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Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers

GUEST,21st Century Bluesman 12 Nov 10 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,erbert 12 Nov 10 - 05:58 PM
Greg F. 12 Nov 10 - 06:12 PM
Tootler 12 Nov 10 - 06:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Nov 10 - 06:45 PM
GUEST,erbert 12 Nov 10 - 06:54 PM
Howard Jones 12 Nov 10 - 07:05 PM
Leadfingers 12 Nov 10 - 08:27 PM
Leadfingers 12 Nov 10 - 08:36 PM
Richard Bridge 12 Nov 10 - 09:33 PM
Will Fly 13 Nov 10 - 03:31 AM
GUEST,PeterC 13 Nov 10 - 03:38 AM
SteveMansfield 13 Nov 10 - 02:12 PM
Jack Blandiver 14 Nov 10 - 04:13 AM
DMcG 14 Nov 10 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,crowsister 14 Nov 10 - 06:00 AM
theleveller 14 Nov 10 - 06:02 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 14 Nov 10 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,I'll be your friend 14 Nov 10 - 09:02 AM
Folknacious 14 Nov 10 - 10:26 AM
Richard Bridge 14 Nov 10 - 10:27 AM
NormanD 14 Nov 10 - 10:36 AM
SteveMansfield 14 Nov 10 - 10:41 AM
Folknacious 14 Nov 10 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,erbert 14 Nov 10 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,Adam Smith 14 Nov 10 - 12:10 PM
treewind 14 Nov 10 - 12:37 PM
Ernest 14 Nov 10 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 14 Nov 10 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,cs 14 Nov 10 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,Bessie 15 Nov 10 - 07:31 AM
GUEST,Clare 15 Nov 10 - 09:18 AM
greg stephens 15 Nov 10 - 09:36 AM
doc.tom 15 Nov 10 - 10:11 AM
doc.tom 15 Nov 10 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,21st Century Bluesman 15 Nov 10 - 02:56 PM
Folknacious 15 Nov 10 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,21st 15 Nov 10 - 03:50 PM
Jack Blandiver 15 Nov 10 - 04:01 PM
Phil Edwards 15 Nov 10 - 04:51 PM
GUEST,Adam Smith 15 Nov 10 - 05:05 PM
Jack Campin 15 Nov 10 - 06:40 PM
Folknacious 15 Nov 10 - 06:50 PM
Don Firth 15 Nov 10 - 07:02 PM
Howard Jones 15 Nov 10 - 07:15 PM
Tootler 15 Nov 10 - 07:24 PM
Amergin 16 Nov 10 - 12:13 AM
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GUEST,erbert 16 Nov 10 - 07:09 AM
Bounty Hound 16 Nov 10 - 07:36 AM
greg stephens 16 Nov 10 - 07:54 AM
Richard Bridge 16 Nov 10 - 07:59 AM
greg stephens 16 Nov 10 - 08:10 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 16 Nov 10 - 08:12 AM
Manitas_at_home 16 Nov 10 - 08:25 AM
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Manitas_at_home 16 Nov 10 - 08:44 AM
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doc.tom 16 Nov 10 - 10:12 AM
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GUEST,Spleen Cringe 16 Nov 10 - 11:07 AM
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Richard Bridge 16 Nov 10 - 11:48 AM
michaelr 16 Nov 10 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Working Radish 16 Nov 10 - 12:00 PM
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Rain Dog 16 Nov 10 - 02:26 PM
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Ian Anderson 16 Nov 10 - 03:25 PM
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Subject: Moulettes – not folk, say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,21st Century Bluesman
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 05:50 PM

Have had rejections from both fRoots and Songlines on the basis that Moulettes, a band I'm currently managing aren't really folk, or certainly folk enough. What do others feel? www.myspace.com/moulettes


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 05:58 PM

nah.. its Prog Rock.


But quite good, whatever they think they might be.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Greg F.
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 06:12 PM

Now if it was the Moufettes........


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Tootler
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 06:38 PM

I agree, pretty good but not folk.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 06:45 PM

From listening to the tracks in that link, I suspect that if you gave a random selection of people a listen, and asked them "what kind of music would you say that is?" very few would say "folk".


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 06:54 PM

.. and bloody 'ell..

the term


"Art Rock"


has just popped into my head
for the first time in over 30 years...


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Howard Jones
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 07:05 PM

On what grounds do you think they're "folk" - or "folk enough"?


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 08:27 PM

Not MY idea of Folk - And I have fairly broad tastes !


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 08:36 PM

But here's a Clicky for any one else to give an opinion


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 09:33 PM

It appears to be all self-written. While it seems quite well done, and possibly even might pass the old grey whistle test, and indeed is somewhat sort of acoustic in feel, it does not even approach, much less pass the 1954 definition. I don't dislike it, but it is not folk.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Will Fly
Date: 13 Nov 10 - 03:31 AM

It reminds me a bit of the Puppini Sisters - I've enjoyed what I've heard so far, by the way - and it's contemporary song.

I wouldn't call it 'folk' but, what the hell, who cares? I understand the importance of genre labels when you're trying to market your production and get gigs but, in the end, it's more important to believe in what you do and enjoy doing it.

Forget the folk tag - get into pubs and other music venues like, say, the Komedia in Brighton.

Just my two-penn'orth. :-)


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 13 Nov 10 - 03:38 AM

It doesn't fit any label that I would use to describe a musical style. I suspect that LJ is the only place that will give it air time.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 13 Nov 10 - 02:12 PM

Nice enough art-cabaret material, but I certainly wouldn't expect it to be covered in fRoots or Songlines, any more than I think you'll stand much chance of getting coverage in Kerrang! or The Wire.

I'm mildly interested to know why the OP thinks it *should* be covered in Songlines or fRoots, as there's no discernable 'traditional' or 'folk' or 'roots' or even 'Celtic' influence that I could put my finger on. It's well-produced and enjoyable, but (IMNSHO) folk/roots/trad it ain't.

PeterC's suggestion of Late Junction is a good one.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 04:13 AM

it does not even approach, much less pass the 1954 definition. I don't dislike it, but it is not folk.

The 1954 Definition is a fundamentalist fantasy so vaguely worded that it would either (according to the letter of interpretation) a) exclude 99% of the music accepted as Folk in folk clubs, folk festivals, folk on 2 or even here on Mudcat or b) include every music as folk according to its particular community and character. Folk is a recent concept of a music & as such it evolves with each new generation who comes to it. These days Folk implies a far wider aesthetic as it expands to absorb new nuances of meaning and musical possibility. For the orthodoxy, of course, this is heresy, but the reality is that right now folk means more things to more people than ever before and the music under discussion here is a perfect example of this. So yes, of course it's Folk - in both intention and inspiration, but it's a whole lot more too, but the best things usually are.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: DMcG
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 05:22 AM

As I see it, the editors of fRoots and Songlines are not gatekeepers for folk, but they ARE gatekeepers for their respective magazines. They have some image of what they think the magazines should be like and believe it to be their job to accept or reject material that fits the image of their mags. And quite right too.

On the other hand the opening poster is the manager of the group and wants to do what he or she can to promote them. So I don't think the goal here is to discuss whether the music is or is not folk, as to bring the group to the attention to potential buyers. Again, that's his/her job, and once again, quite right too.

None of which has anything to do with whether the music actually IS folk ...


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,crowsister
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 06:00 AM

As far as I can tell, the band in question bare little or no resemblance to the type of trad/roots music Froots covers. But then I guess most of what is commercially labeled as 'folk' bares little or no resemblance to trad/roots type music either. In this respect the band in question is as 'folk' as anything else out there calling itself 'folk'. Though arguably Lily Allen and The Streets are more folk than most of them.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: theleveller
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 06:02 AM

I certainly wouldn't take Ian Anderson's definition of folk as anything but totally arbitrary. Interesting interview in this month's Acoustic magazine with Reg Meuross who had a very public battle with Anderson on this very issue after he refused to review 'Dragonfly' because it was 'not of a tradition'. Reg says, "This infuriated me as it was someone else carelessly deciding who I was...". The debate got very heated at the time with some rather unneccessary personal remarks from Mr Anderson about those who publicly disagreed with him (myself included).


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 08:24 AM

All music is 'of a tradition' - every single genre has 'roots', and not one is not Folk according to the Holy Writ of the 1954 Definition - from the most formal Gagaku to the most 'out there' improv. Folk is merely a random signifier of a certain aesthetic which is ultimately entirely subjective. That said, your average Folknik* is inclined towards a biased pedantry which doesn't bear to close a scrutiny, believing their arbitary construct to be of great substance, which is, of course, utter hooey. Moulettes come across as Harry Potter meets the Wicker Man in the Miranda Sex Garden; that's Folk enough for me, and in the ever evolving sense of a word (i.e. Folk) which has never meant anything anyway.

Anyone seen the new folk-filled Xmas video from Annie Lennox?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlsJD8RlhbI

Let nothing ye dismay!

* I believe Bert Lloyd coined this term; it seems appropriate!


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,I'll be your friend
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 09:02 AM

To me, this doesn't sound a million miles away from the am-dram folk of Loreena McKeenit or Jim Moray.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Folknacious
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 10:26 AM

Surely the Reg Meuros controversy was as much because he used some very sexist, misogenistic language to justify why he thought it unfair that certain other artists passed the Old Grey Froots Test and not him, adding to which he apparently went at it like a bull at a gate. I remember the story from the now closed but still readable BBC Folk Board and as far as I recall he didn't come out of it too well. I thought it was a good lesson about the perils which await people who make it too obvious that they think they're owed a living.

