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Dylan Talking Nonsense ?

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GUEST,Tunesmith 10 Oct 09 - 04:08 PM
gnu 10 Oct 09 - 04:12 PM
Jack Campin 10 Oct 09 - 04:21 PM
Amos 10 Oct 09 - 04:37 PM
Peace 10 Oct 09 - 04:40 PM
Art Thieme 10 Oct 09 - 04:45 PM
Deckman 10 Oct 09 - 04:50 PM
Jim McLean 10 Oct 09 - 05:11 PM
pdq 10 Oct 09 - 05:14 PM
Jack Campin 10 Oct 09 - 05:33 PM
Bill H //\\ 10 Oct 09 - 06:58 PM
Leadfingers 10 Oct 09 - 07:06 PM
Art Thieme 10 Oct 09 - 07:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Oct 09 - 08:34 PM
Bobert 10 Oct 09 - 08:52 PM
Little Hawk 10 Oct 09 - 09:32 PM
Bobert 10 Oct 09 - 09:42 PM
john f weldon 10 Oct 09 - 09:43 PM
meself 10 Oct 09 - 10:48 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 10 Oct 09 - 11:13 PM
Peace 11 Oct 09 - 01:49 AM
Peace 11 Oct 09 - 01:55 AM
Peace 11 Oct 09 - 02:05 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Oct 09 - 02:54 AM
Peace 11 Oct 09 - 02:56 AM
Charley Noble 11 Oct 09 - 09:02 PM
Little Hawk 11 Oct 09 - 09:38 PM
M.Ted 12 Oct 09 - 12:46 AM
meself 12 Oct 09 - 09:40 AM
dick greenhaus 12 Oct 09 - 12:49 PM
M.Ted 12 Oct 09 - 02:44 PM
Amos 12 Oct 09 - 04:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Oct 09 - 05:40 PM
HuwG 13 Oct 09 - 07:48 AM
GUEST 13 Oct 09 - 07:53 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 13 Oct 09 - 08:01 AM
Mr Happy 13 Oct 09 - 10:49 AM
Big Tim 13 Oct 09 - 11:31 AM
Little Hawk 13 Oct 09 - 11:44 AM
HuwG 14 Oct 09 - 01:12 PM
HuwG 15 Oct 09 - 06:03 AM
Little Hawk 19 Oct 09 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 20 Oct 09 - 01:52 PM
GUEST 26 Apr 12 - 10:08 PM
PHJim 27 Apr 12 - 09:38 PM
gnu 27 Apr 12 - 09:51 PM
Stringsinger 28 Apr 12 - 01:37 PM
Mark Ross 28 Apr 12 - 01:55 PM
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Subject: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 04:08 PM

I've just been reading Andrew Motion's book "Ways of Life", and, in the section on Bob Dylan, Andrew talks abouts Dylan's frustration with the US folk scene(or maybe just the NJ folk scene) and he includes this quote from Bob.

"Folk music was a strict and rigid establishment. If you sang Southern mountain blues, you didn't sing Southern mountain ballads and you didn't sing city blues. If you sang Texas cowboy songs, you didn't sing English ballads. It was really pathetic. You just didn't"

Is that correct? What about Pete Seeger, and Carolyn Hester, and, Joan Baez for that matter.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: gnu
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 04:12 PM

I agree.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 04:21 PM

I agree.

Agree with Dylan as reported by Motion, or with Tunesmith?

Were you there at the time? (Somebody here must have been).


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Amos
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 04:37 PM

It's not nonsense--it's an opinion based on his slice of individual experience. They're like a-holes, you know. Everyone has one and they all stink.

A


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Peace
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 04:40 PM

"Were you there at the time? (Somebody here must have been)."

Where at the time, Jack?


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 04:45 PM

That is the way it's always been---then and now too. People prefer to give their time and energy and voice to what genera they are into. Either that, or curl up with a good book.

In many places, if a bluegrass show was going on in town, and a blues show was somewhere else in town, each had their own audience.

If those two shows were on different days, the same bluegrassers would still by at the bluegrass show for the most part. And the same blues people would be attending the blues concert.

