Having the opportunity to attend folk concerts at a variety of venues is a good thing. Don’t knock it.
And if Dave the Gnome is irreparably damaging folk I’ll eat my hat. He may be a mighty force, but I doubt the Great Destroyer is from Swinton.
I know why folk clubs declined. It’s because of my generation- the punk generation. We didn’t come along to keep the flame that your generation had lit alive. We got caught up doing other stuff. Meanwhile, there are far more people far younger than me playing traditional music than there are people of my generation, but for many of them, the standard-issue folk club isn’t where they chose to do it. That’s ok. Different generations do things different ways.
Now then. This business of knowing what a folk song sounds like. I’m going to call bullshit on that. Some jolly romp from the Coppers’ Songbook sounds nothing like a Scottish big ballad sounds nothing like piedmont blues sounds nothing like Bulgarian open voice singing sounds nothing like Finnish joik. As we know, folk song does not have a sound but a process...