Calling people "gatekeepers" is the new cheap shot often used by those who may have been ignored for more obvious reasons - like quality or originality.

As for Moulettes, can't hear any real relevance. Isn't it interesting how everybody wants to be on the folk bandwagon in these days of mega-sales by bands who get called folk like Mumford & Sons. Whose betting that in 2 or 3 years time when the fashionistas have decreed that folk is once again as untrendy as can be, they'll all be distancing themselves from the folk scene as if it was a leper colony.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 10:27 AM

The 1954 definition is the only serious attempt (AFAIK) to give a meaning to the terms "folk music" or "folk song" that is harmonious with "folk art" "folk tale" "folk myth" "folklore" or "folkways" and indeed foreign expressions such as "volkslieder" or "folklorique".

Since a folksong may remain a folksong even if done in reggae or as folk-rock or as folk-metal (or some of those hideous versions of Barb'ra Ellen with tightly corseted contralto and grand piaaaaaano) it is plain that a meaning based on manner of performance, or style is untenable. The obvious other avenues to giving the word "folk" a meaning in this context are derivation and/or currency. It appears to me that the 1954 definition neatly uses both, and is more consistent with the term "the folk" as in "the people" which would tend to be backward looking (in a sense of time) and to include a sense of duration and history, so to exclude the flash mob (and purveyors of social worker psychobabble).

In short, it is the best definition of folk music and song of which I am aware.

Oh shit, another "what is folk" thread - but I suspect the OP intended that.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: NormanD
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 10:36 AM

I just scanned the sound clips, and it doesn't sound out of place from 'the new folk tradition' - lovely harmonies in British accents, use of cellos and beats, etc.

As far as fRoots is concerned, it's probably better they say now they won't review it (or don't like it) rather than including it in the round-up list at the very end with a one-sentence comment and a thumbs down. Songlines? Maybe they'd go mad for it if they sang in a non-English language. Maybe fRoots might as well.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 10:41 AM

Calling people "gatekeepers" is the new cheap shot often used by those who may have been ignored for more obvious reasons - like quality or originality.

Or, perhaps, just not fitting even the outer reaches of the selection criteria of the magazines?

Gawd forbid we should end up in another 'what is folk' MudScrap, but fRoots and Songlines have to draw the line somewhere or else they'd be reviewing the latest reissue of Barbarolli's take on Beethoven's 5th alongside news of the Take That reunion album. I'm very happy for The Moulettes to do whatever it is they do, but I don't hear anything in their sound or read anything in their biog that makes me think they've been done an injustice by being knocked back by fRoots and Songlines.

And if that makes me a Grumpy Old Gatekeeper then I'll happily wear the David Owen 'Folk Police' T-shirt.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Folknacious
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 10:43 AM

Reg Meuros controversy - - - I remember the story from the now closed but still readable BBC Folk Board.

The perils of procrastinating on a wet Sunday with bugger all else to do, I found the relevant topic.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 11:10 AM

close enough or too far from folk or not...

Moulettes would be a welcome addition

to the 'cabaret/music hall/variety' fringe stage

of many 'Folk' Festivals..


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Adam Smith
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 12:10 PM

That's a little harsh 'erbert!


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: treewind
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 12:37 PM

This is not about what is folk and what isn't. fRoots is not a public service nor does it claim to be a folk magazine, it's a business run according to the personal whim of Ian Anderson, and he's entitled to print or reject what he likes. His policy is quite clear and publicly stated, and makes no attempt to define what folk music is. His is a simple case of "I know what I like". It just happens to be commercially successful as well.

Criticising the magazine simply for being itself is like berating an oak tree for not being a rose bush.

A few years ago there was an additional problem that the British folk music world wasn't well represented by any national magazines, but we now have EDS and Living Tradition* filling that gap, with Rock'n'Reel covering an overlapping area (and incidentally looks like a magazine that would better serve the interests of Moulettes, from what I've read here about the band)

*yes, I know...


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Ernest
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 01:39 PM

Look at the influences they give on their meyspace site. Since none of those is what most people would consider folk, it seems to be quite clear that they wouldn`t consider themselves to be "folk"...so why should anyone else?

Bestwishes
Ernest


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 02:49 PM

I thought they sounded a bit PentAnglish (who were frequently tarred with the F word back in the day), and they're certainly a lot more 'Acoustic' and 'English' (both of which words are synonyms with "F" to many) than the Mumford (who are currently being classified as "F" in every media outlet on the planet). Plus they use classical instruments in a reasonably "F"in style.

I think it is perfectly reasonable for them to wonder why fRoots do not feel they fitted his category - assuming they do. If so, I'd suspect that Ian's reasoning might have more to do with the brevity of their 'Roots' than any signal failure to be 'f.'

Good stuff though - and if they get a bit more successful - or merely learn a couple of trad songs... [wink/devil]


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,cs
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 02:51 PM

"or merely learn a couple of trad songs..."

Yep, that'll do it!


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Bessie
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 07:31 AM

They do do a thoroughly enjoyable version of 'Bedlam Boys'. I would say their music tends more towards swing than anything else but probably are just as folky as any of the so-called nu-folk stuff that's around. Very good festival band anyway


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Clare
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 09:18 AM

My band Flaming June are supporting the Moulettes at Cambridge. We're kind of on the fringe of "folk" too as we have a fiddle & a tenor whistle & a lot of our songs tell a story. We go down well at Folk Clubs & have played at Ely Folk Festival. We're not just folk though, any more than the Moulettes are & also played at a Rock Festival in 2010. Some people always like to pigeonhole bands into a set genre. Shame they've been turned down for the magazines though. I really love their music and I know that a majority of "folk" audiences would love it too. Maybe not the traditionalists though....


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: greg stephens
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 09:36 AM

Well, they don't fit to any of the several different meanings of "folk" that I use. But they may well fit the meaning of "folk" that you use. That's all there really is to say on this topic that I can think of.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: doc.tom
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 10:11 AM

"Folk is a recent concept of a music" - so recent, if fact, that it appears in Anglo Saxon texts!
"it doesn't sound out of place from 'the new folk tradition'" could somebody please explain what on earth that means?
I'm with treewind!
Sometimes you get really fed up of people calling things "folk" not because they bear any relationship to folk but because it doesn't fit anywhere else. Why don't they go invent some new term for themselves and let the rest of us continue arguing about what it is we call folk - or perhaps that's the problem!
(Smile)
Tom


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: doc.tom
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 10:15 AM

Sorry. That was a totally gratuitous post. I aplogise.
Tom


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,21st Century Bluesman
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 02:56 PM

MOJO – "Auspicious debut from prog-folk quintet...complex and beautiful...intriguing and unique"

Daily Mirror – "A tastefully contrived blend of lacy chamber folk, racy cabaret and siren blues songs."

Independent – "Moulettes are an oddity even among the diverse ranks of the new folk boom, with the constant presence of Ruth Skipper's bassoon giving their sound a little of the flavour of 1970s early-music chamber-folkies Gryphon."

"The most ambitious folk album you'll hear all year" www.extremelisteningmode.com

"Bucking the trend for po-faced tweeness that characterises so much new folk based music, The Moulettes offer an appealing combination of quirky instrumentation and darkly comic fun." www.quietus.com

But these aren't from 'Folk' music publications or by 'specialist' journalists so whadda they know ;-)

And yes, they've been compared to Pentangle, Jethro Tull, Comus, Fairports, Unthanks. All 'folk' to a greater or lesser extent.

They may not be as folk as Bellowhead, but they're certainly more folk than Mumford & Sons. They sing in resolutely English accents; there's nary an electric guitar to be heard; the violin and cello play some distinctly English folk, Celtic, Balkan, Appalachian lines; lyrical matters often have archaic settings and could be described as ballads or story-telling songs; while the melodies and harmonies often have a folky modality.

Finally, they are still in their mid-twenties and the three core members have been playing together since 2002, well before the "new folk boom". They are certainly not bandwagon-jumpers. Just because they're not called Copper or Waterson or McCarthy doesn't mean they don't have a genuine love of folk music traditions.

This video to me sums up what a rollicking, modern folk-art-prog-swing-band should sound like. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikdPbUotIKo


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Folknacious
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 03:00 PM

McCarthy? That'll be well-informed opinion then.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,21st
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 03:50 PM

Oops, Carthy. No, that'll be a bit of a brain scramble. Got all the albums, love...

Well-informed? Just like you wading in and assuming that the Moulettes had just been at it for a couple of years...

You spell it misogynistic, btw. And Reg Meuross. Oh dear, the perils of pulling people on spelling...


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 04:01 PM

"Folk is a recent concept of a music" - so recent, if fact, that it appears in Anglo Saxon texts!

What Anglo-Saxon texts?


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 04:51 PM

Surely you're familiar with the 954 Definition?


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Adam Smith
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 05:05 PM

To me, they sound like a competent student rag week "humourous" cabaret band. They're sort of folk - in the way that Timothy Claypole was sort of folk.

