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What is 'feral folk music'?

GUEST 22 Mar 09 - 07:38 PM
Tootler 22 Mar 09 - 08:15 PM
Uke 22 Mar 09 - 09:04 PM
Amos 22 Mar 09 - 11:23 PM
Phil Cooper 22 Mar 09 - 11:30 PM
katlaughing 22 Mar 09 - 11:53 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 23 Mar 09 - 12:25 AM
Teribus 23 Mar 09 - 01:32 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Mar 09 - 02:10 AM
Richard Bridge 23 Mar 09 - 04:17 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Mar 09 - 05:11 AM
Sleepy Rosie 23 Mar 09 - 05:27 AM
Sleepy Rosie 23 Mar 09 - 05:32 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Mar 09 - 05:58 AM
Richard Bridge 23 Mar 09 - 06:28 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Mar 09 - 06:31 AM
Richard Bridge 23 Mar 09 - 10:18 AM
Cool Beans 23 Mar 09 - 12:13 PM
Art Thieme 23 Mar 09 - 01:09 PM
Howard Jones 23 Mar 09 - 03:13 PM
GUEST,Uke 23 Mar 09 - 04:36 PM
Rafflesbear 23 Mar 09 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 23 Mar 09 - 04:52 PM
greg stephens 23 Mar 09 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,Uke 23 Mar 09 - 05:59 PM
Soldier boy 23 Apr 09 - 07:55 PM
Don Firth 23 Apr 09 - 09:11 PM
Melissa 23 Apr 09 - 09:25 PM
GUEST,Forest Critter 24 Apr 09 - 12:18 AM
mkebenn 24 Apr 09 - 01:16 AM
Rafflesbear 24 Apr 09 - 02:31 AM
glueman 24 Apr 09 - 03:00 AM
Spleen Cringe 24 Apr 09 - 03:12 AM
Howard Jones 24 Apr 09 - 03:51 AM
Will Fly 24 Apr 09 - 04:12 AM
Jack Blandiver 24 Apr 09 - 05:19 AM
glueman 24 Apr 09 - 06:51 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 24 Apr 09 - 07:08 AM
glueman 24 Apr 09 - 07:35 AM
Jack Blandiver 24 Apr 09 - 08:09 AM
glueman 24 Apr 09 - 10:05 AM
glueman 24 Apr 09 - 10:50 AM
Jack Blandiver 24 Apr 09 - 11:20 AM
Rifleman (inactive) 24 Apr 09 - 12:11 PM
glueman 24 Apr 09 - 12:32 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 24 Apr 09 - 12:50 PM
Jack Blandiver 24 Apr 09 - 01:33 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 24 Apr 09 - 01:41 PM
Jack Blandiver 24 Apr 09 - 02:19 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 24 Apr 09 - 02:26 PM
glueman 24 Apr 09 - 03:52 PM
GUEST 24 Apr 09 - 05:05 PM
Rafflesbear 24 Apr 09 - 05:12 PM
Richard Bridge 24 Apr 09 - 05:53 PM
Richard Bridge 24 Apr 09 - 05:54 PM
Rafflesbear 24 Apr 09 - 06:15 PM
Joe Offer 24 Apr 09 - 06:23 PM
Jack Blandiver 30 Apr 09 - 08:07 AM
Zen 30 Apr 09 - 08:22 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 01 May 09 - 09:20 AM
Rifleman (inactive) 01 May 09 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,glueman 01 May 09 - 01:01 PM
MikeofNorthumbria 01 May 09 - 02:10 PM
GUEST,glueman 01 May 09 - 02:28 PM
MikeofNorthumbria 01 May 09 - 06:02 PM
Phil Edwards 01 May 09 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,glueman 02 May 09 - 02:55 AM
Phil Edwards 02 May 09 - 03:36 AM
GUEST,glueman 02 May 09 - 04:10 AM
Phil Edwards 02 May 09 - 05:25 AM
Jack Blandiver 02 May 09 - 05:39 AM
Phil Edwards 02 May 09 - 05:44 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 02 May 09 - 09:09 AM
GUEST,glueman 02 May 09 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,glueman 02 May 09 - 10:09 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 02 May 09 - 10:26 AM
Jack Blandiver 02 May 09 - 03:29 PM
Jack Blandiver 03 May 09 - 04:55 AM
Jack Blandiver 21 May 09 - 08:20 AM
GUEST 21 May 09 - 10:55 AM
glueman 21 May 09 - 12:39 PM
Jack Blandiver 21 May 09 - 02:06 PM
glueman 21 May 09 - 03:32 PM
Richard Bridge 21 May 09 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Pigstrings 21 May 09 - 08:32 PM
Jack Blandiver 22 May 09 - 04:23 AM
glueman 22 May 09 - 05:05 AM
Jack Blandiver 22 Jun 09 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,Opinionated 25 Jun 09 - 11:16 PM
Jack Blandiver 26 Jun 09 - 05:39 AM
The Sandman 26 Jun 09 - 06:26 AM
glueman 26 Jun 09 - 07:04 AM
Jack Blandiver 26 Jun 09 - 07:22 AM
glueman 26 Jun 09 - 08:48 AM
Jack Blandiver 26 Jun 09 - 09:34 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 26 Jun 09 - 09:35 AM
Jack Blandiver 26 Jun 09 - 09:39 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 26 Jun 09 - 09:46 AM
Jack Blandiver 26 Jun 09 - 10:09 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 26 Jun 09 - 10:50 AM
glueman 26 Jun 09 - 10:59 AM
Jack Blandiver 26 Jun 09 - 12:00 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 26 Jun 09 - 01:36 PM
Rifleman (inactive) 26 Jun 09 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,NealZR 13 Jul 09 - 02:29 PM
Jack Blandiver 13 Jul 09 - 03:02 PM
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Subject: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Mar 09 - 07:38 PM

This thread
intrigued me, but because it's set up to be used as a gig guide - thought I would start another.

Greg Stephens gives a brief definition there:

'...the established term "feral folk" to describe folk music in its original habitat, as opposed to the concert arrangements of the Benjamin Brittens, the post-50's revival folk clubs etc etc, which have been termed "domesticated folk"'.

This sounds pretty darn interesting to me - people don't use this term down here in New Zealand. It seems to be a British thing. I'm curious if anybody can tell me: When did the term become established? What are some more of the groups or people associated with the genre? Once the music gets recorded (tamed into digital bits and bytes) can it still be feral?
    Please note that anonymous posting is no longer allowed at Mudcat. Use a consistent name [in the 'from' box] when you post, or your messages risk being deleted.
    Thanks.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Tootler
Date: 22 Mar 09 - 08:15 PM

I looked up feral in a dictionary and got the following definition:


"Wild; untamed; ferine; not domesticated; -- said of beasts,
birds, and plants."


The term is commonly used of domesticated animals that have returned to the wild. Feral cats are common here the UK, for example. These are domestic breeds of cat living wild as opposed to wildcats which are a distinct species.

