The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #158212   Message #3742598
Posted By: Will Fly
09-Oct-15 - 04:02 AM
Thread Name: Need input on youth in folk music
Subject: RE: Need input on youth in folk music
Why do people care if a folk club dies slowly and then folds because of the demographic? Why are they worried? Is it because the cosy, friendly tradition they've known in their lifetime - perhaps for 50 years - might be drawing to a close? Quite possibly.

Does it matter? At a personal level, perhaps it does - a bit like your favourite local closing down after many years of being your watering hole - particularly if there's little other opportunities for such a thing in your area.

However, the music itself is in no danger. It will carry on being performed and played and sung as it always has been - and there's enough of it available to listen to on recordings and to read about in books for it to always be there.

Times change and styles change, and you have to either accept the trend or try to buck it. In my teens there were pianos in most pubs in the seaside town near where I lived, and you could walk down a street hearing the sounds of some amateur pianist knocking out tunes old and new. Long gone. The first folk club I attended in the early '60s was run by a retired schoolteacher from the ashes of a folk dance club. Lots of young people, enthused by Peter, Paul and Mary, and Bob Dylan, joined it. Long gone as well.

But if you want to make the music - and pull the birds, as punkfolkrocker might say - get down to one of the public ceildhs in Lewes or other towns in Sussex. Occasions where, if you happen to be playing in the band, you can observe the pulling going on between various groups of people in their twenties. Go to festivals, where riotous assembly can still hold sway, as others have said.

If you'd been in the Great Eastern pub in Trafalgar Street in Brighton last night, you'd have seen two old boys of 70 (one of them me) and a youngster of 65 knocking out a mixture of some sharp-ish rock'n roll, country, blues and folk - while a bevy of people, old and young, got up from their tables and shook their bacon. We even got toasted in 17-year old bourbon by a young couple in their twenties.

So just go with the flow and accept that the occasions for music making have always been, and always will be, fluid.