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the folk revival

countrylife 11 Jul 07 - 03:10 PM
Vin2 11 Jul 07 - 08:02 AM
The Sandman 11 Jul 07 - 05:56 AM
Stringsinger 10 Jul 07 - 11:32 PM
dick greenhaus 10 Jul 07 - 07:57 PM
The Sandman 10 Jul 07 - 12:54 PM
Folkiedave 10 Jul 07 - 12:26 PM
Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive) 10 Jul 07 - 12:25 PM
The Sandman 10 Jul 07 - 12:06 PM
Mary Humphreys 10 Jul 07 - 11:42 AM
Folkiedave 10 Jul 07 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 10 Jul 07 - 07:43 AM
GUEST 10 Jul 07 - 02:19 AM
The Sandman 09 Jul 07 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,Andy Leader 09 Jul 07 - 03:11 PM
Folkiedave 09 Jul 07 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 09 Jul 07 - 02:59 PM
The Sandman 09 Jul 07 - 01:40 PM
Mary Humphreys 09 Jul 07 - 12:43 PM
Edmond 09 Jul 07 - 08:28 AM
The Sandman 09 Jul 07 - 04:58 AM
The Sandman 08 Jul 07 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 08 Jul 07 - 01:44 PM
The Sandman 07 Jul 07 - 12:13 PM
Leadfingers 07 Jul 07 - 09:24 AM
curmudgeon 07 Jul 07 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,guest,old curmudgeon 06 Jul 07 - 06:22 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 06 Jul 07 - 11:47 AM
GUEST 06 Jul 07 - 10:30 AM
GUEST,countrylife 05 Jul 07 - 01:48 PM
Edmond 05 Jul 07 - 11:13 AM
The Sandman 05 Jul 07 - 03:51 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 04 Jul 07 - 06:49 PM
Snuffy 04 Jul 07 - 06:44 PM
GUEST 04 Jul 07 - 06:37 PM
The Sandman 04 Jul 07 - 06:31 PM
GUEST,AR 04 Jul 07 - 06:22 PM
countrylife 04 Jul 07 - 06:14 PM
The Borchester Echo 04 Jul 07 - 05:26 PM
The Sandman 04 Jul 07 - 05:09 PM
countrylife 04 Jul 07 - 04:02 PM
The Sandman 04 Jul 07 - 03:43 PM
George Papavgeris 04 Jul 07 - 02:22 PM
The Sandman 04 Jul 07 - 02:06 PM
GUEST,Brian Peters 04 Jul 07 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,Brian Peters 04 Jul 07 - 10:05 AM
The Borchester Echo 04 Jul 07 - 04:30 AM
Folkiedave 04 Jul 07 - 04:23 AM
GUEST 04 Jul 07 - 03:16 AM
The Borchester Echo 04 Jul 07 - 02:50 AM
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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: countrylife
Date: 11 Jul 07 - 03:10 PM

I maybe wrong here but wasn't it the late Frank Zappa(that well known folkie) who stated that there are only two types of music, good music and bad music?

*and now back to the topic*


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: Vin2
Date: 11 Jul 07 - 08:02 AM

Hmmmm, i like that Frank "....All you have to do is open your ears"

I think the rest is down to good manners, sensitivity, tolerance, an open mind with a dash of give and take. The one thing i think that unites us all and that is/can be multi-cultural is music no matter how it's classed or labelled. Not that there's any harm in a bit of friendly argie bargie now and then but if we let it get toooo personal and 'serious' then it defeats the object - which is to share and hopefully enjoy - and there endeth my sermon for the day.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jul 07 - 05:56 AM

thankyou Frank,you have encapsulated my feelings,spot on.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 11:32 PM

The trouble with the idea of a traditional performer is not the performer him/herself. It's the promoters, the academics, the self-styled authorities who set this performer up as a kind of standard to be replicated. Anything other is not considered "authentic" which is nonsense. Even the notion of a "traditional" performer is an academic construct and may have nothing to do with the value of that said performer.

