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What Brought You to Trad?

Sleepy Rosie 05 Mar 09 - 02:05 PM
Folkiedave 05 Mar 09 - 02:10 PM
Will Fly 05 Mar 09 - 02:13 PM
gnu 05 Mar 09 - 02:18 PM
Darowyn 05 Mar 09 - 02:19 PM
Barry Finn 05 Mar 09 - 02:19 PM
Rabbi-Sol 05 Mar 09 - 02:19 PM
The Sandman 05 Mar 09 - 02:23 PM
Jayto 05 Mar 09 - 02:28 PM
Sleepy Rosie 05 Mar 09 - 02:28 PM
Sleepy Rosie 05 Mar 09 - 02:29 PM
gnu 05 Mar 09 - 02:32 PM
Jayto 05 Mar 09 - 02:36 PM
Amos 05 Mar 09 - 02:43 PM
Jim Lad 05 Mar 09 - 02:45 PM
Don Firth 05 Mar 09 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,Green 05 Mar 09 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,Auldtimer 05 Mar 09 - 03:05 PM
Janie 05 Mar 09 - 04:10 PM
greg stephens 05 Mar 09 - 04:16 PM
Phil Cooper 05 Mar 09 - 04:25 PM
GUEST,Russ 05 Mar 09 - 04:54 PM
Jane of 'ull 05 Mar 09 - 05:16 PM
Maryrrf 05 Mar 09 - 05:21 PM
M.Ted 05 Mar 09 - 05:24 PM
Bill D 05 Mar 09 - 05:41 PM
Howard Jones 05 Mar 09 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,Jim P 05 Mar 09 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,Cup of Tea, No cookies 05 Mar 09 - 06:35 PM
MartinRyan 05 Mar 09 - 06:38 PM
*Laura* 05 Mar 09 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,Peace 05 Mar 09 - 06:49 PM
Phil Edwards 05 Mar 09 - 06:59 PM
Bill D 05 Mar 09 - 07:12 PM
GUEST,Peace 05 Mar 09 - 07:21 PM
Bill D 05 Mar 09 - 07:30 PM
Peace 05 Mar 09 - 07:34 PM
Bill D 05 Mar 09 - 07:59 PM
GUEST,Peace 05 Mar 09 - 08:11 PM
Jack Blandiver 05 Mar 09 - 08:17 PM
Joe_F 05 Mar 09 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,GEST with a busted cookie 05 Mar 09 - 09:05 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 05 Mar 09 - 09:07 PM
GUEST,Gibb 05 Mar 09 - 10:13 PM
Gurney 06 Mar 09 - 02:08 AM
Sleepy Rosie 06 Mar 09 - 02:51 AM
matt milton 06 Mar 09 - 02:53 AM
GUEST, Sminky 06 Mar 09 - 04:42 AM
MBSGeorge 06 Mar 09 - 06:15 AM
Brian Peters 06 Mar 09 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,John from Elsie`s Band 06 Mar 09 - 06:54 AM
Banjiman 06 Mar 09 - 07:22 AM
Gedi 06 Mar 09 - 08:21 AM
Fidjit 06 Mar 09 - 08:31 AM
Bryn Pugh 06 Mar 09 - 08:52 AM
SteveMansfield 06 Mar 09 - 08:54 AM
Dave Sutherland 06 Mar 09 - 09:26 AM
Mooh 06 Mar 09 - 09:40 AM
Jim Carroll 06 Mar 09 - 10:23 AM
Cats 06 Mar 09 - 11:11 AM
olddude 06 Mar 09 - 11:24 AM
Les in Chorlton 06 Mar 09 - 11:38 AM
John P 06 Mar 09 - 11:58 AM
BobKnight 06 Mar 09 - 03:22 PM
JohnB 06 Mar 09 - 03:34 PM
Sleepy Rosie 06 Mar 09 - 03:44 PM
Amos 06 Mar 09 - 04:34 PM
Seamus Kennedy 09 Mar 09 - 12:28 AM
Barry Finn 09 Mar 09 - 12:58 AM
CarolC 09 Mar 09 - 06:05 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 09 Mar 09 - 06:29 AM
Jack Blandiver 09 Mar 09 - 07:22 AM
Sailor Ron 09 Mar 09 - 07:58 AM
Sleepy Rosie 09 Mar 09 - 07:59 AM
Richard Bridge 09 Mar 09 - 08:14 AM
Leadfingers 09 Mar 09 - 09:43 AM
matt milton 09 Mar 09 - 10:10 AM
jacqui.c 09 Mar 09 - 10:15 AM
Jack Blandiver 09 Mar 09 - 10:38 AM
Valmai Goodyear 09 Mar 09 - 11:56 AM
Hamish 09 Mar 09 - 01:13 PM
Ian Burdon 09 Mar 09 - 02:49 PM
VirginiaTam 09 Mar 09 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,Doc John 09 Mar 09 - 04:51 PM
GUEST,PeterC 09 Mar 09 - 05:40 PM
bankley 09 Mar 09 - 05:42 PM
Forsh 09 Mar 09 - 06:08 PM
Suegorgeous 09 Mar 09 - 09:07 PM
Diva 09 May 09 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,glueman 09 May 09 - 07:35 PM
GUEST 09 May 09 - 09:47 PM
Crowhugger 09 May 09 - 11:28 PM
Les in Chorlton 10 May 09 - 03:43 AM
Diva 10 May 09 - 07:21 AM
GUEST,buspassed 11 May 09 - 06:34 AM
GUEST,Smedley 11 May 09 - 08:58 AM
Leadbelly 11 May 09 - 03:11 PM
Joe_F 11 May 09 - 04:24 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 11 May 09 - 04:35 PM
Richard Bridge 11 May 09 - 07:00 PM
Richard Bridge 11 May 09 - 07:06 PM
Richard Bridge 12 May 09 - 04:54 PM
GUEST,Claire M 18 Jun 12 - 09:49 AM
ian1943 18 Jun 12 - 10:36 AM
Lonesome EJ 18 Jun 12 - 11:11 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Jun 12 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Lighter 18 Jun 12 - 04:17 PM
Phil Edwards 18 Jun 12 - 04:46 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Jun 12 - 05:14 PM
MartinRyan 18 Jun 12 - 05:20 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Jun 12 - 05:49 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Jun 12 - 05:33 PM
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Sean Belt 20 Jun 12 - 01:42 PM
Suegorgeous 20 Jun 12 - 07:18 PM
catspaw49 20 Jun 12 - 09:11 PM
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Subject: What Brought You to Traditional Folk Song?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:05 PM

I'm sorry if this is a repeat of other similar threads, but I couldn't think of any appropriate terms to punch into the search.

As a newcomer to traditional song, I'm rather curious about how and what it was which inspired others here to immerse themselves in the art and craft of traditional music, and unaccompanied traditional song in particular.

As I've said elsewhere, I pretty much stumbled upon it by accident after buying a Pentangle album that I remembered from my childhood, and learning a couple of songs off there late last Autumn. At which point, it suddenly dawned on me like a light-bulb going on, that there was an older tradition of English song, from which their versions were sourced! "Ta da!" I hit the internet and found a Trad Song forum and some Child Ballads on YouTube.. before migrating here. Kinda short and sweet really!

Just curious about other peoples stories and what called them to sing and play this music...


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:10 PM

Started with political songs in the early 60's on CND marches.

