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


50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance

RTim 17 Feb 10 - 10:39 AM
s&r 17 Feb 10 - 11:08 AM
mousethief 17 Feb 10 - 11:24 AM
catspaw49 17 Feb 10 - 11:34 AM
frogprince 17 Feb 10 - 12:04 PM
IanC 17 Feb 10 - 12:08 PM
IanC 17 Feb 10 - 12:09 PM
Bert 17 Feb 10 - 12:57 PM
M.Ted 17 Feb 10 - 01:19 PM
MGM·Lion 17 Feb 10 - 01:28 PM
M.Ted 17 Feb 10 - 03:08 PM
PoppaGator 17 Feb 10 - 03:31 PM
gnu 17 Feb 10 - 03:34 PM
Jim Dixon 17 Feb 10 - 03:38 PM
catspaw49 17 Feb 10 - 04:08 PM
GUEST,Gerry 17 Feb 10 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,matt milton 17 Feb 10 - 04:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Feb 10 - 04:54 PM
John P 17 Feb 10 - 05:59 PM
Joe_F 17 Feb 10 - 06:04 PM
DebC 17 Feb 10 - 06:09 PM
John P 17 Feb 10 - 07:33 PM
GUEST,999 17 Feb 10 - 10:34 PM
mousethief 17 Feb 10 - 11:07 PM
Bill D 17 Feb 10 - 11:22 PM
banjoman 18 Feb 10 - 11:54 AM
M.Ted 18 Feb 10 - 03:35 PM
Dave MacKenzie 18 Feb 10 - 03:43 PM
mkebenn 18 Feb 10 - 04:35 PM
John P 18 Feb 10 - 06:00 PM
GUEST,999 18 Feb 10 - 08:44 PM
M.Ted 18 Feb 10 - 10:21 PM
banjoman 19 Feb 10 - 10:09 AM
Mooh 19 Feb 10 - 11:50 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 19 Feb 10 - 11:57 AM
John P 19 Feb 10 - 12:10 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 19 Feb 10 - 12:21 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 19 Feb 10 - 12:38 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Feb 10 - 06:12 PM
Joe Offer 19 Feb 10 - 07:33 PM
mousethief 19 Feb 10 - 10:36 PM
M.Ted 20 Feb 10 - 01:38 PM
Art Thieme 20 Feb 10 - 02:40 PM
M.Ted 20 Feb 10 - 03:18 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 20 Feb 10 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,999 20 Feb 10 - 03:44 PM
catspaw49 20 Feb 10 - 04:12 PM
M.Ted 20 Feb 10 - 04:16 PM
Bonzo3legs 20 Feb 10 - 04:29 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 20 Feb 10 - 05:32 PM
Fortunato 20 Feb 10 - 06:25 PM
M.Ted 20 Feb 10 - 07:25 PM
Art Thieme 20 Feb 10 - 07:36 PM
Art Thieme 20 Feb 10 - 07:44 PM
catspaw49 20 Feb 10 - 08:10 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 20 Feb 10 - 09:59 PM
DebC 20 Feb 10 - 10:31 PM
DebC 20 Feb 10 - 10:48 PM
Art Thieme 21 Feb 10 - 12:17 AM
M.Ted 21 Feb 10 - 02:17 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 21 Feb 10 - 02:54 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 21 Feb 10 - 04:42 AM
M.Ted 21 Feb 10 - 04:45 AM
M.Ted 21 Feb 10 - 04:53 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 21 Feb 10 - 05:00 AM
banjoman 21 Feb 10 - 06:28 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 21 Feb 10 - 07:00 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 21 Feb 10 - 07:16 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 21 Feb 10 - 08:07 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 21 Feb 10 - 09:24 AM
John P 21 Feb 10 - 11:41 AM
John P 21 Feb 10 - 11:51 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 21 Feb 10 - 12:21 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 21 Feb 10 - 12:55 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Feb 10 - 01:25 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 21 Feb 10 - 02:05 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 21 Feb 10 - 02:51 PM
Art Thieme 21 Feb 10 - 03:06 PM
DebC 21 Feb 10 - 09:44 PM
Art Thieme 21 Feb 10 - 10:38 PM
Arkie 22 Feb 10 - 10:17 PM
Andy Cohen 22 Feb 10 - 10:57 PM
Melissa 22 Feb 10 - 11:20 PM
M.Ted 23 Feb 10 - 02:42 PM
Mark Ross 23 Feb 10 - 08:18 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: 50 Year Rule
From: RTim
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 10:39 AM

I have just read on the Ballad-L list that Andy Cohen, for the 2 Traditional Rooms he is running at the Folk Alliance conference this year, has introduced the -50 Year Rule.
That is, anything sung within HAS to be at least 50 years old.
Now that is a topic for conversation!

Tim Radford


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: s&r
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 11:08 AM

Livin doll, Jailhouse rock, Freight train, three little fishes, grandfather's clock etc....


Stu


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: mousethief
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 11:24 AM

Works for me.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Teenager in Love, Rock Around the Clock, Tequila, Stay

O..O
=o=


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 11:34 AM

HEY! Works for me!....All of Buddy Holly's stuff qualifies!!!

But then there are the REAL folk songs that people have sung for years like "Purple People Eater" and "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?"

Can we all agree the 50 Rule is some real dumbass shit?


Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: frogprince
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 12:04 PM

Enforcing a 50 year rule to keep things "traditional" is just about meaningless. Moving it right back to 90 years or a century might at least be defensible in that you would be focusing on material that took root and survived without the benefit of broadcast media.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: IanC
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 12:08 PM

Even that's cobblers ... the first million seller (as far as I know) was "The Murder of Maria Narten" published by Jemmy catnach of 7 Dials in 1828. He was just using the Broadcast Media of the time ...

