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English folk is 'world music'?

Folknacious 13 Oct 09 - 06:07 AM
GUEST,synbyn no cookie 13 Oct 09 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,Ed 13 Oct 09 - 06:31 AM
treewind 13 Oct 09 - 06:34 AM
Folknacious 13 Oct 09 - 07:09 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 13 Oct 09 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,Spleen sans cookie 13 Oct 09 - 07:33 AM
GUEST,Ed 13 Oct 09 - 07:33 AM
GUEST,Ed 13 Oct 09 - 07:34 AM
Tug the Cox 13 Oct 09 - 07:40 AM
The Sandman 13 Oct 09 - 07:45 AM
GUEST,Ed 13 Oct 09 - 07:52 AM
SteveMansfield 13 Oct 09 - 08:56 AM
Gibb Sahib 13 Oct 09 - 09:22 AM
The Sandman 13 Oct 09 - 09:23 AM
The Sandman 13 Oct 09 - 09:31 AM
Mavis Enderby 13 Oct 09 - 09:40 AM
The Sandman 13 Oct 09 - 09:43 AM
artbrooks 13 Oct 09 - 09:43 AM
Banjiman 13 Oct 09 - 09:48 AM
Backwoodsman 13 Oct 09 - 09:51 AM
DonMeixner 13 Oct 09 - 09:53 AM
TheSnail 13 Oct 09 - 10:06 AM
Folknacious 13 Oct 09 - 11:15 AM
Folkiedave 13 Oct 09 - 11:17 AM
The Sandman 13 Oct 09 - 11:18 AM
Banjiman 13 Oct 09 - 11:31 AM
Tug the Cox 13 Oct 09 - 11:42 AM
Folknacious 13 Oct 09 - 11:48 AM
Fred McCormick 13 Oct 09 - 11:52 AM
treewind 13 Oct 09 - 12:22 PM
The Borchester Echo 13 Oct 09 - 12:36 PM
The Sandman 13 Oct 09 - 12:36 PM
The Sandman 13 Oct 09 - 12:45 PM
Banjiman 13 Oct 09 - 12:57 PM
Fred McCormick 13 Oct 09 - 01:18 PM
Spleen Cringe 13 Oct 09 - 01:25 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Oct 09 - 02:02 PM
Folkiedave 13 Oct 09 - 03:41 PM
Bonzo3legs 13 Oct 09 - 03:46 PM
treewind 13 Oct 09 - 04:05 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 13 Oct 09 - 04:26 PM
irishenglish 13 Oct 09 - 05:06 PM
The Sandman 14 Oct 09 - 10:00 AM
Folknacious 14 Oct 09 - 10:21 AM
irishenglish 14 Oct 09 - 10:31 AM
manitas_at_work 14 Oct 09 - 10:42 AM
Folkiedave 14 Oct 09 - 11:13 AM
Banjiman 14 Oct 09 - 11:19 AM
treewind 14 Oct 09 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Ian Anderson, fRoots 14 Oct 09 - 12:47 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 14 Oct 09 - 12:53 PM
The Sandman 14 Oct 09 - 12:54 PM
The Sandman 14 Oct 09 - 12:59 PM
Folkiedave 14 Oct 09 - 01:18 PM
irishenglish 14 Oct 09 - 01:23 PM
Jack Campin 14 Oct 09 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,Pete Castle 14 Oct 09 - 02:37 PM
The Sandman 14 Oct 09 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 14 Oct 09 - 03:57 PM
irishenglish 14 Oct 09 - 06:35 PM
oldhippie 14 Oct 09 - 08:38 PM
theleveller 15 Oct 09 - 03:57 AM
The Sandman 15 Oct 09 - 06:12 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 15 Oct 09 - 07:31 AM
The Sandman 15 Oct 09 - 08:31 AM
The Sandman 15 Oct 09 - 09:31 AM
Folknacious 15 Oct 09 - 11:19 AM
Brian Peters 15 Oct 09 - 11:46 AM
Smedley 19 Oct 09 - 07:51 AM
Folknacious 19 Oct 09 - 11:57 AM
GUEST 19 Oct 09 - 06:37 PM
GUEST 19 Oct 09 - 09:20 PM
SteveMansfield 20 Oct 09 - 06:22 AM
TheSnail 20 Oct 09 - 10:32 AM
irishenglish 20 Oct 09 - 11:42 AM
Folknacious 20 Oct 09 - 12:09 PM
TheSnail 20 Oct 09 - 12:24 PM
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Subject: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Folknacious
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 06:07 AM

This looks interesting, judging by the artists I've heard. But what are we to make of the case put by Colin Irwin in the introduction?


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: GUEST,synbyn no cookie
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 06:21 AM

Ha! About time, too... of course there were some of us for whom it never went away, and real credit to the people like Keith Kendrick who kept beavering away without fashionable recognition and to the keepers of many many small folk clubs which kept the thread going when televised football and pub closures removed many venues for singarounds. Of course it's world music- and personally I'm delighted to hear melody making a comeback after many years of exaggerated percussion!


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 06:31 AM

But what are we to make of the case put by Colin Irwin in the introduction?

Erm, nothing much. Of course English music is world music.

I don't understand what you're trying to say.

Ed


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: treewind
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 06:34 AM

It's always been the policy of fRoots to include British (English or "Celtic") music as part of world music, and often publicised as such too - nothing new here.