Went to a folk club to hear those.

Found they were singing this traditional stuff.

Never looked back.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Will Fly
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:13 PM

Learning guitar and then going to folk clubs to play it.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: gnu
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:18 PM

Family heritage.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Darowyn
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:19 PM

Started with political songs in the early 60's.

Went to a folk club to hear those.

Found they were singing this traditional stuff.

Never went back.

Just another angle- not entirely true though.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:19 PM

In my teens, during the 60's boom, folk was all around & I follow that & the blues, which took me towards prison worksongs, then shanties & pretty much from there it was open season on any type of folk from anywhere as long as I could understand the language it was being sung in.
It wasn't until my mid 20's that I started singing after being hog tied into singing, by Barbra Carns at her blues workshop. I mentioned that I knew something similar to a field holler that she was doing. Afterwards she pulled me aside afterwards & encouraged me to try my mouth at singing & from then on it was open season on singing too.

Barry


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:19 PM

Started with Sea Chanties down at the South Street Seaport 37 years ago. It was the "X Seaman's Institute". A group made up of Bernie Klay, Frank Woerner, Dan Aguilar, & John Townley.

From there I got into mainstream Trad with the likes of Oscar Brand, Jean Ritchie, & Tom Paxton.

SOL


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:23 PM

like st Paul on the road to Damascus , I was struck by a blinding light on my way to East Cheam .


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Jayto
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:28 PM

I was totally hardcore for years. I was into extreme sports and traveled all around doing shows for my sponsor. I live punk and metal. My father used to listen to Bill Monroe, Johnny Cash, and Doc Watson when I ws a kid and I loved country and bluegrass but never listened to it or was interested at all. When I heard it I dug it but on my own it was straight hardcore. One day my friend and I were hanging out drinking beer (yes we were only 16 but hey what can I say lol) and he broke out Steve Earle's Copperhead Road. I loved the Bagpipes (at that time I didn't realize it was a keyboard) and I loved the mandolin. It had an Appalchian sound to me then and I really dug it. I got to thinking about playing the guitar about that time and got my Dad's guitar and figured out how to play Copperhead Road. The that same time period there is a TV show that comes on the Kentucky educational television channel (KET for you that are familiar with the channel) that had Merle Travis playing Cannonball Rag for a theme song. I wanted to learn the song because I liked it but had no idea how to do it or what exactley Travis was doing. I was hanging out in a music store in Madisonville Ky (the closest town of any size to my hometown). This guy started playing the song and I about choked. I went to him and asked him to teach me the song. He laughed and said he didn't play it right and i need to find Eddie Pennington to teach me how to play it right. He also told me that the choke style thumbpicking originated right here where I am from ( I know all the debates about the origins so please don't argue with me about this. I am just telling what I was told at the time). I loved the idea tht it came form here and Merle Travis grew up the son of a coal miner just like me. I went home and asked my mom if she had ever heard of Eddie Pennington and she started laughing. She told me Eddie is my cousin that move away several yrs ago and I used to go to his house all the timw as a kid when he lived in my hometown. Mom called Eddie and he was thrilled I wanted to learn how to play Travis style and he took me under his wing and taught me. From there I covered myself in folk music, folklore whatever I could find. I started searching for old men around here that knew Mose Rager, Merle Travis, Ike Everly (the everly brothers dad and another pioneer of w.ky thumbpicking), Plucker English, Arnold Shultz, Kennedy Jones,.. Any of the old originals. I got back into Doc Watson who I had worshipped since a kid. My love for doc never faultered during all my punk yrs. Anyway that is how came to folk. I know this is a long post but like many I on here I am passionate about it. Folk music changed my life. It took a wild ass adrenaline junkie trouble maker and turned me totally around. It gave me a passion for knowledge, showed me a talent I had no idea I had, gave me a greater apprecition for the community I came from, and more thing than i can list. Through playing it I have provided for my famiy, met my wife and after my divorce my girlfriend, through those meetings I have 3 beautiful kids, met all my heros (the living ones of course), made lifetime friends, traveled everywhere,... etc. I cannot imagine my life without folk music I really can't It has shaped me and my life and my kids lives so much i cannot imagine life without it.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:28 PM

I'm sure some of your interesting personal 'stories' warrant a teeny bit more padding? No need to be coy... ;-)


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:29 PM

Oops, my last post was not in response to Jayto there!


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: gnu
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:32 PM

Family trad?


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Jayto
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:36 PM

LOL sure it wasn't JK I get carried away some times. I have a strong passion for folk and get carried away. I was ridiculed hard by all my friends when I first started playing and getting nto the scene. It is funny now they call me wanting to know if I can get them backstage to different shows or if I can arrnge for them to meet someone they are fans of. It is funny to go from laughing stock to the guy that is getting his behind kissed to meet the people they first laughed at you playing for lol. Life is funny like that I guess lol. I saw you said you are new. Welcome to mudcat I hope youe experience on here is as good as mine. There are alot of talented and good people on here. So welcome aboard
cya
JT


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Amos
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:43 PM

The lure and the trap for me was the authenticity I heard in the voices of people who sang--Frank Warner, Leadbelly, the people on collected recordings of collected hill songs and the recordings of chain gang songs sung by people actually swinging picks and hammers on a chain gang.

I was raised in a foofy sort of town where the basic forces of existence had been prettied up and disguised by Formica and antemacassars and painted in pastels by nervous unemployed housewives.

It freed my soul to hear honest voices singing honest songs.


A


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:45 PM

It's my trad.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:52 PM

Sometimes you just turn a corner and encounter something that takes your life in a whole new direction, one you never would have anticipated.

In my second year at the University of Washington, I was dating a girl who had become interested in folk music (one of her room mates at the women's dorms had turned her on to it). There was a fellow named Walt Robertson. . . .

Well, I've written it up before, and it pretty well tells how I got deeply interested in traditional folk music. Going to that informal concert was one of the best things that ever happened to me. After hearing Walt, like a medieval minstrel, hold that crowd spellbound for nearly three hours, I thought, "I want to do that!"

CLICKY.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Green
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:59 PM

I was born into it..


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Auldtimer
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 03:05 PM

Television. Yes, it may be hard to believe now but there was a time when folk and traditional music and song was on the telly. Robin Hall and Jimmie McGregor, Sy Grant, Josh Rae, Paddie Bell and The Corrie Folk Trio, Ray & Archie Fisher, Joe Gordon, Jimmy Shand, Will Starr and loads more through the various shades of tartanalia (good, Bad and best forgotten)via the likes of The White Heather Club.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Janie
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 04:10 PM

I wouldn't call myself immersed in trad. music, though I probably am moderately immersed in the broader folk/blues genre. But I grew up in the midst of traditional music.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 04:16 PM

Lonnie Donegan turned on a whole generation of Brit folkies to the old songs. Me included.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 04:25 PM

protest songs by Phil Ochs, then hearing John Roberts & Tony Barrand's first album. Then guitar players like Martin Carthy, John Fahey, and Nic Jones.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 04:54 PM

I grew up in a place where there were (and still are) traditional musicians. Now I guess I are one.