:-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: IanC
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 12:09 PM

Marten


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: Bert
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 12:57 PM

the 2 Traditional Rooms he is running... I guess if he is running them he can run them how he pleases.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 01:19 PM

Nobody can run anything"how he pleases"--that's a malicious myth that's been circulated by people who've never had to run anything. Andy has all my sympathy, because it looks like people are already determined to turn his idea on it's ear.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 01:28 PM

Yes, MTed ~ but that is because it is a misguided idea. To you young people, 50 years sounds like 4-fucking-ever. Believe me, to the ~ ah ~ mature, it is no time at all. It's more than 50 years since the advent of rock'n'roll, remember. Is he going to admit all those 20s-30s-40s standards. He thinks Cole Porter "Traditional" does he? Jimmy Kennedy? Johnny Mercer? Oh, come on...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 03:08 PM

Check out Andy's Videos, before you jump to any conclusions about how "misguided" he is--As to Jimmy Kennedy, Cole Porter, or Johnny Mercer tunes, and those 20s-30s-40s standards, well, hot jazz is traditional music too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: PoppaGator
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 03:31 PM

Reinterpretation of current/past popular music in traditional style, within the limitation of traditional/acoustic (and perhaps solo) instrumental constraints, is a definite part of the "songster" tradition:

Examples:

Mississippi John Hurt's "Creole Belle" (and undoubtedly several others currently slipping my mind);

Dave Van Ronk's "Would You Like to Swing on a Star," "Teddy Bears Picnic," etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: gnu
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 03:34 PM

I am remiss... 50 years AFTER the death of the author?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 03:38 PM

The Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas, has a similar rule, although they use a different cutoff date. I think it may be 1940 or thereabouts.

Of course that doesn't guarantee that everything before that date is "traditional" but that's not necessarily the intent.

Can you imagine trying to enforce a rule that everything had to be "traditional"? That would just lead you into endless arguments about what is "traditional" and what is not.

If you are going to enforce ANY rule, it had better be a simple rule that anyone can understand.

You can argue, if you like, that he should have chosen a date earlier or later than 1960. (I'd vote for earlier.) But do you think it's "dumbass shit" to choose a date at all? No, I think it's brilliant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 04:08 PM

As the foremost purveyor of dumbass shit around here, I know it when I see it!!!

Seriously Jim, maybe it will work but I doubt it.......and it will probably trigger some of this same kind of discussion. First thing you know a singing horse will show up and Bob's your uncle.

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 04:41 PM

I can't wait until someone starts to sing a song, and someone else interrupts with "I'm sorry, but that song was written 50 years ago next Tuesday - you'll have to wait until next week to sing it here."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 04:50 PM

I think it's a nice idea.

A game, a challenge, with an arbitary imposition of a rule. Why not?

No different from someone putting on a Christmas concert and stipulating everyone must sing a Christmas song, or a Valentine's Day gig wherein all must sing a love song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 04:54 PM

Equally there is an enormous amount of music that is stylistically completely "traditional" (whichever tradition you are talking about) which is very much more recent in origin than 50 years.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: John P
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 05:59 PM

This is at the Folk Alliance, right? In a room dedicated to traditional folk music? Why is everyone talking about rock & roll and jazz?

Why would it be difficult to figure out what fits?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: Joe_F
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 06:04 PM

Someone on the ng at first misinterpreted the rule as restricting the singer to songs that he or she *had known* for 50 years. I could even live with that for a few evenings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: DebC
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 06:09 PM

Well, considering that *I* am 53 yeras old, I only have a couple of songs that qualify for the initial interpretation.

I will be in Andy's showcase at FA at 2 PM on Saturday and I can guarantee that all the songs I sing will be at least 50 years old.

Deb Cowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: John P
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 07:33 PM

Someone on the ng at first misinterpreted the rule as restricting the singer to songs that he or she *had known* for 50 years. I could even live with that for a few evenings.

That would be interesting. At age 55, my repertoire would be quite limited . . .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: GUEST,999
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 10:34 PM

Ain't none of my business and never will be.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: mousethief
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 11:07 PM

If it is your club, make a list of what songs you'll accept, and if someone wants to sing something else, let them plead their case. If they succeed, add their song(s) to the list.

O..O
=o=


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 11:22 PM

"Can we all agree the 50 Rule is some real dumbass shit?"

nawww, 'spaw... it's too lenient.

I worked with some guys once who were talking about some radio station that played the "oldies", and they said that they remembered that *I* like them.

"Sure",I replied, "but 'oldies' in my crowd means before 1700."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: banjoman
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 11:54 AM

What a load of tripe this 50 year rule is. The tradition is about the singing and not necessarily about the content. Any "Folk Club" that I have been involved with (and thats over 50 years) has always welcomed anybody who was prepared to sing even if the content didn't always fit with my idea of folk music. There are loads of great songs written in a traditional style which are much less than 50 years old.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 03:35 PM

I am either very annoyed or very amused at some of the comments here, I can't quite decide which.

If you know anything about Andy Cohen, you have a pretty good idea of what you're going to hear, and, if Andy is running an open performance event, you just naturally want to play a Gary Davis tune, or some such thing(well, I'm not sure I'd have the nerve to play a Gary Davis tune with him right there, but you know what I mean).   

It is really tedious to have someone like Banjoman pontificating about "The Tradition", when anyone who doesn't live under a rock (actually, a folk rock) knows that there are different traditions, vigorously pursued in different places, and that people get very picky about style, source, and age of music, because that is what makes different kinds of music different.

