The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #77728 Message #1392245
Posted By: GUEST
29-Jan-05 - 10:41 AM
Thread Name: What is wrong with being a purist?
Subject: RE: What is wrong with being a purist?
I have just read all through this thread again and have not found anywhere where anyone referred to themelves as Anything Goes Brigade. It seems to me that all the condescension towards other people and their music has come from people who refer to themselves as purists.
As for putting in a link to a dictionary in case we are too ignorant to understand the word equivocally, please. Show some respect.
I am interested in etymology and would be happy to read more on the basis of BillG's assertion about what the term folk music originally meant, however the meaning has not been that narrow in my life time.
To use the term folk music in a way that would exclude Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, Cyril Tawney and many others who write or have written contemporary song would be just wrong. Most people would recognise these as folk singers and not be shocked to turn up at a folk concert and find any of them performing (except for Woody, obviously). To bill a club which presents only your concept of the pure tradition, with no further description, would be to deceive the vast majority of the ticket buying public.
One or two people mentioned jazz and the analogy is a good one. If I see a sign advertising Live Jazz I don't know whether this will be music like Louis Armstrong in the 20's which I love or Dixieland banjo stompers which I generally dislike, not too mention Miles or Trane or 60's Avante Garde or Herbie Hancock or Pharaoh Sanders. I go in with an open mind. If I like the music, great. If not I either give it a while to try and win me over, or leave. If I am paying for a gig I know nothing about I will try and find out before committing. It doesn't seem that difficult to me. To suggest that our self styled purists, our guardians of the tradition, our experts of the folk world would turn up at a gig billed simply as a folk concert, in all naivete, expecting to see a singer from their own segment, period and style of old music is simply sophistry.
Incidentally I got the ain't heard a horse sing yet reference from the cover of an old Muddy Waters album. He was complaining about people moaning that his wasn't proper folk music and shouldn't have been allowed on their radio stations. Thank God it was. It really made me smile to see people who claim such virtue for reusing old songs be so sneering at someone reusing an old answer to an old question.
Folk music is many things, pure it ain't and never has been. I don't know anyone who claims that all music is folk music but to claim that the part which interests you most is real folk music and everything else is not is just plain wrong.
I'll ask the question again because it hasn't been answered yet; pure what ? I have some ideas but am far to polite too share them.