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Your folk epiphanies

GUEST,Ruth in Cheshire 21 Jun 08 - 04:53 PM
GUEST 21 Jun 08 - 04:56 PM
Def Shepard 21 Jun 08 - 04:57 PM
greg stephens 21 Jun 08 - 05:13 PM
Chris Green 21 Jun 08 - 05:28 PM
Leadfingers 21 Jun 08 - 05:33 PM
kendall 21 Jun 08 - 05:36 PM
GUEST,Kevin Parker 21 Jun 08 - 06:00 PM
Big Al Whittle 21 Jun 08 - 06:15 PM
DebC 21 Jun 08 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,Songster Bob 21 Jun 08 - 10:08 PM
Mark Ross 21 Jun 08 - 10:16 PM
quokka 21 Jun 08 - 11:02 PM
glueman 22 Jun 08 - 03:52 AM
Stu 22 Jun 08 - 04:21 AM
Colin Randall 22 Jun 08 - 04:34 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Jun 08 - 04:35 AM
DMcG 22 Jun 08 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,Kevin Parker 22 Jun 08 - 06:46 AM
mattkeen 22 Jun 08 - 07:39 AM
Big Al Whittle 22 Jun 08 - 07:47 AM
GUEST,Lighter 22 Jun 08 - 09:23 AM
GUEST,Lighter 22 Jun 08 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,Lighter 22 Jun 08 - 09:40 AM
Fidjit 22 Jun 08 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 22 Jun 08 - 12:30 PM
Jeri 22 Jun 08 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,Kevin Parker 22 Jun 08 - 01:03 PM
Stringsinger 22 Jun 08 - 01:05 PM
Rumncoke 22 Jun 08 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,Joe G 22 Jun 08 - 01:22 PM
glueman 22 Jun 08 - 01:49 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Jun 08 - 03:07 PM
Fliss 22 Jun 08 - 03:27 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 22 Jun 08 - 05:22 PM
Big Al Whittle 22 Jun 08 - 06:57 PM
Dave Sutherland 23 Jun 08 - 03:12 AM
nickp 23 Jun 08 - 04:00 AM
Phil Edwards 23 Jun 08 - 05:44 AM
nickp 23 Jun 08 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,Joe 23 Jun 08 - 06:08 AM
GUEST,Jon 23 Jun 08 - 06:13 AM
Paco Rabanne 23 Jun 08 - 08:21 AM
yrlancslad 24 Jun 08 - 12:47 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Jun 08 - 01:54 AM
Paco Rabanne 26 Jun 08 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,Hummer 26 Jun 08 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,Roger in Baltimore 26 Jun 08 - 12:52 PM
Franz S. 26 Jun 08 - 01:34 PM
Chris Green 26 Jun 08 - 02:18 PM
Rumncoke 26 Jun 08 - 06:00 PM
Joe_F 26 Jun 08 - 08:15 PM
Art Thieme 26 Jun 08 - 09:12 PM
BillE 27 Jun 08 - 06:01 AM
RangerSteve 27 Jun 08 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,lamarca'sOM 27 Jun 08 - 09:28 PM
Art Thieme 28 Jun 08 - 12:01 AM
Art Thieme 28 Jun 08 - 12:10 AM
Amos 28 Jun 08 - 12:20 AM
GUEST,lamarca'sOM 28 Jun 08 - 01:25 AM
Susanne (skw) 28 Jun 08 - 07:15 AM
oggie 28 Jun 08 - 05:25 PM
Art Thieme 28 Jun 08 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,cStu 28 Jun 08 - 08:16 PM
GUEST,Claire M (Permanant GUEST!) 25 Jul 12 - 03:58 PM
Elmore 26 Jul 12 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,Charles Macfarlane 26 Jul 12 - 04:17 PM
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Subject: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,Ruth in Cheshire
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 04:53 PM

Listening to the Radio Ballads programme on The Archive Hour tonight, with Sam Larner featured, reminded me of the phrase George P used the other day: having a "Sam Larner Moment".

This refers to Martin Carthy's Damascene experience in seeing Sam Larner for the first time: it opened him up to the world of traditional music.

My generation had some of their "Sam Larner moments" on recording rather than live; but it would be nice of you wanted to share yours. These are 5 of mine:

1) Little Musgrave, Christy Moore, approx 1987: it was a recording, but it was definitely a revelatory moment for me. I'd grown up in America, and had never experienced "folk" beyond the 60s singer/songwriter generation. I heard this song and thought it must be a contemporary pastiche - no folk songs existed that could possibly date from Elizabethan times...did they? When I was assured that Musgrave was "the real deal", as it were, it changed how I thought about folk music forever.

2) Silly Sisters, Maddy Prior/June Tabor, approx 1987/88: This collection of songs had a similar effect on me to little
3) Ian Campbell, 1994: my ex-husband interviewed Ian for a piece on his two rather famous sons. During the interview, my ex mentioned that I had developed an interest in English folk music. Ian invited us down to have an evening out with him and his sister, Lorna, at their local. Afterwards we went back to theirs and sat up, singing and talking, till about 3 am. It was only afterwards that I realised exactly how significant Ian had been in the folk movement. But we were invited to his forthcoming album launch, and Lorna, bless her, asked me to sing. It was a very memorable occasion for me.

