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Celebrate 'Folk'

Leadfingers 08 Jul 08 - 07:35 PM
Richard Bridge 08 Jul 08 - 06:35 PM
GUEST 08 Jul 08 - 12:01 PM
Soldier boy 04 Jul 08 - 07:13 PM
Spleen Cringe 02 Jul 08 - 07:04 PM
Soldier boy 02 Jul 08 - 05:53 PM
Soldier boy 29 Jun 08 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,dillie the oast ouse opper 27 Jun 08 - 10:54 AM
Soldier boy 27 Jun 08 - 08:54 AM
Soldier boy 23 Jun 08 - 06:59 PM
Def Shepard 21 Jun 08 - 04:39 PM
Spleen Cringe 21 Jun 08 - 04:29 PM
GUEST,Jim 21 Jun 08 - 09:41 AM
Soldier boy 21 Jun 08 - 09:40 AM
Houston_Diamond 21 Jun 08 - 09:32 AM
George Papavgeris 21 Jun 08 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,Jon 21 Jun 08 - 09:13 AM
Soldier boy 21 Jun 08 - 09:13 AM
Soldier boy 21 Jun 08 - 09:10 AM
George Papavgeris 21 Jun 08 - 09:08 AM
Soldier boy 21 Jun 08 - 09:08 AM
George Papavgeris 21 Jun 08 - 09:01 AM
Houston_Diamond 21 Jun 08 - 08:57 AM
Soldier boy 21 Jun 08 - 08:48 AM
GUEST,Jon 21 Jun 08 - 08:34 AM
George Papavgeris 21 Jun 08 - 08:31 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 21 Jun 08 - 08:21 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 21 Jun 08 - 08:15 AM
GUEST,Jon 21 Jun 08 - 08:13 AM
Colin Randall 21 Jun 08 - 07:44 AM
GUEST,Jon 21 Jun 08 - 06:08 AM
GUEST 21 Jun 08 - 06:08 AM
Colin Randall 21 Jun 08 - 01:45 AM
Colin Randall 21 Jun 08 - 01:43 AM
Neil D 21 Jun 08 - 01:02 AM
Spleen Cringe 20 Jun 08 - 10:09 PM
Azizi 20 Jun 08 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,Jon 20 Jun 08 - 07:05 PM
Soldier boy 20 Jun 08 - 06:55 PM
Tangledwood 20 Jun 08 - 06:15 PM
Tangledwood 20 Jun 08 - 06:06 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 20 Jun 08 - 10:38 AM
Houston_Diamond 19 Jun 08 - 10:06 PM
Houston_Diamond 19 Jun 08 - 10:04 PM
GUEST,Jon 19 Jun 08 - 09:33 PM
Houston_Diamond 19 Jun 08 - 09:08 PM
Houston_Diamond 19 Jun 08 - 08:36 PM
Soldier boy 19 Jun 08 - 08:12 PM
GUEST,Jon 19 Jun 08 - 08:11 PM
Soldier boy 19 Jun 08 - 08:05 PM
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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Leadfingers
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 07:35 PM

Can I Celebrate 200 posts as well as Folk ?


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 06:35 PM

I celebrate it because at Cambridge folk festival, let me see, must have been about '72, I nearly made my first date with Jacqui.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jul 08 - 12:01 PM

I celebrate Folk everytime I set off for yet another Folk festival and then celebrate it again when I return from a festival and look back on it. Then I feel a warm glow and a happy, satisfied grin creeps onto my face. I celebrate it with quiet satisfaction.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 04 Jul 08 - 07:13 PM

I agree with you Charlie.In my experience folk people forgive anyone who is willing to have a go and encourage them to keep on having a go. And long may that be so.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 07:04 PM

Actually, after tonight's singaround in the Beech, Chorlton, I can think of a lot of reasons to celebrate folk - mainly based on being in a pub side room with a lovely bunch of people who enjoy singing and playing folk songs - and those people prevailing, despite the piped music coming in from next door... and from my particular point of view, gratitude that people are forgiving of rubbish singers such as myself not always being able to carry a tune...

