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What Brought You to Trad?

Sleepy Rosie 05 Mar 09 - 02:05 PM
Folkiedave 05 Mar 09 - 02:10 PM
Will Fly 05 Mar 09 - 02:13 PM
gnu 05 Mar 09 - 02:18 PM
Darowyn 05 Mar 09 - 02:19 PM
Barry Finn 05 Mar 09 - 02:19 PM
Rabbi-Sol 05 Mar 09 - 02:19 PM
The Sandman 05 Mar 09 - 02:23 PM
Jayto 05 Mar 09 - 02:28 PM
Sleepy Rosie 05 Mar 09 - 02:28 PM
Sleepy Rosie 05 Mar 09 - 02:29 PM
gnu 05 Mar 09 - 02:32 PM
Jayto 05 Mar 09 - 02:36 PM
Amos 05 Mar 09 - 02:43 PM
Jim Lad 05 Mar 09 - 02:45 PM
Don Firth 05 Mar 09 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,Green 05 Mar 09 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,Auldtimer 05 Mar 09 - 03:05 PM
Janie 05 Mar 09 - 04:10 PM
greg stephens 05 Mar 09 - 04:16 PM
Phil Cooper 05 Mar 09 - 04:25 PM
GUEST,Russ 05 Mar 09 - 04:54 PM
Jane of 'ull 05 Mar 09 - 05:16 PM
Maryrrf 05 Mar 09 - 05:21 PM
M.Ted 05 Mar 09 - 05:24 PM
Bill D 05 Mar 09 - 05:41 PM
Howard Jones 05 Mar 09 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,Jim P 05 Mar 09 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,Cup of Tea, No cookies 05 Mar 09 - 06:35 PM
MartinRyan 05 Mar 09 - 06:38 PM
*Laura* 05 Mar 09 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,Peace 05 Mar 09 - 06:49 PM
Phil Edwards 05 Mar 09 - 06:59 PM
Bill D 05 Mar 09 - 07:12 PM
GUEST,Peace 05 Mar 09 - 07:21 PM
Bill D 05 Mar 09 - 07:30 PM
Peace 05 Mar 09 - 07:34 PM
Bill D 05 Mar 09 - 07:59 PM
GUEST,Peace 05 Mar 09 - 08:11 PM
Jack Blandiver 05 Mar 09 - 08:17 PM
Joe_F 05 Mar 09 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,GEST with a busted cookie 05 Mar 09 - 09:05 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 05 Mar 09 - 09:07 PM
GUEST,Gibb 05 Mar 09 - 10:13 PM
Gurney 06 Mar 09 - 02:08 AM
Sleepy Rosie 06 Mar 09 - 02:51 AM
matt milton 06 Mar 09 - 02:53 AM
GUEST, Sminky 06 Mar 09 - 04:42 AM
MBSGeorge 06 Mar 09 - 06:15 AM
Brian Peters 06 Mar 09 - 06:32 AM
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Subject: What Brought You to Traditional Folk Song?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:05 PM

I'm sorry if this is a repeat of other similar threads, but I couldn't think of any appropriate terms to punch into the search.

As a newcomer to traditional song, I'm rather curious about how and what it was which inspired others here to immerse themselves in the art and craft of traditional music, and unaccompanied traditional song in particular.

As I've said elsewhere, I pretty much stumbled upon it by accident after buying a Pentangle album that I remembered from my childhood, and learning a couple of songs off there late last Autumn. At which point, it suddenly dawned on me like a light-bulb going on, that there was an older tradition of English song, from which their versions were sourced! "Ta da!" I hit the internet and found a Trad Song forum and some Child Ballads on YouTube.. before migrating here. Kinda short and sweet really!

Just curious about other peoples stories and what called them to sing and play this music...


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:10 PM

Started with political songs in the early 60's on CND marches.

Went to a folk club to hear those.

Found they were singing this traditional stuff.

Never looked back.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Will Fly
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:13 PM

Learning guitar and then going to folk clubs to play it.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: gnu
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:18 PM

Family heritage.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Darowyn
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:19 PM

Started with political songs in the early 60's.

Went to a folk club to hear those.

Found they were singing this traditional stuff.

Never went back.