In Galax, at the Old Time Fiddler's Convention, they have this rule "No Bluegrass Banjo style picking to be in Old Time Band. No Old Time Banjo style picking to be in Bluegrass Band", though we all know that rule already--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 03:43 PM

I remember playing an Irish pub, and being asked for traditional songs, so we did a few. The guy came up and said "No, real traditional songs". We eventually worked out that he meant country and western.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: mkebenn
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 04:35 PM

Dave, LOL Mike


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: John P
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 06:00 PM

My own definition of traditional music includes new songs that sound like traditional songs and have been absorbed into the playing of those who play music from whatever tradition they're in. This suits my notion of traditional music being a living, growing thing that is not just historical music. So many people, however, apparently can't tell the difference, or don't want there to be a difference, between traditional music and contemporary music that I can understand why someone would institute this rule. If I wanted a venue to have only traditional music I might do the same, as an easy-to-understand method of differentiation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: GUEST,999
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 08:44 PM

"when anyone who doesn't live under a rock (actually, a folk rock)"

That was good, M Ted.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 10:21 PM

Thanks. I do try to keep a sense of humor about this all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: banjoman
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 10:09 AM

M.Ted I think its you who is doing the pontificating and probably only coming out from under your own personal rock to make such blatantly aggressive statements. I have never lived under a rock and have considerable experience of lots of the various traditions that make up the whole genre of folk music.For anyone to try and impose their own view of what the tradition is, is doing a serious injustice to the tradition of singing and playing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: Mooh
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 11:50 AM

Reminds me of the old codger at church who was up in arms because we sang stuff written by people who weren't even dead yet.

Anyway, is it just to avoid the James Taylor and Cat Stevens cover syndrome? I would agree then. Or is it a general modern music bias?

Generally I don't rules or authority beyond what the Good Lord has given me.

Peace, Mooh.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 11:57 AM

Traditional? I have an idea of what it means to me, that it's very old stuff indeed. Certainly stuff that was around before people started thinking about 'what a folk song is?' Otherwise I think anything with a Copywrite attatched is not a folk song - if by 'folk song' we mean 'belonging to the folk'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: John P
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 12:10 PM

I don't know if I would call it a bias -- it's just a desire to have a place where lovers of traditional music can hear traditional music. Sort of like a bluegrass room or a songwriting workshop. Give a specific audience something they want to hear. Why would someone want to play a long dreamy ballad at a rap venue?

Contrary to what SOP or banjoman would have us believe, traditional music -- in all it's many forms -- exists as a thing separate from other types of music. "Singing and playing" is an activity. Saying that singing and playing is a tradition and therefore anything that gets sung and played is traditional music is silly. In fairness to SOP, I think he's seeing the interconnectedness of all music and the fact that every form of music has some sort of history behind it. I agree with that, but it doesn't stop me from hearing different types of music and being able to say, "that's a rock song, that's baroque, that's flamenco, or that's a traditional French dance tune".

I, too, don't like rules about music making. But not playing in a venue that's booking a style of music you don't play just seems like common sense.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 12:21 PM

John P, I know.

All I want is a simple piece of wordage which does what it says on the tin and pragmatically conveys to other people what I mean when I use it - more or less - as most bits of wordage do. I don't want to work out how much bran is in a loaf of brown bread to see if it complies to the exact gram with officially determined freaking levels of branness before I buy it. But nor do i want white slice that's called brown bread either - unless I actually want white slice for butties. In which case I'm happy to eat white slice.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 12:38 PM

I mean - how is a simple poorly educated lass like meself supposed to contend with all the wadges of intellectualized doo-dah that goes down around here? Just as well it's not so complicated at 'burger-mac I-Tunes want fries with that' where the smart people hang out.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 06:12 PM

The only problem I can see with what Andy is trying to do is that some people will assume he has some idea that 50 years and older has something to do with the definition of traditional. I think the words 'vintage' and 'antique' can be defined in years but surely not 'traditional'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 07:33 PM

I've had the impression that Folk Alliance is almost completely oriented toward singer-songwriter performances, so a restriction like this in at least one part of Folk Alliance, is encouraging to see.

-Joe-

(I hope you don't mind that I augmented the thread title)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: mousethief
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 10:36 PM

It pretty much cuts out singer songwriters altogether, in the sense in which I know the term. Except Woody Guthrie.

O..O
=o=


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Allia
From: M.Ted
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 01:38 PM

Banjoman--Since you don't seem to know anything about Andy Cohen, here is something from his website.

"What I do mostly any more, is a sort of Country Blues 101. It_s broader than that, of course, covering material from before the twenties to about the fifties, and ranging over the several states to which Memphis is adjacent. I grew up during the Sixties Revival in Massachusetts, but I_m a Southern boy at heart. I made a point of acquainting myself with all the blues players I could, on record and in person. In my shows, I do material by Rev. Davis, John Hurt, Big Bill, Gus Cannon, Frank Stokes, Memphis Minnie, Bukka White, Barbecue Bob, Charlie Patton, Ted Bogan, Henry Spaulding, or any of a hundred other blues people."

A lot of us know who he is, since he's been performing for 40 years or so--he is certainly well know to many associated with the Folk Alliance, and, if you, or others who were quick to express vociferous opinions had been inclined, you could have learned as
much as you needed to know about him by simply Googling. Assuming, of course that you needed to know anything before giving you opinions.

If I offended you with either my amusement/annoyance or my use of the word "pontificate"--I was in a hurry, and couldn't think of a better way to describe what you were doing.

