mudcat.org: Where Have All The Americans gone?
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3]


Where Have All The Americans gone?

Jerry Rasmussen 11 Oct 06 - 09:41 AM
Geoff the Duck 11 Oct 06 - 09:49 AM
Betsy 11 Oct 06 - 09:50 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 11 Oct 06 - 09:53 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Oct 06 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,Bee 11 Oct 06 - 10:03 AM
GUEST 11 Oct 06 - 10:04 AM
GUEST,Bee 11 Oct 06 - 10:10 AM
Scoville 11 Oct 06 - 10:13 AM
DebC 11 Oct 06 - 10:15 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 Oct 06 - 10:29 AM
Betsy 11 Oct 06 - 10:32 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Oct 06 - 10:41 AM
M.Ted 11 Oct 06 - 11:12 AM
Scoville 11 Oct 06 - 11:29 AM
Ebbie 11 Oct 06 - 11:36 AM
Scrump 11 Oct 06 - 11:52 AM
Midchuck 11 Oct 06 - 12:03 PM
Big Al Whittle 11 Oct 06 - 12:04 PM
Scoville 11 Oct 06 - 12:12 PM
Bert 11 Oct 06 - 12:23 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 11 Oct 06 - 12:30 PM
282RA 11 Oct 06 - 12:52 PM
Elmer Fudd 11 Oct 06 - 01:02 PM
Dan Schatz 11 Oct 06 - 01:27 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 11 Oct 06 - 01:32 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 11 Oct 06 - 01:34 PM
Steve-o 11 Oct 06 - 02:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Oct 06 - 02:49 PM
Ebbie 11 Oct 06 - 03:04 PM
Ferrara 11 Oct 06 - 03:33 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 11 Oct 06 - 03:40 PM
GUEST,Bee 11 Oct 06 - 03:41 PM
Richard Bridge 11 Oct 06 - 03:57 PM
dick greenhaus 11 Oct 06 - 03:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Oct 06 - 04:01 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 11 Oct 06 - 04:08 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 11 Oct 06 - 04:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Oct 06 - 04:35 PM
terrier 11 Oct 06 - 06:44 PM
gnu 11 Oct 06 - 06:54 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 11 Oct 06 - 07:23 PM
Rapparee 11 Oct 06 - 07:24 PM
Maryrrf 11 Oct 06 - 07:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Oct 06 - 07:52 PM
terrier 11 Oct 06 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,Janie 11 Oct 06 - 08:23 PM
jimmyt 11 Oct 06 - 09:09 PM
Azizi 11 Oct 06 - 09:10 PM
Rapparee 11 Oct 06 - 09:41 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 09:41 AM

A current check of the top 20 music threads show 14 of them about music in the UK. Another one is about the shawl being auctioned, which leaves 5 music threads that are not pertinent to any particular country. I note this, not as a complaint, or with any suggestion in mind. When I run through the music threads every time that I come onto the Cat, I have to search to find any that relate to a song I might have heard, or a performer from this country. There is currently a thread on Etta Baker, and one on Cindy Mangsen and Steve Gillette, but it seems like the American contingent of this community is either drifting away, or not starting threads in the music section. That speaks well of my friends across the sea, and there are music threads started by them that I truly enjoy. But, I can see where people might the impression that this is primarily a UK folk community.

Where have all the Americans gone?

Guess I better put up or shut up, so I'll start a thread about Folk music in Greenwich Village and Berkely in the 60's.

Missing my countrymen..

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 09:49 AM

We keep finding them over here.
Quack!
Geoff the Duck.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Betsy
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 09:50 AM

Peaks and troughs Jerry - don't worry about - we're still listening to ya over here in the U.K.

Cheers

Betsy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 09:53 AM

Thank God for the UKers. This place would be a ghost world without you.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 09:59 AM

I've noticed that - I'm hoping it's as Betsy said, rather than a longterm trend. One of the things I most value about the Cat has been the interplay across the Atlantic. (And other oceans as well.)

I think a specific prefix for threads about local stuff - clubs and gigs and so forth - might be helpful for people in finding their way around to threads which might be more relevant for them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: GUEST,Bee
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 10:03 AM

My pet theory, Jerry, is that geography and population size play a big part. From this site: http://www.mongabay.com/igapo/world_statistics_by_area.htm

Area (sq. km.) of US = 9,629,091 UK = 244,820

Populations are UK app. 60 million, US app. 300 million

Folkie people in the UK are a lot more likely to be close to events and to other folkies, and a lot more likely to know a larger portion of the folk scene because it is no where near as scattered over the landscape. Therefore they are more likely to find out about the same music websites.

