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How traditional should it be?

GUEST,Faye 18 Nov 08 - 01:29 PM
Spleen Cringe 18 Nov 08 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,Arnie 18 Nov 08 - 01:41 PM
folkypaul 18 Nov 08 - 01:42 PM
The Sandman 18 Nov 08 - 01:42 PM
Ernest 18 Nov 08 - 01:42 PM
VirginiaTam 18 Nov 08 - 01:44 PM
Lizzie Cornish 1 18 Nov 08 - 01:45 PM
Sleepy Rosie 18 Nov 08 - 01:46 PM
GUEST,leeneia 18 Nov 08 - 01:52 PM
Suegorgeous 18 Nov 08 - 02:01 PM
Will Fly 18 Nov 08 - 02:16 PM
dick greenhaus 18 Nov 08 - 02:53 PM
Banjiman 18 Nov 08 - 03:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Nov 08 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,Girl Friday sans cookie 18 Nov 08 - 03:30 PM
Penny S. 18 Nov 08 - 03:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Nov 08 - 03:39 PM
Phil Edwards 18 Nov 08 - 03:42 PM
VirginiaTam 18 Nov 08 - 03:44 PM
Maryrrf 18 Nov 08 - 03:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Nov 08 - 04:02 PM
VirginiaTam 18 Nov 08 - 04:03 PM
greg stephens 18 Nov 08 - 04:14 PM
Dave the Gnome 18 Nov 08 - 04:15 PM
greg stephens 18 Nov 08 - 04:15 PM
Ruth Archer 18 Nov 08 - 04:15 PM
greg stephens 18 Nov 08 - 04:25 PM
VirginiaTam 18 Nov 08 - 04:34 PM
Bill D 18 Nov 08 - 04:35 PM
The Sandman 18 Nov 08 - 04:41 PM
Gervase 18 Nov 08 - 05:26 PM
Nick 18 Nov 08 - 05:45 PM
VirginiaTam 18 Nov 08 - 05:47 PM
Nick 18 Nov 08 - 05:47 PM
Richard Bridge 18 Nov 08 - 05:48 PM
Dave Sutherland 18 Nov 08 - 05:59 PM
GUEST,Captain Swing 18 Nov 08 - 06:28 PM
Nick 18 Nov 08 - 06:54 PM
Jack Campin 18 Nov 08 - 07:05 PM
Betsy 18 Nov 08 - 07:13 PM
Suegorgeous 18 Nov 08 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,Faye 18 Nov 08 - 08:17 PM
GUEST,Faye 18 Nov 08 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,Faye 18 Nov 08 - 08:25 PM
M.Ted 18 Nov 08 - 08:43 PM
Maryrrf 18 Nov 08 - 10:18 PM
Art Thieme 18 Nov 08 - 10:49 PM
Derby Ram 18 Nov 08 - 11:29 PM
Gurney 19 Nov 08 - 12:37 AM
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Subject: How traditional should it be?
From: GUEST,Faye
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 01:29 PM

I sing mainly traditional English songs and play guitar. Sometimes I go out with a friend who plays flute and pan-pipes.

We're touting ourselves around getting the odd gig here and there and meanwhile having a lot of fun playing floorspots and singarounds. However, I had an odd conversation last week.

We'd done a spot at a club and after the organiser thanked us gave him our card and suggested that he book us.

His reply was that, although he liked us, his club existed for the promotion of traditional English music and music that was "derived" from it – Scottish, Irish, Appalachian, etc. (I'd dispute that they're all derived from English music but we'll let that pass.) He wouldn't book us as:

i) Apart from our strictly trad. stuff, we do a song which consist of original words to a trad. tune.

ii) We do another trad. song that we sing to a tune that normally belongs to another song, and

iii) We sing some trad. lyrics to a tune of our own composition.

According to this guy, all that is not in the tradition, so his club cannot support it. He also objected to the pan-pipes as they're not "traditional" instruments. (We only use them on one short instrumental section of one song, where we think they work well.)