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Jane of 'ull
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:16 PM

Loved the music that went with the country dancing we did at school as a kid, then got into folk at about age 18 after listening to Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention etc.. I think Fairport's 'Liege and Lief' was the main thing that got me permanently hooked on folk though.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:21 PM

Dad listened to his collection of folk, gospel and old style country music all the time. I was further hooked when, at the age of 15 or so I got my hands on the first two Joan Baez albums.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: M.Ted
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:24 PM

My dad played in a "Hillbilly" band, and was a union organizer to boot. So I grew up listening to all that. When folk, became pop, I followed that, full circle, from
Dylan to blues, to psychedelia, to heavy metal, and back to Sweet Heart of the Rodeo, with lots of jazz tossed in--not really much interest in the unaccompanied ballad--a wailing song and a good guitar, as they say...


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:41 PM

In the 50s there was, occasionally, Burl Ives on Jack Paar's morning TV show..then when the 60s started, there was one guy in Wichita, Kansas who had a subscription to Sing Out and already knew Child Ballads. Someone invited Pete Seeger to play a local concert, then the Beers Family...and I was hooked. We started having 'hoots' and there was a local folk group started....so when stuff like the Kingston Trio and other pop-folk groups appeared, I wasn't interested.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 06:29 PM

I was teaching myself guitar and need music I could play - pop music had gone really weird and psychedelic and really didn't work on an acoustic guitar with three chords.

Then I found "Burl Ives' Book of Australian Folk Songs" in my local music shop - this was stuff I could play. That led me to the Spinners on TV and Folk on Friday on the radio. When I got old enough to drive I began to visit the local folk clubs.

It was quite a shock to discover that a real live tradition still existed in England - apart from a few survivors like the Coppers and Fred Jordan we sort of just assumed it had died out around the time of Cecil Sharp. One of the early Emglish Country Music Weekends in Suffolk exposed me to singers like the Lings and Bob Roberts and melodeon player Oscar Woods.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Jim P
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 06:30 PM

Well, like most kids growing up in the '70s, all I ever listened to was rock/pop. Whenever it came out in the early '80s, I went to see "Patriot Game" at the theaters. An OK movie, but I was entranced by a brief bit where a TV showed a woman singing in a style I'd never heard before. I found out that it was a group called "Clannad" and the song was from an Irish TV show. I went out and bought all the Clannad I could find, and discovered that I really liked their early stuff better. So I tried other stuff in the "Irish/Celtic" bin at the record store, and discovered the Clancy Brothers. About the same time, a friend and I went to the Hyde St. Pier in San Francisco for the chanty sing, and that, as they say, was that. I don't think I've missed more than half a dozen of the monthly chanty sings there since.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Cup of Tea, No cookies
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 06:35 PM

Amusing that I should be posting to this just under Phil Cooper, one of my later, but deeply rich influences.

My childhood summers were spent at a series of camps, where we all sang. In the late 60s I attended a camp run by some nuns from Michigan, and it seemed that most of the counselors were guitar playing transplants from the Ann Arbor folk scene.

I came of age when folk-rock was played regularly on the "FM underground" type stations -including whole album sides. I loved Pentangle, Fairport, early Joan Baez, Judy Collins, PP&M. Much of the "rock" I listened to was acoustic and flavored highly with folk music influences as well. I had a cheap guitar (we all wanted to be Joan Baez) and learned to play three chords for early 70s guitar Masses, though I was playing out of the Joan Baez and Judy Collins songbook for my electric organ lessons.

I got away from music during my early college years, then had interst rekindled hearing folk on the radio: WCLV's Saturday Night show, and the new WCPN's folk program that had live local folk performers. Both of these brought me to concerts put on by Celtic Ceol, and in particular to the singing of Dick Swain, who at the time lived in Cleveland, and was a huge influence. His taste was reflected in the Celtic Ceol performers, and this set me off on the road to understanding that it was traditional song that attracted me most of all, and traditional music got me dancing.

I learned the joy of being introduced to the "source" my favorite performers drew from, and at times THOSE sources referred me to some one else. Thus, loving Dick Swain singing "Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy" lead to Peter Bellamy (and all that great Kipling!) who I got to hang out with briefly, and he got that from the Copper Family, and I eventually had the thrill of Bob Copper buying me a beer at a Folk Alliance! I've hundreds of examples of the generosity about sources leading to the increase of knowledge, other sources, joy, and repertoire.

Living in Illinois for two years, I was exposed to a much livelier folk community and so met a whole HOST of trad. performers who thrilled me, entertained me, and in so very many cases, became loved friends. My personal taste has always so nearly completely overlapped with the things performed by Phil Cooper & Margaret Nelson (& Paul Goelz and esp. Kate Early) and that they've been a major source of songs I love to sing for the last 23 years.

I learned to love trad. from folks who loved it and shared it enthusiasticly: Dick Swain, Dermot Sommerville, John Roberts & Tony Barrand, Jerry Armstrong, Art Theime, Cindy Mangsen, Judy Cook, Phil, Margaret & Kate, Bare Necessities, Sandy & Caroline Paton, Ed Miller, Frank Harte, John McCutcheon... the list goes on. It's the folks who got me into folk music. The folks who played it, and the folks who explained the sources (without being pedantic, but enough information to lead me on to the next layer...) Significantly, NONE of those sources are what one would call "folk purists" - good contemporary songs go in their repertoire, or they write them.

Joanne In Cleveland


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 06:38 PM

In my mid-20's I moved from Ireland's capital, Dublin, where I listened mainly to jazz and blues, to the small town of Athlone, in the Irish midlands. Jazz was in distinctly short supply in the area - so I checked out the local folk club - and the rot set in!

Regards


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: *Laura*
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 06:47 PM

Folkie baby..... some of my earliest memories are at festivals, falling asleep in ceidhlis with people dancing around me.
My dad used to organise South Petherton folk festival (small local festival) and regularly toured to other festivals and folk clubs and I used to sit in the corner with felt tips and it must have got under my skin somehow......!


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 06:49 PM

Alcohol.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 06:59 PM

I've been learning songs and singing them, usually to myself or whoever's passing the bus-stop, since before my voice broke (I did a mean treble "Vincent"), but I was 40-something before I worked up the nerve to get up in front of an audience. That was when - and why - I started going to the local folk club. The 'folk' part was a means to an end; I did some traditional stuff but a lot of covers (Dylan, Robyn Hitchcock, Peter Blegvad) and wrote some of my own.

I'd been going to that folk club for nearly five years when a few things happened at once, or in quick succession: I got an Anne Briggs CD, went to the Beech singaround, heard a set from John Kelly, got John's CD, went to the Beech again, dug out my Mum's Shirley Collins LPs, got a Nic Jones CD... It was like a door on a furnace, opening a little more each time - up till about the third singaround I went to, which was when the door flew wide open. So much stuff - and, as a singer, so much stuff to work on! Last night at the Beech I sang a song I've only heard sung once before (although everyone else in the room seemed to know it) and joined in two songs I'd never heard at all (everyone else seemed to know them too). It just goes on - there's always more.

It took me 5 years to get from singing whatever I felt like on a folk club stage to singing traditional songs in singarounds; I'm sorry it took so long. Then again, it had taken me 30 years to get that far, so maybe I'm just slow.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 07:12 PM

"Alcohol"

gee, Bruce...drinking it, or rubbing it on?

♫"We don't allow back rubs, we think them a crime.
We always condemn them in song and in rhyme.
An alcohol back rub is worse than straight gin-
When you think of the liquor absorbed by your skin"♫


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 07:21 PM

The thread title reminded me of a WC Fields line: "My wife drove me to drink. It's the one thing I'm beholden to her for."