Nice.

And I think, a good reason to do what the thread title suggests we do.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 02 Jul 08 - 05:53 PM

Does no one else have a reason to celebrate 'Folk' and say why it is so special to you?


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 29 Jun 08 - 07:37 PM

Thanks Guest dillie. Please don't apologise for the fact that you are a morris dancer. You are an essential ingredient in the cake - mix that is 'folk.' and long may it be so.
All the more reason as a 'young 'un' to celebrate the essence of folkiness.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: GUEST,dillie the oast ouse opper
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 10:54 AM

I agree with you entirely Solider Boy from a YP perspective, I am young and I think that the state folk was in 10 -15 years ago is unrecognisable from how it is today. We young 'uns love our folk.

I think that folk music is on great shape, and is in a great position to be carried on for generations to come - the young ones are certainly talented (don't count me in that, i'm only a morris dancer), passionate about Folk and the upkeep of the folk tradition, and I also agree that more and more folkies are becoming involved from a young age - and are staying around.

It's great news.

Charlotte x


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 08:54 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 06:59 PM

It never fails to amaze me AND delight me that so many young people are now involved in 'Folk'.
At The Beverly Folk Festival this weekend there were heaps of them as artists,morris dancers,mummers,helpers,stall holders and of course in the 'fringe' and the general audience.
The level of skill and talent of these young folk singers/musicians, some as young as 15 or 16, never fails to amaze me.
I might be looking at this with glasses that are overly rose-tinted but it seems to me that more and more young 'uns are getting involved and staying with it year upon year.
If that is the case then the future of folk is in good hands and the future's looking good.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Def Shepard
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 04:39 PM

To quote Richard Thompson's song Genesis Hall "To see both sides of a quarrel is to judge without hate or alarm" A difficult thing to do, but not impossible.

I like what I like in folk, other people like what they like, sometimes our tastes meet, sometimes they don't. That's just the way it is.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 04:29 PM

Going back to Guest Jon's point (sorry Soldier Boy, I'll try not to be too heavy for too long in a thread you're keen to keep "lite"), I believe we all have a right to excercise free speech on the internet, even if our views may be unpalatable to some (such as my mystification about folk clubs!).

But is there not also an argument that the "right" to free speech is complemented by a "responsibility" to use it well? Too often on Mudcat a section of people use their freedom of speech in a gratuitous and offensive manner - some of the stuff on the Rachel Unthank thread springs to mind. Why squander that freedom, that right, on deliberately and unnecessarily being hurtful? It's a far cry from saying you don't like the work of a particular performer and explaining why, which I suspect is the kind of totally acceptable thing you (Jon) are talking about. And it always seems to be the young, up and coming performers who get it in the neck - I don't know why. Maybe the folk scene is a movement that wants to eat its own young...

But, to paraphrase, I'll defend to the death (well maybe not quite that far...) someone's right to talk shite, but I'll still call them an arsehole for doing it.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 09:41 AM

Well said.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 09:40 AM

Not gone yet! That's beautiful Houston Diamond.I think you have just summed up exactly how many of us really feel in our hearts about folk. Beautiful!


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Houston_Diamond
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 09:32 AM

The odd about my name is; I was named after my dad 'Hugh Diamond'. Houston (a village near Glasgow) was named after a lord called Hugh. Sam Houston, the original governor of Texas had the City Houston named after him who coincidently got his surname by being named after the village. The Circle Game comes to mind lol ;)

And it all stems from the Anglo-Saxon town naming. Yeah, thanks Apollo 13 for having a problem, I now spend most of my days handing out the contact details of a good psychologist ;) lol. (or fixing their computer)

I love singing and performing and I don't really care if I'm alone when doing it. If I perform in front of people I get judged and I hope that people judge it as pleasant, some even say beautiful. Personally I can't stand my voice when I hear it... it's far too high and I can hear my mistakes on recordings. The fun I have is performing it because it makes me really content and I don't know why that happens. When I can't do it for some reason, after a period of time I get really depressed. Folk is my occupational therapy :D

When I was in my late teens I become very withdrawn and depressed. I got pulled out of it by listening to Bob Marley who made me feel so happy when I sang along, I then learnt loads on the guitar whilst trying to learn folk songs and it all started falling into place. I couldn't give up folk music if I wanted to... It runs deep in my veins and it gets me into trouble sometimes as I cant stop dancing to any music now!...