I suppose I should apologize to His Holiness, as well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 02:40 PM

You all know perffectly well what Andy is striving to say.

The tradition is real, and the differences between it and the pap passing for folk now...

THIS POST CURTAILED !!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Allia
From: M.Ted
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 03:18 PM

There was also the "Traditional Music is Art" rule, which, simply stated, was that traditional music was anything that Art played.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 03:39 PM

Andy Cohen has done more for traditional music than all of the posters on Mudcat put together has ever thought of doing. Instead of sitting on his duff pontificating on what is and what isn't folk music, Andy is showing audiences the beauty and fun that is REAL folk music.

If you think for a minute that Andy is going to get hung up on checking the DNA of a song, you don't know Andy. He is going to share his considerable knowledge with others - and he WON'T act superior as some of our friends from across the pond who post here seem to do on a regular basis.

People like Andy, and a whole host of young people who are carrying on the tradition IN THEIR FASHION, are making a folk community that is stronger and more vibrant than anything that has been considered "folk" in the last 50 years.   They realize that folk music is not a museum piece and that you can explore and honor traditional music without making it out of touch with reality.

To get back to the last sentence in the original post - the only conversation that this thread should have created was one to give Andy credit for his work and to stimulate similar ideas for sharing this great music. Instead, the old codgers of folkdom have reared their ugly heads once again and shown why the "F" word has been such a turnoff. Andy is undoing 50 years of serious mistakes that people like some of our Mudcat posters continue to make.   We need more Andy Cohens who have a sense of honor and decency, something that is sorely lacking on Mudcat - particularly from certain people from the wrong side of the pond.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: GUEST,999
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 03:44 PM

BRAVO, Ron. BRAVO!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 04:12 PM

Even if Andy Cohen sits at the right hand of god and is up for sainthood at Folk Alliance, 50 years is simply just another stricture which will ruin the term trad as other things ruined the term "folk." Like Bill said, maybe longer is better? Or not?

Let me just go with Arlo on the subject.   He kinda' puts the subject in the perspective where it oughta' be or at least one I like................Even if he's wrong!!!

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Allia
From: M.Ted
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 04:16 PM

Thank you, Ron. Thank you, Ron, and thank you, Ron, again!!! It's nice to know that there is someone around here who cares about "the music", instead of just ranting about "The Tradition"--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 04:29 PM

He is clearly a control freak, and an absolute pratt!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 05:32 PM

Language usage shifts. But the material I'm interested in stays static. I don't care what terms others use to define the music that interests them, I'd just like to be able to use a term defining the music that interests me without too much confusion. I don't use 'folk' because today it means something different to what it once did. I use 'traditional songs' purely because I (obviously wrongly) assumed most people still agree on what that means. I guess it doesn't though, so those of us interested in umm very old songs, will have to coin another fresh term to describe them. Maybe I'll resort to SO'P's rather longwinded but descriptive English Speaking Traditional Folk Song and Balladry from now on. Gonna be a bugger for creating threads on Mudcat though!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Fortunato
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 06:25 PM

I've not joined the Folk Alliance so far, but I believe I will this year. I think Susette and I will attend one or both of the conferences. I commend the efforts of Mr. Cohen and others who work to preserve our traditions in music. When I have attended a workshop such as is discussed here and seen the general tone of the conferences, I'll be able to comment with more merit, perhaps.

In the meantime, I would like to say that I am in sympathy with Mr. Cohen for focusing the workshop with an arbitrary date. For years I ran open mikes for 'traditional music' in DC and my efforts to 'limit', 'define', or focus the music performed were constantly in review and discussion, if not argument.

It is tempting to form our personal definitions of genres and sub-genres and discriminate based one's assumptions and then point the finger of disagreement. But this can soon miss the mark, for the value of the workshop is in the sharing of the music, not the discrimination that will inevitably take place. We should not mistake the finger pointing for the music.

Let me know how his workshop goes. I wish I could be there.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Allia
From: M.Ted
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 07:25 PM

Here (AGAIN) is what Andy says about what he does, 'Spaw:

"What I do mostly any more, is a sort of Country Blues 101. It_s broader than that, of course, covering material from before the twenties to about the fifties, and ranging over the several states to which Memphis is adjacent."

That's it--a definition of *his* interests with some loose lines drawn in space and time, descriptive, not proscriptive--that's it, and that's what you get when he does a workshop, whether it is in a "Traditional Room" at the Folk Alliance, or in Mary and Frank Folkmeister's living room.

The fact is that he is interested in stuff from 50 years ago back to about 90 years ago, but that is a rule-of-thumb rather than any sort of rule.


What problem do you have with that?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 07:36 PM

I do think I fully understand where Andy is coming from. I've known Andy for 45 years. He is making a needed distinction at Folk Aliance. If he wasn't making his point subtly and between the lines in setting up these Traditional rooms he wouldn't have left room for Ron's points to fit in this thread too.

Ron, your error, as I see it, is that, by championing inclusivity, a lauditory position to take sometimes, and one that is sure to bring you kudos, you are failing to see the dsirability, and actual necessity, of drawing boldfaced boundary likes. I like and prefer it that way. To me, that is the real world. Thanks so much for your   value judgments.

Respectfully,

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 07:44 PM

Sorry for the typos. It ought to read "boundary lines"

Art again


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 08:10 PM

Ted, I've had trouble for 12 yeaars here with the damn tags. I dunno' what works but the only thing I ever see as a result is a gawdamn argument! I wish it wasn't but for me, I no longer have a dog in the hunt. Good for Andy whatever he does. Why not say we'll be doing songs from 50-100 years old so don't bring any late model stuff. Why call it anything? Why call it trad? Even if you have the best intentions and are a great guy, when you tag it you just add to the cofusion and invite argument.

