The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #121329   Message #2650284
Posted By: Art Thieme
06-Jun-09 - 08:47 PM
Thread Name: To introduce songs, or not, and how?
Subject: RE: To introduce songs, or not, and how?
Utah Phillips was my mentor. He showed me how jokelore and actual folk tales might be used to set-up and frame a song---to defuse the seriousness of a given song---and even bring an audience not educated to the history within the song to a place where they were, then and there, more receptive to this strange new thing called a traditional folk song. More often than not, a tale like "The Split Dog" would lead into a tearjerker like "Old Shep." A tall one like "The Great Turtle Drive" could easily lead into any song of the American west.

The extent to which I did that, without it being too obvious, determined whether or not I was completing my job as I saw it.

When a person introduced me with a line like, "This guy is gonna have you rolling in the aisles!!!"--- he would sure hear about it from me later on. I wanted to kill those intro purveyors.

I was a FOLKSINGER who just happened to toss in funny stuff once in a while. I was NOT a comedian who sang a few folk songs.

There were certain sets I did where the comedy of the night just took over----but it was purely accidental and linked to where the audience preferred to go---and to how much I had to drink.

My comedy was comic relief from the very real tragedy that life can be at it's base---. And it was to HIGHLIGHT the grand song tales that came out of that basic tragedy that life is ere to--in the end.

Art Thieme