If all those people had gone to both concerts, each would've done better at the door.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Dylan is correct. But, also, he is BOB DYLAN and all that that entails. He can jump ship from one style to another just because he wants to do it---=-and because his people will follow him anywhere he goes after he's blown in their ear! ("Blow in my ear, and I'll follow you anywhere!"----Henrik Ibsen -- a.k.a. Henry Gibson)

If it feels good, we'll do it. If not, we won't.---the old Pleasure Principle

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Deckman
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 04:50 PM

So what's NEW ... It's always been that way! Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Jim McLean
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 05:11 PM

An oxymoron. I taught Andrew Motion's son and had many a chat with him at parents' evenings, before he was the poet laureate (lariat?) and could find no common ground. He seemed to me to be a populist, comparing Dylan to Keats and I predicted he would obtain that post.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: pdq
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 05:14 PM

This can't be too important to Dylan. He hasn't been involved in Folk Music since 1964.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 05:33 PM

[Andrew Motion] seemed to me to be a populist, comparing Dylan to Keats and I predicted he would obtain that post.

With Blair in charge we were damn lucky not to get Atomic Kitten nominated as Mistresses of the Queen's Musick.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Bill H //\\
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 06:58 PM

If the quote is true--then all I can say is---It is THE BOB---he does what he damned well pleases---sort of like THE DONALD. Each deserves as much respect as the other.

Still do not understand the Kennedy Ctr. honors business. No long sermon---just one word---WHY

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 07:06 PM

Its the way the world goes ! Some will only go out for Trad Folk , other only for Trad Jazz . Some for Blues Guitar , others for Bluegrass .



And a fortunate few will find equal pleasure in ALL forms of Well Played Music !


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 07:25 PM

Lets all of us hope we have the money to hear the music we want to hear.

Art


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 08:34 PM

It sounds accurate enough (I don't mean necessarily in respect of the New York scene in the 1960s, since I've no direct knowledge of that - but of the way the folk scene always seems to work) - and so far as most performers are concerned it makes sense to try to dig down into a limited range of the music, rather than skim around on the surface trying to do everything in a dilettante fashion.

But of course it shouldn't be taken too far. When it comes to listening to music it's a daft attitude to take up to cut yourself off from listening to everything.

And of course what we listen to affects us, so the different types of music we listen to are liable to influence how we deal with the music we concentrate on when singing or playing. And Dylan of course has been a classic example of how that happens.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 08:52 PM

Well, yeah... There are these lines that get drawn in the sand... I live and played music in like this war zone of misic styles: Virginia... Now don't ghet me wrong, this ain't about folks being good or bad 'er nuthin'... But just as it was durin' the Civil War (which it wasn't) Virginia is a battle ground of musical influences... Moutain music from the west... European folk music from the north... Bluesgrass from every direction (DC, BTW, is a hotbed of bluegrass music... Blues from the Piedmont rural areas...
And even today these folks don't exactly get along... I used to to to a music jam in Round Hill, Va... The reason that went is because the orgainzer thought it would be cool for someone to come in an lead a blues jam... Problem is that I'd find a nice little corner out in th parking lot and get 4 ot 5 youngin's around and expalin what we were gonna do and before long their parents would be in the jam drownin' us out with bluegrass... After a couple of those I told the organizer that it was useless...

I found that to be true in Richomnd as well... Old time and bluegrassers felt it was their duty to subvert any jam that wasn't old time or blue grass... You almost had to have blues jams in basements with invitees only... Couldn't have a blues jam in any large outdoor event...

Now I realize that folks like to play what they like to play but, Geeze Louise, at least respect folks that do other stuff... hey, I ain't even aslin' that folks appreciate other styles... Just be civil...

That, my friends, as a bluesman where the blues ain't played, is MHO, thank you...

B~


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 09:32 PM

On the whole I agree very much with what Bob says about it. Yes, it was a strict and rigid establishment.

There have always been these insular little groups of stuck-up people in folk music who only sing certain types of songs and only seem to have respect for their own chosen variety of "folk" music and they look down their noses at anything that's different. It's very pretentious on their part, and it's a real drag to be around such an attitude, specially if you're a young person who is starting out in acoustic music and trying to learn a variety of different styles.