It contrasts starkly with other definitions of "world music" such as "anything not sung in English"


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Folknacious
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 07:09 AM

I don't understand what you're trying to say.

I was interested by Irwin's comparison between English traditional songs and the West African griot tradition, which I thought was quite a good example of why English folk fits in the 'world music' category. However I gather that its a contentious issue among some world music fans who don't want it included and among some folk fans who think that only our stuff is 'folk'. I've read that in the USA, the Grammies 'world music' definition excludes anything from the British Isles, so that would be music from our ethnic minorities as well as English folk. Really, it shows what a nonsense it is trying to define things carelessly.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 07:19 AM

Well I guess as far as every country in the world is concerned their indigenous traditional music is their 'Folk', and everyone else's is from the rest of the 'World'.

For the English speaking world, it makes sense to define 'indigenous folk musical traditions', as being distinct from 'non-indigenous traditional musics'.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: GUEST,Spleen sans cookie
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 07:33 AM

'indigenous folk musical traditions'

Ah... but then you'd have the triple whammy of trying to define 'indigenous', 'folk' and 'traditions'...

Local music from around the world does it for me. And congrats to fRoots on what looks like a great CD.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 07:33 AM

Define 'indigenous' please...


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 07:34 AM

Sorry, cross posted with 'Speen'


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 07:40 AM

Crow sister said ( how do you italicise, BTW)
'For the English speaking world, it makes sense to define 'indigenous folk musical traditions', as being distinct from 'non-indigenous traditional musics'.'

Does it. There has always been fusion...sea shanties are a complete mix, with African, West Indian, European etc influences.

   Elsewhere in America different mucics blended in Texas, Louisisna, the Appalachians etc.
    categories are for libraries, not the real world.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 07:45 AM

ha ha.well I was playing folk clubs and festivals and beavering away along with people like the Wilsons,and Steve Turner
when Damien Barber and some of the others was still at school,Of course as usual the people who were out there doing it[folk clubs and festivals] in the seventies eighties, nineties,[and even now get no mention].
funny old game the folk scene,its like history is being rewritten
http://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 07:52 AM

And your point is, Dick?

Tug, this post should help you italicise.

Humans have, for whatever reasons (some of them helpful no doubt), tried to categorize things. Whether it's trees, rocks, people or music it never works.

The question is just another blind alley that will help nobody.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 08:56 AM

fRoots described English music as 'the last undiscovered outpost of world music' back in the 90s, and it was a comment made with tongue very firmly in cheek then, so this isn't a new development on their part.

Looks like a good compilation: I might even buy a copy of fRoots for the first time in ages to get a copy of the CD.

It nearly made it to double figures before the inevitable happened, but I confidently predict this thread will now descend into

(a) people criticising the choice of artists
(b) stuck records grinding anti-fRoots axes
(c) repulsive little-Ingerlander nationalism

in 5 ... 4 ...


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 09:22 AM

They are marketing categories. I wouldn't try too hard to make them fit reality.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 09:23 AM

Damien Barber is a good performer and a good friend of mine.
I can remember of the many clubs I played in the eighties,repeatedly playing Goole Folk club,run by Goff and Eileen Sherborne,their son Danny is now a deservedly recognised ANGLO PLAYER,but it was the likes of NicJones Dick Miles, Steve Turner,Gerry Hallom,Keith Kendrick,Roy Harris,Nic Dow Johnny Collins,Pete Coe,Pete Castle and others,that were playing the folk clubs at this time and singing traditional songs.
just to get the record straight.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 09:31 AM

n bullishly fine fettle courtesy of a thrilling explosion of mainly young artists taking it to new places and making it modern, relevant and vital. The process may have been started in the 1990s by artists like Eliza Carthy and Kate Rusby.[quote froots]
history being re written,it was not a process started in the nineties by theses artists, most of the artists I mentioned above,were young and doing it in the seventies,and eighties,
that is my point.Colin Irwin undoubtedly knows this.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 09:40 AM

Being relatively new to what could be called "folk" or "world" music, I wouldn't want to get too hung up on categories & definitions, or whether history is being re-written. But, the statements:

It was as if, almost imperceptibly at first, a generation decided that enough was enough and started to rebel against the homogenised pap it was being force-fed by the unholy coalition of mainstream radio and major record labels

and

For others, their growing interest in what we now call 'world music' inspired them to seek out the equivalent in our own backyard: surely if others could be proud of and fascinated by their own roots and culture, then so could we?

describe my own experience very well.

Pete.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 09:43 AM

I turned professional in 1976,aged 25,here is arecording made in 1981[I was30]this recording was mainly [95percent] traditional material.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boqwtu3xPzU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boqwtu3xPzU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItcBocS_x_M&feature=relat
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGoYfU2-A54a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmqpgT0ClK4">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmqpgT0ClK4


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: artbrooks
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 09:43 AM

We in the US always appreciate the music you foreigners play.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Banjiman
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 09:48 AM

With respect Dick, I fall into the category discussed by Froots and Pete above (despite being brought up a folk kid in the late 60s/ early 70s).

I'd never heard of any of the artists you mention until I totally immersed myself back in the "folk world" about 3-4 years ago. I had very much heard of and owned albums by Eliza Carthy and Kate Rusby.

