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Celebrate 'Folk'

Soldier boy 08 Jun 08 - 09:06 PM
Don Firth 08 Jun 08 - 10:39 PM
Phil Cooper 08 Jun 08 - 10:51 PM
Soldier boy 09 Jun 08 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 09 Jun 08 - 12:49 PM
Peace 09 Jun 08 - 01:16 PM
Georgiansilver 09 Jun 08 - 01:35 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 09 Jun 08 - 01:38 PM
Peace 09 Jun 08 - 01:45 PM
Soldier boy 11 Jun 08 - 10:34 AM
Sailor Ron 11 Jun 08 - 11:28 AM
theleveller 11 Jun 08 - 11:46 AM
GUEST, Sminky 11 Jun 08 - 11:49 AM
Willa 11 Jun 08 - 01:30 PM
Soldier boy 11 Jun 08 - 07:40 PM
Peace 11 Jun 08 - 08:02 PM
Soldier boy 11 Jun 08 - 08:21 PM
Harmonium Hero 12 Jun 08 - 11:25 AM
theleveller 12 Jun 08 - 11:59 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Jun 08 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,Joe 13 Jun 08 - 07:11 AM
bankley 13 Jun 08 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,Guest SuzieQ 13 Jun 08 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,Joe 13 Jun 08 - 09:31 AM
jacqui.c 13 Jun 08 - 09:33 AM
Bee 13 Jun 08 - 09:43 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Jun 08 - 04:34 PM
Steve Gardham 13 Jun 08 - 06:51 PM
Soldier boy 13 Jun 08 - 07:07 PM
Peace 13 Jun 08 - 07:28 PM
Big Al Whittle 13 Jun 08 - 07:41 PM
Peace 13 Jun 08 - 07:45 PM
Polite Guest 14 Jun 08 - 03:55 AM
Peace 14 Jun 08 - 02:33 PM
Mark Ross 14 Jun 08 - 03:44 PM
GUEST,wld 14 Jun 08 - 07:37 PM
Peace 14 Jun 08 - 07:47 PM
Soldier boy 15 Jun 08 - 08:19 PM
Peace 15 Jun 08 - 08:29 PM
Big Al Whittle 15 Jun 08 - 10:13 PM
Azizi 15 Jun 08 - 10:51 PM
Polite Guest 16 Jun 08 - 03:11 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 16 Jun 08 - 04:12 AM
George Papavgeris 16 Jun 08 - 04:40 AM
George Papavgeris 16 Jun 08 - 04:41 AM
GUEST,Jon 16 Jun 08 - 04:56 AM
Polite Guest 16 Jun 08 - 05:12 AM
TheSnail 16 Jun 08 - 05:40 AM
Polite Guest 16 Jun 08 - 06:25 AM
TheSnail 16 Jun 08 - 06:58 AM
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Subject: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 08 Jun 08 - 09:06 PM

Just dipping my toes in the water here!
I've enjoyed the 'folk scene' for more years than I care to remember but what makes it special to you?
I'm not looking for an over-intelligent debate here about the meaning and history of folk and its interpretation of traditional and non traditional folk.
Definately not. Just your from the heart feelings about what sucked you in to the folk scene in the first place and why you've stayed with it.
What is it that it is so appealing to you year after year and why is it that (in my opinion) it is 'one big family' where you bump into so many good friends and relationships that you have gained festival upon festival around the country?
To me this is something very special that should be celebrated as something very special. Will you raise a glass with me to celebrate the 'folk' experience and say why it is special to you?


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Jun 08 - 10:39 PM

Well, first up, I'm older than dirt.

I had a nodding acquaintance with folk music, having heard Burl Ives on the radio, heard Susan Reed sing in a movie, and The Weavers on juke boxes before they were blacklisted. That was leading up to the early 1950s.

At university, in 1951-52, I started dating a young woman who was avidly interested in folk music. She had heard a local singer named Walt Robertson sing at a party (Walt had a television show at the time, and shortly thereafter cut a record for Folkways). Claire was teaching herself to play the guitar and learning songs. It looked like fun, and I could sing a bit, so I bought a cheap guitar and had her teach me a few chords.

Shortly thereafter, she and I attended a concert that Walt Robertson sang. It was in a restaurant near the university—seated mayby 75 people. That evening, Walt sang for about two or two and a half hours, some songs I was familiar with, but most I had never heard before. During that couple of hours, he wove many stories in song and evoked all kinds of images new to me. I was totally enthralled. So were most of the others in the audience. During that evening, I caught the same bug that Claire had caught a few months before.

I wanted to do what Walt did.