4) Peter Bellamy, thanks to Jon Boden, approx 2004: I read a piece in Living Tradition magazine where Jon Boden acknowledged the influence of Peter Bellamy on his singing style. I soon sought out some Peter Bellamy recordings, and was blown away. I could see why he's a love him/hate him sort of performer, but I was hooked from the start. I have started learning some songs from The Transports, because I think these songs represent some of the finest work of the folk revival and are not heard nearly enough.

5) Sam Larner! 2005: My dear friends John and Shiela, when realising I was taking on the daunting prospect of organising a folk festival in Loughborough, decided to take my further folk education in hand. Realising that my knowledge of traditional music was paltry, they started lending me CDs. The first one was, without a doubt, one of the best CDs I've ever heard: Sam Larner's Now's the Time for Fishing. I can't even begin to describe how important that CD was in me discovering and assimilating traditional music. It made me hungry for more; it led to the discovery of wonderful Gypsy singers like Mary Ann Haynes and Phoebe Smith, whom I listen to pretty much every day now because their spirit and power sustains me. I still adore Sam Larner, and he holds a special place in my heart.

it seems sad that most of my "Larner moments" are recorded, but they've led me to some spectacular live experiences. I could have had 20, to be honest, but I didn't want to go on too much!

Right then - who's next?


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 04:56 PM

oop - nudcat ate my Silly Sisters! what I was going to say was that the songs had a similar effect on me to Little Musgrave, but that grey Funnel Line also introduced me to Cyril Tawney - magic.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Def Shepard
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 04:57 PM

The First Time I ever heard Martin Carthy, both live and on record.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 05:13 PM

Lonnie


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Chris Green
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 05:28 PM

The Bothy Band Live at the BBC. My guitar teacher at school lent me this album when I was fifteen and the world changed. I liked Fairport, Steeleye et al but hadn't found anything entirely acoustic that did it for me. These guys, however, played traditional jigs and reels on acoustic instruments but with the power and energy of the Who! Listening to Rip The Calico still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up now!


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 05:33 PM

The Hootenanny Show on BBC television when I came home from Germany in February 1964 ! And then finding I had joint membership of a Jazz Club AND a Folk Club in Hitchin , with Louis Killen running the Folk club !


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: kendall
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 05:36 PM

July 1959 I was crossing the deck of the schooner Alice Wentworth in Camden Maine. I was going aboard the state patrol boat EXPLORER for our week long patrol of the islands in Penobscot Bay.
As I passed by, there was a young man sitting on a hatch playing the guitar, and making some of the most beautiful music I had ever heard. That was my first encounter with Gordon Bok. I didn't know such music existed.
We became close friends, and have remained so ever since.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,Kevin Parker
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 06:00 PM

When I was about 14, some friends invited me to go along with them to a folk club in Exeter. It was good because the club would let us in, unlike the local pubs and bars. There was a young man at the club playing the fiddle and singing 'Sir Patrick Spens'. I've been hooked on folk music ever since. The performer's name? A very youthful Phil Beer, now of Show of Hands......


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 06:15 PM

Was that the Jolly Porter?
Was it a floorspot? I can remember Paul and Phil being pissed off cos they wouldn't book them at the Jolly Porter even when they were being booked everywhere else in the country.

I hope they DID get a gig there eventually.

there used to be some nice clubs round Exeter.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: DebC
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 09:55 PM

Jethro Tull...1970...Steeleye Span circa 1972...very early morning on a low power AM station in the northern suburbs of Chicago

Those two moments changed my life.

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,Songster Bob
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 10:08 PM

I was watching "Down From the Mountain," the concert film with music from "Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?" There was a back-stage scene where this family band was rehearsing, and they hit one spot and looked at each other with such joy in how they were sounding, and it suddenly struck me:

I get to do that, too!

I get to have that fleeting, rare moment where the music I'm hearing or making (it's best when it's in the making) just gets to me and those who are making the music with me.

I've had lots of "Aha!" moments in my umpty-ump years of playing and singing and finding and listening and even teaching folk music, seeking this one moment of universality, that feeling of one-ness, but it was seeing it on the screen that said to me, "Yeah! I get to do that, too!"