People like yourself may have kept the flame burning...... it was artisits like Eliza C. and Kate R. who turned it into an inferno.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 09:51 AM

"We in the US always appreciate the music you foreigners play"

And some of us in the UK appreciate the music that you foreigners play too, Art! :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 09:53 AM

World music is a term made up for marketing purposes. It allows people to homogenize African and Celtic music, Cajun and Mexican, Klezmer and throat music,.... into interesting styles and still be able to fit as a word or two on the CD dividers at Barnes and Noble.

I'm sure to the record buyers in Mombassa, English and American Folk is World music to there own musical experience.

Don


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: TheSnail
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 10:06 AM

artbrooks

We in the US always appreciate the music you foreigners play.

No, no, Art. You don't understand. There are two sorts or music, "English" and "World".


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Folknacious
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 11:15 AM

Dick Miles said: history being re written,it was not a process started in the nineties by theses artists, most of the artists I mentioned above,were young and doing it in the seventies,and eighties, that is my point.Colin Irwin undoubtedly knows this.

I expect he does. He refers to "Those inspired by the early British folk revival pioneers of the 1950s and '60s to champion the music through the barren years." Which I'd interpret as being the 70's and 80's since he then refers to the 90's. Does he have to namecheck you specifically to avoid "history being re-written"?


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 11:17 AM

Goole Folk club,run by Goff and Eileen Sherborne,their son Danny is now a deservedly recognised ANGLO PLAYER

Just a couple of minor corrections - its "Sherburn" and the son is called "Chris" not Danny.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 11:18 AM

Paul, no.That is incorrect.
what happened is that Rusby and to a lesser extent Eliza Carthy were marketed,and that is what is happening now.
thats what this article is about,some people have decided to market English music,and they are promoting part of it.,the parts that they think might be more commercial.
I was there[DOING IT] ,I am not going to sit back and let history be rewritten by the promoters and marketers.
Eliza Carthy is very good,Kate Rusby has a very good voice.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Banjiman
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 11:31 AM

Dick. OK so the marketeers turned it into an inferno then......

This might be unfortunate, but for people to tune into (and start playing) something, they have to hear it first.

I absolutely know that is (promoting & marketing) what Froots and Mr Anderson are doing. What is wrong with tryiing to brng (potentially) good music it to a wider audience? I don't understand your gripe?

I repeat Dick, I had not heard of you (or the other excellent artists you name) until I got really involved in the folk scene and started running a folk club. I struggle to understand how you can claim to have created the new wave of interest..... half of the people on the Froots disc have never even set foot in a folk club, do you really think they are more likely to have heard you or Eliza C and Kate R?


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 11:42 AM

thanks for that, Guest Ed


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Folknacious
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 11:48 AM

I just noticed that the CD is "funded by Arts Council England". Things are definitely getting infernal!


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 11:52 AM

Of course English music is world music, unless the British isles have just vanished off the planet of course.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: treewind
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 12:22 PM

Well, all music is world music, at least...
Uh oh, is that the sound of galloping hooves I hear......?


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 12:36 PM

half of the people on the Froots disc have never even set foot in a folk club

To which "half" do you refer and what relevance has the venue anyway?

I have seen everyone featured on Looking For A New England in a "f*lk club (or at Cecil Sharp House which is surely close, with the exception of Spiro, and that's only because I haven't (yet) seen them live.

As far as the mini-revival of the early 90s is concerned, it needs to be borne in mind that this arose against the background of the ceilidh circuit and the folk club stalwarts such as those on Dick's list, both of which never went away but existed independently of the ascendancy of the dire mish-mash of comedians and singer-songwriters which dominated public consciousness through the 1980s.

Speaking for myself, it was without doubt a concert with Eliza Carthy & Nancy Kerr in 1994 that dragged me back into music. I walked into Gateshead library on the basis that I had known their mums when at a loose end after a disastrous television production was wound up and there I was, exiled and jobless. Very many people date their (re)involvement from this time.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 12:36 PM

Paul ,did I claim that ?
no, what I claimed is that many of us were playing the music and doing imaginative/exciting things back in the late seventies
my ex wife and myself were among the first people to introduce the clarinet and bass clarinet and use it with the concertina in arrangements of traditional music in the folk revival.
I am also claiming that we[along with those already mentioned] helped to keep the folk club scene going,and presented our music in an interesting exciting way without attempting to over commercialise the music.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmqpgT0ClK4
that was 25 years before Waterson Carthy,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItcBocS_x_M&feature=related


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 12:45 PM

I am not griping,I am stating facts,I dont care a fiddlers fart what other people do,thats their business.
but I do like all the facts surrounding the folk scene of the seventies through to today,to be reported accurately,so that our friends abroad,realise exactly what was happening and happened.
I do not like false impressions to be portrayed in the media.
I wish every success to this recording,and hope that it benefits all the careers of those involved and that it brings new people to appreciate the music.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Banjiman
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 12:57 PM

To which "half" do you refer

Was it the May issue of Froots that Ian Anderson was talking about a number of the artists now featured on this disc as coming from the English (?British) tradition but not via the "traditional" route of folk clubs and festivals? I think this included Ian King & Nancy Wallace, can't remember who the others were. Maybe I should have said a proportion, but the point is the same.


and what relevance has the venue anyway?

Absolutely none, except to answer Dick's point (to which I was replying).


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 01:18 PM

"Uh oh, is that the sound of galloping hooves I hear......?"