I redoubled my efforts, learned songs—and read up on their backgrounds. I practiced assiduously on the guitar. I met Walt, and through him, I met a few other people who were also interested in folk music. I began singing at parties. Then a few years later, I began getting hired to sing at other events. And in 1959, having developed a reputation as being somewhat of a ballad scholar as well as a singer, I was asked to do a series of television shows on my local educational channel (now a PBS affiliate). This, in turn, led to singing in clubs and coffeehouses, doing concerts, more television. . . .    I began making my living that way, and thoroughly enjoying it.

It is immensely satisfying to spend an evening entertaining people by doing something you enjoy doing, something you would do for free. And then being paid to do it.

Why folk songs? Because, in addition to the poetic and musical appeal of the songs themselves, they each have a history. They have substance. You dig into the background of a particular song, where it came from, who sang it, and why it exists at all, and you will learn aspects of history and of life in general that you might not learn any other way.

The songs have roots.

In addition to all this, I've met a whole bunch of very talented people, some famous, many not so famous, who share my interest. And among them, I've found a lot of lifelong friends.

And that's just for openers.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 08 Jun 08 - 10:51 PM

I've never wanted to listen to, or play, much else. My parents used to let us stay up late on Saturday nights to hear The Midnight Special on Chicago's WFMT. I started out liking the Bill Cosby routines they would play, but stayed for the music. I could never understand performers who would play folk venues, but put down the music. I've never had a problem telling people who asked what kind of music I played that I played folk music.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 12:45 PM

Thanks Don and Phil. Like you I was kind of weaned on folk music and have never felt the need to apologise for the fact.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 12:49 PM

Because the songs are amazing.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Peace
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 01:16 PM

I like folkish songs more than other types of music becaue they have a tale to tell, heart-felt emotions to express, poetry to put with music. Folk songs have meant much to people whether they were riggin' sail or slammin' a nine-pound hammer. The majority of my influences came out of the 'folk tradition' and to this day the majority of my influences are still in the folk tradition.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 01:35 PM

In the late 60's early 70's I spent a lot of time singing in Folk Club...sadly the voice (and consequently the confidence,) have waned and I now write songs..mostly in the Traditional style. If anyone finds them whenI am gone...perhaps I could become the famous ANON!!!!


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 01:38 PM

I was born in 1957, just a few months before "Tom Dooley" hit the charts.   Growing up during the folk revival, the music was all around me - we sang the songs in school and I remember my dad loved to listen to radio. He would listen to all kinds of stations and I heard all kinds of music.   How many people can of my age can thank their father for listening to the Doors on the radio? It seems that these songs were always part of my soundtrack.

When I really started to sit up and take notes was during my high school years in the mid-70's.   I really started to LISTEN to the music that I was hearing. My best friend Bob was a huge Simon & Garfunkel and Dylan fan, so those songs were always on the 8-Track in his beat up VW.   I soon found the circle growing larger, and I became interested in the roots of these artists. It led me to learn more about the folk revival and the traditions - and I've never looked back since!


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Peace
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 01:45 PM

And with that said, I have little else to add of any cogency to this thread (or this site for that matter).

Keep well. And keep the traditions--new or old--alive.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 10:34 AM

Thanks for dropping by Peace and it's good to hear from fellow 'folkies' from across the pond. I just wonder how the folk experience compares between the UK and the USA. Any offers?


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 11:28 AM

Back in the 1950s at primary school, looking back, the songs I enjoyed most, were what, I later discovered, to be 'folk'. Then in the 60s whilst everyone else at school was 'into' the Stones etc I was drawn to Peter Paul & Mary,& Bob Dylan. But it was hearing Joan Baez singing on the BBC, and discovering that what she sang was originally a British ballad, that 'changed my life'! We had our own folk tradition in Britain, what a discovery! Folk music, to my mind, is the finest, and purest, achievment of 'the common man', telling their stories, their loves, hates, deaths etc. As to what is 'folk'?
Wellit's hard to discribe, but you KNOW it when you hear it.   Sailoron


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: theleveller
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 11:46 AM

Firstly, I've always loved history, myth and tradition.

Secondly, it was something I could participate in. Even as a shy lad of 15 I was made to feel welcome at the local folk club and my early attempts at performing were greeted with praise, help and advice – even from up and coming 'stars' like the Watersons.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 11:49 AM

A SINGER IN THE STREET

A SINGER in the street to-day,
    He sings a song; and as I hear
I dream and wander far away,
    And still his song is in my ear.

Snatches of dim forgotten things
    Are in it; such as throb and glow
In nameless poets and their rhymes,
    For simple hearers long ago.

That was their art; they died unknown,
    Not caring, if they left behind
A single snatch, a tender tone,
    To linger with their fellow kind.

And this they did, like birds that pipe,
    By lonely stream or misty hill,
A chord or two, but full and ripe,
    Then seem forever to be still.