The parallel with folk music would then be as was described in the earlier thread - folk music being played "in the wild" ie not in its normal habitat of specifically folk events - folk clubs, folk festivals, definite series of folk concerts such as are put on at the Sage in Gateshead under the Folkworks banner, etc.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Uke
Date: 22 Mar 09 - 09:04 PM

Apologies Joe, 'twas moi - the cookie somehow got reset without me noticing.

My query was a genuine one.

I tried googling "feral folk music" and didn't come up with much, apart from being used to describe the work of a few artists like Will Oldham. Perhaps it is still a pretty underground thing.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Amos
Date: 22 Mar 09 - 11:23 PM

I think it's where the songs played slip out the coffee-shop doors and windows, and end up crawling the alleys, resonating down the streets, leaking into church services and disrupting the stiff-collared hymn-singing, oozing into diners and discombobulating the teenagers trying to listen to the jukebox and putting stranger ideas in their heads, and seeping into banks and ruining the Muzak there. It's a terrible thing, causes all kinds of disruptions and leaves people with their hearts raw and bleeding.

Towns where feral folk music has become a problem have been known to hold special elections to appoint an official Song Catcher and provide him with a good supply of duct tape, styrofoam, and weather stripping to put things right.


A


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 22 Mar 09 - 11:30 PM

I hope it's not like alt-folk. I never have been able to figure out what that one means.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Mar 09 - 11:53 PM

Amos, I hope he uses a Have-A-Heart trap!


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 12:25 AM

Phil - Alt.Folk is a newsgroup that brought my shallow boat onto this muddy shore.

RE:

Feral

Think old - think ORAL, then think WRITTEN, then think DIGITAL....then think YOU-TUBE imitation

Folk music IS about performing and HAVING FUN and GROWING in your experience through others.

MANY parts of the MudCat drove me to rants and raves in the old days....it still does today but it is big enough to ignore the Nut-Jobs...too many people have worried about "being RIGHT" in their "performance." Being RIGHT? - ask the locals, watch, be a "lurker" you expect a "Yank" to tell a Brit they "are right" in their local pub?

Human-Music should NOT be about acceptance, money, imitation, criticism, ....OR....which guitar/amp/vocalization to use.

Being RIGHT? - ask the locals, watch, be a "lurker" you expect a "Yank" to tell a Brit they "are right" in their local pub? Don't you know REAL flesh and blood people?

I would consider myself one of the strongest advocates of "feral"

I seldom "buy" music...because I very seldom "listen to music" becuase I would much rather

PLAY music...

and that leaves little time to watch, and worry about being right. I am feral ... and proud to grow tomatoes and clean my own yard and shun colored feathers to jump in the mud and run in the rain and not be concerned for the stain.

Do NOT watch You-Tube - to see "how

IT ,

is done." You then become like the cruise-ship Karokee singer from Japan that mouths every word and tonation precisely but dosen't have a clue.

Do NOT equate - making money or "being a pro" with "success."

DO - find material YOU like ... and that fits your ability (Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley) played well is better than the "Foggy Bottom Shits"

DO - SHARE with others.

DO - be humble and learn from others.

DO accept that YOU are "feral" and you do not have to be exactly like others.

GROW - HAVE FUN - BE DIFFERENT - and BE SAFE.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

One phase of my "Mudcat Insanity" arrived when the International Boundry's were breached and suddenly there was a Brit Invasion of "sessions and clubs and dancers and camps and carvans" where everyone was nipping at each other's ass." The USA history is so short we don't seem to care....(except for those "re-enacting" the Civil War, )


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Teribus
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 01:32 AM

Rap


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 02:10 AM

If invitations or notices are sent, and it is performed for the public, it ain't feral. A permathread? What nonsense!


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 04:17 AM

I suspect it's a marketing phrase dreamed up by Rafflesbear to promote Norcsalordie.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 05:11 AM

We came up with the term Feral Folk back around 1983 to account for the free-form happenings in the sticks which sighted on ancient feast-days, inspired by folkloric misrule and entertained at least the possibility of pagan overtones, thus revelling in a licentiousness entirely owing to the season with at least one conception taking place during that time. We took the music back into the wild wood, back into the wilderness and the green-mans; we wove masks and played drums, flutes and fiddles and our music was released on labels such as Necrophile Records, Amission and United Dairies.

In the city we morphed in bands such as Rhombus ov Dooom and carried on our campaign of mayhem by morphing rural Feral Folk (that's me on electric viola) with urban Anarcho-Punk. As WIKI says A feral organism is one that has escaped from domestication and returned, partly or wholly, to its wild state. The introduction of feral animals or plants, like any introduced species, can disrupt ecosystems and may, in some cases, contribute to extinction of indigenous species.

At the very least Feral Folk is to go out into the wild places to commune with the primal essence of both time and place via the medium of Traditional Music and Balladry. This is something we storytellers do all the time of course - here I am singing Long Lankin in the Feral Folk style:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVzsWVuDMm0


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 05:27 AM

"We came up with the term Feral Folk back around 1983 to account for the free-form happenings in the sticks which sighted on ancient feast-days, inspired by folkloric misrule and entertained at least the possibility of pagan overtones"

I remember you posting this Tube up ages ago in response to a thread I initiated some time back. Appropriate to this thread too I think, or at least strikes me as particularly embodying the ambience of the term 'feral folk'.

Midwinter Fireside


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 05:32 AM

Heh, now that's funny, 'cos looking at it again, I realise of course that it's indoors not outdoors. When I first saw it - despite all evidence to the contrarty, I imagined for some reason that it was out in some freezing field at night! But nevamind...


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 05:58 AM

It was still bloody cold! That was in our old house in Waterhouses, in rural County Durham - that fire heated the water and the radiators, so it was very heart of the home despite that awful Adams-style surround which we never did get round to getting rid of in the 5 years we lived there. Note the oil lamps and candles too - essential to keeping that place warm...

Sundog is Feral Folk too; those Jew's Harps at the top there are on the bounder that tradition has it keeps the witch Meg Shelton from crawling out of her grave in Woodplumpton, near Preston.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 06:28 AM

That is not consistent with Rafflesbear's usage.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 06:31 AM

Who gives a fuck? Rafflebear's usage is entirely misleading as there's nothing in the least bit Feral about it.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 10:18 AM

Well, the question arose from his thread title. Quite possibly he meant something.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 12:13 PM

Music sanctioned by the feral governnment?


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 01:09 PM

Gargoyle rings some real bells in his post--and hits the nails on their heads. I like feral as being a good term for the songs I love. Like G., I would rather "play it" than talk about it. Be very glad that you can play it.

I do listen! And I lurk here more often than not these days.

I've Mudcat to thank for providing a place to be when trying, for the last decade, to come to terms with my present realities and inabilities. If I've done that outrageously and not terribly sensitively on occasion, please forgive some overstatement of my positions on occasion.

Art


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 03:13 PM

I find it interesting that there are at least two very different usages of the term, which both claim to be "established", and yet until a few days ago I had never heard the phrase, despite roughly 40 years' involvement in both domesticated and feral (in Greg Stephen's sense, rather than Sinister Supporter's) folk.