Horsemusic Sir! If English music, or Scots, or Irish, or American can be thought of as seperate entities, with seperate identities, why lump the rest of the world under a heading as banal and meaningless as world music? On the other hand, if the musicians of Bulgaria, Mexico, Chile, Madascar, the Gambia or wherever can be thought of as custodians of the music of this world, what about the rest of us?

As a citizen of this world, I demand parity with the Bulgarians.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 01:25 PM

From the fRoots FAQ:

Q: Are you a Folk or World Music magazine?
A: Neither, both and beyond.


I like that.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 02:02 PM

The story goes that a well-know Donegal fiddler went into a record shop in Dublin where everything pertaining to folk was displayed as 'world music'.
Rather disgruntled at not finding his own album on sale he asked "Do you have anything from anywhere else?"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 03:41 PM

what happened is that Rusby and to a lesser extent Eliza Carthy were marketed...

You seem to indicate that this mini-revival took off because oF marketing.

Whilst you were keeping the flame alive did you not think of marketing?

Did you want to be marketed? If yes what happened. If not, why not?


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 03:46 PM

Well to me it's all Folk Music, nothing else, Folk Music.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: treewind
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 04:05 PM

Dick: "most of the artists I mentioned above,were young and doing it in the seventies,and eighties"

Yes, but whether you like it or not, nobody took any notice and Joe public knew nothing of them during those decades. The decline Colin Irwin refers to DID happen and as far as folk clubs are concerned it is still happening, though it may have slowed down a little as younger people are starting clubs now.

I don't know how much the wider uptake of folk music since the nineties was caused by Eliza C, Kate Rusby &co. and how much the emergence of these artists is simply the result of a new audience that wasn't tainted by the notion that folk music was "something my (boring, middle aged*) parents do" and thus fatally uncool. No doubt a bit of both. The new revival certainly wasn't caused by the die-hards who managed to keep gigging through those decades, though some credit is due to them for surviving the folk recession and keeping things going.

Anahata
*yes, me too, guilty as charged!


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 04:26 PM

Well, as a mildly anarchistic and err 'alternative' but nevertheless somewhat boring now thirty-sumthing, it was discovering English traditional song essentially all by itself, that got me into English traditional song. I've done African drumming too, and I like sitar music and err stuff. I like anything that sounds good from wherever it comes from, but right now I'm interested in English trad folk - which isn't African drumming or other acoustic stuff from elsewhere.

I can see no particular value in assigning Trad Folk, to a sub-division of World Music (World Music meaning random traditional acoustic stuff from any otherwhere).

I'd be rather surprised if other cultures that retain any remaining interest in their own native folk song and music do the same.

Oh gods, I'm a rampant ickle-Englander. Bums, where did I misplace that BNP card? And where has my "I Heart Fascism" placard got to? Ditzy mare..


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: irishenglish
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 05:06 PM

Ah...another how should it be labelled discussion. Interesting points, but it never ceases to amaze me that this is a hotbed of discussion-then again I did work in a very large World Music department at Tower Records before its demise, and dealt with this sort of thing a lot. It's not about trends, even trends in English folk. It's not about artists who release an album that is half traditonal, half contemporary or self written. To me it's about tradition or tradition inspired (oh dear, now I've made my own label). I feel that anything indidginous in a traditional sense that has not branched off beyond recognition belongs to "world" music. Native American Indian music is world music, so is Cajun. Country music, despite its origins in British Isles folk music has evolved into its own seperate entity, as has Blues, which is why its not World music. The comparison to the griot is completely apt-akin to the oldest ballads in the English tradition..be it sung by Johnny Doughty, Kate Rusby, or Dick Miles. The reason I can say that is by comparison of say Toumani Diabate, the great kora player, who comes from generations of kora players, equally adept at playing the most beautiful traditional melody, or bringing his instrument into new areas, such as with his Symmetric Orchestra. I'll be honest though...I have never liked the World Music monniker, so call it what you want. It seems though that what some of you are arguing is...ok maybe in America you can put English folk in the world music section, but it shouldn't be in England, similar to the story Jim related. There's a fair point there...but if one does honestly compare folkloric traditions worldwide-could some of you not agree that there is a kinship between Malian kora players, Iraqi oud players, and English fiddle players? Throw out the marketing and all the other stuff thats been written here, its irrelevant. It all fits, its all traditional, or traditional inspired music.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 10:00 AM

As the first decade of the 21st century nears its end, English song – real English song – is in bullishly fine fettle courtesy of a thrilling explosion of mainly young artists taking it to new places and making it modern, relevant and vital.
[quote]Colin Irwin
he then cites Kate Rusby.I beg to differ,and obviously this is only a personal opinion,I think she has an excellent voice,and she has many fine backing musicians,and she is an accomplished guitarist,however I disagree with the phrase; modern, relevant and vital,
Kate Rusby,does not always make English Song vital,here is an example; her singing of Reuben Ranzo,it lacks vitality,her approach is excellent for some songs,but vital, no.
furthermore I dont see how she makes this song any more relevant than BERT LlOYD IN 1965,ColinIrwin is just writing journalistic bullshit.
real english song has been in fine form for the last 40 years,just because a few folk clubs closed,in the eighties,it does not follow that any time real english song was an endangered species,in fact it is more likely to be endangered,as it becomes more commercialised,and pressure is put upon artists to compromise the music to make it more accessible and more popp
the last thing I want is ENGLISH FOLK SONG is to become like the commercialised pap of the New Christy Minstrels.
of course it depends upon which Dictionary interpretation of the word vital you use,if you take the meaning as I do [energetic full ,of life,powerful]this can not be seriously applied to her version of Reuben Ranzo,it is not vital at all.
Commercialising the music can be a double edged sword,the temptation to make big money,can, if the artist is not careful,end up with the music losing its vitality.
fred mcormick,
for the last forty years I have been happy to sing the songs in the way I think they should be sung,I have just got on with the business of trying to do the songs justice occasionally I have failed,but I have met many interesting people enjoyed good company,and yes, I did it in folk clubs,without any hype.
try visiting the Brittania singers club Darlington or the Wilsons Club at Wolviston sometime,thats the sort of place/folk club where the real roots of English music can still be heard.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Folknacious
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 10:21 AM

