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2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened

muppitz 08 Dec 08 - 07:31 AM
Kampervan 08 Dec 08 - 07:39 AM
Big Al Whittle 08 Dec 08 - 07:43 AM
The Borchester Echo 08 Dec 08 - 07:54 AM
Richard Bridge 08 Dec 08 - 10:27 AM
breezy 08 Dec 08 - 10:55 AM
cobra 08 Dec 08 - 11:05 AM
Folkiedave 08 Dec 08 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,jimmoray 08 Dec 08 - 11:20 AM
Folkiedave 08 Dec 08 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,jimmoray 08 Dec 08 - 11:42 AM
Banjiman 08 Dec 08 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,No Fixed Abode 08 Dec 08 - 11:56 AM
Banjiman 08 Dec 08 - 12:03 PM
s&r 08 Dec 08 - 12:52 PM
greg stephens 08 Dec 08 - 01:11 PM
Harmonium Hero 08 Dec 08 - 02:36 PM
Banjiman 08 Dec 08 - 02:56 PM
The Borchester Echo 08 Dec 08 - 02:59 PM
terrier 08 Dec 08 - 03:05 PM
Harmonium Hero 08 Dec 08 - 03:08 PM
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Folkiedave 08 Dec 08 - 04:01 PM
evansakes 08 Dec 08 - 05:03 PM
GUEST 08 Dec 08 - 05:13 PM
The Sandman 08 Dec 08 - 05:30 PM
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greg stephens 08 Dec 08 - 06:50 PM
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The Borchester Echo 09 Dec 08 - 03:18 AM
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Folkiedave 11 Dec 08 - 12:12 PM
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The Borchester Echo 11 Dec 08 - 12:16 PM
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Big Al Whittle 11 Dec 08 - 12:40 PM
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Banjiman 13 Dec 08 - 10:30 AM
greg stephens 13 Dec 08 - 11:04 AM
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The Borchester Echo 13 Dec 08 - 09:35 PM
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Subject: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: muppitz
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 07:31 AM

I've been trying to find out the results through the Radio 2 website and it doesn't seem to be on there, anyone know what happened, who won etc???

muppitz
x


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Kampervan
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 07:39 AM

Is this what you're looking for?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/events/folkawards2008/winners.shtml


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 07:43 AM

No I think it was the competition with Lucy Ward as a contestant that has local people interested.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 07:54 AM

Smoothops appear to be in hibernation and have not updated the site since last Friday but the winners were Megan & Joe Henwood, a brother and sister duo doing self-composed material with alto sax accompaniment.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 10:27 AM

Sounds very smoothiechops and not very folk


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: breezy
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 10:55 AM

Someone should enter Jez Lowe next year


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: cobra
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 11:05 AM

Mrs Lowe might resent that.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folkiedave
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 11:14 AM

who judged it?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,jimmoray
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 11:20 AM

Hi Richard,
I was one of the judges this year. All the competitors did well, but Megan and Joe just played best on the night. There's no conspiracy.

Jim


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folkiedave
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 11:34 AM

Hi Jim,

I was not suggesting there was a conspiracy - I just wanted to know who the judges were.

But your gesture is appreciated.

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,jimmoray
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 11:42 AM

I was replying to Richard above...

The other judges were John Leonard (you know who he is), Steve Kersley (Proper distribution), Al Booth (head of specialist music at radio 2) and Eddie Barcan (Cambridge folk festival and Glastonbury).

thanks


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Banjiman
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 11:43 AM

Here's a link to Megan's MySpace . I assume the songs on the night were completely different ones, and the instrumentation and arrangements?

Even with my pretty wide interpretation of what is folk...I'm not sure that the songs on MySpace fit ? But then perhaps I'm just very old fashioned and ill informed?

Lovely voice though.

Paul


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,No Fixed Abode
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 11:56 AM

This is the list of Influences Megan quote on there myspace page

Bill Withers, Sam Brown, Bob Dylan, Anias Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Annie Defranco...

They also list themselves as SOUL/ACOUSTIC/FUNK artists

Is this the right myspace page??

confused
tony


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Banjiman
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 12:03 PM

I don't know for sure Tony. I hope I am not basing my opinion on a falsehood..........I'll very happily eat my words if this proves to be the case.

Paul


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: s&r
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 12:52 PM

The report doesn't mention Maz o'Connor except with lLast Orders. Didn't she compete?

Stu


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: greg stephens
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 01:11 PM

The judges, Jim Moray et al, were judging on the quality of the performances that were put in front of them on the night. By all accounts, it was a foregone conclusion, Megan and Joe's act was great. Clearly there are some who query whether they qualify as a folk act. That is another question.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 02:36 PM

OK. Call me a dinosaur. Go on...
People seem to be nervous about saying this, but here goes: THIS IS NOT FOLK MUSIC. Not by any definition I am aware of. I have a pretty broad definition, by some people's standards, but this is outside of it. I'm not criticising the music - It's very pleasant, and well performed - but it shouldn't qualify for a folk award. And on those grounds, should not have been allowed to enter, let alone win. A bit like a cyclist winning the long jump event at the Olympics. It's no wonder that J. Public hasn't got a clue what folk music is, when all he has to go on - unless he is prepared to take a leap in the dark and go to a folk event to find out - is the Ministry of Misinformation dishing out this sort of thing. Are these awards at all relevant? It all seems to have more to do with the current 15-minutes-of-fame culture than with folk music.
Incidentally, haven't we just had the folk awards, or have I been asleep for 12 months?
Yrs. Disgruntled. St Helens.
PS. I do folk music, if anybody's interested, although I'm not in line for any awards, nor am I likely to be.
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Banjiman
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 02:56 PM

John,

I agree with your assessment of the music on the MySpace link. However.....I assume they must have been doing something completely different on the finals night......musn't they?

I understand they were a duo not a full band. Was anyone there and able to comment?

Paul


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 02:59 PM

The Young Folk Award final is always at the beginning of December.
The R2 Folk Awards annual beano is always at the beginning of February.
People always whinge.
I have no more to say.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: terrier
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 03:05 PM

I know that it has been discussed to death many times here on Mudcat, but maybe Guest,jimmoray would like to have a go at defining what the judges of YFA perceive as 'Folk' music, then all our minds will be at rest.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 03:08 PM

Oh, yeah, it's the beano I'm thinking of. And I'm not whingeing. Us dinaosaurs don't, you know. JK.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 03:08 PM

Didn't sound anything like my perception of folk music, either.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 03:18 PM

You should all know by now that 'all music is folk music'! I believe that the Halle Orchestra are thinking of entering next year.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folknacious
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 03:29 PM

"I assume they must have been doing something completely different on the finals night......musn't they?"

Yes they were. Acoustic guitar and alto saxophone which was a refeshingly different blend, good singing in her own English accent that showed some awareness of traditional vocal styles, well constructed songs, professional without being slick. They were the obvious winner on the night out of a very good set of finalists. I wouldn't have recognised them from that MySpace which is probably a different musical project. The talk afterwards was that they've grown up going to a well known folk club (sorry, forgot the name) where their mum was the landlady of the pub.

Tyde were extremely good but in a style many others play, their age wasn't a relevant factor at all but I suppose that's easier for instrumental-only entrants. Lucy Ward and Maz O'Connor concentrated on the vocals where their immaturity showed a little and in their case you know they'll get better with the life experience to match their song content and obvious vocal abilities. Emily Hoile and Alice Burn had almost too much technique to the point it didn't really gel - less would be more, something you can also only learn from experience. Jaywalkers were the only ones I disliked because of the girl's rather grating American accent.

It was a good night out, and Jeana Leslie & Siobhan Miller have made huge leaps forward since winning last year, but that always happens.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 03:43 PM

'A different musical project'...? So folk music is a 'project'?
What was the 'well-known folk club'? I've been to some well-known folk clubs where I was the only one playing folk music. I'd be interested to hear what they actually did on the night, though.
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folkiedave
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 04:01 PM

Nettlebed I think.....


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: evansakes
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 05:03 PM

Yes, it is Nettlebed they're linked to.

Having a quick listen to MySpace I'm pretty certain the song 'Lavender Moon' was one of the songs they played on the night. Listen to it and imagine it stripped down to just guitar and sax and that's pretty much what we had on the night.

The issue of the accents is a strange one for me....I didn't notice that Megan sang in a particularly English one or that Jayhawkers were employing American ones. Musicality, quality of song, tone of voice, diction etc but please God I hope the judges weren't marking up or down based on such trivialities.

Megan has a distinctive and powerful voice and Joe is a talented sax player with a mature ear for improvisation. I'd say he's listened a fair bit to the likes of David Sanborn. This of course wouldn't ever be a bad thing but it's not going to help him gain much of a folky sensibility. Just as you'd never expect Courtney Pine or Wayne Shorter to be nominated for a Folk musician of the year award.

This may be doing them a disservice but it would be reasonably easy to understand how people could jump to the conclusion that Megan and Joe have been encouraged to temporarily disengage themselves from their band purely to enter this competition.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 05:13 PM

Megan and Joe love playing music from lots of genres but there real passion is in folk. They hope that people will give them a chance and not judge them on just there myspace page. They feel privileged and honoured to of won this award and look forward to playing the festivals next year.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 05:30 PM

Dick Miles looks forward to playing many festivals next year as well.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 05:34 PM

If you don't want to be judged by your Myspace page, then what the hell is it there for? Is this just me? You know - wooly mammoth thinking...
Regarding the above comment about imagining it stripped down... If it's fo;l music, I'd recognose it whatever the instrumentation. I'm just going to have a listen....
JK


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folknacious
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 05:35 PM

"Megan and Joe love playing music from lots of genres but there real passion is in folk. They hope that people will give them a chance."

Their real passion was obvious and I'm sure it helped them get their win last Friday. I hope that people will give them a chance too, and also remember when posting knee-jerk knocking on here that just possibly these young people may be reading what you say. Don't sour their win for them before you've even given them a fair chance. Suggestions by people who weren't even there that they were a contrived entry are mean spirited and unjustified.

Megan and Joe, if you are reading (or GUEST above, who obviously know them, please pass this on) - congratulations, well done, and some of us will look forward to hearing more of what you can do at next year's festivals. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 05:40 PM

Yes, I'm quite sure you do, Dick, and I hope I'll be seeing you. But you're a bit to old for the YFA.
And I hope to see Megan and Joe at festivals too. Even if their anonymous backer is a tad lacking on the grammar front.

"there real passion? Ahem.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folknacious
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 05:40 PM

"If you don't want to be judged by your Myspace page, then what the hell is it there for?"

Perhaps to promote another band they play in, in a different genre of music? Is that a bad thing? It wasn't them who posted the link here.

Why not reserve judgement until you've heard the Folk On 2 broadcast of the concert which I think is this Thursday?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Mrs Banjiman
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 05:40 PM

Happy to give them a chance.......as I hope my posts above show.

They need to get that MySpace changed quickly though if they want to be taken seriously (in the folk world)....... that is not to knock them though!

Megan undoubtedly has a lovely voice, I look forward to hearing her sing something a bit folkier.

Paul


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 05:47 PM

Well, I think it is actually on the Mike Harding Show on Wednesday.
I say this in the certain knowledge that "Folk On 2" ceased to exist over a decade ago.
I collapse in disbelief. What exactly is wrong with artists operating in a multiplicity of genres? (Please don't answer, I really don't want to hear).


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 05:52 PM

Well, I've just listened to Lavender Man, and I can't see the link with folk music, apart from it having words and a tune. Incidentally, it states on the top of the page that the music is soul/acoustic/funk. Doesn't mention folk.
I'll tell you what pisses me off about these awards: it's the same as the Xfactor/Popstar etc stuff on the telly. The winners are selected from the entrants. "Bleedin' obvious", I hear you say. Point is, the candidates are self-selected. I'll never win Xfactor, 'cos I ain't putting my name forward. Whether I'd get anywhere doesn't even come into it. I could enter myself for next year's Young Folk Awards - on the same basis as the above suggestion about the Halle Orchestra. If it doesn't have to be folk music, then why should I have to be young? I'm asking this as a serious question.
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folknacious
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 06:05 PM

"why should I have to be young?"

Well it does rather sound like you never were. In fact it sounds like you have a handlebar moustache, a rather red face, bulging eyes and a very loud voice. But then I'm just judging you by something I found on the internet.

Exits stage left, clucking like a horse . . .


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 06:30 PM

Folknacious: I was young once; whether you care to believe it or not doesn't matter, nor does it answer the question. Oh - and I don't know what you've seen on t'internet to suggest the contrary, but I don't have a red face or bulging eyes. Perhaps your PC needs a service. And, in case my previous disclaimer sailed past one or two people, I have no objection to the music I heard on the MySpace page. But it isn't folk music, and somebody back there said they thought that Lavender Man was one of the songs performed on the show, so I went back and listened to it.
Diane: I know you've gone off in a huff (twice), and so won't see this, but I'm afraid I'm out performing on Thursday (folk dancing), but I'll try and get it on t'internet, just to be scrupulously fair. I repeat though, for those determined to misinterpret my intentions, that this is not about the undoubted talents of the young lady and her musicians; it's about the - admittedly 'alleged' at this stage -mis-use of the term 'folk'. ANd why am I getting so worked up about it? Well, because my passion, too, is for folk music, and I'm beginning to feel distinctly out of place on the British folk circuit.
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 06:32 PM

Feels like 1974 -
Ghastly mellow saxophones all over the floor...

- Robyn Hitchcock

No, seriously. Very nice, very competent, good easy listening. Megan H has a fine voice, which probably sounds even better with less going on behind it.

But, if it's possible to say "this isn't folk", then I'm with John - this isn't folk.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: greg stephens
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 06:50 PM

As usual, anybody ventures to say "it isn't folk" gets castigated for attacking the act. Yer what? It's not a criticism, it's a classification. A hippopotamus is not a butterfly. Is that some kind of snide remark?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,or it might be folk
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 07:42 PM

"Butterpotamus" and "Hippofly"

both certainly sound like they could
be folk groups on the UK festival circuit !!!


..anyone wanna grab these names while they're stil fresh hot available ???


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 08 Dec 08 - 07:47 PM

Wha' Happened.....?

That's a quote from 'A Mighty Wind'..... isn't it?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 03:18 AM

To those who think "f*lk" is a terminally damaged and discredited term, you're right. So don't use it. I don't.

The YFA winners put on the best performance on the night. That's what the competition is supposed to be about and for the first time in years, the judges' decision reflected the general consensus. A bit different from walking off in disbelief when Jim Moray, Jackie Oates, Bella Hardy and Dave Delarre weren't declared "winners". Though that isn't what it's about either: "competitors" welcome the opportunity to spend time and play together, to absorb each other's styles and learn. What they are is open-minded, musically. You should try it.