I suppose what it indicates is that until quite recently the "folk scene" was actually made up of a lot of small local scenes, touching and overlapping at the edges and coming together at big events such as festivals, but often going their own way the rest of the time. So a word, or indeed a concept, which may seem well-established and normal in one part of the folk community may be completely unknown in another. Similarly, songs and tunes which are standard session-fodder in one area are new and exciting somewhere else.

It is only with the advent of the internet and opportunities for communication such as Mudcat that these boundaries start to break down.

For what it's worth, I think both usages are appropriate for what they describe.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: GUEST,Uke
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 04:36 PM

Cheers to all -

Gaining much better idea now of feral folk, as both an existing "subculture" and a concept. Like Gargoyle, feel some music I do is maybe already feral! Kind of interesting how negative associations (feral = an uncontrolled pest; domestic species gone wild) can be turned into positive attributes - -


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 04:43 PM

until I read this thread I thought Richard Bridge was right 23/3 04:17 but as we know there is no such thing as a new idea - so when I thought of the term sitting in The Swan Inn in Stone Staffordshire I was only coming independently to an existing concept

If it helps anyone to understand where I am coming from, this is the justification I put forward to Joe O to get the feral folk music what's on thread accepted -

The purpose of the thread is/was to highlight folk music that is not taking place within the folk establishment where it is relatively easy for the artist/venue to communicate with the folk world to publicise what is going on. Regular clubs and annual festivals can be easily found but where would you look to find folk in your high street ?

The What's On has lots of these club dates many of which are repeats weekly and monthly and I reckon that many people would not bother to look in there if they are familiar with the venues they frequent - they would go to their club website or would already know what's on because it was announced at the last show

Where public venues (mainly pubs) are presenting folk music and artists are going out to the general public I think that it would help if folk fans had ready access to this information to give them the chance to support these ventures. Many pubs offer live music but relatively few offer folk music hence my desire to make it successful when it does happen (plus of course Norcsalordie, play mainly in pubs so I know the problems well)

Also with less clubs offering guests (refer to Tom Bliss) this outside work is becoming more important for the artists and as an opportunity for folk fans to see the guests. It would be a shame if ONLY joe public attended such gigs and folk fans missed it for lack of information

The idea started off from the thread Musicians Quitting and Venues Dying started by pub owner Wrotham Arms Jen who does promote folk music in her pub and who is saying what a struggle it is and how she often loses money in doing it

The thread concept is that people post a one line entry simply giving time, date, venue, artist and a link to somewhere else that holds more detail. Without being moderated it turns into another chat thread as people don't bother to read the first entry. As far as the moderation is concerned it would simply be to remove anything that does not conform to the one line principle or anything that is mainstream folk club/festival - not because I don't wish them success but because they are catered for elsewhere and it just isn't the point of this thread. At the outset a number of people added their gigs to it before it descended into chat and discussion/argument

- and that's how it became a permathread


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 04:52 PM

Back in around 1986, I was one of a group of fathers who took their sons to a Scout camp on Catalina Island, 20-plus miles off the Los Angeles coast. On the northwestern (the wilder) end of the island, in a canyon on the lee side, we were treated to the comings and goings of feral pigs each night. These were beasts which were once domestic stock but had become wild, once turned loose in open country. Some were pretty surly and bold.

Now, if surly and bold can attach to folk music, I'm all ears! Does the term mean something like "repatriated" or "returned to nature?" Or does it simply mean wild?


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 05:13 PM

I have ben using the terms "feral folk" and "folk in the wild" for some years. Not for any genre particularly, just to describe folk music in its original setting before collectors and revivalists got their hands on it, and started modifying it to suit the new environments it was moved to. In the 20's and 30's in Britain the new environments tended to be associated with classical music, as people like Vaughan Williams(early on) and Benjamin Britten()later) adapted folk songs and tunes for classical style performance. Later, in the 50's, people like Ewan McColl and Lonnie Donegan started popularising modern ways of doing the old songs, and this ended up(in Britain) focussed on the widespread setting up of folk clubs, followed by loads of folk festivals. However, in parallel to these various new ways of doing the old songs, folk music continued to exist(though often only marginally) in its natural habitat, where intrepid enthusiasts could go and seek it out. Rafflesbear is performing a useful public service by pointing out that folk music can be found being performed in venues outside the domesticated world of folk clubs and festivals, and he is using the term "feral folk" to describe this. The term seems very appropriate to describe this, but it must be recognised that other people are using the term to describe their own bands, or a particular genre of modern folk-related music.
So "feral folk", like the word "folk" itself, can refer to more than one thing!


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: GUEST,Uke
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 05:59 PM

TJ in San Diego:

Thinking about it, the whole scouting thing can get a bit feral itself at times. Even with the uniforms and adult supervision, I remember all those strange songs about "yucky" things that wouldn't normally be sung, say, in a school classroom.

Also, for me, feral doesn't mean "repatriated to nature". This implies something along the lines of releasing a lion from the zoo into its native habitat back in Africa. And it gets back to its original business fitting into the ecosystem.

"Feral" sounds more dangerous, more marginal.

It's like a domestic cat gone wild in an environment that didn't originally have cats. The cats have a negative impact (eating rare birds), but they're also not really suited to the environment either and have to form marginal colonies and live in the rubbish tips.
    Threads combined. Messages below are from a new thread.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: 'Feral Folk' - what DOES this mean ?
From: Soldier boy
Date: 23 Apr 09 - 07:55 PM

I've just come across this term on Mudcat.

'Feral' as opposed to 'domestic' folk - what does this all mean?

There has been much controversy on Mudcat threads about terms like 'Traditional' and 'Non-traditional' folk music to last a life time so why come up with more pseudo-intellectual terms/phrases that try to shoehorn or pigeon-hole music or music/singing events into some kind of new synthetic genre??

The very clumsy 'definitions' in pop/rock culture over the last fifty years come to mind!

Boy! I'm sorry but this really irritates me.

I could be wrong of course. The term 'feral folk' could have been around for ages but I have never heard of it.
If that is truly the case then I apologise for being an ignoramus but it still really gets under my claw!

By the way -in my Oxford Consise ENGLISH Dictionary the definition of 'feral' is described as - "(esp. of an animal or animal population)in a wild state after escape from captivity or domestication - resembling a wild animal;savage,brutal - untamed,uncultivated. [Latin 'ferus'-wild]."

Does this describe any kind of folk music or any kind of folkie event or session that you you are familiar with or have experience of ???

It's supposed to be some kind of "Whats On?" thread for events outside of folk festivals and folk clubs etc like things going off in pubs and cafes etc. Fair enough! Why not just say that?

I rest my case.

What do you think?

(still very annoyed - Chris)


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Subject: RE: 'Feral Folk' - what DOES this mean ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Apr 09 - 09:11 PM

I'm with you, Soldier boy. Since people don't seem to be able to agree on what "folk" means or what "traditional" means, I wonder what they mean by "feral?"

I have no idea, but "feral" (once tame, but having returned to wild) does suggest an interesting possibility to me.

