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Unaccompanied Trad Groups

GUEST,Pat Coburn 05 Apr 10 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,PhilB 05 Apr 10 - 04:50 AM
Dave Hanson 05 Apr 10 - 05:34 AM
GUEST,oldnickilby 05 Apr 10 - 05:34 AM
tijuanatime 05 Apr 10 - 05:42 AM
Acorn4 05 Apr 10 - 06:09 AM
Acorn4 05 Apr 10 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,Erich 05 Apr 10 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,Liz 05 Apr 10 - 06:47 AM
tijuanatime 05 Apr 10 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 05 Apr 10 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,Erich 05 Apr 10 - 10:12 AM
Nick 05 Apr 10 - 10:37 AM
Dave Hanson 05 Apr 10 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,Erich 05 Apr 10 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 05 Apr 10 - 01:00 PM
Surreysinger 05 Apr 10 - 01:05 PM
Steve Gardham 05 Apr 10 - 02:03 PM
Tootler 05 Apr 10 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 05 Apr 10 - 02:41 PM
Valmai Goodyear 05 Apr 10 - 03:03 PM
Steve Gardham 05 Apr 10 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,Jim Redfern 05 Apr 10 - 03:40 PM
Steve Gardham 05 Apr 10 - 03:59 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 05 Apr 10 - 04:17 PM
Steve Gardham 05 Apr 10 - 06:03 PM
Valmai Goodyear 06 Apr 10 - 04:48 AM
GUEST,Hesk 06 Apr 10 - 05:19 AM
Howard Jones 06 Apr 10 - 05:32 AM
MikeL2 06 Apr 10 - 05:45 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 06 Apr 10 - 06:03 AM
The Borchester Echo 06 Apr 10 - 06:20 AM
GUEST,CS 06 Apr 10 - 06:45 AM
GUEST,padgett 06 Apr 10 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,Hesk 06 Apr 10 - 07:00 AM
GUEST,CS 06 Apr 10 - 07:05 AM
GUEST,CS 06 Apr 10 - 07:14 AM
Ruth Archer 06 Apr 10 - 07:43 AM
tijuanatime 06 Apr 10 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,CS 06 Apr 10 - 08:34 AM
MikeL2 06 Apr 10 - 09:30 AM
Ruth Archer 06 Apr 10 - 09:37 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 06 Apr 10 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,CS 06 Apr 10 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,CS 06 Apr 10 - 11:19 AM
Ruth Archer 06 Apr 10 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,CS 06 Apr 10 - 11:43 AM
Ruth Archer 06 Apr 10 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,CS 06 Apr 10 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,CS 06 Apr 10 - 12:11 PM
Ruth Archer 06 Apr 10 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,CS 06 Apr 10 - 01:25 PM
Ruth Archer 06 Apr 10 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,CS 06 Apr 10 - 01:50 PM
JohnB 06 Apr 10 - 02:01 PM
RTim 06 Apr 10 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,CS 06 Apr 10 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,CS 06 Apr 10 - 03:42 PM
Stringsinger 06 Apr 10 - 04:16 PM
Ruth Archer 06 Apr 10 - 04:21 PM
Ruth Archer 06 Apr 10 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,Cs 06 Apr 10 - 04:29 PM
GUEST,VS 06 Apr 10 - 04:32 PM
SylviaN 06 Apr 10 - 05:36 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 06 Apr 10 - 05:52 PM
GUEST,CS 07 Apr 10 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,padgett 07 Apr 10 - 04:36 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 07 Apr 10 - 05:07 AM
Leadfingers 07 Apr 10 - 05:25 AM
Ruth Archer 07 Apr 10 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,CS 07 Apr 10 - 07:19 AM
TheSnail 07 Apr 10 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,jim b 08 Apr 10 - 07:07 AM
HarryC 15 Apr 10 - 05:03 PM
HarryC 15 Apr 10 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,Bill S from Melbourne 16 Apr 10 - 06:55 AM
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Subject: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Pat Coburn
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 04:40 AM

What has happened to this genre?There just don't seem to be any to challenge CBS and this isn't healthy.Any recommendations?


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,PhilB
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 04:50 AM

The Claque

www.wildgoose.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 05:34 AM

Ever heard of The Wilson Family and The Copper Family ?

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,oldnickilby
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 05:34 AM

There are lots of us singing in this manner, its just that we dont have pushy agents and most of us like singing for the sheer pleasure it gives, not the cash.
We have our own "Second Saturday"sing that regularly gets in excess of 20 singers (sorry invitation only as it is at our home)


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: tijuanatime
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 05:42 AM

Hex


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Acorn4
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 06:09 AM

The "Young-uns" would seem to fit the bill aptly here.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Acorn4
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 06:10 AM

...oh, and of course our local outfit "GU4"!


