Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Authenticity Police

John P 17 Apr 09 - 05:28 PM
DebC 17 Apr 09 - 05:34 PM
glueman 17 Apr 09 - 07:12 PM
Leadfingers 17 Apr 09 - 07:16 PM
John P 17 Apr 09 - 07:34 PM
GUEST,harvey andrews 17 Apr 09 - 08:13 PM
CupOfTea 17 Apr 09 - 08:22 PM
Declan 17 Apr 09 - 08:23 PM
treewind 18 Apr 09 - 07:31 AM
Anne Lister 18 Apr 09 - 07:42 AM
Bonzo3legs 18 Apr 09 - 08:09 AM
Will Fly 18 Apr 09 - 08:26 AM
Will Fly 18 Apr 09 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick (cookiless) 18 Apr 09 - 08:31 AM
Bill D 18 Apr 09 - 10:04 AM
greg stephens 18 Apr 09 - 10:06 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick (still cookieless) 18 Apr 09 - 10:16 AM
greg stephens 18 Apr 09 - 10:37 AM
treewind 18 Apr 09 - 11:58 AM
MartinRyan 18 Apr 09 - 12:04 PM
Fred McCormick 18 Apr 09 - 12:06 PM
Stringsinger 18 Apr 09 - 12:11 PM
Will Fly 18 Apr 09 - 12:21 PM
greg stephens 18 Apr 09 - 12:27 PM
kendall 18 Apr 09 - 12:28 PM
Fred McCormick 18 Apr 09 - 12:31 PM
Fred McCormick 18 Apr 09 - 12:34 PM
greg stephens 18 Apr 09 - 12:42 PM
John P 18 Apr 09 - 12:56 PM
Waddon Pete 18 Apr 09 - 04:46 PM
greg stephens 18 Apr 09 - 06:07 PM
Tangledwood 18 Apr 09 - 06:19 PM
Jack Campin 18 Apr 09 - 06:23 PM
Eve Goldberg 18 Apr 09 - 06:49 PM
Eve Goldberg 18 Apr 09 - 06:53 PM
Peace 19 Apr 09 - 04:03 AM
SteveMansfield 19 Apr 09 - 07:26 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Apr 09 - 07:31 AM
SteveMansfield 19 Apr 09 - 07:45 AM
Leadfingers 19 Apr 09 - 07:57 AM
Eve Goldberg 19 Apr 09 - 10:40 AM
greg stephens 19 Apr 09 - 11:52 AM
Tootler 19 Apr 09 - 06:57 PM
Leadfingers 19 Apr 09 - 07:22 PM
Alice 19 Apr 09 - 08:22 PM
Bryn Pugh 20 Apr 09 - 05:46 AM
trevek 20 Apr 09 - 06:58 AM
treewind 20 Apr 09 - 07:20 AM
SteveMansfield 20 Apr 09 - 07:38 AM
Peace 20 Apr 09 - 12:58 PM
Richard Bridge 20 Apr 09 - 01:16 PM
Mooh 20 Apr 09 - 01:18 PM
Wesley S 20 Apr 09 - 01:58 PM
Art Thieme 20 Apr 09 - 02:46 PM
Art Thieme 20 Apr 09 - 02:50 PM
John P 20 Apr 09 - 03:49 PM
glueman 20 Apr 09 - 04:34 PM
John P 20 Apr 09 - 07:27 PM
Ref 20 Apr 09 - 07:35 PM
Don Firth 20 Apr 09 - 08:23 PM
Eve Goldberg 20 Apr 09 - 09:56 PM
Seamus Kennedy 20 Apr 09 - 11:12 PM
glueman 21 Apr 09 - 02:35 AM
John P 21 Apr 09 - 04:13 PM
John P 21 Apr 09 - 04:27 PM
Don Firth 21 Apr 09 - 05:05 PM
SteveMansfield 22 Apr 09 - 04:22 AM
Will Fly 22 Apr 09 - 04:31 AM
GUEST 27 Apr 09 - 07:03 PM
Jim Carroll 28 Apr 09 - 03:12 AM
pavane 28 Apr 09 - 04:18 AM
Sean Mc 28 Apr 09 - 04:31 AM
VirginiaTam 28 Apr 09 - 06:29 AM
jacqui.c 28 Apr 09 - 10:05 AM
Mr Happy 28 Apr 09 - 11:32 AM
Mr Happy 29 Apr 09 - 09:55 AM
Mitch2 29 Apr 09 - 10:38 AM
Marje 29 Apr 09 - 11:04 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 29 Apr 09 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,sailor ron 29 Apr 09 - 11:29 AM
Musket 29 Apr 09 - 11:53 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Authenticity Police
From: John P
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 05:28 PM

I'm intending this as a light-hearted collecting of funny stories about run-ins with people who want to tell others how to play music. I'm not talking about online run-ins, but situations where you were accosted while actually playing music. While most of them are sorely vexing at the time, they are usually funny in hindsight.

My favorite, which was actually funny even at the time, was when I was playing in a pseudo-medieval folkish band. The entertainment factor in that band was more important (I'm sad to say) than musicality, and historical accuracy wasn't even on our radar. That fact should have been obvious to any marginally knowledgeable listener. We were doing funny songs, acting out the parts, etc. We were playing in a pub.