Bob


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Mark Ross
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 10:16 PM

1963, Hunter College in NYC, I was 14... Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, all for 2 dollars! MY parents said I couldn't go, didn't want me wandering around the city at a late hour at that tender age, went anyway, got grounded for weeks, and let me tell you it was worth it!
Between that and reading Woody Guthrie's BOUND FOR GLORY that same year, I was scarred for life.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: quokka
Date: 21 Jun 08 - 11:02 PM

I first heard Eric Bogle in the 80's when I was in my teens (fave back then No Man's Land;now Singing the Spirit Home) and that was probably my epiphany. Although growing up with Irish trad and folk music we didn't appreciate it as kids,but I have learnt sense now! BTW I'm seeing Eric Bogle TONIGHT!!!Through Eric I got to hear and love Stan Rogers,Christy Moore, Mary Black and The Pogues. How eclectic is that!
-Another moment was when I read BOUND FOR GLORY as well, again in my teens. I have just re-read it and am in awe all over again.
-There are lots of others of course - like hearing Gemma Hayes sing 'Ae Fond Kiss' in a movie, that got me started on Burns; the first time I heard 'Alice's Restaurant'; oh theres's just too many moments...
Cheers,
Quokka


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: glueman
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 03:52 AM

Stripping the Willow age 6. I knew that folk and its enthusiasts was essentially evil then.
The Kinks. I realised that folk had nothing to do with the instruments or the packaging.
Steeleye Span. Pop goes the folk.
Love the music and maintain serious reservations about its practitioners (something that holds good for all music e.g. Wagner, Gary Glitter, 'English' folk music, etc)


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Stu
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 04:21 AM

Hearing Planxty for the first time sometime in the 80's - I think it was the album Cold Blow The Rainy Night. That was when I knew Irish Trad was for me.

Then I heard the Watersons, and I knew English singing was also for me. What a wonderful world.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Colin Randall
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 04:34 AM

Too many to mention or even remember, but - all from late 60s, early 70s - here's a few:


Albums:
John Mayall's Bluesbreakers (the one with young Clapton reading the Beano and, if memory serves, singing for the first time on record: "Rambling on my mind").

Steeleye Span - - Please to see the King" was a revelation after a couple of years of attending a rather purist folk club where most instrumentation was frowned on

Bothy Band: traditional Irish, unamplified but as vibrant and exciting as any rock music I'd heard



Gigs:
Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee - Civic Hall theatre, Darlington on tour in the UK with as the American Folk Blues Festival, a troupe of amazing old men

High Level Ranters: Bishop Auckland folk club changed my views on music from the area of my childhood & youth

Watersons   - at Les Cousins in Soho

Dave & Toni Arthur/ Young Tradition/ Northern Front/ Barbara Dickson/ Therapy at various venues in the North East


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 04:35 AM

Listening to Irish Traveller singer 'Pop's' Johnny Connors and Jeremy Sandford being interviewed on the latter's book 'Gypsies' on radio 4 one Sunday afternoon decided for me what I was going to devote the rest of my life to - still at it - not dead yet!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: DMcG
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 04:40 AM

I'd had an affinity with folk music long before I realised it: all my favourite hymns as a child I now know were adaptions of folk tunes, usually by Vaughan Williams. But I can think of three particular moments since then, of which two were aural: hearing The Young Tradition (including, of course, Peter Bellamy!)and hearing Bob and Ron Copper.

Peter Bellamy and Bob and Ron all sang 'Spencer the Rover'. This led me onto the rather different moment. Frank Kidson was one of the early collectors and I am astonished by how much he collected. But the eye-opening moment was this comment:


... "Spencer the Rover" has been, despite its terrible doggrel, popular in many parts of Yorkshire. ... The words are found on Yorkshire ballad sheets, and no doubt they are the production of the aforesaid Spencer, some wandering ballad singer,who has not been endowed with much poetical genius.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,Kevin Parker
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 06:46 AM

WLD,
I've been trying to recall the name of the folk club in Exeter, and its lost in the mists of time. It was down Fore Street on the left hand side. This would be about 1971-2, so I don't know Phil and Paul were touring round the country or were just gigging round Exeter. The pub I remember most fondly from those days was the Double Locks down by the canal. Some great music, but always the danger of falling off the towpath on the way back into town....

Happy days!


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: mattkeen
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 07:39 AM

Bert Jansch - and Pentangle (Blackwaterside and Basket of Light) 1970

John Tams - Rise Up Albion Band album and TV play of Christ's life set in Glasgow early 80's

Waterson Carthy live - Raunds Festival 2002

Chris Wood - (all of it really) but starting with Lark CD

English Acoustic Collective live Compton Verney winter 2005


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 07:47 AM

Yes I did a gig at the locks, I saw Steve Knightly there. there was a local kid at the time called Colin Wilson whom I also remember as being very good. the club I used to really like was Broadclyst.

My parents lived in Exeter at the time, so I got down there a lot on visits. The Jolly Porter was opposite St Davids station. the resident duo were The Journeymen. Very traddy (some of the guests were quite demanding listening) but the audience were really into singing harmonies and that was terrific to hear.

There was a folk club at The Black Horse - upstairs - it was a student pub. There was another one down Sidwell Street opposite the cinema.

Despite all this, the scene seemed in decline at the time after 1960's folk boom. everyone seemed to be scrabbling around for quite low fees - apart from yer actual superstars. I was starting out and - it really felt like we'd missed the boat.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 09:23 AM

I was five. Somebody sang the first stanza and chorus of "The Streets of Laredo" in a B-western on our first TV. Spooky, scary, haunting.