Apparently when one sings in folk clubs (and I'm on the other side of the pond, so about all I "know" about British folk clubs is the impression I get reading the threads here on Mudcat), one must be very careful to know ahead of time what predispositions and prejudices that specific club has before one risks opening one's mouth, lest one be smote hip and thigh and cast hence. The next club down the pike may have entirely different ideas. And the next, still others.

All of this gives me an urge to simply throw off any shackles that any specific folk club or clubs might wish to impose and bloody-well sing whatever I enjoy singing, and sing it in a manner in which I enjoy singing it. I, personally, would not try to "go commercial," I would keep the same respect and regard for traditional material that I have always had and approach each song with my own ideas on how I feel it should be done. I would have my own standards, based on what I understand about the particular song and traditional songs in general, and not let the standards of others (who may know less than I do) dictate what I sing and how I sing it.

I would break out of the pen, and instead of trying to please the unpleasable, I would sing for folks, not for "folkies," if you get my distinction.

I would return to the wilds. I would be feral.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: 'Feral Folk' - what DOES this mean ?
From: Melissa
Date: 23 Apr 09 - 09:25 PM

I think the 'feral folk' discussion is an offshoot of another thread. With all the biting and scratching in some of the conversations, the term seems somewhat sensible to me even if it IS made-up.

I like the way it sounds, but I don't think I've opened the feral thread so I must not be overly interested in it..


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Subject: RE: 'Feral Folk' - what DOES this mean ?
From: GUEST,Forest Critter
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 12:18 AM

Furry Folk ? Ferocious Folk ?? Fanged Folk ???

maybe even Fluffy Folk !!!???

..all sound just as usable as "Feral Folk" to me


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Subject: RE: 'Feral Folk' - what DOES this mean ?
From: mkebenn
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 01:16 AM

I could'nt believe the title of this thread, all I could think off is Warren"s "Headless Thompson Gunner", THAT's feral. Mike


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Subject: RE: 'Feral Folk' - what DOES this mean ?
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 02:31 AM

Personally I think that

"Feral Folk Music"

is more succinct than

"events outside of folk festivals and folk clubs etc like things going off in pubs and cafes etc"

Can we hear from the folk missionaries (another new term for you) who are going out into the big wide world and entertaining people who wouldn't be seen dead in a folk club - who are you and what reaction do you get?


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Subject: RE: 'Feral Folk' - what DOES this mean ?
From: glueman
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 03:00 AM

Always surprised there are those who can't imagine folk existing outside a folk club. What's all that about?


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Subject: RE: 'Feral Folk' - what DOES this mean ?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 03:12 AM

Feral: "escaped from captivity; savage, brutal, untamed, uncultivated"...

And oh that more of our folk music was like this.

It's not "pseudo-intellectual". But it is quite clever...


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 03:51 AM

"Apparently when one sings in folk clubs (and I'm on the other side of the pond, so about all I "know" about British folk clubs is the impression I get reading the threads here on Mudcat), one must be very careful to know ahead of time what predispositions and prejudices that specific club has before one risks opening one's mouth, lest one be smote hip and thigh and cast hence. "

Don, I don't think it's quite that bad, although there are a few clubs where that might apply. What is true is that the range and type of music can vary widely between different clubs, and you may find that what is played in any particular club may not be to your taste, and what you want to play to them may not be to their's. It's usually possible to find a club which suits you (although it's becoming harder as the number of clubs seems to diminish) but as a one-off visitor you may take a bit of a chance on whether or not it's your kind of club. Fortunately most clubs now have websites so it's possible to get an idea beforehand.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 04:12 AM

I sometimes get called upon, by friends who run my village club, to perform with guitar (amplified) and voice (mic-ed) outside the club for the passing public on high days and holidays. No cash - just as much Guinness and tots of malt as I can manage without actually falling off the bar stool into the gutter.

So, innocent passers-by, depending on when they stroll past the fumes of roasting pork, sizzling sausages and browning hamburgers and odd clouds of blue smoke, might hear a bit of Richard Thompson, Elvis, a song from the Tradition, Bill Broonzy, Gary Davis (Rev), Jelly Roll Morton, Eddie Cochran, Ruth Etting (I can and will), and anything else that I can find in the remote recesses I call my brain. I shall be doing this tomorrow in a late and unruly celebration of St. George's Day.

Is this feral? It's certainly fairly undomesticated... Or, as Thurber might have said in this context: "It's only a naive domestic song, but I think you'll be amused by its presumptuousness..."


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 05:19 AM

In the 1954 Definition it says: The term can be applied to music that has been evolved from rudimentary beginnings by a community uninfluenced by popular and art music.

Feral Folk is actually a reversal of this process - it is stripping music of its affectations (however so uninfluenced) and taking it back to its rudimentary beginnings by seeking the very wellsprings of primal sound-magic & ritual experience and our primitive appreciations thereof.

Feral Folk rejects the tempered scale, celebrating in terms of pure harmonics or else total cacophony; as of the wind, the sea and the singing of birds. It is heard in the rhythms of wood pigeons and the beating of horses hooves on the frozen earth of winter; it blows with grass-blades and goats horns and knows only the enduring beauty of the pure sound / noise aesthetic which to the Feral Folkie is the pure drop.

Feral Folk is bark of foxes and the shriek of owls; it is the bellowing of stags and the clashing of antlers; it is the shadow of the hare by the newly torn furrow and the silence of the stars in the night sky. Feral Folk is the listening wilderness of sound beyond music that might, at last, come weaving into our waking dreams. Feral Folk touches the moment, knowing nothing of the past, nor yet of the future; it is our primal cry of otherness that lingers in the dark depths of every human heart.

Feral Folk is singing The Great Selkie of Sule Skerry up the boating lake overflow pipe on Fleetwood beech whilst beating on the metal grill with the rubber end of an old golf club to provide an appropriate drone. Feral Folk is being so full of cold you can barely remember the words let alone the order they come; Feral Folk is making the melody up as you go along whilst floating on the natural reverberation of said pipe and the harmonic vibrations of the grill therein. Feral Folk is having your handy Zoom H4 on hand to record this, so you might upload it onto YouSendIt as an MP3 for all the world to hear if they so wish.

Feral Folk is clicking the link below and having a listen:

https://www.yousendit.com/download/dVlwOGNTVnN6NE5MWEE9PQ


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: glueman
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 06:51 AM

A losing battle I fear SS. Once folk became part of the entertainment industry virtuosity took over from the simple pleasure of making simple sounds. It was handed over to 'experts' to make the folk for us.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 07:08 AM

Thoroughly lovely piece Sinister. And I rather like the images there too, but specifically the notion of surrender and harmonising with the world-song so to speak. Odd how challenging achieving such a state of primordial simplicity actually is for most of us over the age of five though. I've attempted dance of that ilk, and it makes you feel like a real banana!


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: glueman
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 07:35 AM

Looked up Zoom H4 on Amazon. Seems like as useful a bit of music stealing apparatus as a fellow might want, purely for home use y'understand. Is it is as groovy as it appears?


