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Canadian Folk Music

JedMarum 23 Mar 09 - 12:04 PM
ClaireBear 23 Mar 09 - 12:37 PM
Big Mick 23 Mar 09 - 12:52 PM
DonMeixner 23 Mar 09 - 12:57 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 23 Mar 09 - 01:01 PM
sian, west wales 23 Mar 09 - 01:15 PM
Terry McDonald 23 Mar 09 - 01:50 PM
gnu 23 Mar 09 - 02:05 PM
sian, west wales 23 Mar 09 - 02:28 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 23 Mar 09 - 02:30 PM
Terry McDonald 23 Mar 09 - 02:59 PM
breezy 23 Mar 09 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,Murray on Saltspring 23 Mar 09 - 04:22 PM
balladeer 23 Mar 09 - 05:21 PM
balladeer 23 Mar 09 - 09:33 PM
JedMarum 25 Mar 09 - 06:12 PM
john f weldon 25 Mar 09 - 07:59 PM
Big Mick 25 Mar 09 - 08:26 PM
john f weldon 25 Mar 09 - 08:44 PM
JedMarum 25 Mar 09 - 09:22 PM
Eve Goldberg 26 Mar 09 - 12:33 AM
meself 26 Mar 09 - 10:31 AM
balladeer 26 Mar 09 - 10:45 AM
meself 26 Mar 09 - 11:11 AM
Big Mick 26 Mar 09 - 01:54 PM
meself 26 Mar 09 - 03:19 PM
meself 26 Mar 09 - 03:29 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 26 Mar 09 - 03:34 PM
john f weldon 26 Mar 09 - 03:37 PM
Big Mick 26 Mar 09 - 04:26 PM
Tim Leaning 26 Mar 09 - 05:29 PM
bankley 26 Mar 09 - 05:30 PM
Beer 26 Mar 09 - 05:41 PM
bankley 26 Mar 09 - 06:00 PM
Eve Goldberg 26 Mar 09 - 06:43 PM
Beer 26 Mar 09 - 08:33 PM
Peace 26 Mar 09 - 09:14 PM
Beer 26 Mar 09 - 11:19 PM
Beer 26 Mar 09 - 11:20 PM
meself 27 Mar 09 - 08:36 AM
Big Mick 27 Mar 09 - 08:51 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 27 Mar 09 - 08:59 AM
Beer 27 Mar 09 - 09:13 AM
bankley 27 Mar 09 - 09:41 AM
meself 27 Mar 09 - 09:53 AM
GUEST,number 6 27 Mar 09 - 10:43 AM
john f weldon 27 Mar 09 - 10:46 AM
Beer 27 Mar 09 - 11:10 AM
Beer 27 Mar 09 - 11:11 AM
bankley 27 Mar 09 - 11:13 AM
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Subject: Canadian Folk Music
From: JedMarum
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 12:04 PM

We bordered on this subject in the Rick Fielding Tribute thread, and I could not bear to introduce thread creep to that discussion – so I thought I'd introduce the discussion of Canadian Folk here (maybe I should say Canadian Folk-Style).

I visited Disney's Epcot Center a decade ago when my kids were in their teens. I enjoyed walking through the exhibits of various countries and was really impressed with the end of day fireworks and light show. Actually impressed does not accurately describe what I felt. I was floored. I was amazed! It was a sight and sound treat like none I'd witnessed before.

They highlighted each country, during the show and played wonderful recorded music, appropriate for that country, as the laser lights and fireworks painted colorful images over the country's exhibit. The last two countries highlighted were Canada and the US and as they approached the time when Canada would be focused upon, I wondered what the music would be. The music selections and recordings for the other countries had been excellent, so by now I couldn't wait to hear what they'd do for Canada (and then the US).

When Canada's turn came, the Epcot show played some absolutely beautiful Canadian folk music pieces; real folkie stuff, acoustic guitar, dulcimer, mando, etc. I don't recall the names of the few tunes they played in medley – but the choice was so right on and so lovely. It made me realize just how close my New England roots in folk-music were tied to Canada. My first thought was, "Hell yeah! That's the way folk music is supposed to sound!"