I was seven. Memorized all of "The Ballad of Davy Crockett," which was folksy enough at the time.

I was nine. "Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley," in the Kingston Trio version. Not drippy like most pop songs, not loud and crazy like rock 'n' roll. Stark, that's it!

High-school and later: Lomax's "Folk Songs of North America": many great songs, fascinating commentary. The Clancy Bros. and Tommy Makem, MacColl and Lloyd (sea songs esp.), The Dubliners, Mississippi John Hurt, Hobart Smith, Dave Swarbrick, field recordings, bluegrass fiddling, Steeleye Span, The Chieftains, Dalglish and Larsen, Silly Sisters, Bothy Band, Kevin Burke, Connie Dover.

No epiphanies since.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 09:39 AM

Somehow left out the Watersons and the Young Tradition.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 09:40 AM

And Robin Williamson.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Fidjit
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 10:34 AM

I believe your age decides a lot as to where you came in.

For me, like Greg, it was first, Lonnie Donegan.

Then much, much later, listening to Jim Lloyd, on "Folk on Two" on the BBC Radio, long wave. I'd moved to Norway by '68 so had left the floor singing behind me.

Tim Hart & Maddy Prior and then Steeleye Span. etc., etc.

Chas


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 12:30 PM

Lot's, but some of the most memorable are haring Planxty Raggle Taggle Gypsies on the radio at the age of four and then much, much later, when I actually sat down and listened to Martin Carthy. Completely blown away.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Jeri
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 12:53 PM

Made possible by Vaughn Ward, my late teacher and wife of georgeward:

My moment of clarity came in high school, listening to John Roberts & Tony Barrand sing Spencer the Rover. I fell in love with English acapella singing and that style of harmony instantly. After that was Young Tradition, the Watersons and eventually, the Copper Family. There were other discoveries along the way including North American music, but it started with John & Tony.

There was a festival at some point-- a small one put on by a high school in ...maybe it was Connecticut. We went because my 'Folk Culture Club' was going to put one on and we needed to see how those kids did it. It wasn't the music at the festival but the party afterwards that blew me away. People were sitting around singing at the tops of their lungs. People really DID that sort of thing!


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,Kevin Parker
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 01:03 PM

WLD,
You are really dragging a few memories back from long disused brain cells...If you ever visit Edinburgh, I'd be up for a pint and a Devonian reminiscence!
cheers


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Stringsinger
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 01:05 PM

Folk music is in the great "Collective Unconscious". If you are from a country, you have heard folk music and identified it whether you were aware of it as a distinct from of expression or not. You can't have avoided it. The "epiphany" may be when you have recognized it as a distinct entity.

I grew up listening to Leadbelly, Josh White and Burl Ives but I heard my step-father sing a folk blues that he learned in Tennessee.
"Things may look good here but they're better on down the line" (Tennessee Blues)

Epiphany for me was recognition (Oh that's what that is!)

I was bequeathed a 1927 edition of "American Songbag" by Carl Sandburg through my
biological father who died before I was born. This was a legacy of sorts. It became a musical bible for me. The epiphany was putting together all the disparate musical parts and saying that's folk music.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Rumncoke
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 01:09 PM

As a poverty stricken teenager working in a factory, about 1970, I discovered that I could get money for singing the songs I had heard around the family homes all my life.

I used to drive my old BSA 650cc motorbike and sidecar all around Portsmouth and Southsea (Hampshire, England) singing in pubs with my Framus guitar, a long crimplene skirt, satin blouse and wide brimmed hat with a long scarf tied around it.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 01:22 PM

For me it was my first night at The Nursery - Hartlepool Folk Club at age 17. My friend and I were bored one Sunday night and thought we would go to the folk club for a laugh.

I thought the first floor singer (the sadly departed Graham Whitley) was the guest and was amazed to find there were another 2 great singers before the main turn (one was Neil Hart the other possibly Reg Crawford - its a long time ago!). Johnny Handle was the guest and his interaction with the audience and singing of the mining songs that I now hold so close to my heart was simply astonishing to me then and I became a life long convert to folk.

Other great moments:

5 Hand Reel at Dunelm House at Durham Folk Festival (late 70's)
Albion Band with John Tams at Bowburn nr Durham (late 70's?)
Home Service at Cleethorpes Festival
Robb Johnson and Blyth Power at Bracknell Folk Festival
Richard Thompson Band with the line up featuring Clive Gregson & Christine Collister at Leeds - coverted me to RT
Remmy Ongala & Toumani Diabate at Morecambe Womad
Tickled Pink at Towersey

More recently:

Reem Kelani, Los D'Abajos and Blowzabella at Whitby Musicport
Tom Bliss at Wath FF 2007
Interviewing Jez Lowe for Tykes News

I'm sure there are lots more but must be someone else's turn!

Cheers
Joe G


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: glueman
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 01:49 PM

"I used to drive my old BSA 650cc motorbike and sidecar all around Portsmouth and Southsea (Hampshire, England) singing in pubs with my Framus guitar, a long crimplene skirt, satin blouse and wide brimmed hat with a long scarf tied around it."