Canada's area is lited as 9,976,140 sq. km., but our population is only 32 million. We are far apart, but more likely to know of each other.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 10:04 AM

There seems to be a fair number of Canadians who seem to have no trouble relating to the music threads, UK or USA.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: GUEST,Bee
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 10:10 AM

We're famous for wantin' to know other people's stories. Some think we're just nosey parkers. ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Scoville
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 10:13 AM

I've always thought Mudcat was very Brit-centric in general. I don't mean that as a complaint since we don't see a lot of current British folk music in my area, I just figured that was the way it was.

I admit, though, that I often don't bring my American folk-related questions because I sometimes feel like a) either I get into yet another argument about whether or not it's folk/traditional/whatever, or 2) it gets passed over for whatever reason. If nobody knows or wants to talk about it, fine, but it does seem like the majority of music discussed is British or has British roots. Again, not a complaint--that's how it was when I got here so I figured I could take it as is.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: DebC
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 10:15 AM

I'm here! :-)

Deb Cowan, who straddles both worlds and likes it that way


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 10:29 AM

I think many Americans have grown weary of the constant bickering that seems to invade these threads. (And I apologize for adding to that mess in the past.)

I also think that American folk music has more diversity. With a wider range, it becomes harder to develop converstions.   A few weeks ago I put up a post (in response to a UK posting) that asked for people to mention some of their favorite festival performers. The response was minimal.

Our respect for the traditions seem to be growing thin as the audience ages. While I have seen young people taking up the style, they still perform to an audience that is drawing pension checks. The interest is fading.

Maybe I am growing sour as I grow older.   Last week we hosted Guy Davis at the Hurdy Gurdy.   For a venue in Bergen County, one of the most populated counties in the U.S., we were only able to draw 50 people. That is shameful for an artist of his caliber.

Americans are apathetic and would rather sit at home watching TV.

Those of you who know me realize I am usually a very optomistic person.   I'm beginning to think I've just been fooling myself.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Betsy
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 10:32 AM

Bee is correct in her geographical "bit" - and from what I understand, distance is a completely different thing in the USA, in that, again( I understand ) that an American wouldn't think anything of driving say 50 miles to go to a folk club type of thing, whereas 50 miles to a Brit for a night out is a BIG BIG deal and it would need to be something extra special.
I think we also have strong dividing lines between the genres, Traditional mu& Singer songwriters in a traditional vein, and then, Country and Western ( we don't seem to differentiate between Country, and Country and Western ) which don't, for some reason make good bed fellows.
Just to keep you happy Jerry, and talk things American , I recently had the very great pleasure of meeting-up at my friends house and listening to a guy who was going to be playing in a small village in North Yorkshire over here.
A guy by the name of Pete Huttlinger - sensational guitarist , good good singer and a bloody nice guy.
O.K. now Jerry ? .

Cheers

Betsy .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 10:41 AM

GUEST Bee's point about geography playing a major part in this is what I had in mind when I suggested that a special prefix for local club and gig stuff might help.

There are so many threads it's only too easy to miss the ones you'd really like to get into. One way of dealing with that kind of thing is splitting up into different forums, or adopting the solution which has worked well enough for BS, but I'd be agains that. Hiowever perhaps an extra prefix, properly used could be way of achieving the same end less divisively and more flexibly.

I'd be against geographical prefixes though - just one indicating that a thread was about some local activity would be enough. Maybe "Reg" for "regional" would do. Regions can mean whatever people choose them to mean. (There are organisations with individual regions that involve grouping together a number of countries.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: M.Ted
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 11:12 AM

The more UK oriented the threads become, the less there is to bring and keep new American folkies here. The way to change that is to create new content that draws people in--

I have thought that it would be great to add a "Folk-wiki" to Mudcat, because it would render what happens here, which, on a good day, at least, is to pull together bits of information and experience into one place, and make it more useable---it would give folks a more structured and lasting way to contribute, too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Scoville
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 11:29 AM

Excuse me, but I take exception to the generalization that Americans are apathetic and would rather be watching television. I'm sure there are plenty of Brits who sit around watching television, too, just as there are lots of Americans who play folk music.