I'd love to go back to "Folk" but as Sandy Paton once told me, "They took that word away from us."..........and he was right of course.

I've not gotten involved in one of these threads for years and I am done with this one as well. Good luck to Andy as I meant no offense towards him. All the same..........

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 09:59 PM

"50 years is simply just another stricture which will ruin the term trad as other things ruined the term "folk." Like Bill said, maybe longer is better? Or not?

You are completely missing the point!!!! It is not "inclusivity". It is a fucking showcacase with a theme!!!!! It is not meant to define music or a style, it is a simple way of being the carnival barker and drawing a crowd.

"Ron, your error, as I see it, is that, by championing inclusivity, a lauditory position to take sometimes, and one that is sure to bring you kudos, you are failing to see the dsirability, and actual necessity, of drawing boldfaced boundary likes. "

Sorry Art, and with all due respect to you - you are also missing the point of what Andy and everyone is doing. There is a boundary, but "folk" does not refer to one style or definition.

I loved Sandy Paton, and understand what he was saying - but I feel he was wrong to say that. No one took the word "folk" away from Sandy or from any of you or me. YOU have tried to make a definition of folk that was too exclusive to acknowledge the various LIVING traditions that are still going on.

Sorry, but this type of bullshit "conversation" is what turns off people from he style - and too many people are guilty of this.

Andy Cohen knows his music and he is a walking encyclopedia for the styles he knows. Rather than turn people off, he is trying to turn people on by showcasing what he loves.

If the rest of you spent more time celebrating the traditions you enjoy instead of knocking the music that others enjoy, we would have a larger audience exposed to the traditions and carrying on the music. Don't waste whatever precious time we have left, spend the time celebrating and sharing - stop all the ridiculous knocking.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: DebC
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 10:31 PM

Ok-I have just now seen this thread and where it went. I don't have time to write everything I feel about the situation. But I think Andy's 50 year rule is needed here.

But it isn't being strictly enforced and that's ok. In fact, when I first heard about it I laughed because I know Andy and that's his way. It's almost a joke.

But what is happening in the two rooms that Andy is running is that *finally* there is a place in this event for folks like me who love the old songs and have been *invited* to participate in a showcase. I can't tell you how much begging goes on (and the $$$ that gets spent) for slots in the other showcases that only feature songwriters.

I also applaud Andy Cohen for what he has done here. My respect for him and his knowledge is HUGE. As he told me this afternoon, it's certainly not perfect, but it's a start.

Ron is correct. Andy has DONE something about the situation. Good for him.

Debra Cowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: DebC
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 10:48 PM

Oh yes, I am posting from Folk Alliance and played Andy's room this afternoon.

Debra


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 12:17 AM

Deb, I'm certain it went well! Love to Andy, to you, and to all who managed to gift me with a lifetime membership to F.A. a few years ago. I'm honored to be a member.

Ron,
It does seem, sir, that we do push each others buttons. So be it. It is simply enough for me to realize how right-on I am -- and conversely, how w..ng you are. Fascinatingly, I managed to say that without a single f-word.

;-)

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Allia
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 02:17 AM

Glad that it went well, Deb-it seemed like it would be something special, and it was. And thanks for telling everyone what the event was really about.

Thanks to everyone here who went off half-cocked without having any idea about what was going on--we couldn't have pulled the thread off without you!!

Special Kudos to our friends from the UK, who poured their best indignation into something that had nothing to do with them at all--and finally, congratulations to Tim Radford for his initial post-- You explained nothing, and pushed a lot of buttons needlessly--but hey, isn't that the Mudcat way?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 02:54 AM

"Special Kudos to our friends from the UK, who poured their best indignation into something that had nothing to do with them at all-"

Rather an intense and hostile over-reaction there Ted! It's a thread created for discussion and the discussion was pretty mild I thought - I guess if someone had put a US prefix on the title I'd have realised from get go that I shouldn't respond to the topic. I think you'll also find a pretty even mixture in responses from *both* sides of the pond.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 04:42 AM

PS. I do understand that 'traditional' is too wide open to personal interpretation to strictly describe songs that were circulated amongst the common people before the industrial revolution put an end to the oral tradition. It's simply that thus far it seemed the least confusing referent to use for someone like me wanting to learn about such songs. So I respect anyone else's right to use the term 'traditional' - it's a word fully open to any number of uses depending on context. I also think that America - as a relatively young nation compared to most - has a younger 'tradition' of songs. But they are still traditional to the US and deserving of attention and recognition for having served their time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Allia
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 04:45 AM

Apparently, you can't tell distinguish a good-natured zetz from "intense and hostile over-reaction"--

Even so, the negative remarks might be resented, and the people who made them resented for a simple reason--this was a showcase at the Folk Alliance that was set up for performers who do traditional/folk/blues and who haven't been getting much exposure there. Saying that "it is a misguided idea", or that it is "a load of tripe" is essentially saying that they don't deserve to show their stuff.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Allia
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 04:53 AM

As to your P.S.--well, that's might decent of you to allow that we are entitled to have traditional music, too. As to how young a nation we are, you'll be surprised to know that most of the other nations in the world were established much more recently than ours.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 05:00 AM

I see you're determined to be uptight and snarky. I'll fuck off then and never attempt to engage in any discussion obviously exclusive to US posters, so I never tread on anyone else's delicate toes.