I was a bit surprised as I've never come across this attitude before and the audience at the club were very appreciative. Is this sort of attitude common? After all, there are many variations of songs to be found; "John Barleycorn" has several different tunes, and I've heard "Pleasant and Delightful" sung to the tune of another song (can't remember offhand what it was.) At some time someone must have thought "What about inventing a new tune for that?" or "I wonder if those words would go with that tune," and the results have passed into the tradition. And I've heard Pete Coe, to name but one, sing lyrics of his own to a traditional tune; he can't be the only one.

Also, if no-one ever sat down to invent words and tunes in the first place, we wouldn't have a tradition!

What's the feeling about this amongst other Mudcatters? Does preserving the tradition mean never changing anything, or is it OK, provided that when you introduce the songs you explain what you're doing? Or do you feel that anything goes as long as it sounds right?


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 01:41 PM

Fuck 'em!

If you're good and you believe in what you do that's half the battle - and it's eejits like the one you cite who lose out.

As far as I'm concerned, a traditional instrument is anything you can bang out a melody, accompaniment or drone on. And 'the tradition' is strong enough to stand a bit of messing with: most folk revival singers have done this somewhere along the line.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: GUEST,Arnie
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 01:41 PM

If the booker wants only strictly trad music in their club - well that's their decision. But I believe musicians should play whatever they whatever the heck they play. People will like it if it's good music. It's one thing to love and honour music traditions, but it's my belief that anyone can take those anywhere and anyway they want. We are an evolutionary species. Trad music came from somewhere - and all those songs and tunes were brand new once. In the grand scheme it doesn't pay to stick your head in the mud - move forward!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: folkypaul
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 01:42 PM

It's not the sort of club I'd go to.

I thought that sort of thinking went out in the 60's.

I bet they don't do amplification of the music either (although not always nescessery).

Does this person ever go to a concert.

Etc, etc, etc.

PaulO


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 01:42 PM

Faye,I have been gigging for over thirty years.
sometimes you cant win,
there are clubs where I should have been booked,but the oragniserhas taken a dislike,and clubs where I wasnt really suitable,but the organiser liked me.
it swings and roundabouts,play the music youreally like,and it will be reflected in your performance,ignore the comments of organisers.
also ignore all reviews,whether they are good or bad,good luck and success to your singing.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Ernest
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 01:42 PM

The guy has a very limited definition of "traditional". As you already have pointed out adding new words to existing tunes, singing songs to different tunes etc. has done before many times (we have a word for it: folk process).

I guess the club in question won`t get to many performers if they stick to such a limited definition. A real strict traditionalist would perhaps (but only perhaps) allow a hollow logbanged with a stone... ;0)

BTW pan pipes might not be traditional in England but they are definitely traditional somewhere - even in the US (think of Henry Thomas`s "Fishing Blues").

Don`t let that stop you!

Best
Ernest


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 01:44 PM

New Thread of Worms Alert!

From what I have been reading here and what makes sense is that folk tradition is a constantly morphing animal.

If everything had to be done in it's original state there would be no folk. Because (duh) everything was passed down orally and (thank gods) imperfectly through generations and across cultures.

That club manager sounds like an idiot. If people appreciate your tunes during sessions, start chatting to regulars about where and how to promote your act and how to get gigs.

Good luck


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 01:45 PM

Music is music...

The 'Traditionalists' are quite frankly, killing off English folk music, with their rules, regulations and pedantic ways. They'll be the only ones left listening to it shortly, but that's what they want I guess...

Did he subscribe to fRoots, I wonder? ;0)


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 01:46 PM

Very interesting question.
And I've had similar ones but for other reasons.

From what I can tell from my own peers at least, some of the percieved 'rigidity' in strictly traditional camps can be a turn-off to those of my own and younger generations. No-one I know beneath retirement age, is interested in trad songs. Of course I cannot know if I'm alone in that. Yet world or fusion folk is booming with the 'young people', my musician friends included.