I'd like to post, but nothing I've ever sung or done is considered trad. Keep well, Bill. However, I guess I'm allowed to say I like trad when it's sung well and played well. For example, if Louis Killen is considered trad, well, I like his work.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 07:30 PM

Yep...lots of what Louis does is trad. He used to live just south of you in Wash. state.(I still remember your very first post here, and snobby ol' me greeting you. You recovered very well)


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Peace
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 07:34 PM

LOL

Bill, you have never ever been a snob. Never will be. It just ain't in your nature.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 07:59 PM

well, since I lost my homemade "Purist Snob" T-shirt, I haven't been nearly as convincing.

(I WAS called a "folk fascist" on the radio many years ago)


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 08:11 PM

That is quite an accomplishment in North America. I'm proud of you, Bill.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 08:17 PM

Speaking as someone who was threatened with expulsion for singing Lucy Wan in the school playground (thus freaking out a particularly sensitive third-year) I realised that Trad was truly subversive pretty earlier on. On another thread (in another guise) I spoke about sinking my teeth into the Trad Jugular; which is to say the pure drop, and the one aspect of F*lk I can still seriously, honestly, truthfully & truly believe in, which is why I can keep my Davie Stewart, Willie Scott & Seamus Ennis vinyl next to my Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Albert Ayler & Sun Ra, just to remind me, if ever I forget...

It's like there's this door that opens up, and something amazing happens, an alchemical transfiguration of the base into the sublime, which rarely, if ever, fails.

Information is not knowledge.
Knowledge is not wisdom.
Wisdom is not truth.
Truth is not beauty.
Beauty is not love.
Love is not music.
Music... is THE BEST.


(Frank Zappa)

Purists need not apply.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Joe_F
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 08:24 PM

People known to me, beginning with my mother and ending -- well, it hasn't ended yet.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,GEST with a busted cookie
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 09:05 PM

Evenings back in the sixties at Sancho Panza's in Monterey, CA served as an introduction, but Songs of Newfoundland and Labrador 40 years later sealed my fate. :-)


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 09:07 PM

Our family 78s included Fred and Adele Astaire's wonderfully nutty "We Play Hoops" and Cab Calloway's "Minnie the Moocher," Kickin' the Gong Around" and "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You." Novelty songs and hot blues shaped my head almost before I could talk.

My grandfather had a set of 78s by Carl Sandburg and played them to me when I was, oh, ten or so (late 1940s). I loved Sandburg's brooding mysterious singing, the songs spoke to me like nothing before.

But the clincher was when Grandad had a stout man as a guest who, I will never forget, burst into a song about a man who had a leg that ran on "whistles and steam." It was "The Cork Leg." I was a traditional singer from that moment. (Songwriting came much, much later, like a dozen years afterward.)

The addiction was then solidified circa 1950-52 by LPs by Bob Atcher, Burl Ives and others. I learned to play lute style guitar from Richard Dyer-Bennett records, spurred on by my dear friend and mentor Bill Bonyun, a great champion of Dyer-Bennett. That catalyzed with my discovery of "Tzena, Tzena, Tzena," 5-string banjo, and Pete Seeger,

The clincher, though, was hearing Library of Congress field recordings and the American Anthology set of oldtime recordings around 1951 or 2. I was a goner. Still am.

Got a lifelong prejudice in favor of the real stuff, pre-1950, with the bark on. The authenticker the better, for me.

Bob


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Gibb
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 10:13 PM

Punk rock


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Gurney
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 02:08 AM

A pal persuaded me to go to a folk club, - "Hey, man, I'm into Jazz..." and I heard Barry Skinner singing 'Fanny Blair.'
Then and there, and much of the time since.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 02:51 AM

Jayto: "I get carried away some times. I have a strong passion for folk and get carried away [..] Welcome to mudcat I hope youe experience on here is as good as mine. There are alot of talented and good people on here. So welcome aboard"

Sure, I liked your post! That's what I was asking for :-)
And cheers for the welcome. I've already encountered some jolly good folk here, both virtual, and in the real world. *waves*
It's an excellent community. And I hope to get to know a few more people in the real world too. This year shows promise.

Pip Radish: "It was like a door on a furnace, opening a little more each time - up till about the third singaround I went to, which was when the door flew wide open. So much stuff"

Aye, I think I can identify with that! I had no idea that any of this stuff even existed, let alone that there was such a vast horde of it.
Having dabbled in a little choral, and the odd jazz standard, but really skimming even this, finding trad song, has been the very first time in my life that I've found what 'works' for me enough to inspire any personal passion or motivate me to take amatuer singing, seriously enough to learn to work at vocally crafting each song I set down. Not to mention the vast databanks of social history this stuff is the soundtrack to...


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: matt milton
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 02:53 AM

In a funny kind of way I got into folk via hip-hop. I used to produce hip-hop music and I'd always be looking for unusual sounds to sample. I would get out any CDs from my local library that look a bit out-of-the-ordinary. I mainly got out free jazz and classical stuff – initially to sample it, but I got really into the music. I was lucky in that my local library had a really good music collection, which had things like Anthony Braxton and Pierre Boulez in it.

Every so often I'd investigate their folk CDs. I remember getting out one of the Voice of the People series, and finding it a bit too hard going. But then one day I got out an interesting looking CD called "Folk Routes, New Roots". While I found the singer's voice a bit strange, the guitar was amazing. I listened to the album again and again and again. Start of a life-long love affair with the music of Shirley Collins and of course Davy Graham. Then, next time I tried that Topic compilation again, it suddenly made sense.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 04:42 AM

In my case it really was alcohol.

One night, during my student days, I was lurching around Hull Old Town (as usual) and I staggered into the Old Blue Bell.

I was told there was music going on upstairs........

Nothing would be quite the same again.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: MBSGeorge
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 06:15 AM

I started to sing Trad as I was finding that as I was growing up some more recent folk songs (ie written by people still alive and kicking) were being overdone. I simply got a few books with trad songs in and picked ones I like. I'm not just interested in trad although it forms the bulk of my repertoir but mainly songs which draw me to them, words and tune have to be comfortable together.

G


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 06:32 AM

1. A progression from worship of the Incredible String Band, through Fairport and Steeleye Span to Martin Carthy, Nic Jones and 'Morris On'.

2. A teacher at school who taught an options class based on 'Folk Song in England' and set up a trad folk group (which I wasn't in but vaguely liked).

3. Accidental exposure at the age of 17 to the Coppers, 'Song for Every Season' box set, which I surprised myself by loving to bits - especially Bob's spoken bits.

4. A succession of girlfriends (the last one of whom I've been married to for some time) who were, quite coincidentally, into folk music and each of whom pestered me to listen to their fave folk stars: these included Harry Boardman, The Watersons and Gordon Tyrrall.

5. Poynton Folk Club, which in the 1970s had some great residents who sang traditional chorus songs.

6. (only belatedly understood) My Mum and Dad, who sang together for fun - mostly Sankey and Moody hymns and the odd Welsh folk song.

7. Alcohol.

If it takes all those things together, it's no wonder we're a minority musical interest!


