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Great Folk or Traditional Singers

mikesamwild 15 Aug 10 - 07:49 AM
My guru always said 15 Aug 10 - 09:14 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Aug 10 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 15 Aug 10 - 04:44 PM
Phil Edwards 15 Aug 10 - 05:03 PM
Tug the Cox 15 Aug 10 - 07:05 PM
Dave MacKenzie 15 Aug 10 - 07:25 PM
Effsee 15 Aug 10 - 10:33 PM
Beer 15 Aug 10 - 10:56 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 16 Aug 10 - 03:41 AM
BobKnight 16 Aug 10 - 04:53 AM
Phil Edwards 16 Aug 10 - 06:17 AM
mikesamwild 16 Aug 10 - 07:15 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 16 Aug 10 - 07:20 AM
Phil Edwards 16 Aug 10 - 07:53 AM
Rob Naylor 16 Aug 10 - 09:47 AM
The Sandman 16 Aug 10 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 16 Aug 10 - 01:01 PM
raymond greenoaken 17 Aug 10 - 02:35 PM
Old Vermin 17 Aug 10 - 04:12 PM
Les in Chorlton 18 Aug 10 - 03:40 AM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 18 Aug 10 - 06:09 AM
GUEST,Howard Marshall 21 Aug 10 - 05:54 AM
Will Fly 21 Aug 10 - 06:42 AM
Stringsinger 21 Aug 10 - 12:36 PM
Les in Chorlton 21 Aug 10 - 12:42 PM
Lighter 21 Aug 10 - 01:34 PM
Phil Edwards 22 Aug 10 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 22 Aug 10 - 12:37 PM
Will Fly 22 Aug 10 - 05:27 PM
Phil Edwards 22 Aug 10 - 06:04 PM
MGM·Lion 23 Aug 10 - 12:34 AM
Will Fly 23 Aug 10 - 03:13 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Aug 10 - 04:48 AM
Will Fly 23 Aug 10 - 05:04 AM
Will Fly 23 Aug 10 - 05:06 AM
MikeL2 23 Aug 10 - 05:42 AM
mikesamwild 23 Aug 10 - 07:11 AM
mikesamwild 23 Aug 10 - 09:31 AM
mikesamwild 24 Aug 10 - 05:01 AM
JemmaGurney 26 Aug 10 - 07:48 AM
mikesamwild 31 Aug 10 - 08:24 AM
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Subject: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: mikesamwild
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 07:49 AM

I have been disappointed for a number of years at the dearth of great new singers in the tradirional idiom in Britain and Ireland . Now something is happening and I detect a new wave of singers who have and are learning the craft.


I know comparisons can be odious but it helps to be pointed to new talent.

I'm open to other English speaking singers too!


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: My guru always said
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 09:14 AM

There are quite a few 'nearly new' traditional singers too!


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 04:27 PM

"the dearth of great new singers in the tradiional idiom in Britain and Ireland"
Over the last ten years or so here in Ireland there has been a steady increase in the number of stunning young musicians; many still in their teens, and all playing traditional music superbly.
The singing has, up to now, lagged behind, but this year at the singers concert at the Willie Clancy Summer School, there were a number of excellent young singers, all singing with great skill and confidence, both in English and Irish.
Some way to go to catch up with the music, but fingers crossed   
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 04:44 PM

I shot a blank there didn't I? I'll try again

That's what I thought Jim.

I have put two series of photos from this year's Willie Week on-line. All the singers are in this one. If you want to put faces and names together.


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 05:03 PM

It depends where you're measuring this dearth of traditional singers. You certainly don't hear many hitherto unknown traditional singers on the radio, but there are so many hurdles to get over - and gatekeepers to get past - that it's not really surprising. If you were to come to my local singaround I could guarantee you'd hear at least two or three stunning performances on any given night. Not many of the singers involved are 'new', but does that matter? I think there's a fair amount of good traditional song to be found, if you look.


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 07:05 PM

So would Kate Rusby, or Seth lakeman count. There may be no 'yet to be discovered' singers of songs unknown songs of a traditional lineage, but all the songs we now call traditional were either new, or newly adapted once.


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 07:25 PM

Do you mean singers of traditional material, or singers in atraditional style?


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Effsee
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 10:33 PM

Define "Traditional Singer".