Since diversity was mentioned, I'm going to go ahead and blab that one of the reasons I hestitate to post American music questions on here is that I feel like non-Brit-based American music either gets ignored or starts a fight about not-being-folk. Blues fares pretty well. Some Canadian music does well (which may be French, indigenous, or Brit-based). Cajun draws very little. Bluegrass and a lot of folk-rock, alt country, etc. starts a shitstorm about whether or not it's valid. Well, that's the outlet for the folk "spirit" in (my part of) the U.S. these days--independent folk/rock/country musicians. Since I'm really sick of arguing about what is or is not folk, I just don't freaking post it.

As to respect for traditions growing thin: If respecting traditions means I have to sing it the way Child collected it or so-and-so played it or I'm out of line, screw that. Times change. Music changes. If it didn't, we'd probably still be beating on logs with sticks. Whenever I hear this, what I'm hearing is somebody complaining that the rest of the world isn't doing it their way. So what? Go out and do it your way and eventually you're going to find someone who DOES respect those traditions and wants to jump in the deep end. I know we all get sick of being "ambassadors" but a little bit of exposure is better than none at all and the quickest way to kill off the music is to be miserly and unapproachable with it.

And yes, I'm sick of the bickering. Go argue on PM. The America-bashing is getting a little old, too. Most of the Americans on here have issues with the current state of things, anyway, with the exception of the usual few who stink up the room to entertain themselves.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 11:36 AM

"Americans are apathetic and would rather sit at home watching TV." Ron O

It depends on where they are, no doubt. In Juneau Alaska the townspeople would attend, as they say, the opening of an envelope. We are a small city (30,000) and especially after the tourist season one has to choose from among 5 or 7 things to do every weekend. And it's not just weekends- last night (a Tuesday) over a hundred poured into a local church venue to hear Collette Costa and friends perform.

Collette is locally famous for her changes of clothes, often worn over each other and for her fantastic voice and wide repertoire. She's originally from New Jersey and settled in Juneau a few years back; we know how fortunate we are to have her here.

Last night she sang songs from Tin Pan Alley, songs from the old west, old standards, a couple of Townes Van Zandt songs, and several songs written by local people. She was backed variously by Robert Cohen on grand piano, a guy on a drum set, a guy on a guitar, a young woman singing harmony and two saxophones. It was a great three hours.

As for the music threads being populated mostly by non-USers, I know that this is not what is being said or meant but it reminds me of what a man said here on Election Day.

Juneau is a long narrow town and for some reason the downtown area (the governmental seat) is quite different from the Valley area less than 10 miles away. Downtown is more politically liberal and with fewer families; there is less room so there are fewer yards and less parking. The local twit is that Valley people are living as close to Seattle as they can get.

On Election Day an old guy from the VAlley groused, 'That measure will probably pass just because of downtown. It's not fair that we in the Valley don't have a chance - downtown turnout is 100%.'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Scrump
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 11:52 AM

Excuse me, but I take exception to the generalization that Americans are apathetic and would rather be watching television. I'm sure there are plenty of Brits who sit around watching television, too, just as there are lots of Americans who play folk music.

That remark was made by an American - why bring the Brits into it? We never said nowt.

;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Midchuck
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 12:03 PM

Anyone in England can drive to any festival in England, if he/she has a car and a driver's license and can get the weekend off from work (and the motorways aren't so crowded that everything comes to a stop). That would lead to all the folkies in England being more likely to know each other than in the US. Like, I've wanted to go to the Getaway for several years, but it just isn't doable without us taking a Friday and a Monday off, and Kris only gets four personal days a year.

Also, the point about styles being a lot more diverse, even within "folk music," is well taken.

Peter


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 12:04 PM

I have to go clubs to see my favourite artists. The festivals don't book them. and anyway they seem to work better in clubs.

I suppose Ralph McTell is my favourite person who gets asked to do festivals.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Scoville
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 12:12 PM

I know it was made by an American and the point was made previously that the forum has become chiefly Brit, so my point was that Americans sitting on their butts in front of TV is an inadequate explanation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Bert
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 12:23 PM

...they still perform to an audience that is drawing pension checks. The interest is fading...


I don't know if it's the interest that's fading, more likely - it's the spare cash that's fading.

Which gives me an idea. Would it be possible for Mudcat to regularly post some music that we can listen to. Then we could perhaps get to hear some of these performers even if we can't afford to travel to their concerts. Sort of a song of the week thing, then we could have a thread to discuss it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 12:30 PM

Size matters. America is a BIGGG country.