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 08:09 AM

They've remodelled the H4 (and very nice it looks too) supposedly ironing out a few design flaws along the way, but much of your money covers a lot of pointless extras (such 4 track multi-tracking), so for basic recording go for the H2 which gives equal results for half the price. For more on this see the Field Recording Equipment thread.

I would say an H2 is an essentially piece of kit for the Feral Folky out and about along the bee-buzzing byways of North Norfolk (along The Peddlar's Way perhaps?) & chancing upon an ancient church and giving voice to (say) Child #1 in the natural acoustics thereof whilst pondering the nature of the carvings therein.

To the Feral Folkie the whole world is a musical instrument; we sing with the resonances of the ambient universe; we sing in the fucking fields (and vice versa) along the Vagabondian trackways, we commune with the world through song; the world-song, as Crow Sister says.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: glueman
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 10:05 AM

Aye, I've always been a fan of field recordings but my gear was of the rudimentary cassette variety. I used to record football crowds, the sound of railway stations and parks and miss it frankly.

The prices quoted on Amazon are much closer for H2-H4 than you suggest. I'm very tempted.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: glueman
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 10:50 AM

Ordered an H2. As you were feral folk and thanks for the tip SS.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 11:20 AM

Whey aye!


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 12:11 PM

What is 'feral folk music'?

Sounds like yet another music industry pigeon -holing job to me.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: glueman
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 12:32 PM

A made up definition might go something like:

A reconstructed framing of the tradition
Not played in designated folk contexts
Containing an element of trouve sound or happenstance environments
Musical austerity at the expense of complexity
Purloined, layered or palimpsestic elements
Available to all people of musical training or none


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 12:50 PM

I like the aesthetics of trouve and palimpsetic in particular.
Even though I had to look them up!

'Aural findings' and the importance of the context in terms of some form of 'primal locus' or indeed crossroads - temporal, psychic and wordly - all make sense to me.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 01:33 PM

Sounds like yet another music industry pigeon -holing job to me.

I invented the term Feral Folk back in 1979 (as an alternative to free folk) to better describe the sort of music I was doing in the wild places in Northumberland. True Feral Folk is truly Feral - as such is fiercely non-commercial, and very much anti music industry, born as it is of organic communion & principles of free floating anarchy and community, marrying as it does the principles of Free Improvisation with the Folk Music aesthetic. Feral Folk is an outsider music of cultural vagabonds exploring the liminality of both tradition and creative continuity as is embodied in each & every one of us. It acknowledges the essence & uniqueness of the creative individual. It does not pigeon-hole, and it does not sell its arse for breadcrumbs and butterbeans.

It is everything Glueman & Crow Sister say it is, although I dread the day when I find a CD called The Best of Feral Folk, although maybe John Barleycorn Reborn is the closest we've ever got to such a thing.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 01:41 PM

"I invented the term Feral Folk back in 1979"

right! and Gram Parsons invented "country-rock"...Fairport Convention invented "folk-rock...."

no one person can EVER lay claim to inventing anything, let alone a music genreIn reality influences come from all over and come together to maybe or maybe not cohere into one thing.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 02:19 PM

Well, Rifleman, it certainly didn't exist before I coined it for a very specific approach to music that was coalescing at the time. It is not a musical genre - it is a philosophical approach to Improvised & Experimental Musics which acknowledges the Folk Aesthetic to a greater or lesser extent. Conversely it can be a philosophical approach to Folk Musics which acknowledges the Improvised & Experimental Aesthetic. For me, it works both ways.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 02:26 PM

Whatever you say. I'll just play the music and enjoy myself doing it. Without getting TOO philosphical of course *LOL*


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: glueman
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 03:52 PM

If we're talking about what I believe we are most enthusiasts would recognise 'it' as simply folk music. A feral prefix suggests the music might embrace outsider status and proscription rather than feeling thwarted by rejecting mechanisms.
Definition would be tentative at best and subject to whatever nuance or plurality the performer/collator brings to it. Folk music without the affectations or grumpiness in other words.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 05:05 PM

I was there when he said it honest


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 05:12 PM

Having started the thread that lead to this debate may I say that my intention was not to define a new genre of music, the music is the same and as recognisable as any other folk music. The distinction comes only in where it is played and to whom it is played

Some artists, and I am increasingly forming the opinion that it is relatively few artists, are leaving the comfort zone of the folk clubs and festivals where an offering of two consecutive notes in tune will bring a round of applause to go out into the wider world where the audience are not folkies and where you impress or die (in the stage sense!)

Musically any difference is purely that which is necessary to please the wider audience and achieve a rebooking. At times you sell your soul with the ninety ninth rendition of Wild Rover or Fields of Athenry but the satisfaction comes from slipping in the obscure and self penned and winning people over and getting reactions like these

"You've just converted someone who hates Folk Music - I was meant to be going home an hour and a half ago"

"I don't know much about folk music, but I do enjoy watching/listening to you guys"


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 05:53 PM

It is rather a shame that Rafflesbear feels the need to put down much folk music in order to portray his proteges in a better light.   His proteges present well and probably do not need to denigrate others. There are of course many singing and playing in folk clubs and festivals who can knock many spots off them, and having heard only last year what they modestly said about their chord sequences my impression would be that the band would not set out to divide in that way either.

It seems however that the coinage of the phrase has occurred twice (at least) and that the respective coiners had entirely different intentions as to meaning. I understand Rafflesbear's meaning in that he uses the term to describe "folk" (in the widest sense) song that is residing outside a tame environment, and must live on what it can achieve outside that tame environment.

When my late wife and I (and others) did folk music in pubs rather than folk clubs or folk-specific environments I would describe it as proselytisation, and it is not new. The late Dave Bryant of this place and Linda would walk into pubs and ask if they could sing.

Growler's sessions have always (afaik) been in open pubs and not in back rooms.   

A previous man of my wife's, Dave Wiltshire, supplemented his truck driving income by playing in pubs and working men's clubs.

So, while Rafflesbear's proteges do well what they do, they are not unique in doing it where they do it.

The other form described on this thread is something I do not recognise or understand.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 05:54 PM

PS. I don't mean it is without merit, I simply don't understand what it is.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 06:15 PM

Richard - I certainly did not set out intentionally to denigrate and I hope that that was not how my post was read by the majority

I presume that on this occasion you allude to the two consecutive notes in tune phrase ? There have been occasions when I have sat through excruciating performances in folk clubs and at the end of it there is applause - I would be surprised if you have not encountered this yourself. The point of mentioning it on this occasion was to draw the comparison with the unforgiving nature of the alternative

My apologies if it came out otherwise - and yes there are people out there so good it makes you weep and if they are playing in a non-folk environment I very much hope they will post in the Feral Folk What's On thread


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 06:23 PM

We have feral cats and chickens and hogs in California - but sadly, no feral folk.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 08:07 AM

Here's some choice Feral Folk from the Netherlands. Check it out:

http://www.myspace.com/dblolaq

Top sounds; and he's got some interesting things to say as well. I tell you, people like this restore my faith in music!