Oh, and the MH show is transmitted on Wednesday @ 7.00 p.m. Has been for ages. Then it's on the iPlayer.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Graham Bradshaw
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 05:34 AM

Well, there are two questions here as I see it.

Should an act which is patently obviously NOT FOLK, be in, let alone winning the Folk Awards? No. In the same way as you wouldn't get a rap artist in the Country Music Awards, or Fred Jordan in X Factor.

Should artists who are outside the genre be trying to make a career in the Folk world? Don't see why not. It was always so. Barbara Dickson, Jasper Carrott, Mike Harding and countless others, started off in the folk clubs, and went on to greater things elsewhere.

I can remember back in the 60s when the folk scene was much more eclectic than it is now. My own club - Surbiton - was considered to be fairly 'traditional', but would feature bluegrass, country, jazz, blues as well as what we now refer to as trad and revivalist folk.

How about this for a sample guest list....
Stephane Grapelli with Diz Disley
Ken Colyer Jazzband
Bill Clifton
Julie Felix
Malcolm Price
Jesse Fuller
Jo-Ann Kelly
Sandy Denny
Pentangle
Dave & Toni Arthur
Isabel Sutherland
Stewarts of Blair

The flagship programme on the radio at the time was Country Meets Folk, hosted by Wally Whyton (a skiffler and pal of Pussy Cat Willum).

So, nothing much has changed in that department!! Not Mike's fault - he is working to a brief laid down by SmoothOps and ultimately the Beeb.

In the case of the winners of YFA, they will probably get booked at just about every folk festival next Summer and, if the audiences don't take to them, they will disappear without trace the following year, and go back to wherever it is that they DO belong.

In this case, the market WILL decide.

As an afterthought, I just showed a friend of mine who plays in a very good pop covers band the footage on the Shrewsbury Folk Festival website. Oysterband, Doonans, The Duhks, Demon Barbers, Bellowhead - he thought it was a Country Music festival and didn't think any of them were anything to do with folk!!

AS always, it is in the eye of the perceiver.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folkiedave
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 05:39 AM

I tend to agree with Graham on this one. They may not even get booked at a load of festivals, (but I bet Maz O'Connor does).

She has always wowed any audience - including Cropredy.......


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 06:23 AM

nothings changed except its nowadays de rigeur for the judges to get snerchy about a phoney American accent.

How many of your guest list would have stood up to that scrutiny - let alone some kid who's trying to get above the floorsinger level?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Working Radish
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 06:55 AM

What leaps out at me is that nowadays it's de rigueur not to get snerchy about original material - or, more to the point, about the complete absence of traditional material.

While I'm in disagree-with-WLD mode, I've never understood what's hard about singing in your own accent. It's not even a pop vs folk thing - the Beatles and David Bowie and the Smiths and New Order have sold squillions, without an American accent between them. Obviously some cover versions call for a fake accent, or you'd end up with
I say you chaps, if you knew Peggy Sue
They you'd jolly well know why I feel blue...

But if you're doing your own stuff, what's wrong with your own voice?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 08:22 AM

I've just listened to the whole of the MySpace selection, and it still isn't folk music. I did notice, however, that the 'soul/acoustic/funk' line now reads 'acoustic/funk/folk'. Strange; it still sounds exactly the same to me. What has happened overnight that I'm missing?
And all right, Diane, I bow to your superior knowledge yet again. Mike Harding is ALWAYS on Wednesday, as the Young Folk Awards are ALWAYS in December, and tha Folk Awards Beano is ALWAYS in ...er.. whatever it was. You see; I don't really spend my time listening to/watching these things. Too busy learning/practicing/going out singing FOLK MUSIC. In fact, on the infrequent occasions that I have caught the Mike Harding programme, it ALWAYS seems to be about the Young Folk Awards.
Dino Saur.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 08:28 AM

"Snerchy"? THat's hardly a traditional word is it?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 08:47 AM

Well, Mr Saur, I haven't listened to the MH prog for YEARS and nowadays rarely even bother to scan the playlists. I don't need to to be aware that the event under discussion is The Young Folk AWARD, an annual competition entirely unconnected to the Folk AWARDS, which are an industry event.

These are young people who, for several months, have competed through a series of heats to take part in a final in which their performance is judged against their peers. The act which comes out best ON THE NIGHT in terms of not only musical ability but also all-round stagecraft is the one that gets the award and opportunities for further exposure.

Many who have not won in the past have, nevertheless, come through anyway and have become established stalwarts of the circuit, of festivals and the recording world. One example was someone whose work I knew well who had the misfortune to have her instrument stolen only days before the final. Being a little unsure with an unfamiliar replacement quite possibly robbed her of the award, in exactly the same way in which a seasoned performer can also have an off night and fail to impress.

The YFA is thus but one route to success. It is not (and shouldn't be) a vehicle for anyone - whether judge or vocal punter - to promote their own particular fave or hobby horse. It is merely a test of who might be up-and-coming as well as a wonderful experience for all participants to share.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folkiedave
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 09:26 AM

Most of the past winners I can remember off hand Lauren McColl; Jarlath Henderson; Kathryn Roberts; Uiscedwr; Tim Van Eyken; Last Orders; Bodega; Siobhan Miller and Jeanna Leslie were traditional.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 10:00 AM

I have no objection to entrants or even winners not being traditional. But the term 'folk', as we've understood it for the last half-century, has included new music written within a traditional framework. When Bob Dylan emerged, it was evident that his music was following in the footsteps of Woody Guthrie and others, and the whole 50s/60s American 'contemporary folk' genre stemmed recognisably from Old Time/Appalachian/Blues roots. Similarly, the output of British writers such as Ewan MaColl (SP?) was within traditional parameters. A lot of the stuff I'm hearing these days isn't. As I said in my first post, I have a pretty broad definition of Folk Music. But I'm not hearing much these days that lies within that definition.
Referring back to Folknacious' jibe; I was young (early 20s) when I first sang in the folk clubs. And here's a shocker for you: I was a singer/songwriter. I could, however, even then, tell the difference between 'contemporary folk' and 'other stuff that isn't folk'.
None of this has anything to do with age - mine or anybody else's.
John Kelliosaur.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folkiedave
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 10:05 AM

One small note of minor correction to Diane - there are no heats as such, recorded entries to semi-final stage as I understand it.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 12:49 PM

well, now you've all had a moan here's a link to the piccies...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/galenadivaneleven/3095723864/
    Please remember to use a consistent name when you post. Messages with the "from" space blank, risk being deleted. "Guest,guest" is not an acceptable poster name.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Cotswold Maid
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 01:58 PM

Just had a listen to Lavender Man on My Space. With a bit of scrubbing up, I suppose it could be called folk. But what I object to majorly, is the fake rubbish American accent. What's that about? You're English aren't you? Well start singing in your own accent then. Can't imagine anyone is going to bother seeing them at festivals this summer, too many other good acts young and old to see


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 03:16 PM

oh yes and I think the judges are confused about folk and "folk" which my twenty something daughters listen to, the likes of Laura Marling, Noah and the Whale, the Fleet Foxes etc, which seems to be twee indie music with acoustic guitars and some non-pop instruments. Well, it's not folk as we know it, and you can't fool all of the people all of the time, as they will vote with their feet. I guess the Henwoods will get a slot at Cambridge, but that's about it. I well remember a gig by the said Mr Moray at Ross on Wye just when Sweet England had got a folk award, and I think he decided that he didn't want to be in the folk backwaters. Half of the audience walked out, and it took him a long time to recover. Don't get me wrong, I love Low Culture, but lots of people never forgave him, and he was at the bottom of a quite bad bill in the Bedford at Sidmouth this summer. All in all, I don't believe the Henwoods have a future in folk, let's get back to traditional music, lyrics and accents, interpreted in a fresh way; Bellowhead seem to have succeeded very well doing this


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Someone who was there
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 07:06 PM

It was a great night and all the finalists were of a high calibre in there different ways. Tyde were energetic and tuneful. Lucy Ward sang a song of her own and then wowed the audience with a funny and spirited version of Mike Waterson's "Stich in Time". Maz O'Connor was haunting with her rendition of Cruel Mother. Emily Hoile and Alice Burn were technically superb and The Jaywalkers were interesting in their choice of songs but I agree with an earlier contributer (Folknascious)that the fake American accent let them down a tad. However I can't agree with the same contributer that Maz and Lucy "showed their immaturity", listen to Mike Harding tomorrow and I'm sure you'll be able to make up your own minds. As for Megan and Joe Henwood they performed their songs competently, it is always difficult judging the quality of original songs on first hearing however Megan is without a doubt a fine singer songwriter and she has an interesting voice.

At the interval judging by the talk over drinks the favourites seemed to be Maz O'Connor and Lucy Ward with Tyde also in the running.

However it seemed on the night that the award was given for contempory song writing, not performance and certainly not folk.

I think Jim Moray who presented the award said something along the lines of "dragging folk into the future" As we left some people expressed their surprise at the outcome, but as it had been a good night's entertainment, and free at that, most people left happy.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 04:55 AM

Its easy to see where Joh kelly's coming from.

You reckon these people will be playing loads of festivals. theres John (proabably the finest most original singer of traditional msong in England) and he won't. or if he is, he'll be hustling for a two song spot in the club tents - which doesn't give him a chance to show that he can play more instruments than I know the names of.

And dragging folk into the 20th century !   that's bloody rich coming from the Corporation that won't play jack hudson - because he's neither folk or country. Won't play No Fixed Abode because they're not folk. Half the time, they won't even publicise their gigs and the clubs that book them.

The thing is you could choose to be a member of one of these farty little groups of musicians that Mike harding and Mick Peat dutifully cream their jeans over. But you have to be born with voice and talent like Jack Hudson or Una walsh of No fixed Abode.

Basically what sickens, is an oligarchy of mediocrity.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Jim Moray
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 05:39 AM

"I think Jim Moray who presented the award said something along the lines of "dragging folk into the future"

I said no such thing. It's one of my most hated phrases and I wouldn't inflict it on anyone.

I'm increasingly sickened by Mudcat which has turned from "highly opinionated but essentially fair" to downright nasty recently. You should be ashamed of yourselves - the broadcast of the finals hasn't even gone out yet, Megan and Joe haven't made an album or played any gigs yet and you're all willing to judge based only on hearsay and a myspace page containing a completely different set of songs in a different style. Say what you like about me, but please please stop kicking two very talented performers (one of whom is 15...) before they've had a chance to prove themselves.

Give them time to develop before you judge. It's only fair.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Jim Moray
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 05:43 AM

Also, I've just gone to listen to Jack Hudson and No Fixed Abode. Where can I hear John Kelly?

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 05:56 AM

John will probably send you a cd if you contact him.

heres a website I roughed out for him. I'm no great shakes on webdesign as you can see. He deserves better:-

http://www.bigalwhittle.co.uk/johnkellyharmoniumhero/index.html


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 06:10 AM

Give them time to develop before you judge. It's only fair.

Jim,

Thanks for commenting. I understand that you don't relish having your judgment second-guessed by a bunch of people who weren't there on the night. All the same, I don't see how an artist can be ready to be raved about but not ready to be criticised. In any case, I don't think anyone's said that Megan H. can't sing (they'd need their ears tested if they did). What people have said is that her material doesn't appear to be folk - and that's got nothing to do with how developed her career is.

As for John Kelly, no, he's not on MySpace - but if you haven't managed to see him in person or got hold of his excellent CD, you can hear a couple of songs here. If one of them doesn't knock your socks off, you must be barefoot.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: greg stephens
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 06:17 AM

Jim Moray: there have ben one or two vitriolic posts on this for sure, from the usual suspects. But don't say Mudcat is sickening because one or two excessively angry people write here. Mudcat is not an entity with a mind, it's a board you stick notices on. Most of the discussion on this thread is perfectly even tempered. Some people are saying some performers aren't folk performers. Fine, if that's their opinion. The word has many meanings to many people.I think Bach writes classical music. I don't think Hendrix plays clasical music. Those are not nasty or nice remarks. They are just my use of language. I happen to like Bach and Hendrix immensely.
Likewise people saying these young award winners are not folk is not a criticism.It's a classification.
I express no opinion, I haven't heard them yet. I look forward to it. Judging by people's favourable responses, I will enjoy them greatly. Whether they are folk, punk folk, psyche folk, acid folk, twisted folk, rap, hip hop, medieval plain song or George Formby covers..


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 06:24 AM

It's about the Young Folk Awards.

It ain't about John Kelly or Jack Hudson or the BBC and its policy on folk music.

Jack has been around a long time, plays mainly American music as far as I can tell - years since I have seen him. Not much on the web to judge him on recently as far as I can see.

John is an excellent singer - and I saw him recently - but to describe him as "probably the finest most original singer of traditional song in England" does put him on a very high pedestal and I am not sure that's exactly where he deserves to be. BUT you may be right.

You and I may differ on our opinions on the finest this that or other but that's an opinion on Mudcat.

In the end what will help artists more than anything else is whether promoters like musicians and singers and whether people who buy tickets for folk events will come and see them. Word soon gets about who sells tickets amongst people who buy tickets, and amongst promoters.

And no amount of mudcat opinions or folk awards will alter that.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 06:46 AM

>All the same, I don't see how an artist can be ready to be raved about but not ready to be criticised.

>If you don't want to be judged by your Myspace page, then what the hell is it there for?

>But don't say Mudcat is sickening because one or two excessively angry people write here. Mudcat is not an entity with a mind, it's a board you stick notices on.

>Most of the discussion on this thread is perfectly even tempered.

Pip & Greg & HH have beaten me to it. It's not Mudcat, it's the internet - being able to say anything you want to, publicly and immediately (sometimes too immediately). And folks all over the world can do this anonymously, any time they want to. This is a pretty new phenomenon in communication, and the dust is still settling (if it ever does, human nature being what it is). Don't blame the forum for the quirks of the medium. I hate to see one of the best non-mainstream music sites around dissed for factors that are common to all of them (at least those that allow any measure of freedom of speech).

It also always seems to involve selective reading - what about all the reasonable, mild-mannered posts? People have a right to like what they like, and to discuss their opinions freely without being scolded by Headmaster.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 06:56 AM

well the thing about Mudcat - unlike the BBC - it is democratic and its us that decide what the thread is about. And frankly its pussyfooting around and letting the warm glow of entirely unwarranted self satisfaction suffuse BBC's take on folk music that has got us in the merde in the first place.

For the information of the ill informed.