The reason that the folk revival in the US was aborted was because of the idea that a song had to be frozen as done by a personality for popular consumption. You couldn't take a Dylan song for example and change it around without some folkie jumping down your neck or getting sued by Dylan himself. In short, the creative life of a musician or composer was cut down. The life blood of whatever folk music is happens to be change.

Now when you talk about a folk revival, it has no meaning today. In its time, it was an adjunct of popular music and another branch of show business as exemplified by Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, P P and M or the Trio. Even Alan Lomax in his entrepreneurial role was a showman of sorts.   Bascom Lamar Lunsford's Asheville Folk Festival was a commercial venue, a kind of show business that attracted tourism. Ewan McColl, Peter Kennedy, A.L. Lloyd are show business people and even the Comhaltas Ceoltori Eireann can be considered as a branch of show business in which audiences pay to see performers.

A folk revival is an oxymoron. Folk music goes on in different forms regardless of what many half-baked academic authorities have to say about it. All you have to do is open your ears. It has nothing to do with whether a performer is deemed to be traditional by self-styled authorities or not.

My point is simple. Any culture-based musical expression contains enough musical information outside of that culture to render it as much non-traditional as it is traditional. So what does that leave us? Many talented wonderful singers who have something to offer by singing songs that have history, knowledge and style and are great whether or not they are called "traditional". The label is a red herring. There is no pure race. There is no pure music.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 07:57 PM

Bob Coltman- (who doen't seem to respond to PMs)
Could you please E-mail me at dick@camscomusic.com? I have a couple of things I'd like to discuss with you.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 12:54 PM

that does not alter the fact that he was booked at WHITBY FOLK FESTIVAL every year for many years and was happy performing there,and happy with the folk revival.,as were Fred Jordan ErnestDyson ,Joe hutton, WIllatkinson,WillTtaylor,BobLewis,and many others.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 12:26 PM

Willy Scott began singing in folk clubs in October 1961 in the Howff at Dumfermline. He was sixty-four at the time. We can be that precise.

In previous years Willie had performed hundreds of times at herds' suppers at at Border kirns to audiences sharing his own background, predilections and speech idioms.

There is a book about him a book called "Herd Laddie of the Glen". It's all in there.

Note that Dick "hundreds of times". Willie was a singer at herds' suppers probably more times then he ever sang in a folk club.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: Giant Folk Eyeball (inactive)
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 12:25 PM

I find this thread fascinating. I've never been part of the folk scene - I came to the music relatively recently via CD rather than going to clubs and hearing it live. Without wanting to slide too far off topic - how recently was it that there were still a decent number of traditional rather than revivalist singers around? Are there many left still performing? Are there any good books or online articles I can read about these people?

Thanks,

Nigel


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: The Sandman
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 12:06 PM

I have started The thread Brian requested.
DAVE Ihad the pleasure of hearing Willie Scott, 1976,AT WHITBY FESTIVAL ,he was booked there every year,I must have seen him 5 years running,He was perfectly happy singing to revivalists.
I also saw the Northumbrian shepherds,at Whitby,again they were enjoying themselves,aswas FRED JORDAN who I haveseen AT Whitby ,Redcar,Fylde[Iwas performing at these festivals myself.]
Jean Ritchie at Norwich,again enjoying herself.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 11:42 AM

In response to Brian's question about how trad singers were affected by the revival, the late Terry Whelan once told me that Fred Jordan, when he was first 'discovered' and invited to perform on a stage or at a folk club, dressed in his best Sunday suit. It was quite soon afterwards that he kept his farm-labourer's garb on for performing. Perhaps he found it necessary to conform to the expectations of the public?
I consider it quite likely that his repertoire was expanded too by listening to many more singers than he would have had access to in his home village.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 07:56 AM

As far as I am aware none of the singers from Sheffield - have ever been inside a folk club. The exception to this is the Traditional Music Festival at Bradfield and we used to have them over in Holmfirth Festival on a Sunday morning and they often made a day of it. But those are comparatively recent events.

The carol singers get an outing at the carol festival held every two years. Otherwise you can only hear them at carol time.

