nevertheless a very fine performance.

The combo I arrived with played our own version of Hippie/Voodoo/Acid/Oldtimey/Fiddletunes and Bluegrass/Jugband/Blues/Singer-Songwriter mayhem. The jugband I ended up doing the gig with had a great feel for the that classic old jug band blues genre and had some wild originals they they performed in that same style. Why their approach to music was not acceptable to the festival organizers is still a mystery to me.

I wasn't able to get back the following year. So, I told the boys in the jug band to go ahead and try to land a return gig at the event using the previous year's performance as a reference. I thought, since they were able to perform with me the year before, and since the show went well, it might have been enough of an introduction for the festival folks to help them get another show at the event, but they were not able to convince the event to host their performance again.

Sometimes I think that that part is the most difficult part of all of this. You enjoy music, and find that folks enjoy your efforts, and so you begin to seek out events to share what you do with others, but cannot convince those who organize the events that you are worth hosting. What do you do in response?

1) Adapt, or find material, or a combo to work with that the event 'will' find acceptable

2) Migrate, find other avenues or outlets for your talent at other events, there has to be another festival out there somewhere

Or, 3) Die, hang yourself by your own necktie, bite the bullet, slash your vital blood carrying supply lines, etc.

I keep trying those first two choices.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: Fortunato
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 02:40 PM

Jerry, thanks for the plug! Susette and I appreciate your kind words. We are to folk/oldtime/bluegrass what Doc Watson is (not in expertise or talent or stature, obviously, but in that we play some instrumental fiddle tunes, sing songs collected or recorded mostly by 1942, though Doc will sing a modern song we rarely do). We don't fit all the way in any category except the catchall, 'folk'.

For the Shivers the experience has been that the Folklore Society of Greater Washington(DC), with whom we interact most (some 30 years for me, does not dislike Old Time, rather this group has historically preferred the music they can sing with. There was always a subgroup of folkies that came to see Doc Scantlin's Red Hot Peppers, a Georgia-style twin fiddle old time string band I played with for several years. Or my friends Craig and Bruce in Double Decker and they were the dancers usually (also a subgroup). As a whole the music found on Folk Legacy, wonderful stuff like the Boarding Pary, was more to the taste of the DC folkies in general, and they gathered that music to sing.
They tend not be players, or perhaps not great players, with wonderful exceptions of course. But they love to sing a great chorus and do it well.

For us it's not been a question of dislike but question of folks liking one thing a little better than another sometimes exclusively, sometimes not. I'm reminded of the songs of Craig Johnson that crossed boundaries so beautifully.

chance


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: Dani
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 02:16 PM

Mark, you are right on! I remember the first time I heard Joe Thompson, the old-time fiddler, play. He was at an open-air thing that was intended to showcase his playing, so just he and a supporting guitar player were there. He played a couple of tunes, then put down the fiddle and said something about how hard it was to play when people are just sitting there watching and listening, that the music was made to DANCE to! My then 4-ish daughter and I took him at his word, and danced up a storm on the lawn... and Joe won my heart.

I have the great honor and privilege of hosting, at our restaurant, Old-Time jams and concerts of all kinds. There have definitely been nights when my staff begged me, "do we have to listen to them play that same song AGAIN!?" I think that's what Dick is talking about! And then there have been the many, many other nights I get goosebumps to see old and young swapping songs, learning, playing and dancing. And then there are the people who sift the 'old' stuff down into their own, people like our own Shivers, like (former Rambler) Bill Hicks and his wife Libby, who played here to an adoring crowd the other night, and like Alice Gerrard, who inspires young players all over.

All that said, Old-Time is not necessarily this folk-lovers cup of tea, but then not every kind of 'folk' music is!

Dani


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 02:13 PM

Maybe a "What is a folkie?" thread is called for...


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 02:03 PM

Is it any wonder that there is a problem communicating in this thread? If people can't agree what folk music is, how can you tell what someone means by "folkie?" Whoever these "folkies" are, they don't seem to like "old-time" music. Whatever that is... Clarence Ashley or Hobart Smith playing a banjo and singing, or Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers.

