The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161498   Message #3840324
Posted By: Big Al Whittle
20-Feb-17 - 11:48 PM
Thread Name: Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 - Nominations
Subject: RE: Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 - Nominations
hmmmmm......hard to explain what was so potent about the early folk revival.

i will try - not in unfriendly way. nor in a misty eyed way, but i will try to be analytical, which isn't my style, but it perhaps would explain my fascination with the music, and i think will explain why it worked then, and frankly why the audiences for all these admittedly great instrumentalists are missing.

first of all. it was intelligent music, and it involved rejection of our parents values - which maybe sounds weird for traditional music. but you left your parents at home watching dixon of dock green.

secondly and most important - most people are scaredy cats/ most of us   - if you're bright enough to love this music - get the o levels, go to college, follow a safe career trajectory that ones parents approve of.

think of john lennon going to hamburg against the strictures of aunt mimi. the people who became folksingers weren't like the rest of us. they were extraordinary people with attitude and charisma to burn. there was this air about them of a the gunfighter come to town - and if they couldn't fulfil this, the audience would pick it up in a heartbeat.

i can't explain how strange and other worldly a group like the watersons sounded with their tales of ancient magic - looking like a band of wandering gypsies. how bohemian Jansch seemed with his inexplicable guitar skill and the air of smokey soho jazz cellars seemed to cling to him.

i suppose what i am saying , that even when they were very young - these people seemed to have an intriguing back story, they were different to most of us. they were exotics.

i dunno how they did it, but they did.

todays singers remind me a bit of when the comic lenny bruce was invited for an evening to the home of the jazz critic Nat Hentoff. lenny said, nat and his wife are nice people - but they're old. they keep asking you if you've had enough to eat.

they make me feel like nat hentoff.