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Zen
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 08:22 AM

That's as fine a post from Gargoyle as I've seen in 10 years here and also sums up my feelings on the matter better than I could myself.

Zen


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 01 May 09 - 09:20 AM

According to one definition on this thread, doing "feral folk music" appears to mean taking material which most folk club regulars would recognise as "folk" out to venues other than folk clubs, and to people who would never normally go into folk clubs. There's nothing novel about doing this.   It was providing a livelihood for professionals like Alex Campbell, Miriam Makeba, Josh White and Pete Seeger long ago, when folk clubs as we know them hardly existed. Many amateurs have also kept on doing it through boom years and lean years alike - because we enjoy it, and because we believe it matters.

In Britain, folk club regulars used to call people who did this "entertainers" – sometimes approvingly, sometimes disparagingly, depending on their ideological stance. Meanwhile, show business professionals called people who did it "folk singers" – a label often resented by historians, musicologists and folk-club diehards, but well enough understood by the general public. Do we really need a new name for this activity now? Probably not - but democracy will eventually decide whether it becomes common currency.

As for the other definition of "feral folk music" on offer here – this also seems to promise us nothing new. Ever since the folk balloon of the 1960s began to deflate and descend, marketing people have been hyping new musical products with a "This is Folk – but not as we know it, Jim" spin. In Britain, the sub-text to this sales pitch has often been "This is the REAL folk music of TODAY! All those boring people stuck in the folk-club time warp will hate it – therefore YOU are going to love it!"

Over the years, that line of patter has become almost as boring a cliché as the Arran-sweatered, finger-in-ear folkie image which it sought to displace. (fRoots and SmoothOps, please note.) Will it hit the jackpot this time? Probably not - but if it puts a few more bums on seats, and keeps a few more musicians off the dole, then good luck to it.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 01 May 09 - 12:14 PM

It is rather a shame that Rafflesbear feels the need to put down much folk music in order to portray his proteges in a better light.

Is Richard Bridge reading something that's only visible to his eyes? I see nothing that is even remotely a put down of 'folk' music in any of rafflesbear's postings.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 01 May 09 - 01:01 PM

Thought I'd missed something obvious but didn't want to show my ignorance.
On MoN's point I'd point him to Sinister's fiercely anti-commercial stance for feral folk. I don't perceive it as folk-lite, compromising or accessible, rather the opposite.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 01 May 09 - 02:10 PM

Hi glueman!

You may be right - so far I have had no experience of the music Sinister is making, and the fierce anti-commercialism you speak of could well be genuine.

However ... in the past, ambitious performers seeking to acquire "cult status" in the media have been known to affect an anti-commerical pose. Such a gesture appeals to self-proclaimed music connoisseurs who like to confirm their "outsider" credentials by extravagantly praising (allegedly) non-commercial acts. Yet if these "cult" performers do somehow happen to reach bigger audiences, they rarely decline the big bucks that follow. Which enables their "cult" fans to get an extra buzz out of rejecting them for "selling out". Which provides something for music journalists to write about, and fans to argue about. Which all helps to keep the wheels of the music biz turning.

So, my cynical assumption was that "feral folk" might have been launched by performers with similar aspirations. After all, advertising yourself as the creator of an exciting new genre can help to establish (or expand) a cult following. Of course I could be mistaken - this has been known before! - in which case, my apologies to all concerned.

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 01 May 09 - 02:28 PM

If it were marketable in a mass way I'd suggest it couldn't be feral. Unless homespun experimental acoustic sounds become de riguer, in which case the artist probably wasn't trying hard enough!


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 01 May 09 - 06:02 PM

"If it were marketable in a mass way I'd suggest it couldn't be feral."

Seasick Steve?

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 01 May 09 - 06:46 PM

the comfort zone of the folk clubs and festivals where an offering of two consecutive notes in tune will bring a round of applause

I think this is the 'denigrating' Richard's talking about. I sing at folk clubs, I work hard at what I do and I take pride in doing it well - and I know the difference between getting a polite ripple of applause and doing something that'll be respected by my peers or make an audience sit up and take notice. Sure, I could wander along unprepared, sing out of a book, lose the tune halfway through and still get that polite ripple of applause, and maybe for some performers that thought does offer a 'comfort zone'. Not for any self-respecting performer, though - and most of us are, even(!) in folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 02 May 09 - 02:55 AM

If I may say so that idea of slick, uniform, virtuoso, predictable entertainment is not what some of us think of as folk music at all, self-respecting or otherwise.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 02 May 09 - 03:36 AM

slick, uniform, virtuoso, predictable entertainment

bores me to tears. I'm not slick, I'm not a virtuoso and I try not to be predictable, let alone uniform. I do, however, work hard at what I do and take pride in doing it well.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 02 May 09 - 04:10 AM

I agree with you in that case PR. Nothing against traditional acoustic popular entertainment, it's just not the whole folk thing.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 02 May 09 - 05:25 AM

I agree with you in that case PR.

]falls off chair[

Cheers!


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 02 May 09 - 05:39 AM

sing out of a book

My memory is so poor these I've taken to using printed sheets for new songs that just won't go in. This is a practical necessity, though not altogether without precedent - I've just uploaded my Gently Johnny / Song 32 sequence onto my myspace page (www.myspace.com/sedayne for the purposes of which I'm using words. There is no shame in using words - The Coppers do it, and I do it in church too when singing hymns, so why not in folk clubs?

MikeofNorthumbria

As an ex-pat Northumbrian myself I yearn for the wilds; even for the bleak pans of Cambois with fond memories of the chimneys of Blyth A & B that still haunt my dreaming, but mostly my hearts in the Jolly Fisherman at Craster, washing crab sarnies down with a bottle of Dog before a merry trudge up to Dunstanburgh Castle & beyond...

A few Merry Mays back we ensconced ourselves midst the rockpools at low tide with a diversity of gongs, pocket trumpet, singing bowls and suchlike for an afternoon of feral field-recording, & filming. Needs must I dig out the footage. I seem to recall the whole of Craster had taken on the semblance of the Wicker Man on account of them filming some TV series there - now what was all that about?

For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea...


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 02 May 09 - 05:44 AM

mary, mungo and midge - nice one.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 02 May 09 - 09:09 AM

Sinister, is that a traditional melody for Gently Johnny - 'cos I think I'll relearn it off your page, all being rather suitable for May bank holiday weekend singing practice. As the only one I know, is that one off the Wicker Man soundtrack. Pretty as it is, I confess I'm somewhat sick of hearing (or singing) it!


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 02 May 09 - 10:07 AM

Digging your sound Sinister. After a morning ivy wrangling* it will be the accompaniment to some colonial red in the garden to celebrate May.

* ivy wrangling isn't a synonym for anything


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: GUEST,glueman
Date: 02 May 09 - 10:09 AM

Do I mean euphemism, or is that a brass band instrument?


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 02 May 09 - 10:26 AM

There's so many to choose from, could I interest you in a nice metaphor, an analogy, or perhaps a pleasing simile? Or what about a morally improving parable?