A degree of this seeming rigidity reminds me of ex-pats who fiercely defend their origonal culture by strictly living according to the memories that they have 'snapshot-like' retained from the day they left their native lands - while at the very same time, their origonal culture in their native lands, simply keeps moving on and evolving, thereby leaving the ex-pats looking like strange, comical echoes from the long dead past.

Not attempting to offend a soul here. Merely sharing an observation. Which may or may not be utterly groundless and isolated to me...


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 01:52 PM

Panpipes not traditional?

'Of Chinese origin, the instrument was known to the Greeks (who connected its origin with the legend of the god Pan and the nymph Syrinx who was changed into reeds). It survives in some parts of Europe, South East Asia, and South America.'

What the organizer means is 'not in line with my impression of what my great-grandparents played, based mostly on what I've seen in movies.'

What we have here is a little person making the most of a little bit of power. I hope you find places where you can play your music, Faye. The world needs more good music.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 02:01 PM

Bloomin' 'eck! leave him to his fixed notions of folk, plenty of other opportunities by the sound of! move on!


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 02:16 PM

Faye - there are always some clubs that have a strong leaning towards a particular genre of folk music - and you have to put up with that. But I've rarely been in one (though I know of them) that is so excluding. However, you have to accept that what may be OK in a floor spot in these clubs, i.e. your own stuff, may not be OK as a paid guest spot. I actually agree with Spleen C. - F'em!

The answer is to find clubs with a more humane and eclectic philosophy, and strutt your stuff there!

Best of luck.

Will


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 02:53 PM

While I don't agree with the club's philosophy, I find it refreshing that a venue exists where patrons can know in advance what they're paying for.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Banjiman
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 03:07 PM

You get turned down for all sorts of given reasons (not all of them rational; too trad, not trad enough, not established enough, not local enough, not English sounding enough..... ).

You just have to learn to enjoy this as part of the rich tapestry that are British Folk Clubs and accept that not everyone is going to book you however well you went down!

That was spoken from the point of view of someone trying to get gigs for both our band and my other half.

With my folk club organisers hat on I would find it impossible to fit in everyone who wants a gig....... how do you politely turn people down?

You have an idea of what sort of programme you want to put on over a year (balance of new/ established acts, trad/ contemporary, male/ female) and then someone comes along and although they are good you know you can't fit them in........


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 03:24 PM

I imagine you could find another club where someone who sang traditional songs and played a melodian would be told they didn't suit because the club had a policy of favouring world music...


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: GUEST,Girl Friday sans cookie
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 03:30 PM

Go for it guys. If you have found clubs that like you then you will eventually get booked if that's what you're looking for. Keep visiting other clubs. If the club(s) that only book traditional can keep thriving, that's good too, because the purists will have somewhere to go too.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Penny S.
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 03:35 PM

It's amazing that we use the solfa scale since it was the thing those Neanderthals tuned their pipes with. Not OUR tradition at all.

On the other hand, perhaps a perceived impression that those under retirement age are not interested in traditional music might lead to a determination to preserve it while it can be preserved.

Penny


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 03:39 PM

Lots of Neanderthals around the folk scene. (And I never use that term disparagingly.)


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 03:42 PM

Personally I'd be overjoyed to find a club where the bill of fare was that heavily biased towards the trad repertoire, although my feelings would be tempered with dread that they might not think my own versions were quite traditional enough.

In other words I agree with nearly, but not quite, everyone.

Genuine sighting of the Folk Police - check
The music always has grown and changed and been played on whatever's handy - check
That kind of attitude's bad for the music - check

But is this kind of attitude killing the music, or killing the clubs? I don't see much sign of it either way. On the contrary, I'd say the clubs are either thriving or at least ticking over - and that almost none of them take this attitude or anything like it. Getting back to the OP, I'm sure plenty of places will welcome you with open arms; in fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if some folk clubs turn you away for being too traditional.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 03:44 PM

ugg

ugh gnuh ugh

hire me please

No! Because I grunt with a southeastern Virginia drawl.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 03:59 PM

??? Not sure I understand what the above comment by VirginiaTam is supposed to mean.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 04:02 PM

It took it to be a Virgineanderthal greeting...