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Erich
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 06:31 AM

Yes , Hex of course, and Pennyroyl, Ninepenny Marl. Just visit UK-folkfestivals and avoid the main stages.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Liz
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 06:47 AM

I agree with Dave, the Wilsons were the best thing we saw in 2009


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: tijuanatime
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 09:08 AM

Notts Alliace and Craig Morgan Robson .


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 09:11 AM

God save me from 'Unaccompanied Trad Groups'! In my opinion a few 'Unaccompanied Trad Groups' ('folk choirs') from the 60s and 70s have a lot to answer for. Dirgey harmonising and sickeningly hearty, unmelodic bellowing spring to mind.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Erich
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 10:12 AM

@ Shimrod:

talking about Young Tradition, Watersons, Folly Bridge, Songwainers, etc. ????


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Nick
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 10:37 AM

Do Hissyfit and Two Black Sheep and a Stallion count?


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 10:38 AM

I'd never heard of Hex but I listened to ' White Cockade ' from them, very very good.

Ah, Craig Morgan Robson, say no more, I've been in love with Carolyn Robson since I first heard her on a Kathryn Tickell CD.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Erich
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 10:58 AM

Another "girlie group"
The Witches of Elswick - wow.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 01:00 PM

'Guest Erich',

'No names, no pack drill' as they say.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Surreysinger
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 01:05 PM

Guest Erich - Sadly I think the Witches disbanded some while ago. Shimrod - dirgey CBS and the Wilsons certainly ain't!


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 02:03 PM

Shimrod
You have no soul IMHO! The Watersons have been at the top of the tree for nigh on 50 years and deservedly so. Are English Tapestry's contrived harmonies more your taste?


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Tootler
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 02:33 PM

Take no notice of Shimrod. He regularly complains about people harmonising in choruses and also about people joining in with the refrains in ballads. In fact I get the distinct impression he doesn't really like people joining in at all when he is singing.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 02:41 PM

I must say that I'm rather dismayed that YOU believe that I "have no soul", Mr Gardham! As an admirer of your scholarship I'm a bit nonplussed!

Bearing in mind that I've been careful not to mention any names, it's surely all a matter of taste(?) As someone who has steeped himself in English Traditional song, for at least 40 years, I happen to think that the tradition is mainly a solo one, in which words and melody are paramount. In my opinion it doesn't lend itself well to a group treatment - especially one involving harmonies - which, to my ear at least,tend to 'fill in' all the delightful twists, turns and intervals in the melodies. All my favourite performances over the years have been solo ones.

Again, in my opinion, the 'folk choirs' have introduced some supremely irritating affectations and mannerisms into the Revival - i.e. dirgey choruses, 'hearty' bellowing etc. If I have to sit through another endless, dirgey chorus with lots of pra ... sorry, people, 'harmonising', I swear I'll stand up and scream at the top of my voice - AAAAARRRGH!!!! - and, perhaps, even run amok with a machete (probably not, though, as I'm not given to impromptu acts of violence).


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 03:03 PM

Here's an interesting article in 'Musical Traditions' about the Millen familiy of Kent - scroll down to find it. Like the Coppers, they have a current family tradition of singing in harmony and the article briefly explores its origins. It mentions the Batt Brothers of Kent, too, who also sang in harmony.

I heartily endorse the recommendation of The Claque. Here they are on YouTube at Cheltenham Folk Festival 2009. The sound is not very good quality, but it gives an idea of their distinctive style.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 03:36 PM

Ah, Shimrod, perhaps it is a bit shallow to accuse someone you don't know of having no soul on the basis of one statement. If harmony singing, the solitary example given above excepted, was not part of the older tradition there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that it should not be a new tradition brought in from other genres. Actually it was very much part of the town scene in earlier centuries. They used to call the songs they sang glees and they were often shorter (e.g., Coppers' Spring Glee). All of the harmony groups mentioned above bring a great deal of pleasure to a wide number of people, me included. Surely you can't fault, for instance, The Voice Squad?

Here's a little anecdote that might interest you. I have 2 sons in their 30s. At no point in their upbringing did we thrust folk music down their throats. They went through all the usual phases, heavy metal etc., and both have a healthy interest in a wide range of music today. High up amongst their favourite artistes are the Watersons. In fact a very favourite track is 'The Earsdon Calling-on Song', which to some might sound rather dirgy.

I too, as you must know, have steeped myself in traditional song for the last 45 years, but that doesn't prevent me from enjoying and appreciating relatively new traditions, or even current music, in fact music from any genre.