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,John from Elsie`s Band
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 06:54 AM

Started with a "skiffle group", thanks to the music of Lonnie Donegan, Chas McDevitt "et al". Attended the "Hootenannys" with Ewan McColl, Peggy Seeger and Fitzroy Coleman in London. Attended singing evenings with Bert Lloyd in Greenwich. Never looked back.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Banjiman
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 07:22 AM

My Dad's accordion......... and the company my parents kept.

But I am still not a purist. A good song (or tune) is a good song (or tune). I do like them fairly traddy styled though (be it American, English, Irish, Scottish or African).

Paul


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Gedi
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 08:21 AM

I started by listening to The Dubliners, shortly followed by Steeley Span (Parcel of Rogues album especially which is quite trad) and Fairport Convention back in the 70's. Learned to play guitar, later melodeon. Had a long break from folk clubs until recently when I discovered Chorlton FC, and from there The Beech singaround.

Like Pip Radish, I just love those old songs, steeped in history. I don't sing many really old songs myself, but I do like them, and from the people who frequent The Beech I am coming across 'new' old songs all the time.

I loved Ewan McColls stuff and do a few of his songs. Also I love songs about the Sea, sailing ships, men-of-war, shanties, etc.   

I consider Folk to be real music, of and for the people, unlike pop which I regard as manufactured. To me trad folk is a real connection to days gone by, to the land, to the sea, and to the people who went before. I just love it.

Ged


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Fidjit
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 08:31 AM

As Greg said above

Lonnie Donegan turned on a whole generation of Brit folkies to the old songs. Me included.

I resemble that

Chas


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 08:52 AM

The 'pop group' [that dates me, don't it ?] for which I played bass guitar started doing a couple of P P & M numbers, and they went down well. There was a 'Folk Cellar' literally in the basement of the

Conservative Club, and the beer was Robinson's. It was for me a short step from P P & M to traddy music.

That said - we didn't know, at this time, that there WAS any English trad. music.

What went on was mostly Irish - including the 'rebel' songs - and American.

Shortly after, the three-chord wonders in the denim caps, writing navel-gazing songs on shit-paper in the interval, started infesting the clubs. This might have been one reason for my tastes to crystallise as a

"hard-line Traddie".


(Do not misunderstand - there are many songs sung in the 'Folk Scene' by known writers, which I like, but probably would not sing, if I were still singing !)

It took the likes of Martin Carthy, Nic Jones, the Watersons, Alex Campbell, the Ian Campbell Group, inter alia, to "ground" the likes of me, described in a local Folk magazine, produced by Jack and Lynn Taylor as

"minuscule minded traddies" by some writer or other. The same issue had Harry Boardman (RIP - memory eternal !) spelling Mr Zimmerman's change of name as "Bob Dillon".

My mother and father were singers, as was my grandfather, so I guess my interest in trad. music comes with the gene-pool.

Moreover, there were people around who were extremely knowledgable about trational music at this time, not least Jim Carroll, who posts occasionally on the 'Cat. These people gave of their time and their

knowledge without stint. These, living and otherwise, I thank without reserve.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 08:54 AM

Three things combined in my case.

I was a reasonable recorder player at primary school, but rapidly lost interest at secondary school through the quasi-military and relentlessly classically-orientated teaching. However when my younger sister started learning to play (to a very high standard I might add) I reacquainted myself with one of her cast-off recorders when I was about 15 or 16, and quickly also acquired a tin whistle.

I was also exploring the further reaches of the Southend Central Library LP collection with a couple of school-friends; we were discovering stuff like The Albion Band, Fairport, and Steeleye Span, Planxty, The Bothy Band, and all sorts of other less-well-known but excellent stuff [and David Munrow and Renaissance music as well] - so I owe a great debt of thanks to those friends and also to whoever that fine Music Librarian was. Crucially some of these records featured wonderful music made on the very instruments I was in the process of learning to play, giving me both a repertoire and an immediate way in.

And thirdly, I was doing a Saturday job where most of the other people were in a ceilidh band together, so I got an early insight into both the joy of playing for dancing, and the whole social side of the music.

Combine those three and very quickly indeed, to mix Pip Radish's metaphor, the furnace door flew open and welcomed me in with open arms!


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 09:26 AM

Both sides of the family being fond of the music of the North East of England as performed by Owen Brannagin and Kathleen Ferrier.
Developing a (sic) unhealthy interest in skiffle at around the age of ten and listening to Lonnie Donegan, Johnny Duncan etc and then a few years later hearing Ramblin Jack Elliott on Radio Luxembourg.
Becomming passionately interested in the blues and the early work of Bob Dylan around 1964.
Being told by those who were activly interested in folk music to listen to the traditional music of this country and to get myself to Birtley Folk Club.
The rest is history.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Mooh
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 09:40 AM

Mum used to sing some old songs, so did Dad, and lots of hymn tunes, which were a large part of my upbringing, are trad melodies. I always dug the trad Led Zeppelin (eg, Gallows Pole), Steeleye Span, and some singer-songwriter folk, bluegrass, and blues, so "Trad" wasn't a reach at all, just a deeper education. Have played in folk groups, attended and played folk festivals, and generally tried to promote some trad in my instruction business.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 10:23 AM

What brought me to Trad - The Spinners.
What kept me in Trad - MacColl - 2 years later, just when I was heading for the door (having heard 'Fried Bread and Brandy O' for the 1,234,560,000th time.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Cats
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 11:11 AM

Some time ago I posted this as a tribute to Ken Stubbs the folklore and song collector. It expalins some of it
Ken was a great inspiration to me. He lived 4 houses away and I was a friend of his children when I was young. It was in his house that I first realised the importance of, and heard, many of the singers he recorded. It was in his house that I first saw a CND sign and banner and he took time to explain to a young child, as I was then, the importance of what he believed. It was with this, and the same message from my father, that I went into the world with the expectation that it was part of my job as a human being to stand up for what I believed in and to stand up for others. So, what do I do now? I am a trade union officer standing up for others and in what I believe. Ken always encouraged me to sing and helped me to remember snatches of tunes. I moved away in 1970 and lost contact. Last year at Bideford Festival as I came off stage a gentleman with long white hair, sitting on the front row, caught my arm and said, 'Did you used to live in Lingfield?' When I said yes he just replied, 'I'm Ken Stubbs'. As part of the performance I had given credit to the people I had learned the songs from and one of them was Ken.
And the rest? I had an 'aunt' from whom Ken had collected songs and who I heard playing and singing.
Both my parents played and sang, my mum played a Hohner 3 row and the first tune I remember was 'Johnny Todd'. She also played a zither. Osmosis I suppose.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: olddude
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 11:24 AM

Like others it was a family tradition. In my small town we would go to our friends camp on a saturday, the old timers would come out of the woods, bring the beer barrel, hotdogs, and their instruments, play songs with no names, other songs like flop ear mule. Play and sing all night long for nothing more than a good time with friends. The friends gathering turned into a town event about every saturday. People came out of the woods with their guitars, fiddles, banjo's, mandolins ...

and to quote John Sebastian .. and everyone can pick a damn site better than I will


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 11:38 AM

Lonnie Donegan, Pete Seeger, The Spinners, The Jug of Punch FC in Ellesmere Port, The Clancy Bros & TM, The Dubliners, Harry Boardman, Liverpool Folk Scene (Tony, Frank, Tom and lots of others) Jones's Ale Chester, The Hat & Feather, Bath, Harry Boardman again, Gorton Morris & Gorton Tank, Chorlton Folk Club. And all those people I keep thanking for coming to the Beech in .............