Advice: when in a hole, stop digging.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: irishenglish
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 10:31 AM

Dick before this deteriorates into a Kate Rusby thread, and without dissecting your dictionary interpretation of vital....at least she IS singing Ranzo, as well as other traditional songs.Your point about her is taken...I come and go with her too at times. My point is that Kate, yourself, Sam Larner, John Kirkpatrick, Kathryn Tickell, A.L.Lloyd,Scan Tester, Shirley Collins, to name but a few all have drawn inspiration from the same nearly bottomless well that is English traditional folk music, be it from Suffolk or Northumberland. I see Colin's words, modern, relavent and vital as more an indication of an awareness of that well of music. I've been held as spellbound by Eliza Carthy singing Fisherboy unaccompanied, as I have with Simon Nicol doing Claudy Banks with Fairport, a perfect song for his voice IMO, John K playing a set of tunes on concertina, and Kathryn Tickell doing The Morpeth Rant-it all fits for me personally.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 10:42 AM

"new places "

I think Colin means somewhere apart from folk clubs and festivals.

"modern, relevant and vital"

I think a lot of us would argue that it always was.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 11:13 AM

I think there are a number of young singers and musicians who are making the music ".........relevant and vital". Talk to the young singers and musicians and most of them they will agree that it always has been.

Eliza has said words to that effect on a number of occasions. So has Jon Boden.

KR for ages argued its relevance in her rare interviews.

I don't see where young singers and musicians have compromised the music at all for commercial gain.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Banjiman
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 11:19 AM

"I don't see where young singers and musicians have compromised the music at all for commercial gain."

Agreed


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: treewind
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 11:25 AM

Colin Irwin: "thrilling explosion of mainly young artists taking it to new places and making it modern, relevant and vital."...
Dick: "he then cites Kate Rusby"
So what?
There's also Spiers and Boden, Bellowhead, Bella Hardy, Jim Causley, Mawkin, The Askew Sisters, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan (apologies for anyone obvious I've not mentioned) who are young, fiercely traditional in their main choice of material AND have plenty of the vitality of the sort that you find lacking in KR.

And the point is I couldn't have made a list like that 20 years ago.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: GUEST,Ian Anderson, fRoots
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 12:47 PM

To answer/ clarify a few points and anticipate a few that haven't been made yet:

When I proposed an English folk CD to Arts Council England, to my surprise I discovered that they were about to propose something similar to us. The trigger for it was that they wanted to promote English folk music at the annual Womex conference/ showcase/ conference: over 3000 international activists/ movers & shakers from the 'world music' field who gather annually in a European city - this year Copenhagen. English folk music has had a raw deal from the powers-that-be there: even when it was held in the UK at the Sage Gateshead, the Eliza Carthy and Bellowhead showcases were held "off Womex", not as part of the main event. So one of the main thrusts of Colin's notes was to put the case for our long-held belief that this music had every right to be considered part of the genre. My job as compiler was to give them the music to impress them. Not hard!

There were some other ground rules. We wanted to largely pick artists who were younger, newer and who could benefit from the professional development brought about by Arts Council investment - Eliza, Bellowhead, Kate etc were felt to have sufficient momentum of their own already - or were doing something musically new right now (hence Jon Boden's Remnant Kings and Chris Wood's very interesting new trio). Then I pressed the case for the Shirley Collins track to put it all in a bit of historical perspective.

The very encouraging thing is that my biggest problem was who to leave out. As has been said, that's not something which could have been the case if trying to make a compilation with this one's groundrules and intentions in (say) the mid 1980s.

As for "commercial appeal", it's rather telling that I approached the UK's main world music compilation label last year with exactly such a project and was told that it didn't have any commercial potential. I hope to prove them very wrong.

As a result of the ACE's initiative, as well as going out to all who read fRoots, the magazine with this CD will be in the delegate "goody bags" of 3100 people at Womex and another few hundred at this year's Association Of Festival Organisers conference in the UK. The Arts Council's involvement doesn't stop there though. They are working on a project to take a showcase package of some of the artists on this CD to New York and the massive South By South West event in Texas next year, and perhaps also fund its inclusion in some non-folk festivals in the UK as well. I think they deserve congratulating for this initiative.

Nobody's denying that there were people who, as Colin Irwin says, were there to "champion the music through the barren years" but it wasn't possible (nor, dare I say it, very interesting to the target audience of Womex delegates) to namecheck them all.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 12:53 PM

At last! Someone is actually questioning the ridiculous HMV Marketing Dept. definition of folk music as opposed to endlessly bitching about the 'scientific' (1954) definition.

According to the aforementioned HMV definition: 'folk music is anything acoustic, apart from 'folk rock', but excluding acoustic 'blues', 'country' or 'world music' and including military bands which don't fit anywhere else'.