You see I had been living in Texas for a while at that point, and I do like the Texas folk/acoustic styles, too – but hearing that beautiful and powerful Canadian folk-style music just made my juices flow!

I grew up in Massachusetts. I've begun to believe that the New England folk-style I learned as a kid is more Canadian based then it is tied to any other. I say that because I am instantly at home with Canadian players and styles. My first thought is, "Oh yeah, that's the way I feel it too." And that feeling happens to me more with Canadian players then with any others, including New Englanders. OK – now I don't want to be patronizing here. There's plenty of great stuff developed elsewhere and I've enjoyed that too. I just have to say that when I hear Canadian folk stuff, it just feels like home is calling me.

So when Mudcatters hear Big Mick talking about his love for the Canadian folk scene - I think this is what he is talking about (or is it aboot?). Mick also grew up close to Canada and I suspect he felt the pull of the same influence I felt in New England.

By the way – to finish my opening thoughts about the Epcot show, I have to say that the music they chose for the USA was so perfect and right-on too that I just said, "Of course!"

They played Gershwin – but that's a discussion for another thread!


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: ClaireBear
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 12:37 PM

I would never have started my first band had I not gone to a (1970s) Vancouver Folk Festival and been exposed to so many breathtaking performances of music from all over Canada. We came home feeling a real need to spread the joy.

C


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 12:52 PM

Glad you started this, Jed. I have been having a hard time trying to get my thoughts out on this.

I remember sitting in the green room this weekend among this amazing collection of players, and listening as they warmed up. I was, and am constantly, amazed at the sensory overload just listening to them. A very large part of the sensation comes from the warmth, respect, and giving nature of these fine people/musicians. And the music. The inate joy of it. I have struggled so long to try and put a finger on it. It is a unique combination of their history, incredible talent, a joy found in taking a simple tune and fattening it up with the riffs that seem to make grass grow, air breathable, and beer taste better. It is like they are tied to that sod they live on, their history and the unique and diverse society they have created. The music is a reflection of all that.

I was watching Bill, Paul, Grit, Tony, and Mose, supported by this amazing band, and the music was phenomenal and joyous. And the looks on their faces showed you the absolute glee in their hearts at making it.

I am not sure how one defines that stylistically, because it applies to every genre they play. I just know that I am dead thrilled every single time I am around it, and full of envy at the talent.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: DonMeixner
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 12:57 PM

Jed, I know I can start a fight with this so I'll say this first. Canadian music, especially Maritime music has a sound and style that is almost intangible and yet it defines the music.

Now the comment, and this is not a bad thing I believe. I think Canadian music sounds the way it does is because Canada is still too close to the wilderness roots to be troubled by over sophistication. Leonard Cohen being one of several exceptions.

Lame I suppose but I think that is really the case.

Don


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 01:01 PM

Jed, the ties between the Maritime Provinces of Canada and New England ( AKA "The Boston States") are part of an emigration pattern that go back over many generations. As an example Cape Breton Island was largely settled by Highland Scots, many of them clearance exiles.
Here until this day the Gaelic language influences the music and song.
A secondary but larger,over time, emigration from here to the Boston States carried this "Scotch" music to your shores. I believe that much the same can be said for the music of the Irish and Acadian French. Family ties made visits back and forth frequent and music was always freely exchanged. Living by and from the sea made us neighbours with many common interests.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: sian, west wales
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 01:15 PM

Alan Lomax talked about it, didn't he?   I found this article online which looks like it's from the Canadian Journal for Trad Music perhaps.

Of course, for those of us 'of a certain age' growing up in the 1960s in Canada we were probably all heavily influenced by Maritime music due to Don Messer's programmes. I've even met people from Texas who remember the shows (didn't know they reached that far)! It certainly gave us a common repertoire.

sian
(Canadian ex-pat)


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 01:50 PM

David Gregory's article on Alan Lomax is from Canadian Folk Music, Vol 36. no.4.

Jed's raised an interesting question and once that has intrigued me for some time. I gave a paper entitled 'They Took Their Music With Them' at a conference in Ottawa in 2003 about the similarities between English and Canadian songs. I made a throw away comment towards the end of the session that there is a marked difference between the sound of Canadian folk song and that from the United States, especially the Applachian region. I was working on a follow up to this for last year's Association For Canadian Studies in the United States' conference but in the end I couldn't afford to go.