Some questions for their manager / apologist / publicist:

Do they want to be called folk? Are they actively seeking the word "folk" to be attached to their name somehow?

Surely, I would have thought, if they'd wanted to be considered a folk band, they'd be a folk band? Not a dressing-up am-dram student "ament-we-clever" band?

Are you also going onto specialist classical forums and complaining that the Moulettes aren't being featured in Classical Bollox Weekly even though they play 'cello?

This paragraph: They may not be as folk as Bellowhead, but they're certainly more folk than Mumford & Sons. They sing in resolutely English accents; there's nary an electric guitar to be heard; the violin and cello play some distinctly English folk, Celtic, Balkan, Appalachian lines; lyrical matters often have archaic settings and could be described as ballads or story-telling songs; while the melodies and harmonies often have a folky modality.

What a load of complete meaningless crap. Every single sentence means nothing whatsoever in regards to their "folkiness" and the sum total of the paragraph adds up to a steaming pile of cow diddle. Oh - diddle rhymes with fiddle - How Folky!

Really, why are you protesting so much? If you have to go to such lengths to point out how "folk" they are to people, surely that just goes to show how "not-folk" they are? Whatever the fuck that is. I mean - "There's nary an electric guitar to be heard" What a load of laughable tosh. Why don't you call yourself a brass band? After all, "There's nary an electric guitar to be heard"

Dull dull dull. Bog off.


Adam Smith


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Subject: RE: Moulettes ñ not folk say gatekeepers
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 06:40 PM

Is MySpace the only place you can hear a sample?

I am not about to suck Rupert Murdoch's cock to find out what they sound like.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Folknacious
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 06:50 PM

Moulettes person he/she says: Well-informed? Just like you wading in and assuming that the Moulettes had just been at it for a couple of years...

Where did I say or assume that? All I questioned was whether they might still want to be on the folk bandwagon in another 2 or 3 years time when it ceases to have the imagined cash benefits it currently does. For all I know they may have been planning world domination since the last century.

Seriously though, as you seem to be rather outvoted in this discussion, I'd be inclined to remember old proverb 'when in hole, stop digging'.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Don Firth
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 07:02 PM

Just out of idle curiosity. . . .

Can anyone explain to me why every bloody uncategorisable rock musician, pseudo-lieder singer, writer of songs and ditties about the contents of his or her navel, and people who otherwise can't put any kind of rational name to the sort of music they strive to wheeze out insist on calling what they do "folk music?"

Especially when it was cobbled together only last week and bears no resemblance whatsoever to any particular tradition.

Seems to be an international trend. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Howard Jones
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 07:15 PM

The band may have been around since before the "new folk boom", and may not be bandwagon-jumpers themselves, but this attempt to define them as "folk" definitely smacks of the bandwagon.

Two of the leading folk magazines have said "no thanks". Folk enthusiasts on a folk music forum have said, "nice, but not our sort of thing". Doesn't this suggest you might be barking up the wrong tree?

The problem is that, from a folk perspective, I don't find their music very interesting, whereas in a different context it no doubt goes down very well. Trying to promote it in a genre where it doesn't really fit in, and in particular trying to push it into the magazines, is likely to generate only luke-warm reviews, at best.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Tootler
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 07:24 PM

Jack, there are plenty clips on You Tube. Just search for them by name.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes � not folk say gatekeepers
From: Amergin
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 12:13 AM

Why worry about it? Just go to any trailer park in the world and you'll be able to hear some singing mullets....


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 06:40 AM

I quite liked their "Songs From St Margarets" mini-album on Manchester micro-label The Red Deer Club. A bit tame and mannered for my taste and not an album that left me wanting more, but am ok release none-the-less. I can see why some people would enjoy it.

Now, The Red Deer Club was a "nu-folk" label (though I doubt founder Dunk Le Chunk ever used that term) well before the label became popularised by the relentless rise of the Mumfords. RDC has released some good albums. The thing is, their output is only "folk" in the broadest sense of the word, in so far as that loose scene of largely acoustic groups and singer-songwriters attracted a "folk" tag in the absence of any better way of describing it. And in the sense that "folk" is used in the wider media as a catch-all marketing term for all sorts of acoustic music. Personally I don't have a huge problem with this, in that "folk" has long been a debased term that can mean anything the music industry wants it to mean. Citing the 1954 definition to support the notion that the Moulettes (or anyone else for that matter) are not "folk" is the last feeble grasp at a very decomposed straw. The stable door was opened long ago and the singing horse has bolted.

Personally (and notwithstanding the above) I wouldn't describe the Moulettes as "folk" - and I have a fairly undogmatic view about these things (when the UK folk scene has a decades-long tradition of admitting singing "comedians" with irritatingly unfunny songs, they're not exactly in the best position to make lofty "folk"/"not-folk" declarations). If the Moulettes or their manager want to categorise themselves as "folk", that's entirely up to them. But to then come on Mudcat pissing and moaning because fRoots and Songlines won't give them a review is a bit rich. fRoots will sometimes step outside of its core remit if it thinks the record in question is good enough to warrant it, but that's the exception rather than the rule. And as in all the things, including Reg Meuross's ridiculous fit of petulance referenced above, these publications do not owe these artists anything (no-one has a right to a review) and most importantly the editor's decision is final*. And thank god for that. Otherwise fRoots would be stuffed with reviews of every half-arsed singer-songwriter whose marketing people have attached the term "folk" to them imaginable and I'd have to cancel my subscription before I lost the will to live...

* If I was the fRoots or Songlines editor and someone posted their complaints about my not reviewing them on an internet forum, future press releases and promos would be filed in a very special place...


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 07:09 AM

makes ya wonder how many promising new music artists
have had their potential careers scuppered
by the 'well meaning' PR campaign strategies
of managers seemingly hell bent on antagonising
influential music-biz media channels & proprietors ????

.. all publicity is good publicity ???????


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 07:36 AM

'The thing is, their output is only "folk" in the broadest sense of the word, in so far as that loose scene of largely acoustic groups and singer-songwriters attracted a "folk" tag in the absence of any better way of describing it. And in the sense that "folk" is used in the wider media as a catch-all marketing term for all sorts of acoustic music.'

Hit the nail on the head there, I was just about to comment on the original posters statement 'there's nary an electric guitar in sight', but Spleen Cringe beat me to it!

You can't define the 'type' of music by the instruments it is performed on. If The Moulettes are 'folk' because they do not use electric instruments, then the other side of that coin is that bands like Steeleye Span, Fairport, my own band The Bounty Hounds when they perform a traditional song with electric instruments are not! You could play a Black Sabbath song on an acoustic guitar, but it wouldn't make it 'folk' Perhaps the media need to be educated that just because it is acoustic music, or instruments like fiddles, mandolins etc are used it doesn't automatically make it 'folk'.

If I had to pidgeon hole The Moulettes I'd probably call them acoustic prog rock. That said, they have a very listenable sound.

John


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 07:54 AM

The Moulettes are a very interesting group, and I like them. Undoubtedly, they are not "folk" in the sense in which I would normally use the word. Equally undoubtedly, they are "folk" in the way a lot of people use the word nowadays. If Ian Anderson doesn't want to cover this sort of thing in fRoots, that is fine, it's up to him, he's the editor. Though I fancy he would probably increase his readership a bit if he did cover this sort of area a bit more.Because, whether you like it or not, or whether you call it folk or not, this sort of music's lineage definitely descends from the 60's folk revival. The same remarks apply to the Mumfords.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 07:59 AM

The thing that sort of puzzles me is that pretty well everyone here says it's sort of nice - so why do they need or want to be called "folk" so long as people like what they do?


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: greg stephens
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 08:10 AM

Well Richard, to be labelled "folk" enables you to access certain forms of public funding, audiences, publicity and venues that would otherwise be denied to you. Conversely, the label can cut you off from other audiences etc(not everyone thinks folk=good!). If you are on the borderlines, it's a decision you have to take(or it will be taken for you). In this case, they are going for the "folk" label.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 08:12 AM

I hate to see people being unfairly treated so I'll say this yet again.

Those of us who are over 50 would do well to understand that two, repeat two, whole generations of innocent babes have now grown to band-making age with a clear and universal understanding that this sort of music IS now legitimately called folk by most people who use the English language.

Why?

Because they (since upwards of forty years) they, and their parents and grandparents saw it called so in newspapers and magazines, on the radio and television, on the shelves of record shops, and latterly in the genre idents of websites.

(And 21st has provided incontrovertible proof of this at 15 Nov 10 - 02:56 PM)

It is perfectly reasonable for those of us who have a different, older, definition for this word to explain our understanding, but it is NOT reasonable or fair for us to complain that these younger artists are merely band-waggon-jumping, gate-crashing, party-pooping, selling-out, selling-in - whatever hyphenated word combination you prefer.

We do not own the F word. We can make a case for our claim, of course -and so we should, but we if we act as though that claim is proven we will only come across as insular, divisive, patrician and pedantic.

And even if we are happy to be those things we should understand that the only people who have any right to police the definition of words are lawyers (but only in court) and academics (but only in peer reviewed papers).

Web forums fall into neither of these categories.

This band has every right to term itself folk by dint of common usage, and fRoots and Songlines (and anyone else here) has every right to disagree.