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Beer
Date: 15 Aug 10 - 10:56 PM

Thanks for sharing tose pictures Peter L. Much appreciated.
Adrien from Quebec


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 16 Aug 10 - 03:41 AM

You're welcome Adrien. I posted the links for both batches of pictures a while ago in this thread.


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: BobKnight
Date: 16 Aug 10 - 04:53 AM

Well, I'm new, but I'm hardly young. As to whether I'm a great singer, well, I've never thought of myself as such.


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 16 Aug 10 - 06:17 AM

BobKnight: Well, I'm new, but I'm hardly young.

That's a bit spooky - on the A Folk Song A Day thread I posted this:

I'm not young, but I am new - I was hardly singing this stuff at all until a couple of years ago.

This is why I think the OP may be asking the wrong question. I've no idea if the next young telegenic Saviour of Folk is lurking out there somewhere under the radar; on balance I hope he/she is, but I don't think it's crucial either way. But I suspect there are tons of unglamorous middle-aged (mostly) people like me and Bob out there, singing traditional song for the love of it.

Bob Knight on Youtube (link goes to Bob's Queen Amang the Heather - which is terrific - but there's a lot more there).

Phil Edwards* on Myspace

*My secret identity


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: mikesamwild
Date: 16 Aug 10 - 07:15 AM

I was careful to ask about singers in the traditional idiom.

I asked a local friend i Sheffield who knows a lot of traditional singers and he said he knows quite a few young singers who have never been to a festival or to a folk club, let alone a 'folky' pub session but who value the tradition.


I wonder whether the tradition might not be better for going back to the source for a while . It's a bit like the 'pure drop' approach amongst instrument players.

Even Jon Boden's admirable project of a song a day may prove to have a counterproductive impact.


The 'curse of the child woman' phenomenon may not have helped the tradition.

I just wonder if people are really learning within a 'community' context ( and I know the hornet's nest that word stirs up)


Discuss.....


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 16 Aug 10 - 07:20 AM

... quite a few young singers who have never been to a festival or to a folk club, let alone a 'folky' pub session but who value the tradition.


That seems a pretty sensible way to go about it. Fair play to them.


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 16 Aug 10 - 07:53 AM

I just wonder if people are really learning within a 'community' context

I know I am! Practically every singaround I go to, I hear a song I'd like to add to my repertoire. As well as acquiring several songs, I've learnt an enormous amount about singing from listening to other singers & listening to what goes down well.


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 16 Aug 10 - 09:47 AM

As I've said on other threads, there seem to be 2 distinct "folky" communities in this area: the pub singaround / folk club community, mainly populated by older people, and the people, mainly youngsters, who perform at more general open mic nights and at some small dedicated music venues.

The youngsters have their own "acoustic evenings" and many of them do acknowledge the roots and traditions, but they don't cross over much with the older club/ singaround people (and vice versa).

I've been to events at local venues like The Forum, Sussex Arms, Grey Lady, High Rocks etc where most of the participants were under 25 but had definitely descended from folk roots. I was the oldest person attending in all cases.

At singarounds/ clubs at The Beacon, Rose & Crown, High Brooms etc there's rarely anyone there under 30, and very few under 40. Yet the music played has definite similarities.

The only time I've seen youngsters at places like The Beacon was when personal friends of Katriona Gilmore & Jamie Roberts came along to support them. They've never been back, but I know that one of the young women who came is working with one of the young bands who play at The Forum and Grey Lady regularly.

I've tried suggesting to people in both "communities" that they might get something out of going along to some of the events put on by the "other community" but no-one does. I think some of the more mature locals might be surprised at just how good some of the youngsters are!


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Aug 10 - 12:26 PM

the voice is an instrument, it neds to be practised,just as an instrument does.
the voice and the lungs will not take continued abuse[cigarette smoke is number one offender]
as regards technique my advice to younger singers would be to learn good diaphragm control, and learn breathing exrcises which will devolp your lungs, at the same time listen to good traditional singers such as harry cox and phil tanner, margaret barry and sara makem.