Just another angle- not entirely true though.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:19 PM

In my teens, during the 60's boom, folk was all around & I follow that & the blues, which took me towards prison worksongs, then shanties & pretty much from there it was open season on any type of folk from anywhere as long as I could understand the language it was being sung in.
It wasn't until my mid 20's that I started singing after being hog tied into singing, by Barbra Carns at her blues workshop. I mentioned that I knew something similar to a field holler that she was doing. Afterwards she pulled me aside afterwards & encouraged me to try my mouth at singing & from then on it was open season on singing too.

Barry


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:19 PM

Started with Sea Chanties down at the South Street Seaport 37 years ago. It was the "X Seaman's Institute". A group made up of Bernie Klay, Frank Woerner, Dan Aguilar, & John Townley.

From there I got into mainstream Trad with the likes of Oscar Brand, Jean Ritchie, & Tom Paxton.

SOL


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:23 PM

like st Paul on the road to Damascus , I was struck by a blinding light on my way to East Cheam .


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Jayto
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:28 PM

I was totally hardcore for years. I was into extreme sports and traveled all around doing shows for my sponsor. I live punk and metal. My father used to listen to Bill Monroe, Johnny Cash, and Doc Watson when I ws a kid and I loved country and bluegrass but never listened to it or was interested at all. When I heard it I dug it but on my own it was straight hardcore. One day my friend and I were hanging out drinking beer (yes we were only 16 but hey what can I say lol) and he broke out Steve Earle's Copperhead Road. I loved the Bagpipes (at that time I didn't realize it was a keyboard) and I loved the mandolin. It had an Appalchian sound to me then and I really dug it. I got to thinking about playing the guitar about that time and got my Dad's guitar and figured out how to play Copperhead Road. The that same time period there is a TV show that comes on the Kentucky educational television channel (KET for you that are familiar with the channel) that had Merle Travis playing Cannonball Rag for a theme song. I wanted to learn the song because I liked it but had no idea how to do it or what exactley Travis was doing. I was hanging out in a music store in Madisonville Ky (the closest town of any size to my hometown). This guy started playing the song and I about choked. I went to him and asked him to teach me the song. He laughed and said he didn't play it right and i need to find Eddie Pennington to teach me how to play it right. He also told me that the choke style thumbpicking originated right here where I am from ( I know all the debates about the origins so please don't argue with me about this. I am just telling what I was told at the time). I loved the idea tht it came form here and Merle Travis grew up the son of a coal miner just like me. I went home and asked my mom if she had ever heard of Eddie Pennington and she started laughing. She told me Eddie is my cousin that move away several yrs ago and I used to go to his house all the timw as a kid when he lived in my hometown. Mom called Eddie and he was thrilled I wanted to learn how to play Travis style and he took me under his wing and taught me. From there I covered myself in folk music, folklore whatever I could find. I started searching for old men around here that knew Mose Rager, Merle Travis, Ike Everly (the everly brothers dad and another pioneer of w.ky thumbpicking), Plucker English, Arnold Shultz, Kennedy Jones,.. Any of the old originals. I got back into Doc Watson who I had worshipped since a kid. My love for doc never faultered during all my punk yrs. Anyway that is how came to folk. I know this is a long post but like many I on here I am passionate about it. Folk music changed my life. It took a wild ass adrenaline junkie trouble maker and turned me totally around. It gave me a passion for knowledge, showed me a talent I had no idea I had, gave me a greater apprecition for the community I came from, and more thing than i can list. Through playing it I have provided for my famiy, met my wife and after my divorce my girlfriend, through those meetings I have 3 beautiful kids, met all my heros (the living ones of course), made lifetime friends, traveled everywhere,... etc. I cannot imagine my life without folk music I really can't It has shaped me and my life and my kids lives so much i cannot imagine life without it.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:28 PM

I'm sure some of your interesting personal 'stories' warrant a teeny bit more padding? No need to be coy... ;-)


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:29 PM

Oops, my last post was not in response to Jayto there!


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: gnu
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:32 PM

Family trad?


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Jayto
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:36 PM

LOL sure it wasn't JK I get carried away some times. I have a strong passion for folk and get carried away. I was ridiculed hard by all my friends when I first started playing and getting nto the scene. It is funny now they call me wanting to know if I can get them backstage to different shows or if I can arrnge for them to meet someone they are fans of. It is funny to go from laughing stock to the guy that is getting his behind kissed to meet the people they first laughed at you playing for lol. Life is funny like that I guess lol. I saw you said you are new. Welcome to mudcat I hope youe experience on here is as good as mine. There are alot of talented and good people on here. So welcome aboard
cya
JT


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Amos
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:43 PM

The lure and the trap for me was the authenticity I heard in the voices of people who sang--Frank Warner, Leadbelly, the people on collected recordings of collected hill songs and the recordings of chain gang songs sung by people actually swinging picks and hammers on a chain gang.