And these two clauses are not mutually contradictory.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 08:25 AM

if you're gonna jump on a band-wagon you need to be sure that it's going the way you want. There are 100's of rapper dancers out there who are not going to change the name just because most people think that rapper is a form of hip-hop ( believe me, I advertised our longsword and rapper team as a sword dance side and people just didn't seem to see the word sword). Similarly we who have been thinking that what we like is folk and is broadly represented by people as diverse as the Yetties and Oysterband and have been doing so for the last 50 years aren't going to be persuaded to relinquish our usage of the name easily.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 08:40 AM

I'm not sure on which side of the debate you stand, Manitas, but it's worth pointing out that no-one is being asked to relinquish anything.

We all merely have to accept that there are a now multitude of 'correct' meanings of this word, all reasonably acquired, and that if we wish to be understood by others who may legitimately have a different understanding to our own you we may occasionally need to take the trouble to add an adjective.

Rapper is a good example - though the derivation is of course completely different. Languages are brim-full of other examples, it's just what happens when people communicate.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 08:44 AM

Quite, which is why the Moulettes' manager will have to suffer with someone else's (perfectly valid) definition.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,crowsister
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 09:05 AM

"the Moulettes' manager will have to suffer with someone else's (perfectly valid) definition."

Indeed. And as far as definitions or whatever go, unlike the OP, Froots don't in fact appear to be trying to assert what does or does not count as 'folk'.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 10:07 AM

oh and as for the facile boast

"there's nary an electric guitar to be heard"

BOO !!!!!!

http://www.rah3.com/


suck on that acoustic boy !!!!


.. and now back to complex reality,

my only traditional acoustic guitar is defiantly not a folk instrument

whereas my electric guitars, valve amps and analog synths

will fight any other instrument that says they aren't.....


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 10:10 AM

I think the OP's question was reasonable. People who operate in the outer bout of the venn diagram can't be blamed for failing to understand what goes on the the other zones, and particularly what happens in the grey curves that separate the sectors.

That said, if the thread title had been 'not folk say traditionalist gatekeepers' or 'not traditional folk say gatekeepers' then the tread would have been much shorter (and seen by fewer people).

Managers promote bands. And s/he has done that admirably.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: doc.tom
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 10:12 AM

"Can anyone explain to me why every bloody uncategorisable rock musician, pseudo-lieder singer, writer of songs and ditties about the contents of his or her navel, and people who otherwise can't put any kind of rational name to the sort of music they strive to wheeze out insist on calling what they do "folk music?" "

No! - Which was really my earlier point, but much better put!


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 10:36 AM

Managers promote bands. And s/he has done that admirably

Yes, up to a point... but going on line to whine about the editorial policy of fRoots and to accuse them of being "gatekeepers" is pretty dismal. And it does beg the question of why they need the patronage of relatively small scale specialist mags, when they are getting glowing reviews in the Mirror and Mojo...

There again, it is apparently an established scientific fact that fRoots readers buy their own bodyweight in CDs every year.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Working Radish
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 10:56 AM

It's an odd definition of "gatekeepers" that puts the Independent, Mojo and the Daily Mirror among the lowly rabble outside the gates. An equally accurate Subject line would have been

Moulettes - folk, say gatekeepers

I suppose Ian Anderson should be flattered.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 11:07 AM

Me above Pip - forgot to name and shame meself.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 11:08 AM

Me above Pip

Obviously not in any pecking orders. Or literally.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 11:09 AM

Doh. Must become a member agin. Joe?...


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 11:48 AM

Ah silly me Greg - I thought it was a matter of an issue of principle, not access to wealth, and I have obviously missed seeing all the rich folk singers and folksong singers.

Tom - that something is common does not make it correct, particularly when the misuse is by the inexpert. If the word was to have meaning and applied to these perfectly adequate performers as well as to you, there would be some element in common between them and you - and I do not perceive any such.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: michaelr
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 11:57 AM

Thank you, Tom Bliss. I wholeheartedly concur.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Working Radish
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 12:00 PM

The other point about "gatekeepers" is that it does this rather clever job of giving with one hand and taking with the other - it says "authority" and implies "illegitimate". I mean, Moulettes 'not folk', say recognised arbiters of what is folk and what isn't wouldn't make nearly as good a complaint.

Tom - can I quote you on my blog? I started writing a reply here but it got too long and involved for Mudcat, so I'm going for a blog post.

In other news, would Suibhne like to come in again and give me the line about Anglo-Saxon texts? I think people may have missed it.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,cs
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 12:16 PM

"Moulettes 'not folk', say recognised arbiters of what is folk and what isn't"

Or:
'Moulettes 'not the type of music we tend to write about', say specialist music magazine.'


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 12:32 PM

Richard - with respect mate, in the matter of language the fact that a usage is common absolutely DOES make it correct. It is in fact the only criteria which matters.

Academics and lawyers make specialised definitions which they use only amongst themselves within their own spheres of influence. These have currency outside those areas, but no guarantee of permanency.

Language shifts, adapts, reverses, augments, erronialises (see, you can even make words up -c/f Lewis Carroll), contradicts and generally tumbles and eddies in beautiful confusion down the centuries.

English has done more somersaults then most - and is one of the most expressive and powerful tongues in existence as a result.   

Lexicographers merely do their best to keep up.

There is actually no such thing as correct language. Only better or worse understanding.

Pip - feel free old chap. Everyone else does!

Tom


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 12:42 PM

Someone said back there that Folk went back to Anglo-Saxon texts - whereas it's an invention of 19th Century antiquarianism; hell, even Child didn't use the word Folk. So, invented in the 19th century, predicated on grounds of class condescension by the early 20th century revival, reinvented as left-wing come-all-ye by the mid-20th century revival, and a free-for-all ever since basically. Folk can (& does) mean anything to anyone - the word is there for anyone who wants to use it, and those who do (Moulettes being a case in point) do so with respect & reference to a very particular aesthetic entirely consistent with previous usage.

Everywhere I look, Folk is evolving - everywhere other than Mudcat that is, where the toothless orthodoxy are gurning with cantankerous displeasure than anyone younger than 60 should dare intrude upon their precious (though entirely imaginary) domain. I have to say this has been the most dispiriting thread I've read in a long while.

*

Hardly youthful myself (though I often feel it in the old-folk world) I've just blogged my first release from 30 years ago; I called it folk then & I call it folk now. Check it out HERE.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Rain Dog
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 02:26 PM

Well if we are going to define our terms can someone please tell me what type of gate we are talking about exactly?


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,cs
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 02:31 PM

"what type of gate we are talking about exactly?"

This one has a pleasantly rustic styling: http://www.cleftgate.co.uk/Oak%20Gate%20Hoggeston.jpg


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 02:34 PM

'Gatekeeper' is a general term which, like 'punter,' seems to have negative connotations to some people, but not to all. I use both terms without implying any disparagement - the latter to mean merely 'consumer/buyer/audience,' and the former to mean someone who has access to promotional outlets. Consumers take a punt when they buy a ticket. Editors keep a gate against those who would seek access to their readership.

Nothing sinister in either.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,cs
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 02:38 PM

Or this one maybe: even more rustic


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 03:01 PM

Being common makes something - well - common.

Like 'ambag (around which, I believe, one dances in Essex).


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Ian Anderson
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 03:25 PM

Hello, gatehouse here. Have come to this one late, and am pleasantly surprised by how many have come to our defence.

When Moulettes manager Joe Cushley pressed me as to why their album hadn't been listed in our "new releases received" news, I replied as follows:

I just checked the database. It's not listed because it didn't go through for review. That's not a quality judgement, it's a relevance to fRoots issue (the database entry says "quirky acoustic indie, Mumford & Sons meet Lily Allen") Sorry!

So to be clear, nobody said "it's not folk". I've not heard the record myself and had no influence over this particular decision (though by the comment logged, I'd probably have agreed). I did see them at a London club around a year ago though, where they and their chums made an intrusive and impolite racket all through the set by Sara Grey & Kieron Means, and then proceeded to be not awfully interesting when they got on stage so I didn't stay for the whole set.

And I can only echo others: if all those proper grownup mass-circulation publications say they're the bees knees, why care what little fRoots or S***lines thinks?


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 04:53 PM

"Folk can (& does) mean anything to anyone - the word is there for anyone who wants to use it, and those who do (Moulettes being a case in point) do so with respect & reference to a very particular aesthetic entirely consistent with previous usage.

Everywhere I look, Folk is evolving - everywhere other than Mudcat that is, where the toothless orthodoxy are gurning with cantankerous displeasure than anyone younger than 60 should dare intrude upon their precious (though entirely imaginary) domain."

Well, Suibhne, still banging that old drum with your usual dispassionate objectivity I see! Has it ever occurred to you that making unsubstantiated assertions (i.e. "Folk can (& does) mean anything to anyone ..." etc.) and then insulting anyone who might possibly disagree with you, might not do an awful lot for your credibility?

Anyway, this 'old gurner' has to go now because he needs to sculpt a beehive for his sewing machine ... Oh! Sorry, I meant write an article for his blog! But then I'm just a toothless old pedant who happens to believe that words have meaning ...


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 05:23 PM

An illumination tonght on BBC2. Jools Holland and Robert Plant getting the usage of "folk music" correct - even if they did get the name of the EFDSS wrong). I think this has something to do with respect for our roots.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 06:51 PM

Has it ever occurred to you that making unsubstantiated assertions (i.e. "Folk can (& does) mean anything to anyone ..." etc.)