Jack Hudson is from the Derbyshire and has spent (god help him) his entire career within the English folk club movement. he draws his inspiration from American singer songwriters, but he mainly writes about his own rather strange life.

You may find him less than engaging, but he is prodigiously talented and more so than any thing any folk radio programme will be playing last week, this week or the week after.

Both Jack and Una Walsh (of No Fixed Abode) are possessed of voices that stop audiences in their tracks. The continued ignoring of both talents by the BBC is an act of sustained nastiness that has been allowed to go on too long. Nothing you could read on mudcat could hope to come near it in the nastiness stakes.

I am right about John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:12 AM

Dave
          Sorry but you are so far wrong about Jack Hudson it must be embarrassing for you. Guess your opinion is based on seeing him 30 years ago…………. Even murderers receive a shorter sentence than Jack Hudson has been given. Jack WRITES great songs….yes WRITES songs, good enough for Jack to be asked by BBC Scotland to perform at Celtic connections (one of the most prestigious music festivals in the UK) last Feb….still I am sure you knew that Dave. Sadly unlike some Jack keeps a dignified silence about his achievements. The reason you see little of Jack and ourselves here on mudcat and in folk clubs is because we both work at taking our music to a new audience. Jack and ourselves are doing a gig on the 29th of this month not in a folk club but in an old mill. We have sold 70 tickets so far and expect to reach the venues capacity around 100 This is by word of mouth..and yes we guess half the audience will be from folk clubs but half will be just people who like good music.   …..but please don't tell anyone……………..we would not like to upset people who are clearly trying to keep folk music a pure breed.

Tony and Una


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,No Fixed Abode
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:13 AM

Sorry we are the guest above

Tony and Una


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Jim Moray
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:15 AM

No, this isn't about having my judgment second guessed. It's about crushing young people before they have had a chance to do anything. All I'm asking is that you reserve judgment (good or bad) till you've heard the act in question, which most people on this thread emphatically haven't - how anyone could find fault in that is beyond me. Whether it is or isn't folk is another issue but, again, how can you make that call without having heard the music?

I understand that Mudcat isn't an entity but a messageboard, but there is a nasty hive mind that seems to have developed recently towards anyone who isn't part of the gang. Reading it back, I retract the wording of my earlier post, but not the sense of unease. I wasn't intending to offend anyone, but I don't like seeing performers who are still legally children cut down simply for doing something positive.

Congratulations to all the competitors and particularly Megan and Joe. I look forward to hearing lots more of the music they all make, whatever direction it takes.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:22 AM

'there is a nasty hive mind that seems to have developed recently towards anyone who isn't part of the gang.'

pretty rich - when you consider how exclusive of everyone outside of dull middle class Radio 4 conformity the BBC is!

Music for the ISA's crowd. Don't miss Moneybox!


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Banjiman
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:34 AM

Jim Moray said:

"I look forward to hearing lots more of the music they all make, whatever direction it takes."

.....and that really is the only question. They are undoubtedly very talented, Megan has a stunning voice. BUT the only music we have access to from them really isn't all that "folky" . I wasn't lucky enough to be at the awards so I look forward to hearing something from them that represents more accurately their performance.

This is an important award.... I hope it sets the winners on the road to success......within the folk genre (and I ain't no traditionalist). It would be disappointing for those young people who are working within the genre (and encouraging others to do so) if the winners take off in a completely different direction.

I hope this is not seen as a vitriolic comment....... it is not meant to be.

Paul


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:42 AM

Paul - anything you say will be taken down and used as evidence of your vitriolic and abusive character.....

You never actually wanted your musicto be on a BBC folk programme, did you?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:52 AM

You don't have to be "lucky" to go to the YFA. Anybody can, I usually do (8/10 over the past decade) and you don't even have to buy a ticket. Failing that, you can hear samples of the finalists on 'tInternet beforehand then broadcast on the MH show afterwards.

Only after you have done all these (and preferably more, like seeing the acts at a gig) are you qualified, and entitled, to make a personal judgment. Unless, of course, you are possessed of a big mouth, a headful of prejudice and fond of mindless scribbling on Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Jim Moray
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:58 AM

WLD, I have no connection with the BBC - I speak only for myself. If there is a secret handshake to be part of their crowd then nobody ever showed me. If you want to think of the BBC as an enemy then don't lump me in with them too.

"I look forward to hearing lots more of the music they all make, whatever direction it takes."

.....and that really is the only question


yep.

I think highlights from the final are broadcast tonight at 7pm for those that didn't get to be there. It was a great night from start to finish so I hope it translates well to radio.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Banjiman
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 08:05 AM

"You don't have to be "lucky" to go to the YFA"

Just across town for you Diane....a 400 mile round trip for me, full time job, babysitters required.....need I go on. I would have to be lucky to get a "pass out" to be there.

Is the sample that you refer to still available? I will gladly take a listen.

"Unless, of course, you are possessed of a big mouth, a headful of prejudice and fond of mindless scribbling on Mudcat."

.......Thanks Diane, that's really helpful and has improved my day no end.

Paul


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 08:10 AM

'Unless, of course, you are possessed of a big mouth, a headful of prejudice and fond of mindless scribbling on Mudcat.'

talk about people in glass houses.....


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: matt milton
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 08:35 AM

one thing that constantly surprises me about *young people these days* is how conservative they all sound. The truism used to be that people mellowed and grew more reactionary as they got older. We live in strange days, where it seems like The Kids gravitate to a middle-of-the-road easy listening default.

To be brutally honest, I think it is totally understandable why some people thing folk is a joke, when they are presented with acts like these flagged up as the best of a generation. If there were a BBC Young Grime MC of the Year award, or a Young Techno Act of the Year, or a Young Experimental Noise Act of the Year, you would hear a degree of attitude and imagination and flair that would put these acts to shame.

I know people always moan about these sort of award ceremonies. But, really, the music of the winners is genuinely awful. Michael Parkinson territory.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 08:46 AM

say what you want about Michael Parkinson - if you send him six quid a month til you're dead, you get a free biro.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 09:43 AM

JIm Moray: I hope you aren't including me in your appraisal of the character of Mudcatters. I'm not in anybody's gang - I've actually been mauled on here a few times myself - and I'm not 'kicking' anybody. I have tried to express my opinions here fairly (go back and read them), and I repeat - yet again - I have nothing against the music in question, or its performance. I will try to hear the MH programme on iPlayer, as I won't really get the chance to hear it tonight.
I have said all this before, and am not being nasty to anybody.

Diane: You seem to think no-one has a right to express an opinion on anyone's music until they have listened to all of it at least six times, and have bought the CD, the T shirt, the tea towel, the signed poster and the colouring-in book. I want you to read this VERY CAREFULLY: I have listened to a lot of folk music, of all shades, over the last half-century, and have been playing it myself in public for forty years, during which time I have sung, played, and danced, solo and with groups, ceilidh bands and dance teams. I have done clubs, concerts, the odd festival, radio and TV, summer season work et bloody cetera. Without wishing to appear arrogant, I venture to suggest that, by now, I should have a pretty fair idea whether or not I am listening to folk music. My opinions stated above are NOT about whether or not these young people are any good, but about what style of music they are playing. Perhaps you would be so good as to take a moment to go back and read my comments again, this time with a view to thinking about what I have said, rather than pointing out with glee that I don't know the difference between The Young Folk AWARD and The Folk AWARDS.
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 09:44 AM

And don't worry. You can be a complete scuffler. There are no health checks and no one will come round visiting and checking up on you. BBC personnel joyfully accepted.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Mr Oldbugger
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 09:50 AM

me.. I blame Sixth Form / Further Education College
Performance Arts courses
for the dire mediocrity
of reasonably technically competant over stylised X Factor aspirational teen wannabes.

Shame their raw inate talent gets so sqashed and over-groomed.

But, like most here, I've not heard any of this new bunch yet..
so genuinely hope they are truly exceptions to the general rule.


Kerfuffle definitely are... so there is still some hope for the future !


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 11:22 AM

Whether it is or isn't folk is another issue

I think whether it is or isn't folk is the main issue that people here have been commenting on. I've been to the MySpace page linked above & listened to some of the music. What I heard there was tuneful, nicely arranged and well performed, with interesting lyrics and excellent vocals; if everything they do is up to that quality, Megan and Joe should go far.

But what I heard on that MySpace page wasn't folk. To put it another way, I don't know how you'd define folk so as to include that kind of music. I saw an interview with James Yorkston recently where he rejected the label of 'folk' for what he does; he said something like "I just write not-very-popular pop songs". And this is someone who cites Anne Briggs as an influence, has worked with the Watersons, and has recorded Edward, I Know My Love and High Germanie, among others. (And was supported by Jim Moray the last time I saw him, although now I come to think of it that was a while ago. I must get out more.)

Anyway - we (most of us) aren't questioning whether Megan and Joe are good enough to win an award; we're questioning whether they're folk enough to win (or even be entered for) a Folk Award.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 11:29 AM

I `ad that Megan Henwood in my cab the other day.
I said, "I see you`ve got`em all riled up on that Mudcat about what is and what aint folk. Even that Jim Moray`s `aving a go, `e who was described by Mike `arding as the "most fantastic" performer `e `ad `eard for years"
She said, "`ave you seen my MySpace slot? What do you think?"
I said, "Yeah, I`ve seen it. I don`t go a bundle on the songs but you`ve got a luvly sofa!!"

Whaddam I Like??


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 12:24 PM

Sorry but you are so far wrong about Jack Hudson it must be embarrassing for you. Guess your opinion is based on seeing him 30 years ago………….

Not as many as that I am happy to say. And I have no reason to be embarassed whatsoever. I often say that artists are not to my taste. I can include virtually any pop, house, garage, bashment etc etc in that. I don't ever remember saying they are no good.

I'd like to see Jack's gig list on his website - except the website seem to be carefully hidden. There is no gig list on his myspace page. Where he seems to be describing himself as a country singer more than anything else. How do I find out where he is playing?

Perhaps he wants to keep his music pure!!

As for yourselves, you are clearly getting lots of paid work and have a website and a myspace so I am sure I will be able to catch your performances as soon as someone in this area books you or as soon as you find a venue to promote yourself (and Jack perhaps).

In fact if you contact Mike Steele at the Burton St. Project Sheffield he will give you a free room and his P.A. All you have to do is provide the audience. Not a folk club but it has a bar and if you want real ale he will put it on once you have convinced him you have sold sufficient tickets to make it worth his while.

I have a radio show. That reflects my personal taste too. If you want to reflect your personal taste via a radio show - many areas have a community radio station nowadays and most are desperate for people prepared to put the time and effort into doing a weekly show.

But I am away for a couple of weeks in January and unless I find someone to cover it then they will play pre-recorded stuff.

I am happy to give you a two hour slot on January 9th and you can play what you like. I will show you how it is structured and I would like you to stick to that, but otherwise the airtime is all yours. Play your own record non-stop if you like.

That date happens to be free but there will be others coming up in
the year.

So there you are a new venue for nothing and a whole two hours of radio to yourself.

Now please don't accuse me of wanting to keep folk pure again.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 12:29 PM

Just skimming this very rapidly and no, I can't be arsed to reply to everyone personally. So generally, yes I do think people should have the courtesy to find out about an artist and listen to them before whingeing about how they're quite sure they won't like them and they're not"f*lk" (whatever the fuck THAT means nowadays) anyway.

Somebody or other that I've never heard of thinks that being around on the fringes somewhere for x years gives him the right to slag off anybody he feels like. No, it doesn't. Speaking for myself, I never talk about anything or anyone without having first acquired considerable knowledge. No, I don't write professionally any more (nor have I, either, anything to do with the BBC nowadays). So I scribble down answers to queries on fora. For the edification of those who actually want to know. Not for the baying mob of last century, narrow-minded, hey nonnies in tie-dyes to whom professionalism is anathema and experimentation and innovation words that they cannot spell but sneer at anyway.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 12:43 PM

and no, I can't be arsed to reply to everyone personally

This is quite understandable. However, maybe next time you could address your comments to statements that have actually been made, rather than shouting at the baying mob of last century, narrow-minded, hey nonnies in tie-dyes in your head? I think it'd be more productive.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 12:55 PM

. . . and to whoever it was that whinged that the YFA final is just across town for me, no it isn't. A couple of years ago it was at The Sage in Gateshead. So what? If you actually have an interest in who, among the under-20s, is up-and-coming, you GO. Wherever it is.

These performers have worked extremely hard to get where they are. They deserve support. (only in my not so humbe opinion, obviously).


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,No Fixed Abode
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 01:14 PM

OK Dave we would love to take you up on your offer re the radio show. I suggest we take this off this site so please contact us by email which you can get from our websites as we do not know how to do the private massage thing here on mudcat.

Re venues in Sheffield here is the list of paid performances we have done this year in and around the Sheffield area, The Boardwalk (supporting the acoustic angels) Three marry lads (Cutthorpe) Chesterfield folk club, The Moon (now closed down)The Sanctuary cocktail bar (next to the cathedral)The Cross Scythes hotel Tottley, The Rising sun and the Riverside Cafe.

As well as the above we have been found Loitering for the love of music at Fagins, The Red House and the Sheffield folk festival survivor's session. (Yes we have performed at the festival and MCfat knows us well) So we are well covered for venues in Sheffield.

Thanks

Tony and Una


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 02:12 PM

One more comment.

Diane:

generally, yes I do think people should have the courtesy to find out about an artist and listen to them before whingeing about how they're quite sure they won't like them and they're not"f*lk" (whatever the fuck THAT means nowadays) anyway.

Jim M:

It's about crushing young people before they have had a chance to do anything. All I'm asking is that you reserve judgment (good or bad) till you've heard the act in question

Quick roundup of comments so far.

Richard Bridge: "Sounds very smoothiechops and not very folk"

Banjiman: "Even with my pretty wide interpretation of what is folk...I'm not sure that the songs on MySpace fit ? ... Lovely voice though."

Harmonium Hero: "THIS IS NOT FOLK MUSIC. Not by any definition I am aware of. ... I'm not criticising the music - It's very pleasant, and well performed - but it shouldn't qualify for a folk award."

Me: "Very nice, very competent, good easy listening. Megan H has a fine voice, which probably sounds even better with less going on behind it. But, if it's possible to say "this isn't folk", then I'm with John - this isn't folk."

Richard was posting without having heard the music, and yes, he was saying that he thought that he wouldn't like them and that they weren't folk. But what Paul, John and I have said is

a) we've listened to the music
b) it's very nice
c) it's not folk

We're not rushing to judgment without listening to the music, and we're not 'crushing' anyone. The music's well written, well performed and generally very nice; the people playing it deserve to go far.