But then I suppose stupidity and ignorance were always more attractive than science and common sense. Why has it taken Colin Irwin all this time to find this out?


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 12:54 PM

well every success with it, Ian.
Anahata,it depends how you define young,twenty years ago you would have found plenty of people in their thirties,who were playing the music with vitality,and you could have produced a list of names equal quality,so sorry I disagree with you.
I now consider thirtyish young,all these things are relative.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 12:59 PM

folknacious, advice;stop being a twat.
Banjiman,I never said that any of the artists on this recording had done so yet.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 01:18 PM

Well said Ian.

Interesting that the Arts Council are pumping money into this! Along with the award to the EFDSS and this can only represent good news.

Not all that long ago it was argued on this board that taking money from ACE was equivalent to selling one's soul to Virgin.

Can we get it on the next EDS too?


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: irishenglish
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 01:23 PM

Very interesting story there Ian, thanks for posting it. 3100 people getting that cd in their goody bag is a good thing, and makes total sense! Much like Johnny Cash singing "there's things that will never be right I know," in compiling a cd of this nature, there's people that should be, or could be on it...but as you said, its a judgement call, you can't please everyone-just go with it. Rather like me when I try to make a playlist for my ipod...I go from trying to limit myself to picking, oh...say 5 Oysterband songs, and wind up with 50. Hope this accomplishes what you set out for, and that that label (hmm...wonder who that is)is definitely proven wrong.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 01:37 PM

Ian - since you're here, a chance to say congratulations on a job well done that very much needed doing.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: GUEST,Pete Castle
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 02:37 PM

Thanks Good Soldier; Nice to see my name mentioned there alongside some good mates and people I respect greatly (Nic Jones Dick Miles, Steve Turner, Gerry Hallom, Keith Kendrick, Roy Harris, Nic Dow, Johnny Collins, Pete Coe, Pete Castle...) I've been playing English music professionally since 1978 and it's never been easy. It's always been a minority taste even in folk clubs. The reason I do it though is because it's what I love.
Back in the 80s/90s I was really into World Music as a listener. I think some great stuff was brought to our attention because of it. Salif Keta springs to mind. It included everything from foreign pop music to real authentic folk. But it was commercially based. I remember complaining to fRoots at that time that they fell over themselves with enthusiasm about some scratchy cassette recording from Africa but expected musicians based in UK to have the production values of a Michael Jackson even though, in real terms, we were perhaps less well off!
The English folk scene has always been very self centred. My two ventures into what could be classed as World Music were kept at arms length by the folk clubs. First a duo with Bengali singer Aroti Biswas - admittedly we didn't do much because she got ill and died, but the couple of posthumous tracks I put on one of my albums were greeted with umm?s even though I still think at least one of them (The Two Magicians) was great. Then in the 90s the Anglo-Romanian group Popeluc could have been really big. We played all over, but not many folk clubs. Not many World Music venues either for that matter - they liked the idea of the group but when they heard a demo they tended to say, No, too folky!. They needed drums and electric bass. So we did arts centres, community festivals, The Dracula Society! All sorts of things.
Anyway, I'll keep doing what I do. In folk clubs and anywhere else that will have me. I still enjoy it and a good folk club gig is hard to beat. I still do mainly English and mainly traditional but that's two more definitions we could argue about. And have done!
Pete Castle
http://www.petecastle.co.uk


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 03:17 PM

Anahata,Twenty years ago,Damien Barber was a professional singer.
plus Steve Turner,the young Lee Collinson,a young Roger Wilson The Wilson Family[two of whom were in their twenties [mike and ken],Beggars Velvet,Tim laycock[early thirties],Nic Dow[thirties]Artisan[Idontknow I didnt /dont ask women their age]Pete Morton,thats a very strong line up.
Anahata ,Idont know where you were,but I was there.
finally, I urge everyone to obtain and listen to Pete Castles version of Two Magicians,which was way ahead of its time    innovative,imaginative,and cross cultural,mixing eastern and western musics and Musicians,but never got proper acclaim because,it was never pushed by those people who claim to be lovers of world music.
Ian, that was one you missed ,but shouldnt have done.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 03:57 PM

I don't know what the hell "World Music" is supposed to define. It seems to depend upon where the music (CD's, sheet music,etc.) is being sold. I have seen English, Irish and Scottish traditiional music labeled as such, along with various music with African and eastern European origins, Peruvian pan pipe tunes, Caribbean music of varying sorts and Greek and middle eastern music usually associated with belly dancing. Isn't this, after all, simply a catch-all label for retailers who don't know how else to categorize the music they place in it?

I'm certain that Liam Clancy will be amused to know that at least one major U.S. chain of book and record shops has his work with The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem categorized as "World Music."