In fact of course not many of them have huge repertoires, so sustaining a whole evening at a folk club would be hard.

And finally as I pointed out earlier - the place to hear singers around here (as it was with Willy Scott for many years) - was at sheep-shearing and hunt suppers. In the private room of a pub.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 07:43 AM

Cap'n B:
"Brian, it is always a good idea,to get more than one angle on a subject,there are other collectors..."

Yes, Dick, I have talked to John Howson about collecting - interviewed him about it for 'The Living Tradition', in fact - but Jim Carroll is right here at my computer terminal telling me from his first-hand knowledge about singers (Bill Cassidy, for instance) I'm interested in. I don't actually think there's a great gulf of disagreement between Jim and yourself - on the parallel thread he's happy to acknowledge that most traditional singers were indeed well treated by the revival, but lists a few specific examples where they were not. I've heard the John Reilly story from several people apart from Jim (including Christy Moore on Desert Island Discs) and I don't think anyone is disagreeing with his account. But passionate argument is always good fun, and sometimes informative, so please continue - this is an interesting thread and thanks for starting it.

Jim Carroll:
"You should both look ot for Early Ballads in Ireland 1968-1985 also from Tom Munnelly's collection..."

I don't know whether you knew Joe Kerins during your time in Manchester, Jim (Mary certainly did!) but he was kind enough to make me a tape of this recording many years ago. And it's great.

What I would be interested in seeing on this thread is a discussion of how traditional singers were influenced by their contact with the revival. As Jim points out above, it was only a minority who ever made such contact (although the ones who did, like Sam Larner, Walter Pardon, etc. are not unnaturally the ones the revival tends to venerate), but to what extent were their repertoires or performance styles altered by the demands of this new audience? Jeannie Robertson? Fred Jordan? I arrived rather late to make that kind of judgement. Anyone?


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 02:19 AM

Cap'n,
You have a habit of walking away from your arguments when they get too much for you, which I find extremely irritating and certainly did on this occasion. Having said this, I should not have become irritated and I apologise for doing so.
I also find terms like 'folk police' the refuge of people who have run out of ideas, so perhaps it is best avoided.
To continue the discussion on more amicable terms:
Peter Kennedy was not only part of the revival, he was one of its founder members; as a collector his 'As I roved Out' series drew many of us into the music in the first place; as a musician and dance caller, he performed regularly at clubs and dances in the early days, and as organiser, he was very much part of what went on at Cecil Sharp House early in the revival.
It seems to there are a number of ways to approach his behavious towards traditional performers: you can deny it happened and argue otherwise; you can accept it and condemn it or you can ignore it and say it wasn't important - which is it to be?
My friend and neighbour, Tom Munnelly is probably the most important collector in these islands in the latter half of the 20th century.
He has recorded over 20,000 songs from thousands of traditional singers. I doubt if more than a dozen or so have ever been inside a club or at a festival.
If you look through Mike Yates' collection (on the British Library web page) you will find the same proportion applies to his singers.
Over the last 30 odd years we have probably recorded somewhere between
50 and 100 singers; around a half -dozen have ever been in a folk club, if that.
In a moment of point-scoring weakness I went through the BBC archive lists and began to list singers who had never appeared in public; I listed forty and hadn't got to the letter C.
I repeat, the vast majority of traditional singers never saw the inside of a folk club.
Incidentally, Walter Pardon's 'alleged' attitude to his songs is a matter of record and can be accessed via the interviews we did with him which are freely accessible at the National Sound Archive in The British Library.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Jul 07 - 04:27 PM

Jim Carroll,I have respect for you as a collector.
If you dont mind me saying,debating and discussing is better done amicably,telling someone to sod off to Glastonbury,reflects badly on yourself.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: GUEST,Andy Leader
Date: 09 Jul 07 - 03:11 PM

To finesse this vexed question, Lee Hayes once said, "It's all folk music... I've never heard any animals singing it."