But it's not folk.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 02:21 PM

Pip:

Cotswold Maid: "But what I object to majorly, is the fake rubbish American accent. What's that about? You're English aren't you? Well start singing in your own accent then. Can't imagine anyone is going to bother seeing them at festivals this summer, too many other good acts young and old to see "

"I guess the Henwoods will get a slot at Cambridge, but that's about it."

wld: "Basically what sickens, is an oligarchy of mediocrity."

"To be brutally honest, I think it is totally understandable why some people thing folk is a joke, when they are presented with acts like these flagged up as the best of a generation. "


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Martin Snodin
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 02:26 PM

I was at the awards on Friday and absolutely loved the winning duo. As a promoter, I programme folk/roots across a pretty wide range spectrum (Carthy/Swarbrick, Dougie MacLean, Tams/Coope, Fox/Luckley, Tom McConville, The Winterset, etc - all have appeared for me in the last few months). I enjoyed all the acts last Friday - all very good quality. But for me, Megan & Joe Henwood were worthy winners - I would have voted for them. Taken a listen on the Mike Harding show tonight (or 'Listen Again') - it should dispel any notion that what Megan has on her outdated website is representative.

I do have to agree with Jim that to be overly-critical of budding musicians of this age range must be very hurtful for them. They aren't 'marketing their wares' yet - they just entered a folk awards contest. Proud mums and dads in attendance, I just hope they don't read this whole dispiriting thread.

Martin


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folknacious
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 02:52 PM

Martin Snodin, Jim Moray: exactly, well said. The way this topic has gone disgusts me, the intolerant, rush-to-judgement UK folk scene at its very worst. Guilty until proved innocent, the mob damning with at most faint praise and weasel words.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 03:02 PM

Ruth - that's two comments from GUESTs and one from a member (Matt M); I'll exclude WLD, as his comment wasn't aimed at anyone in particular. The tone of those three comments was fairly critical, but I don't think they're representative of the thread. I stand by what I said earlier - we (most of us) aren't questioning whether Megan and Joe are good enough to win an award; we're questioning whether they're folk enough to win (or even be entered for) a Folk Award. That question hasn't really been addressed, as far as I can see; there seems to be a lot of resistance to asking it at all.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Cotwold Maid
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 03:03 PM

OK well we've heard it now, so now am I allowed to say, not folk, dull, repetitive, unworthy winners, set against talented musicians and singers? Some sort of joke?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 03:11 PM

No the judges have missed the point.

They are entitled to run the competition how they like.

And I am sure the winners are all very worthy.

However many of us find ourselves excluded from BBC folk circles because folk is defined in a very narrow manner indeed when it suits them.

For myself it truly doesn't matter. For people who have devoted their lives and far superior talents to the world of folk music - quite simply it stinks to high heaven.

That's all.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 03:17 PM

As suggested here, it should all dissolve into an EBC, SBC, and WBC folk awards but, for what it's worth, I liked the 2 unaccompanied singers - as just heard on MH.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 03:23 PM

Pip (and you know that you and I agree on many things), I can only say how the thread looked as it's developed. I see where you're coming from, as I was one of the ones arguing during Bunnygate that it wasn't about the quality of the song, but the fact that the category was inappropriate. But these are kids, for goodness' sake.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Mr Oldbugger
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 03:30 PM

"But these are kids, for goodness' sake."

so why not forget about categorising them
into harsh cruely divisive music genre based
talent shows..

and just bring back


"Junior Showtime" !!!???


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Doffing Mistress
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 04:05 PM

I've just looked back on the BBC's original documentation for the YFAs and found this:

"We are looking for the best group, duo or soloist performing folk,
traditional or acoustic music or song with roots in any culture".

So maybe the answer to the conundrum "Is it folk?" is irrelevant.

Having just heard the show it is hard to argue with the judges decision. I was there on the night and somewhat seduced by the performance and personalities of some of the other contestants. I would not have put Megan and Joe at the top. However on radio they sounded worthy winners. Obviously the judges have a much better ear than I have. Maybe there's another discussion to be had; is folk about the songs or the performance, or both.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 04:33 PM

I've kept out of this spleen-fest, but am now moved to add my tuppence worth.

It's not the "old giffers who are undoubtedly talented and have something to offer but, when the chips are down, are still old giffers" award.

It's also not the "young traditionalists who are so steeped in the 1954 definition they have it tattooed across their arses" award.

It's not the "cutting edge radio station showcasing edgy, experimental post-folk explorations" award.

And finally it's not the paranoia, paranoia, everybody's out to get me and the bastards at the BBC are whispering derogatory shit at me through the walls again" award.

It's an award for kids doing folk or acoustic material live, handed out by a largely mainstream, MOR radio station. The winners ain't my cup of tea by a long chalk (more of this later), but they tick all the right boxes for the award, do what they do well and are undoubtedly talented, engaging and perfect for that R2 crossover market.

If Ray Davies and Elvis Costello (brilliant artists both) can play Cambridge Folk Festival, people can happily offer us Cliff Richard and Buddy Holly songs at my local folk club and Fleet Foxes (fantastic band!) can be feted as folk's great new hope, Megan and Joe can win this award.

The fact that I would like to see the award won by a motley bunch of deranged teenage fuckwits wreaking havoc with hurdy gurdies, bagpipes, jazzastic drumming and a shitload of reverb, feedback, fuzz, sustain and general mayhem is probably neither here or there, as no such beast deigned to enter, more's the pity. If you are out there, however, PM me. I will put your album out.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: breezy
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 04:35 PM

I listened to the prog tonight ,whilst watching me boys train at rugby.

then I saw this thread.

I heard the winning act as driving me boys home, they are 15-16 year olds, and they had to listen

they wondered what I saw and see in the prog at the best of times

I think Jim Moray is a fantastic fellow for coming on the mudcat.

I liked The Jackie O when she played at the St Albans roots comp some time back , especially as she sang enchantedly

I prefer 'songs' with substance and thats what I'm searching for as a singer.

Trouble now is everyone thinks they can write.

I am confused by John Kelly's version of 'Spencer the Rover', is it his/yours John if you are reading this - own adaptation ? Very original but we have all sung it from time to time.

Cant stand young precocious talent.

Mind you we wont complain about 16 year olds, even 14 year olds competing for their country in sport, but you have to be 16 to do lots of other things

Good luck to Joe and Megan, the world is your oyster, go for it.

And to all the rest of us, tough luck.

Hey Diane, always nice to hear from you.

Paul, did you play the CDs?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 04:51 PM

"The fact that I would like to see the award won by a motley bunch of deranged teenage fuckwits wreaking havoc with hurdy gurdies, bagpipes, jazzastic drumming and a shitload of reverb, feedback, fuzz, sustain and general mayhem is probably neither here or there, as no such beast deigned to enter, more's the pity. If you are out there, however, PM me. I will put your album out."

And I'll book them.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 04:55 PM

Hey Spleen Cringe: I know it's not exactly what you ordered, but how's this working for you?

Toothless Mary


:D


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: breezy
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 05:01 PM

Please refrain from profanities, its not essential.

and under 16s may be reading this

let us retain some decorum

hemel


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 05:11 PM

I listened to the programme this evening and I`m sure Jim Moray said words to the effect that he was enthusiastic about the way "folk music" was developing. If what I heard from Megan and her fellah had the remotest connection with that genre then J.Moray`s backside is a banjo!


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 05:29 PM

Sorry Breezy. Really. I just get carried away...

(but not as much as my local under 16s).

Ruth, I would describe Toothless Mary as "Theme from Shaft Ceilidh" ... a good thing, in my book, natch. With a touch of Anglo Acid Jazz...

Meanwhile, check this out: Grinders Misfortune Society. If you don't love it I'll not only eat my hat, but those of every Mudcatter...


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,GUEST, MadUncleDave.
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 06:49 PM

i personally don't know what classes as folk and what doesn't these days but i personally also feel that Megan and Jo ARE.

oooh bold statement.

i was lucky enough to be at both the semis and the finals and saw them first hand both times and thought they were nothing but exceptional. beautiful voice and gorgeous sax lines are a winning combination whatever genre. Megans stage craft is faultless as for jo, anyone who can play an instrument that competantly at such a young age is worthy of regonition.

as for the matter of "are they? aren't they?" i personally think they most deffinately are.

heres why.

firstly yes they have stripped down there larger band but the combination works. sax has been used in folk music for quite some time now. Bellowhead, Eliza, Folkestra, the green machine, Mike McGoldrick, Sharron Shannon (top pedigree i think) and guess what they all use sax?! so the use of sax in my mind can't be questioned. not conventional but not out of place. and i challenge anyone to defy the use of acoustic guitar as a folk instrument. if they do then they are quite clearly living with their head in some very deep sand.

secondly, for me folk music is music that tells a story that the general audience can relate to. something that creates a community feeling with a room and music that brings people together. i belive megans songs have al those qualities. her lyrics are beautiful poetic and most of all relavent! now for me beautiful lyrics that also comment on a social situation are the building blocks of any great folk song!

so i think their music if folk.

and as people have said before. regardless of whether its folk or not the festival goers will determine there popularity and i think they'll do well.
im definately going to be there.

as for the other acts i thought they were all amazing. Maz was stunning and Jaywalkers were also phenominal. Jays vocals do sound american but its rather difficult to play american music and not have a bluesy twang. you can't picture the royal family belting out bluegrass standards full voice can you? i thought she was exceptional and they were deffinately in the running for me. Tyde too, Lau take note!

rant over. feel free to comment what you will but that is my standpoint.

finally. big up Jim Moray for fighting the corner of up and coming acts and saying what he thinks. its refreshing when people can.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 06:51 PM

"Theme from Shaft Ceilidh" ... exactly how I'd describe them myself: chicka-pow pow!

Ah yes - young Tom bunged me the Grinder's Misfortune demo a few months back. Loving their work.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:14 PM

sax has been used in folk music for quite some time now

Moving Hearts 1981.

Any decrease on 1981?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:15 PM

So maybe the answer to the conundrum "Is it folk?" is irrelevant.

Ohhh... folk or acoustic. That's all right then.

([rant on] [Spleen look away now] But this is just what keeps happening, isn't it? 'Folk' meaning 'traditional or in a traditional style' gets labelled as terminally unhip, so we end up with 57 varieties of traditional-but-different or like-folk-only-not-traditional. Then that entire area of folk-with-modifications gets labelled as 'folk' - which in turn is seen as terminally unhip, so a new generation comes along to make yet more modifications and subtractions and dilutions. So you end up with the bizarre situation where 'folk' is effectively defined as 'folk music and other music that isn't folk' - and playing only traditional music is just as eccentric among folkies as being a folkie is in society at large. It's daft and unsustainable. The traditional repertoire is the only thing that's unique to folk; if folkies don't perform traditional material, folk will end up as a label for one kind of pop music (you know, Katie Melua, James Morrison, that kind of area). [/rant off]

I'm not against people writing & performing their own material - I do it myself. I'm just against them calling it folk, or using folk as an umbrella term for anything where the instruments aren't amplified. Apart from anything else, you can do great things with amplification. Toothless Mary are OK, but the Grinders' are fantastic - the missing link between Hamish Moore and Loop Guru.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Mr Oldbugger
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:21 PM

back in the 70's
we used to lable
all that misc. commercial bland middle-of-the-road
non-descript chart friendly girly stuff


"Soft Rock"


its still as good a categorization as anything


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:31 PM

In reply to MadUncleDave, I don't give a monkey's about instrumentation. Your 'secondly's don't strike me as adequate, though - surely many good pop songs would tick all those boxes, without becoming folk songs.

I think the trouble with defining folk is that we routinely mix up three different criteria: where the material's from, what its style is and who's performing it. Actually, only one of these is really problematic. The first two would give you a workable definition: [1]'traditional songs collected in the wild' plus [2]'new and recent songs in the style of traditional material'. The problems start when you add on [3]'new songs sung by folkies'; since folkies are a wide-ranging lot, this means that the style and sound of 'folk' gets defined by material that's not folk[1] or [2].


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:39 PM

Any decrease on 1981?

Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street had a sax solo in 1978
David Bowie played sax for Steeleye Span on Now We Are Six earlier, 1974?
And when did Jo Freya start playing? Maybe even earlier?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Mr Oldbugger
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 07:49 PM

but surely, its not so much a big 'radical' deal

if

its a Sax

as much as what is being played on that Sax !!??


heaven forbid if theres ever a new trend
in smothering any form of folk music
in gratuitous self indulgent meandering 'sophisticated' jazz style
chocolate Ad / porno-soundtrack note noodling...


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: terrier
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 08:12 PM

Personally, if I was that sax player I heard tonight on the 'folk' awards prog, I would have waited until I could afford a sax that played in tune!( purely for effect, you understand ). What I heard was NOT good music, folk or otherwise. OK, maybe I'm to critical, the judges said they were the best on the night so I should have been there to listen!


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: melodeonboy
Date: 10 Dec 08 - 08:45 PM

As Greg Stephens said: "A hippopotamus is not a butterfly".

I wouldn't classify Muddy Waters' music as bluegrass, Martin Carthy's as thrash metal, Des O'Connor's as zydeco or Hank Williams' as rap. By the same token, I wouldn't classify what I heard yesterday on Mike Harding's programme, i.e. the song played by the winners of the award, as folk.

Had I not been told it was folk, it wouldn't have occured to me that it was. Had I heard it in another context, I would have assumed it was something from the world of jazz or easy listening.

When people who have been involved with folk music for years cannot recognise something as folk music (or even having its roots in folk music) but are expected to accept that it is, because the powers that be have decreed it so, it brings to mind both the constantly rewritten history described in Orwell's 1984 and the logic of the characters in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Is Mike Harding the White Rabbit in disguise? I think we should be told!

(Cue: the usual ascerbic responses!)


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: tijuanatime
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 02:28 AM

It didn't sound a million miles away from what, for example, Chris While and Julie Matthews do, or John Tams and Barry Coope. The sky hasn't fallen, nobody died.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Colin Randall
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 03:46 AM

In common with most people at the time this thread started, and perhaps still in common with many, I have not heard Megan and Joe. I greatly look forward to doing so; the definition of folk is in such disarray that it won't greatly matter how I then categorise them. Even without having heard them, I can say that their achievement in the Folk Awards alone means I would happily feature them at my website - and that describes itself as covering folk, folk-rock and roots.

But what has actually changed? I remember Therapy - Dave, Sam and Fiona - playing for the first time at a club, the Spinning Wheel, which I then ran in Darlington, Co Durham. They were at least two-thirds of the way into their first set before they recahed Blackwater Side "for anyone who strayed in here hoping to hear a folk song". Prior to that, they had concentrated mainly on pop (including Cat Stephens and their own material if my memory is correct). And that was close on 40 years ago.