Otherwise as said, I think you'll find that it was posters from the US who were most strongly expressive of their negative feelings on the matter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: banjoman
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 06:28 AM

M Ted the word Pontificate has nothing to do with "His Holiness" and in fact refers to Bridge Building which is perhaps what you should be trying to do instead of spouting off your own views which you seem to be confusing with fact. I am well aware of the work of Andy and simply feel that to impose a 50 year year limit is doing a diservice to the genre as a whole


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 07:00 AM

I guess my younger tradition comment came over poorly. In retrospect that was my fault. I was meaning traditional is arguably a relative term (it's certainly being used in this context to mean something other than I usually see it used) and may have different connotations in different cultures.

In any event, I don't know a great deal about traditional (an in 'very old' for want of another term) American/Canadian folk songs, though I stumbled on this recently and thought it was pretty amazing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxRYLcShzdU
Then there's this too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raLXnnlPI_I - in fact I'm learning this right now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 07:16 AM

I meant, I'm learning both of these now.

Maybe those of us interested in 'very old' songs, should call them 'heritage songs' or some such thing..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 08:07 AM

And another, here sung by Jean Ritchie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 09:24 AM

"It does seem, sir, that we do push each others buttons. So be it. It is simply enough for me to realize how right-on I am -- and conversely, how w..ng you are. Fascinatingly, I managed to say that without a single f-word."

Art, I meant no disrespect to you. Having a differing point of view on what constitutes "a tradition" is not a call to arms. This isn't a case of "right" or "wrong" - it is simply interpretation. I find the limiting borderlines that were somehow handed down 50 or 60 years ago as if written on slates from the hand of God are simply being taken too literally. They fail to recognize that communities and technologies evolve.

It may be a case that we simply aren't understanding each others point of view. I may be wrong, but I think we are both in agreement about Andy's showcases and the importance of carrying on the tradition. Contemporary singer-songwriters are doing themselves a disservice if they fail to learn from the songbag of our heritage.

Where you and I differ is in recognizing the way those traditions have evolved since the days of the folk revival.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: John P
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 11:41 AM

Having a differing point of view on what constitutes "a tradition" is not a call to arms.

Ron, I don't think anyone really has a different view on what constitutes a tradition -- just on what the phrase "traditional music" means. It has, for many years, been in general parlance as a term to define a type of music. I think the problem is that as you seem to be saying, and SOP keeps saying, is that any form of music has traditions attached to it. Of course they do. But this can be said of ANYTHING. Computers were, for years, traditionally band-aid beige in color. String quartets traditionally use two violins, a viola, and a cello. Goulash traditionally has beef in it. And on and on. You seem to be replacing a word in a specific descriptive phrase with its most generalized definition, and then getting a bit cranky because some of us find the generalized meaning to be meaningless for the purposes of describing the specific activity, and who think the commonly understood meaning to just fine the way it's been for many years. It is, as Crow Sister said earlier, a way for us to talk about a type of music without having to type an encyclopedia to avoid having you and others come unglued about labels being a disservice to folk music.

I, for one, would like to be able to talk about Xerox copiers without you telling me that that the word xerox refers -- as it plainly does in some contexts -- to all copiers, no matter the manufacturer. Sometimes it's nice to be able to say something about a Canon copier and have people know that I mean Canon copier, not think that I'm trying to trash all other manufacturers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: John P
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 11:51 AM

Rather than turn people off, he is trying to turn people on by showcasing what he loves . . . If the rest of you spent more time celebrating the traditions you enjoy instead of knocking the music that others enjoy . . .

Sorry, Ron, I can't let this one go. Please show us some examples of anyone knocking anyone else's type of music. And please tell me how you know what I, or anyone else, am doing or not doing to celebrate the types of music we play. And show me how many people in the real world I have turned off to traditional folk music. I really mean it. Really specific examples. Or stop saying stuff like this, please. It makes it really hard to have a conversation with you if I have to wade through condemnatory verbiage like this in order to so so.

The only people I have EVER seen get turned off by a discussion of traditional folk music is here at Mudcat, and almost always it's people who don't seem to be able to stomach the concept that many of us see vast differences between traditional music and other forms, and just want to be able to discuss it, for some purposes, as a discreet entity.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 12:21 PM

"My own definition of traditional music includes new songs that sound like traditional songs and have been absorbed into the playing of those who play music from whatever tradition they're in. This suits my notion of traditional music being a living, growing thing that is not just historical music."

I'm not sure why you are getting defensive John - I agree with your previous statement 100%. No need to feel guilty, I have no knowledge of you knocking the music of others.

Read some of the pithy comments that get posted here and on other threads. Labeling contemporary folk music as "pap" ignores the fine singer-songwriters who are writing songs that do fit the definitions that have been thrown about here as to what constitutes folk music. Unless I read her wrong, Crow Sister seems to define folk music as "English Speaking Traditional Folk Song and Ballad", which seems to be the case for many posters here.   

Nothing wrong with that. It fits the criteria. Of course, the same criteria can fit other catagories and styles. When those styles are knocked is when I take exception. There is a difference between pop and folk, but "pop" is also a more recent phenomenon.

What really irritated me is the number of people who seemed to take issue with Andy's work.   I think deep down, most of us agree with what he is doing and we are all looking to promote and expose others to traditional music.   Our conflicts come up when we let our own feelings become gospel - and I am guilty of doing that too.

I just like to see more support for the Andy Cohen's of the world who don't sit around posting on Mudcat and expect the work to be continued. Andy is doing something that is real important - and he is exposing the very singer-songwriters that some consider "pap" to the music that the rest of us know and love.