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: Folkiedave
Date: 09 Jul 07 - 03:11 PM

Damn I was out looking for a hat to wear too.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Jul 07 - 02:59 PM

Brian,
Thank you for those kind words - your cheque's in the post along with Mary's.
You should both look ot for Early Ballads in Ireland 1968-1985 also from Tom Munnelly's collection and on the Ethnic European Traditions label, but equally unavailable.
I'll put them in the post as soon as I get my computer problems sorted.
Edmund,
No, I meant i enjoyed you singing ballads - I seem to remember Bonny house of Airlie and one I've been racking my brains to remember - a cahes in a ship with magic sails???
Jim Carroll
Cap'n,
Does this mean the wedding's off again?


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Jul 07 - 01:40 PM

not quite sure of the relevance ,Mary.
I dont believe anyone has suggested Jims collections are not useful,.
To get an overaall picture however,of how traditional singers view their material,it is agood idea to get the opinion of more than onr collector.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 09 Jul 07 - 12:43 PM

The cassette "Irish Travellers' Songs" is a gem and ought to be re-released on CD, if only for "False Lankum" by John Reilly. It is thanks to Jim I have my copy.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: Edmond
Date: 09 Jul 07 - 08:28 AM

This might be a bit off-thread, but I hope fellow 'Catters'll cut me a bit of slack.

Jim C - how lovely to hear from you - it's the best part of 40 years, and I'll bet the years have been kinder to you than to me !

Please see my previous post :

"Bryn Pugh - sometime singer of traditional songs - I wouldn't call me a folk singer".

I take your kind comment as meaning that I sang good ballads. There again, I never came across a bad one.

Bryn.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Jul 07 - 04:58 AM

Brian,
it is always a good idea,to get more than one angle on a subject,there are other collectors,who are accessible,such as John Howson,Sam Richards[he too collected from WalterPardon],who have first hand knowledge,and whose point of view ,might be just as useful.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Jul 07 - 02:35 PM

the folk revival[and by that I meant the British folk club and folk festival circuit]has treated both traditional and revival performers performers equally well,and that is how it should be ,thereshould be no discrimination or preferential treatment,for either.
People are people regardless of whether they are traditional or revival ,and deserve to be looked after properlyregardless of their label.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 08 Jul 07 - 01:44 PM

Jim Carroll: (cassette 'Songs of the Irish travellers).
"The cassette is now unavailable, but if you let me have an address I'll let you have my spare copy."

Well, that would be very kind indeed. Since neither of us has ever bothered going through the (doubtless pathetically simple) steps of joing Mudcat - I must do it one day soon - and are unable to PM one another, here's my address: 72 Sheffield Rd., Glossop, SK13 8QP. I hope to be able to buy you a pint or two in return, one day.

"I'm Flattered that anybody should find anything I wrote worth repeating - feel free to use it."

As a 'revival' performer, the attitude of traditional singers towards the material they sang is of great interest to me, and as a workshop leader on traditional singing style it would be useful to be able to pass on some of that information to students. As a collector, you have 'the knowledge' at first hand (and express yourself pretty well too, if I may say so).


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Jul 07 - 12:13 PM

PETER KENNEDY was a collector and is such irrelevant to the discussion,and to the new thread,which is how source singers were treated by the revival[ e g club organisers and festival organisers and audiences].
a typical red herring,from Jim Carroll.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: Leadfingers
Date: 07 Jul 07 - 09:24 AM

The LATE Peter Kennedy !


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: curmudgeon
Date: 07 Jul 07 - 09:07 AM

PK is Peter Kennedy and his connection is with source singers, not the Capt - Tom Hall


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: GUEST,guest,old curmudgeon
Date: 06 Jul 07 - 06:22 PM

Jim,
who is PK,and whats his connection with the Capn.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Jul 07 - 11:47 AM

Bryn,
I was that soldier - long time ago.
Nice to hear from you again - I remember you as a good ballad singer - is that right?
Cap'n,
Look forward to your new thread, but don't hold out too much hope in finding too much agreement with somebody prepered to overlook P Ks behavious toward traditional singers becausehe is 'convenient'