If one plays for drunken people, one expects the occasional heckler. What set this one apart was that the heckler was a medieval music scholar; I think he was a university professor. He was so drunk I don't think he could stand up. He sat across the room roaring profanely at us about the proper pitch of A (I think he wanted A-415 instead of 440), the type of harmonies being used, the tuning of the instruments, and anything else he could think of that we were doing "wrong". It was surreal.

Any other bizarre stories?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: DebC
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 05:34 PM

Once many years ago two people start arguing quite loudly over the origins of a ballad I was singing (I don't even recall what the ballad was). Since this occurred between songs, I let them carry on for a few minutes, then with with my stearnest-former-middle-school-teacher look and voice I said, "Do I have to come back there?"

That shut them up, everyone had a good laugh and I carried on.

Oh yes, this was at a concert.

Deb Cowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: glueman
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 07:12 PM

Quite some years ago I went to see one of the doyens of the British folk scene who was doing a tour of small venues with 2 or 3 musicians, I forget which. She'd decided to play only recent self-penned stuff of a singularly appalling quality, really banal stuff that sounded like it was written for the cast of Playschool.

Looking round the room you could see the pain on the punter's faces as the applause became less enthusiastic until people more or less gave up clapping. I don't believe she's ever done anything as bad before or since. Though I don't consider myself remotely folk police I did think I'll never get that hour back. IIRC correctly she was booked for 90 minutes but everyone gave up long before.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 07:16 PM

Walking into a Folk club and being told " This is a Folk Club , you cant bring THAT in here" , pointing at my Guitar case !

            Honest !!!    Exeter in about 1976


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: John P
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 07:34 PM

Why, Leadfingers, didn't you know that the guitar isn't a folk instrument? They get the most hide-bound club award! Any idea what they did consider a folk instrument?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: GUEST,harvey andrews
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 08:13 PM

I can't now remember where it was, but someone accosted me at the end of my set to tell me I'd got the lyrics wrong in one of the songs I'd sung. I told him I'd written it.
"No, you've got it wrong." he insisted. "Definitely."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: CupOfTea
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 08:22 PM

In my earliest years of singing along with my autoharp, when I was in Illinois, I'd been attending a sing around session where the range of participation ran from sing alone - have others sing with you - pass - request someone else sing something specific. I finally got my courage up to do my first solo in what was a very accepting group. I launched into my version of The House Carpenter that borrowed from Joan Baez, Pentangle and a supernatural verse kicked in from Dan Kedding's version.

I can't remember how many verses into it I was - wasn't very far - when a clod stopped me cold, bellering out " That is NOT the way Joan Baez does it! you're not doing it right1" I was so shocked and taken aback at his rudness, as well as put off my wobbly stride and passed the turn to the next person.

I was delighted to hear that when he pulled this sort of thing on someone else another night, a regular of the song circle upended a pitcher of icewater over his head.

Joanne in Cleveland


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Declan
Date: 17 Apr 09 - 08:23 PM

I suspect that in leadfingers incident that no instrument other than the voice would have been acceptable.

In some 'singing only' contexts, and they do exist, almost any instrument other than guitar would be allowed.

Theres nowt as queer as f*lk (by whichever definition you chose to use).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: treewind
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 07:31 AM

"This is a Folk Club , you cant bring THAT in here"
Flos Headford tell me got the same reaction at St Albans, a good fair few years ago, when carrying in his fiddle case.
I think the word traditional might also have been included in said pronouncement.

(You're not supposed to bring any instruments, it's unaccompanied singing all the way)

Anahata


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Anne Lister
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 07:42 AM

I remember being approached by someone at a club once who was enthusing about the "fine Appalachian" tune I had used for a song. It was, of course, my tune, but I agreed with him at the time. No point in upsetting the man.

Anne


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 08:09 AM

At the old Sutton "Accoustic" Club in the 1990s, where a ginger haired guy ran the evenings, I used a Gibson Les Paul Junior to accompany my wife as I did not possess an accoustic guitar. The arrogant git reminded me that "they know what an accoustic guitar is at this club"! I refrained from publicly telling him to fuck off.....somehow!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 08:26 AM

When I was playing in a 1950s-style rock'n roll/rockabilly band (many years ago), we used to play at functions or in pubs where the clientele were very much into that style of music - old teddy boys with the drapes and suede shoes, etc. A few of them could get very annoyed if you didn't play some of the material exactly like the record, or the particular recorded version they liked, and - of course - being a trio, we used to adapt the music to suit our line-up. We also used to jam in the middle - mainly to extend the number so that the dancers could have a good jive. 99% of the time we did very well and were very much appreciated - so much so that we were getting bookings nearly every night of the week at some times of the year - so we must have been doing something right.

However... we played one venue where a particular "ted" and his girlfriend just stood in front of the band and criticised every number for not being "like the record". As I was doing all the guitar work and most of the vocals, I was getting increasingly, shall we say, pissed off. Finally, at the end of some more criticism about an Eddie Cochrane number, I went to the front of the stage and addressed him thus:

Me: "I suggest you go and get a shovel."

Ted: "Why?"

Me: "So you can go to Eddie Cochrane's fucking grave, dig the fucker up, and tell him to sing the fucking song himself."

Ted: (strangled squawk)

Me: "And then you can shove the fucking shovel up your arse."