You have obviously indulged in this tradition of using pseudonyms, taking a leaf out of the CBer's book no doubt! I do accept that it is an ancient tradition and I have done it myself on occasions.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Jim Redfern
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 03:40 PM

Amen to The Claque,Valmai.They are exciting,wild and unusual with off the beaten track songs and harmonies that bend like rainbows and always gold at the end.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 03:59 PM

Shimrod, I might add it was the inspiration of the Watersons' singing that caused me c1965 to record all my family's songs and go out into the East Riding with a tape recorder and record the sort of songs they were singing from the people who could still remember them. I don't ever recall Fred Jordan or Walter Pardon criticising what the Watersons were doing with the songs.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 04:17 PM

It's not the Watersons themselves that I object to - as it happens I recall enjoying their early 'Frost and Fire' recording for Topic very much (not so keen, perhaps, on their later work - matter of taste again). It's the EFFECT that their stuff (and that of some of their contemporaries) seems to have had on many of those who sought to emulate them. In some circles, what is to my ear, a somewhat grotesque parody of these groups is almost de rigeur - and seems to me to have moved the Tradition rather a long way from the singing of such luminaries as Fred Jordan and Walter Pardon!


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Apr 10 - 06:03 PM

So? There are still very many solo singers, the groups simply add to the variety, nay even add extra dimensions. They in no way are trying to emulate the singers of the past, they are taking the material to a new dimension and I might add to new audiences, as are those who use instruments and modern technology. If we don't do this we are simply saying the music is nothing but a museum piece. Anyone is entitled to treat the music in this way, but tradition is about evolution, not stagnation.

Personally I'm not in favour of arranged harmonies or choirs singing folk song, but I'm prepared to accept that we wouldn't have the song 'Three Score and Ten' in the folk repertoire if Filey Fisherman's Choir hadn't taken it up. I quite like some of these large shanty groups and I do like some stuff choirs sing but I agree with you it doesn't suit folk song IMO. I personally love harmony singing and I love the unarranged natural harmonies of most of the groups mentioned. The sugar-sweet girly stuff is not my taste but that's just personal preference. I can still appreciate what they are trying to do.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 04:48 AM

Tabbush Sisters

Notts Alliance


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Hesk
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 05:19 AM

Shimrod must have an awful time of it being driven to distraction on such a regular basis. How embarrassing for performers to feel the sheer hate emanating from him, at times like this.
It rather confirms my view that there is a lot of intolerance out there.
A longtime ago I decided to listen and try to enjoy all performances, regardless, especially if they are being provided for no reward. I am a little more critical if I have paid to see artists, but that is the beauty of festivals, you can vote with your feet without offending anyone, by going to the bar!


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Howard Jones
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 05:32 AM

I think it's unwise to be dogmatic about "the tradition", as if it were uniform and unchanging. It may be true that most singers sang solo and unaccompanied, but there were exceptions, such as Bob Roberts who sang with melodeon. Harmony singing may not have been common, but it certainly existed - the Coppers and the Millens are probably the tip of a lost iceberg. Harmony singing and fuguing are certainly part of the Sheffield Carols tradition.

Folk singers did not exist in an isolated bubble, cut off from other influences. They were exposed to the popular music of the day, as well as religious music, which included harmonised arrangements of the type found in West Gallery music and the Sacred Harp in the US. Many folk musicians had some formal musical training, in church bands and choirs or perhaps the military, and some could read music. Also, don't forget that brass bands and concertina bands were an important element of many working-class communities. I suspect that a great many traditional singers and musicians were better musically educated than many present-day folkies. It would be surprising if some of these influences didn't affect the way some performed their more traditional songs.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: MikeL2
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 05:45 AM

Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Hesk - PM
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 05:19 AM

Hi hesk

I agree with you entirely. I cannot understand why so many people are so died-in-the-wool ungrateful if the music being watched/heard is not of their particular choosing.

Like everybody I have my own particular likes and dislikes but I am always prepared to watch other people with different ones.

As you say it is particularly obtuse if the performers are unpaid and doing their best.

Performers need support, not churlish indifference or worse still outright objection by a ( thankfully ) minority of people.

The real worry for me is that in my experience most of the moaners do not actually play or perform themselves.

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 06:03 AM

"Shimrod must have an awful time of it being driven to distraction on such a regular basis. How embarrassing for performers to feel the sheer hate emanating from him, at times like this."

Hang on! Who said anything about "sheer hate"? Irritation, perhaps (but then I am an irascible old git). Nevertheless, I'm entitled to my opinion - even if it happens to be contrary to that of other people (what are you, 'Hesk' - some sort of 'heresy hunter'?).