Folk clubs, or at least the ones that have tended to appeal most to me, have always offered platforms for interesting music that would struggle to be called folk on practically any definition. In the absence of a definition on which we seem able to agree, the BBC awards should perhaps be no different.

I can see no problem with robust opinions being expressed on Mudcat. I have dealt out some, and also been on the receiving end. Occasionally, as happened at moments in the Unthanks debate, it descends into something a little nastier. But that is a price I am willing to accept for freedom of expression for anything short of malicious untruths, mindless abuse and incitement to racial hatred or violence.

Mudcat is, overwhelmingly, a force for good. And I am delighted that people such as Jim Moray and Eliza Carthy, and Folkiedave for that matter, are willing to step forward and contribute to the discussions.

Colin Randall
Salut! Live


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 04:07 AM

"Toothless Mary are OK, but the Grinders' are fantastic"

I know we're off topic slightly, but watch as I deftly bring it back...

Do keep in mind, Pip, that the average age of Toothless Mary is about 18 (maybe even younger),whereas Grinder's Misfortune includes a number of experienced folk musicians such as Gavin Davinport, Helena Reynolds and Jon Brenner. While virtual babes by folk standards, I'd hazard a guess that the average age in the band might be 10 - 15 years older than Toothless Mary. I realise there are other issues such as choice of instrumentation, but I love what both are doing, and both bring something exciting and fun to folk music.

Which rather brings me back on topic: you don't necessarily expect the same things - in skill, in aesthetics, in polish - from an 18 year old that you would from a 28 year old, or a 48 year old or a 68 year old. What the YFA is (or ought to be) about, IMHO,is spotting the potential within the contestants to BECOME something rather wonderful - you're not necessarily looking for a finished product.

It is rather unseemly for a bunch of middle-aged people to be bitching about a couple of fresh-faced, enthusiastic and talented kids. Particularly when the bitching starts to encompass "the BBC gives airtime to this rubbish, but won't play me/my favourite band who has/have been around for ages and am/is MUCH better." I can't say categorically that it is a bunch of very sour grapes being trampled here, but that's sure what it looks like.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: breezy
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 04:11 AM

Thanks for the link Colin


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: evansakes
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 04:37 AM

The list of previous winners makes interesting reading....was there this much fuss about the 'folk' credentials of the winner in previous years?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/events/youngfolkawards2007/previouswinners.shtml

Maybe it's about time that something a little different gets a moment in the sun?

ps Ruth, if Toothless Mary are young enough why not suggest to them that they enter the award next year?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 04:37 AM

I note that some of the 'all music's folk music' types above have attemted to subvert the argument by 'seizing the moral high ground'. Those amongst us that think that a Young Folk Award competition, on national radio, should feature Folk Music are now, apparently, guilty of discouraging young and talented people. That, of course, is dishonest rubbish! I further note that this contemptible tactic is all too prevalent these days among people who are too lazy to construct a proper argument.

Read Pip Radish's excellent and exhaustive summary of the debate, posted on 10th Dec., and point out the moral failings in that!


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:04 AM

heaven forbid if theres ever a new trend in smothering any form of folk music in gratuitous self indulgent meandering 'sophisticated' jazz style

A 19th century folk musician commented ironically:

"heaven forbid if there's ever a new trend in smothering any form of folk music in gratuitous self indulgent meandering styles with that there imported guitar".

"heaven forbid if there's ever a new trend in smothering any form of folk music with gratuitous self indulgent singer-song writers".

"heaven forbid if there's ever a new trend in smothering any form of folk music in gratuitous self indulgent meandering melodeons".

"heaven forbid if there's ever a new trend in smothering any form of folk music in gratuitous self indulgent meandering 11 piece bands. It'll never attract people. Who on earth would want to see and hear that?".


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:04 AM

"I note that some of the 'all music's folk music' types above have attemted to subvert the argument by 'seizing the moral high ground'. Those amongst us that think that a Young Folk Award competition, on national radio, should feature Folk Music are now, apparently, guilty of discouraging young and talented people. That, of course, is dishonest rubbish! I further note that this contemptible tactic is all too prevalent these days among people who are too lazy to construct a proper argument."

I seriously hope you're not including my post in that assessment. There are two discrete issues in this thread: 1) the "what is folk" chestnut; 2) rhe fact that some posters have used this thread as an opportunity to have a rather gratuitous swipe at a couple of talented young kids, and to wheeze on about their own/their favourite band's lack of exposure. My issue is with number 2, though several members seem to have used number 1 as an excuse to indulge in number 2.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:09 AM

"ps Ruth, if Toothless Mary are young enough why not suggest to them that they enter the award next year?"

I will - after I've booked them. :)


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:09 AM

Shimrod, that argument only holds good if you believe that the word folk is defined the way you personally choose to define it. The trouble is, none of us owns that word (or any word, for that matter - we merely borrow them). Language doesn't stay still - it never has and never will. By various means the meaning of words shifts all the time - some by more than others, but nothing is carved in stone. So the definition of a word is only and always developed through common usage (influenced by the media, but journalists have as much right to develop language as Joe Public does), so that in the end the only safe bet is to define your audience and accept the majority view within that group and choose your words accordingly. As it happens, my PERSONAL take on the word folk, at this point in my life, happens to coincide with yours and Pip's - as it probably does within the world of folk clubs and festivals that's so well-represented here. But it's NOT our word. It belongs to anyone who chooses to speak English. And there is absolutely no doubt that across the wider English-speaking world (or, in this case, the BBC audience) it means something more, something bigger and more amorphous than we might personally be happy with.

In fact the word folk is now so ill-defined, with so many different PERSONAL meanings, that it's general meaning has become as broad as the word Art. You can still use the word yourself howsoever you choose, of course, but if you want reliably to be understood (and this goes for any form of human communication) - to tell people what you are putting in your particular tin - you have to use THEIR language.

In the case of the word folk, it has now become necessary to add a secondary definition, or choose a different word which WILL be reliably understood by the greater population. And the BBC have chosen not to - therefore their use of the word to describe a wide genre of music, as generally accepted by the majority of their audience, is entirely correct. And therefore all the acts in this particular competition are completely acceptable on the roster - because they DO, ALL fit that definition.

I'd go so far as to say that; just as to call a work 'art' you merely have to convince an Art Gallery owner that it is so, by the same token, to call music folk you merely have to convince a Folk Promoter that it is so.

If the promoter chooses to narrow the definition to, say, traditional folk, or contemporary folk, then you have a different set of criteria and your argument would hold more water, but the BBC didn't. Therefore we are wrong to complain about any of these acts being included.

In case you didn't see my post on this topic elsewhere, let me paste again the Grammy nominations for this year. THIS is the way the word folk (and Trad - God help us - it seems!) is understood in the wider world - and until we accept this, and work within it without argument, we will continue to make folk music seem a nasty unfriendly place. Which is a crying shame, considering how friendly we all actually are, and how badly we're in need of some new mates.

Best Traditional Folk Album
Kathy Mattea - Coal [Captain Potato Records]
Tom Paxton -Comedians & Angels [Appleseed Recordings]
Peggy Seeger- Bring Me Home [Appleseed Recordings]
Pete Seeger - At 89 [Appleseed Recordings]
Rosalie Sorrels - Strangers In Another Country [Red House Records]

Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album
Joan Baez - Day After Tomorrow [Bobolink/Razor & Tie]
Ry Cooder - I, Flathead [Nonesuch Records]
Rodney Crowell - Sex & Gasoline [Work Song/Yep Roc Records]
Emmylou Harris - All I Intended To Be [Nonesuch Records]
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand [Rounder Records]

Lets all try to play nice, eh?

Tom


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:19 AM

Well, hurrah for Tom Bliss. He's a lot more patient than I am in explaining the bleedin' obvious. Except that I would (as any fule kno) dump the discredited and terminally-damaged term "f*lk". Because, as the Grammy nominations show, it means absolutely sod all.

And meanwhile, IAFWAFIAWM(or W)WQ. I have.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: matt milton
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:33 AM

I really don't think it's "gratuitous" to express disappointment at the very middle-of-the-road music made by almost all the acts presented at an awards show of a music that I love. If nobody points out that their music is (whisper it) boring, then they will continue to make boring music. Anyway, kids are more thick-skinned than they're given credit for and I don't think they should be patronized.

It would't be considered gratuitous to say such things about X Factor. The only difference is that folk music is supposed to be all nicey nicey and, in the UK, is a parochial scene in which you may well end up bumping into somebody you've dissed.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:34 AM

That's one huge, tangled knot you've tied yourself there, Tom. As Greg Stephens has told us many, many times before if you label a hippopotamus as a 'butterfly' it doesn't become one.

If I pay good money to go to a folk concert(or one of your gigs)then I expect to hear something resembling the music I've been listening to for the past 40 years; not free form jazz or soft rock or Beethoven's 5th. If I don't get what I paid for I will feel cheated. It's as simple as that and no amount of semantic knot tying will persuade me otherwise.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:43 AM

But Matt - you're missing the point. The BBC IS middle of the road. That's whole its purpose and remit. It needs to be as inclusive as it can possibly be, because of who is paying the bill. (Ok there is room for minorities and we need to lobby hard for good representation thereof, but we're not going to get it with comments like the ones above - the BBC read this too, you know).

All they've done is find some fantastic young artists from different sub-genres across a genre of music they choose (correctly) to call folk, and run a great show with full credit to all concerned.

Now, you have every right to say YOU FEEL it's boring. But it's just rude to say it IS boring. Can you see the difference? Stating opinions without tact or manners is never helpful, and usually just gets people's backs up - to the detriment of you argument.

How would you feel if a young relative of yours was referred to in the terms used above, when all they'd done was be absolutely brilliant? Do you see what I mean?

Tom


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:45 AM

See what I mean?

IAFWAFIAWMWQ.

And I'm sure Tom Bliss is sufficiently thick-skinned too not to mind if boring old farts don't turn up at his gigs.
Like (and go and see) whatever you want, however narrow. Your loss.
That's still no reason to kick young artists trying out something different. If it doesn't work, they'll go on to something else and if they have any sense, will pay no attention whatsoever to ridiculous whingeing on scribbling boards they wouldn't dream of reading in the first place.
Equally, they won't be giving a toss whether I encourage them or not. Good for them.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:46 AM

The hippopotamus was labelled as butterfly in the 1960s, Shimrod - just some people didn't notice. (The insect was, incidentally, called a 'flutterby' originally). QED.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:56 AM

Well, I thought that Megan and Joe's performance was lovely. As someone else has said, you can't really discount their work as being outside the folk genre without also discounting the work of people like John Tams or Lal Waterson. It's clearly not traditional music, but that's another issue.

By the way, who's going to tell Jo Freya that apparently she's not a folk musician because she plays the sax?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:57 AM

Shimrod, if you go to a gig or buy a CD just because it has the word 'folk' attached to it, without finding out any more about the music you may hear, you can expect to 'like it or lump it.' I repeat; 90% of the population are perfectly happy with the attachment of the word folk to all those acts, and until we 'folkies' accept that, and find a different solution to this admittedly large and annoying label problem, we'll get nowhere. My argument is not semantic, it's just the plain unfortunate truth. We have to let go of the lifebelt and swim. Tom


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: matt milton
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 06:23 AM

="Equally, they won't be giving a toss whether I encourage them or not. Good for them"

That neatly sums up why I don't really feel like I need any of those cushiony disclaimers ("in my opinion" etc.). Because if any of those young musicians were to read this, I really don't think they are going to start crying. They are going to say "Well what do they know? I've been on a national awards show and I'm playing at all these festivals". And they will carry on doing what they're doing and if they continue to receive BBC Radio 2's endorsement, it will bring them financial success.

Yes, you can be philosophical about it, take a step back and point out that it's Radio 2, not Resonance FM, it's a station not exactly known for challenging music. But that's pretty damning of these musicians in itself then isn't it? You might as well say that it doesn't even really merit mentioning in the first place.

I dunno how I'd feel if a young relative of mine was being discussed in this way. I have a niece and a nephew (both age two). I'd like to think that I could sneak sufficient free jazz, Grime, punk and, yes, folk music into their listening habits that such a situation would never arise. It'll be a struggle though to bypass the malign influences of their mother's rather Radio 2-friendly taste in music (Dido, Jamie Cullum et al).


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 06:42 AM

Yeh nice to hear Matt!

so much of the slop goes unchallenged


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 06:52 AM

Well, one man's slop is anoyther man's treasure, WLD. And vice versa. Most of us are hopefully wise enough to understand that really liking something doesn't make it intrinsically better than what other people equally think is very good.


And some of us are not.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 06:56 AM

Al, why did you feel the need to use the word 'slop' to describe, by implication at least, the music of these two children? You see to me, coming from you - an established denizen of the folk world, with hit records to his name, that's just bullying. Would you say that to their faces? I think not. So why do you write it here when you know they may be reading it?

I'm genuinely puzzled, because I know you're a nice chap.


Tom


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Jim Moray
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 07:24 AM

"That neatly sums up why I don't really feel like I need any of those cushiony disclaimers ("in my opinion" etc.). Because if any of those young musicians were to read this, I really don't think they are going to start crying. They are going to say "Well what do they know? I've been on a national awards show and I'm playing at all these festivals"."

Matt, the reason I'm so worked up about this is that when I was only slightly older than Megan is now I got ripped apart on Mudcat and elsewhere and it had really detrimental effect on my confidence and (ultimately) mental health. While this isn't the place to go into it, I'm not exaggerating to say that the experience affected me very deeply and it took me years to recover. For all the familiar comments of "if you can't handle it, don't be in the public eye", this is not what people like me sign up for - I don't think anyone enters the YFA to become a celebrity, only to play music. If you are Coldplay or James Blunt (or even someone like Seth Lakeman or Fairport) then the financial rewards and adulation of your sizeable audience might make up for being rubbished on the internet. If you are a 20 year old playing folk clubs for no money to 50 people then it can really tear you down. Perhaps I'm just atypically sensitive.

"And they will carry on doing what they're doing and if they continue to receive BBC Radio 2's endorsement, it will bring them financial success. "

Hahahaha. No.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 07:31 AM

Thanks for that Jim.

It's staggeringly easy for very otherwise very kind people to forget the impact their words can have.

I know exactly what you're talking about and salute your courage here.

Tom


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 07:37 AM

I don't think anyone enters the YFA to become a celebrity, only to play music.