General laughter and applause from the rest of the audience (thank heavens) and no more from said ted...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 08:30 AM

I should add that this course of action is NOT recommended generally! I was just very angry on the night.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick (cookiless)
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 08:31 AM

Many years ago I was singing in a club in Manchester and sang a song which had the word matelot in it. World's Biggest Folk Bore used to inhabit said club. On returning to my seat, WBFB handed me a note. It said "the word matelot is only used in the Royal Navy. Your song was about civilian sailors. I suggest you change it."

Come to think of it, WBFB also used to inhabit a session in The Jolly Angler, also in Manchester. He quite fancied himself as a song writer, although I don't think anybody else did. One night I sang one of my own compositions, and he obviously rather enjoyed it. He nobbled me as I was coming out of the gents, ready to make my way home. "That was a very fine song. Allow me to congratulate you on your perspicacity on learning it. Where did you get it?"

When I told him I was the author, the look on his face was priceless.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 10:04 AM

To me, the saddest thing is when an 'expert' corrects your tune, words, style...whatever... in a boorish manner and is right. I have known several quite knowledgeable people who really DID have a wide range of expertise, and were often able to sing and/or play the song as well as anyone in the room, but had a limited concept of politeness.

**It is one thing to know you're right, and quite another to know HOW to be right.**

I am often happy to be shown (later) a better tune, or alternate words...etc. Then, *I* have the choice of whether to change or not. What I will not tolerate though, is someone demanding I do it another way, or trying to 'helpfully' sing it 'right' louder than me.

I am not a 'performer', so this doesn't happen often, but I have seen it done to some very nice folks who were performers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 10:06 AM

I remember in 65 or 66 going on an expedition to the Bell in Standlake(Oxfordshire) to meet some locals for a session(including Aubrey Cantwell, the man from whom the "they kissed so sweet and comforting" Nightingale was collected). Anyway, the organiser of the trip asked me not to bring a guitar, as it wouldn't be traditional! I have come to the conclusion since then that Aubrey would not have minded the presence of a guitar in the least. But at least it prevented me from attempting to back him on the Nightingale, which would have been too embarrassing for me to contemplate now.
Another, rather different incident:probably at a Cambridge Folk Festival session, also probably 65 or 66. I was playing some clawhammer type guitar thing, and at the end this bloke(who also had a guitar) said "Was that right, what you were playing?". So I said, as you might, well I dont know about right, there were probably a few bum notes, and he said, with more emphasis"No, was it right?". Then I sort of clicked, and he sort of explained. What he meant was, was this a faithfully transcribed piece off Mississippi John Hurt or Blind Blake or Elizabeth Cotten or whoever. So I had to admit, no it wasn't right, I was just playing my own version of whatever it was. At which point, he very rightly lost interest!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick (still cookieless)
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 10:16 AM

At Haxey Hood one year, someone, probably a local photo journalist, asked the team of boggins to pose for some photos on the war memorial.

Earnest happy snapper asks me "Is this a part of the custom?"

I replied that it wasn't normally and they were just taking a photo call. He said "Oh I won't bother then", and put his camera away.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 10:37 AM

A very interesting point, Fred. And quite though-provoking. If you are into documenting customs, maybe it is entirely correct not to document un-customary things. But, if you follow this precept, you would end up failing to photograph the first year that a customary event was performed, a serious historical oversight. Hmmmmmm I'll have to think about this.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: treewind
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 11:58 AM

Doc Rowe would tell you that, if the photo-call at the war memorial happened again the next year, it would be just as traditional as the rest of it. He has countless examples in video and photos of activities (or variations of) that have become traditional because they were done once for some random reason and then seemed a good idea to repeat the next year. It doesn't take long before it becomes "we always do this"

Anahata


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:04 PM

Bill D

Well said!

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:06 PM

If I was a serious calendar custom researcher, and I doubt this bloke was, then I would say there is a definite need to document something like that, albeit highlighting the fact that it's a one off.

Don't forget, customs never run according to rigid authority. EG., I've been at Bacup during torrential downpours, when they were ferrying the nutters from pub to pub in cars. Then again, I remember one year, during smoking the fool at Haxey, when they built the fire a little too high. The fool hurriedly finished his speech and jumped off screeching "ME ARSE IS ON FIRE". Then again, during the second world war, when there was shortage of horses, they rode the Castleton Garland King and Queen round on tractors.

BTW., do you know who recorded Aubrey Cantwell singing The Soldier and the Lady? The version which was popularised by the Campbells, Dubliners etc., was recorded in 1956 by Peter Kennedy from Raymond and Frederick Cantwell. I've just looked in Steve Roud's Folksong Index and the only two entries I can find for Aubrey Cantwell are for a song called John Brdadbury.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Stringsinger
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:11 PM

Alan Lomax, after a few drinks, would go after Bud and Travis at the Village Gate (I think it was that venue) cursing at them for bowdlerizing certain songs and being "commercial".

Al Grossman and Alan had a historic wrestling match over Dylan and the Butterfield Blues Band backup at the Newport Folk Festival. These Sumo folk wrestlers entertained the audience offstage.

There were those in the early Massachusetts and Philadelphia coffee houses when someone didn't do a song the "right" way were prone to raise their hands in the air as protest.

(They left out the scratch in the 78 recording by the Carter Family)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:21 PM

There's another version of the Authenticity Policeman called the Half-Knowledgeable Commentator. (I note this person sidling sideways into some of the posts above).