But not the notes that are so sweet,
    They live and shift as sunshine slips;
Till here to-day within the street
    They rest upon a singer's lips.

Alexander Anderson (1845-1909)


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Willa
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 01:30 PM

What a great thread! Hope no one drops in to carp. Much of what you have all said applies to me. I only discovered very late in life that much of the music I'd heard sung when I was a child and loved was 'folk music'; busy making up for lost time now, visiting folk clubs and festivals.
Yes, Soldier boy, it feels like 'one big famil' to me too! (occasional quarrels included, as in most families)


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 07:40 PM

Thanks everyone for your heart felt messages.

Seems to me that folk music and all that it entails is something very special to us.

Once bitten you are bitten for life and it really means something special to us.

Like Sailor Ron has said the true essence of folk music "is hard to describe but you KNOW it when you hear it". How true that is.

It seems to seep into your soul and warms the heart with love and understanding of real and lasting 'culture'. And then you meet many like-minded people who all feel the same way and in many cases become friends and extended 'family' for life.

Sorry to go all poetic and soppy on you but that is how I and most others contributing to this thread feel about it.

Surely this warm glow and satisfaction we all feel about the folk scene and its songs,meanings,atmosphere and comraderie should be celebrated and not derided or apologised for.

After all, we are mere mortals and anything that warms the heart, stimulates mixed emotions and stirs the mind makes our lives richer and nore satisfying than any amount of material possesions or wealth. Well doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 08:02 PM

Well, this IS such a beautiful thread maybe I could add another thing.

I left home at a fairly young age, arrived in New York City and after spending $.15 on a subway token was in Washington Square in the Village with a Framus guitar , the clothes on my back and $.35 in my pocket. People from the folk 'scene' looked out for me and got me work. It was at times a wretched existence, but we tended to watch out for each other and together we got through some times that I think would have 'beaten' other people. There was community, compassion and always, there was music.

Listening to words of songs by people like Pat Sky or Charlie Chin, John Sebastian or Fred Neil, Bob Gibson or Lonnie Johnson--man, I got one-on-one tips and criticisms from those folks. Lonnie Johnson himself told me how to do stage introductions; Pat Sky told me how to pace sets; Bob Gibson 'showed' me some chord changes that only he ever did before. Tell me, how can it get better than that?

Good writers and stage performers share what they have learned, and I have never seen that more clearly than in the folk world.

Today (meaning over the past six months), Ron Bankley has been the driving force behind a CD we have almost completed. He and many other people were encouraging. They ALL come out of the 'folk' world, and not a day goes by I don't thank this universe for people like them.

Soldier boy said it more eloquently than I ever could.

"After all, we are mere mortals and anything that warms the heart, stimulates mixed emotions and stirs the mind makes our lives richer and nore satisfying than any amount of material possesions or wealth. Well doesn't it?"

Yeah, man, I hear that.

Yeah, man, I hear that!


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 11 Jun 08 - 08:21 PM

I'm still up and should be in bed ... just wanted to say a big thanks to 'Peace'. Your comments so well describe the back-up and support folkies receive from fellow folkies. You really can't put a price on can you. God bless you and all who sing with you.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 11:25 AM

I would agree with all that has been said. I've always been interested in history, but not the political kind; it's the REAl history that gets me; how people did things; how they dressed, how they made their furniture, what they ate, how they travelled - and why, how they worked, their love lives, and their deaths. All this is represnted in folk songs. It's real life; we know people -'ordinary' people - who lived two or three centuries ago, because their stories have come down to us. And, as others have said, the people who play folk music are generally approachable, helpful people. The ones who do it for a living are not in this for stardom; they are just 'ordinary' people too, doing this for a living instead of digging for coal or making suits or building houses. And unlike many involved in other kinds of music, they are happy to share what they know, because they are passionate about it. I love the fact that the folk world is so inclusive - the audience is as much a part of it as the singers, and the amateurs as much a part as the professionals. At least, this is how it used to be; sadly, I think things are changing in this respect. I remember Nic Jones, back in about 1979, going on for his second spot, after the floor singers, saying "the floor spots are always my favourite part of a folk club; you never know whether your next singer id going to be brilliant or bloody awful". I'm pretty sure this was Nic; my apoplogies to him and whoever it was if I've mis-attributed it. The point is that your singer might be bloody awful, but was still entitled to a hearing, and someone of Nic's stature would still listen. We were all one big, tolerant and supportive family. As I said, I think this is changing. Other threads here have included a lot of snide comments about both the professionals and the amateurs, indicating something of an estrangement which I think helps none of us. Can we mend the rift before all the things we've talked about here become merely a rosy memory?
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: theleveller
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 11:59 AM

I agree that this is a really nice thread. Unlike other tpes of music that I like, folk music is something that I live. By this I mean the experiences and emotions in the songs, and also the folk 'scene' - the people, performing yourself and listening to other do so, the festivals, the folk clubs, just sitting around at home or at parties having a singaround with friends. Before she got into folk music, mrsleveller thought it was all a bit 'twee' but now she's been sucked into it she's amazed at just how fantastic it is.