I just put my Handful of Songs album out on CD and when I look down the list of friends who played on the album when I recorded it in 1989 it makes me realize how long it is since I've seen most of them. Sally Rogers and Howie Bursen worked on the album, and I don't think I've seen Howie since then. I saw Sally once, and she came up and introduced herself, even though she's a long time friend. It's pretty sad when your friends have to wear name tags. Ed Trickett worked on the album, and I don't believe I've seen him since then. I go down the list, and that's the case with most of the other musicians: Gordon Bok, Skip Gorman, Pat Conte, Chris Shaw and Dave Para and Cathy Barton. I don't think that I've seen any of them more than twice in the last 17 years. When I was running a concert series, I booked all of these people several times and came to know them as friends. No one is going to drive several hundred miles just to sit around the kitchen table. We have to do that in cyber space now.

My perception (tell me that I'm wrong) is that UKers, Aussies, Canucks (is that a slanderous term? I hope not) Danes, and all the rest of you are much more narrowly focused on traditional music than us Americans. I start threads on groups like Los Lobos, knowing that it will peak at three or four responses. And I do it anyway, just for the few people who might know who Los Lobos is, or have an adventurous mind. Maybe it goes back to growing up in England and mostly just hearing whatever BBC chose to play. Over here, we grew up exposed to a crazy mix of music. It doesn't seem strange that Richie Valens had a hit with La Bamba, polkas were all the rage in the forties, rhythm and blues and soul music shared the airwaves with crooners and rockabilly and Dave Brubeck. In my collection of music, folk music makes up maybe 15% of the total. It's a beloved 15%, but if that was all I listened to, I'd go nuts.

This being a folk music site, it's reasonable that there isn't a lot of response to non-folk music (even if it can be argued that Los Lobos is as "folk" as Fairport Convetion.)

Maybe someday there'll be a community for people who plain just love music.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: 282RA
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 12:52 PM

I posted about this once also. When I first started posting here around 2000 or so, it seemed to me to be overwhelmingly North American in nature. I posted about people like Scott Joplin, Kid Ory, Gene Vincent and like that and got good feedback and some very entertaining and interesting discussions.

I don't do this anymore because the forums is so Brit-centric that I don't see the point. All they talk about is stuff that I have no idea about. Occasionally, I recognize a name such as Ewan MacColl (even then I've only heard a few things by him) but most of the time, I have no idea what they're talking about so I stay off the threads since I don't know what they're talking about and I don't want to post about American folk/blues/country/ragtime personalities because it doesn't appear that these personalities resonate in the minds of non-Americans much and American posters don't seem much interested in posting much anymore.

When I look through the music threads, I find very few that are interesting enough to post in, so I end up posting in the bullshit section all the time. Before 2004 or so, I NEVER posted in the bullshit section because the music section was far more interesting. Now, it's done a complete turnaround.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 01:02 PM

I started two or three threads about performers or groups I heard in concert and thought were terrific, or at least making interesting music worth discussion, and they sank to the bottom of the deep blue page with nary a comment.

Nasty personal attacks by people who disagree with other's opinions also discourage posting freely for those of us with epidermi thinner than rhinoceros hides.

Elmer


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 01:27 PM

Well, I just started a thread about an American traditional music festival. We'll see if anyone notices.

I've noticed that there is a lot of UK specific content - perhaps more than there is US specific content. On the other hand, there are lots of threads that apply equally well in both places, in Canada, and everywhere else. Being conscious that our more general threads will be read on both sides of the Atlantic might help us surpass those kinds of divisions.

As far as nasty comments - I know it's just my way, but I try very hard not to say anything gratuitously negative about anyone on the 'net, Mudcat included. Even if I were inclined to be snarky ( or "Mudcatty?!"), the knowledge that whatever I say here will be preserved in perpetuity through Google and other search engines would be a pretty convincing corrective. Do I really want "snarky" to be the image I present to the world? I don't think so.

It does sadden me to realize that some people have been disuaded from participating in the Mudcat because of that kind of unpleasantness. For me the overarching goal is always the preservation of folk music as a living tradition. Being nice to people (even when they don't yet know much) is one way to do that.

Just my 2 cents.

Dan Schatz


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 01:32 PM

One of the problems with relating to each other's music is that we, in the UK, tend to know only those American acts who cross the pond to perform. This leaves us able to respond only by saying "Who?" when first class local American acts are being discussed.