I have an instructional blues video on the Tube, demonstrating some very old, entirely unoriginal and simple blues licks in A. I've now lost count of the times this comment and my increasingly frustrated answer have appeared:

Comment: You got that from Eric Clapton's "Change The world."
My reply: No - it's a very old blues riff used by many people, including EC.

Comment: This sounds like Eric Clapton's "Change The world"
My reply: It's an old blues riff that's been used by many blues players.

And then a little later...you can guess the rest. So let's hear it for the H-KC!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:27 PM

Fred M:
In the interest of writing a quick letter on an essentially humorous thread, I perpetrated a slight inaccuracy. Aubrey Cantwell did indeed singing the Nightingale at the Bell in Standlake, and I was there to sing it with him. But in fact, as you say, it was two other Cantwells(I believe his two elder brothers, but am not sure) who were credited with singing it to Peter Kennedy 10 years before in 1956.It was that bit of collecting that eventually propelled the song into becoming the anthem of the clubs that it turned into ten years later, via Dubliners, Campbells etc etc.. I think Aubrey was there on the Peter Kennedy occasion, but I couldn't swear to it. He did say something about the incident, but it was a long time ago and drink had been taken.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: kendall
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:28 PM

A certain young twit once told me that I sang Lorena too fast. I told him that it was good enough for Folk Legacy to record.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:31 PM

British trad jazz purists used to end up beside themselves in fury if anyone tried to introduce a saxophone into the lineup. Indeed, when the Humphrey Lyttleton band tried it some bright spark hung a banner from the upper circle at one of their concerts. It read "Dirty Bopper". Little did these geezers realise it but in New Orleans, genuine New Orleans jazz bands had been using saxes for years with no fuss whatsoever.

Then again, British trad jazz fell on hard times in the mid 1960s. The high priest of mouldy figdom in those days was a man called Brian Rust (who did some very valuable work compiling discographies of the stuff by the way). In the middle of the the trad boom collapse, a magazine, conducting its annual Critics Poll, asked Rust to nominate the ten best jazz albums of the past year. Rust retorted "There have been no jazz records issued in the last year".

BTW., I can remember a few Dylan purists getting very uptight when the poor lad went electric - including the cry of "Judas" at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:34 PM

Greg Stephens. "I think Aubrey was there on the Peter Kennedy occasion".

Did Aubrey play an accordeon? There is an unidentified accordionist on the recording.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:42 PM

Not that I know of. He didn't have one the night I was singing with him. Perhaps somebody told him they weren't traditional, so he didn't dare?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: John P
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 12:56 PM

Interesting how guitars seem to set some people off. We once did a Bulgarian dance tune at the end of our first set. As is normal, a bunch of folks came up to talk to us and look at our unusual instruments (cittern, hurdy-gurdy, nyckelharpa). I was having a nice chat with someone about the time signature of the Bulgarian tune (5/16), when a loud voice cut through the conversation saying, "I hope you're not going around telling people you play Balkan music. That's not the way it's done!" I let him know that it is how the tune gets done, since he just saw it done that way.

The best part was that a week later we played a "folk festival" at the Bon Marche, the local large department store. We were set up in the women's handbag department, with the escalator from upstairs right in front of us. As we were playing the same Bulgarian tune, an old woman was coming down. She stood in front of us while we finished the tune and said, with a heavy Bulgarian accent, "That is Bulgarian!" She had danced to that tune as a child and was thrilled to hear it in a department store in Seattle. The guitar didn't bother her at all.

I'm so glad I'm playing for folks, not for the academics.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 04:46 PM

Ah......I remember it well.....Ewell. A folk club. I went along for a floor spot (remember them?) I was stopped at the door..."just wait a moment, please?" I waited the requisite moment and then the chap came back. "Sorry mate," he said, "They don't like the look of you!"

Seeing as they hadn't actually seen me...this was quite astonishing. Went to another club and had a great evening.!

One difficulty with this is that we can be put off songs completely by an inappropriate comment. I recall learning one specific song to perform at one gig, only to be told after wards that "so and so does a chorus after every verse." I've never sung it since. My bad, but the critic has to take some responsibility!

Best wishes,

Peter


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 06:07 PM

Sounds like Ewell to me, rather than the folk club.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Tangledwood
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 06:19 PM

OK John P, a bizzare occurance? How about when your own singing partner interupts a performance and snaps "that's not how it goes"?

The song was being done at her request and I'd spent quite a while transcribing and learning it, while she doesn't play an instrument or read music. We'd even spent several practice sessions on it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 06:23 PM

I spent several years playing on Sunday afternoons at Sandy Bells in Edinburgh beside the old and opinionated moothie player Iain Grant. Iain had an immense repertoire of Scottish tunes - mainly pipe tunes - and very definite ideas about how to play them. He had the table in front of him spread out with his six-way diatonic moothie, a couple of other moothies, tobacco and a meerschaum pipe. This was before the smoking ban.

If somebody started playing (his idea of) too fast, or did too many Irish tunes in succession, Iain would slowly and carefully put his moothie down on the table, pick up the meerschaum and smoke it right through the tune set, vanishing into a blue haze while gazing beatifically at the ceiling.