Apparently, some members of an undefineable group of people don't like some undefineable music.

Dang..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:55 PM

Greg,

I feel your pain.

I was a member of the PFSS for one year because they had a series of concerts that I planned to attend and it worked out to be cheaper to buy a membership. Apparently whoever scheduled the concerts was fired or realized the error of his/her ways. They haven't scheduled anybody I am interested in since.

Anyway, the people who appeared to be in charge all seemed to be boomers or older. My age. So my guess is that the PFSS shakers and movers have gone the way of all us boomers. Their interests have narrowed and focused. However they used to feel about old time music, it floats no boats anymore.

Unfortunately, I see the same pattern elsewhere. I am thinking of another group in the Philly area formerly noted for its support of old time music that will remain nameless. Most of the people who make the decisions seem to have lost interest in old time music. Probably for the same reasons.

One contributing factor appears to be an increasing emphasis on beancounter considerations rather than music. Of course it turns into a vicious circle. Old time events are not scheduled because they won't attract a large enough audience. Because old time events are not scheduled the music does not have a chance to build an audience. When the goal becomes a bigger festival every year, the rules change, and not in ways to favor music with smaller audiences.

It doesn't help matters that the old time community in the area is so unpredictable. A group of us have learned the hard way that the local old time music community cannot be counted on to consistently support the music. It wouldn't surprise me if the PFSS has reached the same conclusions.

Old time music in the Philly area has always seemed to me to be something of a hot house flower. It has never been a part of the "indigenous" musical traditions of the area the way it is a bit further south. Maybe the surprising thing is not that its local popularity has declined but that it was every popular at all.

Old time music started as "fringe" music. It seems to have returned to that state. Not necessarily a bad thing.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 12:10 PM

WE folkies do NOT dislike old-timey music. We love it:

Time was in the 60s that every year at the University of Chicago Folk Fest one could see from what was being played by those of us soaking up the music and trying our own hands at all of it what the "in" music of that given year might be. First, it was old-timey sting bands, then fingerpicking on guitar, then frailing on the banjo, then a capella singing, then mountain dulcimers were discovered" by us, next jug bands, followed by blues bands with locals Butterfield and Bloomfield and Charlie Musselwhite. Then cajun music, bluegrass---so many others. We learned to go back to the roots--- and we venerated those traditional experts still alive who knew we would take their handoff and run expertly with the ball ourselves if we would just listen carefully to their lead.

Yes, most of all we came away with a real appreciation for "the real thing"---rspect for the roots experts who had, before leaving, laid down the styles in the form of collected tapes made by some great collectors of folk songs. These set the norms for many of us.

Most of all, we loved and still love (NOT DISLIKE) listening to ALL the musical forms that were so generously presented to us by the expert living examples---before they passed on. They left us to carry it on and stand up for what they had preserved.

As an old-folkie, I say here and now that I love old-timey music---and most others as well. If I don't understand the WORLD MUSIC now being lionized it is possibly the result of my fires being partially banked now. It took and takes youth and those glandular secretions of that youth to pursue the artistic passions of youth.

Again, the ideas expressed in the title of this thread are just simply not true.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: Terry Allan Hall
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 10:12 AM

I like it all. Old-time, "traditional, S/S, bluegrass...it's ALL good!


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GUEST,Arnie
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 09:37 AM

Folk Festival director's trends theses days are to discount traditional music as outdated. Your situation in Philadelphia is not unique. Just the name "Old Time" probably turns them off as a passe genre. How about traditional ballad singers? Do they hire them? How many not so famous older musicians do they hire in compared to not so famous younger musicians? Mariposa up here used to be a diverse festival. If you check their lineup at their website from last year you will hardly find one traditional act. It's shameful. The very definition of roots/folk music has morphed into Lord knows what. The acts they get are really good, but they are leaving out so many trad artists from the rosters that the young audience isn't even getting exposed to the music anymore.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 08:03 AM

Not all do...