Jim, could I say, with respect, that I think that's slightly ingenuous? People enter a competition for an award to - win an award, presumably - not only to play music. You can play music anywhere. There is, I suppose, another motive for aiming for an award, which could be, for example, to test your excellence against others, be judged, etc.

I've been listening to the Mike Harding YFA programme on the iPlayer, and noted your wry comment on coming away with a YFA T-shirt in 2001... :D

I have to say that, IMHO all the contestants seemed of a high standard. The couple who won didn't particularly tick my box, but that's of no consequence here.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 07:38 AM

Very brave, Jim. Thanks for telling them what they've forgotten or may not even have known
I hope you now feel it was worthwhile to keep on keeping on. I do.
Low Culture . . . Hurrah!


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: matt milton
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 07:53 AM

"They feel privileged and honoured to of won this award and look forward to playing the festivals next year"


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: matt milton
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 07:55 AM

KT Tunstall, which is what Megan and Joe's music most reminded me of – seems to be doing alright for herself.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: matt milton
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 08:13 AM

I used the words adjectives "boring", "awful" and "Michael Parkinson". Not sure whether the latter is a noun or an adjective. I don't know if that constitutes a ripping-apart. It's just one man's opinion (I really can't be arsed to type those "in my opinions" all the time: who else's opinion could it possibly be?).

Yes, I am now feeling a wee bit silly for having launched into this spiel on a thread that concerns the music of some under-18s rather than on a thread about, say, Seth Lakeman.

But children say far worse things to each other on a daily basis in school playgrounds. Why, my girlfriend actually had her nose broken by an older girl whose boyfriend had taken a fancy to her. Life's hard. But that's no excuse for easy listening.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 08:17 AM

"They feel privileged and honoured to of won this award and look forward to playing the festivals next year"

And? There are 3 festival slots which come as part of the prize: Towesey, Cropredy and Cambridge. They're not necessarily even being paid for them.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 08:22 AM

Last comment from me: Looking back through this thread and a couple of other threads from '03/'04 (concerning Jim Moray), to win an award of any kind these days really seems to be a double-edged sword. To be blown up by publicity and the media, bombarded with cries of "brilliant!" from one camp and cries of "shite!" from another camp, seems to be a high price to pay if you win.

Seems almost a relief that my sights have been set incredibly low - and my achievements have consequently, therefore, been incredibly high... :-)


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Judy Dyble
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 08:31 AM

I read this sort of thread with such sadness.

Jim is absolutely right in that vitriolic criticism can deeply wound, whether to someone who is just starting out or one who has been singing for years, but has just decided to step aside and try something new.
I never thought all those years ago when I first started singing in folk clubs that 40 years later people would have such closed ears.
Fairport wouldn't have made the music that they have without beginning their musical lives with influences from everywhere. And none of us would have gone on to do what we have done without experimenting with new instruments, new sounds, new writings and new influences.
Without these things no musician can grow and no music should be so stifled by being leashed so tightly.

Yes I know, I never was 'folk', but I was influenced deeply by it and all other music that was soaked up as I heard it.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Joe G
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 08:41 AM

I'm a little surprised at some of the negative comments here. As a reviewer for a local folk magazine I am not afraid to dole out criticism when I feel that recordings or live acts are not up to the mark musically or have particularly inane lyrics. Indeed I have been taken to task about my comments on one occasion. However everything I heard on Wednesday night was of a superb standard (even if not all of it was to my taste) and we should be delighted that young people are beginning to see being labelled as folk musicians is not an insult. The music we all love has spent long enough in the shadows without some of us trying to give the impression it is a closed members club where entry is only permitted by being able to sing tedious songs in reverent voices.

For God's sake let us celebrate the enthusiasm of these young people and welcome them with open arms - we need them to carry the music forward when we are gone. I for one would rather see any of them, or their pedecessors such as Jim, than some of the dated and moribund acts we have to avoid or unwittingly suffer on some evenings at a folk club.

(Though of course tonight's guest at the Topic in Bradford certainly does not fall into the latter catgory!)


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Working Radish
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 08:57 AM

Tom: you're right that we don't own the word 'folk', but I think it's important that people who would like a narrower definition keep saying so; there's enough pressure in the other direction, after all. I thought of the 'art' analogy myself; we seem to be getting into a position where it's actually impossible to say that an entry to a folk award or an act on a festival stage isn't folk - because it's acceptance by a folk promoter that defines something as folk. Hence my original comment after listening to that fateful dreaded MySpace page - "if it's possible to say "this isn't folk", then this isn't folk".

Ruth: you don't necessarily expect the same things - in skill, in aesthetics, in polish - from an 18 year old that you would from a 28 year old, or a 48 year old or a 68 year old.

This is true, of course, but I don't think anyone's called M & J a pair of rough-edged incompetent amateurs. Yes, some people obviously think their music isn't very good, but the criticism's not been that intense. I think far more of the heat in this thread has come from people leaping to M & J's defence than from their critics, and an awful lot of the heat has been generated by the assertion that their music isn't folk - which isn't even a criticism (of them; it is a criticism of the YFA). I'm really puzzled about why this should be, and I wonder if some of us are refighting old battles. Possibly including myself.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Working Radish
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 09:00 AM

For God's sake let us celebrate the enthusiasm of these young people and welcome them with open arms - we need them to carry the music forward when we are gone.

That's just the point. If that was what they were doing, I wouldn't have said a word against their getting the award.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 09:28 AM

Er - where did I say I didn't or wouldn't like the music in point?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Working Radish
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 09:49 AM

It was "Sounds very smoothiechops" that tipped me off. Didn't sound like an endorsement!


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 11:50 AM

I like all sorts of stuff. That doesn't mean I can't distinguish them.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Mr Oldbugger
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 11:55 AM

anyone here who aint got an entrenched position or vested interest to defend
and just wants to hear some good new music and performers ?


seems to me, stale bland dull music, 'folk' or otherwise,
performed by young or old potentially talented artists,
on any instrument they care to employ
as a tool of creative musical communication..

is inescapably still stale bland dull music


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 12:04 PM

"And I'm sure Tom Bliss is sufficiently thick-skinned too not to mind if boring old farts don't turn up at his gigs."

Isn't it funny how the morally superior defenders of youth are not above rampant ageism when referring to older people?

For the record, I find the term, 'argumentative old git' more politically correct!


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 12:11 PM

It may be - but why on earth to you feel a need to say so?

Why not talk about what you like, and just let stuff you don't enjoy pass without comment?

Why not be positive and affirming, rather than negative and critical - about any kind of music?

Self censorship has nothing to do with free speech, its just good manners not to inflict your dislikes on others, and possibly insult or upset someone.

If you use pejorative terms about something as subjective as music, you only make yourself seem narrow-minded. Someone else, with different tastes, may have the polar opposite opinion - and all you are doing is antagonising him.

All you have to do is imagine that instead of chatting to some mates in the pub (who's opinions you're likely to share because they are your mates), you are being interviewed on Newsnight - with millions of strangers listening, and choose your terms accordingly.

Posting on the web is far close to the latter than the former, but so many fail to realise this.

I've been contributing to forums for abut five years now, and I challenge anyone to find any single comment I've ever made that's in the least bit derogatory about any artist. (I'm critical about other things, but that's different). There's lots of music I'm not keen on - but I survive very well without telling the world about it.

I will talk about music I like though - because that's the sunny side way, and I'm a sunny side kind of a guy.

It's never necessary to be nasty about any kind of art form.

If you don't like it, walk away.

And if it really isn't much good it will quietly fade away through lack of interest.

Tom


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 12:12 PM

Let me offer some quotes:

Correct winner - terrible program.....

What a dreadful program - no disrespect to the [...] young people involved, it was badly put together [.....] It was patronising to the extreme at times.......

what a waste of an hour, only about 20 minutes of bleeding fragments of the performances interspersed with comments.....

This programme is sheer crass! Where is the music? Just teenage personality profiles in the form of Facebook and MySpace. Was it really necessary to provide several references to one of the players' sexual orientation?...

"This year's final was a disgrace - a debacle that must be denied a repeat performance. [.....} would have been appalled at the desultory treatment dished out to both the musicians and the music itself"

Six hundred and Six ( 606) comments in the same vein at the last count.

Young Folk Award.......nope Young Classical Musician Award.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,TB
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 12:12 PM

sorry that was to Mr Oldbugger.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 12:16 PM

As a matter of clarification, boring old fart is not a rampantly ageist term but one which applies to persons of any age who conform to a particular, entrenched disposition. They look and sound old but are not necessarily so in years.

Caps and fitting spring to mind.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 12:36 PM

For the record, I find the term, 'argumentative old git' more politically correct!

Curmudgeon fits well.

I belong to a Curmudgeon's Club. Dave Burland is our Honorary President.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 12:40 PM

'slop' was not aimed at the children.

I think it was BBC generally that I'm pissed off with. I've got one of those DAB radios next to my bed (that i won in a radio times competition).

I've got all BBC radio stations tuned into it. And by god do I have to search for something interesting - you know - engaging of the old grey mattter, yet entertaining.

I think I'll chuck it and get a cd player.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 02:39 PM

"As a matter of clarification, boring old fart is not a rampantly ageist term but one which applies to persons of any age who conform to a particular, entrenched disposition. They look and sound old but are not necessarily so in years."

What a wondeful debating technique you've got there, Diane. When the arguments not going your way, just change the definitions! That, and always claiming the moral high ground, are a winning combination! Have you got any more cunning ploys that I could learn from?

No, let me guess ... just relax and call any contemporary, moderately pleasant noise 'Folk' perhaps ... especially if youthful people make it?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 03:14 PM

call any contemporary, moderately pleasant noise 'Folk'

Indeed, some might, in fact, far too many do.

Have you still not got it? This is entirely why I never use the word myself. It's terminally damaged and far too far beyond redemption.
If I mean English trad (with or without techno indie rave, bells, whistles, woodwind or brass), that's what I say. If it's North European with an African drummer and Latin American box player, that doesn't take too long to describe either.
But to lazily call it "f*lk" has half of those "out there" thinking it's Peter Paul & bleedin' Mary or else something naff out of Nashville and the other half thinking it's sodding Enya or the godawful Corrs.

Young people competing for the YFA are tomorrow's leading musicians, striving to express themselves magnificently as true musicians have done down the centuries, harnessing some of what's new and incorporating some of what's gone before. And so it goes on . . .


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Kampervan
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:03 PM

Well,Ms Easby has a forthright and uncompromising way of expressing herself that is sometimes diffcult to appreciate. But I find it difficult to disagree with what she says.

The concept of 'What is Folk' can't be put into a box and defined.
No type of music can. Musical genres do not exist in isolation and we must each make our own judgement as to what we include in our own personal definitions.

Others will be differ, but they are no more right or wrong than we are.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:28 PM

All very true but naked power cuts through the need for cerebration. Folk is what is these numbskulls at the Beeb say it is.

And at the moment they say its this very middle class - well I did say slop in regard to the BBc output and it fits the bill pretty well.

Its not music from our communities.

the problem is that the best songwriter, the best fiddler, the best guitarist in our community have not fitted in - not sufficient slop quotient. the best songwriter is dead. Never got a look in.

I reckon the other two will go the same way.

To be honest its all a bit of a dogs breakfast - this situation. And all this bollocks (sorry dianne - I really really respect you - but fuck me! have you got it wrong on this occasion) about these people are going to be the greatest musicians of their generation - you DO know what is involved in being a great musician/folk artist. it ain't decided by competitions like this.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 11 Dec 08 - 05:32 PM

Eugene Delacroix said it better than me:-

To be a poet at twenty is to be twenty, to still be a poet at forty is to be a poet.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: matt milton
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 06:17 AM

"Why not talk about what you like, and just let stuff you don't enjoy pass without comment?...
Why not be positive and affirming, rather than negative and critical - about any kind of music? Self censorship has nothing to do with free speech, its just good manners not to inflict your dislikes on others, and possibly insult or upset someone....
If you use pejorative terms about something as subjective as music, you only make yourself seem narrow-minded. ....
It's never necessary to be nasty about any kind of art form"

Hope you don't mind the selective quoting here Tom. This is something I feel quite strongly about, and I was tempted to start a whole new thread, because it's about a lot more than these awards. Namely that I think it's totally wrong – and a failure of critical nerve that's very symptomatic of music writing today – that moral language like "nasty" and "pejorative" creeps into the business of assessing music. I note it's never the other way round: commentators are never described as "saintly" or "altruistic" for giving musicians good reviews. And I've never heard a musician vociferously complain about receiving a hyperbolically good review, that they considered overstepped the mark.

I mean, do you think magazines should never give bad reviews? (Because comments on message boards are much closer to online reviews on blogs than they are to pieces on Newsnight – they're opinion, not fact). Mags should just not review things that they think are bad? That would be rubbish. It would suck all the meaning out of a good review, for one thing.

And, if the goal was to spare a musician's feelings, well it would end up having the same effect anyway, cos it would be painfully evident why there was a deafening silence answering their every release. In fact, i would find that far more frustrating than a total drubbing. Believe it or not, there are people out there making music who couldn't give a toss whether a review is good or bad, whether someone likes it or doesn't, they just like being part of the fray...


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 06:28 AM

There is a big difference between a published review, written by a selected 'expert' reviewer, which has been vetted and set in context by an editor who feels a responsibility to his readership and to the music his publication supports, and some knuckle-jerk reaction posted on a website in a red mist.

I don't think i need to go any further, do I?

Tom


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: matt milton
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 06:58 AM

I've read far more damning indictments of albums and performances in fRoots, Songlines, broadsheet inkies, Uncut, Mojo et al than anything I've read on this thread.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 07:12 AM

There is a big difference between a published review, written by a selected 'expert' reviewer, which has been vetted and set in context by an editor who feels a responsibility to his readership and to the music his publication supports, and some knuckle-jerk reaction posted on a website in a red mist.

I don't think i need to go any further, do I?

Tom


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 07:22 AM

I see where you're coming from, Tom. The downside is that I'd have to bite my lip eveytime someone mentioned Ray LaMontagne...


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 12:43 PM

BBC Radio 2 has launched the 2009 Young Folk Award and is looking for people aged between 15 and 20, performing folk, roots and acoustic music from any culture, to join in the annual UK-wide competition.

It doesn't have to be "folk" as such anyway


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 05:12 AM

No but they really need to get rid of the spurious description ' folk ' and just celebrate young people making good music.

eric


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 05:33 AM

Absolutely. Yay Megan, go Joe, nice work you young people. Perhaps a bit Radio 2 for my tastes, but well, duh. If R2 stopped calling it folk - with the implication that the award-winner is a particularly excellent representative of the folk genre, age-deprived division - us old farts would get right out of R2's face.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 05:44 AM

It all comes back to this spurious 'ownership' of one dratted word.

