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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Rev The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem (68* d) RE: The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem 24 Sep 06

I'm sure I did say something of that sort about Pete Seeger, Jim, but that was probably over a decade ago, so I'm going to chalk that up to youth. I think, if I can remember where I was coming from back then, my main complaint about Seeger was that his arrangements often lacked "cajones," or that he made everything sound like a children's song. When I was in my 20's I wanted my folk music to have that raw, gritty energy that I heard on the Smithsonian Anthology of Folk Music, and Seeger, to my ears, sounded a bit too refined and polite, and maybe because I was raised on his music I found it too much like "kiddie music" (I also felt that way about Peter, Paul and Mary). I was also bought in to the whole story of Seeger trying to stop Dylan's electric performance at Newport, and rejected Seeger's purism. Funny how Seeger's purism collided with later generations of purists with a very different concept of authenticity. I don't diss Pete anymore. I generally choose not to use his arrangements, but I agree that he is a figure of immense significance in the history of music and humanity in general. I am particularly fond of what he did with the Almanac Singers, and I really admire his political activism.

Sorry for the thread drift... As for the Clancys, I still see their albums in record stores in the U.S. frequently. I always felt that they were in a different category than some of the other "commercial" folk artists of that era. They always seemed more "authentic" than a lot of the acts, and they certainly had "cajones." I also love their renditions of chanteys. They're kind of corny but always so much fun. I saw Tommy Makem play a couple of years ago at the Mystic chantey fest, and he can still bring the goods. I am also partial to the Clancys' recordings with Louis Killen, which also show up in U.S. record stores from time to time. I agree that we all owe a great debt of gratitude to the Clancys (and to Seeger) for bringing "folk" music back into the popular mainstream in the 50's and 60's.

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