Jim Carroll
Sorry about intermittent response, my motherboard had become a mother******* board - ******* technology.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 07 - 10:30 AM

Brian
Marin MacDonagh was a Traveller from Lansbawn, Co Roscommon.
He was recorded by Tom Munnelly and Young Hunting is the only example of his singing available (cassette 'Songs of the Irish travellers).
The cassette is now unavailable, but if you let me have an address I'll let you have my spare copy.
I'm Flattered that anybody should find anything I wrote worth repeating - feel free to use it.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: GUEST,countrylife
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 01:48 PM

"A language is a dialect with an army. Discuss"

A language is a dialect with attitude


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: Edmond
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 11:13 AM

I'll stick my two pennorth in.

Jim Carroll - if you're the Jim Carroll who invited me - Bryn Pugh - to be one of the Manchester Critics in the late 60s, please PM me - I'd love to hear from you.

Now - I served me apprenticeship as a die-hard traddie in the mid 60s to the early 70s. I had no time for the three-chord wonders in the denim caps, which seemed to arrive almost like a plague.

What goes around might indeed come around - I look forward to seeing Davy Graham, and seeing Bert Jansch, in Concert. I have had, recently, several spine-tingling moments listening to and watching Oysterband, the Big Session, Jim Moray in Concert, and Bellowhead.

It seems to me that 'Folk Music' is evolving, and whilst not everyone might like the apparent direction in which it is evolving, it is unstoppable, I believe. That said, Kate Rusby does nothing for me. De gustibus nil disputandum ?

An old fart - bus pass, free prescriptions, hearing aid (so I know which ear not to stick me finger in, you understand, steri bottle bottom glasses, and a stick, if I feel nostalgic for the days when a good gig was six quid, me ale and a lift home. I can always dig out Frost and Fire ; Martin Carthy's Second Album ; the first and second Topic samplers ; Bert Jansch ; Rosemary Hardman and Rob Axton 'Second Season Came' ; Horsemusic ;etc. It's amazing what comes out on CD, and I no longer have to sharpen the stylus on the kitchen window sill before playing records.

The 'tradition' - whatever that might be - willalways be with us. It seems also to me today that a different interpretation of the 'traditional' songs is occurring. Who am I to criticise ? To me enjoyment is all.

Bryn Pugh, sometime singer of traditional song - I wouldn't call me a folk singer.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 03:51 AM

Jim Carroll,I have decided it is correct to start another thread,entitled Traditonal singers and their treatment by the revival.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 06:49 PM

Guest AR:
"Yes, it is proper to root out that awful Scots dialect whenever it crops up - polluting our good and pure English tongue like that!"

Dear dear, it never ceases to amaze me how participants in internet discussions manage to conjure offence from innocent statements. Not presuming to speak for Jeff Wesley, but I'm fairly sure that what he meant was that for a singer from rural England to affect Scots dialect or pronunciation would be inappropriate at best, ridiculous at worst. And I could have mentioned that Matt Armour - a proud Fifer himself of course - has tried to help Jeff out, with his own Anglicization of the song in question.

Diane Easby:
Your description of "Snigger-snogger" aimed at the author of message 3 on this thread, does little justice to Bob Coltman, composer of some interesting rewrites of Child Ballads. I don't agree with him about the solo thing either, but the rest of his post was sound.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: Snuffy
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 06:44 PM

A language is a dialect with an army. Discuss


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 06:37 PM

Captain Birdseye, we have concrete up here north of the border too. It's not all glens full of heather and gorse, you know. Plus, some people (misguided people, perhaps - who knows?) consider Scots a language, not a dialect.
    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 06:31 PM

Anglicise.
thats very funny,I know he is a Scotsman but Matt has had the privilege to have lived in Milton Keynes for thirty years,it must be something the Concrete cows do to you,I must get some too and start writing in Scottish Dialect.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: GUEST,AR
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 06:22 PM

Quoted from Brian Peters:

"Since several of you have mentioned Jeff Wesley, I can report that he came along to my folk club gig in Northampton last night, and sang a song written by Matt Armour, which Jeff had had to Anglicize in order to remove elements of Scots dialect."