I was at a Folk Alliance event a few years ago when Dave Van Ronk was still with us. A hat was being passed around to help Dave financially. One rather prominent singer-songwriter said to me "Who is Dave Van Ronk?"    THAT is why Andy's work is important, and rather than focusing on the shortcomings, I feel we need to celebrate the positive work.

Of course that is just my opinion. I will leave now and you can continue with your discussion that was going on before my interuption.

Have a great day.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 12:55 PM

"Crow Sister seems to define folk music as "English Speaking Traditional Folk Song and Ballad", which seems to be the case for many posters here."

To clarify, my own understanding of 'folk' is that although it *once was* a term used to specifically describe those songs that were gathered from the last remaining singers of the oral tradition (ie essentially songs circulated amongst the common people prior the industrial revolution) it no longer does.

Modern music inspired by these old songs and the consequent popular usage of the word 'folk' changed that. I don't take any issue with the fact that the term was adopted by those who continued (and continue to do so) to make music 'in the style of' earlier music, and that it now is an umbrella term describing a very broad spectrum of varied contemporary musics that have evolved from a common source.

No issue with that at all. Or indeed with different interpretations of 'traditional' - now that I know that there isn't actually any concensus on what it means after all..
It's just going to make thread titles on Mudcat much more cumbersome!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 01:25 PM

"Labeling contemporary folk music as "pap" ignores the fine singer-songwriters...."
Just as 'finger-in-ear' misrepresents those of us who choose traditional song rather than singer-songwriter material.
The problem with all these discussions is that they are taken on the personal preference level rather than what they really should be about - definition - labelling your product so that those of us who know nothing of 'Folk Alliance' know what we are buying into when we invest our time and money.
I find John P's posting both eloquent and sensible to the 'wish I'd said that' level; 'Folk' and 'traditional' in the title of this thread imply a certain type of music I have been listening to over the last half century. If the terms have come to mean something else, I have never come across alternative definitions.
Maybe when this one has been sorted out some of us who stopped going to folk clubs' when the term became meaningless and our choice of what we listened to was taken away from us, might be inclined to make the effort again.
I've no problem with with anybody listening to and performing whatever music they choose as long as they don't try to sell it to me as something it's not.
Can't for the life of me see why 50 years has been chosen - it seems that the organiser has decided to arbitrarily apply a cut-off date which is as meaningless as 'folk' and 'tradition' in certain quarters.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 02:05 PM

I don't know much about the 'songbag' heritage of America, but was given this collection of American folk music (mostly recorded during the 20's and 30's) some time ago. I think it's about time I dug it out:
Anthology of American Folk Music
I think the reviews make interesting and affecting reading:

"There is a great beauty in the voices on these recordings, many of which are almost shrill, almost off-key -- unfamiliar to our pampered contemporary ears -- but also perfectly right. There is a mystery in the odd and sometimes fragmentary lyrics, whose once important meaning is now lost.
We can still share the depth of feeling through the music itself, sometimes so strongly that your heart leaps as though you'd been kicked from inside. But, as it says in the booklet of notes, while we can share in the emotions that impelled someone to sing about The Coo Coo Bird in the first place, we'll never know why it was important to live on a mountainside in order to see Willie go by."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 02:51 PM

Further to some of the discussion here about songs of the tradition and those in the style of same, it's interesting to see how the old songs get re-interpreted. Arguably, they are not bound to the folk musical genre, and can continue to flourish outside of it very well. This is what Wiki has to say about See Line Woman:

""Sea Lion Woman" (also "Sea-Line Woman", "See [the] Lyin' Woman", "She Lyin' Woman", "See-Line Woman", or "C-Line Woman") is a traditional American folk song originally used as a children's playground song.[1]
The exact origins of the song are unknown but it is believed to have originated in the southern United States. It was first recorded by folklore researcher Herbert Halpert on May 13, 1939.[2] Halpert was compiling a series of field recordings for the Library of Congress in Byhalia, MS, when he ran across Walter Shipp, a minister, and his wife Mary, a choir director of a local church. Halpert recorded Shipp's daughters, Katherine and Christine, singing a sparse version of "Sea Lion Woman" that defined the basic rhymes and rhythm of the song."

When I first heard this traditional American song, it was in the form of a modern remix and at that time I knew nothing at all about traditional songs or folk music of any kind: See Line Woman
I really liked it too, and still do.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 03:06 PM

If I had been able to sing and play, and be there at one of Andy's traditional rooms, I would've sung (possibly) the American lumber camp ballad "The Pinery Boy" -- a distinct traditional variation of the British "Sailor Boy" and also the FURTHER WEST traditional 1849 song from the California goldfields called "The California Boy." Maybe I'd do all three of these, as Sam Hinton might've, to illustrate how the mechanism we call the 'folk process' works it's morphing machinations.

"The Shanty Boy On The Big Eau Claire River" or "The Pokegama Bear"-- or the cowboy songs "Billy Vanero" or Del Bray's "The Cowboy's Barbara Allen" would've been good to do there, too, as being illustrative of traditional American ballad forms. ------- It does drive me nuts that I can't do it now.

Where are Paul Clayton and Peter Bellamy when we really need them?
Both are dead by their own hands from depression, yes, and also arguably from a rightly or wrongly self-perceived lack of appreciation.

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: DebC
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 09:44 PM

Art, they are out there. They just aren't at Folk Alliance, which is very sad IMO. That said, though, Archie Fisher, Brian MacNeill, Kate MacLeod, Kat Eggleston and of course, Andy were there.

I have been increasingly concerned about how traditional songs and roots music has taken a back seat to contemporary singer songwriters at FA. Walking around the showcase floors, all I heard was people singing their own songs with an occasional bluegrass or celtic band playing so fast that I got dizzy.