The sub-title "folk, roots and acoustic music from any culture" says it all, but how many of us read that before we reacted?

If ONLY everyone could just take a deep breath and relinquish the word 'folk' to its (now) almost universally accepted meaning - none of this would have happened.

When the enemy is all over your trench, the best tactic is to retreat quickly, and dig in at the trench behind. Not stand on the parapet with a megaphone telling them to jolly-well go away.

The trench behind is called 'Traditional' - and the Grammy list alerts us to the fact that they're pouring into that now.

Cmon guys - how hard can it be?

Tom


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Girl Friday
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 07:44 AM

I was not going to comment before listening to the programme, and have just done so. "folk, roots and acoustic music from any culture" appeared on the website and on the application form. However, I only remember performers of traditional folk music winning in the past.
I was at the semi-finals and, amongst the six that didn't get through were two piano playing, female songwriters, a bagpiper, and a blues guitarist/singer. If I were to predict the winner, it would have been Lucy Ward, Maz O'Connor, or Tide. Megan and Joe are a total departure and are probably more Radio 2 than Folk. If I were to pidgeonhole them it would have to be jazz.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 07:50 AM

Err - 'more Radio 2 than folk'? 'Radio 2' is surely an even wider category than 'folk' - it must mean anything played on Radio 2 - which for sure includes fork and even a little bit of trad (as well as lots of jazz etc).

Why do you reject the 'acoustic' part of the definition? Does acoustic guitar and acoustic saxophone not qualify?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 07:51 AM

"fork" - hello Uncle Sigmund. Didn't see you there.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Girl Friday
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 08:13 AM

Sorry Tom.. Perhaps I wasn't specific enough. Trouble is with posting to threads is that you write your thoughts down and probably don't articulate them. I should have written more suited to Radio 2. When perusing the list of judges for the final, there seemed to be a lack of musicians on the panel, unlike the semis.Where did I say I rejected the accoustic part of the definition? Rarely have I heard amplified jazz. I was just giving my oppinion, and have no desire to get into a row about it.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folknacious
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 10:19 AM

Coming back to this "discussion" after a few days, having seen it referenced on two or three other boards with general disgust expressed, I'd like to congratulate Jim Moray for his extraordinarily brave posting some way back detailing just what effect this kind of thing can have on young performers starting out.

However, I was equally unimpressed by the condescending people who seem to delight in referring to 20 year olds as "children". The median age for this competition is the legal age of adulthood, and all of the competitors, as far as I can see, conducted themselves with a damn sight more adult poise than many of the obviously older correspondents here (not just in this thread). You should be ashamed of yourselves, especially in the light of Jim Moray's honesty.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Banjiman
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 10:30 AM

I really don't see that much criticsm of the performers here.....just an exploration of whether they play folk music or not. I also see criticism of the title/ organisation of the competition (from all sides)and one or two posts expressing frustration that the same opportunities that the competition provides were/are not available to other (older) performers.

I think some people are looking for reasons to get indignant on behalf of the performers without really reading what those who are questionning the organisation of the competition (NOT THE PERFORMERS) are saying.

Paul


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: greg stephens
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 11:04 AM

Folknacious congratulates Jim Moray on his "extraordinarily brave posting" and "honesty". Now, as anyone around here knows, I am a great admirer of Jim Moray's music. But I am not sure what degree of courage is necessary to post the opinions he has here? Will he be arrested and imprisoned and have his fingernails piulled out by the folk police? And "honesty"????He expressed his fairly normal and unexceptionable opinions here. I imagine they actually are his opinions, so presumably he was being honest. Do we give him a medal or something?
Folknacious, there are places in the world where the expression of your opinions may make you suffer. I don't think this is one of them.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Mr Oldbugger
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 11:07 AM

"Coming back to this "discussion" after a few days, having seen it referenced on two or three other boards with general disgust expressed"

yes, there are some very smug supporters of this competition
attempting to 'demonise' this thread on other forums.

When I was the same age as these very proficient
and talented young performers
I would have certainly been highly suspicious
and wary of the 'support'
of such wet patronising older generation 'know-it-alls'

Its almost funny when viewed in context of the rather poor
but quite apropriate new sit com
currently running on BBC1

"Parents of the Band"

When I was the same age as these 'kids'
the last thing me and my mates in our Band wanted
was the 'patronage' of such namby pamby middle clas wankers.

What we truly respected was the honest advice and hard but constructive critcism
of authentic rough gnarly old rockers and roadies
we encountered in studios and at gigs.

god bless 'em if any are still alive now to suffer the stultifying sounds of 21'st century corporate MOR..


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 11:23 AM

Folknacious: Some of the contestants are legally children, and I used the word deliberately to remind people who were not making the necessary allowances (as did Jim).

Greg: Please read Jim's post again. It was commendable in the circumstances, and if you can't see why then I suspect you're fortunate in never having been on the receiving end.

Paul: There has been direct and unfair criticism of performers, some intentional some merely by association or lack of clear writing. The debate about qualification is itself unhelpful and was bound to deliver collateral damage. All of the contestants clearly fall within the stated criteria for the competition, and we're not making ourselves look clever by challenging that.

Tom


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 12:04 PM

All of the contestants clearly fall within the stated criteria for the competition

The trouble is, it's difficult to see who wouldn't. Arctic Monkeys, Nirvana, Oasis - they've all done "folk, traditional or acoustic music".


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 12:23 PM

Every producer and promoter working within a specific genre has to decide where he or she will draw the line. There are no hard or fast rules - when you pay the piper you can call the tune.

Why some people view skill and talent as some kind of threat defeats me.

For me the key word in the competition title is 'Young.'

Embrace that, and just relax about the rest, and suddenly this is a very worthwhile.

Maybe we need more from the BBC - including, why not, a Young Tradition contest (plus of course much more from the 'adult' awards) but attacking this one for not being folk, or being too MOR, is unlikely to achieve that.

Tom


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Girl Friday sans cookie
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 01:31 PM

I am sure that this was originally "The Young Traditon Award" which is why previous winners have been more traditional performers. The brief has been widened to include a greater range of genres.Is the outcome therefore, that surprising?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: melodeonboy
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 01:48 PM

Yes, Tom, a two-pronged approach, e.g. a Young Musicians' Award and a Young Tradition Award, would certainly make me (and, I suspect, many others) feel more comfortable.

I do, however, feel that grumbling and griping about the silly situation that pertains at present, rather than shutting our gobs and pretending we're happy with it, may make a few waves and would make desired change more, rather than less, likely.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: greg stephens
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 02:07 PM

TOm Bliss: you suggest I was attacking Jim Moray in some way. Please don't be silly.Read what I saidd. I agreed with his comment wholeheartedly.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 02:25 PM

Greg, you praised his music, but seemed to be devaluing the main point he made - about the pain that victims of cyber-bullying and web-hazing do suffer, while also dismissing the courage he showed in risking more of the same, in defence of others.

Melodeonboy: I'm entirely in favour of vociferous lobbying for improvement (and not just re awards) - why else is my neck on the block re the Grown-Up Gongs? I merely believe it's best tackled by starting with an understanding of the status quo then offering a reasoned argument for change, while avoiding insult and hurt.

Tom


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folknacious
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 03:20 PM

This is all very similar to the big fight being waged in another part of the web by the people who want folk to be banned from the BBC world music album awards because Jim Moray won this year. The principle appears to be to change the rules until you get the result you personally want. Why does this remind me of Zimbabwe?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 05:56 PM

Tom: There are no hard or fast rules - when you pay the piper you can call the tune.

Me, a couple of days ago: we seem to be getting into a position where it's actually impossible to say that an entry to a folk award or an act on a festival stage isn't folk - because it's acceptance by a folk promoter that defines something as folk

OK, judges and organisers are always liable to make decisions that rile the faithful, whatever the genre is. The question I'm concerned about is whether the faithful have any right to push back, or whether they (in this case we) have some sort of duty to accept the judges' verdict and keep shtum.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: greg stephens
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 06:03 PM

"This is all very similar to the big fight being waged in another part of the web by the people who want folk to be banned from the BBC world music album awards" Sounds alarming. Who are these people exactly, and where are they fighting? And is it really like dying of cholera or police brutality in Zimbabwe? Somehow, I doubt it. Sounds like the usual argument over the meaning of folk, or possibly the meaning of woreld music.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 06:25 PM

Pip said to Tom: "The question I'm concerned about is whether the faithful have any right to push back, or whether they (in this case we) have some sort of duty to accept the judges' verdict and keep shtum"

Tom said to Melodeonboy "I'm entirely in favour of vociferous lobbying for improvement (and not just re awards) - why else is my neck on the block re the Grown-Up Gongs? I merely believe it's best tackled by starting with an understanding of the status quo then offering a reasoned argument for change, while avoiding insult and hurt."

Will that do for you as well do you think Pip?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 09:35 PM

I did not intend to return to the subject of Jim Moray's courageous post some miles above because I suspect he would now like to place the way he was treated on this forum behind him. I cannot, however, let Greg Stephens' feigned innocence pass, because he was among the baying pack half a dozen years ago castigating Mr Moray on the grounds, apparently, that some lazy subeditor had dubbed him "the new face of folk" because the words fit the headline space that was available. Not that this was by any means the worst that was said in that now notorious thread . . .

This was my own first posting on Mudcat (not, I regret to say, under my own name though I have long since reverted to it). That blinkered, baying pack still dislikes me (to say the least) for speaking out in support of Sweet England, a CD which was Jim Moray's finals project at Birmingham Conservatoire and set him on the road towards the acclaim and respect he now rightly has.

The YFA has been going for ten years now and on more occasions than not, the declared "winner" wasn't the majority choice among interval bar pundits. Some of you are calling for a return to the Young Tradition Award of the Jim Lloyd days but this seems to me to be far too narrow for the fantastically wide spectrum of music young people are engaged in today. Furthermore (and besides) it fails to fit the R2 remit in which the Award as it is today must operate, because it is where we are now.

This year's YFA winners put in the best performance on the night. There might have been some there who disagreed but I wasn't aware of them. When Jim Moray didn't win (and when Bella Hardy, Jackie Oates and Dave Delarre didn't either), vast swathes of people were mystified. It's my belief (and not just mine) that Smoothops have got it just a little bit more right this time, just as they seem to have done with the grown-up Folk Awards nominations.

I'm just back from listening to Dave Swarbrick play and I'm wondering what the "but is it folk?" brigade would have thought of the bewildering variety of music this great musician produced. I watched him move up and down his violin fingerboard as rapidly as a classical guitarist spans the frets, producing a bewildering stream of material from the 17th century to now. Are you going to tell him he's "not f*lk"?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Marje
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 11:26 AM

I've just got round to listening to the finalists, and to reading to the end of this thread.

I listened with an open mind, but my reaction to the winning duo was a bewildered, "Why are they in this competition? That's not folk."

This is no slur on their abilities as song-writers or performers - all the finalists were of a very high standard - but it seems to me that the choice of a winner was unfair on the other entrants, who, by and large, presented material which had some links with tradition and their roots. The winning song was not a folk performance in the sense that most people in the UK understand the term (and the list quoted by Tom Bliss above relates to the US folk scene). It had little to do with the "roots" (to quote another word from the competition title) of the performers. Only the third word, "acoustic" could be applied to it, and this (see other thread somewhere) is the vaguest term of the lot. Many other singer-songwriters who perform songs of this kind wouldn't have considered entering for a "folk, roots and acoustic" award, as two of the three terms are irrelevant to this type of music.

I was disappointed when the BBC, some years back, changed the title from "Young Tradition" to "Young Folk" - I guessed that before long, the traditional aspects of "folk" would become marginalised, and our roots forgotten.

Yes, ideally we'd like to see two awards, say "Young Tradition" as well as "Young Singer-Songwriter" or "Young Acoustic Performer". Until this happens (and I think hell may well freeze over before it does)I'll be saddened if the likes of Jackie Oates and Maz O'Connor don't get the recognition they deserve because the BBC and the judges don't appear to value folk and traditional music.

Marje


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: greg stephens
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 11:42 AM

Diane Easeby: the last thing I would claim to be is consistent; along with Walt Whitman my head contains multitudes. But I should be very very surprised if I was ever in a baying pack attacking Jim Moray, even six years ago. AS far as I can recall, I have always found young Jim refreshing, innovative, and even on occasion downright enjoyable.However, who knows what I said six years ago: well, Ms Easeby evidently so. So, Diane, find the quote of me castigating poor Jim and I'll happily buy you a pint. Got to be proper castigating, mind, not just saying "this CD isn't quite as good as the last one" or"I've heard better recordings of Early One Morning".


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: greg stephens
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 11:48 AM

Actually, I couldn't wait for Ms Easeby to look it up. Here is what I actually said(in 2003):
"Jim Moray is a musician. He makes music. Like it, or dont like it. Dont lets confuse the publicity with the guy himself. There's no point in trying to tell us that what he's doing is a bad thing; and even less point in trying to tell people how stupid or out of touch they are if they dont like it.
   Each age has people who use folk material and dress it up in contemporary clothes. We've seen the Percy Graingers and Vaughan Williams shoving it into a classical orchestral concer, Martin carthy as 60's guitar hero, Fairport Convention as soft rock, Spinners as MOR entertainment. Jim Moray is having a play about with computers, as are many other people.Fair play to them. The music's out there to play with. Enjoy yourselves. Time will sort the wheat from the chaff."

That is not, repeat not, castigating Jim Moray. That is supporting him against attacks from others. Got that, Diane??


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 11:52 AM

200


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 11:57 AM

Thanks for that thoughtful post Marje.

I do sympathise with those who would like the BBC awards to favour traditional material, because we certainly need to keep that flag flying as high as we possibly can in England - if not the other British countries. Scotland still has a Young Tradition award and Wales and Ireland have other ways of highlighting both young, traditional and young traditional music - but we all need all the help we can get.

However I think those who object to this year's winners of the YFA are missing a really really important point: That it's not only the final winner who benefits. ALL the contestants gain massively from the experience and the exposure, and the finalists gain almost as much as the winners.*

And there was a good spread of styles including trad represented across the board this year - as there usually is. Certainly there's always been a goodly dollop of Young Trad in the YFA.

Now, in the UK, we have this persistent problem when it comes to selling traditional music; The Silo Effect. The 'Traditional' brand image is damaged by various misconceptions, and the general public does not respond to it in the ways that we might like.