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 16 Aug 10 - 01:01 PM

Might the Revival just be a cultural flourish, like Teddy Boys and Punks, which will live on with echoes aross the generations until the next thing comes along? My wife, a tender 36, bought a Neil Young live CD from 1968 the other day; my response was typical enough - "I'm only 48," quoth I. "Too young for Neil Young!" Which is true enough. I got into The Revival when I was fourteen in 1975, though diverse aspects of The Tradition had been affecting me all my life prior to that. I keep saying that even at 48 I'm still bound to be the second youngest in any folk club we go to, and generally speaking that remains the case. There are odd exceptions of course, but they tend to be really young. In folk, there's several missing generations - assuming a cultural generation to be around 7 years or so - and I know I'm pretty much the exception in my immediate generation for being into folk, which has always felt odd as (with but few exceptions) all my folky pals are ten years + older than I am myself, even here on Mudcat!


Last night I was watching something on BBC1 called Secret Country which featured a couple of jolly young chaps singing folk songs in the way of lot of jolly young chaps do these days. I didn't get their names, though you ay catch the programe again on BBCi or somesuch. From what they were saying they'd discovered a song called Thousands or More hitherto unnoticed in the hedgerows of the Sussex weald, which is fair enough as the novelty & potency of such songs remains timeless, but I found the whole thing a little too contrived to be engage me beyond a casual smile. But then again, though a committed Bellamist, I tried listening to the Young Tradition the other day and took it off after less than a minute and replaced it with some early Coppers which went down a treat.

Crisis? What crisis?!


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: raymond greenoaken
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 02:35 PM

S O'P: I tried listening to the Young Tradition the other day and took it off after less than a minute and replaced it with some early Coppers which went down a treat.

I think the YT would reckon that a job well done!


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Old Vermin
Date: 17 Aug 10 - 04:12 PM

Not been the same since Bob Copper died. That said, sing their stuff in the right company and you can still hear his voice.

Missed Secret Country last night for sound operational reasons. Might try to catch up with it, but what with all the Proms on IPlayer...Currently listening to Shostakovich and looking at Mudcat and why not?


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 03:40 AM

Having just read The Imagined Village by Georgina Boyes, I have been pondering 'The Tradition', 'The Folk', 'The Revival', 'Folk Songs' and so on as we often do on this site.

It seems to me that various people: Sharp et al early on, EFDSS in the 30's and again post war, McColl et al in the 60's wanted to paint old songs into a bigger picture, create a hypothesis that would explain so much more. The I.V. tells that story so well. With hingsight they seem to have got some things right and much wrong.In the end the songs remain. We have some idea where some of them came from and the context in which they lived.

The Folk Clubs of the 60s until the present day and their assorted residents, guests, festivals and recordings have revived an interest and made available thousands and thousands of old songs and supported the creation of thousands of other songs that are best enjoyed in the small community context that helped the old songs to survive in the first place.

I enjoy Bellowhead, Whapweasel, Salsa Celtica and Duncan MacFarlane in those big loud, venues but the old songs work best where they came from: small community spaces where the stories will come best out of the songs and the chorus will join us together in a shared experience.

I guess we are more aware of Kate Rusby, The Unthanks, Keir & Fagan, Crucible and various winners of the Young Folk Awards. I feel sure that their are thousands and thousands of young singers and tune players who just need the space to develop and access to recordings of those old women and men who were sources of old songs and the other 'older' women and men who have carried them for the lat 40 or 50 years.

I know a little space where they will definitely get a chance to try a few things out.

L in C#
The Beech tonight


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 18 Aug 10 - 06:09 AM

'think the YT would reckon that a job well done!'
Absolutely correct Raymond...always scrupulous in the attribution of sources too, even to the extent of declaring them for royalty purposes...Heather Wood as the surviving member carries this on. Much missed and hugely influential.

'Not been the same since Bob Copper died.'
A fact we are sadly only too aware of Lawrence. But in a shameless piece of publicity for 'the remainders' - some of the Coppers will be appearing at The Eight Bells Jevington East Sussex from 2.00pm onwards on Saturday 21st August. This is a free event to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the first outside broadcast by Bob and Jim Copper in 1950 which went out on the BBC's Country Magazine programme at 1.10pm on October 1st.


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: GUEST,Howard Marshall
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 05:54 AM

The problem these days is a lack of a suitable 'context' for traditional singing. Though a life-long lover of traditional music, I stopped attending folk events many years ago. There were too many immitators in what had become cultural ghettos. The media has never really understood the concept of traditional singing as a musical form, where generally the material or narrative takes priority over the skill or personality of the 'carrier'. The music industry, by its nature, requires somebody or something to package.   