MikeL2 informs us that "Performers need support". Yes, I don't deny it - but they also need honest criticism - otherwise they don't develop. What some of them may want (but don't necessarily need) is slavish adulation - as happens in the infantile world of popular music. One of the things that attracts me to the folk world is that it tends to me to be a bit more grown up than that.

And, ML2 I am a (modest) performer myself and I've always valued honest criticism - I've occasionally been criticised by other performers who I greatly admire - and always ended up the better for it!


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 06:20 AM

most of the moaners do not actually play or perform themselves

Sweeping and contradictory.

There are those who certainly play competently though not in public performance because they do not feel they are adequately rehearsed, or have sufficiently honed performance skills.

Which has precious little to do with "unaccompanied trad groups" which the OP somewhat improbably believes to be thin on the ground when actually you can't step without falling over them.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 06:45 AM

"sheer hate emanating from him,"

Rant mode on:

My tolerance for knee-jerk hysterics "rape, murder, fire!" at the slightest expression of a personal opinion that isn't total fawning sycophancy on this board, is becoming exceedingly low.
I get absolutely sick of hearing people being personally attacked and bitched at simply for saying they don't dig a type of music. Do get a grip folks it's a board for discussing folk music, this means that hopefully, a *variety* of opinions will be aired!
Also, do give performers the credit of not having such desperately fragile egos that they are going to "burst into tears" if they happen upon a lone critical comment on a folk discussion board. It's terribly patronising. They're big grown-up people, not ickle kiddies.
Making a great big deal out of it, can only be embarrassing.

Rant mode off.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 06:52 AM

Holmevalley Tradition and probably now John Cocking and Will Noble

No doubt the Noble Family (Will/Cuthbert/Lydia and Pippa before long)

T'Owd Chyvers newly formed, The Keelers, Young 'uns mentioned already as was GU4

Three Score and Ten,

The Sheffield Carollers in many pubs at Christmas
duos like Webber/ fentiman

Plenty going on!

Watersons and Derek and Dorothy Elliot [Yorkshire Relish] with Parky and Nadine and Melody early inspirations!! and Swan Arcade

CBS, Tams and Coope

Ray


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Hesk
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 07:00 AM

Perhaps "sheer hate" was unfortunate, try "barely concealed disapproval".
Guest CS seems to be defeating his own argument, if he is asking for a variety of opinions, as he doesn't seem to be able to tolerate mine.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 07:05 AM

It's a discussion board for discussions about FOLK MUSIC, where a variety of opinions about FOLK MUSIC - rather than personal comments about other posters - is hopefully to be desired. Ask Joe Offer if you don't believe me.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 07:14 AM

PS Hesk, my rant there was general, and not directed at you personally. Not trying to start an argument here. I've just found myself frustrated of late at what I see as an unhelpful (and even oppressive) tendency on this board. I'll leave this poor thread to get itself back to topic now... :)


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 07:43 AM

[OT]

"Also, do give performers the credit of not having such desperately fragile egos that they are going to "burst into tears" if they happen upon a lone critical comment on a folk discussion board. It's terribly patronising. They're big grown-up people, not ickle kiddies."

Depends on the performer. For some it will roll off their backs; others find the endless samey barrage of sneering and abuse they receive on certain folk message boards dispiriting and upsetting. I know, because they've told me. It's not an intrinsically more informed or appropriate stance for you, Crowsister, to decide that these people ought to be able to take a bit of criticism and abuse because of the career they've chosen, than it is for others to defend them. Especially as, in the folk world, the boundaries between the artists and the paying public are not nearly so strongly delineated as they are in many genres. These people are not some remote "artists" shifting "product" - they are real people. We have a pint with them, we might put them up after a gig. They (and their families, and their partners, and their kids) might be our friends.

[/OT]


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: tijuanatime
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 08:27 AM

......., meanwhile, in response to the OP:

Muldoon's Picnic


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 08:34 AM

"than it is for others to defend them"

Defending someone's work is one thing, personal attack directed at an individual for expressing a critical opinion about either an artist's work or a particular style or technique, is another thing. The folk world is clearly quite unique though as you say, it's very close-knit and everyone seems to be close friends with or related to someone else! I've not got used to that degree of familial intimacy yet, especially on an arts related internet forum. But I will give your points some thought..

I still feel people shouldn't be personally attacked for expressing their opinions, though for my own part it would make much more interesting (and less confrontational) reading if posters made an effort to express their more critical comments in a considered or thoughtful fashion, rather than as bald statements of objective fact.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: MikeL2
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 09:30 AM

hi shimrod

I think we are together on this.!!