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 02:16 AM

I think that some truly inspiring poetry is to be found in songs of the string band/balladeer/frontporch/mountaineer/kitchen traditions. Music of unabashed enthusiasm and (usually) honesty. Played for enjoyment for the most part.

True, "Cluck Old Hen" may not be in this catagory but "Cold Rain and Snow" and "Come all you Fair and Tender Maidens" is. To my sense of it, singing is as important and sometimes more important than playing. Listen again to the chain gang singing during the opening credits of O Brother.

When I perform I will do two and sometimes three numbers acacpella. I have done whole sets with minimal accompianment or none. I really love doing "Texas Rangers" and "Handsome Cabin Boy".

I also play "Dixie" and don't sing it's words (insulting as they are).

I've "written" a half dozen instrumentals. When I play them and when I play other instrumentals (breakdowns, etc) I keep it short, maybe as long as two minutes, usually less.

If I am playing for dancers, I play as long as they want me to. I've played "Cripple Creek" for as long as ten minutes, it is physically tiring and mentally numbing.

I'm not sure why I just posted this, It is late and I'm going to bed.

Coyote Breath
(lost my cookie)


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 12:43 AM

Cluin---dead right; anyone who hasn't the same outlook is suffering from self-deprivation!


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GLoux
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 09:54 PM

I didn't mean to try to close out the dialogue here because I felt the need to thank the participants, but I am disappointed that some Philly-area "folkies" haven't responded. I feel 100% sure that there are folks from the PFSS-and-greater community "listening" to my comments. You're lurking. I believe I'm asking an honest question and am soliciting an honest answer.

PP said:

Supporting evidence for Gloux' original comment: in the Phila area most people who know that we play "traditional music" say "oh, will we see you at the Philly Folk Festival?" and I say "no, the people who run Philly seldom if ever book old time music." We still don't know WHY they feel that way. But the phenomenon is real-- in this area at least.

This is not unique to the PFSS, but it is defintely a prevailing attitude ssue I'm soliciting illucidation upon is: We still don't know WHY they feel that way.

I'm hoping for an honest, open dialogue to bring the issues forward...the situation obviously seems to be an American parochial issue that needs to be explored (I'm trying my best to be understated).


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GLoux
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 06:57 PM

Warm thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread (pdq...LOL!) but I have to highlight my favorite post from GUEST, greg stephens:

To my way of thinking, oldtime(in this context) means "American folk music", so it would be funny to be a folkie and not like folk music. But I believe "folkie" in this American context carries implications of "liker of modern singer songwriters"

Your statements capture the irony of the situation.

Thanks again,
-Greg


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GLoux
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 06:43 PM

Great job, Ray!

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 05:24 PM

Guest Hootenanny - The Gainsborough festival I was talking about was Feb 2006, and so far most artists haven't yet been booked. In the coming february 11-13 2005 we have ace fiddler and nice guy Alan Jabbour, Gandydancer (with Dave & Tim Bing, Gerry Milnes, Ron Mullenex and a bass player), probably Gordy Hinners dancing as well as banjo playing, Ulf Jagfors from Sweden talking about the African origins of the banjo, and British bands Henhouse Allstars and Doctor Proctor's Antidote.
Concerts, sessions and workshops will abound.
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GLoux
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 05:21 PM

Hoot, I didn't mean to imply a lack of bass players at Clifftop. I did mean to imply that if you're a bass player at Clifftop, you'll find yourself fully employed.

Pete, thanks for chiming in...might be that this is a Philly phenomenon...but from all the contributions, it is definitely an American situation.

Jerry, I do know that friend and NY old-time fiddler Ambrose Verdibello was listed as playing in a band for a contra dance at NOMAD.