Yes, it is proper to root out that awful Scots dialect whenever it crops up - polluting our good and pure English tongue like that!


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: countrylife
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 06:14 PM

That's where I got it wrong, I never took up golf...
*whistles The Ballad of the Bold Weekend Golfer*


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 05:26 PM

Start to disintegrate?

It went sour at #3 when some snigger-snogger told us we were doing it wrong if we weren't soloists or golfers or something.

Not a 'revival' I've got any time for.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 05:09 PM

It is important when discussing a topic to give correct information that reflects the OVERALL Picture.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: countrylife
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 04:02 PM

"This has been an excellent discussion, it'd be a shame if it disintegrates into point scoring"

Seems to me it already has...sorry to say


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 03:43 PM

Fair enough George,but statements should be backed up by facts,so that a correct perspective can be seen.
Iam under the impression from my own experience that the amount of traditional performers that have been treated badly by the folk revival,is avery small proportion,.
Jim Says [the questionable way some clubs treated the older singers and there are plenty of other examples to suggest it wasnt the most pleasurable erxperience]and to others the idea of singing to a crowd was anethma.Iam not trying to score points,but am asking for facts,if Jim can provide facts,it then has to be put into a broader picture ,which includes all the festivals and clubs,where they were treated well,and the many performers of which I have listed 20 who clearly did enjoy the revivals festivals and clubs.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 02:22 PM

This has been an excellent discussion, it'd be a shame if it disintegrates into point scoring.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: The Sandman
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 02:06 PM

BrianPeters;good job I started the discussion then,wasnt it.
However Jim Carrolls,Singers who were not entirely happy in the folk revival, were clearly a small minority,as he hasnt bothered to name them.
Jim Caroll,says it was only a tiny minority of traditional singers who saw the inside of a folk club or a festival anyway[notso see my previous post].then he talks about the questionable way traditional singers were treated[lets have examples then Jim].in the earlier posts there were only two]when I think how many traditional performers were booked at the national, whitby, Sidmouth Chippenham Fylde and were treated well,I have to laugh at Jim Carrolls preposterous claims.Jim please back up your wild statemernts with facts.,thenI might take you seriously.,in the meantime Brian I wouldnt take Jim Carroll seriously.DickMiles


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 10:12 AM

Jim Carroll:
Having based my version of 'Young Hunting' at least partly on the version sung by Martin McDonagh, which was handed to me on a battered cassette containing that one song and no background information, I would love to know a bit more about him, if it's not too much off topic.

And I hope this is OK, Jim, but I've printed out your post of 02.59 on 3.7, about the attitude of singers towards the songs in their repertoire, for future use in workshop sessions.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: GUEST,Brian Peters
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 10:05 AM

Since several of you have mentioned Jeff Wesley, I can report that he came along to my folk club gig in Northampton last night, and sang a song written by Matt Armour, which Jeff had had to Anglicize in order to remove elements of Scots dialect. Jeff, of course, also sings the 'Ninety-Nine and Ninety' version of Child #1, which I imagine came to him from Peggy Seeger via who knows what route. Make of all that what you will, but what I make of it is that at least one singer whom many people would describe as 'traditional' is deeply involved with the 'revival', simply because that's the place he can share songs with others whose tastes are similar to his own.

I once asked Fred Jordan how he was enjoying a certain high-profile English folk festival. His reply: "Well, there's a lot of fucking tripe on here, but there's a few good singers." Fred undoubtedly enjoyed the experience of being booked at festivals organised by 'The Revival', but was nonetheless very choosy about his likes and dislikes amongst the other performers.