One petty point re emigration to Canada and the Unite States - the English also emigrated in huge numbers but have never been allocated a hyphenated name, e,g, -English-Americans. The title of Charlotte Erickson's major work on the English in the United States is rather apposite - it's 'nvisible Immigrants.'


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: gnu
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 02:05 PM

Don... spot on for a lot of it that I grew up with (I'm 52). My old man worked in the lumber woods as a young man. The "Come-All-Yees" that he sang were as close to the wilderness as you could get.

I don't want to get into too much detail, but, as a lad, just 40 years ago, I was introduced to Makem and The Clancy's and such on a "record player"... the only one in the neighbourhood... FANCY stuff it was!

Oh, yeah. At the end of my back yard - field and stream and woods, and I lived in the big city.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: sian, west wales
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 02:28 PM

Terry, thanks for that. I know I have the issue around here somewhere. Also, re: the 'invisible English', I can go one layer further. The Welsh more often than not registered themselves as 'English'; 'English' and 'British' were considered interchangeable but, additionally, the Welsh often felt that calling themselves 'English' meant they were bettering themselves. Makes tracing Welsh history in Canada that little bit more awkward.

But that's a thread drift, I suppose.

I'll be very interested to see how the discussion of 'Canadianess' develops here.

sian


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 02:30 PM

I pose this question to anyone who may be familiar enough with both regions to comment. What musical differences or similarities can be found between the Acadian ('Cajun) music and folkways of Louisiana and their Canadian counterparts? My father's family was many generations deep in southeast Texas and Louisiana - they were Scots-Irish but several family members had married Cajun spouses and I was exposed to some of their music and dance forms when I was a youngster.

This is only a very superficial view, based on an admittedly small sampling, but I have found some of the French Canadian music to be very lyrical and to be somewhat less powerfully rhythmic in nature.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 02:59 PM

Re my comment about the different sounds of Canadian and American folk song. I've always thought Maud Karpeles' (I think it was her, but it could have been Edith Fowkes)comment that oceans unite people, but mountains separate them helped explain this, especially when considering music from Atlantic Canada.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: breezy
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 03:32 PM

when I visited Epcot -twice - each time the O Canada music was a Stan Rogers song.

Most moving and fitting


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: GUEST,Murray on Saltspring
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 04:22 PM

Can anyone find out what the music played at Epcot was?


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: balladeer
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 05:21 PM

I think it must be said that Canadian guitar players who came of age at the time of the sixties revival, and who hung around the environs of the Toronto of those days, were very influenced by what I have come to think of as "The New York School of Finger Picking". Dave Van Ronk, Bob Gibson, Len Chandler, and a host of other pickers who were paying their dues in Grennwich Village, were all influencing one another every day. Many of them came to play in Toronto and we learned from them. I believe the same thing was happening simultaneously in Montreal. When I first heard Paul Mills play, some twenty-five years post revival, I knew his style was rooted in that time and with those players. I could hear it.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: balladeer
Date: 23 Mar 09 - 09:33 PM

Sorry for the typo in the previous post. Should be GREENWICH Village


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: JedMarum
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 06:12 PM

Yeah I recognize the finger pickin' thing - but I am talking about a deeper level of music style; not so much technique as feel. I'm out on a limb here because I'm logic over heart sort of guy - but this is one area I can feel, but define.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: john f weldon
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 07:59 PM

The Epcot Center has nothing whatsoever to do with Canada or Canadian music. I have spoken to the people responsible for it, and, as far as Canada is concerned, they didn't give a shit. They merely felt that an American parody of Canada was fine.

It is the world for and by imbecilic Amercans.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Big Mick
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 08:26 PM

Some reason for such a broad generalization, John? I wonder how many Canadians visit the Epcot Center?


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: john f weldon
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 08:44 PM

The Epcot Center is a loathsome obscenity. It purports to be educational, yet only presents the viewpoints of large corporations.

It presents ignorance as knowledge, and stupidity as wisdom.

Its comedy versions of other nations serve only to convince Americans of their superior status; those other nations are mere shadows on a screen to to invaded or ignored.