I also want to add that I hope I didn't come off as trying to slam the Philadelphia Folksong Society. They did hire Run of the Mill String Band for last year's (2003) Philadelphia Folk Festival which was great. I have to admit to falling out of my chair when they called, but we were delighted to be asked. We appeared in a sea of singer-songwriters and world music (we followed Xavier Rudd!), but we were real glad to be there.

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: pdq
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 05:15 PM

Wow! This is getting to be a whole series.

If it goes on long enough, we might see topics like:

"Why Bavarian Organ Grinders Dislike Nepalese Nose Flute Players!"


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 04:40 PM

I think most people out in the wide world would (and a lot of people inside the folk enclave, for that matter) see old-timey and string bands, and bluegrass and "folkies" and traditional stuff as all part of the same thing.

And they'd be right too, when it come down to the wire. The same way dog fanciers might make a grreat thing about particular breeds, but they are all dogs, to people who prefer cats. Or to people who love dogs, but haven't settled to particularl care about one sort and not the others.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: Cluin
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 04:37 PM

In my experience, the really good musicians are also good people who don't get stuck up about boundaries and definitions of types of music, etc. They may play in their own "style" but that doesn't prevent them liking other music.

The good ones like to share, educate, and learn all the time. They may get tired of playing or hearing some of the old "standards", time and time again, but if they are played or sung honestly or well, or with a different twist, they are pretty open to participation.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 04:28 PM

Does anybody agree on what old-time music is?

Guess not.

I'm with you, GLoux

Jerry

(I didn't hear any old-time music at NOMAD, but there was so much music there, I'm sure there was some. For tha matter, some of the stuff that the "bluegrass band" Shore Grass does, I would call old-time.. particularly when it includes clawhammer banjo.)


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 03:50 PM

Speaking only for myself, I don't think I'd say I "dislike" old-time so much as I don't get much out of most of it.

Why? Because most of it, in my experience, is group instrumental, and what singing is in it is not usually story-telling, which is "where I live". Much the same reason I don't turn on to bluegrass.

My interest is in the singing, more particularly the story singing. Yes, before someone else says it, there are old-time pieces in which the song tells a story, but I find them few and far between. When I find them, I like them (probably).

Note that I'm not putting old-time down; it's fine for those who look for what it offers, but most of it that I run across doesn't do much for me.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GUEST,Arnie
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 03:48 PM

I'm with Greg. I like to lump all the pre bluegrass players of country music as fiddlers, banjoists, mountain ballad singers,solo country singers (like Jimmie Rodgers), country duets (like The Carter Family, Delmores), stringbands, and maybe jugbands in the old time category. There may be those on the boarder line of old and new- How about The Louvin Brothers - Stanley Brothers - who else?
Some confusion with folkies may be the genre is so big they don't realise it - but that should be the key to it being so good!


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GUEST,Pete Peterson
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 03:46 PM

Oh boy, where to start!
Supporting evidence for Gloux' original comment: in the Phila area most people who know that we play "traditional music" say "oh, will we see you at the Philly Folk Festival?" and I say "no, the people who run Philly seldom if ever book old time music." We still don't know WHY they feel that way. But the phenomenon is real-- in this area at least.
Martin Gibson-- think Gloux' most recent post a very good question: Fiddlin'Arthur Smith and the Dixieliners are an old time band-- but how come Smith's "sidemen" weren't?
   I think there IS some justice in the idea that a selection of fiddle tunes, with guitar, banjo (and mandolin and bass) alone can be much more interesting to those playing it (or dancing to it) than the listener. But the old bands weren't like that! From my own hero Charlie Poole to the Skillet Lickers and the Bucklebusters . . . everybody has their own favorites. The first of the revival bands, the NLCRamblers, did about 3 songs to every instrumental. Highwoods ditto. Red Clay Ramblers ditto. Those guys put on a good show!

And as for topical songs by good singer-songwriters. . . we're starting to sing songs in code these days, like Tenting Tonight (Many are the hearts that are weary tonight, wishing for the war to cease) and Franklin D. Roosevelt's Back Again. . .