Les in Chorlton


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: John P
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 11:58 AM

A friend got a Steeleye Span album in high school. I like it a lot, but was mostly playing progressive rock. I thought folk music was Cat Stevens and Simon and Garfunkel. Shortly after I moved to Seattle in my early twenties, I was introduced - all within about six months - to Martin Carthy, Alan Stivell, Frankie Armstrong, Kornog, Malicorne, and the John Renbourn Band. I joined a medieval band that also played a lot of early trad music. The music spoke to me. Still does. I continue to play blues and rock sometimes for fun, but European trad music is my home. I'm currently lost somewhere in Sweden.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: BobKnight
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 03:22 PM

My family were nearly all musicians - uncles,aunties,cousins - mostly bagpipes, fiddle and accordian, so I was brought up with that background. However, I was led astray by rock'n'roll, and only returned to the fold about five years ago, by which time it was too late to learn the old songs and ballads from my granny and older relatives. So, now I write my own songs in the traditional style - and love singing in my "own voice," using the language of North East Scotland.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: JohnB
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 03:34 PM

A local skiffle group who my older sister knew, they did Lonnie Donegan material I seem to remember, so I bought a guitar (OK an egg slicer really the action was horrible)when I was about 11 years old, still trying to play one.
At school we had/developed a tradition to sing all the way home on any coach trip we went on. This required knowing many songs.
Folk Clubs when I was around 16, one of which at the "Noel Timpson Youth Centre" on Friday nights had loads of people on who were playing MSG on the Saturday, for far less admission fee.
My first date with my wife was a Spinners concert at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester
Yes there was always the Beer.
Steeleye Span got me into "English" Folk Music more.
Fortunately the "Dark Side" of singer songwriters NEVER EVER appealed to me.
JohnB


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 03:44 PM

Really enjoying getting a little insight into some of the personal Trad autobiographies here. Keep up the stories...

Couple of things that's interesting. Seems lot's of you learned your craft early on through family routes. Fewer of us seem to have 'discovered' the music by ourselves...

I certainly relate to Matt Milton there, with your Hip-Hop intro.
Though I was never a producer of music of any kind, electronica was my main bag during teens and twenties. Which is possibly as far from the core ethos of unacommpanied Trad Song as it's possible to get, being all modern and synthetic and all... ;-)
In fact I still get a real kick out of good solid electronic music, but I've got a feeling that Trad Song is with me to stay now it's found me.

And Sinister Supporters alchemical image, also remind me of a similar personal metaphor I mentioned elsewhere: it feels like I've gone for a rummage in some storytale grandmothers loft, and discovered an enchanted trunk of magically animated ancient photographs. Which when they recieve the breath of life-giving pneuma, each become a living gateway into a unique timeless world, inhabited by figures fullfilling their personal microcosmic and inevitable destinies.
Too captivating...


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Amos
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 04:34 PM

My mother taught me to sing the songs her father had song for her when she was growing up, taught us to sing in three-part harmony, and to play the uke. I was walked to sleep by Huddie Ledbetter one night in New York City in the 40's (my father had a habit of bringing strange entertainers home of a late evening for a nightcap). Or so I have been told by herself.

A


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 12:28 AM

The money.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 12:58 AM

could u=you explain guest???

Barry


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 06:05 AM

My French great grandmother singing traditional French songs to my sister and me when we were little, and teaching us some of them. After that, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which I first attended some time in the early 1970s (probably 1972).


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 06:29 AM

Either a girlfriend years ago. Or

Divorce years later.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 07:22 AM

I still get a real kick out of good solid electronic music, but I've got a feeling that Trad Song is with me to stay

During my various exiles from the Folk Scene my love of Traditional Song & Balladry has never once wavered; on the contrary. Back in 2002, for example, it found a new energy with respect of the sort of virtual ambient electronic landscaping I began working on upon discovering the delights of Sound Forge Cubase & Ableton Live... One of my golden rules is Traditional Song transcends Folk - however so drawn to the latter I might be by way of context. One thing I do find though, is that whilst I might be able to slip a Traditional Ballad into a performance of Free-Improvisation or Experimental Ambient Electronica, one could never return the favour. I guess non-folk audiences are more open minded as regards musical possibility...


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 07:58 AM

My primary school teacher Dorothy Bennet [wonderful woman] used to play thr piano for us to sing too. Lots of 'pretty-pretty' songs, but her favourites were Traditional, mainly, chanties. Quebec, Girl with the Blue dress on, Maid of Amsterdam, all of course the cleaned up version. She didn't call them folk songs, just 'old' songs, but these were the ones I enjoyed. But it was Joan Baez on the BBC singing [I think] Peddy Gordon, when I was 16 that opened my eyes that Enland had trad. songs, alright I know she sang an American version, but she said the song had come from over here. Aince then I.ve never looked back.   Ron


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 07:59 AM

"I might be able to slip a Traditional Ballad into a performance of Free-Improvisation or Experimental Ambient Electronica, one could never return the favour. I guess non-folk audiences are more open minded as regards musical possibility..."

It might be interesting to see how some so-called 'nu-folk' (I think) might evolve and tackle that?

Though I'm guessing your broadly on the button with non-devoted folk audiences v's devoted folk audiences. Folk - and perhaps English traditional music in particular - does indeed appear to exist in something of an hermetically sealed bubble?


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 08:14 AM

Once upon a time it was a matter of paying one's dues - you could do contemporary songs but it was de rigeur to do a "folk" (Karpeles definition) song or two to show you were not just a popster manque (I wonder where the acute accent is on here).

Then I found fewer and fewer people even nodding the the "roots" of what we were doing, and so I started doing more and more of them...

I also found the horse definitioners so infuriating...


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 09:43 AM

For me it was Television ! The Hootenanny Show on BBC TV from 'The Place' in Edinburg on a Saturday evening at my parents home when I was on Disemb leave from Germany . Then I joined a Folk Club by accident (Joint Membership of Jazz Club) where I met Louis Killen .
I drifted off abit when I realised that I wanted to sing a lot of Humourous Stuff , and learned guitar etc , but still enjoy a good Traddie Sing , and 'do' the odd Unacc song still !
      Forty Five years and STILL Loving ALL the music !!


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: matt milton
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 10:10 AM

"One thing I do find though, is that whilst I might be able to slip a Traditional Ballad into a performance of Free-Improvisation or Experimental Ambient Electronica, one could never return the favour. I guess non-folk audiences are more open minded as regards musical possibility."

Hmmm, well thinking of the free improv folk treatments on the violinist Sylvia Hallett's album "A boy leaves home", it's hard to tell which camp you'd place them in (http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/labels/mash/mash004.html)

(or I could have similarly mentioned Martin Archer's album "Heritage & Ringtones" http://www.discus-music.co.uk/dis18cd.htm)

What I mean is, if it's a successful hybrid then you shouldn't be able to describe it as "an interjection of folk into free improv" OR "an interjection of free improv into folk". It's just a something.

I take your point though: musicians from other musics experiment with folk in a way that folk musicians don't seem too with other musics.

...though typing it, I'm not sure how true that is...


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: jacqui.c
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 10:15 AM

My parents would occasionally listen to music from their own era but
had no interest in making music themselves. I have always sung, in the Sunday School choir as a child and around the house ever since. I think that singing was the thing that kept taking me back to church for a while. I first heard folk music from Steeleye Span and The Spinners in the 60's and 70's. I didn't really get involved then, for one reason or another.