It's very rare to hear someone singing an un-accompanied ballad in a showcase at FA. I am always amused when I am in a showcase and placed in-the round with singer-songwriters, beacuse I am the only one singing traditional songs. With the exception of Pete and Woody, they really don't know who our elders were that gave us so many wonderful song and tunes. Ron's statement above about dave Von Ronk speaks volumes and unfortunately is the rule rather than the exception at many of these conferences.

It's a shame, really.

Deb Cowan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 10:38 PM

Deb,
It was close to certain that I'd not be renewing my FA membership for most of the reasons you mention. Then, lo and behold, some of my friends gave me the lifetime membership. Those facts, together, point to some strange irony of juxtaposition, I guess. But I did decide to stay to keep my eye on the doings at FA and hoping for better times. I watch them give out posthumous awards to some good people and ghosts, but after that, it seems to be mostly lip-service.

I hate to note, yet again, that it is seemingly about money. With Andy and most of my cohorts, it mostly wasn't about that.

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Arkie
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 10:17 PM

Andy agreed to do the showcase and he has every right to determine the theme of the showcase. I have had the good fortune to hear Andy perform several times and on every occasion the music he did was over 50 years old. I have also been to workshops or showcases where themes were train songs, protest songs, banned songs, gospel songs, singer-songwriters, and any number of others. I am a little surprised at some comments in this thread. I did not think some of these folk were that narrow minded. At Folk Alliance and other festivals showcases have themes. People can choose to attend or not to attend. I would guess there are other showcases at the same time as Andy's.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Andy Cohen
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 10:57 PM

Dear Mudcatters,

First of all, the fifty year rule was indeed a joke. But I care very much about traditional music, as over against contemporary music, which drowns it out numerically, sonically, and in terms of exposure. I feel many, if not most songwriters are adrift in a world of their own, with no boundairies and no reference points. Fortunately, this is a curable condition, all it takes is consistent immersion and the proactive seeking out of mentors. I would like to see more of that in the folk world, but realize that most of the mentors available in my day are now deceased.

I knew that when I first saw Rev. Gary Davis and a bunch of other old guys at the Brandeis Festival in 1963. Gary was as old as my Uncle Julius, and I was old enough to know that Julius wouldn't last forever, therefore neither would Rev. Davis.

That fact is, FAI is numerically dominated, more than ten to one, by songwriters. I cherry-picked through the entire population for my sixty six showcase slots, and negotiated individually with grounded songwriters, asking that they do traditional material, rather than their own material. I turned a few people down who clearly had no understanding of traditional music, and thought that what they were doing by writing new songs was itself a tradition, therefore their own songs were traditional. I sent a bunch of young'uns off to You Tube with suggestions on who t o look at, and glommed onto every radical 78-ist I could find.

I am fond of pointing out that Homo erectus used a tool kit that consisted of the Acheulian hand-axe for a MILLION YEARS, and against that, any other human tradition looks pretty paltry. I have nothing against singer/songwriters, though I kid them a lot. Clearly, a song with brand new copyright registration on it is not a folk song. Time will edit most out, some into tradition, just as it did for Midnight Special and Wildwood Flower. For the record, I was able to sample most kinds of commonly performed traditional music, Blues, balladry, at least a dozen foreign language performers, not to mention Brian MacNeill and Archie Edwards.

I told the manager of one young Bluegrass band that I would like it if t hey played Flatt and Scruggs, but not so much if they concentrated on Sam Bush. I never shut anyone down for singing a forty-nine year old song (which Mike Agranoff purposely did, 'Don't Think Twice'.

My bull's eye here was 93 year old Violet Hensley of Yellville, Arkansas, quite a fiddler even at her advanced age, and who made the very fiddles she played. Violet was the recipient of the first Mike Seeger Scholarship, designed to bring unarguably traditional people to the conference so as to compete on an equal footing with all the youngsters and their newly minted material, for spots at the same run of gigs everybody in FA plays.

There were several other old folks at the conference, notably Bill Hearne, a country singer from Texas, and Delmer Holland, a fiddler from middle Tennessee. And there were a bunch of younger people playing OT music and Blues. Living traditions, like Sacred Steel and Bluegrass, were represented quite well, though I don't know how much of the material those guys did had any age on it.

I am an Anthropologist, not a Folklorist, though in my work and life I handle mostly folkloric material. I have my own way of calculating whether a piece is traditional or not, and while there are a bunch of conditionals that make it cumbersome to express in sound bites, I'd be happy to walk any of you through the ins and outs of this now-familiar thicket of philosophical argument, if you are serious about it.

Some sensible person in this discussion pointed out that the fifty year rule was a shorthand mnemonic, and that was essentially correct. Any and all criticism or praise (Thank you Deb, Art, Ron and Ted), the buck stops here. I'm on FB, and my normal email address is . You can reach me at as well.

Andy Cohen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Alliance
From: Melissa
Date: 22 Feb 10 - 11:20 PM

without all this kicking and snorting, I never would have known to look for Violet Hensley on youtube.

Thanks for that, AndyC


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Allia
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 02:42 PM

Almost as good as being there--Violet Hensley, at the 2010 Folk Alliance Conference Thanks, Andy!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 50 Year Rule - traditional rooms at Folk Allia
From: Mark Ross
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 08:18 PM

CONGRATULATIONS to Professor Cohen for pulling this off.   I stayed with Violet Hensley
40 years ago in Arkansas. Met her at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in '70 and played with her for a while. Glad to see she's still around.

Mark Ross


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 February 1:53 PM EST

[ 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.