I work at Wembley Stadium in a VVIP area... 2 weeks ago I was working at the Foo Fighters concert and I had to watch the crowd for safety... I noticed several people spotted me bopping to it and they smiled but I should really have been professional and stayed still... I just cant do it.

I blame folk music but in a very positive way... I love it :D

I'm very nervous about tonight as it's my first gig in the family band at a ceilidh... I love ceilidhs as the atmosphere of people not having a care in the world gets up to dance and wear huge smiles on their faces... it becomes extremely infectious and soon my cheeks hurt with the silly grin exercising muscles that usually lay dormant... I then think to myself "how can anyone criticise this?"

Just a thought :D


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 09:18 AM

...and that's why we do it, Jon (me included, I am of "your world" too and still go to sessions for the same reasons).


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 09:13 AM

Geoerge, re your other points and folk views, I "live" in a different world and while I sometimes will give a song or less often tune as a floor spot. I'm not really sure I enjoy it now...

Usually I'm in (all join in together) tune sessions where we are largely playing for ourselves.

Still in that, you can pick up the good "performance" (I think playing together gives different ones) feelings. It can be nice to look round the room and see a table where say people's feet are tapping or maybe once in a while have someone ask about your instrument or otherwise show in interest in learning the music, etc.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 09:13 AM

Off to Beverly Folk Festival now. Catch you all later.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 09:10 AM

Nice one George. I was half expecting that. Good on ya.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 09:08 AM

So in summary, it is the contextualising of the externalisation of the audience's assimilation of the performed material that assists the artist in the deeper understanding of their reaction.

(Sorry Soldier Boy, that was for your benefit - it's the devil in me! :-D)


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 09:08 AM

Thanks Houston Diamond. That explains a lot and I like the 'Houston we have a PROBLEM'link. Straight away it makes me think of the 'Apollo 13' film starring Tom Hanks. Great film. Trouble is every time you post now I will immediately think of THAT film.
Oh well!


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 09:01 AM

I don't feel that pressure from the media, or indeed from anyone else, Jon. As for being paranoid, you know what they say: "just because you are paranoid, it doesn't mean they are not out to get you!". So, you may be right, and I am just thick-skinned.

There are fads from time to time, and some of them might catch people's (and the media's) imagination, sure. And in doing so they might divert attention from our own interests. So be it - their loss, in my book. I concentrate on winning people over one by one, not en masse. Inefficient perhaps, but I find it very rewarding to see an individual's eyes open with appreciation. I think it is also more honest - you know that they are now on your side because you won them over, not because of some fad.

Would I like to perform in front of thousands of adoring young fans who would all sell the shirt off their back to buy my CD and pay exorbitant ticket prices to cover my sky-rocketing fees? Sure I would - for the money. But not for the personal satisfaction that I touched them, I could not entirely trust their adoration to be honest and free from the influence of fashion (though I dare say I would fool myself that it was so, I am only human).

Which is why I can have precisely as much fun performing in front of 5 people as before 500.

Just as well, really!


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Houston_Diamond
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 08:57 AM

Sorry for the confusion Soldier Boy, was just changing my name to reflect my festival name :D

I have a high-vis at festivals when I'm working that says Houston AKA the Problem, as in, Houston, we have a problem! I always say "yep, that's me" cos I'm kinda tired of hearing it. 34 years of being Houston has taken its toll ;) lol

I was thinking of putting up Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy" video link but I think this link is much better, Bobby McFerrin creating audience participation - sorry it's not folk!