It can put a pretty bad taste in your mouth when you get treated like the dirt under someone's feet because you chose to sing an original song you wrote...or a Neil Young song...or a Tom Petty song...or a Bob Dylan song...or a Joni Mitchell song...or whatever.

You go to those places once, and you don't go back. At least I don't. Who needs it?

Then again, I've gone to some local folk clubs where the attitude was wonderfully welcoming, they were happy to hear many different styles of music, and newcomers were encouraged to play their own songs. That's where I want to be. It all depends on the attitude of whoever's basically running the club, and that of the "insiders" or the regulars who most often go there.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 09:42 PM

Yeah, LH, there's a great little folkie club in Herndon, Va. where it is exactly that way... The operative word here is respect... Thats' the nice thing about the Gataway... Folks respect one another's styles... Lotta folk club managers could learn a lot by coming to a Getaway or that Herndon Folk Society's Tuesday night open mic...

B~


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: john f weldon
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 09:43 PM

I was alive then, and understand what he means. It's hyperbole, but based on reality. People took styles as if they were religions or political statements. They fought over things that needed no anger, and raged over things that needed no battle.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: meself
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 10:48 PM

You mean - kinda like Mudcat?


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 11:13 PM

"Andrew talks abouts Dylan's frustration with the US folk scene(or maybe just the NJ folk scene)"

New Jersey? Aside from visiting Woody in NJ, I don't think Dylan spent that much time in the Garden State.

He is 100% correct, and the steadfast nature of the traditional folk scene is still the same.   Of course, there are some good reasons for it to be rigid.   

Dylan wanted to go off in his own direction, and while shithouse lawyers will continue to deny his abilities and feel the need to bemoan anything he does, Dylan deserves his accolades - and like any other artist he deserves to be able to create according to his own muse. It might not be everyones cup of tea, it might not be "folk", but it is always the work of a creative artist.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 01:49 AM

Ditto what Ron said.

Now I know what Jack's question was, yes, I was 'there', and Dylan's remark IS true. The bluegrass folks played at The Four Winds. There were no country and western clubs in the Village but people did some country + western in various basket houses. The Folklore Center housed many types of folk, and that included dulcimer kinds, Appalachian kinds, etc (Mark Ross would be better at answering about TFC). The club I recall most as being 'eclectic' with regard to music was called The Gaslight which at that time was run by Sam Hood--who named his daughter Robin. Many songwriters played there as did the likes of Doc Watson, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee and various other people from other genres or disciplines. But even then, there was a serious divide between songwriters and folk people. Some songwriters who'd 'broken away' from the 'tradition' were dissed at clubs that played folk and the result seems to be what we have today. Kinda like Cain and Abel--and everyone forgets Seth. (I don't want to go further with that analogy because no good will come of it.) Further, imo, Olesko nailed it in one.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 01:55 AM

BTW, The Gaslight also hosted songwriters from various types of music.

"Bob Dylan began performing at the Gaslight in June 1961, and there he premiered "Masters of War" and "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall." Dave Van Ronk, Mississippi John Hurt, Reverend Gary Davis, Son House, Doc Watson, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Jose Feliciano, John Hammond Jr., and Richie Havens all played the club. The Gaslight closed in 1967 but reopened a year later under new owner Ed Simon; it shut down for good in 1971."


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 02:05 AM

I have neglected to mention Gerde's Folk City, but that was a world all its own. People like JL Hooker, Lonnie Johnson, Gil Turner, Jose Feliciano, Greenbriar Boys and Paul Clayton played there--as did Dylan, Ochs and many others. I know much less about The Bitter End, but the times were different. In the early sixties everyone thought they still had something to learn from everyone else. Today that just ain't so for far too many people. Have a good evening all.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 02:54 AM

Peace -- just to alert you, as a courtesy: I have quoted something you said above to start a new thread which I have named 'Transatlantic folk flak'.

Best   Michael


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Peace
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 02:56 AM

I'm in the process of writing to your new thread. Thanks, Michael.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 09:02 PM

What Dylan said rings true to me for the early 1960's and today.