In 1999, just going through the end of a, by then, unhappy marriage, I took guitar classes at the local college. At the end of the first year we were told that they would not be continuing the classes and I found a group that got together to play at a nearby village hall. That went well for a while but than started falling apart but a small group of us continued meeting at the home of one of the guys.

We were playing a mixture of stuff, folk and relatively modern fringe pop at that time. One of the guys happened to mention a folk club that met at a pub in the town. I couldn't get anyone to go with me - my friends at that time didn't really have the interest - so, one August Bank Holiday evening, I decided to go on my own.

Haven't looked back since then. The guitar playing went by the board when I developed very painful eczema on both hands, although I will get back to it if I can get my fingers into better condition. I've concentrated more on learning and singing new songs, from both the UK and USA.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 10:38 AM

hermetically sealed bubble

aka Cultural Autism, wherein righteousness & pedantry are wont to thrive along with the idiosyncrasy, which I find so much more compelling. Folk accommodates both the eccentric & the purist, very often in the same skin; it is this bewildering duality that ensures I'll keep going back for more...

Nu-Folk, call it what you will, is a wonderland of possibility. A good place to start is the John Barleycorn Reborn compilation on Coldspring which finds Traditional Song alive and well in some quite surprising places!

Here's our version of True Thomas from 2003; we field-recorded Rachel's voice part actually by the actual Eildon Tree near Melrose, unaccompanied, along with incidental ambiences, processing it back in the studio with loops, drones and all manner of spectral leakage. Mention was made elsewhere of Diana Wynne Jones's supernatural novel Fire & Hemlock to which the ballad of True Thomas is pretty central; I see this is our Fire & Hemlock version. Best through headphones...

Venereum Arvum - True Thomas 2003 : Free & secure MP3 donwload via YouSendIt


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 11:56 AM

In my schooldays I listened to John Peel's 'Top Gear' programme on BBC Radio One and grew to like Fairport Convention. This prompted me to make my first visit (illegally, because I was under age) to a local folk club, The Lewes Arms, on 11th. September 1971. I was bloody lucky: it was Scan Tester's 93rd. birthday bash. The place was packed; I stood throughout the evening with Bob Copper singing heartily immediately behind me. Traditional music gripped me: not only the music itself, but also the social nature of it.

The date is a matter of record, because Alan Day's 'Anglo International' CD set includes Scan playing tunes recorded that evening by Vic Smith.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Hamish
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 01:13 PM

Chris Wood and Andy Cutting.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Ian Burdon
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 02:49 PM

For a long time I associated 'folk' with the usual suspects - The Spinners, The Corries etc. as well as Tom Paxton and Steeleye Span.

Then one day I heard Dave Burland on the radio singing The Shooting of His Dear and thought "f*^% me, that's good" and a new world opened up.

Ian


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 04:31 PM

1997 my daughter Andie joined Medieval Society for Creative Anacronisnt goup at her high school. Started learning trad stuff, brought it home to me. We started competing with each other finding artists like Kate Rusby to share with each other.

My honey added to my blossoming interest with Graham and Eileen Pratt, Peter Bellamy, Dave and Toni Arthur, Martin Wyndham Read. In 2007, I got up the nerve to perform at a sing around session during Rochester Sweeps (thanks Gastove and TDL for the encouragement). I have been hooked ever since.

Where has this music been all my life?


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Doc John
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 04:51 PM

Lonnie Donegan then back to Lead Belly, Woody & Cisco, then back across the Atlantic to Nic Jones etc.
Chris Barber etc then back to Kid Ory, Johnny Dodds etc.

Doc John


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 05:40 PM

A young chap named Jones running Brentwood Folk Club was an important influence but specifically for unacompanied song it had to be Young Tradition.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: bankley
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 05:42 PM

Johnny Cash...

I liked country when I was a kid, but there was something different about Cash that spoke to me.... I wore out his early concept record 'Ride this Train'... he drew on a lot of tradition with his songs, from the Natives, Civil War, coal mining, Americana in general... the music was simple and I learned to play along with his records..'boom chicka-boom' like a train rolling along.. then he did an album with the Carters, and introduced a lot of talented songwriters to a wide audience... he pretty well shaped my approach to music and of not being afraid of being myself or trying different styles.... a giant..


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Forsh
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 06:08 PM

Daddy Forsh.#
(Alan Forshaw of 'Rumbylowe' fame!)
I was into Reggae & Rugby songs prior, so, perhaps a natural progression? :)


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 09 Mar 09 - 09:07 PM

Slowly became besotted through firstly somehow discovering my local folk club in Addlestone Surrey, then later spending hours in my 20s sitting on the floor of my then boyfriend's bedroom listening to his albums - Steeleye Span, Fairport, Bothy Band, Five Hand Reel, Clannad, etc etc. Drove him crazy I think, listening to them over and over...


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Diva
Date: 09 May 09 - 06:52 PM

There was always music at home and I still remember bits of songs my gran sang. We had a huge collection of 78;s all sorts of music. I remember at one time my absolute favourite was Chuck Berry "Riding along in my automobile"

Got into listening to the radio and heard Steeleye Span and went out and bought the album, name escapes me at the moment and I wanted to be Maddy Prior but it doesn't really work with my accent!! Remember playing "All around my Hat" to my gran and she started singing different words to it.....

Then I found Travelling Folk on Radio Scotland and started going to the Kilmarnock Folk Club and made some good pals there who were generous with their time and recomendations of singers to listen to. First time I heard the Stewarts of Blair was at Kilmarnock.

Then I discovered folk festivals and first ever was Girvan and I remember hearing Lizzie Higgans there and was completely blown away by her and far to shy to go and speak to her. (it was a LONG time ago)

Met my now ex at a folk festival (where else!)and became part of his family. My late father in law was Bob Hobkirk the Border Fiddler and so the tunes fell in with the songs and I got the best of both worlds.

Its a nice community to belong to.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 09 May 09 - 07:35 PM

Sheer perversity. Also that thing it does to you.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 May 09 - 09:47 PM

The chicks.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 09 May 09 - 11:28 PM

Born into it: trad & less-trad folk songs are how my mother & I did most of our singing together from my very early childhood onwards. Back then she added guitar or sometimes banjo; by the end of her life she was singing unaccompanied more often.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 10 May 09 - 03:43 AM

What keeps me here
The taste of Beer
The Ladies
And the Cracce

L in C


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Diva
Date: 10 May 09 - 07:21 AM

And then I went to Newcastleton Traditional Music Festival with pals 1980 was my first year. I was completely besotted by the whole experience; it was amazing. Combination of the setting, its a beautiful village. The sessions and the singarounds and the kindliness of the Copshawholm folk. I haven't missed a year since and now I am chair of the festival and as we speak fretting about finding a judge for the Border Ballad competition. Any takers?


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,buspassed
Date: 11 May 09 - 06:34 AM

The generally unrewarding search for the hedonistic life we saw as part of our heritage as art students in the early '60's usually peaked on a Sunday with the cup of coffee & toasted teacake in the Coffee House! [Sundays in Hull were like purgatory with the enjoyment scraped off!].