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 08:48 AM

My confusion in my last posting was obviously caused by Houston Diamond having a sudden name change to 'The Problem' - that together with coming onto the thread after sinking 6 or 7 pints of strong ale down at the pub did't help! Sorry about that.

Didn't know you could just change your identity on Mudcat like that and that it would show on all previous member posts and am confused why anyone would wish to do that.

Azizi, sorry to offend you again but may I politely refer you to my original request when I opened this thread :

"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 into the folk scene in the first place and why you've stayed with it.."

Too often I have found that too much heavy intellectualised debate on mudcat threads just gets lost in its own cleverness and ends up completely tied in knots.
It also puts other people off from posting to the thread because they feel that they will be shot down in flames by a barrage of long words or unable to share the same intellectual and moral high ground.
The result is that such discourse tends to monopolise the thread and strays far from the original intent of its instigator.

That's all I am saying. Just a plea to get back to the roots of the thread and lighten up its content and its atmosphere.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 08:34 AM

George, I'm saying (paraniod or otherwise) I'm feeling there is gradually building up folk media pressure to like certain artists or be disliking them because you dislike the idea of popularity.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 08:31 AM

Jon,
if I understand right, you say that anyone criticising a "popular" performer might be summarily put down for their opinion...

Well, in open discussion that risk always exists, you can't legislate for it, but neither should one hold back their opinion trying to second-guess how others might respond. Courage of one's convictions and all that. And anyone criticising the opinions of others (which is different from "dissenting") by lumping them into an easy-to-ridicule category in the end is shooting themselves in the foot.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 08:21 AM

Cross-posted with Jon, whose last message I didn't see until now. But the internet is part of the media. I fail to see the differentiation, and don't believe that you should be allowed to say what you think Here, but not There. Free speech, and all that... ?


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 08:15 AM

Why does anyone have to apologise for expressing their opinions, in the media or out of it?


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 08:13 AM

OK, Colin, I'll try to clarify what I meant.

I'm feeling that when others pass their negative opinions in open Internet discussion and where these artists are popular with the folk media, "dissenters" are likely to be put down for disliking an artist for being too popular.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Colin Randall
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 07:44 AM

Jon

I was responding to this, from your earlier comment:

"......I may be a touch paraniod on this but I feel the more groups are "championed" by "folk media" and awards are promoted, the harder it is going to be to express ones own feelings without reading somewhere why we (of course wrongly for some reason we ourselves don't know) think what we think."


   Since you had specifically mentioned me, I read your conclusion quoted above as including me in the "folk media" description and criticising my arguments, Both of which you are perfectly entitled to do, just as I am entitled to reply. But if I misinterpreted the comment, I am happy to apologise


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 06:08 AM

missed my name above.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 06:08 AM

There was also a sidebar on artists I recommended (sorry Guest Jon, but I am am not sure what offence is committed by "championing" people I like), and I will copy & paste that here in a minute.

What the hell are you going on about?

I have no problem with ypu or anyone else mentioning artists they like. If they are mentioned in a discussion thread, I do expect to be able to offer my opions without reading why I really hold those views. From your side bar:

Kate Rusby. I can listen happily to her singing but I don't consider her to be a great singer. I don't object to her popularity but I don't understand it. That I don't rate her voice especially highly is not something I decided I must do because she is popular but because in my (admittedly subjective) opinion, I don't find as strong as other singers I've heard. Surely I'm allowed this view for my own reasons?

Sharon Shannon. Popularity or otherwise, I think she is a superb musician.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Colin Randall
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 01:45 AM

...and this is the sidebar


Kate Rusby

Although the pint-sized Yorkshirewoman sings folk music "for people who don't like folk", her repertoire draws heavily on traditional British balladry, and her own songs sound as if they might have been written hundreds of years ago. On stage, the girlish delivery and homely patter appeal to many, but infuriate some. Awkward Annie, the most recent album, captures Rusby nearly at her best, though I retain a soft spot for her 1995 debut as part of an enchanting duo (Kate Rusby and Kathryn Roberts).
Sharon Shannon