It rather reminded me of a long-time Buddhist who told me his idea of Buddhist martial arts: gaze at your assailant with such unspeakable pity at the misery of his condition that he'd fall at your feet pleading for instruction in the Dharma.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 06:49 PM

Well, this isn't exactly from the "authenticity police" angle, but it seems to belong here, especially after the last post.

I have a song called "Old Tin Cup" that includes a refrain and chorus with the words "Hold on to what you've got." To me the song is about paying attention to and appreciating the things you have, some intangible, some concrete -- friends, songs, love, time, dreams, a roof over your head, etc.

I sang the song at a concert near Philadelphia one night and afterwards a man came up to me, unprompted, to tell me "that song wasn't very Buddhist."

I didn't quite know what to say, since

a) I never claimed that the song was Buddhist in any way

and

b) actually, if he'd listened to the words, he would have realized that many of the ideas expressed do dovetail nicely with some of the principles of Buddhism

It's given me a nice little story to tell about the song, though!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 18 Apr 09 - 06:53 PM

I guess that last post would have belonged in a thread called "Dharma Authenticity Police"

Somehow seems like a contradiction in terms.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Peace
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 04:03 AM

Eve: Did you hear about the Buddist who went to a vegetarian hotdog stand and said, "Please, make me one with everything."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 07:26 AM

Eve: Did you hear about the Buddist who went to a vegetarian hotdog stand and said, "Please, make me one with everything."

And when he asked for his change, the hot-dog seller replied "change comes from within."

And yes, before anyone 'outs' my source, I did indeed read that joke in The Guardian this weekend.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 07:31 AM

I went into a club in Beford some time in the 80's I think. It was absolutely pi**ing down outside and I entered wearing a kagoule(sp?) with the hood still up and dripping with rain. One member looked very disdainful and said.

"You can't come in folk club dressed like THAT!"

Never found out what he was on about but I still laugh.

:D (eG)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 07:45 AM

But meanwhile back at the authenticity police.

I'm getting increasingly intolerant of the many people you find in sessions who have learnt a tune from Spiers & Boden (in one or other of their manifestations), and then will tell you how you're 'playing it wrong' if you start to play the tune in any other version (the Rochdale Coconut Dance with the S&B rhythmic alterations in the minor part is a particular example).

Please Note: I do not criticise the fine work of S&B in any way by saying that. I love their work, the energy and exposure they bring and the obvious love and respect and understanding they have for the music, and I most certainly have no issue with them continuing the folk process of subtle and personal alteration on some of the tunes they play. I will also happily play the S&B version of any tune if that is the version the person who starts the tune in the session wishes to play, and will sometimes consciously 'sit back' until it becomes clear which version is intended.

But what does get steam coming out of my ears is their zealous acolytes and would-be imitators, who regard the S&B version of Tune X as the once-and-for-all-time version, and are curiously and uniquely forward in telling you when you deviate from The One True Version ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Leadfingers
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 07:57 AM

Re Fred McCormick - 08.31 - I WAS That Purist Jazzer !
Until I acquired the old Riverside 12" Vinyl of King Oliver's band , 1923 - Louis Armstrong's first recordings !
    Not only Johnny St Cyr playing a 6 String Banjo , tuned E A D G B E , AND Lil Harding on PIANO , but on three tracks , one Stump Evans playing ALTO Sax ! End of Trad Jazz Purism for THIS Budding Clarinetist !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 10:40 AM

Tee hee. "Make me one with everything..." I love it!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 11:52 AM

Well, Leadfingers, if we are going to be really really authentic and purist about everything, it was Lil Hardin actually.
Yours pedantically
Greg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Tootler
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 06:57 PM

Children are great "Authenticity Policemen"

When my elder daughter was a toddler we had a record of nursery rhymes sung by two singers by the names of John Lawrenson and Cynthia Glover (Do any other UK Catters remember them?). She loved that record and it was always on the player. In one of the songs, See Saw Margery Daw, they sang a second verse which you do not normally hear. My daughter once came up to us asking us for that verse with "Sing See Saw Margery Daw; wrong"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Leadfingers
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 07:22 PM

Thanks Greg ! I suppose I COULD claim Typo - Instead I will admit to brain fade ! Still a bloody good set of Music !!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Alice
Date: 19 Apr 09 - 08:22 PM

aaahhhh you outed the next lol I had waiting for captions.

one with everything


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 05:46 AM

I was playing in 'Singers' Night' at a club in the North West.

I put the guitar into open C and played a Morris tune, "The Orange in Bloom", Sherborne Tradition.

A worthy of the local Morris (etc.) side came up to tell me

"You can't play Morris on the guitar !"

My response of "Just fucking done it!" did not go down well . . .

A couple of weeks later came the tribute programme to Martin Carthy and his family, which showed him playing guitar for the Bampton men to dance to.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: trevek
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 06:58 AM

Comment overheard after my spot on an open mike... "Why's he singing folk music when he's got Rock'n'Roll tattooed on his arm?"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: treewind
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 07:20 AM

"You can't play Morris on the guitar !"

I've seen MC do it at Bampton.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 07:38 AM


"You can't play Morris on the guitar !"

I've seen MC do it at Bampton.


And no doubt a well-meaning visiting Emeritus Professor of Anthropological Folklore took MC on one side afterwards and explained the error of his ways to him ... just don't get me started on the moronic phalanxes of Morris Authenticity Police or we'll be here all day!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Peace
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 12:58 PM

"A worthy of the local Morris (etc.) side came up to tell me

"You can't play Morris on the guitar !"