Cor!


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 03:07 PM

Kevin - if you are serious, that sounds like an admirable little project. I got a daihatsu breadvan/romahome last year off e-bay. the idea was to go to Ireland and tour and se as much as i can (which I'm hoping to do this year immediately after I've played at at Fylde at the start of September).

Edinburgh sounds like a really interesting sort of interim project to see if the sleeping bag works etc!
As you're a guest you can't pm me
you'll find my e-mail on the website:-
http://bigalwhittle.co.uk/


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Fliss
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 03:27 PM

Ralph McTell at Fairfield Halls, Croydon in early 70s. At the same venue... Segovia.

Stivell in 1976 at The Dome, Brighton... totally ace.

Albatros & Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac.

fliss


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 05:22 PM

My epiphany is that I have become a folk music heretic:
I no longer care to hear Woody Guthrie Songs, either sung by him or others. After nearly 60 years it has grown tiresome to me. The sole exception is "The Ballad of Tom Joad" which I think is a brilliant 'cliff notes' of a masterful novel;
I no longer can listen to more than a couple of Bluegrass pieces at a sitting;
Never liked Bob Dylan's performances of his music. Like many others' performances though;
Never liked James Taylor (his music, not him), as I've often said at Mudcat;
Love acoustic blues, hate electric (often too dissonant for these old ears);
Loved Clancys, Rovers Irish music, but not so keen on today's Celtic;
I've come to appreciate JJ Niles. Even if some of his songs aren't 'authentic', they sound authentic.
I guess that's heretical enough.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 22 Jun 08 - 06:57 PM

Not at all John, theres no moral compulsion to like one kind of music or another. Neither does it mean you are in some way deficient because you don't like music which is worthy enough.

Bit puzzled by the JJ Niles comment. I'm glad you like him. I think all that generation of singers and their contribution get neglected. He always sounded rather weird to my ears. but as you say - perhaps that's authentic.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 03:12 AM

There was a skiffle group on one Saturday morning at the Odeon Club in South Shields (never knew their name)back in 1957. That was it, its been downhill ever since:-)


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: nickp
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 04:00 AM

Guest Joe G. - "Albion Band with John Tams at Bowburn nr Durham (late 70's?)" - I was at that one too. An excellent night.

My two epiphanies would have to be the first time I heard the (then newly released) 'Please to see the Kong' from Steeleye

and 20 years later being given a tape of American old time music by the Highwoods Stringband. Never looked back...

Nick


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 05:44 AM

I've recently got back into this stuff after a 25-year hiatus - as a result of finally finding the nerve to sing in public - & have had a lot of catching-up to do. So for me it started with Steeleye Span (especially "Gaudete") and Pentangle (especially Basket of light); I still love that combination of harmonic richness and loose, almost jazzy expression, and the fact that it's all acoustic.

But epiphanies are different. Here are mine, all from the last couple of years:

Hearing Anne Briggs on CD (so that's how you do it!)

Hearing John Kelly (live) (so that's how you do it!).

Enquiring into a couple of songs from the Revival, here on Mudcat, and finding they've got antecedents clear back to the eighteenth or seventeenth centuries - whew.

A TV programme is a strange thing to nominate, but bear with me. I watched the Coppersongs documentary on an evening in late summer with the curtains open. Every so often I'd look up from the screen and see the clear blue sky, each time a little darker than before, with a full moon rising through the branches of a tree. Some things remain.

And I think I'd nominate the first Chorlton Beech singaround, for the sheer joy of singing (so that's why we do it!).


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: nickp
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 05:52 AM

Hmm... I wrote 'Kong' instead of 'King'. Must have been monkeying about a bit!


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,Joe
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 06:08 AM

Saul Rose at Cornwall Folk Festival 2004 was a pretty special moment for me - I had never seen or heard anything quite like it. (being a teenager at the time, despite being a morris dancer and sometimes melodeon player, I was quite anti-folk!)

Every so often in random sessions something just clicks, a moment of clarity washes over me, I can sense the past, present and future through the music. What causes this must be some very specific mix of music, a feeling of shared tradition, people and beer (attempts to replicate this have resulted in failure - usually due to too much beer)


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 06:13 AM

1. It's always sort of been there, Singing Together at school, some songs at home, Clanceys on TV.

2. My brother getting a toy uke, a colleague of my mothers playing it and lending her a George Formby book. It paved the way for me getting a guitar, I think for my 11th birthday.

3. After pretty much a gap stumbling on some folk music in the Galleon bar in Rhos on Sea, 1979. It sort of helped get me dabbling more with a guitar again as well as looking for folk clubs although there were false starts and it wasn't until 80/81 that something stable happened and the Llandudno Folk Club was "reborn" (before my time but there was a 60s club).

4. Getting involved with morris dancing and being lent the money to get a melodeon.

5. We get to a sort of jumble of things coming together now... A couple I doubt I've thought of in a while, that plus I usually simplify what happened...