How do you make an accordion an instrument of joy? Place it in the hands of someone like Sharon Shannon, a farmer's daughter from the west of Ireland who plays like a dream, with as much invention and flair as I have encountered in any musician, and smiles warmly as she does so. Shannon also commands a respect among fellow musicians that crosses boundaries of style and nationality. The Galway Girl: the Best of Sharon Shannon, just received, is a stunning compilation with walk-on parts for Jackson Browne, Steve Earle and, on a gorgeous version of Astor Piazzolla's Libertango, the late Kirsty MacColl.
Leon Rosselson

A passionately anti-Zionist London Jew, Rosselson writes about politics, from assorted left-wing causes to support for the Palestinians, and also about people and relationships. He cannot sing for toffee, and is doubtless heartily sick of me saying so, and has a way of getting up people's noses. But I would not be without the sharp, funny, challenging and beautifully crafted songs he has been creating for 40 years. Some of the better ones, including his powerful account of the massacre of Deir Yassin, appear on Turning Silence Into Song. And that voice somehow fits the songs like a glove.
Karine Polwart

One of the brainiest women in folk, Polwart has packed a lot into her thirtysomething years. She has a first in philosophy and a Masters in philosophical inquiry, taught primary schoolchildren and worked in domestic and child abuse. After acclaimed spells with Malinky and the Battlefield Band, she burst free to reinvent herself as an award-winning songwriter. Her solo albums are not remotely easily listening, but get better on each hearing. Scribbled in Chalk and This Earthly Spell prove the point.
Fairport Convention or Steeleye Span

Take your pick between the ­giants or, according to taste, dinosaurs of folk-rock. Steeleye preferred the tag "English electric folk" but for most listeners, the format is the same: folk with a rock band's rhythm and punch. Both relied disproportionately in their heydays on strong female voices, Maddy Prior in Steeleye and the late Sandy Denny in Fairport. Long Lankin, from Steeleye's Spanning the Years, has an absent nobleman, gruesome murders and summary executions to go with the glorious melody and arrangement, while Fairport will never improve on Liege and Lief, from 1969. Folk-rock's most influential album, digitally remastered and reissued last year, remains a masterpiece.
Woody Guthrie

Some graduates of the 1960s American folk boom – notably Dylan, Baez, and, on the pop-folk margins, Peter, Paul and Mary – need no introduction to mainstream listeners. The more adventurous may find it rewarding to explore the work of Woody Guthrie, who was singing out for the downtrodden and dispossessed long before the others knew of their existence. The repertoire is as vast as it is political, and most people have probably heard at least one version of his signature song, This Land Is Your Land, but I rather took to a late 1980s restoration of his Columbia River Collection, a set of classics prosaically commissioned by power authorities to mark the Bonneville and Grand Coulee Dam-building projects half a century earlier.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Colin Randall
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 01:43 AM

In response to Azizi's request, here is my article from the Abu Dhabi paper (The National) here, in the first of two chunks. This is the main piece. There was also a sidebar on artists I recommended (sorry Guest Jon, but I am am not sure what offence is committed by "championing" people I like), and I will copy & paste that here in a minute.
I have had such interesting feedback that I will also put the whole lot up on my site Salut! Live (which, incidentally, passes the strictest unpopularity test known to folk except on the odd occasion when I alert Mudcatters & others to articles I think may be of interest).



No song and dance, please

Colin Randall


As shocks to the system go, it ranked with Oliver Twist standing up in the workhouse canteen to ask for more. Between maudlin Irish ballads and defiant songs of miners' struggles, a young man with a guitar approached the makeshift stage of a smoke-filled folk club in northern England and announced that he was about to sing Simon and Garfunkel's Sounds of Silence.

You're going to do what? The club organiser's face dropped like a stone. Regulars frowned. Other musicians looked on in disbelief. A song straight out of the pop charts, sung in a folk club! Whatever next? Bingo in the interval, the national anthem to close the night?