Seems pretty clear to me, Shimmy - likewise looking around Mudcat, festivals & folk clubs etc. I'd say Folk doesn't mean a fat lot beyond a vague commonality of interests largely determined by context. Everyone I talk to tells it differently - which is no bad thing, surely?


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: mousethief
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 02:03 AM

But then I'm just a toothless old pedant who happens to believe that words have meaning ...

Words do have meaning. They mean what people use them to mean. That's what it means to mean. If enough people use "folk" to mean "music played on acoustic instruments" then that will be the -- or at least a -- meaning of the word "folk". There is no "right" definition of a word that gets locked in time forever. That's not how language works, except maybe the French who have language gatekeepers. The English language does not.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: evansakes
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 02:44 AM

Is this the band at the centre of all this fuss ?

The Moulettes

Maybe the gatekeepers in question were making simple qualitative judgements above and beyond entitlement to the use of the F word ? Just a thought...


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 03:38 AM

where the toothless orthodoxy are gurning with cantankerous displeasure

Pure poetry!


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 03:54 AM

Very early in this thread, I wrote:

Forget the folk tag - get into pubs and other music venues like, say, the Komedia in Brighton.

I've just watched this YouTube video - which was filmed in the Marlborough Theatre in Brighton, as it happens - and see no reason to alter what I said.

Brighton is the scene for a fair number of new bands just like this to make their debut, at places like the Marlborough (ironically, the scene of a very good folk club for many years) and the Komedia. British Sea Power was another interesting new band from the area, for example.

You can see the difficulty they might have in pitching their style at a particular market sector though, can't you? It's not exactly the Trades & Labour Club/Social Club circuit, or the X-Factor audience. I wonder how they might have gone down in the Kursaal in Southend... The acoustic instruments, the rather fey costumes, the songs themselves - for them it might hint at folk festival audiences more than anything else.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 03:56 AM

Apologies for the endless italics! Should have stopped at "Komedia in Brighton"...


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,cs
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 04:09 AM

Do they cite any skiffle artists as an influence? Next to the ren-fayre / caberet thing, that's the sound I hear coming through most strongly. In fact there's something of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band about it all.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Will Fly
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 04:12 AM

Up to a point, Lord Copper...

The last time I saw the Alex Harvey Band - with Mox Gowland on blues harp - around 1966 or '67, they were playing high-powered, ear-blasting, full-blooded rhythm and blues. Several miles, musically, from the Moulettes. :-)


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 04:27 AM

Of course words do have meaning, which is how language works. Some meanings are relatively fixed; if we say Dog we have a fair idea of the sort of thing we're on about (overly sycophantic quadroped noted for the stench and generosity of its faeces) - but if we say God, then we're apt to come unstuck. In the specifics of musical genres things are pretty clear too - if I buy a record of Gagaku I know pretty much what I'm in for, likewise Piobaireachd or Rebetika. Folk, on the other hand, like God, is a loose fitting mutable generality wide enough to accomodate a multitude of possibilities - including Moulettes, Marling, & Mumford, and a good deal more besides - all of whom clearly have roots in the Folk Aesthetic of the last 100 years (and all that involves) and are using that how they see fit.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 06:27 AM

PS:

and then insulting anyone who might possibly disagree with you

I didn't mean to insult anyone here by the way, just reacting against the general tone of the thread which smacks of a Folk Fundamentalism that is hardly born out by closer analysis of The Scene as a whole. What is true for a you (or a me) isn't necessarily true for anyone else; so keep it real, objective & mutable.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 06:35 AM

" ... where the toothless orthodoxy are gurning with cantankerous displeasure than anyone younger than 60 should dare intrude upon their precious (though entirely imaginary) domain."

No, not at all insulting that, Suibhne!


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 07:03 AM

Words do have meaning. They mean what people use them to mean. That's what it means to mean.

Obviously true - things are named by the names that people name them with. And yet, and yet...

"That's a dog," says John. "Yes," says Jane. "You are right. That is a dog."

"That's not a dog," says Jane. "No," says John. "You are right. It is a cat, or it could be a small goat, or else it may be a beast the name of which we do not yet know to us. But dog it ain't."

"That's folk," says Jane. "Yes," says John. "That works for me. That is folk."

"That's not folk," says John. "What the-?" says Jane. "How dare you say that's not folk? Who died and made you King of the Gate? Clean out your ears! I say it's folk, they say it's folk, lots of us say it's folk! Of course it's folk! La la la la la, I can hear you not!"


Some kinds of naming seem to be a lot more controversial than others.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,crowsister
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 07:20 AM

I didn't like 'folk' music before I discovered traditional folk song (for all the reasons cited above), and after discovering traditional folk song I still don't like 'folk' music very much. So I really don't care what kind of music 'folk' is or isn't or who chooses to use the term. Even so, if people who actually consider themselves folk fans think Moulettes management were banging on the wrong gate, maybe they'd be better off banging on another kind of gate? They'd go down a storm at those kind of fests.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 07:57 AM

How's it insulting, Shimbo? I directed it against a general attitude of an apparant & ill-founded orthodoxy which mutters of correct usage in the face of overwhelming evidence that there is none. Like God, Folk is a concept predicated on a myth; unlike God, Folk is a useful umbrella term for various genres (musical or otherwise) sharing similar aesthetic roots, though I might be at a loss to discern a common link between Bert Lloyd's collection of Folk Music of Albania and Gary & Vera Aspey's A Taste of Hotpot, but both were released by Topic, and both remain very firmly Folk despite any perceived disparities on my part.

Meanings arise from common objective experience; no one will dispute the parameters of what is meant by Dog, Beehive, Latex, Teapot, Irish Jig or Skrimshaw - these things exist and are quantifiable in objective terms. Folk, on the other hand, doesn't exist - it is a redundant concept of a cultural condition that has given rise to a popular usage inclusive of many different styles, idioms, genres, approaches and, by jove, possibilities. Keep 'em coming that's what I say; the more the merrier!


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Brian Peters
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 08:05 AM

Every specialist media outlet and every live event, across all musical genres, has a sense of its own boundaries, defined by an individual artistic director, a committee or a constitution. Those people are 'gatekeepers' only to their own productions - there are no gatekeepers, official or otherwise, to the world of folk music, and it's irritating to find the word coming up repeatedly in a pejorative sense.

Ian Anderson would be about the last person in the world to define 'folk', having invented the phrase 'roots music' specifically as an alternative to what he saw as a uselessly imprecise term.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 08:09 AM

since i first started buying records

[Chicory Tip, Lindisfarne, Alice Cooper... saving up 20 new pence a week pocket money for 7" singles..]

I've been quite comfy with the general usage terms

'Trad Folk'

&   

'Contemporary folk'

mix and measure as required with a few traces of 'soft rock' 'heavy rock' 'prog' 'punk'.. [and whatever else since 1977..]
and my musical cosmology has been reasonably understandable stable and secure for at least 3 decades..


So most of the time i really can't care what all the effin fuss is about...

but then i've never been much of an enthusiastic academic or grim faced obsessive pedant...

If, for example, Burnham on sea free Folk Fest were to book Moulettes, I'd go see 'em out of curiosity
[definitely if they played in one of the few pubs that still serve local rough cider on tap..]
cos its the sort of girly 'novelty fancy dress stage costume' music
the mrs is keen on, which would go down well at certain pub venues,
and she usually gets her own way at festivals..

..unless they clashed with a really good local band i enjoy,
like Surfin Turnips or The Cherry Pickers...


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,cs
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 08:17 AM

"a popular usage inclusive of many different styles, idioms, genres, approaches"

As far as "popular usage" goes, I fear you're being a tad optimistic with all those delightful variables! For anyone not already a folk fan (ie: the vast majority of word users), it pretty much means two things ie: 'fiddley diddley' or 'girl/bloke sitting on a stool while strumming an acoustic guitar'.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Folknacious
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 08:21 AM

Ian Anderson said above: And I can only echo others: if all those proper grownup mass-circulation publications say they're the bees knees, why care what little fRoots or S***lines thinks?

Perhaps I'm being cynical, but could it be because so far they can't get arrested anywhere else? Maybe their manager thinks that the media fashionable folk scene will be a soft touch launch pad from which to propel them to fame and fortune? When the most high profile folk event to the general public is Cambridge Folk Festival who regularly book rock artists and American 'heritage acts', and who then get all the TV coverage, there's little surprise that uninformed managers start to see dollar signs.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 08:37 AM

having invented the phrase 'roots music' specifically as an alternative to what he saw as a uselessly imprecise term.

Like Roots Music is any better! All music has Roots - it's in the nature of Music; just all music in being determined by a particular Tradition, is Traditional. Surely the imprecision of Folk (which was built-in from the word go) has become one of its abiding strengths, reflecting a diversity of approaches down the years each of which is very much down to the individual perpetrator and their own particular tradition.

Folk endures for the best - hardly unifying, but comforting in the wider sense of things, especially for we vagrant souls who enjoy that sense of belonging which the Folk Scene is both big enough & small enough to accommodate.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Adam Smith
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 09:39 AM

What do you call "it" GUEST,Suibhne Astray?

Just curious.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 09:46 AM

Call what?