After over 40 years I love it more than ever - both the tradition and the innovation. What's more, my 8-year old daughter is as enthusiastic as I am.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Jun 08 - 12:21 PM

Celebate folk? What like priests and nuns and things?

Oh, CelebRate Folk! Gotcha.

My daughters round about summed it up when they made the 'transition' from Goth Rock to Folk in their late teens. Having been to many concerts and festivals where the main band spent 30 minutes on stage, were neither approachable or friendly and, in the main, were vastly overpriced they had enough. They now see the 'big names' in 90 minute+ concerts and chat to them later. They mingle with people at the local folk club who are talented enough to perform their own big concerts. They have started to join in sessions themselves. And all on a budget that they don't need to take a mortgage on.

Trouble it's it's addictive. In the best possible way:-)

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 07:11 AM

Although I've been on the fringes for the last 10 years with involvement in Morris Dancing, its only in the last year or so that I have been going to festivals, listening to music, going to sessions etc. I am in my mid twenties and was previously into a fairly wide range of music, and went to a fair few mainstream festivals. For me, folk music seems to have a lot more depth, both in the music itself and the community around the music. By comparison, a lot of the music I used to listen to is, to be honest, boring. The comment Dave P makes is spot on - being able to rub shoulders with so many people who are involved with the music professionally or as part of a hobby makes it feel so much more accessible and ... errr ... wholesome? (I am so bored of go see band, band play tracks like CD, band leave, I leave)

I am guilty of previously harbouring a lot of misconceptions about the scene, and shied away from getting more involved at a younger age, probably cos it aint cool. Its great to go to the likes of Towersey Festival and see so many people of all ages having a great time.
I also love being part of and contributing to an evolving tradition, not just for the sake of keeping it alive, but because I enjoy it. My girlfriend described the folk scene as a big club that noone really knows about, but its pretty exciting to be part of.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: bankley
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 09:05 AM

I've found out long ago that folk music is more on a human scale than most other genres... old Country excepted... there's something about one person (or a small group) singing, playing, telling stories, making jokes, commenting on social conditions, that spans the centuries and bridges cultural divides. Of course, initially, I came to it through recordings.... there wasn't a huge gap between what Cash was saying and the young Baez and Dylan. No surprise that Johnny and Bob became life long friends. The first time that I ever saw and heard a 'folk-singer' hold a room for two or more hours was in the late 60's in Montreal. A young local, fresh out of the Village in NYC. I'm sure that a lot of the tips and advice that he rec'd from his contemporaries there had helped shape his style. There was a 'buzz' around him, and I don't mean chemical. It had a profound effect on me and in turn shaped my perspective on many levels.... I was in an experimental blues band at the time, that was good enough to play the same place on occasion, even if we shook the walls with drums and old Les Paul guitars. The owners would complain, tell the drummer to join the carpenter's union, but we'd be invited back anyway... it was all in good fun...

A couple of years later, I got to make friends and play music with that young troubador and many of the talented people in that 'scene'.
I became a better writer, player and human being through this close and supportive association. We had fun, too. So now, decades later, I've been handed the opportunity to throw some of the support back his way, mostly through making a 'recording'.... Full Circle, in a sense. A wonderful thing...

one more reason to celebrate Folk..

Oh yeah, that 'folk-singer's' name was and is...... Bruce Murdoch


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: GUEST,Guest SuzieQ
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 09:20 AM

Having been brought up on Big Bands and Skiffle and then introduced to punk and new wave through my big brothers, it took a long time for me to get to folk music (via every other genre you can think of!) but it's the songs and the friendliness of clubs/venues and performers that makes it special for me and my family.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 09:31 AM

I forgot to mention the free food at one session I go to, a great reason to celebrate folk!


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: jacqui.c
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 09:33 AM

The songs that we learned to sing at school I later found to be Folk songs, although, at the time, they were just one of the best parts of a school day. I would listen to the music of the Spinners (UK) and Steeleye Span in my 20s, but life got in the way of getting further involved.

I decided to learn to play guitar and a circuitous route via classes brought me to a folk club just after splitting from my husband. For the first time in my life I found somewhere where I could feel a sense of belonging and a music that I could get involved in, not just listen to. To me Folk music has the advantage of having substance than most other popular music and of being easier to join in with than the more substantial classical music. The kick I get from hearing a whole room full of people harmonising a chorus just can't be beaten.

