Ralphie - I've had the impression for a good while that the folk industry is providing good earning opportunities for artists. Bigger venues, bigger audiences, more media exposure, international tours and all. Maybe I'm wrong - but it all seems a long way from the days (1972) when I got paid in fruit machine tokens by an "organiser" who had forgotten to tell anyone that he was about to open a new folk club - apart from me and my poor co-folkers who turned up to play the opening night. Or was robbed blind by the manager of the Felixstowe Pavilion who did a runner, or was robbed blind by ... well, that's enough stories of robbing the poor to feed the rich. These days 'folk' seems to be a sensible career choice for a young musician - otherwise, why has the Newcastle course been so successful? No shortage of supplicants to the trade, it seems to me.