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 04:03 PM

Just following through on all of thread.

I am neanderthal trying to sing trad English with my virginia accent. No one will hire me cuz it don't sound right.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 04:14 PM

Where is this club, let's have the facts? It sounds very interesting, I didn't know such venues existed. I must say, draconic as its rules sound, I can see the point of one or two places like that. As 99.9999% of music venues would not countenance putting on someone singing traditional folk songs, I don't suppose it'll will cause the end of the world of just one little place puts on only trad folksongs.
Let's face it, there are Tiddly Winks clubs, where presumably they play tiddly winks. And Pigeon Fanciers societies, where presumably you can escape from budgies and vultures for a pleasant evening. So why shouldn't someone set up a traditional folksong club, if that's what turns them on? A little tolerance wouldn't come amiss.
I play in a folk type band. We don't get booked much at DJ nights. That's the way it is.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 04:15 PM

He could of been trying, and failing in my opinion, just to be tactful. He may just not have liked your stuff, which he is perfectly entitled to do so, but found it dificult to say as much. I know, as a club organiser, it is far easier to say 'not our style' than 'sorry, but I don't like what you do'. I handed over the bookings many years ago to a very good friend who can be firm but genuinely tactful as well. Not my bag and I am happier doing other bits.

There will be many clubs who will book you so don't let it put you off. There will also be a good few who, for genuine reasons, cannot book you. Lack of funds, lack of time and other priorites are the bain of most organisers lives so try not to give them too hard a time. Just accept that you are good in the right place, at the right time but those circumstances did not occur at your example club.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 04:15 PM

I should add, we play comntemporary material as well as trad folk in our band, so we won't get booked at this Purity Club, wherever it is.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 04:15 PM

Greg Stephens and Banjiman: very sensible.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 04:25 PM

Bit of a side issue, but extremely relevant I think. Sleepy Roasie says:
"No-one I know beneath retirement age, is interested in trad songs"

Rosie, you must live in a world that has no contact with the folk scene: the place is infested with youngsters singing trad songs at the moment, and playng trad tunes too.Listen to the Folk Awards, listen to the radio, look at the Tv, go to a folk festival. Yoof are everywhere. Every other month fRoots has the latest Brit traddie on the front cover. Where are you hiding?


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 04:34 PM

I was introduced to traditional folk of all Great Britain and Ireland by my daughter when she was 15. She loved it and learned and performed it miles better than me. Manys the time she groaned at my pronunciations in Suil a ruin. Her dream was to move to Ireland to teach music and be in a band.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 04:35 PM

Greg Stephens said it quite well, as did Dick Greenhaus.

There are very few places where one can go...especially in the USA... and hear mostly traditional music. To me, a perfect club would aim toward traditional, yet allow & encourage 'some' new stuff that is clearly based on trad or uses similar tune style, themes and instrumentation.
There are many, many places where 'newer', vaguely folkish music is done, and that is fine.... it suits the majority. But some of us in the majority love the idea of one little oasis where we can soak in tradition when we have a mind to.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 04:41 PM

I know exactly where this club is.
but the organiser has a right to book who he /she likes,and was probably fobbing Faye off with an excuse[The first one that came into his /her head].
its happened to all of us at some time.
the real reason is possibly nothing to do with Faye,could be lack of money[doesnt want to book guests because the club is not doing well].,could be a lot of things.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Gervase
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 05:26 PM

I think Dave and Dick have hit the nail on the head - it's often difficult for someone to say 'no', and they will concoct all sorts of reasons to qualify their answer. Don't let it get you down - there are plenty of other venues out there, and if you're halfway decent you'll get bookings.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Nick
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 05:45 PM

It's not in the North West is it because I came across somewhere very similar?

Once.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 05:47 PM

Be careful not to be specific about idividuals and places. Doing that closes down threads.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Nick
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 05:47 PM

Sorry that should have read:

It's not in the North West is it because I came across somewhere very similar once?

