The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157386   Message #3714854
Posted By: Lighter
06-Jun-15 - 02:57 PM
Thread Name: Still wondering what's folk these days?
Subject: RE: Still wondering what's folk these days?
>are still classical singers and "Lord Randal" and "Blow Ye Wind Southerly" are still folk songs.

That certainly suggests that Olivia Chaney isn't a "folk singer" either, no matter what they say. Mostly she sings non-folk songs.

So what does a prominent critic mean when he says she sings and plays "folk"?

My personal belief is that he's drunk the marketing Kool-Aid (as we say in the States), but evidently Chaney thinks she's a folk performer too. (Because of the marginality of "folk," surely she could make a [slightly] better living calling her music something like "light jazz" or "New Age.")

It's a real question. What makes her sort of music "folk" in anybody's mind?

> The label is affective and ideological. ...Folk is an aesthetic of consumption.

Undoubtedly (I think). But the question is "What do most people mean today when they say they play or like (or don't like)'folk'?"

Obviously there's no air-tight definition covering all possible cases. Chaney-Donahue, however, is clearly a mainstream case. Mainly people seem to mean something "privitive" (i.e., something defined by what it's not rather than by its own intrinsic qualities).

Has any other musical genre ever been defined primarily by what it's *not*?