What happens behind the privacy of closed doors between 'consenting adults', the public will never know. Occasionally I am asked to sing at small community gatherings in my village in Norfolk. The songs are shared on a more personal and informal basis and I satisfy myself with that as being truer to their essence.


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Will Fly
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 06:42 AM

It's odd. In 45 years of making music and performing all kinds of it, I've rarely performed a "traditional" folk song. I've joined in the chorus of very many songs at clubs and singarounds over the years, but hardly ever stood up and sung one. I might perform one or two a year.

On the other hand, I've performed countless tunes over those years. There's something about the roots from which traditional songs spring that prevents me from performing them ("lucky audience!" you might say...) because I just cannot "inform" them with any experience from my own life which makes them feel right for me. I was reminded of this just recently after re-reading, for the 50th time or so, Bob Copper's "A Song For Every Season". One of the things that hits you in the face when you read it is the context in which his family and members of the local community sang those songs. They'd always been sung in his family and were trotted out as part of community occasions - sheap-shearing, harvesting, "hollerin' pot" night, etc. They were sung completely naturally - or as "naturally" as could be got - and arose from within the community.

No matter what I do or think, or how well I do or don't sing - or how hard or otherwise I study the sound and technique - anything I do in that field sounds bogus to me. Because the roots of that song are not within me. Now, all you singers of traditional songs may think that I'm being really stupid - after all, you all sing them quite happily, don't you! Well, I'm afraid that's how it is for me. I can't help it. As for the tunes, I think they're timeless, ageless and don't have a social context which gets in the way of my playing them. I wonder what younger performers might make of all that.

Same with blues, by the way. I rarely, if ever, sing a "deep" blues - perhaps just the odd jug band number or country blues - but I'm happy to embrace the musical form instrumentally.


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Stringsinger
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 12:36 PM

Will, there's nothing wrong with singing anything you want. It's not bogus if you sing it sincerely, with respect and understanding for the song and its musical background.

As long as you don't "wear the hat" of the traditional-based singer, who cares?

Sing the blues. Why not? You bring to it your feelings and personality.

I think that academics often get in the way of musical creativity.

As long as you're not passing yourself off as someone you're not, whether you sing
traditional folk songs or contemporary or even early popular songs, you aren't doing anyone
disservice and maybe creating a needed interest.

Today's folklorists and musicologists understand this problem and this doesn't diminish
their capacity to appreciate any form of musical expression that isn't tradition-based.
There is a difference but by no means does one form of expression devalue another.

Exclusivity in musical taste is often more emotional and opinionated than logical.


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 12:42 PM

It's a very good point you make Will but the songs that were collected in the 19C & early 20C came from all kinds of contexts not simply small, tight rural communities.

Many songs were collected again and again from people in small vilages, work houses, small towns, market towns and later from travellers. Some of those people had been in the forces, some had worked in factories and some were migrant workers.

I still agree with the point you make about what we are at ease singing. I think my point is that ever since Sharp (ESS?) some people in the revival have wanted to locate all or most 'folk songs' in 'small, tight rural communities' in fact in The Imagined Village?

The Copper Family are not typical of the people that Sharp et al collected from. But then, we know little about the specific context of the sources of Sharp's songs because he didn't often recird it.

Cheers

Les


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 01:34 PM

Yeah, Will. Just think of yourself while singing as a "re-enactor." (You don't even need to be a good one.)

No more guilt!


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 22 Aug 10 - 11:38 AM

Will - I sort of know what you mean; I don't like singing the really pastoral songs like Country Life/The Old Cock Crows or The Oxen Ploughing (I intend to try that one some time, though, because it's such a good tune). But I think you must have lived a very quiet life if you've never been bereaved (Lowlands, Bonny Hind) or dumped (The Week Before Easter) or even temporarily separated (I Live Not Where I Love).

I think it's possible to over-think these things. Very few traditional songs actually begin

Well I woke up this morning, population of England stood at 5,300,420
Earth closet in the back yard and mains electricity hasn't been invented...


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 22 Aug 10 - 12:37 PM

Will,
I think you put that pretty well. As I was reading your post I was thinking that it pretty well sums up my feeling on the blues the subject of another current thread. And at the end you make a simlar comment.