I suspect that the same is true in t'other direction.

It would be a great help to have a way of hearing these people through posting examples of their work for members to enjoy. The same would be true of hearing Mudcatter's songs.

More and more I find myself ashamed to be a countryman of those who refer to "American music" with a slight, but noticeable, sneer as "not folk".

It is long past time that they realised that EVERY country has its own traditions, all equally valid.

Brits, in particular, are prone to refer to "a thousand years of history", when in fact very little music can be traced back further than 200 years, and much of that belongs in genres other than folk.

Just my 2p worth of opinion, which will, no doubt, result in my being cut to ribbons by the purists. Still, thats how I see it.

Don T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 01:34 PM

P.S. Please bring back the Americans to this forum. I, for one, really miss 'em.

DT


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Steve-o
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 02:30 PM

Yeah, I miss 'em too, and I'm one of 'em. I used to think the old stalwarts had just sort of gone by the way, over time, but it seems even those people still show up on the BS threads. Maybe it's a problem with subject matter, I don't know. I know that for myself, I'm pretty good at adding an opinion or some knowledge, but I'm not much good at "starting up" a subject. I agree with Ron that sometimes it kind of disheartening to find so little in discussion about American folk music, and I guess it's partly my own fault.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 02:49 PM

If people don't start threads about American music because they think the Cat is too overloaded by stuff about music from across the Atlantic the effect is that the Cat gets even more overloaded by stuff about other types of music.

At present that tends to be music from the British Isles. I'd sooner it included more from other places, because it's a big world with lots of wonderful music. (And some of the best from inside North America.)

There's nothing much people over here can do about it really. I suppose they could stop starting threads, but I don't really think that is the right way. I suppose we could start threads about American music, but I'm pretty sure quite a lot of people over here do that in any case.

As for the arguments about whether something is folk or not, true that can get a bit boring, and it diverts attention from the interesting part, which is whether it's any good, and where it comes from and where it's going to and what people can learn from it... But if the discussion about those kinds of things is lively enough, the trainspotter stuff about exact classification should die away.

And unless I'm very much mistaken the "is-this-really-folk" people are as likely to be from over there as from back here.

As for threads not taking-off - I'm sure most people who have ever started threads have started a good few which didn't take off. About every topic under the sun. It's just the way the Mudcat works.

And I repeat my plea for an official prefix for local events and gigs, everywhere, because I think it actually woudl help.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 03:04 PM

When someone says to me "There don't seem to be any interesting threads just now", my inclnation is to respond "Start some." Some will have little or no response but no harm done. Start another on a different subject.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Ferrara
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 03:33 PM

I'm not in favor of an official regional prefix for events & gigs, but I am in favor of stating the general location where possible. Guess we should start doing that for the FSGW Getaway too, huh? Would "MD:" be enough of a regional identifier on future Getaway threads? Or "MD,US:"?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 03:40 PM

You know, the inherent limitation in all of this is that we're typing these little black squiggly lines, trying to talk about music.
If we were truly sitting around a kitchen table, someone would pull a guitar or tin whistle out of a case and start to play a song. No amount of squiggly lines can emulate that. Or, if you were sitting at the table in our great room, I'd probably say "Have you heard.... and put a CD in the player." When Colin and Terry were here, it was the most natural thing, just to sing or play, or throw some music in the machine. Colin played a CD that he had with him, and the whole UK/US barrier disappeared. I've read endless threads by people that I've come to consider friends in here, with no idea what they or their music sounds like. Some of us have exchanged tapes or CDs (if we have any) and that helps a lot.

We are musicians sharing everything but music. (Other than talking about it.) I don't know any way around it, unless we all were adept at doing blue clickies and posting a song occasionally, in a thread.
That may or not be practical. The only blue clickies I have any familiarity with are when I'm freezing cold.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: GUEST,Bee
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 03:41 PM

Perhaps if a music thread you've started is slow taking off, you could post something else in it to bring it back to the front page. Otherwise, most of us likely will never see it, regardless of its worth. The time span from posters west to posters east also affects who sees a thread before it moves 'back in time'. Those durn Brits are perky and posting while lots of North Americans are sleeping.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 03:57 PM

And when we have gone to bed, some of the learned American night owls are just hitting their stride.