Last weekend I found myself taking part in a ballad session at the small but perfectly formed Four Fools Folk Festival in Lancashire. Seated beside me were Ken Hall and Peta Webb, Alison McMorland and Geordie MacIntyre, Ellen Mitchell and Donal Maguire - several of whom have enjoyed close contact with traditional singers in the past. For two and a half hours we sang ballads ranging from the real heavy stuff ('Tam Lin' and 'Lamkin' from Geordie alone!) to the hilarious Freddie Mackay ballad parody that Ken Hall does. Jim Carroll, I'm sure, would have loved it, as did the audience who sat with rapt attetntion in that suburban secondary school room, oblivious of the plastic seats, the kids's posters on the walls, and the rain pouring down outside the window. If the 'folk revival' can put on events like that, then it's doing something worthwhile. I don't think it's the sort of thing that would go down well in a pub, though.

As one who believes that it is necessary to draw a distinction between 'tradition' and 'revival' for the purposes of discussion (somebody's already said that on this thread but I can't find the post), I say that - as of now - we are where we are, and we just have to get on with it, without tying ourselves in knots about whether what we are doing is a continuation of the tradition, or sufficently faithful to it, or whatever. Time will sort the wheat from the chaff. In the meantime I'm in complete agreement with Guest Blaise, who said: "So enjoy what you like and play with passion and conviction to the relevance of the subject of the song."


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 04:30 AM

Yes it is. That's what I'm saying. With the proviso that the copyists are an irrelevance to a 'revival'.


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: Folkiedave
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 04:23 AM

The revival at its most positive is a continuation and development of what was worth taking from extant tradition.

Without wishing to get into the semantics of this - and certainly not in a spirit of confrontation - doesn't that really contradict the idea of a revival? For is that not what people always did?


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 03:16 AM

Can I make it clear:
I AM NOT DISMISSIVE OF THE REVIVAL
I loved it- I spent at least 1 night a week in folk clubs for over a quarter of a century; it's where I (and a hell of a lot of others) got our love of folk songs and ballads and where out appetites where whetted for finding out more. It's where I heard Harry Cox, Jeannie Robertson, Walter Pardon, Margaret Barry, Joe Heaney..... and a whole lot of traditional and revival singers who have put enough petrol in my tank to keep me going till I get to where I'm going.
I would very much like it for the next generations to have the same opportunities that I had. I believe that the 'Nearer My God To Thee' (let's sing 'til the ship goes down) approach will not make that happen. If the clubs are going to survive in any significant numbers they are going to have to get their acts together and decide what they are peddling and at what standard.
My heart lifts when I read about ballad seminars in Lewes, but it plummets when I am told about 'Beatles Evenings' at folk clubs, or 'Let's not be too good or we'll frighten the horses'; traditional song is worth much more than that.
Frank says
"It's the academics who often make the subjective distinction".
The few traditional singers we discussed subjects like definition with were far more conservative and dogmatic about what was "right" or "wrong" than I have ever been; they had their own set of rules about singing, some of which we managed to get down on tape. The problem was that the work we did was probably too little and too late. The only 'living' tradition we encountered was with the Irish Travellers, and that disappeared literally 18 months after we started when they got televisions in their caravans.
I still enjoy listening to a good song well sung; the hairs on the back of my neck still tingle when I hear Sheila Stewart singing Tiftie's Annie (as they did thirty odd years ago when I first heard it), or when I heard Martin McDonagh singing 'Young Hunting', or when I hear recordings of MacColl singing any one of the 137 Child ballads he breathed life into.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: the folk revival
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 02:50 AM

What Dick asked was is the folk revival an irrelevancy to traditional music?
So what exactly is the point of dredging up lists of trad musicians who may or may not still be performing?
I'm listening currently to re:Masters, the first series of Free Reed archive releases, from which it is relatively simple to identify what has endured and what, currently, has not.
Jim Naughtie's current R4 series The Making Of Music is not presented as 'here is some arcane and obscure stuff that you ought to listen to but as a vibrant chronicle of what has made music what it is today.
The revival at its most positive is a continuation and development of what was worth taking from extant tradition.
It is those 'revivalists' who simply copy from a trad repertoire who are the irrelevancy because that is just not what trad musicians do, whether in the midst of a so-called 'revival' or not.
The 'tradition' must be respected but conventions can, and should, be broken (as Chris Wood said, or something like it).


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