I went there by invitation; when I critiqued the phoney "Canada", they cared not a whit. Only that it presented a Canada that fitted the American vision of what Canada might be like.

When people from other nations visit, they see it as a joke. When Americans visit, they see it as reality.

It is damnable and disgusting.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: JedMarum
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 09:22 PM

They must rotate the music. Of course it's been years since I was there and they played the lovely folk-style songs and tunes. I was expecting them to play Stan Rogers, actually - so I am not surprised they played Stan when breezy was there.

I know that my English immigrant family (my mother's mother's side) came to Canada first - then to the textile mills of Fall River MA. Her father's side came from Scotland and I think they also had family in Canada. My father's side, all from Ireland came through New York and Boston.

But there is clearly a connection of my family and many families from the area where I was born - to Canada. I grew up as a kid just thinking that Canada was just a little farther north then Maine! There were as many Canadians at the campgrounds as there were folks from New York or Vermont, it always seemed to me. Living in Texas, that "closeness" I felt in New England is just not there. But I still feel the pull of the music.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 12:33 AM

I grew up in New England until I was fourteen, when I moved to Toronto. I was exposed to a lot of folk music from a young age, but I didn't really become involved in a folk scene per se until we moved to Toronto. I now tour all over Canada, and also in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, etc.

In general, I think the folk scene in Ontario is far less connected to traditional music than most of the folk scene in the Northeast US or the Midwest. There's a huge tilt toward singer-songwriters at festivals and traditional music is pretty under-represented, with some exceptions.

But in the midst of that climate there is a still thriving, connected community that was influenced by Fiddler's Green Folk Club and Estelle Klein's Mariposa Festival, both of which had a HUGE impact across Canada and into the US. Montreal also had some seminal clubs and figures who have had a lasting impact on people still hanging around the folk scene up here. I think most of the musicians that Jed and Mick have met through Rick Fielding are people who came up through those influences.

One interesting thing I notice is that the connection to British, Irish, and Scottish traditions seem much more present amongst the traditional musicians around here. There's obviously a close connection to England, as well as Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and significant numbers of immigrants going back and forth all the time. I never remember meeting people with British or Irish accents until we moved to Canada.

On the other hand, my mom grew up in New York City in the 1940's and 50's in a left-wing family where folk music was a big part of political movements for social change -- the union songs, songs of the civil rights movement, etc. were all a part of the fabric of folk music that I grew up with. I've always felt like here in Canada that connection doesn't seem to be as strong or obvious in the folk scene. Not that there aren't folk musicians who sing political music, not that there aren't folk musicians singing out on picket lines and at demonstrations, but it doesn't feel like it's woven into the identity of the folk scene in Canada the way it is in the US (at least the Northeast US).

Anyway, I'm wandering all over the place here, but those are a few of the things I've noticed.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: meself
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 10:31 AM

Except for fiddlers and accordionists, and the odd harmonica-player, there are very few Canadian "folk" singers/musicians who perform music based in or derived from pre-1960s Canadian folk tradition. In other words, the musical and lyrical style is far more American- than Canadian-based.

************************

"-- the union songs, songs of the civil rights movement, etc. were all a part of the fabric of folk music that I grew up with."

There is of course nothing intrinsically leftist, liberal, or progressive about folk music in and of itself; it is what it is. From time to time, it is adapted if not appropriated to further the goals of one type of political movement or another. For instance, we've seen some consternation on this forum recently concerning apparent attempts of the BNP to identify itself with English folk music. In fact, speaking of this forum, you will find a broad range of political views represented here, among aficionados and practitioners of various forms of "folk" music.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: balladeer
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 10:45 AM

Hey Eve: I enjoyed your post very much. Great to get your perspective from both sides of the border.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: meself
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 11:11 AM

Yeah, me too - I should have mentioned that!


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 01:54 PM

It is the world for and by imbecilic Amercans. john f weldon

I find that comment insulting and gratuitous. I am not going to hijack the thread over it except to say it says to me that john has an axe to grind over something that happened. I am sorry to hear that. But this thread really isn't about Epcot, it is about Canadian music.

I really enjoyed reading my friend Eve's comments, as well. I think that is more aimed at what Jed is talking about, and if it isn't he will correct us.