We live in a world of narrowcasting and it's great to find someone sticking to their guns and specialising in what they believe in. Whether it happens to be my own cup of tea or not.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 05:48 PM

"Folk" music has a definition. It is the 1954 definition. But the comment above that the changing of the songs and tunes (new instruments, new tunes to old words, new words to old tunes) is indeed the "folk process" and it is how we got what we have, how we get what we will have, and why the tradition will never be stale.

Youth the world over is in part fascinated by its traditions - "the old ways" - the old religions - its "roots" - new age paganism - Wicca - the Norse mythologies (and cod variants) - the Irish mythologies (and cod variants).

There is no good reason why that should not be the same for the English (and other British) traditions.

I'm a traddie (and nearly but not quite of retirement age) - but I re-arrange and re-invent if I can. Go thou and do likewise!


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 05:59 PM

I would certainly agree with those who say that the organiser was trying to let you down lightly although in doing so he was in danger of getting the sort of place that presents traditional folk song a bad name. Our club is called Traditions at the Tiger which should give some indication of the sort of music that you could expect to hear there. I have had people tell me that we are "too traditional" (they probably think that the BNP are too right wing as well) however none of the committee there would use the excuse that you were given to refuse a request for a gig. Having said that we are booked well into 2010.
BTW I once read a piece by Bert Lloyd where he said that no portable instrument is any more "traditional" than another.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 06:28 PM

Try the open mic scene - it's more relevant ( ie, you play to a live audience) and extremely welcoming. All genres are accepted.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Nick
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 06:54 PM

DaveS - >> (they probably think that the BNP are too right wing as well)

And they wouldn't be wrong on that one. Opens the possibility that they might be right on the other one too :)
Did you make the list? - BNP list leaked online...


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 07:05 PM

From Faye's original message, it seemed like her band could have tailored their act to the club's spec if they'd wanted to. Two or three out-of-line items shouldn't have meant they couldn't do a full-length act.

Did they think of offering?


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Betsy
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 07:13 PM

There's a few megalomaniac Organisers out there - understand that - your "face" won't fit every situation. Move on and don't let this minor knock unduly affect you.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 07:48 PM

Greg - Yes, good point - it's good there are a few places like that to balance the opposite, thanks.

Virginia - sorry, but it's Siul a ruin...


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: GUEST,Faye
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 08:17 PM

Thanks for all your views.

I wasn't just enquiring from the point of view of looking for a gig- we get other offers elsewhere so I'm not bothered about one place that doesn't like us.

I just wondered what the attitude is towards "messing" with traditional music in this way- is it OK, is it OK if you state what you're doing and don't pass it off as the original thing, or is it completely beyond the pale.

Obviously different people have different views, and they're entitled to them. I'm not taking a stand here, just interested in opinions.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: GUEST,Faye
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 08:20 PM

PS- If you think you know the club, fine, but I'm not saying where it is!


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: GUEST,Faye
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 08:25 PM

PPS - The organiser actually said that he liked us, which is what seemed strange- a bit like a vegetarian following a policy of condemning the meat trade while admitting that he likes sausage rolls.

Of course, he's quite at liberty NOT to like us- we are well received wherever we go and we have a realistic idea of how good we are, but you can't expect to appeal to everyone. But the fact that he was complimentary was what made it seem a bit strange.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 08:43 PM

Capt'n B may have the inside track on this-- as it seems odd that a booker would decline to book you because there were a couple of things things in your repertoire that he didn't like.

It is generally possible to leave that material that is not appropriate to a venue off the set list--We never, for instance, played "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" at a wedding, and, at least to my knowledge, were never barred from a wedding job because we could play it-