If you are a newcomer trying to break in, you generally have to choose something "special" to do which seems unique or be "better" at doing something that other people do. "Special" and "better" are in quotes because nobody really knows what they mean!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 09:38 PM

Man, Peace, how I envy you for playing and just being at all those legendary clubs!!! AAARGH! Positively GREEN with envy here. ;-) I wish I could go back there in a time machine or something.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: M.Ted
Date: 12 Oct 09 - 12:46 AM

Not only did Peace play those Legendary clubs, he managed to become a legend himself. It's really kind of annoying when you think about it;-)


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: meself
Date: 12 Oct 09 - 09:40 AM

Let's get'm!


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 12 Oct 09 - 12:49 PM

The 60s marked the beginning of the splintering of the folk scene into sub-genres (yes, I was there--quite a bit before Dylan). In the late 40s and 50s, a concert or sing would be apt to include blues, ballads, banjo and fiddle tunes, bluegrass (a new-fangled innovation) sea shantys, and whatever.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: M.Ted
Date: 12 Oct 09 - 02:44 PM

And also quite often people liked to include something foreign--there were a number of French, Spanish, Yiddish, Russian and Hebrew songs that were widely known and sung, as well as Balkan stuff, in languages to numerous to mention.

The same was true of folk dancing--in earlier days, you had circles, squares, set dances, with a Hora, a Kolo, and something Greek thrown in, and gradually, there got to be such a thing as "International", and it went from there.

I think there were good reasons that it happened--a lot of it had to do with the folk revival reawakening an interest in music, song, and dance within the communities of origin.

At one point, you had coffeehouse types singing something, and then suddenly, someone would come out of the woodwork who had grown up performing the music, and interest would grow from there.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Amos
Date: 12 Oct 09 - 04:10 PM

Bruce deserves full legend-hood but he keeps ducking out. Unassuming cuss that he is, he keeps fending off the world with a barge-pole!! ;>)



A


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Oct 09 - 05:40 PM

They fought over things that needed no anger, and raged over things that needed no battle.

Yes, that really does sound like the way some people seem to live it up on the Mudcat.   Well, it's kind of traditional...


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: HuwG
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 07:48 AM

Johnny's in the basement, mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement, thinking about the government
The man in the trench coat says he got laid off
Badge out, bad cold, wants to get paid off
Look out kid, something you did
God knows when but you're doing it again
Better duck down the alleyway, looking for a new friend
The man in the coonskin cap by the big pen
Wants eleven dollar bills, you only got ten


The title of this thread isn't exactly news.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 07:53 AM

Ouch! not a fan, HuwG?


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 08:01 AM

I'm sure it all makes perfect sense to Bob!


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 10:49 AM

............or as the Blues Brothers said:

'We do both kinds of music, Country and Western!!


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Big Tim
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 11:31 AM

Dylan had always known his own mind and done his own thing, more power to his elbow.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 11:44 AM

Anyone who can't make sense out of that verse from Dylan above isn't really trying very hard. ;-) It's a panoramic comment on the general confusion happening around us in society, dumkopf! You know, all the usual complications, rules, regulations, mental trips, stress, authority structures, and common bullshit that we all must deal with whenever we step out the door.

You also got part of it wrong. It goes like this:

Johnny's in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I'm on the pavement
Thinking about the government
The man in the trench coat
Badge out, laid off
Says he's got a bad cough
Wants to get it paid off
Look out kid
It's somethin' you did
God knows when
But you're doin' it again
You better duck down the alley way
Lookin' for a new friend
The man in the coon-skin cap
In the big pen
Wants eleven dollar bills
You only got ten


Sounds like a comment about a day anyone could have to me, cos it's about all of us...


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: HuwG
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 01:12 PM

Oh dear. I was trying to be tongue in cheek. Please forgive me, Dylan fans.

:-(


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: HuwG
Date: 15 Oct 09 - 06:03 AM

I promise I'll buy his Christmas CD !