My response of "Just fucking done it!" did not go down well . . ."

Good one, Bryn.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 01:16 PM

There does seem to be something of a contradiction in the position of the AP. If they accept the 1954 definition (which I would have thought axiomatic for them) then it follows that the songs and tunes in or coming into the class must have changed and continue to change, and simlarly the methods of performing them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Mooh
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 01:18 PM

We were advertised as a "celtic" group, but two patrons approached and insisted we should then dress as Celts, sing in some now practically unknown dialect, play the music that Celts played (is there any actually in existence I asked), use period authentic instruments, etc. All very tiresome. I think I yawned when trying to pretend to be politely listening to them...somehow they go the message.

Just a couple of gigs ago, a drunkard approached me during a break at a bar gig just to tell me that I don't sound at all like Hank Williams when I do Move It On Over, and HW would be rolling over in his grave. I responded with "If he rolled over in his grave then maybe there'll be room for you too." Twit.

Peace, Mooh.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Wesley S
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 01:58 PM

If Hank Williams were alive today he's be scratching at the lid of the casket trying to get out.....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 02:46 PM

I have never had an experience like any of these you all have described in this thread. So, seeing that huge void, I decided to fill it myself. And I do think I've taken on that role admirably in a few of these discussions over the last dozen years.

;-)

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 02:50 PM

BillD,

Alas, you are correct. For me it comes down to the fact that some people have tact, and others tell the truth! ;-)

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: John P
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 03:49 PM

There does seem to be something of a contradiction in the position of the AP. If they accept the 1954 definition (which I would have thought axiomatic for them) then it follows that the songs and tunes in or coming into the class must have changed and continue to change, and simlarly the methods of performing them.

I think some folks lose track of the difference between traditional and historical. I once was in a drum store and overheard another customer telling the owner that "traditional bodhrans don't have bars across the back". I decided not to get into it with him, but since I had been playing with very accomplished bodhran players for years and had only ever seen (at that time) one drum without bars across the back, it made me wonder at what point in history the tradition stopped for him.

The problem with using history as a cue to correctness is, of course, the cut-off date. If you go back far enough, you end up with nothing but voices and maybe crude drums. I was once told that my guitar wasn't a traditional instrument and that I should stick to playing my Irish bouzouki -- an instrument that was invented about 40 years ago.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: glueman
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 04:34 PM

Well I for one am glad the folk police are out there but it would be nice if they wore uniforms so you could spot them when you were in need of patronising. The correct response to any unsolicited musical advice is of course, 'ask me how much I care.'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: John P
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 07:27 PM

Ooh, uniforms! Great idea. I suppose they'd have to have badges as well, just to prove they were authorized to interrupt the music. We'd all have to keep our artistic licenses handy so we could prove that our inauthentic changes were approved.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Ref
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 07:35 PM

Uniforms would make it a lot easier to know who to punch!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 08:23 PM

Once in 1959 when I was singing in a Seattle coffeehouse, a guy asked for "The Wreck of the Sloop John B.," which I had learned four or five years before from Carl Sandburg's American Songbag, so I sang it. He scowled all the way through it, and when I finished, he complained before the crowd, "You didn't sing it right!"

"Why?" sez I. "What's wrong with the way I sang it?"

"That's not the way the Kingston Trio sings it," he grumped.

"Of course not!" sez I, being quick of wit and noticing that the audience was following the exchange with interest. "There are three of them, and there's only one of me!"

Got a good laugh. But not from him

####

Right about that same time, I was standing in the Folklore Center in the University District listening with Big John, the proprietor, to a recording of Win Stracke, a classically trained bass, singing folk songs to the accompaniment of Richard Pick's classic guitar. A guy who had hitchhiked up from California walked in lugging his guitar case, and stood there for a few minutes listening with us. Then he went into wall-eyed fits, shouting that "That opera singer has absolutely no right to sing those songs! Those are folk songs! And he's an opera singer—" and blatatta blatatta blatatta. Then, with steam pouring out his ears, he stomped out of the shop and headed up the street.

Apparently he was unaware that the "opera singer" he objected to so strenuously was one of the co-founders of the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.

Don Firth

P. S. By the way, Eve, did you hear that Rene Descartes stopped in at a McDonald's and ordered a Big Mac. The kid in the paper hat asked him, "Do you want fries with that?" Descartes answered, "I think not." And vanished!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 09:56 PM

Oooh, good one! I'm picking up lots of good material...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 20 Apr 09 - 11:12 PM

Don - another variant on your Kingston Trio story:

I had just finished a Christy Moore song when a guy stood up and yelled "That's not how Christy does it!"

I said "I know. I do it right."

Don't mess with the guy with the mic.