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Ian Anderson
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 09:48 AM

Ian Anderson would be about the last person in the world to define 'folk', having invented the phrase 'roots music' specifically as an alternative to what he saw as a uselessly imprecise term

You're quite right on the first point, but wrong on the second. The phrase 'roots music' was already in common useage in the 70s. It fell into favour in the 80s and so got used quite often in our pages then, less so nowadays. I certainly didn't invent or even popularise it. The only thing I had a hand in was the 1987 campaign which created the 'world music' box in record shops, and that was never a definition of anything, just a marketing badge of convenience that took off far, far beyond the expectations of those involved.

As several people have already pointed out, the single only thing that fRoots tries - poorly - to define is the musical remit of fRoots. Because we can't possibly and don't want to include all kinds of music, many of which are thoroughly and better covered elsewhere so don't need us anyway. There's a FAQ on our web site and the single only (broad-brush, gut feeling, keeping the door open for fringe stuff we like but can't really explain why!) way it tries to define anything is as follows:

Q: Before I send you my CD, what sort of music will you actually review?
A: As a simple guide, what fRoots covers is music, however ancient or modern, that has some clear roots in a tradition. Neither the instruments or level of technology employed nor an artist's nationality are particularly relevant. For example, neither the act of playing an acoustic instrument or singing in a language other than English have a major significance either way. It ain't how you do it, it's what you do!


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Adam Smith
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 10:04 AM

Define what?


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 10:48 AM

World Music

World Music was a term used by certain jazz musicians in the 60s & 70s - the AACM people used it a lot, particularly The Art Ensemble of Chicago, whose Ancient to the Future philosophy was an acknowledgement of their explorations of their Great Black Music cultural continuty and their encouragement to others to do likewise. Scottish jazz drummer Ken Hyder cites the Art Ensemble as a crucial inspiration in his formation of Talisker, who explored various Scottish traditional idioms from a free-jazz perspective - diddling, waulking songs, folk songs, dance music, piobaireachd - in a series of very fine albums. Don Cherry spoke of both World Music and Folk Music, embodying a sense of both in his music which remained firmly rooted in the free-jazz ethic; Johnny Mbizo Dyani likewise regarded what he did as Folk, though I doubt many Folkies would appreciate his various renderings of his native Xhosa folk songs. Duke Ellington embodied a similar sense in his Cotton Club jungle-music which was always more than just random exotica for his white audiences; in later years it found expression on the masterpieces of The Far-East Suite (1966) and Afro-Eurasian Eclipse (1971).

I remember well the World Music / Roots ethos of the 80s, one noxious upshot of which was the aberration of Paul Simon's Graceland dominating the Folk Roots charts for what seemed like an eternity, yet never a mention of Dudu Pukwana, Mongezi Feza, Johnny Dyani, Abdullah Ibrahim etc. whose truly World Music in exile was revolutionary in more ways than one.

*

Define what?

Define it!


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Adam Smith
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 11:28 AM

Define what?

Define it!



Ah Pardon my curiosity GUEST,Suibhne Astray, I was just wondering, since you appear to be fond of disseminating the term "folk" (to mean traditional based music), what you would replace it with, if anything?

Now, you'll have to excuse me, I'm no fan of debating and pedantry. I do believe you know what I mean by this question. I'm genuinely interested in what term you use.

Or to put it another way, Mudcat declares thus:

"The Mudcat Cafe and The Digital Tradition are dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of blues and folk music."

How would you put it? It's very easy to say "no" to everything without providing a "yes".


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,cs
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 11:34 AM

"Moulettes not 'it' - say magazine"

Might have a more appropriate thread title.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 12:12 PM

Well for a start I'm not saying no to anything, on the contrary - I'm saying a big yes to a more inclusive understanding based on what happens in the name of Folk be it in magazines, fora, festivals, clubs, singarounds & other Designated Folk Contexts the world over. I'm not too sure about the preservation aspect of it because, for me, it's about human individuals doing what they do anyway - bringing their passions to bear on things they care very deeply about - like (say) Dave Bishop's masterful singing & sourcing of English Traditional Folk Song in Chorlton; to me this is as much about Dave as a person as it is about the Tradition he's drawing upon, which in terms of a Living Music snuffed it long ago, but which remains nonetheless potent in a singer like Dave.

Given the breadth of music discussed on Mudcat I'd say the remit is just about right, although not all of that music is Folk Music, but all of it can be Folk Music in the right context. The example I might give is When The Saints Go Marching In. On YouTube you can watch a non-folk rendition by the old hoarse-whisperer himself (Louis Armstrong) which is Black Classical Music, as virtuosic and intricate as any Vivaldi sonata - OR you might seek out the version filmed at Matt Armour's club some years ago in Milton Keynes, which is very much Folk Music for reasons which should be self-evident. Both represent music of incredible warmth and humanity - but the former is utterly exclusive in terms of its mastery, whilst the latter utterly inclusive in terms of its come-all-ye ethos.

For more of my feelings on this, see the 1954 and All That thread, but remember I'm arguing a very big YES here in the face of a more orthodox view of things which I find as ill-conceived as it is stifling.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 01:28 PM

I suppose that all this comes down to whether or not there are really any 'gatekeepers' or 'folk policemen'. Obviously the instigator of this thread encountered, what he refers to as, 'gatekeepers' when he attempted to publicise the band that he manages in a couple of magazines. But I would say that if the editors of those mags felt that the Moulettes didn't fall within the remit of their magazines - well, tough! It's a tough old world out there in the music biz - or so I'm told.

But the, largely amateur world, that I move in is a somewhat different one, in which no-one has ever told me what I can or can't sing. And I've never told anyone else what they can or can't sing (and I would deserve a punch in the mouth if I did). I have been in a workshop situation in which I, and other participants, have asked the volunteer being 'workshopped' why they have learned a particular song (some people do seem to have peculiar tastes) but that's about as far as it goes.

Back in the dim and distant past I first attended a folk club in my home town. The club residents were a diverse bunch: one bloke did blues, another did comic and contemporary songs, a couple did American songs and another bloke did English trad. songs. It was the latter singer that blew me away and kept me going back for more. Through him I met such luminaries as Ewan MacColl, Bert Lloyd and several others. I was also introduced to recordings of trad singers such as Sam Larner, Harry Cox etc., etc. When I eventually encountered the '1954 definition' it made sense to me BUT it didn't necessarily fit all the stuff that was being performed in folk clubs then and it doesn't fit all of the stuff that is being performed in folk clubs 40 odd years later. That's cool (ish) BUT if all the others stuff drowned out all the trad stuff I would stop going to folk clubs - it's as simple as that!


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,cs
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 01:38 PM

"BUT if all the others stuff drowned out all the trad stuff I would stop going to folk clubs - it's as simple as that!"

It has in the main I believe, at least on any amateur level. And the folk word as it is understood in both 'popular usage' and commercial (the former basically being dictated by the latter), certainly acted as a barrier to me in regards discovering the very songs I now like to learn about and sing.

As such I have little personal interest in the term, considering it fairly useless for effectively describing my particular interests and as such Marling, the Mumfords, the Moulettes, and anyone else that wants it, are most welcome to it.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,gluey
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 01:47 PM

There are no grey areas in folk, it is or it ain't. No liminal, borderline or kinda. Just yea or nay.
Almost biblical really.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Adam Smith
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 03:55 PM

Hello GUEST,Suibhne Astray,

So, really I was asking what term you would use to describe folk music and your answer seems to imply Folk Music, so fair enough.

Now, on a different tack, your comment: The example I might give is When The Saints Go Marching In. On YouTube you can watch a non-folk rendition by the old hoarse-whisperer himself (Louis Armstrong) which is Black Classical Music, as virtuosic and intricate as any Vivaldi sonata

I find that patronising in the extreme. You seem to be saying "Look! These Blacks can somehow occasionally be as good as us!". I hugely doubt that you consider yourself a racist person, but for me, this school of thought (and I've heard it many times in different places) that somehow a strand of "black" music has scrambled to be the "equal" to what many would consider the most high-brow "white" music is the equivalent of saying "Oh, look at old Uncle Tom! He can read now as well as a white man! Well done boy!"

I'm sure you didn't mean it like that but really. It's got NOTHING to do with white classical music.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,cs
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 04:03 PM

"It's got NOTHING to do with white classical music."

I must say, I'm not quite following this 'Black v's White' Classical Music discussion. Don't know what Sweeney, or anyone else, means by the use of such terms.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: mousethief
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 04:22 PM

"Black classical music" would be classical music (e.g. Handel, Haydn, etc.) composed by a black person. It seems to me that using it any other way is condescending. "They aren't up to Beethoven's snuff, but boy can they sing 'Oh When the Saints'."


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 04:36 PM

That's cool (ish) BUT if all the others stuff drowned out all the trad stuff I would stop going to folk clubs - it's as simple as that!

Me too, Shimbo - as I have done on various occasions.

I find that patronising in the extreme.