Well said.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Aug 10 - 05:27 PM

I suppose at the heart of it all is the fact that I'm not happy with performing any material that doesn't sit comfortably with me - that doesn't resonate with me. So, I'm quite happy singing material which has little or no social or personal significance - trivial stuff in essence. I've spent over 30 years playing in bands of one sort or another and I can recall the intense irritation I felt whenever I had to perform a number in the communal repertoire which I, alone, of the band members really felt unhappy with!

For example, I feel perfectly happy warbling away on stuff from the first 20-30 years of the 20th century - the sort of light material that Leon Redbone performs, songs from Frank Crumit, early "jazz" songs - and some music hall. Similarly with blues, I feel OK doing songs by John Hurt, jug band music - once again, not "deep" blues. But to perform, say, "The Blackleg Miner" (and all my 19th century male ancestors and family were miners) with any degree of sincerity would be very difficult for me.

It may be that, at the heart of it, I prefer to take in my ballads and songs and meaningful poetic material in book form - to read it and ponder it, rather than hear it sung. It may be that I sense an innate insincerity in what I call the "folk" accent as used by so many folk singers - a sort of fake Mummerset or something that might be sort of northern.

Some weeks ago, I saw a woman in a folk club stand up and sing a sea shanty. She sang it very well but, as I was listening to it, I had the inescapable feeling that the premise of performing a seaman's work song in a middle-class folk club setting was somehow not believable. It just seemed to sum up what I see as the problem of me performing traditional material.

What do I sing of traditional material which I feel OK with? well... "The Rout Of The Blues", "In Good King Arthur's Days" - as I said, little of any import... :-) Sorry to be such a sad sack!

To get back on topic, it may be that younger performers of traditional material may want to edit/change/alter/redesign traditional material because it may not "sing" to them for similar reasons.


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 22 Aug 10 - 06:04 PM

Put anything in a glass case and it looks like a museum piece - and standing on stage facing rows of people listening politely can be very like being in a glass case. I've never heard a shanty in a singaround that sounded artificial or false, despite the low probability that anybody there had ever hauled a rope in their life. Generally they sound like a big joyful noise.

The other thing that comes to my mind is that my main instrument is my voice, and I like finding new things to do with it. Just as traditional music offers a rich body of tunes, trad. song offers an incredibly rich body of stuff to do with the singing voice - melodies, timekeeping, ornamentation, when to show emotion and when to keep it plain, the challenge of learning long ballads and the challenge of making them interesting... They're just bloody good songs, in several different ways; in that light, the fact that I've never said adieu to anyone lovely called Nancy seems about as significant as the fact that singers of Boney's Lamentation had never commanded the French army, or that singers of Polly on the Shore had never bled to death.

As it happens, I find modern songs (in which I include the Blackleg Miner) much more problematic. Songs that have clearly been written by & for workers in a particular area (like some of Cyril Tawney's) are out of bounds for me, as are songs that make a polemical point about a particular area of work (like TBM or Bob Watson's Shantyman). Sometimes I really do feel that I'm not the one that the shoe pinches. But it's very rare that I feel that about a traditional song.


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 12:34 AM

Right, Pip. Will, when one sings a song, one is, in every sense, 'performing' it. Performers perform; or, to put it differently, actors act. You have to put yourself temporarily into the appropriate mental situation & act it out as you sing. When the film Marathon Man was being made, 'Method' actor Dustin Hoffman would run long distances, go without sleep, &c, before shooting a scene. Previous generation co-star Laurence Olivier is said to have asked him, "Have you ever thought of acting, dear boy?"

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Will Fly
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 03:13 AM

Michael, your acting comparison is very apt. I've been performing music in many genres for a long time - and the 'parts' I've 'acted' (to use your analogy) have always suited me. And, as with many other actors, some 'parts' just don't seem to suit and have to be - regrettably - returned to the agent!

I've performed music before thousands of people at concerts, played in band tours all over England and Europe, played at jazz festivals, rock'n roll conventions, social clubs, Trades & Labour clubs, working mens' clubs, air bases, etc. But I couldn't sing "Butter An Cheese An All" in the admirable way that you've demonstrated, in a folk club situation, because I don't think the part suits... Having said that, I do feel an affinity for the late Victorian/early Edwardian songs of music hall artists like Alec Hurley and Gus Elen, and feel quite happy in that 'persona'.