There is this thing that I have been trying to nail down in my mind. It's not the ethnicities and their effect in various regions, and the subsequent styles that evolved. We all understand that part. It's this love of the land, it's characters, and the history. Think of Stan's music, such as Barrette's Privateers, MacDonnell on the Heights,Northwest Passage, Lockkeeper, Fisherman's Wharf. Think of anything that Glen Reid has done like the Heritage River and Wildcat's Howlin CD's, Bill Gallaher's music. Go through the Borealis catalogue. And for me, it is especially when I watch these performers live. I'm no adoring sycophant here, I have been raised around singers and music my whole life. Maybe that is it. Maybe they remind me of my own cultural love of the music, and my recognition of how important it is to the human condition and the societies we create. But whether it is in the Maritimes, Quebec, Southern Ontario, or BC, I sense it and hear it, and have became a huge fan of this land, its musicmakers, and the pure joy they have at making the music.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: meself
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 03:19 PM

Yeah, John was out of line there. No need to insult our friends ...

John?


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: meself
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 03:29 PM

I do think you're onto something there, Mick, about the relation to the land. Never thought about it before, but you do get this attempt in Canadian song lyrics to express something not entirely expressible about the effect of "wilderness" on the psyche. Often the attempt doesn't quite work; sometimes it does ("Trees and rocks, rocks and trees;/Rocks and trees, trees and rocks" repeat ad infinitum).

Some of the interest in our history and its characters is a bit of a defensive reaction to the inundation in American culture that we've been-subjected/have-subjected-ourselves to. (And which, as we have seen, can prompt unexpected outbursts of bitterness).


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 03:34 PM

Many Canadians do perform at Epcot and Disney World. Many show such references on their websites so they must have been better treated than John. Canadians do sometimes feel put down by stereotyping from an uneducated media in the USA and he seems to feel that Epcot was to blame as well. I am sure that there is more to the story.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: john f weldon
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 03:37 PM

You're right. I apologize. Epcot makes me blow a fuse.

However, the attitude comes not from me, but from the designers of Epcot. They have no respect for their customers, and speak of them with open contempt. One of those rare occasions when I've met with the "perps" and heard their attitudes.

Nothing to do with Canadian folk music, but I what passes for "other nations" at Epcot has nothing to do with those actual nations, including Canada. It is like mistaking the animatronic alligators with actual wildlife.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 04:26 PM

Fair enough, john. You are angry at the Epcot folks, and I get that. I just felt like that broad categorization you made about Americans was as unfair as some of the characterizations that some bozo's on this side of the line make about Canadians. In either case, thanks for the apology.

I thought your line about comparing the animatronic alligators with the real thing hit the mark squarely. And for what it is worth, the Disney treatment of the various American folk music forms is often sterilized, and quite bland. Cartoonish....... how a propos.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 05:29 PM

I like Ice rood truckers if that helps?


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: bankley
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 05:30 PM

and Goofy's not such a good banjo player either...

I believe that because of our small population and vast expanse of territory, there is a different perspective. You get 100 miles north of the border and it's different.... When I was in Northwest Territories a few years back.... there was so little outside stimulus that songs of the North just about wrote themselves... when I did a show there and played a few, folks thought I was from there and had been hiding out in the Nahanni like old Albert Failey.... and as Mick said, each region is unique.... like fingerprints.... some folklore in Quebec goes back centuries... never mind Celine and poutine... although they're okay if you have the appetite.. Stompin' Tom Connors wrote hundreds of songs about small towns, local lore, and drifting around... and he did well by it.....

"Bud the Spud from the bright red mud, rolling down the highway smilin'
The spuds are big on the back of Bud's rig and they're from Prince Edward Island"


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Beer
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 05:41 PM

Well said Ron.
Beer (adrien)


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: bankley
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 06:00 PM

hey Beer, how are you ? remember this one.... here's an excerpt.. it's been awhile

"Let me take you out to Canada, the valley of the Ottawa
Where paddle songs of couriers-de-bois once ran the woods for barter.
They didn't have a lot of laws, just black powder and musket balls
Hand-to hand the tomahawk falls harder upon the martyr

Rippled miles were measured by calumet smoke and journal words the black robes wrote
The steady rhythm of sweaty strokes sliced the sliver water
Fingers of God broke through Jesuit clouds, gently touched the forest shroud
A pale priest prayed out loud in the name of his Latin father

They made their stand on the Borderland".....