You're way off. The term Black Classial Music comes from Louis Armstrong who also described Jazz as a Sacred Order. A quick search on-line reveals this quote fro Nina Simone: To most white people, jazz means black and jazz means dirt, and that's not what I play. I play black classical music. I personally regard Jazz as Black Classical Music. As I've said elsewhere my atheism is based on an inability to conceive of a higher divinity than Duke Ellington - whose music was described as Classical Music - so if Duke Ellington is God, then Lucifer is Sun Ra. Right now Miles Davis is the Holy Spirit: I'm listening to little else but his electric output from In a Silent Way to Big Fun, which I regard as supreme. Don't get me started on Art Tatum, John Coltrane and Rahsaan Roland Kirk who also spoke of Black Classical Music even recording the 20 minute Concerto for Saxophone (in one take without stopping for breath) on the aptly named Prepare Thyself to Deal with a Miracle.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: TheSnail
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 04:46 PM

GUEST,cs

"BUT if all the others stuff drowned out all the trad stuff I would stop going to folk clubs - it's as simple as that!"[Shimrod]

It has in the main I believe, at least on any amateur level.

I suppose we all live in our own little worlds and assume that the rest of the world is pretty much the same but the folk clubs and sessions where I spend a lot of my time are dominated by traditional and written-in-the-tradtion songs and music. Since the perpetrators come from all over the country, I assumed it was fairly widespread.

Where are these places where "the others stuff drowned out all the trad stuff"?


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Adam Smith
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 05:06 PM

GUEST,Suibhne Astray

So, do you regard classical music as White Jazz?


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 05:12 PM

Well, Sweeney, that tripe from Simone makes even less sense than your rantings. The vast preponderance of classical music is wholly fixed in arrangement and form (exceptions being the Sawkins style bass lines - see Sawkins -v- Hyperion - and certain aspects of organ music) whereas the core of jazz is improvisation.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 05:15 PM

From looking at the YouTube clips, they're a bit more interesting than I'd expect from a group of Rupert Murdoch whores ("Requiem", which takes off from Patrick Galvin's "James Connolly" played on the cello, starts very well). But they're way under-rehearsed on some numbers, their vocals are never properly audible, they carry on playing way past the point where they've run out of musical ideas, and if you compare their version of Victorian surreal punk with Emilie Autumn, you'd rather see Autumn any day.

The variety of sounds makes them more entertaining than the sort of singer-songwriter with a guitar who gets dragged out to do support at local folk clubs, but that's a genre fRoots wouldn't cover either. (And they are a LOT more interesting than the Mumfords).

I'd kinda like to be more encouraging but I can't quite get to the point of real enthusiasm. They are likely to get better, though.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,cs
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 05:43 PM

Where are these places where "the others stuff drowned out all the trad stuff"?

Sorry, my previous post was a typo. Please substitute 'any' with 'an'. I have voyaged Northward and found a different kind of folk to the kind I've found in East Anglia. No doubt each region has it's differences.. I hope so.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,cs
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 05:52 PM

"Right now Miles Davis is the Holy Spirit: I'm listening to little else but his electric output from In a Silent Way to Big Fun,"

"classical music" B or W be fecked, Miles Davis Electric Period is indeed 'IT'.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: TheSnail
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 06:29 PM

GUEST,cs

Sorry, my previous post was a typo. Please substitute 'any' with 'an'. I have voyaged Northward and found a different kind of folk to the kind I've found in East Anglia. No doubt each region has it's differences.. I hope so.

Not sure what difference that makes.

Sorry if I'm being oversensitive, but I spend a lot of my time immersed in traditional music. A lot of people who should know better seem to deny that this is happening. I know people in East Anglia, the West Country and the north of England who share my experience down here in Sussex. It is hard to believe that similar things aren't going on in the rest of the country so what is the logic behind your statement that - It has in the main I believe [the other stuff drowned out all the trad stuff], at least on AN amateur level?


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 06:55 PM

The Snail, I was in Lewes a few weeks ago to visit relatives and for the Neville Juvenile Bonfire and to have a pint or two in the Lewes Arms with a folksinging friend. You have to admit, deeply lovely though it is, your home town is far from normal. No wonder it has two trad-tastic folk clubs...


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 07:17 PM

Snail - I've just come in from a truly wonderful, life-affirming evening of song; I reckon 2/3 of it at the very most was traditional (including, you won't be surprised to hear, all the high points of the evening (in my view)). Tomorrow night, about half a mile up the road from where I was this evening, this will take place - a weekly Folk Club offering "a mix of young singer-songwriters and life-hardened old-timers" and a TQ (traditional quotient) of approximately bugger-all. And it's massively popular - the days when a floor-singer could expect to get as many as two songs are long gone.

I wouldn't dream of denying that you spend a fair amount of your time immersed in traditional music - I do myself, if only working on my whistle at home. But I'm primarily a singer, and I'm only too aware that the number of venues where I could expect to hear & sing traditional songs is tiny - far, far smaller than the number of venues flying the "folk" flag.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 07:18 PM

And Spleen - where were you? You missed a good one.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 04:36 AM

"Black classical music" would be classical music (e.g. Handel, Haydn, etc.) composed by a black person. It seems to me that using it any other way is condescending. "They aren't up to Beethoven's snuff, but boy can they sing 'Oh When the Saints'."

So, do you regard classical music as White Jazz?

Well, Sweeney, that tripe from Simone makes even less sense than your rantings. The vast preponderance of classical music is wholly fixed in arrangement and form (exceptions being the Sawkins style bass lines - see Sawkins -v- Hyperion - and certain aspects of organ music) whereas the core of jazz is improvisation.

How depressingly Eurocentric your concepts of classical music, but even Piobaireachd (the Classical music of the Highland Bagpipe) has elements of improvisation and the classical traditions of Iraq, Iran and India are famously improvised. Classical composers such as John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen regularly used improvisation as a means to Spontaneous Composition whilst, conversely, the Big Band orchestrations of Fletcher Henderson, Chick Webb, Duke Ellington et al are very tightly scored often down to the solos.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Adam Smith
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 05:03 AM

Well, GSA, as you had used Vivaldi as your example of classical music, it's no surprise that I presumed you meant "Eurocentric classical music".

However, I can see now that you use the term Classical to mean anything you like it to mean, in the same way you use Folk to mean whatever you want it to mean. Fair enough, each to their own, but it makes for a depressingly lame conversation, so I'm Out.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 06:05 AM

I can see now that you use the term Classical to mean anything you like it to mean

I'm not making these things up, Adam - all the examples I've given of Classical Music - be they Scottish, Indian, African-American or otherwise - are well known, and well documented. The same for Folk Music - be it the keening Kaba laments & vocal polyphony of Albanian collective farm workers or the Lancastrian comedy stylings of Gary & Vera Aspey. I'm just reporting on the facts of the case in hope of a more pragmatic evidence-based approach to such matters - and a civilised discussion of same.

Back to Folk Roots - the last issue I remember buying (certainly the only one still in my keeping) is the January/February double issue from 1991 (nos. 91/92), in the letters page of which you may read my literary debut as Suibhne O'Piobaireachd (likened by the editor to James Joyce OD'd on British Rail tea, but the effect I was going for was more Mark E. Smith). In the light of the current discussion with respect of Moulettes, it's worth noting that the grinning mug on the cover of this edition is that of Mike Scott of Waterboys fame. Cor! 20-years, eh? I see Graceland was up to #21 from #30, though Paul Simon still held the top-slot with Rhythm of the Saints.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 07:30 AM

Oh dear, Guest Adam Smith. First you think its somehow alright to imply - on a public forum, no less - that Suibhne is some sort of closet white supremacist. Then you take your ball away when he gently reminds you that there is far more to classical music than the narrow Euro-centric definition that you do not seem to have thought beyond. If calling Indian classical music "classical music" is twisting words to mean anything you want them to, as you accuse Suibhne of, you'd better let a few million Indians in on the news... in the meanwhile I heartily suggest that you enhance your enjoyment of life by exploring the world of Indian classical music. I'm happy to provide you with a list of great albums to get you started if you pm me.

Does it not occur to you that someone can consider Louis Armstrong, Vivaldi and, say, Nikhil Banerjee as absolute geniuses on an equal musical footing with each other without any hint of patronisation or closet racism? Such things, it seems, are often in the eye of the beholder - especially when the beholder appears to want to pick a fight for the sheer devilment of it...

Time for a little gentle reflection at Smith Towers, maybe?


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 08:59 AM

Just wondering what the members of the band this thread was initially concerned with make of all this;
..that is if their manager is keeping them adequately informed
of his 'inspired' machinations

"..to get The Moulettes the rewards their talents so richly deserve."

http://www.myspace.com/joecushley




[By the by, a long long time ago, the manager of the youthful band I was in
was found out to be furtively trying to persuade
our teenage female backing singers
to let him advance their solo careers in show business
by posing nude for his ahem.. 'model agency'.......

managers eh... ah bless 'em...]


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Adam Smith
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 11:00 AM

Oh dear, Guest Adam Smith. First you think its somehow alright to imply - on a public forum, no less - that Suibhne is some sort of closet white supremacist.

No, I didn't.

Then you take your ball away when he gently reminds you that there is far more to classical music than the narrow Euro-centric definition that you do not seem to have thought beyond. If calling Indian classical music "classical music" is twisting words to mean anything you want them to, as you accuse Suibhne of, you'd better let a few million Indians in on the news... in the meanwhile I heartily suggest that you enhance your enjoyment of life by exploring the world of Indian classical music. I'm happy to provide you with a list of great albums to get you started if you pm me.

