The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119163   Message #2582180
Posted By: Phil Edwards
05-Mar-09 - 06:59 PM
Thread Name: What Brought You to Trad?
Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
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.