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: irishenglish
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 06:35 PM

TJ- in some stores it most certainly is because retailers don't know how to categorize it. As I posted earlier, I feel that anything traditional based from anywhere is "world music." If someone in Argentina was looking for Irish traditional music, wouldn't it be logical to be in the same place as the African, Middle Eastern, and Asian music? In a perfect world it would all make logical sense, but as a former retailer, some times you just do what makes the most sense, and not nitpick too much. At the Tower where I worked our World section had Latin music of all types, Brazilian and other South American musics like tango, all European music seperated by country, and sometimes sub-sorted to account for music from say Spain, which has diverse music from individual regions, Gypsy music, Middle Eastern, Asian, African....and Irish, Scots and other Celtic music, along with English folk. It all made sense to us, and we tried very hard to in fact be as thorough as possible to suggestions. Can you think of anywhere else you saw not just a bunch of middle eastern cd's not just jammed in together, but actually seperated by country, or that had not just a French section, but also a Breton section as well. That is what we strived for. It wasn't all traditional music of course....some things were split up-Astrid Gilberto, some people look for in jazz, some look for in Brazilian sections, so it went to both. So for us it made perfect sense to include English folk musics (not a typo, I said musics) because it reflected traditional, or traditional inspired music. I think it makes perfect sense.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: oldhippie
Date: 14 Oct 09 - 08:38 PM

My weekly radio show genre is "World Freeform" and I mix celtic and folk with Euro-pop and jazz, and end up with a little Americana. My listeners seem to like it. You can peruse what I play here:

http://djfrank-myplaylists.blogspot.com/


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: theleveller
Date: 15 Oct 09 - 03:57 AM

The great thing (for me) about folk music is that it can exist on so many global levels. I love the "context" of songs (old and new) that come from and are performed in a local area. But if and when these songs appeal to a wider audience, they take on a different life and have different relevances to the audience – often being adapted and changed along the way.

There is an excellent article by Reg Meuross in this month's Acoustic magazine – the second in his series about the history of folk music in the British Isles. He talks about how Bob Dylan came to London in the early sixties and soaked up English folk music – becoming especially friendly with Martin Carthy. After a short trip to Italy, Dylan came back and played Martin what he called his version of Scarborough Fair – Girl from the North Country. Lord Franklin was to follow in the form of Bob Dylan's Dream – old tunes and themes, new context. Martin , apparently, not only liked them but was flattered that his singing of the songs was the catalyst.

Is English folk music world music? Yes.........and no.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Oct 09 - 06:12 AM

Bob Dylans Dream is IMO,an inferior song to the Croppy boy and lord Franklin,He soakedit up and produced a damp squib.
MastersOFWar now thats a different kettle of fish.
Pete Castles astounding version of The Two Magicians is just one example of the musical innovations of the eighties,that were ignored by the musical folk establishment,so do you wonder that I get annoyed,when an impression is given that the Eighties was some kind of folk dark ages.
Colin s remarks give me the impression that nobody was doing anything vital before the present crop of stars on this recording.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 15 Oct 09 - 07:31 AM

I remember having a convesation with Martin Carthy at Bridgwater Folk club in, I think, 1985 and he was quite despondant at the state of English folk at that time, with few new artists on the scene.
I had another conversation with him about a year later at Battersea folk club and he was much more hopeful and inspired with the folk scene.
Looks to me like these things come in cycles.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Oct 09 - 08:31 AM

I have always found Martin Carthy most encouraging and helpful.[for example his playing guitar on Cheating The Tide]
there were in the Eighties many good songwriters Jez Lowe[he THEN sang traditional songs as well and was also only in his thirties],BillCaddick,Peter Bond,Paul Metsers,Dave Walters[who did interesting settings of William Blake],Martin Simpson,and many more,it was a vibrant time with plenty of good vital songs being written and lots of innovation.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Oct 09 - 09:31 AM

oh and Brian Peters[in his twenties]Gordon Tyrall,songwriter Richard Grainger,Bryony,Strawhead ,ETC ETC


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Folknacious
Date: 15 Oct 09 - 11:19 AM

Dick Miles: as I said several hundred years up this thread, all those names would be the people Colin Irwin referred to as " "Those inspired by the early British folk revival pioneers of the 1950s and '60s to champion the music through the barren years."

Ian Anderson said above: "Nobody's denying that there were people who, as Colin Irwin says, were there to "champion the music through the barren years" but it wasn't possible (nor, dare I say it, very interesting to the target audience of Womex delegates) to namecheck them all."

We all understand that you're sore about not getting a namecheck. But considering that you bang on about people marketing and promoting and commercialising the music, this sounds awfully like the whining of somebody with a grudge that they didn't get famous. Somebody with a massive chip on their shoulder for it, at that. If pointing that out makes me "a twat", then to descend to your level it takes one to know one.

Has anybody heard the CD yet?

No matter how many people were "championing the music through the barren years", and regardless of how old they were at the time, unfortunately they didn't capture the imagination of a wider audience the way that Eliza Carthy, Kate Rusby, Kathryn Tickell and others did later on. That's not a value judgement, it's a statement of historical fact.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 15 Oct 09 - 11:46 AM

Dick, thanks for the name check although I'm possibly not quite as young as you think I am. Yes, we did champion the music through the barren years, and I certainly wasn't "crushed by media indifference". But I think fROOTS had a pretty good record back then in sticking up for English music - I'm always reminding people that Ian was happy to print my journalistic efforts about my heroes like Pete and Chris Coe, Roy Harris etc. during the 'barren years', and didn't Chris Foster get a feature recently?

Personally I've been thrilled to bits with the kind of music that Eliza, Spiers & Boden, Kerr & Fagan, etc. have been making. Not only are those people very talented but, observing a folk world in which the clubs were clearly going to be an inadequate source of work for the aspiring musican, they developed the kinds of act that would work well on bigger stages, and more power to them.