I was raised in a foofy sort of town where the basic forces of existence had been prettied up and disguised by Formica and antemacassars and painted in pastels by nervous unemployed housewives.

It freed my soul to hear honest voices singing honest songs.


A


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Jim Lad
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:45 PM

It's my trad.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:52 PM

Sometimes you just turn a corner and encounter something that takes your life in a whole new direction, one you never would have anticipated.

In my second year at the University of Washington, I was dating a girl who had become interested in folk music (one of her room mates at the women's dorms had turned her on to it). There was a fellow named Walt Robertson. . . .

Well, I've written it up before, and it pretty well tells how I got deeply interested in traditional folk music. Going to that informal concert was one of the best things that ever happened to me. After hearing Walt, like a medieval minstrel, hold that crowd spellbound for nearly three hours, I thought, "I want to do that!"

CLICKY.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Green
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 02:59 PM

I was born into it..


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Auldtimer
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 03:05 PM

Television. Yes, it may be hard to believe now but there was a time when folk and traditional music and song was on the telly. Robin Hall and Jimmie McGregor, Sy Grant, Josh Rae, Paddie Bell and The Corrie Folk Trio, Ray & Archie Fisher, Joe Gordon, Jimmy Shand, Will Starr and loads more through the various shades of tartanalia (good, Bad and best forgotten)via the likes of The White Heather Club.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Janie
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 04:10 PM

I wouldn't call myself immersed in trad. music, though I probably am moderately immersed in the broader folk/blues genre. But I grew up in the midst of traditional music.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 04:16 PM

Lonnie Donegan turned on a whole generation of Brit folkies to the old songs. Me included.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 04:25 PM

protest songs by Phil Ochs, then hearing John Roberts & Tony Barrand's first album. Then guitar players like Martin Carthy, John Fahey, and Nic Jones.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 04:54 PM

I grew up in a place where there were (and still are) traditional musicians. Now I guess I are one.

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Jane of 'ull
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:16 PM

Loved the music that went with the country dancing we did at school as a kid, then got into folk at about age 18 after listening to Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention etc.. I think Fairport's 'Liege and Lief' was the main thing that got me permanently hooked on folk though.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:21 PM

Dad listened to his collection of folk, gospel and old style country music all the time. I was further hooked when, at the age of 15 or so I got my hands on the first two Joan Baez albums.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: M.Ted
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:24 PM

My dad played in a "Hillbilly" band, and was a union organizer to boot. So I grew up listening to all that. When folk, became pop, I followed that, full circle, from
Dylan to blues, to psychedelia, to heavy metal, and back to Sweet Heart of the Rodeo, with lots of jazz tossed in--not really much interest in the unaccompanied ballad--a wailing song and a good guitar, as they say...


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 05:41 PM

In the 50s there was, occasionally, Burl Ives on Jack Paar's morning TV show..then when the 60s started, there was one guy in Wichita, Kansas who had a subscription to Sing Out and already knew Child Ballads. Someone invited Pete Seeger to play a local concert, then the Beers Family...and I was hooked. We started having 'hoots' and there was a local folk group started....so when stuff like the Kingston Trio and other pop-folk groups appeared, I wasn't interested.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 06:29 PM

I was teaching myself guitar and need music I could play - pop music had gone really weird and psychedelic and really didn't work on an acoustic guitar with three chords.

Then I found "Burl Ives' Book of Australian Folk Songs" in my local music shop - this was stuff I could play. That led me to the Spinners on TV and Folk on Friday on the radio. When I got old enough to drive I began to visit the local folk clubs.