Seamus


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: glueman
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 02:35 AM

OT but the out-takes show on TV had a great egg on face incident. Hot summer weather sees TV weather girl sent out to do a story on sunburn. Down on the beach she finds chunky young man soaking up the rays.
In her best condescending TV babe manner she says Hello, can I ask you something? Young man grunts S'pose so.
"do you know that lying in the sun can be dangerous, yadda, science, yadda, more science."
"Er, yeah."
"Really? And why is that?" snorts babe to Mr Thicko.
Young man drops his shades and looks at her.
"I'm a particle physicist."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: John P
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 04:13 PM

That puts me in mind of another "idiot in public" story. Off topic, but it is interesting how often people say the damndest things. During a recent and rare snow storm here in Seattle a local TV news "personality" was out interviewing people on the street about the piles of snow everywhere. One shot showed a car trying and failing to get traction. Newswoman was saying, "Look at that, even with chains on the tires that car can't get going". The car, with chains on the back tires, was madly spinning its front tires on the ice . . .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: John P
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 04:27 PM

Back on topic, I think the Traditional Music Authenticity Police (TMAP) have a sister organization, the "You played it differntly" police (YPID). Most of YPID want it to be just like they first heard it, and aren't limited to traditional music topics. Any song is fair game. Someone once told me that I didn't do a Tom Lehrer song right because it was different than his version. He redording it with a piano and I was using a guitar. My explanation that it had already been done that way and didn't need to be done in that way again was met with an uncomprehending stare. How could anyone even consider doing it differently than Tom?? Some people even seem to think that it is disrespectful to the composer for a musician to do anything differently with a song at all.

The worst, of course, are the people that are both TMAP and YPID: "you didn't do it the way I first heard it, and here's all the reasons that the way you are doing aren't traditional, and here's all the ways that that the person I first heard do it is more traditional than you and he did the definitive version and there's no point in singing that song anymore."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Don Firth
Date: 21 Apr 09 - 05:05 PM

Thereby locking the "folk process" in concrete.

Also not quite on topic, but maybe near it:

In the early Sixties I knew a fellow named Alex who said he was an actor. Maybe true, but I don't really know what he had ever acted in, and for an actor, he certainly had a lot of free time while most of the live theaters in town were presenting plays. But he talked a good line. And he was brimming over with unsolicited advice for various kinds of performers, including me. He had strong views about what he considered to be "professionalism."

Once, he had an absolute cat-fit after seeing a local presentation of the road show production of "The Music Man." It seems that Robert Preston had blown a line. He attempted to cover it, but the goof was obvious. The play went on, and within a few seconds, the audience had forgotten it and was back into the story. Except Alex. He raged for days about Preston's "lack of professionalism!" As if no actor ever before had boo-booed a line on stage.

Anyway, it was an article of faith with Alex that the performer had the obligation of catching his (Alex's) attention by presenting him with something that would capture his interest. Otherwise, it was his privilege to simply ignore them.

One evening, while I was singing in "The Corroboree," Alex came in and sat down with group of other people. Obviously, on that occasion, I failed to offer him something to capture his interest, because he started talking with (at) the other people at the table in a very loud voice. Without his actually saying so, it was almost as if he were sending me a personal message: "Firth, I find you boring this evening!" The people at the table were embarrassed, and people at nearby tables were trying to shush him up. He studiously ignored them and continued holding forth with his bullhorn voice.

The Corroboree had a PA system. Not really intrusive, but it gave the sound of whoever was on the small stage a little boost. The mic was about two feet in front of where I sat. When I finished my current song, I learned over with my mouth about two inches from the mic and called,

"Alex!"

My voice boomed through the place like The Voice Of God! Alex looked up, startled.

I continued. "Alex! Shut the hell up!!"

The whole place burst into applause! Alex sat there for a second or two, looking around like a frightened rabbit, then got up and walked out, to another surge of applause.

I guess I finally captured his interest.

I never saw him again. Somehow, I don't really miss him.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 04:22 AM

I think the Traditional Music Authenticity Police (TMAP) have a sister organization, the "You played it differ[e]ntly" police (YPID).

The only way in which I would differ from John P's fine analysis is that the two organisations are actually one and the same. The two attitudes both spring from the unshakeable conviction that the AP member has a very fixed, rigid, Gold Standard idea of what is traditional & correct and what isn't, has a much better idea of what is traditional and what isn't than you or me, and also has a messianic drive to share that knowledge with us for our own benefit.

There was a virulent outbreak of APism on concertina.net recently, in which it emerged that the basic premise was that playing a tune on anything other than a solo fiddle was not proper Irish Traditional Music. Which makes you wonder what that particular high-ranking member of the AP was doing on concertina.net in the first place, since the clue's rather there in the URL ...

Martin Carthy, the man already outed as an AP offender for playing the guitar for Morris, makes a wise observation - I can't remember the exact quote but it paraphrases as 'the single worst thing you can do to these songs is not sing them. They will survive everything except neglect.'

There's a lot of stuff done to traditional music that I, personally, don't like or enjoy. But, unlike the AP, I always try to remember that my personal taste does not equate to the evolution and health of the living tradition.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Apr 09 - 04:31 AM

I reserve the right to play anything I want to, in any style I want to, on any instrument I choose to. And it's the right of the audience to like it or not. That's the way it goes.

I think there's a subtle difference between "authentic" and "classic" versions of songs and tunes. You might say, for example, that Dion's "The Wanderer" is the classic - and original - version of that song. But you wouldn't dismiss Dave Edmund's version as "inauthentic" - I hope.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 07:03 PM

Harvey, i remember where that gig was. It was in Bridgnorth at Theatre on the Steps. An old bloke jumped up and said "i think it will be better if you sung it like this..."
Brilliant!
dan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 03:12 AM

My wife used to do occasional tour for Nofolk traditional singer, Walter Pardon. We still have some of the replies somewhere saying something like "We don't do that sort of thing here - we only do folk music" - but that's probably not what you are looking for.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: pavane
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 04:18 AM

Will,
And Dion played at a UK Folk Festival in Lincoln, 1971, alongside many of the best Folk acts of the time...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Sean Mc
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 04:31 AM

I have already posted this story on the 'Queen of the May' thread but it seems relevant to post it again here. The song was written by my father some 27 years ago......