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 06:43 PM

Wow, I just wrote a long and totally brilliant (ha!) addition to this conversation and somehow it disappeared when I posted! So I'll try to reconstruct it again.

Meself said: "There is of course nothing intrinsically leftist, liberal, or progressive about folk music in and of itself; it is what it is. From time to time, it is adapted if not appropriated to further the goals of one type of political movement or another."

Whether or not there is a progressive social movements and folk music go together naturally is a separate point, I think. I was merely pointing out a difference I see between the Canadian and US folk scenes (although if we were to get into a discussion about it, I would argue that there are some natural connections and affinities between progressive social movements and the ideas and experiences reflected in a lot of folk music - not that the music is political in and of itself all the time, but that there are connections that should be recognized and celebrated. But that's just me...)

And Mick, I think you raise a good point about the way that Canadian songwriters seem to tap into the Canadian landscape and psyche. It's true we've got a small population and a huge country, so that's certainly part of it.

One thing I've realized as I've travelled around Canada is how vastly different the country is from coast to coast to coast (never been to the north coast, but I hope to go someday!). There's no way you can grow up in the prairies and NOT be affected by the big sky and the quality of the light. And there's no way you can grow up in Newfoundland and NOT be affected by the sea. And I think that has to work it's way into the art and music and writing of the people who live in those places.

And then there's the fact that even the idea of Canada as a nation is still so highly contested (ask a Newfoundlander or a Quebecer or even some Albertans about that sometime!). Canada is always working out what it means to be a nation, in a way that the US seems to have dispensed with a long time ago.

More rambling thoughts from me this evening. Thanks for getting us going, Jed, I'm enjoying the conversation!


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Beer
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 08:33 PM

Ron,
Sure did. In fact the first time I heard it I think if was from some bathroom recording on a cassette. Hope you sing it this summer at the Festival.
Adrien


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Peace
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 09:14 PM

My soul is rooted in this land. So is my heart. Heck, meself will know what I'm talking about because at one time we both lived in the same place--but at different times. Goddamned mosquito-infested swamp land where there'd be ten hatchings a summer.

Beer and I went for a short walk to the river edge and looked at trees that had been brutalized by ice storms and winds. Some trees are still standing and re-growing.

Ron is in what could be called 'small-town' Canada where traditions run deep and so do various loyalties.

Balladeer lives in a big metropolitan area but is able to express things so eloquently in her songs. I'd know amongst fifty writers from elsewhere that any given song of hers was written by a Canuck. There's just something in the way that stuff goes. Can't put my finger on what.

Sandy is a work of art as a person: deep, open and honest--a reflection of his upbringing and where he lives.

IMO, it's impossible to separate Canucks from their country, an observation that can be at once a blessing and a heart break.

John is a wonderfully insightful character whose sense of humour is great as are his occasionally sharp views about things. I can't recall ever discussing politics, religion or stuff like that with any of these people, all of whom I admire for assorted qualities.

As for its music, we have yet to get as nasty as some folks do on 'what is folk threads'. The people I know here who do make music will listen to each other's without the need to categorize the stuff, and that is great.

BM

PS I know Mick's views of this country are deep and real. Thanks, Mick.

And Tim is somethin' else with his music. Neat to see y'all here. That goes for the rest of the folks whom I have never met or traded correspondence.