I've found that there are a lot of similarities between the UK and the USA folk scene, both in the music and the people. I think that there is a greater spirit of camaraderie amongst folkies because we are out there making our own music, not just sitting back listening to a performer on stage all the time. I love the fact that there is still so much good music out there that I have yet to hear and learn.

The writers of folk songs give us more of an insight into our social history and, IMHO, that can only lead to a better understanding of where we are now. The music has a real soul.

However, I am very biased as this music has led to my remarriage and, through that, the chance to become even more involved in the Folk world than was previously the case.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Bee
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 09:43 AM

For me it's been the 'folk' aspect of the music: this is music that might be composed by anyone with something to say, a story to tell, an emotion to express. These are songs anyone who can carry a tune can learn to sing, with or without accompaniment. They can be sung plain and simple, or decorated to the extent of the singer's ability and creativity.

Like Don Firth says, this music has roots: the brand-newest, just written yesterday folk song rests on the knowledge of how and why such songs have been written before. There is a continuity of human behaviour, human emotion, human events, recorded in folk songs, from the four hundred year old ballad to the newest crafted story-song.

Besides that, most of it sounds pretty good as well. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 04:34 PM

Very much the hipsters of the late 1950's/1960's.

All that thing that seemed to happen in New York around that time. It just seemed unbelievably hip and chic to a kid hearing and reading about it in rural Lincolnshire.

Peter Paul and mary - there was no one who looked and dressed like that in my world. No one who sounded like Bob Dylan. It seemed a better fashioned response to a world that might conflagrate in nuclear destruction any minute.

And at this stage - a big atraction was that they were young - not much older tan myself but making a better fist of life.

later on my family moved to devon and I saw lots of other folk artists - Brits for the main part. i always liked folk music - contemporary or trad.

But the first artist that inspired me to think - maybe I could do something like that, was Derek Brimstone. He's still my main man as far as folk music is concerned. he may do traditional, or blues or hillbilly, or even pop and contemporary songwriters - but he always related it to THIS LIFE that we are all leading. The songs were never museum pieces and ancient artefacts in his skillful hands.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 06:51 PM

Excellent thread.

As a kid reading The Opies Lore & Language of School Children started me off, then as a teenager obsessively twiddling the wireless knobs to get bits of mostly American folk, Then discovering The Watersons who ran my local club. That blew my mind and got me hooked for life!
Then my own family songs, and going out to do field recordings and finding unrecorded material. Becoming part of this amazing community. Discovering the Child ballads, the dancing, the drama, playing squeeze boxes..........Meeting hundreds of wonderful, like-minded people.

And now retired taking the music into schools and the wider community.
Helping to set up websites. Writing books.........

What a life!
Steve


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 07:07 PM

Just wanted to thank you folks for all your very positive,heart felt and personal contributions.

When starting this thread I expected to receive some of the usual negative carping from certain individuals who seem to flit from thread to thread to disrupt civilised concourse with their venom and poison. But non of that! Praise be.

That is reason enough to celebrate and goes a long way to restore my faith in human nature.

You contributions have been excellent and paint a very personal and colourful view of why you celebrate the many facets of 'Folk' and why we very rightly love it so much.

There is so much to celebrate about 'folk' so keep the good vibes flowing.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Peace
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 07:28 PM

The 'folk' world was something else. I recall Mike Porco giving me a suede jacket because I had no jacket to wear and it was gettin' to be winter. He also hired me at $50/week to be the MC at Gerde's Folk City--can't recall the year, but I do recall that $50 was a fair amount of money back then. I was mediocre as a stage performer, but thanks to that experience I was able to meet many great folkies, and they were always willing to show me stuff on guitar or talk about performance and stage 'presence'. And Joe Marra of the Night Owl Cafe let me wash pots and pans about twice a week for $10 and all the tuna fish sandwiches I could eat. They were wonderful people. It was in the Night Owl that I saw the biggest freakin' cockroach in the entire City of New York. NO exaggerration/egzageration/exageration bull, it was at least three inches long. I was gonna swat it, but I figured that any creature that was able to live as long as it obviously had didn't need some snot-nosed kid ending its life. I later mentioned to Joe that the cockroach was there and he said he knew.

And some wonderful folks who never did let the lights and audiences' praise get to them. People like Jesse Colin Young--as nice and unassuming a person as y'ad ever want to meet. And a GREAT musician. Pat Sky who may be one of the funniest people anyone ever ever met--but also a person who taught me what songwriting really is. He was magic to see on stage and quite humble about being one of the best songwriters to come down the pike.