Talking about folk music at work. It led to me getting a Yamaha Folk Guitar (I had a classical guitar), a 5 string banjo and later a tenor banjo - and for me, this was a time for trying anything I could (and I borrowed other things, etc.). Pete also gave me a tape of some of his favourites which included a couple of Barney McKenna pieces and Johnstons (Mick Maloney on banjo) bits. Banjo wise, I also remembered Paddy from Drops of Brandy in the Rhos dos...

I suppose I have a bit of a mix there and although I was getting bored with the morris tunes and more interested in the Irish tunes, things didn't really start coming together until:

6. I found there was a weekly Irish session in Bangor. I think it started in the Ship Launch in the 60s but it took from my folk club start mentioned above until approx 1987 for me to find out about an event only say 25 miles down the road.

I've been pretty much with the Irish session as my favourite since then.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 23 Jun 08 - 08:21 AM

Manitas de Plata, 1968.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: yrlancslad
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 12:47 AM

As a 16 year old working down the pit in Lancashire and hearing Ewan macColls Shuttle and Cage on Topic.I was hooked!


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Jun 08 - 01:54 AM

I saw that tour with Manitas. He got a standing ovation at the DeMontfort Hall in Leicester. We went from my college in a bus to see him.

Astonishing player - all four picking fingers going like buggery!

What happened to him?


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 10:36 AM

Hola Wee,
                         Old Manitas is still alive and kicking, he must be in his eighties now.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,Hummer
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 12:38 PM

I love all kinds of music, including pop music. But I'm not the epiphany type, I don't think.

I'm from the organic school, I guess. Grew up running wild at summer picnics and county fairs with the 'rents, listening to bluegrass, old time, and polka music as the soundtrack, in small town southern Indiana.

I still love the music, and especially love it when I hear someone perform an astoundingly fresh take on it.

If ever I had a musical epiphany, it was probably when I was very young, and fell in love with the Everly Brothers!


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,Roger in Baltimore
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 12:52 PM

Some of it was a long time ago. I remember hearing "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" on a train radio on a ride out West sometime around 1962. That was "The Highwaymen" I believe. With that and The Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul, and Mary, I found music I enjoyed singing. I had to learn to play guitar. Started on my older brother's Gibson Les Paul. I found Lomax's "Folk Songs of North America" in the library with a little guitar instruction in the Appendix. I somehow found Dick Cerri's "Music Americana" show on WAVA which just barely came in on the radio in the kitchen. I beleive it was on Sunday nights. My parents were surprisingly supportive (given that I was one of five siblings). The "family" received the reel to reel tape recorder that "I" wanted one Christmas and I started taping Music Americana. Then next Christmas, Santa brought me a Gibson classical guitar. I was a self-identified folk-singer by 1964.

I don't suppose I'll ever stop.

Big RiB


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Franz S.
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 01:34 PM

The music was always around. My dad sang me "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night" as a lullaby and I still have the Carl Sandburg, Sam Hinton, Weavers 78s my parents bought. But out of a lot of golden memories there are two very special ones.

1. Some time in 1959 or 1960 Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee did a concert in Portland OR. I don't remember the concert, but afterward they and I went home with Mel Lyman and I spent the rest of the night learning about the blues from Brownie and getting drunk on Mel's homebrew.

2. In 1964 or 1965 Pete Seeger did a concert with the SNCC Singers at Searsville Lake near Stanford University. It was open air, a meadow surrounded by oaks. All Seeger concerts are peak experiences for me, but this was the biggest and singingest group of all. We and Pete kept on singing after they turned off the lights, after they turned off the sound system...


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Chris Green
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 02:18 PM

Thinking about it, there were a couple more for me.

1) Penguin Eggs by Nic Jones. I first heard it at the age of twenty and it was one of those 'where have you been all my life?' moments. It blew apart everything I thought I know about singing and playing the guitar.

2) Seeing Vin Garbutt for the first time at Bridgnorth Folk Festival 2002. I can't ever remember a) being as moved by someone's songs and b) coming so perilously close to wetting myself with laughter. The man's a national treasure!


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Rumncoke
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 06:00 PM

Actually there was the night at the Portsmouth Polytechnic Folk Club at the Star Inn in Lake Road, when Jasper Carrot ran his hand up my leg.

It was memorable.

I couldn't really call it an epiphany, not really.

Didn't half make me jump though.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Joe_F
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 08:15 PM

I suppose what got me started was my mother singing to me, too long ago to remember.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 Jun 08 - 09:12 PM

Bob Gibson in 1959 at the Gate Of Horn in Chicago--when he was singing trad songs and mostly playing banjo. (One guy or gal with their instrument---no backup. That is still the epitome for me.)

Paul Clayton---1958 at the Gate Of Horn.

The New Lost City Ramblers--1959 at the Gate Of Horn opening for Bob Gibson.

Joan Baez at the Gate Of Horn opening for Gibson.