It was quite a shock to discover that a real live tradition still existed in England - apart from a few survivors like the Coppers and Fred Jordan we sort of just assumed it had died out around the time of Cecil Sharp. One of the early Emglish Country Music Weekends in Suffolk exposed me to singers like the Lings and Bob Roberts and melodeon player Oscar Woods.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Jim P
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 06:30 PM

Well, like most kids growing up in the '70s, all I ever listened to was rock/pop. Whenever it came out in the early '80s, I went to see "Patriot Game" at the theaters. An OK movie, but I was entranced by a brief bit where a TV showed a woman singing in a style I'd never heard before. I found out that it was a group called "Clannad" and the song was from an Irish TV show. I went out and bought all the Clannad I could find, and discovered that I really liked their early stuff better. So I tried other stuff in the "Irish/Celtic" bin at the record store, and discovered the Clancy Brothers. About the same time, a friend and I went to the Hyde St. Pier in San Francisco for the chanty sing, and that, as they say, was that. I don't think I've missed more than half a dozen of the monthly chanty sings there since.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Cup of Tea, No cookies
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 06:35 PM

Amusing that I should be posting to this just under Phil Cooper, one of my later, but deeply rich influences.

My childhood summers were spent at a series of camps, where we all sang. In the late 60s I attended a camp run by some nuns from Michigan, and it seemed that most of the counselors were guitar playing transplants from the Ann Arbor folk scene.

I came of age when folk-rock was played regularly on the "FM underground" type stations -including whole album sides. I loved Pentangle, Fairport, early Joan Baez, Judy Collins, PP&M. Much of the "rock" I listened to was acoustic and flavored highly with folk music influences as well. I had a cheap guitar (we all wanted to be Joan Baez) and learned to play three chords for early 70s guitar Masses, though I was playing out of the Joan Baez and Judy Collins songbook for my electric organ lessons.

I got away from music during my early college years, then had interst rekindled hearing folk on the radio: WCLV's Saturday Night show, and the new WCPN's folk program that had live local folk performers. Both of these brought me to concerts put on by Celtic Ceol, and in particular to the singing of Dick Swain, who at the time lived in Cleveland, and was a huge influence. His taste was reflected in the Celtic Ceol performers, and this set me off on the road to understanding that it was traditional song that attracted me most of all, and traditional music got me dancing.

I learned the joy of being introduced to the "source" my favorite performers drew from, and at times THOSE sources referred me to some one else. Thus, loving Dick Swain singing "Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy" lead to Peter Bellamy (and all that great Kipling!) who I got to hang out with briefly, and he got that from the Copper Family, and I eventually had the thrill of Bob Copper buying me a beer at a Folk Alliance! I've hundreds of examples of the generosity about sources leading to the increase of knowledge, other sources, joy, and repertoire.

Living in Illinois for two years, I was exposed to a much livelier folk community and so met a whole HOST of trad. performers who thrilled me, entertained me, and in so very many cases, became loved friends. My personal taste has always so nearly completely overlapped with the things performed by Phil Cooper & Margaret Nelson (& Paul Goelz and esp. Kate Early) and that they've been a major source of songs I love to sing for the last 23 years.

I learned to love trad. from folks who loved it and shared it enthusiasticly: Dick Swain, Dermot Sommerville, John Roberts & Tony Barrand, Jerry Armstrong, Art Theime, Cindy Mangsen, Judy Cook, Phil, Margaret & Kate, Bare Necessities, Sandy & Caroline Paton, Ed Miller, Frank Harte, John McCutcheon... the list goes on. It's the folks who got me into folk music. The folks who played it, and the folks who explained the sources (without being pedantic, but enough information to lead me on to the next layer...) Significantly, NONE of those sources are what one would call "folk purists" - good contemporary songs go in their repertoire, or they write them.

Joanne In Cleveland


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 06:38 PM

In my mid-20's I moved from Ireland's capital, Dublin, where I listened mainly to jazz and blues, to the small town of Athlone, in the Irish midlands. Jazz was in distinctly short supply in the area - so I checked out the local folk club - and the rot set in!

Regards


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: *Laura*
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 06:47 PM

Folkie baby..... some of my earliest memories are at festivals, falling asleep in ceidhlis with people dancing around me.
My dad used to organise South Petherton folk festival (small local festival) and regularly toured to other festivals and folk clubs and I used to sit in the corner with felt tips and it must have got under my skin somehow......!


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 06:49 PM

Alcohol.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 06:59 PM

I've been learning songs and singing them, usually to myself or whoever's passing the bus-stop, since before my voice broke (I did a mean treble "Vincent"), but I was 40-something before I worked up the nerve to get up in front of an audience. That was when - and why - I started going to the local folk club. The 'folk' part was a means to an end; I did some traditional stuff but a lot of covers (Dylan, Robyn Hitchcock, Peter Blegvad) and wrote some of my own.