I realise that constructive criticism and at the right time ( not as the performer is on stage )is healthy.

I was really responding to remarks made here and in earlier threads about some members of folk audiences showing obvious signs of discontent at some performers, especially if they are not playing what they see as "their music".

I have seen it happen in the clubs around here on many occasions. It is not clever and it certainly is not constructive.

I too have been criticised by other performers but in a helpful way with recommendations how to improve.

cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 09:37 AM

"Defending someone's work is one thing, personal attack directed at an individual for expressing a critical opinion about either an artist's work or a particular style or technique, is another thing."

Well..it kind of depends what form the original "criticism" took, doesn't it? If someone, for example, said that another artist's music made them want to throw up, is their own music then fair game for harsh (but open and honest) criticism?

I rather think it is.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 09:43 AM

I'm with you, CS.

If you go back to my original post, I deliberately didn't personalise it and tried to concentrate on a particular style which I am not very fond of rather than specific performers. In subsequent posts I perhaps went a bit over the top with irony and 'dramatic exaggeration' - but that's just my sense of humour.

And, it bears repeating, there's a big difference between personal attacks and genuine criticism.

'Borchester Echo' expresses some of my frustrations very neatly: "[ML2's opinion that, "most of the moaners do not actually play or perform themselves"] has precious little to do with "unaccompanied trad groups" which the OP somewhat improbably believes to be thin on the ground when actually you can't step without falling over them."

It's probably the all-pervasiveness of the bellowing, dirgey harmony groups, and their influence, that irritates me the most - I could probably cope with the odd one or two.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 11:03 AM

"is their own music then fair game for harsh (but open and honest) criticism?
I rather think it is."

But your example is not relevant to what I've said.

I was objecting to *personal attack* based on the expression of a critical comment of *music*. In this instance we have Shimrod being accused of "emanating sheer hatred" towards poor hapless harmony groups (to be fair to the poster who made that comment, he has retracted it, but it was that post which prompted mine in response).

Discussing music -IMO- includes being able to criticise an artists work - or a style of presentation or a technique and so-on. You may see no difference between personally attacking an individual and criticising the music they make, but I do. As do the moderators of this board, which was the point I raised above.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 11:19 AM

"If someone, for example, said that another artist's music made them want to throw up, is their own music then fair game for harsh (but open and honest) criticism?"

PS, I think that any artists music is 'fair game' for criticism, whether or not they have expressed a rough dismissal of another's work. Anything in the public arena is fair game as far as I'm concerned. But that's the point I've been making all along. You disagree for the reasons you've stated. We differ. But as said, I'll think about the points you've made.

Also as said however, I'd much prefer to see considered and thoughtful critical posts than bald statements.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 11:30 AM

"Anything in the public arena is fair game as far as I'm concerned."

But in Mudcat World, it often seems that only the output of people with the temerity to gain a media profile or acceptance within the folk mainstream is regarded as fair game, whereas anything produced within the little circle of regular Mudcat contributors, largely amateur and attracting small-scale audiences, becomes a rather embarrassing exercise in mutual masturbation, regardless of quality.

IMHO, of course.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 11:43 AM

Well, I agree that amateur enthusiasts support one another enthusiastically. And that could be seen as too much sometimes. But IMO you're not comparing like with like.

I'm sure you praise the kids at school for doing well when they write a really good story, but a Phd. student will expect a stricter assessment of their work than that a twelve year old might be expected to receive (I don't know what age you teach, I'm just trying to illustrate a point)

I like to cook, and if I host a dinner party I'd hope the guests won't be comparing my amateur offerings to something someone like Heston would conjure up. They'll be comparing what I cook, to what our mutual friends cook.

Same diff between a singaround filled with amateurs at your local boozer, and an album produced by a professional artist who might be headlining major festivals and be up for a national award or something.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 12:08 PM

While I see your point, I am describing an almost diametrically-opposed phenomenon. I have occasionally observed at Mudcat a desire to tear down anyone who achieves success, which seems to be linked to a churlish, resentful, "we're just as good/better than they are, if only we had the breaks/the publicist/the agent/the desire to be successful" attitude. It's utterly self-delusional, but it seems to keep the perpetrators happy.

Case in point from an earlier post on this thread:

"There are lots of us singing in this manner, its just that we dont have pushy agents and most of us like singing for the sheer pleasure it gives, not the cash."


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 12:09 PM

Actually there is quite a lot of criticism of 'standards' - and I agree with *some* of what Jim Carroll says about folk clubs where there are paying audiences for example. And Borchester Echo tends to express similar views.