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 02 May 09 - 03:29 PM

is that a traditional melody for Gently Johnny

I picked it up from various singers over the years, most recently from the singing of Frank Williamson in Durham, who thinks of it as an old Northumbrian melody. Just checked DigiTrad (Here) and it's the same tune. Rapunzel informs me they used to sing SATB arrangement at school, so all things considered I'd say it was traditional.

See also: http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=45593#674591


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 03 May 09 - 04:55 AM

mary, mungo and midge - nice one.

Not a great fan of poetry, I nevertheless have my favourite poem - and this is it. I first came across it back around 1976 on the cover of an LP of free improvisation on the Incus label called Balance (Frank Perry, Ian Brighton, Phil Waschman, Colin Wood & Radu Malfatti - and that from memory!) and latterly found it on a series of plaques embedded into the pavement in St Anne's. Not a great fan of public art (mutter mutter Anton Gormley &c.) I was nevertheless delighted, though not half as much as I am with the statue of Les Dawson they've lately erected by the pier.

Feral Sculpture at St. Anne's


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 21 May 09 - 08:20 AM

Check this: http://www.myspace.com/iteatsfrombowls - the best band name ever & some truly feral folk & pagan sounds...


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 May 09 - 10:55 AM

not to be confused with non ferrous-folk music.......less irony


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: glueman
Date: 21 May 09 - 12:39 PM

Teats from bowls - triffic! Nice loose timing on that drum. Can't believe they're American.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 21 May 09 - 02:06 PM

The name's so good I'm going to go pedant on you - It Eats from Bowls.

Can't believe they're American.

Now there's a good idea for a thread - things you can't believe are American. I'll nominate Terry Gilliam (although that's what Zappa said about him & his work for the Pythons) and Scott Walker.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: glueman
Date: 21 May 09 - 03:32 PM

Laurie Anderson and John Cage.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 May 09 - 05:43 PM

"folk clubs and festivals where an offering of two consecutive notes in tune will bring a round of applause"


Sorry dude. Go check. If you are going to diss the music, get your facts right.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: GUEST,Pigstrings
Date: 21 May 09 - 08:32 PM

I presume this means folk music played in folk clubs is domesticated folk music.

Hey, skip the feral stuff. I vote for wild folk music! Music that roams freely across the plains and forests of the British pub, festival, and village fete; the busker on the underground, the band in the boozer, and the session in the bar.....Music that interbreeds promiscuously across the genres and spawns weird and wonderful offspring.

Folk music is not a museum piece. It is a living tradition. Modern folk music is as much the popular songs we grew up listening to as it is the older songs handed down from our forefathers and rescued from oblivion for us by the likes of Cecil Sharpe etc.

Throw away the aspic and just make music is what I say. Keep it live and keep it real.

Oh, by the way, I think the original intention of this thread was to publicise events and venues. I've caught a few endangered species for display at The Old Eden, Edenbridge, Kent on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month. Open Mic session 8.30, usually with a strong folkie leaning (due to being hosted by Pig's Ear) followed by a guest from 9.30 - 11.00. We've had folk, skiffle, American folk, bluegrass, Zydeco, Ska, whateverthehellyou call Moveable Feast's excellent music...Wed. 27 we've got an out and out rock covers band, Dangerous Age. And every night a cracking good one, though we could do with more support.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 May 09 - 04:23 AM

Oh, by the way, I think the original intention of this thread was to publicise events and venues.

That was the other feral folk thread, which isn't about feral folk at all, rather playing the usual folkie stuff in non-folkie venues (as far as I can gather).


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: glueman
Date: 22 May 09 - 05:05 AM

Clubs are de facto enclosed environments with certain rules and expectations. The notion of a club has never seemed especially folk, unless institutional predictability is your idea of primal music.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 04:48 PM

Feral Folk Announcement:

Just uploaded Black Sea Fiddle Improvisation & Processional field-recorded in the church of Saint Swithin, Launcells, nr. Bude in Cornwall on the 11th of June 2009.

Do check it out: http://www.myspace.com/sedayne


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: GUEST,Opinionated
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 11:16 PM

'feral folk' is what it is.

domesticated folk is what 'is done this way'.

domesticated asks, 'do you want to have success and broad appeal and make a living at your dream?' or, 'do you realize you have to play this song this way or this instrument in this style?'

feral says, 'fuck you. I live my dreams without your help.'

close enough?


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 05:39 AM

close enough?

Only if the two things existed in opposition to each other, which they don't - rather they are complementary approaches wherein the one thing informs the other with respect of parameters both musical and aesthetical. By adopting a more improvised approach to musical performance and recording the Feral Folk Musician aligns his/herself with Free Improvisation & other more Experimental musics, none of which would exclude Folk in quite the same way that Folk would exclude them. For example, in my performances of Free Improvisation I invariably sing a Traditional Ballad or two, but I would never Freely Improvise in a Folk Club because experience has taught me that the punters wouldn't get it.

Feral Folk might act as a bridge as far as the performer is concerned - certainly as far as this performer is concerned - seeking music in the wild / ancient / sacred places of the world with a few little flutes, bells, Black Sea Fiddle, a Zoom H4, an open ear and a fistful of Jew's Harps. The same day, however, they might fetch up in a folk club and turn in a couple of respectably conventional renderings of traditional songs - much as happened the day I recorded the feral Black Sea Fiddle improvisation linked to above; that very evening we paid a visit to The Joiners Arms in Bideford, where I played the self-same fiddle to accompany The Sheep Stealer and Butter and Cheese and All in the singaround, and jolly good fun was had by all.

Feral Folk is musical & personal liberation whereby the musician might slip away from the world a while, alone or with a few like minded souls, to commune with another level of possibility. It seldom works in terms of conventional performance of course, but that's not what it's about. It's about Experience Ritual, by which I might imply a non-proscriptive spirituality which occurs when one improvises on Medieval Plainsong Modes whilst absorbing the atmosphere of a beautiful medieval church - much as I do in the Launcells piece linked to above, the recording of which becomes somehow infused with both a dynamic impossible to reproduce in a studio and the genius loci which is, ultimately, what Feral Folk is about.

Feral would never say Fuck You; rather it says one day I was born, and some day I will die, and this is the day in which I am alive, and in this moment I am both here and now. It says take time out to get back to the fundamentals of what might make this music Folk in the first place; it says we love you, but you don't have to love us.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 06:26 AM

About Feral Folk
My name is Noreen O Shea from Tuosist near Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland. I play traditional music in pubs in Kerry and west Cork. I have recently made a cd"The price of my pig" with Dean Moriarty (fiddle and mandolin) Sarah Roche (vocals and flute) Matt Griffin (guitars) and Tony Flatherty (bodhran). It will be available from end of april ..09. I also play with Gill Newlyn fiddle player and guitar player Chris Liddle and accordian and fiddle player John O Sullivan in Kenmare Co. Kerry. Gill teaches fiddle in Kenmare. (www.kerryfiddles.com.)I also play with concertina player and singer Dick Miles (www.dickmiles.com) and guitar player Dave King in west Cork (Feral Folk). Looking forward to a good year of playing music.
checkout feral folk on my space ,youwont regret it.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: glueman
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 07:04 AM

There is only feral folk music. Then there's the grumpy make-believe stuff, singalongabert, tankards at dawn, where two or three misanthropes are gathered together, and all that.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 07:22 AM

Then there's the grumpy make-believe stuff, singalongabert, tankards at dawn, where two or three misanthropes are gathered together, and all that.