I think y'all are aware that Mark Ross frequents this forum. He is another songwriter who paid his dues and held his ground. The way he is today in terms of beliefs about the dignity of all people and the dignity of all labour--he was like that when he was just a kid in that folk scene. A man of true convictions and openness grew out of a kid with true convictions and openness.

As for Ron Bankley: I can't say enough about what a wonderful guy he is. As a musician? Plain and simple: WOW. Actually brings a few tears to my eyes when I consider that I have a friend like him.

Anyway, Soldier Boy, you have a great thread here. And thank you for your kind words.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 07:41 PM

I just keep how incrdibly lucky your students have been to have met such an interesting guy, Bruce. You must have brought SO much to the table when you became a teacher.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Peace
Date: 13 Jun 08 - 07:45 PM

Leaving that part of my life in 12 days. But thank you for your kind words, Al. (FYI, you and George and Alan and Brendan were coming up in my next post. Gotta get for now. Dang, there are SO many people I have good things to say about that I expect I'll do fifty more posts and not run out of good people from the 'folk' scene.)


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Polite Guest
Date: 14 Jun 08 - 03:55 AM

Folk music is honesty. It is the hand of good people from the past, reaching out to good people of the present, as they extend theirs out to the future. That is what all of you are doing. It's a relay, without a race, the baton being placed firmly in the hands of the next generation.

It is the music of human emotion. The music of 'us' as a species, the 'ingredients' of mankind. If we were invaded from outer space, it would be our folk music that would explain who we are, to those who wanted to discover.



Right now I'm listening to Bruce Murdoch on the 'Singer Songwriter Project' CD, along with Pat Sky, David Blue/Cohen and Richard Farina.

"...Leaving that part of my life in 12 days..."

In 12 days time, 'the world' gets you and your music back, and will be all the richer for it. Let's hope you now get time to write your autobiography sometime soon. Put me down for a copy, please, along with your new CD.

Welcome back, Bruce, and welcome home.

We've missed you.




Rompin' Rovin' Days - by Bruce Murdoch

Hey I've been a rambler all my rompin' rovin' days
A railway boy with nothin' for to do
My people waved farewell somewhere's down the road
For hobos, friend, are only passin' through

I've seen every city from San Marcos in the south
To the concrete fenced in walls of New York town
Everywhere I go my name nobody wants to know
And their talking seems to stop when I'm around

And all in my life I've been quickly cast aside
Though my handshake never meant less than your own
If there's any which way for to fully understand
Then tell me 'cos I'd surely like to know

For every mile I road a freight train, I walked a city block
Gazing through the windows at the goods I couldn't buy
But the thing that hurts me most is when I'm wanderin' alone
And no-one cares enough to ask me why

I've been a rambler all my rompin' rovin' days
A railway boy with nothin' for to do
My people waved farewell somewhere's down the road
For hobos, friend, are only passin' through


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Peace
Date: 14 Jun 08 - 02:33 PM

Thank you for your kind words; however, this thread is not about me, nor do I wish it to be. (As a btw, that is one of two albums whereon I wish my songs would just disappear.)

One day I received a CD in the mail from a brilliant singer/songwriter who frequents this place. He has the rare ability to cut to the heart of matters and he did so BIG TIME on his CD entitled "Life's Eyes." Many moons ago when I was in the 'pits of despair' he sent e-mails and messages to me with his insights and his humour. He was kind enough to listen to a few songs I was considering for a CD and his encouragement was at once sincere and heart-lifting. To say I like the man would be a severe understatement. George Papavgeris is an individual I would really like to meet. Hope that happens someday. (BTW, George, I will get that review of "Life's Eyes" done this week. It's a beautiful work of art all the way from the songs and the delivery to the 'liner notes' and the art work.) George's site.

Another person who means a great deal to me as a person, friend and musician is Big Al Whittle--known on Mudcat as Wee Little Drummer. He exemplifies a kind of courage there seems not to be enough of in this world. In many correspondences back and forth I have come to see a great sense of humour in him, a sharp mind and an ability to write that makes me feel like a 'novice in a nunnery'. To this day I don't know how he got so 'involved' in characters from the American west--frontier days--but he did and his songs as a result are excellent, both as songs and as insights into the history of the times. Al, I can never thank you sufficiently for your encouragement to me during some really hard times. I know this post will get you all embarrassed, so allow me to say this: Suck it up, Buttercup! (That was me being sensitive and tender.) Al's Site.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Mark Ross
Date: 14 Jun 08 - 03:44 PM

Thanks, Bruce for the kind words. You were a great inspiration to me 40 years ago. Unfortunately, I kept trying to hit the high notes the way you could, and those notes were, for a second baritone, were damn near impossible!

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: GUEST,wld
Date: 14 Jun 08 - 07:37 PM

You know Bruce - unlike you I was a rotten teacher- really crap.