I feel amateur clubs (be they water-colourists showing at the local library, home bakers making cakes for the fete, or folkies having a singaround in the upstairs function room of a pub) aught not to be compared to, or judged by the same standards as, professional artists, chefs, or musicians.

I know others feel differently about that. But that's my take.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 12:11 PM

"I have occasionally observed at Mudcat a desire to tear down anyone who achieves success, which seems to be linked to a churlish, resentful, "we're just as good/better than they are, if only we had the breaks/the publicist/the agent/the desire to be successful" attitude."

Fair point.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 12:36 PM

"I feel amateur clubs (be they water-colourists showing at the local library, home bakers making cakes for the fete, or folkies having a singaround in the upstairs function room of a pub) aught not to be compared to, or judged by the same standards as, professional artists, chefs, or musicians."

Ah...there are whole "process vs product" debates here which have preoccupied the community arts world for decades...many in community arts actually resent their work being always regarded as somehow inferior to that of professionals, and the assumption that the process is more valuable than the outcomes.


On the whole, I agree with you that the standards are different - but not everyone in the folk world (and certainly at Mudcat) would.

The main difference in folk is the thing we talked about earlier, with the lines between the professionals and the punters being far less distinct than they are with other types of music, and perhaps with other activities such as cooking or art. When it comes to folk, which is ostensibly about ordinary people making music, but where the snot-nosed kid who grew up sucking on their bottle of pop in the local folk club might be tommorrow's Kate Rusby or Rachel Unthank or Andy Cutting, people don't necessarily perceive those differences of judgement about the "amateur" and the "professional" quite so clearly. I sometimes think that proximity to commercial success breeds a certain contempt; a view that "if so-and-so's kid can suddenly be a folk celebrity, well then I certainly could have been too, if I'd just tried hard enough and had the right breaks."

As I say, this line of thinking, nine times out of ten, is self-delusion. But it certainly generates its fair share of sour grapes at times.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 01:25 PM

"many in community arts actually resent their work being always regarded as somehow inferior to that of professionals, and the assumption that the process is more valuable than the outcomes."

OK, much of this explains a comment from you in response to a post I made elsewhere about "less emphasis [in Mudcat] on the commercial aspect of folk and more on the amateur". By which I meant more emphasis on the value of *public education* type incentives encouraging active amateur interest in their musical heritage, in line with those our Celtic cousins are currently enjoying.

I think sometimes there can be assumptions about where another person is coming from. As you know, I've only been involved in this scene (and in a very limited fashion) for something over a year. So I don't (I hope!) come with too many entrenched assumptions. Though, I'm not lacking in personal opinion... :)

Otherwise, my personal take is that the music as it was, has (and is) being re-processed as a commercial product for a buying audience. It's a different thing than it once was. But so too, is that same music in the context of the contemporary amateur singaround with it's plethora acoustic guitars - despite the contributors aspirations to echo or emulate the past.

So, let those who have ambition to succeed in the professional arena do so, and those content to engage in the amateur human context do so likewise.

As to criticism.. I don't know. I think both are open to it, but in different ways. Though I acknowledge your complaint that "if so-and-so's kid can suddenly be a folk celebrity, well then I certainly could have been too, if I'd just tried hard enough and had the right breaks." might be a valid one.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 01:38 PM

Not so much a complaint, more an observation.


"So, let those who have ambition to succeed in the professional arena do so, and those content to engage in the amateur human context do so likewise."

Hurrah. So long as those on the "amateur human" scene don't lose sight of the fact that those who have achieved the professional success are still human beings, with feelings - might have been just like them, in fact, a scant while ago. And that someone shifting a few CDs doesn't really make it cool for it to be open season on them or their music.


"By which I meant more emphasis on the value of *public education* type incentives encouraging active amateur interest in their musical heritage,"

Given the number of folk and traditional music (British and otherwise) education projects I have managed over the years I'd certainly agree, but I'd also suggest that the best way of moving these things forward is not to wait for someone else to do it, but to get stuck in.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 01:50 PM

"if so-and-so's kid can suddenly be a folk celebrity, well then I certainly could have been too,"

The question begs, if kids of 60's/70's folkies were not making music now, how many kids (ie: twenty sumthings) would be?

I didn't come through a popular music route, so have a totally different "education!" take, but I can see it's still a fair argument for the support of young professional folk artists.

"I'd also suggest that the best way of moving these things forward is not to wait for someone else to do it, but to get stuck in."

Agreed. Exploring options around an Essex trad. song weekend (hopefully with support from others!) right now. I'm happy to put my money (& efforts) where my mouth is!