Don't you just love it though? I've been defending this for more years than I care to remember but all the more so now because the only time I listen to Folk is in singarounds. I look upon it in a similar way to medieval churches and the carvings therein; though each carving might be of a type, they're a unique manifestation of that type, and altogether part & parcel of their particular habitat. Thus do I seek out singarounds in old back-rooms of old pubs, gatherings possessed of their own lore and history, as heady as any you might find in a church, replete with amazing singers you'd never hear otherwise. And so I bask content in the corporeal singularity of it all, and somewhere along the way, in that glad company, I'll catch a glimpse of what drew me into this music in the first place.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: glueman
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 08:48 AM

As a history of singarounds and pub function rooms grumpy music has a lot to recommend it. So long as people don't confuse the trappings with the folk there's nae bother.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 09:34 AM

Just gathered up a few of my thoughts from this thread into a blog for the sake of personal clarification & convenience. Read it HERE if you so wish.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 09:35 AM

"tankards at dawn, where two or three misanthropes are gathered together, and all that."

Knockholt was nice this Solstice. Almost feral I'd say. Bonfire. A couple of awld fellas, myself and a couple of friends, plus a rather endearingly utterly fecking trashed young couple. And the sun coming up. We did manage a few songs too. Though the quality was somewhat lacking... Gotta love the 'leavings' of the party.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 09:39 AM

Though the quality was somewhat lacking...

Feral Folk is leaving our critical faculties in some other place so we might better appreciate the vivid corporeal experience of being there, and doing it, and loving it regardless. The moment is all; the moment we share (as Robin Williamson once said) by dint of the sheer sharp excellence of being alive in the first place.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 09:46 AM

I went to read your blog there - but it came up with an 'invalid friend' thingy...
Two utterly unrelated thoughts:

i) One thing I thinks gotta make feral properly feral - and that's trespassing? I do it on principle wherever I camp.

ii) Raves have to be the ultimate in feral folk music, no?

Being almost serious here...


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 10:09 AM

i) One thing I thinks gotta make feral properly feral - and that's trespassing? I do it on principle wherever I camp.

Absolutely; it also just happens, in it's own immediacy. It is not art, nor is it organised, it works on the principle that we are free to play where we like, when we like, without seeking permission to do so. We live in world where spontaneous creativity is strangled by so much red-tape and the petty guidelines of risk assessments, Health & Safety, etc. etc.   

ii) Raves have to be the ultimate in feral folk music, no?

An aspect of it anyway certainly, though my personal concern is with that level of behavioural compliance which I've always found pretty alienating to be honest; likewise the contributing noise levels, which I can't take on account of my hearing anyway. Either way, we take it where we find it.

The innate conservatism of Folk seems to exist regardless of the radical politics to which it invariably subscribes. Once or twice on Mudcat I've asked for a track only to be roundly censured for such criminal soliciting and told to go and buy the CD; even archive tracks from VOTP and The Kennedy Archive. And will I ever track down a copy of the original BBC version of Anthems in Eden reportedly wilder than the album version recorded the following year? These things interest me - bootlegs, sessions, all of which are invariably of greater musical value than the Official Product so beloved of folkies... mutter mutter...


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 10:50 AM

"We live in world where spontaneous creativity is strangled by so much red-tape and the petty guidelines of risk assessments, Health & Safety, etc. etc."

A good way out of your direction I know, but I reckon you might like the Kent, Knockholt Fest? It's all very easy going and pretty feral in principle: One massive bonfire and a big group of folkies around it doing their thing over several days. No paid acts.

A field up on a hill in lovely Kent countryside, camping only paid for (approx fiver a night per pitch), a nice pub down the road, and volunteers running all the portaloo/water/clearup etc. arrangements.

No H&S stuff, as they bypass it by charging only for the pitches. It was my first visit this Solstice, but quite taken with the thoroughly informal goodness and friendliness of the event.
Will probably drag my old man along this September.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: glueman
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 10:59 AM

The purloined hour, the filched session, the meet on the beach under a waning moon will always mean more than stuff from the attested herd. The folk revival has drifted into the comfort zone unnoticed and been stamped by convention until it has forgotten what it was for. It has become the pub back room and the stale ale and the grump.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 12:00 PM

No H&S stuff, as they bypass it by charging only for the pitches. It was my first visit this Solstice, but quite taken with the thoroughly informal goodness and friendliness of the event.

Sounds heavenly. Kent? You never know...

It has become the pub back room and the stale ale and the grump.

And there you'll find me too, once a week anyway, guzzling the Body & Blood by way of Unholy Communion with the yet Unholier Ghost of Traditional British Folk Song - and I'm still the youngest in the fecking room! This is Demographic Indicator of the Central Myth of the (So-Called) Folk Revival; at 47 they call me a youngster!


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 01:36 PM

They've been running for fecking years apparently. If yourself & Rapunzel are up for the long ride, the next date is: Wednesday 9 September - Sunday 13 (beware Autumn mud though, I'm told)
Otherwise there will be 'Knockers' threads to check, closer to the time.


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 02:32 PM

I'm unashamedly listening to The Incredible String Band, specifically Earthspan, which contains one of my favourite Robin Williamson compositions The Banks of Sweet Italy. This all my dads's fault. Dad if you ever visit here at Mudcat and see this post, Thank you for introducing me to ISB!


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Subject: Women are earning more than men
From: GUEST,NealZR
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 02:29 PM

Women are earning more than men in some public sector organisations - but only in the lower-paid grades, according to new research by the BBC.

Female clerical and admin staff are taking home bigger salaries than their male colleagues in 14 out of 17 public sector bodies which responded to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request about pay.

Figures showed that, on average, women in these grades were earning up to £350 a year more than men.

But higher up the career ladder it's a more familiar story, with male earnings outstripping females' and men outnumbering women in the senior management roles.

full news on bbc news


[IMG]https://rich-niche.info/cookie/38/happy.gif[/IMG]


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Subject: RE: What is 'feral folk music'?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 13 Jul 09 - 03:02 PM

Yeah - right - er - ISB; they haunt me... I love Hangman's Beautiful Daughter, natch, but that was because in my utter ignorance of such matters I bought a reissue in 78 and thought it was new! Certainly sounded fresh enough to my ears. I love Be Glad For the Song Has No Ending and I actually do a version of The Iron Stone - the beachcombers anthem. RW's 2006 ECM album The Iron Stone is his best work for years, but I'm not much in touch these days.

I love Dr Strangely Strange though; 2 years on and Halcyon Days remains an enduring revelation. Seminal Feral Inspiration!

Meanwhile:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9w6DJpDBs8


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