One particular Sunday we heard of a pub in the Old Town that had live music upstairs so in desparation we attended to find a packed smokey room with two blokes and two girls singing songs we'd never heard, unaccompanied, and with the strangest style of harmony/unison. The two girls especially at times sang with this one voice and you couldn't tell who was singing what! We had of course discovered the Waterson family.

Been a fan ever since and now looking foward to the reformation of the Waterdaughters when Eliza's daughter is old enough [2 or 3 years from now!]


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Smedley
Date: 11 May 09 - 08:58 AM

I think at first it was the voices of certain singers - Sandy Denny, Linda Thompson, June Tabor. From there, a growing interest in British folk, seen primarily through a folk-rock lens to begin with, but widening out later to include assorted Watersons, Anne Briggs, etc. Always liked bluegrass too (those harmonies.....). The stories the songs tell intrigue me more & more, especially the bloodier end of the spectrum ! I suppose on balance I still respond more readily to music that develops traditions in interesting ways (Jim Moray, Rubus, Megson, Kris Drever), rather than stuff that is rigid about 'authenticity'.

And, perhaps because of that, I listen to folk & folk-based musics alongside other genres. Some '''''manufactured pop''''' is fine by me, as long as it the best of its kind. It is possible to like Karine Polwart AND the Sugababes, though I realise that saying this might make me a heretic on this board. I've never been a fan of puritans, in any field.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Leadbelly
Date: 11 May 09 - 03:11 PM

Lonnie Donegan, Vipers Skiffle Group, City Ramblers Skiffle Group, Slim Dusty from Australia and above all Huddie Ledbetter's Library of Congress Recordings.

Manfred from Germany


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Joe_F
Date: 11 May 09 - 04:24 PM

My parents.
Burl Ives.
Putney School.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 11 May 09 - 04:35 PM

It was...

Poem 193 of 230: THE 35TH MORPETH NORTHUMBRIAN GATHERING – SPRING 2002

Toward Morpeth's Gathering,
    Either side of Great North Road,
Daffodils gleefully showed
    Their stalk-dressing flowering.

And then, at the Gathering,
    Another great flowering
Of English heritage, showed
    Through competitions that glowed
With competent folk-singing,
    Storytelling, bag-piping
(The small-pipes rapidly rode
    By hands, in staccato mode),
Clogdancing and stick-dressing:
    Things that are worth addressing.

From http://blogs.myspace.com/walkaboutsverse (e-book)


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 May 09 - 07:00 PM

Duty. 100


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 May 09 - 07:06 PM

By which I mean duty brought me to trad in the sense that when I started it was "the done thing" to play some folk (1954 definition) to prove that you weren't just a wanker with a guitar who wanted to be Peter and Gordon, or, later, the Beatles. You had roots. You'd gone some way to paying your dues. Gradually I discovered the wealth of darkness in the tradition, not as obvious as modern dark metal, but much deeper, a parallel to the oppression in the blues - and of course the killer stories, the killer melodies, and the way you could build the stonking riffs in.

Then I realised that if some of us did not play it it would be lost, and our gene pool would be impoverished.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 May 09 - 04:54 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Claire M
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 09:49 AM

Hiya,

I liked it as a child, and seemed to like Steeleye Span a lot. I loved fantasy and wrote a lot, mostly poems and short fantasy stories. I developed a lot of silly ideas in my teens, mostly that young people didn't like or listen to it.

I wore black nail varnish and blue lipstick, listened to some truly awful stuff I found on my own, and snapped at everyone. I stopped writing. I went to college and got really ill. I'm sure at least some was to do with not listening to what I was used to.

Dad was desperate to see Steeleye Span but because I thought they wouldn't be any good I said no. Maddy Prior didn't growl about how she hated everybody. My not going caused problems for Dad because I'm disabled and there was no care set up that night, so he couldn't go. Next time he said "you're bloody well going" and dragged me to their gig (not literally!)

When I heard what I now know to be 'Drink Down The Moon' I burst into tears, realising why I'd worshipped Ms. Prior since I was little. (I didn't think it at the time but I will regret not seeing the other Steeleye gig for the rest of my life.) I've been to a few folk gigs since, and I started writing again and haven't stopped.

Now I'm told to turn my music UP.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: ian1943
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 10:36 AM

At Junior School we sang to William Appleby's 'Singing Together'. At home my parents were singers and at Christmas and New Year we joined with their friends and sang. Then it was blues and traditional jazz and Lonnie Donnegan and the establishment of a folk club in the locality in 1969 but the Damascus Road moment came when I called for my pal Jim one Friday night and he invited me in to listen to tracks from his new record which was the red Waterson's record and I've never looked back, met some wonderful people,drunk countless pints, sung even more songs and, at 68, really look forward to each folk club night. There has been Durham City Folk Festival, Durham Folk Party, Ryder, McCulloch, Ryder and the increasingly venerable Durham City Folk Club. It has been and will continue to be FUN!


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 11:11 AM

Melody and History are two of my favorite things. Melody plus History= Traditional Music


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 01:43 PM

Even though my mother and grandparents sang the stuff and I picked up a lot from school and radio in the 50s none of this hit home until I heard the Watersons and that was it!


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 04:17 PM

I wanted to be cowboy when I grew up. So obviously I had to learn cowboy songs. Then I wanted to be Davy Crockett.

After that, I wanted to be the Kingston Trio.

Insidious.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 04:46 PM

I started going to the local folk club (at the tender age of 43) because I wanted to sing in public & I couldn't see where else to do it. I got on well, but I was never that much into the music I heard there; I used to do songs by people like Peter Blegvad and Robyn Hitchcock (unaccompanied), and as time went on I started writing my own. I gradually started getting a taste for traditional songs; we used to get two songs on a singer's night, and I'd typically do one trad and one of my own.

Then two things happened. One was hearing John Kelly do a set, and realising just how good traditional songs could sound. I started concentrating on the trad repertoire and catching up on some of the recorded music I'd been missing. Then I started going to a mostly-traditional singaround. What tipped me over the edge was a song I'd never so much as heard of before, which (as far as I could work out) was called Ranzo. Ranzo, sung by every bugger else in the room, and sung loud. With harmonies. (And it was a small room.)

I never looked back.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 05:14 PM

I quite like many of the people and think they're very talented.

I'm not keen on a lot of the music and songs. Though there are some great songs.They keep me coming back - but its a bit like blues - I can't listen to it indiscriminately for long periods.

Its a music that requires you to be interested in the story and the means of telling - and that's quite demanding. You could listen to quite a lot of music and songs withouit doing that.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 05:20 PM

A dearth of jazz when I moved from Dublin to small town Athlone about 40 years ago. No jazz there - but an excellent folk club run by a guy with a huge repertoire of traditional songs. It was all downhill after that...

Regards


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 05:49 PM

nice to see Barry Skinner get a mention - I came across his LP in the attic the other day, Three Martin Graebe songs on it.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Jun 12 - 05:33 PM

I thought it was a darts, but I'm dyslaectic.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 12 - 11:38 PM

Bob Dylan then Harry Smith Folk Anthology.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Sean Belt
Date: 20 Jun 12 - 01:42 PM

Many years ago (1963 maybe?) I picked up a copy of a Roscoe Holcomb record at the local library. I haven't been the same since.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 20 Jun 12 - 07:18 PM

Addlestone Folk Club, late 60s.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Jun 12 - 09:11 PM

Best I recall it was a a Yellow Cab I hailed on 42nd in around 1967 or so............


Spaw


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