I'd been going to that folk club for nearly five years when a few things happened at once, or in quick succession: I got an Anne Briggs CD, went to the Beech singaround, heard a set from John Kelly, got John's CD, went to the Beech again, dug out my Mum's Shirley Collins LPs, got a Nic Jones CD... It was like a door on a furnace, opening a little more each time - up till about the third singaround I went to, which was when the door flew wide open. So much stuff - and, as a singer, so much stuff to work on! Last night at the Beech I sang a song I've only heard sung once before (although everyone else in the room seemed to know it) and joined in two songs I'd never heard at all (everyone else seemed to know them too). It just goes on - there's always more.

It took me 5 years to get from singing whatever I felt like on a folk club stage to singing traditional songs in singarounds; I'm sorry it took so long. Then again, it had taken me 30 years to get that far, so maybe I'm just slow.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 07:12 PM

"Alcohol"

gee, Bruce...drinking it, or rubbing it on?

♫"We don't allow back rubs, we think them a crime.
We always condemn them in song and in rhyme.
An alcohol back rub is worse than straight gin-
When you think of the liquor absorbed by your skin"♫


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 07:21 PM

The thread title reminded me of a WC Fields line: "My wife drove me to drink. It's the one thing I'm beholden to her for."

I'd like to post, but nothing I've ever sung or done is considered trad. Keep well, Bill. However, I guess I'm allowed to say I like trad when it's sung well and played well. For example, if Louis Killen is considered trad, well, I like his work.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 07:30 PM

Yep...lots of what Louis does is trad. He used to live just south of you in Wash. state.(I still remember your very first post here, and snobby ol' me greeting you. You recovered very well)


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Peace
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 07:34 PM

LOL

Bill, you have never ever been a snob. Never will be. It just ain't in your nature.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 07:59 PM

well, since I lost my homemade "Purist Snob" T-shirt, I haven't been nearly as convincing.

(I WAS called a "folk fascist" on the radio many years ago)


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Peace
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 08:11 PM

That is quite an accomplishment in North America. I'm proud of you, Bill.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 08:17 PM

Speaking as someone who was threatened with expulsion for singing Lucy Wan in the school playground (thus freaking out a particularly sensitive third-year) I realised that Trad was truly subversive pretty earlier on. On another thread (in another guise) I spoke about sinking my teeth into the Trad Jugular; which is to say the pure drop, and the one aspect of F*lk I can still seriously, honestly, truthfully & truly believe in, which is why I can keep my Davie Stewart, Willie Scott & Seamus Ennis vinyl next to my Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Albert Ayler & Sun Ra, just to remind me, if ever I forget...

It's like there's this door that opens up, and something amazing happens, an alchemical transfiguration of the base into the sublime, which rarely, if ever, fails.

Information is not knowledge.
Knowledge is not wisdom.
Wisdom is not truth.
Truth is not beauty.
Beauty is not love.
Love is not music.
Music... is THE BEST.


(Frank Zappa)

Purists need not apply.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Joe_F
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 08:24 PM

People known to me, beginning with my mother and ending -- well, it hasn't ended yet.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,GEST with a busted cookie
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 09:05 PM

Evenings back in the sixties at Sancho Panza's in Monterey, CA served as an introduction, but Songs of Newfoundland and Labrador 40 years later sealed my fate. :-)


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 09:07 PM

Our family 78s included Fred and Adele Astaire's wonderfully nutty "We Play Hoops" and Cab Calloway's "Minnie the Moocher," Kickin' the Gong Around" and "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You." Novelty songs and hot blues shaped my head almost before I could talk.

My grandfather had a set of 78s by Carl Sandburg and played them to me when I was, oh, ten or so (late 1940s). I loved Sandburg's brooding mysterious singing, the songs spoke to me like nothing before.

But the clincher was when Grandad had a stout man as a guest who, I will never forget, burst into a song about a man who had a leg that ran on "whistles and steam." It was "The Cork Leg." I was a traditional singer from that moment. (Songwriting came much, much later, like a dozen years afterward.)