If we did have a contest which only permitted traditional music, it would be - sadly - a great deal harder to get it up the flagpole. That is, I believe, why the BBC sets the brief it does, (and incidentally why the MH show and the R2FA have the brief they do as well) - the idea being to embrace a wide interpretation of FRAT styles, and so maximise the audience and all that goes with it.

Smoops seems to have done this very well. And on the night one act at one end of the spectrum came out, clearly, on top (as seems to be universally agreed by those who were there, never mind the judges). It might have been someone at the 'trad' end, or way off in the 'roots' dimension, but the point was that all these talented youngsters deserved to be there, they all got an excellent showcase at a prestigious venue, and a massive audience heard them all - and were impressed by them all.

And I suspect that if we could ask any of the past competitors what they'd got out of it, they'd say 'a lot.' I suspect they'd all endorse the judges decisions on the night, and I doubt any would feel they'd 'failed to get the recognition they deserved'.

Cups 90% full all round, I'd say.

Bottoms up!

Tom

*Which is why I'm agitating for additional nominations and awards in the R2FA, NOT to change the system to alter the typical outcome.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 12:06 PM

Sorry second para should go:

"those who object to the inclusion of this year's winners in the YFA"


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 12:08 PM

Cups 90% full all round, I'd say.

Bottoms up!


But, but... they won't be 90% full any more if we do that...

Tangentially, I was talking to my sister a while back about a friend of mine whose attitude to life is essentially "not only is the glass half full, but half a glass is exactly the amount I wanted". My sister and I agreed that we were more "I think somebody's knocked my glass over..."


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 12:09 PM

As Tom suggests if we did have a competition that was just based on traditional music the audience would be tiny thus benefiting all the finalists less. I suspect that the existing competition only has a fairly small audience so restricting it further would be plain bonkers! Don't get me wrong - I love some traditional music but I also recognise that the idea of trad is a real turn off for some people and the last thng we want to do is to lose any potential audience from such events. As I said earlier we should celebrate the fact that young people are valuing acoustic music and do not all want to be in rock bands or become DJ's (not that there is anything wrong with those that do of course)!

Greg - that comment on Jim (whom I admire greatly) certainly doesn't sound like coming from a member of a baying pack - it seems pretty reasonable to me!


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 12:41 PM

Perhaps Ms Easby ewas being ironic again ??


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 12:47 PM

That thread about "new face of f*lk" contained a lot of vile putdown and I remembered Greg Stephens dismissing Jim Moray's music as "messing about with computers" Musicians down the ages have always used what's to hand as it became available and presumably the first C19 player to use a box to accompany a Morris side was ridiculed by the backward-looking old sods of the day: "Oh, they'll never catch on . . . "

[Just wondering when the outcry about Low Culture is going to break out. Are you all waiting for All You Pretty Girls to win Best Original Song at the Folk Awards or are you going to pass on that one since Smoothops didn't manage to get it nominated for Best Trad Song?]


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Mr Oldbugger
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 12:56 PM

I'm in my early 50's, and I want to perform only Trad 'folk' songs on vintage analog
electronic musical equipment.
[no modern digital, I'm a hardcore traditionalist !!!]
This will be a new project outside of my usual band.
I've never perfomed 'solo' in public before, so will be essentially, a 'new singer'.
Which 2009 BBC Radio 2 Award should my Agent/Publicist enter me for ?
thankyou..


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 01:10 PM

Although I'm sure he can look after himself here's Greg Stephens quoting what he himself actually said in 2003:

"Jim Moray is having a play about with computers, as are many other people.Fair play to them. The music's out there to play with. Enjoy yourselves. Time will sort the wheat from the chaff." (surely the soul of sweet reasonableness?).

And in spite of Diane Easby having this re-quote readily available for reference, here's what she still insists she thought Mr Stephens said:

"I remembered Greg Stephens dismissing Jim Moray's music as "messing about with computers""

Why are you so desperate to rush to the defence of the young and the new, Ms Easby? Surely our chosen musical field is one where the old and traditional have, at least, some relevance. Have you ever thought that you might be in the wrong field?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folknacious
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 01:33 PM

Like I said earlier, this is really no different from the people who want folk banned from World music awards because this year Jim Moray won. Nobody made any such noises the previous 10 years when Africans always won. The same goes for the Young Folk Award - every year it has been won by somebody playing traditional music, but this year it was won by somebody in a different branch of what some people categorise as folk. On these statistics its no more likely that a singer songwriter will win next year than that a folk record will win the world poll, so why all the fuss and wanting the rules changed. Both won this year because the people who vote judged them the best. Why not let them enjoy their deserved wins and move on - there are worse things happening in the world, including some that may have a much worse effect on music making.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 01:36 PM

I do start to worry a little about what people think about our discussions here (if anyone but us reads them which I believe they do) - it could get as bad as when I and others had to leap to the defence of the Folk Prom on the R3 MB due to the narrowmindedness of some of the R3 classical audience.

Surely there is room for all musicans - old and young, contemporary and traditional in the 'folk' world. Narrow mindedness and bigoted attitudes will surely lead the way to the extinction of the very music we love. What Jim and other musicans like him do is help keep the music alive and relevant and surely we can all be thankful for that whilst still enjoying more traditional approaches if that is what we prefer. Neither is better or worse - they are just different and therein lies the interest which music must sustain to survive.

So here is a toast to all those fantastic people who perform with relatively little in the way of recognition or reward and by their efforts make all our lives so much richer.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Mr Oldbugger
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 01:41 PM

..point is, should any of us be so keen to passively allow our future creative 'culture'
to be determined by the outcome and interests of any corporate media showbiz 'talent' contests..

phone lines are open now.......


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 01:54 PM

If the Irish can get mass audiences for competitions about traditional music, why can't we (the English)? It can't be because we tolerate incompetence, for that will not be demonstrated in a competition, will it?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 02:55 PM

My post of 13 December @ 0935 commenced with:

I did not intend to return to the subject of Jim Moray's courageous post some miles above because I suspect he would now like to place the way he was treated on this forum behind him.

Some scribblers are intent neither on heeding that nor in reading the rest of that extensive contribution which collated numerous other matters arising. Such is the nature of the literacy-challenged Mudcat pond.

I touched on how not only had Jim Moray not been declared a YFA winner but neither had his sister, Jackie Oates, also at the age of 20, the competition's upper limit. That was four years ago yet the post immediately following appears to be holding out a vain hope for a Jackie Oates win. Like her brother, she's well esconced in the grown-up FAs now, thank you, and far too unnew and unyoung to qualify.

Then someone went on to wonder if I was in the "wrong field". As I also wrote in that post, I spent last night sitting literally at the feet of Dave Swarbrick and found the grass really most verdant, thanks, although (as I touched on), the magnificently far-reaching repertoire would have been way out of the comprehension of the types so aptly encapsulated in the thread I just looked at about why the stereotypical, past sell-by "f*lk club" is dying. Bring on the wood for the funeral pyre.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 03:01 PM

Narrow mindedness and bigoted attitudes will surely lead the way to the extinction of the very music we love.

Obviously(?) I'm not advocating narrow-mindedness and bigotry, but I really think it's a problem when music which has no attributes unique to folk music - nothing to say that it's folk music and not some other kind of music - is accepted as being folk music, let alone hailed as a particularly excellent example of folk music. That way, surely, lies the end of 'folk' as anything other than an optional label for certain styles of pop music.

But no, we shouldn't be beastly to the Henwoods*: the problem's not with them, or even with the judges on the night who rated them highest. The problem's "folk" being used as shorthand for "folk and" ("and acoustic" in this case).

*Feels weird typing the name: one of my best friends at school was a Henwood. Wonder if they're related?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 03:50 PM

Ah well. Plenty of fertiliser on that grass, obviously.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Folknacious
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 04:00 PM

Pip: "folk" has been used as a label for anybody who plays anything with an acoustic guitar, writes their own songs, plays unplugged, has a beard etc since at least the 1960s. One newspaper recently claimed the popularity of an American band called the Fleet Foxes who sound like Crosby Stills & Young, have acoustic guitars and beards meant that "folk" was hip again. Thats why all these "what is folk" and "so-and-so isn't folk" arguments are pointless because the world in general has its own idea of what folk is. Why not say "traditional music" or better still something specific like "irish traditional music" if that's what you mean. Both lots of BBC Folk Awards are run by Radio 2 - popular mainstream station, popular mainstream labeling - and the young ones are not called the Young Tradition like they used to be. In Scotland they have Traditional music awards, no confusion. Traditional music from everywhere in the world will fare much better by being called traditional music and not being confused with what the global music industry calls folk. They won ages ago I'm afraid - there's not point keeping fighting long lost battles. I'm very happy that lots of people playing good traditional-ish music get into the finals of both sets of Folk Awards each year, and win on the whole.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 04:09 PM

Folknacious, this is under discussion on the "What is Acoustic Music" thread.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: greg stephens
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 04:12 PM

"I remembered Greg Stephens dismissing Jim Moray's music as "messing about with computers".
Diane Easeby, that is a quote of yours. I am not resposible for your inaccarate memory. I said no such thing, as you know, I have writen on this thread what I actually said. I have always been a champion and admirer of Jim Moray from his very early days, as anyone who reads what I have to say knows.Far from dismissing him,. I have consistently singled him out as someone to watch out for. I always work with young people, and I hope I am reasonably good at encouraging them.
Incidentally, unlike a lot of Johnny-come-latelies round here, I have been playing around with computers myself, since 1968. It's fun!


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Dec 08 - 08:31 PM

The Irish have a totally different (more rural more epic sense of self as you see in American couintry music - as opposed 'oh shit! i'm a victim! I've been transported, flogged, fucked over school of English folskong') sort of society from us. Thats why it works over there.

that's why it doesn't work over here. As the Irish are always pointing out - they are a separate nation.

would I say what Dave Swarbrick does isn't folk?

No. But then again I'm not the one who kept on bleating that every ten year old in Kerry could play better fiddle than dave. that was yer actual traddies.

At some point you will have to take on board the fact that all the subject matter of all the significant folksongs of our islands came from the working classes. And its most unlikely anything similar is going to come from the middle classes - who tend by and large to have different preoccupations - mainly preserving old stuff - as opposed to survival by means of tooth and claw.

but then you've been choosing (for the last thirty years) to present folkmusic in a way that civilians - non residents of folk city - will find puzzling and unintelligible.

I had this discussion with someone recently on mudcat and he took it as some sort of vindication of his point of view that he did gigs at PTA's not just folkclubs - which the traddies systematically emptied somewhere round 1974...

As any teacher will tell you, there is this huge trenche of people that won't go near schools - not for parents evening - not for love nor money. And I'm sorry to say its that class of people, the folksongs come from.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 03:45 AM

WLD, are you finished with your prolier than thou rant? Excellent. Because I'm not really sure what it has to do with the price of eggs.

As someone who is always giving out about the narrow boundaries that traditionalists place around folk music, I'd have thought that you would heartily approve of this year's R2 YFA winners. After all, they beat two young, unaccompanied traditional singers and a load of fiddle-dee-dee instrumental types, didn't they? So what's the problem?

Oh, that's right: it's that you and your mates have never been acknowledged in the same way. So that makes these kids crap, and the people that you rate as far superior talents (I repeat, that YOU rate - because this is ALWAYS about personal taste and opinion, and NOT about absolutes of quality, which are virtually imossible to quantify in an artistic context) victims. You clearly feel you've been fucked over. Sounds like you ought to write an English folk song about it.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 05:19 AM

You know, Al, I would not dream of saying that the working classes were too idle stupid or feckless to give a shit about their history. Why do you say it?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: greg stephens
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 05:29 AM

To edge a little back towards the topic of this thread, that Joe Henwood is a quite extraordinarily fine sax player: given his age, almost miraculously so, I think. I am not talking about technique or any boring stuff like that: just going by what it sounds like.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 15 Dec 08 - 05:36 AM

They remind me a bit of early Everything But The Girl.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Banjiman
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 04:30 AM

"They remind me a bit of early Everything But The Girl. "

Which is a really good thing......but it isn't a folk thing!


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 06:12 AM

Banjiman,I understand your reservations. But like Diane, I think "folk" is almost a meaningless term. I'll fight like a scary fighting thing to keep definable parameters around the definition of "traditional" (at least in the UK - there's very little we can do about the wierd American/Grammy Awards definition, I expect) but folk means so many things now. If John Tams can sing original songs with Barry Coope accompanying him on an electric keyboard and it's folk; if I can sit in a music session next to tenor sax, oboe or clarinet players and it's folk; if what Karine Polwart does is folk; why is what Megan and Joe are doing not folk? Would Karine stop being folk, for instance, if she introduced a sax player?

EBTG were an acoustic duo (till the whole drum n bass thing, but i'm referring to their earlier stuff). It was intelligently written acoustic music, which is what much of the world would categorise as folk. What Megan and Joe are doing, for me, sits well within those parameters.

Personally, I'm really encouraged by the fact that there were two unaccompanied, traditional-style singers in the finals. I think that speaks volumes about the health of the tradition among young people.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: TheSnail
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 06:57 AM

Ruth, would you book Everything But The Girl for Sidmouth?


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 16 Dec 08 - 08:39 AM

In a heartbeat.

I'm not saying I'd fill the programme with them or bands like them, but festivals do need to represent a range of music, which some will consider "folk" and some will not. EBTG, one night only in the Ham marquee? Why not? I also book bands that I would not necessarily listen to myself, because it's not just about my personal taste.


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Guest folkie
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 10:29 AM

Interesting thread, some real emotion from some posters on a subject which is close to our hearts. Having listened to the radio show i was struck by the craft and maturity of the performers, including Megan and Joe. To me,and no i don't know her' Megan sounded great and i think she, and her brother, are clearly a bit of a find and in that way they are an exciting choice because they have a 'crossover' sound,elements of folk, (story telling,english perspective) of pop ( accessable songs)and jazz. No of course its not trad. roots folk but it sits perfectly well, for me, within a broader folk music spectrum. I also love and value our traditional folk music forms but interesting and challenging crossover's have a place within the genre as well.

Brian Bailey


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Subject: RE: 2008 R2 Young Folk Award - What Happened
From: GUEST,Toothless Mary
Date: 03 Apr 09 - 08:39 AM

Message for Ruth Archer,

Thanks for the things you said about our band further up the page. To settle debates raised by other people, we do write our own material but this is equally balanced with traditional ceilidh tunes all of which are played in our style. I do believe we are not the first band out there to put a twist on already traditional tunes and as a group we pride ourselves in being able to fuse influences from our different backgrounds to make the style (hopefully) fresh and interesting. Unfortunately though to answer an earlier query our ages range from 19 - 25 which eliminates the possibility of the award- Which is a big shame.

a good forum though


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