Lovers of folk music, and for some reason this seems to apply especially to British folk fans, are inverted snobs. I know this, because I am one. Indeed I was, nearly four decades ago, that organiser. Yes, it annoys us no end to think of the contempt or, worse still, the silence that our music receives from the mainstream media. But one of the few things certain to irritate us even more is having it brought to wider public attention, as when something sounding vaguely folky enters the charts or attracts a pop music awards nomination.

One of the bright young heroines of English folk, Kate Rusby, kept an entirely straight face when she told me a few years ago how pleased she was that not too many people liked what she did. "I've never minded it being a minority music," she said. "It's like a rare diamond; if everyone looks at it, it might seem less special. I like it that people have to look that bit harder for it."

Reflections on a lifetime of being mocked for my musical tastes, coupled with the guilty thought that I quietly welcome this disdain, came to mind as I slipped a new greatest hits compilation by Paul Simon, one half of the offending duo, into the car stereo. Here, for all my earlier disapproval, was a seriously good artist, a man with wit, a storyteller's flair and integrity to add to a great ear for melody, and lyrical impact. If parts of the double CD, The Essential Paul Simon, now sound a little dated, that is because some of the songs – Mother and Child Reunion, for example, and Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard – are 36 years old. In any case, this does not rob them of quality, and Graceland feels as vibrant today as it did in 1986.

Some of Simon's much more recent output has less appeal, but that is a common complaint among older listeners rediscovering performers who produced towering work so many years ago. On any assessment, the 36 tracks offer a splendid introduction to fresh ears, while the deluxe edition's bonuses of old video clips and television appearances may win over established fans familiar with the discography.

But is it folk music? Probably not. But then, the genre has always been notoriously hard to define – unless you happened to be Louis Armstrong, to whom all music was folk since he "ain't never heard no horse sing a song".

Ian Anderson, the editor of a British magazine called Folk Roots, changed its name to fRoots (pronounced eff-roots) after tiring of being bombarded with albums and publicity material about every other American singer-songwriter who had ever possessed an acoustic guitar and was now being passed off as "folk". Rather unsatisfactorily, the front cover slogan now describes what we should expect to find inside as "local music from out there". Yet Anderson is not remotely a purist.

Back in the late 1960s, I frequented one folk club that frowned on anything that did not meet the strictest folk test of having been passed down "by the oral tradition" from one generation to another. An Irish refinement of this rigid approach was to refuse to accept as traditional any music not played on a single instrument (which most certainly did not include guitar) or sung unaccompanied.

These days, most people who have a special affection for folk are more flexible. Kate Rusby still sings what she calls her "castle knocking-down" ballads plucked from ancient songbooks, but also writes a lot of her own material. Years after Bob Dylan was pelted with coins by fans furious that he had gone electric, folk festivals happily present loud folk rock (and, sometimes, out-and-out rock). Scottish and Irish traditional bands mix pipes, flute, accordion, percussion and all manner of strings – fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin, bouzouki and bass – and still call themselves traditional. Some adventurous souls add brass sections; the really intrepid, Jim Moray more successfully than most, apply computer wizardry to old songs and are rewarded with cool, if ghastly descriptions of their music such as nu-folk and folktronica. "Whatever you call it – and we don't bother – the scene is really healthy," says Anderson, whose magazine has just celebrated its 300th edition in 29 years. "But by the time we changed our name, folk had become a devalued term. We knew what we wanted to cover, and that broadly was anything from anywhere that had some roots in tradition, and it could be very old, or very new."

Paul Simon, he is quite sure, is not a folk singer, although he was clearly inspired as a young man by such pillars of the English folk establishment as Martin Carthy as much as by 1950s rock 'n' roll. "Along the way, he then discovered roots influences – South African and Brazilian, for example – and has shown himself to be a questing musician delving into a lot of what we actually cover, putting him in the same mould as someone like Elvis Costello."