Unlike ou I hadn't a lot of life experiences when I started. After about two years got my first graded post in another school - teaching reading in a secondary school in the inner ring of Birmingham. It was a very disadvantaged school with over a third of the 11 year olds having a reading age of seven years and less.

I thought I had the secret of teaching reading. And for the first three months I went home and worked every evening from six til eleven - maikng worksheets to go with these Australian reading books.
there were no computers in those days - so at half term I borrowed a large print typewriter. Working the whole seven days of my half term, 12 hours a day, I managed to type out these worksheets - 12 a day.

And then I presented my magnum opus to the children. And they hated it. They voted with their feet and stopped coming to school in many cases - it was so boring!

Finally someone on the staff was selected to speak to me. And say, Alan - if the kids have pissed off - there's no education going on!

And of course it broke my heart. however it was a good experience and taught me stuff about myself, although I'm not sure I ever picked myself up as a teacher.

Above all years later, it taught me to recognise something about folk music. When I saw all the empty clubs in the 1970's - I realised I was the lucky one. Because someone had spoke to me. So many of the folksingers nowadays - don't get it. Nobody has ever said to them, when the folk have pissed off - there's no folkmusic going on.

love

al


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Peace
Date: 14 Jun 08 - 07:47 PM

I had good years teaching and rotten years. Highs and lows. So please don't be putting yourself down. I have seen and been both sides of the good teacher/bad teacher equation. It's never as cut and dried as we or anyone else makes it out to be. I am very happy to be leaving the profession. It's time. I will welcome a job that involves no days that are 12-14 hours, no weekends, no 'extra-curricular' stuff. I will not miss the summer break because all it ever meant was a recoup time to rebuild the energy to do it all again for another year. The only thing I will miss is the students. But they will have other teachers and go on to have good lives, and after all is said and done, that's what we want for them.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 08:19 PM

Apart from people who infect threads with their negativity and caustic comments the second worse type are those that apparently come on to a thread in all sweet innocence and then proceed to take it over. Namely 'Peace' and his 'fan' club.
I am sorry to say this but it is usually our friends from across the pond in the great US of A who for some apparently god-given reason, think that the universe revolves around them and them only. Sorry to sound bitter folks but I have seen it time after time on Mudcat threads. So instead of 'Celebrate Folk' let's 'Celebrate Peace' and make the world a better place!


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Peace
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 08:29 PM

Sorry you feel that way. It is not something I wanted to have happen. I am off this thread. And Soldier Boy, kindly go get fucked.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 10:13 PM

I picked up a 'free' magazine today in a bookshop that refused to stock my album cos I wasn't on one of your tossy little labels - full of you boring tosssers. The english folk revival and their totally boring spawn. I'm sorry if you resent the fact that cyberspace is not another area where you reign supreme.

we agree you own the british media, bbc2 specials, every folk magazine and radio station, folk festival in england.

Maybe its you who has got the attitude problem.

Bruce Murdoch's achievements speak for themselves.

None of you gits could write a memorable song like he has, as long as you had a hole in your arse.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Azizi
Date: 15 Jun 08 - 10:51 PM

Soldier boy, you had a great thread going. I found the comments & memories that posters shared both interesting and informative. But where in the world did your 15 Jun 08 - 08:19 PM post come from??
Imo, that comment was unexpected, uncalled for, and totally unwarrented.

I don't belong to any fan club. But I know great songs when I hear them, and I've heard a lot of great songs from Bruce Murdoch/Peace. Hopefully, I'll hear many more great songs that Bruce has written or will write and sing and play. And hopefully, I'll hear many other great songs that are written, sung, and played by other people who post on Mudcat regardless of which side of the pond they live.

Hopefully, this thread isn't ruined. But I fear it is, because of no one else but you, Soldier Boy.

What a shame!


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Polite Guest
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 03:11 AM

From soldierboy:

"When starting this thread I expected to receive some of the usual negative carping from certain individuals who seem to flit from thread to thread to disrupt civilised concourse with their venom and poison. But non of that! Praise be."

What a great shame you didn't read your own words, before you posted one of the most venomous, poisonous and uncivilised posts I have yet seen on Mudcat.

I agree with everything Al has posted above. To me, there is something 'rotten' within the English folk world, it runs through the very heart of it, leaving a trail of poison and vindictiveness. This is aimed particularly at people who appear to be well liked and respected by others, but who 'outside' the magic circle. It is what keeps the English folk world where it is. It is what causes many in here, who are not from England, to stare open mouthed in horror, at comments such as those above, in 'soldierboys' last post.
Praise be, we have the US and Canadian posters in here who so often make reading about the folk world much more uplifting, with their open-minded attitudes and friendly comments. My apologies to Peace for daring to mention his name on such a narrow-minded thread. I had no idea it had been started by someone with such an outlook.