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 10:18 PM

Some interesting thoughts expressed in this thread. I'll just add a few comments. I was dismayed at the attitude of "fuck 'em" and "he's an idiot" etc. directed at the folk club organizer. What is wrong with running a strictly traditional club? There are clubs/venues who book strictly singer/songwriters, strictly jazz, etc. There are also eclectic clubs/venues and that is fine too. If his club specializes in traditional English (or related) folk music and the members enjoy and support it, how does that make him an idiot? It would be entirely possible that he liked what he heard, but didn't feel that it fit well within the definition of what he and the other club members want to support. I run a traditional concert series (not a folk club). I want to maintain a venue that encourages and supports traditional performers, because I just don't think there are enough places around that do (I'm in the USA).   I've had very talented people ask for bookings, saying that, while they weren't really traditional, they could put together a set of traditional material. I don't book them. I usually refer them to another concert venue in the area that mostly books singer/songwriters. I give preference to performers who concentrate on the traditional.   That said, if somebody does a mostly traditional set but throws in a couple of original songs that are in the traditional style, that's fine with me. As for "messing" with traditional music - nothing wrong with that, but different people may or may not like your arrangements or changes.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 10:49 PM

Folks, bear with me, please. I think I'll indulge myself and mix a few metaphors!

-------------------------------------------------------------

Here in the middle of the USA, there is one festival that presents traditional music. The University Of Chicago Folk Festival happens every February. It began in 1961 --- and it continues on...

Other than that one glorious example, I cannot think of another festival or coffeehouse or bar or house concert that is even 50% trad. There is no radio show in the Midwest that features traditional music either.

Granted, I have been out of the loop for over a decade, but no list of venues that I see, and I do see a few, would by any stretch be classified as an example of a traditional operation. I feel that's sad on several levels, but mainly, to me, it is disheartening to see so many being mis-educated. They know not what they do---and that is promulgated and perpetuated as gospel until everyone, thinking they are correct----nay, BELIEVING that they are correct--- everyone loses their houses, banks collapse, GM fails and we are caught in a chaotic downward dumbed-down spiral of depressed and ignorant people.

And it all could be avoided if we stay with the basics, perform with talent and use common sense. Indeed, you cannot sing taditional ballds and not continuously learn great lessons from history. And as we all know, history repeats...(It just costs twice as much, at least, every time around!)

Again, only by using and performing the traditional basics of the game, then, and only then, alas, will the Cubs ever win the World Series.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Derby Ram
Date: 18 Nov 08 - 11:29 PM

Surely, it's not a matter of the validity (or otherwise)of having a strictly traditional music policy - it's more to do with whether the individual concerned fully understands what it actually is and what it's grey area parameters might be. He should understand that there is no clean cut line of definition. Traditional music is not a song or a tune or an interpretational style - it's more a manner of existence and mode of transport - I mean it's more to do with how it got there and what allows it to continue to thrive, develop and progress naturally - that's the oral and 'by ear' bit - and perhaps its simplicity of form. Over sophistication itself can be a 'quick kill' factor for a potential piece of traditional music - making it less accessible to the vast majority of people who might be inspired to have a go at singing or playing it.

Any piece of material that lives among the people by unwitting election and can be performed and passed on without the aid of falsified media promotion campaigning (ie; endless manufactured boy bands, Maria Carey 'sound-alikes' and 'victims' of 'Fame Academy etc;)stands a good chance of qualifying in my book.

On the 'refusal to offer a booking' issue - he had his reasons - even if he wasn't completely sure what they were in tangible terms - Faye, I think understands this and will likely not continue to bash her sword on a rock - go gal - you're music and philosophy appears fine to me.


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Subject: RE: How traditional should it be?
From: Gurney
Date: 19 Nov 08 - 12:37 AM

The organiser didn't want to present your stuff. Fair enough, in my opinion. He presents what he wants, and your repertoire didn't meet his stylistic preference. OK, he puts the money out, and quite possibly makes a loss in the running of his club.
I've been on both sides of this dilemma, and (as a singer) worked up a repertoire to fit the occasion, which is easy enough for a trad club, because you don't have to worry about accompaniments.

I've also come to the opinion that altering traditional songs, as well as the singing of obscure variants, to a general audience, is self-indulgence, and I wouldn't do it. Nowadays. Have done, of course. Maybe a lot of people go through it.

I wish you every success. If you go back to the club, ask if he considers the guitar a 'traditional' instrument.


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