And there is ample evidence on The Essential Paul Simon of the exotic themes that have enriched Simon's work since he and Art Garfunkel went their separate ways, give or take occasional reunions. What you will not find is any trace of Sounds of Silence, I Am a Rock and Homeward Bound, leaving the pedantic former folk club organiser who once deplored them ever so slightly disappointed.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Neil D
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 01:02 AM

mad props! Azizi. I agree entireley with you and Ewan Spawned a Monster. HD seemed quite knowledgable and enthusiastic about folk music and had good taste(similar to mine! ;^). I enjoyed his stories about festivals he'd been to over the years. If the point of this thread was to share your celebration of 'Folk', then he was doing it as well as anybody.
                                           Neil


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 10:09 PM

I agree with Azizi. Come back Houston Diamond, the man with the best name on Mudcat... You're not a problem, your a star!


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Azizi
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 08:10 PM

But it must have to have got rid of those irksome over intellectualised individuals. I am not certain about their names but one was Houston something or other.
-Soldier Boy

Soldier Boy. I believe that Houston_Diamond added a lot of interesting comments to this thread. I don't think that he was irksome or over-intellectualising on this thread. I regret that Houston changed his name to "The Problem". I suppose he had his reasons, but I still am saddened by his name change.

Soldier boy, you wrote in your 18 Jun 08 - 08:58 PM "Lots of quick -fire and shooting off at the hip here. Me thinks too much mental sparring and not enough heart searching about what 'Folk' really means to you...At the end of the day we are all different with hugely different tastes and the 'roots of 'folk' are so diverse that you will never get a consensus of opinion. Never. So let's just agree to disagree"

I didn't agree with you that what other people and I were doing was "mental sparring". I call it "discussing". Be that as it may, it's too bad that you didn't read the rest of your post and follow your own suggestion to "agree to disagree".

Perhaps you're disappointed that this thread didn't turn out the way you wanted it to be. Well, I'm disappointed that you couldn't just let this thread flow but felt you had to once again speak badly about one of this discussion's participants.

I said it before, and I'll say it again- what a shame.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 07:05 PM

Houston something or other.

Seems to have changed his name to "The Problem". This change (one a user can make) will show on all his member posts.

I've not noticed any deletions in this thread.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 06:55 PM

Wow!. That's weird.

Just come on back to this thread and loads of postings have been deleted/scrubbed/exterminated. How cool is that! Because they were strange to say the least and had really monopolised this thread.

I have no idea how Mudcat works or wether it has some kind of Mudcat police to patrol sites and zap the bad guys. But it must have to have got rid of those irksome over intellectualised individuals. I am not certain about their names but one was Houston something or other.

I did sort of suspect that two in particular 'contributors' were taking the p..s on this thread and that whilst they were on the thread the speed of loading the thread had crawled to snail pace.

To me this is so odd - a bit like a X FILES or an OUTER LIMITS experience. Is it me going bananas or can someone explain what has happened here. An official statement from the Mudcat officiado would be nice. I really want to know!


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Tangledwood
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 06:15 PM

I should expand on that thought. My singing partner wanted to learn "The Cocks are Crowing" after hearing it at a resort show and buying the show's CD. Not knowing it myself I searched the internet and found what I guess is more or less a traditional version with at least twice as many verses as the show. They would have been lost to us if relying on the commercial version.

Of topic - when searching for Cocks are Crowing the ever-helpful Google asked "did you mean to search for cows are crowing"? Later I searched for "midi Cocks are Crowing" so Google offered "mini cows are crowing".


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Tangledwood
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 06:06 PM

"I think the main worry of the folk-becoming-less-marginalised issue is not one of attitudes but big business. Once anything gets too popular, somebody can - and will - try to sell it. When there's money to be made, it attracts exploiters and the competitive demands of the commercial marketplace kick in."


There's certainly something in that Bonnie. There are numerous examples of recordings or shows omitting verses of longer songs in order to fit into a commercially required time slot.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 20 Jun 08 - 10:38 AM

I think the main worry of the folk-becoming-less-marginalised issue is not one of attitudes but big business. Once anything gets too popular, somebody can - and will - try to sell it. When there's money to be made, it attracts exploiters and the competitive demands of the commercial marketplace kick in. The profit motive will always mean playing it safe and pandering to the lowest-common-denominator element so that you can shift product. In other words, everything that folk is NOT about. It's the equivalent of your favourite secluded nature-reserve turning into a tourist attraction (with a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swingin hot spot). It pollutes and dilutes the real thing.