And lastly, I hope that anybody who ever gets a chance will RUN buy a ticket to hear the Run of the Mill String Band, Gloux, guitarist. They are an exception to my opinion in para 3 above.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GUEST,Kaleb
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 03:44 PM

Here's some Old Time with edge. http://www.banjonews.com/PrtyLtlGrl.mp3
I like bluegrass but I prefer the tight, driving sound of a hot oldtime stringband like in the link above. Bluegrass tends to be a little too egocentric for me. I heard someone say once that bluegrassers use a tune to show off their talents and oldtimers use their talent to show off the tune.

There's no right or wrong here. Just opinions and personal preferences. There's enough music floating around for everyone to find something they like.

-Kaleb


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 03:40 PM

Greg It would seem to me that this has been alluded to above but is it not the fact that folk music to the average American, means the guitar wielding singer/song writer who probably has never or only on rare occasions sung a folk song in his/her life?.

Re lack of Bass players at Clifftop, this certainly isn't the case at Mount Airy but you probably know that.

To Banjo Ray; Who else will be at Gainsborough? I couldn't see any details on the web-site last week.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GLoux
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 03:23 PM

The distinction between old-time string band music and old country music is lost on me. For example, when the Delmore Brothers played with Arthur Smith as the Dixieliners, they were a string band, but when they played as the Delmore Brothers (often with backup) they were old country music? I don't see (or hear) a disconnect.

Old-time string band is old country music. So is solo fiddle, solo banjo, solo ballad singing.

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 02:44 PM

Too much overlapping blurs the edges !

Art


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: Once Famous
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 02:43 PM

Jerry

There is to me a difference between string band style old-timey music and brother/family style act type of old country music.

This is the disconnect.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 02:38 PM

Yes Magrath, but (thread drift setting in) they do not fall within the 1954 Folk Music Council definition until later...


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: akenaton
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 01:55 PM

Hope I'm not teaching my granny to suck eggs here...But it seems Old timey music is staging a revival in the US.

Iv been listening to a lot of stuff by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.
They are supposed to be very popular, and play a lot of Gospel , bluegrass and old time. They have a very authentic and exciting sound.

Another popular group the Begood Tanya's play a lot of old time..Ake


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 01:38 PM

Can you have overlapping antitheses? Making up songs is a very traditional thing to do.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 01:32 PM

I am very puzzled by the conflation of folk with singer-songwriter. In England that is the great antithesis.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GLoux
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 01:13 PM

I hope you don't feel in a minority because of something I said...I'm in complete agreement with you, Jerry, except I'd add solo banjo like Clarence Ashley.

Was there any old-time at NOMAD?

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 12:38 PM

Looks like I am in a real minority, thinking old-time music means older rural music whether sung by a duo, played by a band or played as a fiddle solo.
In the context of this discussion, old-time means string band.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: Peace
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 12:26 PM

Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?

This one doesn't.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 12:12 PM

I was introduced to American old time music when I met Geoff as, although definitely a folkie, it is his first love and the type of music he prefers to play on the banjo and more recently fiddle. I was amused by someones complaint about the age of the tunes - hardly expect old time to be new. That said I am a great fan of Kate Lisseur and she certainly mixes traditional stuff with other tunes and songs done in the style of.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: Once Famous
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 12:00 PM

Amos, Puff is sometthing that I wouldn't prefer to sing but I have been asked to.

Why? Because it's a beloved American folk song.

I do agree that bluegrass musicians tend to dazzle more. Why? Are they better musicians as a whole? I tend to believe this. It's the ones who don't dazzle or impress me that accomplished musicians might find boring. Unless, of course, their subtlty is so differentiated to compensate.

As far as bluegrass being more structured, yes, thank God. At least we know where the song ends and there is a great chance that we might all end it at the xsame time.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 11:41 AM

And I'm quite fond of Puff the Magic Dragon, when it comes to that.