Dad & I were playing in Padstow one night and, inevitably, we did Queen of the May.
Afterwards, a women of middle years and a rich Cornish accent came up to us & said to Dad,
"'Ere boy, you got the words wrong".
"Oh really" dad replied, "But I wrote it".
"So youm the bugger" she replied. But her husband shouted across,
"'E didn't write that, I remember my father singing it". To which some else joined in with,
"You don't even know who your f..ing father was".
And such was a typical evening in Padstow……..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 06:29 AM

Sean... what a brilliant story.

I was mother to one of them there authenticity snobs. My daughter Andie was in the medieval SCA and took it all a bit seriously. "Mom, Did you research that headress?" "Mom, if you can't pronounce the Gaelic words correctly in this song, please don't sing it." Mom, your latin pronunciation is terrible."
The film Elizabeth was a travesty because "the costumer did not research Tudor textile design properly, the dance Lavolta was ridiculous and wrong and the film closed with Mozarts's Requeiem.... what's up with that? Didn't the film have a historian?"

She was still a delight if a bit OTT.

I guess I get some quality check looks now and then specially when I sing Summertime and Georgia On My Mind, because I do 'em different than the norm.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: jacqui.c
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 10:05 AM

But what is the 'norm'? It would be a dull old world if we all had to sing songs exactly as they were sung first time out. Everybody has their own interpretation, some you like, some not so much.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Mr Happy
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 11:32 AM

At a venue I used to attend, another member of the World's Biggest Folk Bore fraternity would frequently chastise me & others, saying stuff like " that's not the original key/ words/ arrangement etc.

So & so [the writer] never did it like that, your version's not like the original"

I'd often challenge this opinionated manner, reminding him that just because he'd a record of some artiste doing what he termed the 'original' - even that artiste would never, ever be able to reproduce an exact copy of the record in live performance, & therefore there could be no original!

He'd always just huff & puff, insisting he was right, but was the only one of the assembly who thought so


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Mr Happy
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 09:55 AM

...........which raises a further question, what is the 'original' of any composition?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Mitch2
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 10:38 AM

Can anyone explain why folkies accept concertinas (invented 1840) but don't like guitars and pianos, which have been around in some form or other for quite a bit longer? (Several centuries in the case of the guitar.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Marje
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 11:04 AM

There's a very mixed attitude to guitars. There are some clubs where the MAMWIG (middle-aged man with guitar) is the standard act, and an evening could easily consist of floor spots - and possibly a guest spot too - of nothing else. Anyone arriving without a guitar is deemed to be a non-performer and may not be offered a spot unless they explain themselves.

But the guitar is very recent in British society. On a recent TV documentary about the guitar, one musician said that when he bought his first one - I think it was in the late 1940s or early 1950s - and carried it home, people in the street genuinely didn't know what it was, as they'd never seen one. I think its association with US music, both folk and pop, is what has set some UK trad folkies against it, although other stringed intruments with a not dissimilar sound have been used in our native music for centuries.

And I can't begin to guess why it is that the concertina and the melodeon seem to sound as if they've always been there, even though they're both quite recent inventions. Maybe they remind us of older reed instruments like bagpipes? I don't know.

Piano with folk music I just don't like, personally, but I can't really explain why. It's much more common in Scottish music than in English or Irish.

Marje


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 11:27 AM

Must, to some extent, disagree with your second paragraph above: in "The Scots Musical Museum", mainly published in the 1790s, the simple accompaniments made by Stephen Clarke (a "dropping bass", I think he called it) were said to be suitable for the guitar, though I can see that its form then might have been closer to those "other stringed instruments" you mention. I can't remember whether I got this from one of the volumes, or from one of Burns's letters about the collection.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: GUEST,sailor ron
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 11:29 AM

Tootle re: your post of 19th April asking if anyone remembered John Lawrenson. He came from Fleetwood in Lancashire and he was my father's apprentice [electrician].


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Authenticity Police
From: Musket
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 11:53 AM

I have been flattered to be told I got it wrong twice now when singing my own songs. Hey ho, and must have meant a better singer or guitarist than me has played with it and perhaps improved it?

About 30 years ago, I got up at a folk club where my friends were the guests and I was their transport. Just to fill in a floor spot as it were. I sang a song (can't remember what now) that wasn't traditional and was told (after a very good applause I may add) by the compere that this is a traditional only club. My friends, who were fairly big names in the traditional scene of the day, sadly not with us any more, refused to get up till he apologised. Rather embarrassing yet lovingly supportive all the same!

Around the same time, bands I was in, both folk and rock, were playing various venues in the Sheffield area. I can't remember how many times, countless, where a caretaker took pleasure afterwards when trying to get us packed up and out of his way, "We've had that Joe Cocker / Tony Christie / Lena Martell / Alvin Stardust or whoever here and compared to them, you're crap!"

Norton Village Hall being the one I remember most...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 18 July 12:51 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.