And when folk is "successful" it's by way of becoming a fad for awhile, getting hyped (or plasticated) out of all proportion, then fading away. And the artists left behind on the beach when the tide has gone out again, taking their big-time careers with it, are inevitably labelled has-beens, though they're no more out of date than they ever were. It's a distorting frame of reference, and it can do damage.

I don't know why certain cultural forms appeal to the mass mind and others don't - perhaps it's the fact that folk, by definition, reaches out across time and place into so many different worlds, while expressing meanings universal to us all. Maybe the mainstream audience simply finds it too obscure, too much work, too disconnected from their everyday life of computers and mobiles and commuter traffic. Too Other.      

The very thing that draws me to it is just this ability to transcend the here and now, which is so often drenched in anxiety or plain dreary. This may underlie both folk's abiding strength and its segregation.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Houston_Diamond
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 10:06 PM

oops, forgot to say thank you :D


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Houston_Diamond
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 10:04 PM

Beautiful Jon,

Dunno about you but I would love to have been there to hear it live. But still puts a smile on my face :D


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 09:33 PM

I enjoyed it, thanks.

Last try tongight of getting this one I like and found on Youtube a few days ago to post.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Houston_Diamond
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 09:08 PM

to lighten the mood nicely played? :D


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Houston_Diamond
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 08:36 PM

I will try to elaborate on what I was trying to say and hopefully you can see what George was trying to say.

I personally love every aspect of folk, from the popular down to the most obscure and I would love everyone to feel the same, but in truth I know it's not like that and thankfully that is true otherwise Colin would have no records left in his record collection.

If it helps there isn't anyone in the folk world that wishes the genre they are extremely passionate about to be exclusive. It is the one genre where most people agree on things...

IMHO most people I know and are friends with are extremely friendly in the folk world and they would welcome everyone. In fact I would risk saying in excess of 95% are that friendly, around 2% would like it their way and would not entertain conversing about any other genre of music or allow those into their folk world (not exclusivity - marginality) and around 3% are puritans, only allowing the live acoustic aspect of the genre and only then passed down through generations.

2% in the folk world isn't a lot is it?!

It isn't my view to see it 'marginalized'. Folk is for everyone and if they like it then they have a glimpse into my world and I personally would say they are privileged to have something that makes them happy because life is too short to be unhappy, don't you think?

If a folk song has become popular then that is a great achievement for the artist because they touch the most people and made a lot of people happy...

The Corrs did a great set of folk songs and I think their version of Peggy Gordon is brilliant and an old friend of mine was rightly awarded a BBC2 folk award. But I know that these people were not trying to win a popularity contest by producing great tunes that everyone wanted... they played stuff they are passionate about just like Elvis and so many other great artists... What I can't stand is the manufactured pop that numbs the mind and I cant understand why it makes people happy but it does so I tolerate it (to a point)

What I am trying to get at is that all things in the world is made up of our own subjective aspect on the world and most of us here has the common love of folk music and/or dance.

To conclude, Majority of folk lovers are very welcoming but there are a small percentage that are 'quite happy for it to remain marginalised, as if too much popularity equals unwelcome impurity' and   thankfully a very small percentage that would like it to be 'exclusive'.

I just want people to be happy, obviously I have touched a nerve that we all want everyone in the folk world to be kind, warm and welcoming, and believe me I want the same but experience has told me that it isn't so and I am sorry for sharing the experience.

Thank you again for your post Colin... the article kinda reminded me of the Folk Britannia programmes on BBC4, if you get a chance I would recommend it :D

Thanks George for being such a great songwriter, performer and a great friend :D


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 08:12 PM

OK


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 08:11 PM

Go to bed then.


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Subject: RE: Celebrate 'Folk'
From: Soldier boy
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 08:05 PM

Yawn!!


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