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 05:41 PM

You are forgiven... ;-D


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 01:52 PM

Since Dylan has primarily been a singer-songwriter (emphasis on the latter for me), I can understand why he felt rejected by the "traditionalists." I've encountered this sort of thing from time to time, but I always rely on the old sixties line, "Different strokes for different folks." I imagine Gordon Lightfoot and a number of others who were always categorized as folksingers have had the same experience.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Apr 12 - 10:08 PM

Yeah but who was really a traditionalist?


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: PHJim
Date: 27 Apr 12 - 09:38 PM

The Dylan quote that started this thread 5 years ago was, "Folk music was a strict and rigid establishment. If you sang Southern mountain blues, you didn't sing Southern mountain ballads and you didn't sing city blues. If you sang Texas cowboy songs, you didn't sing English ballads. It was really pathetic. You just didn't"

That didn't really apply in the days that Dylan was starting out any more than it does today. The Even Dozen Jug Band included Bluegrass players (David Grisman), Blues players (Stefan Grossman) future rockers (John Sebastion)...
Jim Kweskin's group was similar having Bluegrassers (Bob Siggens and Bill Kieth) and blues players (Geoff Muldaur). Kwesin himself recorded tunes by such different players as Grandpa Jones and Blind Blake and Hoagy Carmichael.
Joan Baez, Tom Rush and Ian & Sylvia did British ballads, blues and country. All of these players were contemporaries of Dylan.
Dave Van Ronk sang English ballads and blues. Pete Seeger did songs from a wide variety of genres, Woody Guthrie sang old country tunes (Carter Family tunes formed the basis for many of Woody's songs) and old blues tunes (House Of The Rising Sun). These were some of Dylan's mentors.
I'm sure there were some musicians who were "strict and rigid" about their material, but it obviously didn't apply to the whole "Folk music establishment".


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: gnu
Date: 27 Apr 12 - 09:51 PM

I agree.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 28 Apr 12 - 01:37 PM

If the circles that Dylan traveled in, were strict in their adoption of styles, this is because he was in New England and New York where academics were the arbiters of what was folk music. Folk singer from traditions don't care about such stuff. They sing what they know and like. If Doc Watson decides to do "Over The Rainbow", a song written by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg, he doesn't limit himself.

Dylan is reacting to the idea that he has been criticized by academic folk types for deviating from the stereotypical idea of what a folk singer is.

Folk music is not rigid, but interchanging all the time, adopting new amalgams of musical forms and only people who are concerned with dead museum pieces look at folk music in strict and stringent terms.

Dylan is commenting on the New England and New York academic interest in folk music and if he were to spend time with the real Woody Guthries, etc. he would have found less rigidity and more openness. It's true that there were entrepreneurial types such as Bascom Lamar Lunsford and Jean Thomas who had a business investment in keeping folk stereotypical to draw crowds to their festivals or Alan Lomax who did a lot to uncover folk music but had an investment in copyrights for his books and became the bold knight for the preservation of what he thought folk music was, but all this is irrelevant to a thriving, interesting and active folk music that is developing today all over the world.

Dylan's view is small-minded in that he only takes into consideration the folkies of the Great Folk Scare (to quote Van Ronk) and not the big picture. This is not to say that concentration on a specific style of music shouldn't be done. But in my observation, those folkies who insist on adopting a style of playing to emulate musicians coming from specific cultural backgrounds, for the most part, wind up sounding like weak carbon copies of the original sources of their study.

Folk music remains regardless of academic bantering and quibbling about it and the proof is that a Leadbelly or Woody Guthrie or Pete Seeger is still very much with us today. (That's just the tip of an American iceberg).

The important aspect of folk music, that the academics seem to bypass is its accessibility to anyone who wants to participate in it. Here, being oneself is more important than acquiring the mask of authenticity which folkie academics are advocating.

Being, performing and preserving the music doesn't require giving up one's own personality and viewpoint but requires enough love of the music to try to understand it from the best of one's ability.


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Subject: RE: Dylan Talking Nonsense ?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 28 Apr 12 - 01:55 PM

Good point Frank, but the line about "The Great Folk Music Scare", Van Ronk got that from Utah Phillips.

Mark Ross


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