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: JohnB
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 02:01 PM

Try "Crucible" from Sheffield, great both with and without instrumentation.
JohnB.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: RTim
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 02:29 PM

What about - Finest Kind of Canada or The Johnson Girls of New York !!!

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 03:03 PM

I'd just like to add RA, although I don't blast the opinions of what might be more conservative or 'cranky' members of this forum, I value their contributions!
And I'm able to enjoy and roll with them, knowing full well that they utterly dissaprove of some of my attitudes and approaches...


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 03:42 PM

Same as it ever was: It's the same as it ever was x


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Stringsinger
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 04:16 PM

A high water mark was reached in African-American gospel music unaccompanied based on earlier spirituals. I think that unaccompanied African-American chain gang singing is spectacular.

I don't know how much this kind of music traveled across the Pond into UK though.

The African-American tradition has always had unaccompanied traditional singing.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 04:21 PM

"although I don't blast the opinions of what might be more conservative or 'cranky' members of this forum, I value their contributions!
And I'm able to enjoy and roll with them, knowing full well that they utterly dissaprove of some of my attitudes and approaches..."

Mmmm...maybe after another few years of hearing the same crankiness from the same few contributors ad infinitum, you might be slightly less sanguine.

In any case, I would stand by what I said about this initially (on another thread) - the same rants circulate year on year here on Mudcat, but do they actually make a difference out in the real world? Do the crankiest of cranks ever actually make anything happen, or affect any significant change? No - they sourly chew their gums, and believe that the more often they shout the same thing on Mudcat, the truer it becomes - especially when other people finally lose the will to argue with them.

As Ian Anderson advised me recently: the people who pontificate the most (and who tell people like me that we're not allowed to have opinions) actually contribute the least - so ignore them.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 04:27 PM

Oh - and I'd second the endorsement for Crucible. They're fab.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Cs
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 04:29 PM

Perhaps not JC: but: "No - they sourly chew their gums, and believe that the more often they shout the same thing on Mudcat, the truer it becomes - especially when other people finally lose the will to argue with them.No - they sourly chew their gums, and believe that the more often they shout the same thing on Mudcat, the truer it becomes - especially when other people finally lose the will to argue with them.
Or something (can't find the links!)


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,VS
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 04:32 PM

Oh blast, whatever it was, go and do something less boring instead...


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: SylviaN
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 05:36 PM

Room for everyone, I believe. The last guest at the Gaol Folk Club, Derby, was Sam Lee - solo voice, unaccompanied - absolutely wonderful.

Next guest at the Old Oak Concerts, Horsley Woodhouse (21/04) is the Claque. Four great voices, superb harmonies - again, absolutely wonderful.

Cheers

Sylvia


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 06 Apr 10 - 05:52 PM

" ... the people who pontificate the most (and who tell people like me that we're not allowed to have opinions) actually contribute the least - "

Who, exactly, is it who is telling you that you can't have an opinion, Ms Archer?


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 03:59 AM

My last posts on this thread were complete gibberish! Though I'm surprised I was even able to see straight last night... Ahem.

Anyhoo, as far as the same old arguments are concerned, I filter out what's of use and of interest to me. At times it can make for frustrating reading, but I believe there is a valuable place for the kind of conservatism we can see here that often comes with age and a lifetime of footwork in any field. But it comes with a caveat. Younger people will *always* be criticised by their elders in *any* field, unless they do exactly as their elders would like, or do it exactly as their elders did it. That's life (there was even real weather in the old days, not like this rubbish we get today).

So it begs the question, should younger artists ever desire the approval of people who are probably the same age as their grandparents (considering the demographic of MC), or indeed be surprised when they don't necessarily receive it?

The job of any artist -IMO- is simply to please their *audience*. Young folk musicians however are arguably lumbered with the idea of continuing 'traditions', and I think this is where a lot of the tension arises from (especially the negative reactions we can see from traditionalists), but I don't believe popular artists aught to be burdened with the responsibility of educating the public about their heritage. That's a big job and not necessarily compatible with being creative or exploring new territory musically. And it's inevitably going to cause conflict. I don't know how that might be resolved unless there are lots more educational initiatives going on, shouldering that burden. But I think there's definitely hope of that happening. And younger artists will hopefully be able to go about their business, and be free to ignore complaints that they're meddling with tradition or what-not!

Just to conclude, as I put it elsewhere:

'Give me the good stuff the old gits* made, and the stuff made by young folk that the old gits will hate.'




*term not meant offensively, in case any old gits are reading this... ;-)


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 04:36 AM

All the young artists will continue to be "lumbered" with the tradition and what has gone before!!