Meeting and tape recording 93 year old Paul Durst--1961-- in Chicago. A Wobbly, hobo, river raftsman, crop worker, radical singer, fiddler, lumberjack. He had been at the Ludlow Massacre, the Haymarket riot, and as a part of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show had gone to Europe where they brought Hoof And Mouth Disease to that continent for the first time. Paul knew, and shipped out with, Joe Hill -- on a steamship to Hawaii. He was born in 1868...

Pete Seeger singing Bells Of Rhymney at Newport.

Lou Killen singing The Flying Cloud in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Jim Ringer singing California Joe in Rockford, Illinois.

Meeting Del Bray 1962--in a Cheyenne Wyoming bar and getting the song Cowboy's Barbara Allen from him...

...and many more.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: BillE
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 06:01 AM

Like others above, it's just got to be the Jolly Porter, Exeter 1965-67. Ken, Dave R, Bill, Dave L, Lynn, John Spree & co, the 'choir', the guests et al. Formative, inspirational and fun, and got us to Padstow! Not to mention the allied sessions at the Barracuda and the Old Queen Vic. Still play tapes of the reunion! Maybe we should have another.

Thanks.

Bill


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: RangerSteve
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 08:52 AM

I became a country music fan back in the early '60's. There was a radio station in Hoboken, NJ that had a DJ on weeknights who didn't conform to the top 40 format, occasionally playing older records. One night he played "Daisy Dean" by Grandpa Jones. I had seen pictures of Grandpa and assumed he was more of a goof on country music. Hearing him, I realized he was the real thing, and began searching out his records. He became my hero, and the reason I now play clawhammer banjo. The same station also broadcast an hour of the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday nights. That's where I first heard the Crook Brothers. I had been playing harmonica for a few years, but nothing great. I became obsessed with learning to play fiddle tunes on the harmonica after that.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,lamarca'sOM
Date: 27 Jun 08 - 09:28 PM

Hey, Kendall,

Mine is so similar ('though much later and more remote)its eerie. About 1975, casually watching the PBS schooner documentary on teevee, Gordon, Ed and Ann knocked me out of my chair with "The Ways of Man". I had never imagined... Of course, innumerable others subsequently.

George


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Art Thieme
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 12:01 AM


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Art Thieme
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 12:10 AM

Sorry about that. My long post was just lost in transmission. I'm too tired to do it again. In a nutshell---It was about the time in Chicago Grandpa Jones sat down with me in 1966 and gave me a personal frailing workshop. It was an epiphiny, for sure!

Also, you are right about T. B. and M. Those three doing "Freedom On The Wallaby" -- and all those other sublime harmony big numbers -- was absolute perfection.

Art


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 12:20 AM

Lost in the mists of time. Jimmy Crack Corn, Frank Warner and Leadbelly, going back to 1949-1950. Later on it was David Hall, who taught me my first strum, and his brother Peter, who was my first banjo player, as the 50's were drawing down... there were a hundred well-springs, and I think it was what I breathed from my infancy onward. Episcopalian hymns, Richard Dyer Bennett, Folkways roots music from Arkansas, Pete and the Weavers and Burl Ives, even Harry Belafonte.


A


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,lamarca'sOM
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 01:25 AM

Art,

Scary you should post right after me. Truly, you're second (maybe first and a half) on my list. I got half my repertoire and 2/3 of my singing lessons from your records. Ask Sandy.

George


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 07:15 AM

August 1990, Pete Seeger at Tonder Festival, Denmark. He was due to close the final concert on Sunday night, but they'd also put on an afternoon concert on the Saturday, with Pete, his grandson Taco, Dick Gaughan, the Sands Family, Iain MacKintosh and others. When it was over the 2000-strong audience started singing "We shall overcome" and sang it right through. None of the musicians appeared again (unlike the Sunday night, when they did and played and sang along). For me, it was a magical moment, and I'm proud to have been part of it.

July 1971: Actually finding a song I'd learnt in school (and dismissed as school book rubbish, of course) on an album on my first visit to Britain, in the home of the Davis family in Derby. The song was The Lincolnshire Poacher, the album The Spinners Are In Town. I talked the Davises into selling it to me, was moved to discover folk in a big way from then on (as a punter) and have never looked back.

Between 1987 and 2000. Most solo concerts by Iain MacKintosh. He was one of a kind, and his quiet way of speaking, singing and playing right up my alley. Also, I made more friends at these concerts than anywhere else.

September 2006. Hearing Amazing Grace played on the organ of our local baroque church for the funeral of my mother, who died two years ago today and had loved the song.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: oggie
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 05:25 PM

I came to folk song and music through dance (Christmas Barn Dance in Lincoln, dragged there by sister and a family friend as parents were ill). Cleethorpes FF 1972ish went as a dancer but saw Robin and Barry Dransfield in a break from dancing, converted to song.

Soon after, listening to Folk on 2 heard "Wraggle Taggle Gypsies/ Give me your hand" from the first Planxty album. Went out and bought a Tinwhistle.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Art Thieme
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 07:43 PM

George,

Thanks for that. It's very nice to know. But if you learned how to sing listening to me, I feel sorry for ya, guy. ;-) I had a six note range at best. I did learn how to cover up by filling with a few instrumental runs, I guess. (Or some jokelore!)