I tend to favour a "both/and" rather than an "either/or" attitude.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 11:21 AM

I like both. What I don't like, and what the festival organizer may not have liked, is too big a disparity in the kind of music I'm listening to at a particular session.

Within each genre there's music for the musicians and there's music for the audience. That must make a difference, too.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 10:22 AM

Yes Greg, Beverly Smith and Carl Jones are great examples of the best of different styles, whom some of us in the UK have seen, heard and jammed with - which is why we're booking them for our 2006 Gainsborough festival - possibly together with Rafe Stefanini, a truly wonderful fiddler.
Ray (Chairman of Foaotmad)


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GUEST,Mike, Halifax UK
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 09:47 AM

I just have to say that I have been a UK folkie for many years but I did spend a couple of years playing 'old time' music (mainly American, Charlie Poole et al) and had some of the best sessions ever. Yes some tunes/songs often went on for ten minutes plus but it was a real opportunity to get into a tune/song and try out all sorts of improvisations and work on my guitar playing technique with other dedicated musicians. Technically and musically I learned so much. You only get out what you are prepared to put in.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GLoux
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 09:27 AM

Very interesting comments. Thank you all for your thoughts. Mark Cohen's comments reminded me of something I read...so I dug it out.

In the liner notes to the Highwoods String Band "Feed Your Babies Onions" compilation CD, Walt Koken writes retrospectively:

Ironically, the more well known we became as a band, the less necessary we were to the growing old-time music scene, since one of the messages of the music is to do it yourself - unplug it, and take it home!

There are some folks who are trying to do both...old-time and singer-songwriter. Beverly Smith and Carl Jones are a perfect example. They put on a great show and Carl's songwriting is superb, IMHO.

-Greg


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: MMario
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 09:09 AM

Coyote Breath said "I think that "folkies" are those people who like "Puff the Magic Dragon" or "Blue Tail Fly" (as opposed to Jim Cracked Corn).

To which I reply "OUCH!"

Not even close to what I would define "folkie" as...


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: Amos
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 09:03 AM

I don't think a genuine folkie would prefer Puff the Magic Dragon!! It may be a matter of preference for one definition or another, but I consider anyone a folkie who loves...well...um....folk music!! There, I said it! Modern singer-songwriters qualify if they are writing folk music, too, but Puff ain't it, man!




A


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 09:01 AM

Malcolm is spot on about the way that using a bow can make the bass fiddle a welcome instrument in all kinds of music where it normally doesn't fit.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: GUEST,Arnie
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 08:57 AM

"Music created to sound like old time or traditional music but which were created last month or are created to speak to a particular event, political position, social injustice, etc. These can be wonderful and powerful but I try to keep these seperate from what I call old timey and don't really like "folk" as a description of that catagory."
The music has to evolve as well to live on and I like much of the new music being played. Some of it I don't like - a matter to taste and open mindedness I guess. I was blown away with the strong music The Horseflies played when I first heard them, but some of the stuff they did I couldn't handle at all. I'm not too fond of a young modern pop singer/songwriter trendy type act suddenly putting a funky version of Reuben in their repetoire and selling 10,000 or more CD's and everybody raves about this old time style discovery. However, even so- it does get something about the music in the mainstream for people especially young listeners to get curious about, and perhaps they will have the initiative to search out the really good old time music players and singers.
"I think part of the problem is that old-time music isn't at its best when it's just being listened to"
Well that depends - listening to some old time jam sessions can be pretty bad often, and playing in some can be just as bad. I have a slew of great listening old time music CD'S modern and old recordings that really turn my crank, and some recordings that are terrible for the average music appreciation listener - so I guess if an unkowing folkie gets a hold of the latter , all could be lost.


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Subject: RE: Why do 'folkies' dislike 'old-time'?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 08:56 AM

I am an American "folkie" with a strong preference for traditional (as opposed to singer/songwriters). I have no problem with Old Timey and would consider it to be a branch of American folk music. If I were running a "folk" venue I would book an old-timey band.


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