If I wanted to hear really great singing in a more intimate setting, though, I'd still plump for Alison McMorland and Geordie MacIntyre, Peta Webb and Ken Hall, or Kevin and Ellen Mitchell. The older generation still has plenty to offer - and perhaps a few things to teach the younger generation.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Smedley
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 07:51 AM

To answer the question whether anyone has heard the CD yet - yes, and it is pretty good. For my personal taste, there are perhaps better tracks from some of the artists than the ones selected, and it would have been good to see the wonderful Ruth Notman there too - but I am nit-picking really.

It's also, I suspect, going to be looked back on as a significant moment in the gnarled & contentious history of English folk.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Folknacious
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 11:57 AM

The CD found its way here and I must say its surprisingly good. I say "surprisingly" because with the artists on board I expected high quality, but it's even a case of "whole is better than sum of (excellent) parts". fRoots CDs are usually well programmed and this one flows really well. Loads of variety too, and an excellent package, a cut above the usual magazine freebies. English folk done proud, and I agree with Smedley's suspicion that it's a significant moment, especially for the fact that it marks the Arts Council getting properly involved and backing the right pony for a change.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 06:37 PM

To "irishenglish:"

I lament the passing of the great old record shops such as Tower Records. The last one closed here a couple of years back, much to my chagrin. We have one or two specialty shops still selling CD's and even some vinyl. I hope it was not your fate to be among those "downsized" by the demise of the chain.

Thanks for the thoughtful response.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 09:20 PM

DonMeixer wrote:

"I'm sure to the record buyers in Mombassa, English and American Folk is World music to there own musical experience."

Great Point!


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 06:22 AM

I got my copy of the CD over the weekend and it's been on the stereo in the car ever since - a really good mixture, well sequenced as has already been said, and a couple of acts I'd not heard before and intend to chase up.

Only one or two tracks which I consider below par (personal opinion, YMMV), but the rest is excellent. Well worth tracking down.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: TheSnail
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 10:32 AM

It is welcome news that the Arts Council of England is giving support to folk music in this way following their support for the EFDSS although it does have to be seen in the context of the major cuts to regional organisations last year. It may just be a redistribution of the same money. The best of luck to the performers on this CD, several of whom we have been booking for years and some of whom we hope to book in the future.

The OP's original question was - But what are we to make of the case put by Colin Irwin in the introduction?

Somewhat confused, I think.

He says "their horizons uninhibited by the pressure of peers and the weight of what's gone before them." which is a rather strange statement for a publication that has Roots in its title. Are the top branches of a tree inhibited by its roots? Surely it is part of what makes it traditional music that it grows from what went before; not to slavishly copy but to build on that foundation.

Colin claims "They've taken different routes to the tradition" and then goes on to contradict himself several times over in the individual write ups for the artists.

Spiro -, a band who've slowly evolved from the Bristol session scene

The Unthanks - Steeped in the rich heritage of Northumbrian folk music,

Jackie Oates - Her song featured here comes from the repertoire of an English folk song treasure house, the Copper Family of Sussex.

Dogan Mehmet - a second generation Turkish Cypriot from Brighton creating an ebullient blend of both English and Turkish folk music,


        (Do's Turkish influences come from his family and he found English traditional music through his school friend Matt Quinn, son of Dan Quinn.)

Nancy Wallace - before rediscovering the traditional music that her folkie parents had plied her with as a child.

Mary Epworth's - First hearing Shirley Collins at the same time as discovering an old picture of her great-great-grandfather playing in a family group, the Jubilee Band, in Norfolk in the 1880s, put her in touch with her roots.

Damien Barber was dubbed the Demon Barber by his mentor, the late great Peter Bellamy.


To suggest that these artists came to English traditional music through listening to World Music on the internet seems a little fanciful.

Ian Anderson says "Then I pressed the case for the Shirley Collins track to put it all in a bit of historical perspective."

Shirley is most definitely not history. Alas, she no longer sings but she spreads the word with her various shows (see her website) and gives voice masterclasses (for instance, 17th and 18th April next year at the Lewes Saturday Folk Club).

Yes, English folk music went through a barren patch and it is good to see it re-emerging but please give proper regard for those who carried the flame. Whether it will benefit from being taken under the World Music umbrella (which strikes me as little more than a marketing label) remains to be seen.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: irishenglish
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 11:42 AM

To Guest-well thank you. I was there when the announcement came that Tower was offically liquidated, but moved on to a non music related job, where I still am 3 years later. As I have said on here before, I lament Tower not for the job (which was poor paying), but for what is now lost for the most part. Luckily in NYC we still have J&R, probably the closest thing to a Tower, as well as small independents...but I'm not always up for that-searching through stacks and stacks of vinyl or cd's...sometimes you just want to go to a section, and find what you want. To everyone else, I think the point has been successfully made that to someone in a country other than Britain, the traditional music, or traditional inspired music of England is fittingly, world music. Some see that as a label, but I see it as where it does belong. My point about Tower Records for one thing was meant to show that it could in fact live happily next to African music and Irish music, and Cuban music, as Cajun and Native American, etc music probably does in a record store in Buenos Aires.


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: Folknacious
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 12:09 PM

"Snail": Awesome! Not a nit left unpicked or axe left unground. Deconstruction as a fine art. If there is a "Nitpicker Of The Month" award, it's surely yours. ;-)

It's what Mudcat's for . . .


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Subject: RE: English folk is 'world music'?
From: TheSnail
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 12:24 PM

You asked the question, Folknacious.


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