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 04:48 AM

Will ~ I entirely take your point re the part having to 'suit'. Many thanks for kind words about my B&C&A. Interesting that you should mention Gus Elen, as The 'Ouses In Between is one I am planning to add to my YouTube channel when I get rid of an irritating attack of arthritis in one of my fingers which is preventing my performing at the moment.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Will Fly
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 05:04 AM

My favourite Elen song - and one which I perform regularly, as it's my favourite, is "The Postman's Holiday". I learned it from a live recording of Elen singing at a special concert when in old age and retirement. He sings it beautifully, with a Cockney accent straight from Dickens' day (he was born in Pimlico in 1862) and then, talking to the audience, speaks in a very "actorly" voice indeed. He donned the coster character to perfection.

And then, of course, there's his "It's A Great Big Shame" - also excellent.

I'm currently trying to get the verse to that wonderful song of Alec Hurley's - "'Arry, 'Arry, 'Arry"... I've been singing the chorus to myself for years but never bothered with the verse.


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Will Fly
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 05:06 AM

Michael - forgot to say - hope the arthritis stays away as far as possible. I'm lucky, so far, but these sorts of finger ailments are damned irritating - and painful. :-)


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: MikeL2
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 05:42 AM

Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: Stringsinger - PM
Date: 21 Aug 10 - 12:36 PM

<" Will, there's nothing wrong with singing anything you want. It's not bogus if you sing it sincerely, with respect and understanding for the song and its musical background.">

Hi stringsinger

I agree with you on this point. If I like a song I try to sing it - from whatever genre - .

There are many that don't suit my style, delivery etc and most of them I dispense with. But I do ( or did ) play and sing a very wide variety of material.

I even sang solo unaccompanied traditional songs ( even though I am a guitarist ). I never felt uncomfortable , otherwise I wouldn't have done it.

In my "band" days like Will I did play and sing material that I was uncomfortable able but for the sake of democracy ( and financial incentive ) I would play along.

I am sure that most musicians at some point in their careers have "bastardised" themselves in a similar way.

cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: mikesamwild
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 07:11 AM

Very good and thoughtful stuff Will et al.


As I said at the beginning I was asking about good new singers in the folk idiom .

What a lot of people assume is the folk idiom and way of singiing may be the result of what was purveyed by revivalists . Unless there were recordings on wax etc of very old living singers we listened to living people raised in the tradition and there were still a lot around in families, pubs etc etc not just those embraced by the folk.

I love the tradition and most of my singing is purposely within the idiom, but I have sung blues, rock and pop and karaoke quite happily and often been paid to do it.


I know what Will means about being comfortable . Members of my family really had lived the life and it felt and still does phoney to assume the character so the alter ego of a delta bluesman was easier to don than that of a miner .



having siad which, I have been in dramas where it felt perfectly OK but in a social situation I don't think people want a historic lecture to justify a siong.


Maybe younger singers who have grown up with revival don't see the same inhibiting factors and can asuume identities , or may not even really think about the words too much.

Just as lots of others Duncan Mc Farlane (for example) singing Bring 'em Down is not 'being' a sailorman but just using a song as a vehicle for folk rock.


I agree with Will about the timeless tunes and think how Burns et al just wrote new words to suit the times , like all the broadsheet writers.


Once Dylan had soaked up the tradition he put new wine in old bottles.

Anyway, I still think Roy Orbison is my favourite singer.


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: mikesamwild
Date: 23 Aug 10 - 09:31 AM

Something similar (I think) going on on Ray Pagett's thread, but he's pissed off to Whitby , where we will soon join him to do traditional style singing, .


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: mikesamwild
Date: 24 Aug 10 - 05:01 AM

Do I mean sing traditional songs , traditionalist singing, sing in a traditional idiom, sing a traditional song in a traditioanl style, or one I learned at my mother's knee or some other low joint?,


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: JemmaGurney
Date: 26 Aug 10 - 07:48 AM

Facebook informs me that Jess Arrowsmith won the Whitby festival Singing competition last night...


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Subject: RE: Great Folk or Traditional Singers
From: mikesamwild
Date: 31 Aug 10 - 08:24 AM

Great news! The Crucible team are among my favourite younger singers.


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