The addiction was then solidified circa 1950-52 by LPs by Bob Atcher, Burl Ives and others. I learned to play lute style guitar from Richard Dyer-Bennett records, spurred on by my dear friend and mentor Bill Bonyun, a great champion of Dyer-Bennett. That catalyzed with my discovery of "Tzena, Tzena, Tzena," 5-string banjo, and Pete Seeger,

The clincher, though, was hearing Library of Congress field recordings and the American Anthology set of oldtime recordings around 1951 or 2. I was a goner. Still am.

Got a lifelong prejudice in favor of the real stuff, pre-1950, with the bark on. The authenticker the better, for me.

Bob


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST,Gibb
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 10:13 PM

Punk rock


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Gurney
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 02:08 AM

A pal persuaded me to go to a folk club, - "Hey, man, I'm into Jazz..." and I heard Barry Skinner singing 'Fanny Blair.'
Then and there, and much of the time since.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 02:51 AM

Jayto: "I get carried away some times. I have a strong passion for folk and get carried away [..] Welcome to mudcat I hope youe experience on here is as good as mine. There are alot of talented and good people on here. So welcome aboard"

Sure, I liked your post! That's what I was asking for :-)
And cheers for the welcome. I've already encountered some jolly good folk here, both virtual, and in the real world. *waves*
It's an excellent community. And I hope to get to know a few more people in the real world too. This year shows promise.

Pip Radish: "It was like a door on a furnace, opening a little more each time - up till about the third singaround I went to, which was when the door flew wide open. So much stuff"

Aye, I think I can identify with that! I had no idea that any of this stuff even existed, let alone that there was such a vast horde of it.
Having dabbled in a little choral, and the odd jazz standard, but really skimming even this, finding trad song, has been the very first time in my life that I've found what 'works' for me enough to inspire any personal passion or motivate me to take amatuer singing, seriously enough to learn to work at vocally crafting each song I set down. Not to mention the vast databanks of social history this stuff is the soundtrack to...


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: matt milton
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 02:53 AM

In a funny kind of way I got into folk via hip-hop. I used to produce hip-hop music and I'd always be looking for unusual sounds to sample. I would get out any CDs from my local library that look a bit out-of-the-ordinary. I mainly got out free jazz and classical stuff – initially to sample it, but I got really into the music. I was lucky in that my local library had a really good music collection, which had things like Anthony Braxton and Pierre Boulez in it.

Every so often I'd investigate their folk CDs. I remember getting out one of the Voice of the People series, and finding it a bit too hard going. But then one day I got out an interesting looking CD called "Folk Routes, New Roots". While I found the singer's voice a bit strange, the guitar was amazing. I listened to the album again and again and again. Start of a life-long love affair with the music of Shirley Collins and of course Davy Graham. Then, next time I tried that Topic compilation again, it suddenly made sense.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 04:42 AM

In my case it really was alcohol.

One night, during my student days, I was lurching around Hull Old Town (as usual) and I staggered into the Old Blue Bell.

I was told there was music going on upstairs........

Nothing would be quite the same again.


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: MBSGeorge
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 06:15 AM

I started to sing Trad as I was finding that as I was growing up some more recent folk songs (ie written by people still alive and kicking) were being overdone. I simply got a few books with trad songs in and picked ones I like. I'm not just interested in trad although it forms the bulk of my repertoir but mainly songs which draw me to them, words and tune have to be comfortable together.

G


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Subject: RE: What Brought You to Trad?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 06 Mar 09 - 06:32 AM

1. A progression from worship of the Incredible String Band, through Fairport and Steeleye Span to Martin Carthy, Nic Jones and 'Morris On'.

2. A teacher at school who taught an options class based on 'Folk Song in England' and set up a trad folk group (which I wasn't in but vaguely liked).

3. Accidental exposure at the age of 17 to the Coppers, 'Song for Every Season' box set, which I surprised myself by loving to bits - especially Bob's spoken bits.

4. A succession of girlfriends (the last one of whom I've been married to for some time) who were, quite coincidentally, into folk music and each of whom pestered me to listen to their fave folk stars: these included Harry Boardman, The Watersons and Gordon Tyrrall.

5. Poynton Folk Club, which in the 1970s had some great residents who sang traditional chorus songs.

6. (only belatedly understood) My Mum and Dad, who sang together for fun - mostly Sankey and Moody hymns and the odd Welsh folk song.

7. Alcohol.

If it takes all those things together, it's no wonder we're a minority musical interest!


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