Best to you two.
Art


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,cStu
Date: 28 Jun 08 - 08:16 PM

When I was about 15 at a friends house, his dad put on Leadbelly's Folkways recordings with the spoken bits chatting with Alan Lomax. Dancing With Tears In His Eyes about broke my heart. I was into Rockabilly and didn't know what hit me.

Then Lonnie Donegan souped it all up - amazing.

And then I got Freewheeling in a library sale coz it had a great cover and looked like old blues songs. What a record to give a teenager - Jeez.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,Claire M (Permanant GUEST!)
Date: 25 Jul 12 - 03:58 PM

Hiya,

Steeleye Span when I was really little. I learnt old-fashioned words from their songs before the contemporary equivalents, and dad told me the band talked like that in real life. I believed him for ages, even after I left their music behind.

Melrose Quartet. I'd gone for Martin Simpson, who they were supporting. He did the best version of 'In The Pines' I'd ever heard, but I've never been to any concert before or since where I haven't wanted the support band to leave.

Maddy Prior's side-project thingie, 'Bib & Tuck'. I love this cd so much I wish I could hook it to my veins. .

Somebody did try to court me once by singing folk songs down the phone and I rejected him !!


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: Elmore
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 12:47 PM

1.Someone loaned me the first Joan Baez album. 2. Went to a Pete Seeger concert. 3 Went to the Newport FF in the early sixties. 4. Attended the first Fox Hollow in 1966. 5. More recently, saw a PBS special of Leonard Cohen in concert 2009. The first four gave me insight into what folk music was all about. the final" epiphany" was that I had neglected a truly greas songwriter for 40 years.


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Subject: RE: Your folk epiphanies
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 26 Jul 12 - 04:17 PM

I actually heard a wide range of music at my mother's knee. Did ma have a strange physiology involving a singing knee? No, just a gramophone like everyone else! What was perhaps different was the wide range of music she liked: 78s of songs in Scots Gaelic, Robin Hall & Jimmy Macgregor, Dixieland jazz, classical, watching the White Heather Club on TV, some pop music, etc.

As a six-year old child, we had communal singing at school - I remember loving "Rio Grande", although of course I was much too young to realise that it was somewhat bizarre for a bunch of kids with unbroken voices to be singing a sea shanty.

At my next school, I was chosen as a chorister, which got me into singing harmonies. Meanwhile, I was listening to the pop of the day - Little Eva's 'The Locomotion', Del Shannon's 'Runaway', Cliff Richard. The school, concerned about the predominance of pop music in our taste, did try to get us interested in classical music, but, as this involved sitting in an un- or barely-heated gym in the freezing depths of winter listening to an under-powered and tinny gramophone, this was a complete failure.

Then at my next school The Beatles! And someone had 'The Paul Simon Songbook' LP! And I was still a chorister; we sung Handel's oratario "Israel In Egypt" in Winchester Cathedral. My brothers gave me the first, I think, Peter, Paul, & Mary LP (which was later stolen by someone at that same school - I know exactly who it was, and it wasn't his only dishonesty either). Meanwhile, there was a popped-up version of the theme from Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto in the charts, so I asked a friend who liked classical to put on his recording of the real thing, and that got me deeply into classical - favourite composers: Beethoven, Tchaiko, Sibelius. Meanwhile Dylan, The Byrds, The Rolling Stones, and Hendrix all seemed to come along more or less together. At this school, there was this narrow-minded thing, you were supposed to like either The Beatles, or The Stones, but not both, but I always thought that was absurd, and openly and defiantly defended my right to like both, which acquired me a reputation for having a wide taste in music. Then The Dubliners hit the charts, and I was utterly hooked.

> From: Elmore
>
> 1.Someone loaned me the first Joan Baez album.

Yes. When I was just about old enough to hang about with and be tolerated for a while by my brothers who were five or six years older than me, I must have been about twelve or thirteen, we all sat at a friend's house listening to that, and I absolutely loved it. What a wonderful singer she was in those days! Got both those LPs as soon as I could. Got the CDs now, and still rate both albums highly.

> From: GUEST,Ruth in Cheshire
>
> 2) Silly Sisters, Maddy Prior/June Tabor, approx 1987/88

I think you mean 1977/8? I know because at the time I was working out my pre-agricultural college year's experience on a farm in Essex, and heard tracks from the album on local radio - next weekend I bought it. Now I have the CD, and it remains one of the best folk albums I have ever heard.

Along the way I've also acquired a taste for Planxty, Ossian, Osibisa, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Santana, pibroch, flamenco, trad and some other forms of jazz, classical guitar (particularly Spanish and Latin American), etc, etc.

So, really I was steeped in all sorts of music, including folk, from a very early age, there was no actual epiphany as such, but many, many, great experiences along the way. My biggest regret is that neither of my parents actually played an instrument, which would have got me off to an earlier and better start playing.


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