From 'soldierboy'

"Sorry to sound bitter.."

You sound, and I would say, *are* incredibly bitter. May you find a way to rid yourself of such feelings. An excellent way to start, perhaps, would be by apologising for that highly unpleasant message above, but that is entirely up to you, for I realise that would take guts.

Thanks to Al, Bruce, Don and all the others though, for their interesting and informative comments. It is those comments that the celebration of folk is really about, comments which talk of support, great memories, humour, empathy and friendship.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 04:12 AM

When I read the 'Cat last night
As drunk as I could be
I thought I saw a peaceful thread
Where flaming ought to be
Come here, my wife
My pretty wife
Explain this thing to me
What are those rude and angry words
Where sweet words ought to be?

You silly fool, you drunken fool
Can't you plainly see?
It's nothing but a load of tripe
My mother sent to me
I've been around this website
A thousand times or more
But rage because it gets too nice
I never saw before


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 04:40 AM

Ah, bollocks to that. Let's not keelhaul Soldier Boy for a momentary - and uncharacteristic - lapse. It's not like the rest of us are angels anyway. Swallow hard and move on.

My guess is that few owe to folk as much as I do. Not only did I meet her at my first folk club, but falling in love with the songs helped my English tremendously (I was 20 and had only learned English 1 year before that). And even more, by being interested in the stories and events the songs mentioned, I started to get into the culture behind them, becoming "anglisized" I suppose.

A while later, I got my first and second jobs partly because of my (by then) good knowledge of English. And I got some of the best breaks at work for the same reason.

But even more important: through the years of growing up and growing older, folk music has been there in many guises, to cheer me up or help celebrate, to keep my feet on the ground when worldly success threatened, to help me express feelings through the songs of others. And when I came to my own "crunch" at 48, once more it gave me the opportunity to reinvent myself and gave me a new lease of life.

So I will always be grateful to James, Paul & Simon, Martin, June, Eric, Maddy, Dave-Ron-Ken, Jeremy, Johnny, heck I could be listing names till the cows come home. You can fill the surnames in, you know who they are.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 04:41 AM

Sugarlumps - Bonnie, the opening expletive is general, NOT aimed at your post!


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 04:56 AM

I've always been attracted to folk music to listen to but what makes it special to me is the participation side and that within that side, it can cater for all abilities (although not necessarily in every event).


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Polite Guest
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 05:12 AM

Good words, Bonnie.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 05:40 AM

Perhaps Soldier boy could have expressed himeself a little more temperately but his frustration that his Celebrate 'Folk' thread had been turned into a mutual admiration society and a first draft for Bruce Murdoch's autobiography is understandable.

It's sad how quickly the masks came off and a few people who clearly don't share the same warm and friendly folk scene that I know took the opportunity give vent to their twisted views.

Hang in there, Soldier boy; there is a lot to celebrate in folk.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Polite Guest
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 06:25 AM

From The Snail:

"Perhaps Soldier boy could have expressed himeself a little more temperately but his frustration that his Celebrate 'Folk' thread had been turned into a mutual admiration society and a first draft for Bruce Murdoch's autobiography is understandable..."

Sorry, I disagree, with all due respect.

It would have been better if 'soldierboy' had said nothing at all, and sat back to read a few, but interesting messages, between two posters who obviously have a great deal of respect for one another, both as musicians and as people, whilst hearing of another musician, George, that is. THAT is what the folk world is about. The thread was *not* going off-course, in fact it was demonstrating exactly why the good part of the folk world IS what it is.

But then, in my opinion, down came the bad side, and a highly unnecessary, unpleasant comment was put down, to be followed by yet another from 'The Snail'

I need to make this clear, for him/her and for anyone else who is now using this thread for their personal likes/dislikes.

As far as any mention of any autobiography goes, that was my idea entirely. So, let me expand it. There are *many* people in here whose life stories I would love to read about, Bruce is simply one of them, George is another. I've read many 'snippets' of George's life, but would love to read the whole story. I always make a point of reading their posts, for they are not only excellent songwriters, but excellent writers. There are many other people in here who are also capable of writing their memoirs, and they too should seriously think about doing it, before these memories of the folk world are lost forever. It's important to keep memories alive, not only in song.

I sincerely hope that George will not have to now endure the same virulent criticism that Bruce has had thrown at him, purely because I have dared to put my opinion down. If he does, then I apologise to George, unreservedly, for what may lie ahead, as I also apologise to Bruce, for daring to put down my thoughts, which seem to have irrationally incensed some people.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Jun 08 - 06:58 AM

This thread started off about Celebration, not Celebrity.


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