B


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Beer
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 11:19 PM

Canadian Folk Music?? Well, for me it started with my Mum singing by the piano while dad played Meloncoly(sp.) Baby, Blue Skirt Waltz, Ever in Dreams, Down the River of Golden Dreams, Smile a While. And so on. Then Dad would break out with a Jig or Reel of Don Messer, King Gaddan(sp.) or some other Celtic flavoured tune. The when that was over Mum would start to sing songs like Frozen Charlotte, Molly Bond , Prince Edward Island Is Heaven to Me, Peter Emberley, Moose River Gold Mine, Cape Breton Lullaby and on and on. Then the radio played an influence for awhile. All of a sudden my brothers and sisters were playing guitars and singing songs of Elvis and others of the 50ties and 60ties.
Then I started listening to Hank, Johnny Horton, Jim Reeves, Buddy and all those greats that have slipped away. But still we listened to Mum and Dad's music.
Then in 63 the world changed for me. I split and hitched to Ontario to the land of milk and honey. Worked as a garbage man at a dollar an hour. But the music had changed (for me that is) in that I heard a song that I could relate to because I was only 2 hours away from the Detroit Riots. The number was "Black Day in July". A song written and sung by Lightfoot.
I really think that this is when I started to listen to modern day folk. I say modern day because I didn't realize that Mum was the originator for me. However for me it was Lightfoot. It was also a time when I realized that all my brothers and sisters played instruments and I was the only one not able to play, so I purchased my first guitar which I still have. A Yamaha 180 (1963).

Today I still play songs of my Mother as well as my brother and sisters influences. I play and sing of Stompin Tom's songs, Lightfoot, Stan and Garnet Rogers and many more from Canada. But I also play tunes of Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Guy Clarke, Tom Russell, Jeffery Jeff Walker, Jimmy Buffett, and even Iris Dement.

I have no preference if it is Canadian or U.S. I just love music. And if it moves me I learn it and share it.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Beer
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 11:20 PM

Well said Bruce.
ad.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: meself
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 08:36 AM

Geez, Bruce, you put a lump into my throat ...

***************

("King Gannan").

Enjoyed reading that post, Adrien. Made me wish I'd been there. I kind of feel like I was ...


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Big Mick
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 08:51 AM

Eve, your last paragraph (I love your ramblings, btw) gave me an idea for a song about Canada and her musicians. You referred to Canada thusly:

Canada is always working out what it means to be a nation, .......


There is a song in that statement about this Yank's admiration of the land and the music.......... got to go to work on this.......

Mick


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 08:59 AM

Thanks for the kind words Bruce! I'm not sure that I live up to them though! To be treated so well here, by a true music icon such as yourself puffs up my chest. Thanks again!
                   Sandy


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Beer
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 09:13 AM

Thanks meself. I looked up King Gannan but can't find anything on him. If I recall he was from New Brunswick. You have any info?

Mick, that is a great line by Eve and how true. Well put Eve
Adrien


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: bankley
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 09:41 AM

could be.... King Ganam the fiddler, popular in the 50's


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: meself
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 09:53 AM

Yes, that's the one, Ron. I don't anything about him, really, other than his name - which I obviously only half-know.

Ah! I had a notion that he was from out west somewhere, but after muffing his name, I was scared that I would make a fool of myself by mentioning that notion - so I just googled him, and found he was from Saskatchewan: here's a bio.

His name is Syrian, which is unusual in old time fiddling. (Of course, there was Lila Hashem, the preferred piano-accompanist of Cape Breton fiddler Winston Fitzgerald; she also led her own dance band. Oh - of Lebanese background.)


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: GUEST,number 6
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 10:43 AM

King Ganam ... isn't this weird. Just talkin' music today with someone at work here and they brought up King Ganam in the conversation.

And then I read this thread

Hey ... that's Canadian folk music.

biLL


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: john f weldon
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 10:46 AM

King Gannam played a wonderful piece with a weird scale and timing, "The Snowflake Reel". It appeared decades later on a K-Tel record called 25 Fiddle Tunes (or something equally inspired.) From there it was picked up by others, notably the Delaware Water String band, and I've heard a straight clawhammer version (have to look up the performer). Funny how things get around.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Beer
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 11:10 AM

Thanks for finding the Bio myself.
ad.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: Beer
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 11:11 AM

Sorry for the typo mistake meself on your handle.
ad.


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Subject: RE: Canadian Folk Music
From: bankley
Date: 27 Mar 09 - 11:13 AM

so if King Ganam / Ameen Sied... was of Syrian heritage, did he play 'Country and Eastern' ?

speaking of fiddlers, anyone remember Ward Allan who wrote the classic Maple Sugar?
he was with "The Happy Wanderers" out of Ottawa with a regular live show on CFRA radio... the theme was Maple Sugar..


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