I think I'd say that some of the most informative postings here have come from non-Brits - some of whom seem to be gone.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 03:59 PM

Jerry-
Could it be that the reason you haven't seen or heard your old budies in lo! these many years is that you haven't made any effort to? They're performing, sometimes pretty close to where you are.

And Ron-
Could it be that Guy Davis only drew 50 people because there wasn't enough publicity? I for one might have attended, but I hadn't heard about it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 04:01 PM

I'd have thought the time aspect would balance out - after all, if someone in New England sits down and posts something at their 10pm, say, it'll be a longtime before anywhere in Old England is likely to see it.

I know Americans are more spread out - but on the other hand there are a lot more of them around. Something like 300 million now, I read today. So most of them aren't too interested in folk, however you define it, but that's every bit as true in England.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 04:08 PM

I think that most Americans that consider themselves "folkies" in 2006 are more likely to be listening to contemporary singer-songwriters. There are very few people who discuss this kind of music on this kind of site.

The traditional audience is aging and not being replaced in equal numbers. I think in the UK there is more respect for the traditions and artists have no problem dipping into the well.   Here in the U.S., the trend seems to be the latest song that the artist has written.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 04:09 PM

Dick:

I am not aware of many of my friends performing around here in a long time. Dave Para and Cathy Barton live in Missouri and the economics of traveling this far don't make much sense. I've seen a notice of Skip Gorman playing once, and Gordon plays in Hartford once in awhile. My wife and I did go up to hear him and Carol a couple of years ago.

Part of the issue hearing friends perform is that if you're also a performer, you often find that you're performing the same night that they are. The other thing around here is that the number of performance venues has shrunk dramatically in the last fifteen years and many places book younger singer/songwriters. That's not a knock on younger singer/songwriters. I used to be one. But, many of my friends who traveled and performed almost constantly aren't on the road that often, anymore. Sally Rogers and Howie Bursen both have jobs that are a heavy commitment, Chris Shaw, who used to perform regularly down here has taken a full time job and cut way back on performing. And so it goes.

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 04:35 PM

Theer does seem to be a lot of animus expressed about "singer-songwriters", and my impression is that this largely comes from Americans. What I mean is, rather than picking out the people who are writing good songs with roots in the American traditions and sharing the discovery, there's a tendency to talk as if such people didn't exist. That might tend to drive away people who are looking for such people.

There is an enormous amount of rubbish out there, wherever you live. But it seems to me the best way is to ignore the stuff that strikes you as rubbish, and concentrate on the stuff you think is worth listening to. I think that even goes for cases where someone else is praising something you think is rubbish. (Except, if it's someone whose taste you have learned to respect, which is true of a number of people on the Cat, give it another listen or two.)

I quite agree with what Jerry said about how it would help if we reached out for the music itself from time to time in our discussions, the way we would if we were in the same room. We can do that too, but it's a matter of getting into the way of doing it casually and easily. My head spins with the rate at which new technology comes along, and I'll never catch up with it, but even if we lag a few years behind the state of the art, there's a whole heap of slightly outdated magic tools ready to hand.

I wish we still had the Mudcat Radio. I wonder if maybe out there there is someone with the know how and dedication and resources to fill in that gap, uasing some of those magic tools.

Preferably someone in America, in the light of the perceived imbalance identified by Jerry in this thread.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: terrier
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 06:44 PM

I'm UK, I live in UK, if I want to know whats going on in the UK I don't need MUDCAT to tell me. So why do I subscribe to MUDCAT? Simple.
I don't want to be insular, the world's a big interesting place, music is music wherever you live. I know I will probably never meet most of the people who post post on this site from all over the world but I can still get a lot of pleasure from just taking part. Years ago we you'st to have Pen Pals, now we use the internet.

Just a thought, I seem to detect in this thread a feeling of 'where has the folk gone?' Well, I was fortunate enough to be at a session a few years ago at Northwich (pretty well in the middle of the UK.) the music and song was superb. It ranged from Irish trad music through to Cajun and all points in between. It seems that every one in the room had something to give to the evening. Why is this so unusual, well,I've been around the Folk scee for more years than I care to admit to and I've heard too many times the comment 'there's no young people comming into folk'. Well , this room was filled with people at least half my age and it made me realise that folk music hasn't gone anywhere. What is different is that I've grown out of the age group I expected to find it.

Is it possible that MUDCAT is just not attracting the whole gamut of people who are hooked on 'real music'. There are so many sites on the net for people to hook into. I would love to get to some of the song circles and clubs in the States I read about on MUDCAT, but I have to be content just reading the posts.