Everyone has an opinion and songs old and new need to have something which appeals to ppl, old and young!

I know that the younger singers are looking for traditional songs to sing and arrange

Is it not largely the case that current younger succesful singers come from often "folky families" steeped in the tradition?

New songs from the younger singers need to be writing songs "of substance" my words, in my view

Bernie Parry perhaps was one of very few to have made an impact, along with Keith Marsden, with songs which appear to be lasting

Ray


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 05:07 AM

I sort of agree with most of what you say, CS. There are, certainly, some very creative young people around now - as there have been in every generation. Those creative young people deserve our support - but not necessarily our slavish adulation or unthinking acceptance. There's nothing like robust criticism, in a supportive atmosphere, to sharpen talent. And, before anyone starts, I'm NOT talking about petty and childish 'slagging off' by the envious which Ms Archer claims is happening in some circles (although I've never encountered it). To adopt a critical approach to any art form is, IMO, a perfectly reasonable thing to do. It is rarely a sign of 'moral turpitude' as so many contributors to this board seem to think. Nor does it have anything to do with authoritarianism or coercion (a similarly widespread view). Anyone is free to do, say or think anything they like, but I, equally, have a right to disagree with them and to defend my own views robustly.

But young people are peculiarly susceptible to fashion, and what I've been hearing for most of my 40 year association with the folk world is: "Let's throw out all these fusty old songs and singing styles and replace them with something more fashionable (involving rock-n-roll/electric guitars/rap/acid house/hip hop etc.)!" A moment's thought would show that this would be 'throwing-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater' and all we would be left with would be 'something vaguely fashionable' - which would soon go out of fashion. The fact is you can't remove the traditional from the folk world - it's at the heart of everything that we do - and if you can't live with that, please go and do something else (and I wish you well!).

Finally, where we do part company, CS, is your statement: "The job of any artist -IMO- is simply to please their *audience*."

IMO the "job of any artist" is to be true to their muse - and if the expression of that muse pleases an audience, so much the better.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Leadfingers
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 05:25 AM

I cant help wondering if the O P , having shaken the Wasp Nest , is now sitting back enjoying all the SHIT that is going on here !


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 05:32 AM

"The job of any artist -IMO- is simply to please their *audience*."

Blimey - really?


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 07:19 AM

"I cant help wondering if the O P , having shaken the Wasp Nest , is now sitting back enjoying all the SHIT that is going on here !"

Yes, my apologies to the OP and others pee'd off by the thread hijack - this discussion belongs elsewhere!


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: TheSnail
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 08:26 AM

If you click on the OP's name, you will find the full range of all the postings they have ever made.

Under that name, at least.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,jim b
Date: 08 Apr 10 - 07:07 AM

Pegleg Ferret. Still singing together after 30 years......but seemigly a well kept secret.


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: HarryC
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 05:03 PM

Quick mention for a newish Edinburgh 6-part female a-cappella group called the Wild Myrtles, specialising (like Muldoon's Picnic of Glasgow) in original arrangements of folk and world music.
http://www.myspace.com/thewildmyrtles

Further afield, Colman's Well in Vermont are superb but not currently active, due to one member becoming a parent I think.
http://www.myspace.com/colmanswellmusic

Anyone heard of Corou de Berra? French-language group (well Occitan I suppose) based in Nice. Specialising in local traditional harmonies though possibly some of the arrangements might be a bit experimental for purists.
http://www.myspace.com/coroudeberra
http://www.coroudeberra.net/


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: HarryC
Date: 15 Apr 10 - 05:37 PM

And I meant to mention another excellent female Scottish group, [Annie] Grace, [Corrina] Hewat and [Karine] Polwart.
http://www.myspace.com/girlytrio


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Subject: RE: Unaccompanied Trad Groups
From: GUEST,Bill S from Melbourne
Date: 16 Apr 10 - 06:55 AM

A few years ago, a group was formed for the State Folk Festival in Goolwa, South Oz. We gave it an ethnic sounding name to hitch a ride on the ethnic bandwagon (OBWAPOUVE Ordinary blokes with a positive outlook unaccompanied vocal ensemble). We lived hundreds of miles apart so were unable to practice and we worked out the repertoire by fax (pre computers) agreeing who would lead with the others finding harmonies in the folk style. Whilst this is commonplace in the UK folk scene, it is almost unheard of in Oz. Our second concert was in a room with bathroom acoustics so the sound man, on asking where to put the microphones, was told, anywhere but the stage. This was a shock to the audience, who then had to listen, a new concept. Long may the unaccompanied multi voice singing survive in the rustic form as well as the crafted harmony.
Bill


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