As a UK'er, I do realise that MUDCAT is esentially an American site but it is a window on the rest of world music that all of us should encourage.

Sorry to go on for so long, I'll get me coat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: gnu
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 06:54 PM

terrier : ..."it is a window on the rest of world music that all of us should encourage."

Hear. Hear.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 07:23 PM

Hey, Kevin: (I know Kevin's music, by the way, because he was generous in sharing it with me early on in my days here on the Cat.)

I am as computer challenged as the next guy, but I wonder what people would think about a perma-thred that had blue clickies for any Mudcat member who wanted to post them that would link to an on-line site to hear their music. I know that there are a fair number of Catters who have a website where you can hear their music. (I'm not one of them.) But, I do have my Gospel Messengers CD on-line at cdBaby, and when I get my shipment of Handful Of Songs CDs, I'll be putting it on-line at cdBaby, too. I know that Bobert's CD is on there, too, and it's an easy way to hear his music.

And then, there are the five Mudcat blue plate special CDs, which are a wonderful sampler. Think I'll pull one out and put it on the turntable. Is that really a turntable inside my CD player?

Jerry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 07:24 PM

My first post, as a GUEST, was a request for lyrics. I was flamed; I persisted and ask again a year or so later when I didn't post as a guest. THEN I got the lyrics.

Simply being an American can and does lead to being insulted and verbally abused (from the Latin "verbum" meaning "word"). I get tired of it, and my fatigue is coming quicker and quicker.

I can't get to festivals and concerts easily -- last April I went to see Natalie McMaster down in Salt Lake City. It was a three hour drive each way, and my wife and I spent two nights so that we could catch both performances. Earlier, she'd performed in Rexburg, Idaho -- 75 miles away, but it was a one night stand and we couldn't get there.

A year ago April we saw the Chieftains -- in SLC.

There is a very active folk scene here, but they aren't big names and they play the Farmers' Market and other such venues. What might even be called "REAL" folk venues....

Sure, I'll stick around and contribute when I can. But frankly, most of the time MOAB is more fun.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 07:32 PM

I'm American and I don't post very much, partly because when things got really bad on Mudcat I just lost the inclination to do so, and partly because I'm kind of quiet anyway. I guess Mudcat has become more "Britcentric" but that hasn't bothered me at all, in fact it has gotten me interested in a lot of performers that I wouldn't have known about otherwise, so I think it has really broadened my musical horizons. I do agree that the definition of "folk" in America seems to be broader in scope than what it is in Britain. Since I'm mainly interested in traditional folk, that may be one reason why I find a lot in common with the British part of the on-line community. There just seems to be more emphasis on that aspect of folk music in British circles.   I enjoy the opportunity that Mudcat provides to get a different perspective on the music, and since CD's and downloads are easily available over the internet, if I see a discussion of some British folk singer/instrumentalist who sounds interesting, I am usually able to find a way to listen to samples and purchase a CD if I'm inclined to do so.

So, I have no problem with the fact that Mudcat has lots of input from the Brits. But, I'll try to start contributing more from this side of the pond,just to even things out.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 07:52 PM

Simply being a human being can and does lead to being insulted and verbally abused. In fact you wouldn't even need to be a human being.

Some people are like that. Most people aren't.   I'll bet that for every instance of verbal abuse any of us has had here there will have been ten, twenty... God knows how many, polite and respectful responses.

Best thing is to ignore the others when they come, as they do come to anyone who posts.
...............
Yes, Jerry, that's the kind of thing I was imagining. The fine details involve stuff I don't understand, but I'm sure there are people who could work it out. And more than that.

I dunno - I read about all this virtual reality and avatars and all that, and I come across amazing looking things every now and again around the net - except that though they look fine the content generally seeme - to me - rubbish. And I envisage someone putting together a "real" Mudcat Tavern where we meet up and listen to each other...

This is drifting the thread though. Right now what is needed is for a few more threads started up and nurtured the way little threads sometimes need nurturing. Threads about, for example, some of the American music that hardly ever seems to turn up here - Cajun, and TexMex and Italian-American... And about people in America who are writing good songs and singing them so they get sung, and who don't deserve to be written off as "just another of those singer-songwriters".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: terrier
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 08:11 PM

***Cajun, and TexMex and Italian-American... And about people in America who are writing good songs and singing them so they get sung, and who don't deserve to be written off as "just another of those singer-songwriters". ***

Not just in America. Music travels. Over here in the UK we enjoy Cajun, Tex mex etc.

It always amazes me that British trad music is so much used in other countries.It also seems odd to me that UK Bluegrass and Country bands can gain a good acceptance in the States.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: GUEST,Janie
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 08:23 PM

I vote for "We are a BIGGGG Country" and the apellation 'folk' covers a heck of a lot of musical territory here also. Both comments have already been made above. Also, in most places, we don't have "folk clubs" that seem to equate to the Brit equivalent. Our population is much more dispersed. Geographically small New England and the populated Eastern Seaboard do seem to have definite folk communities, shanty sings, song circles at local pubs, etc. I live in a musically rich area of North Carolina, but we are still spread out relative to New England or larger urban areas. Here folk might mean old-time string music, bluegrass, jugband, mountain ballads, assorted blues genres, old C&W, gospel, spirituals, singer/songwriters, contra dance music, early jazz or fusions of all of the above. It is fairly easy to organize a jam session with lots of fiddle, guitar, banjo and mandolin. Not so easy to get a song circle together.

In my particular neck of the woods, there are plenty of performances, but not so much in the way of participatory events or gatherings.

Janie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: jimmyt
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 09:09 PM

I have been remiss in not posting much lately but my life has just been going in other directions and I DO miss my friends here a LOT. I promise to get up to see Jerry soon, I am so sorry to have to miss Getaway as it was a hoot last year, and in 2 days I will be meeting my UK friends on a bridge in BANBURY!!! woo-hoo! I have learned almost everything I know about folk music in this forum and it will always be special to me. I hope within the next few months to be back annoying you all on a regular basis! jimmyt


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 09:10 PM

Everyone who reads and posts on Mudcat is not a musician or a singer or a composer of songs.

Though I have a great deal of admiration for performers and composers, I want to give a shout out for those of us who come to Mudcat because we like to learn about different cultures. And we like to collect folkloric examples. And we like to learn more about the origin & meaning of those examples. And we like to find variants of those examples, and consider how those examples, and their performances remain constant or change over time. And we like to consider how that music "speaks" to, provides information about, and impacts individuals and groups of people in countless number of ways.


Instead of a musician, or vocalist, or composer of songs, I consider myself an amateur folklorist, a collector of examples from various oral traditions. Other Mudcat Members and Guests may also consider themselves to be amateur or professional folklorists.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/folklore gives this definition for "folklore":

"The comparative study of folk knowledge and culture".

-snip-

I know I'm not the only one who treasures Mudcat because it provides opportunities for information exchange about the music and the dance and the cultures that produce or produced them.

I don't consider myself a folkie. I'm not in to song circles.
I don't go to folk festivals-or at least the type of folk festivals I get the sense that most of you mean when you say folk festivals. And I don't go to folk camps. For the most part, I'm not a social joiner.

But I like to talk and I like to "listen" to others talk. I like to learn. And I like to share what I have learned. And thanks to some Mudcatters-to my surprise-I have also found out that I enjoy playing with words. Sometimes reading and posting to Mudcat makes even a serious person like me smile.

Maybe all of this-or none of this-has to do with Jerry's question "Where have all the Americans gone?".

But I am an American. And I've not gone.

Besides, it's my 2 cents and I felt like spending it here and now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where Have All The Americans gone?
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 09:41 PM

I'd love to get a song circle together, or even a house concert (Lord knows, I've got the room!). But it's a BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG country and this is a small city. If you're in the UK, consider how where you'd be if you left your home and traveled 2.5 hours at 80 miles per hour (128.75 kilometers per hour), where would you end up? That's a constants speed, by the way, taking into account other vehicles, etc. (It's also 5 mph over the speed limit, which is 75 mph here for cars.)

I'd end up in Salt Lake City, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Tetons National Park, Sun Valley...or about halfway across the state of Idaho (I wouldn't even reach the state capital of Boise -- I'd need another half-hour or so for that).

Our county covers 1,148 square miles (2,973.31 square kilometers). About 70,000 people live here, giving a population density of about 70 people per square mile; there are 640 acres per square mile and 2.59 square kilometers per square mile.

Briefly, there's an awful lot of empty (much of which is National Forest or BLM land).

My point is, lots of Americans live do not live in New York or LA, but in the middle somewhere. And there's an awful lot of middle.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 8 December 4:59 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.