Ha! Not on your nelly. I wouldn't PM somebody as rude as you. GSA didn't mention Indian classical music until after the event. He mentioned Vivaldi. Is Vivaldi Indian classical music? You'd better let a few million Indians in on the news...

Does it not occur to you that someone can consider Louis Armstrong, Vivaldi and, say, Nikhil Banerjee as absolute geniuses on an equal musical footing with each other without any hint of patronisation or closet racism?

Not at all. That wasn't the issue. You've picked up the wrong end of the stick entirely. The way GSA worded his original paragraph implied, to me at least, that he was somehow deigning to lift one strand of black music up to the mighty heights of white classical music. As, at that stage, he'd only mentioned Vivaldi, I think it was reasonable of me to presume he meant European classical music. I found this patronising and condescending. He has since replied in a polite manner and explained what he meant with his use of the phrase 'classical music'. That's fine. I don't agree with all he said, but that's that. I can see what he's getting at and have no real reason to argue with him over semantics or pedantry. That wasn't the reason I was communicating with him in anyway and it's not a hobby I particularly enjoy pursuing.



Such things, it seems, are often in the eye of the beholder - especially when the beholder appears to want to pick a fight for the sheer devilment of it...


And what exactly, Spleen Cringe, have you just done?



Time for a little gentle reflection at Smith Towers, maybe?


Yes, perhaps.

And

Perhaps not.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 11:32 AM

Classical composers such as John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen regularly used improvisation as a means to Spontaneous Composition

Stockhausen yes, Cage no. Cage used randomness, which is entirely different (what the performers might want to do doesn't come into it).

Cage was supposedly a pretty mellow character almost all the time (and comes across that way in his writings) but the one time I heard him talk, he was spitting tacks because a group performing one of his pieces in Glasgow had thrown in improvisational stuff of their own. He was very clear about what improvisation was, and wanted no part of it.

The Moulettes are obviously aiming at fully-composed arrangements. Their performances at the moment sometimes sound partly made up on the spot, and are not the better for it. For that kind of music, slick is good.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 11:33 AM

No, Adam, not picking a fight, but sticking up for a "real world" friend. Because the tone and content of your posts appeared to warrant it. Glad you seem to have subsequently mellowed out, though.

Rude? You should have seen the post before I edited it ;-)


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 12:49 PM

Cage no.

Cage yes, but with reservations - he had a lot to say on the subject and is supposed anti-improv but the randomness he espoused is essential to various aspects of improvisation in which Cage's inspiration is crucial. Either way, I've got various examples of Cage improvising, including John Cage meets Sun Ra, where they alternate improvisations.

Watch this anyway:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUYtlMuN_V4


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: TheSnail
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 12:54 PM

Spleen Cringe

The Snail, I was in Lewes a few weeks ago to visit relatives and for the Neville Juvenile Bonfire and to have a pint or two in the Lewes Arms with a folksinging friend.

I think I have enough circumstantial evidence to work out who that might be. The night we booked her (if I'm right) a few months ago was a great success. Congratulations, by the way, on the Woodbine and Ivy launch. We've booked quite a few of those people over the years and have our eyes on a few others. We gave couple of them their first ever folk club bookings.

You have to admit, deeply lovely though it is, your home town is far from normal. No wonder it has two trad-tastic folk clubs...

I think the two clubs and the many local pub sessions are probably more to do with the enthusiasm and energy of a few individuals over the last forty years than any of the, admittedly strange, characteristics of the town. We are also possibly helped by good communications; railway lines and two digit A roads in four directions.

If the Royal Oak Folk Club and the Lewes Saturday Folk Club are some sort of aberration, I wonder what all the traditional performers we book do the rest of the time.

Pip Radish

I've just come in from a truly wonderful, life-affirming evening of song; I reckon 2/3 of it at the very most was traditional

Sounds good. Not a case where "the other stuff drowned out all the trad stuff".

Reading the blurb and looking at the pictures it sounds as if the Chorlton Folk Club is working to a singer/songwriter/guitarist definition of "folk" which, essentially, is a USA idea and predates the 1954 definition by quite some time. Just because they call themselves a folk club doesn't mean that they have to put on purely traditional material. They've probably never heard of the 1954 definition. I hadn't until I joined Mudcat and I've been around traditional music for getting on for forty years.

I wouldn't dream of denying that you spend a fair amount of your time immersed in traditional music - I do myself, if only working on my whistle at home. But I'm primarily a singer

Sorry, linguistic ambiguity. My "traditional music" was intended to include song. The LSFC is principally a singers' club; I'm sure you'd like it. By "immersed", I mean at folk clubs and sessions several nights a week.

I'm only too aware that the number of venues where I could expect to hear & sing traditional songs is tiny - far, far smaller than the number of venues flying the "folk" flag.

And I am aware of nothing of the sort. As I said earlier, I suppose we all live in our own little worlds and assume that the rest of the world is pretty much the same. Just because things are a bit thin in Manchester, doesn't mean that the world I know doesn't exist.

You seem to talk as if folk clubs are just features in the landscape like hills or lakes or trees. They are not. They are there because someone is prepared to put in the effort to make them happen.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: mousethief
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 02:19 PM

The vast preponderance of classical music is wholly fixed in arrangement and form (exceptions being the Sawkins style bass lines - see Sawkins -v- Hyperion - and certain aspects of organ music) whereas the core of jazz is improvisation.

As opposed to, say, trad folk.

Does it not occur to you that someone can consider Louis Armstrong, Vivaldi and, say, Nikhil Banerjee as absolute geniuses on an equal musical footing with each other without any hint of patronisation or closet racism?

I can't speak for Adam Smith, but this has nothing to do with the term "black classical music". The question is not how genius these guys are. It's how the term "classical" is being (ab)used.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 02:31 PM

As opposed to, say, trad folk.

I think if you opened your ears you'd hear a lot of living Traditional Folk musics in which improvisation plays a signifant role; probably less so in the UK revival which is hardly a living culture.

It's how the term "classical" is being (ab)used.

I suggest you read the previous posts from myself & Spleen and maybe do a little rooting around on line with respect of the classical musics of different cultures.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: mousethief
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 03:20 PM

I suggest you read the previous posts from myself & Spleen and maybe do a little rooting around on line with respect of the classical musics of different cultures.

Well since I just made a big stink about meaning=use, I suppose I can't complain.

But if you think that improvisation is as integral to trad folk as it is to jazz, I don't know what to say.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 03:50 PM

But if you think that improvisation is as integral to trad folk as it is to jazz, I don't know what to say.

Once again it all depends what you mean by Trad Folk; on the UK Folk Revival Scene, from experience, I'd say it's pretty much anathema, although there's bound to be exceptions. In other parts of the world (especially where improvisation is integral to their classical musics) then you'll find improvisation in their folk traditions, though once again there's bound to be exceptions, often down to individual preference.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 04:22 PM

This is an interesting point, re improvisation. The Boat Band that I play with certainly plays 99% trad folk, English and some American. We all improvise freely, always have. Not to excess I like to think, not around jig tunes for example. but certainly with song and tune backing. Folk musicians I have known(from many cultures) tend to be impovisers to some extent. It is the classsical people who tend to stick to the hard line.
As to the English folk revival, I never know what to think. Is it folk? Is it folk -related? Who knows what to call it.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 05:22 PM

AFAIK the Irish traditional tunes are VERY set. Many assert that they should be played in unison.

In the revival certainly shanties and chorus songs depended heavily on participative improvised harmony - that's actually how "The Young Tradition" got formed.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 05:56 PM

On the contrary. Unison playing, yes, but there is a strong tradition of 'variation' in Irish music, and I know at least one banjo player who is a recognised master of it. This is not the same thing as free improvisation, but it does involve adapting melodies on the hoof, employing very few of the notes that you'd commit to paper if you were writing down the tune, but while maintaining the spirit of the melody. Done properly, the tune is still completely recognisable, and will fit with anyone else who is playing the 'unison' line - or other variations. It's what makes Irish music so intoxicatingly dangerous and uplifting when it's done properly. This skill is considered to be a high art in Irish tune playing. Scottish music, by contrast, must be played strictly as written. There is just room for the occasional snap or other ornamentation (not the same thing at all as variation), but if you vary the A pert of a Scottish tune you are in danger of finding you have already played the B or C part.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 03:05 AM

"I suppose we all live in our own little worlds and assume that the rest of the world is pretty much the same. Just because things are a bit thin in Manchester, doesn't mean that the world I know doesn't exist."

Well, inspired by this discussion, I thought I'd ask:

Mostly TRAD near you?

Please all, feel free to contribute.
I think I'll ask a Mod to alter the title to something like "Mainly TRAD FOLK: Sessions, Clubs & Singarounds (England)" though.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 04:22 AM

I have shared this before but it may be useful to post it again (figures may differ slightly - I don't have my survey figures to hand).

Based on my experience of visiting about half the 'folk clubs' in the UK (not all of whom use the word 'folk' or 'club' in their title, but who are generally accepted to be FCs), and my notes from phone conversations and web discussions with the organisers of the remainder, I'd hazard an educated guess that the number of places which major specifically on traditional song (where you'd hear perhaps more than 80% trad through the year) to be only about 30% of clubs. (Note that I'm using trad to mean proper, old, public domain material, not popular newer 'falk' songs [falk = fakefolk ok?]

In perhaps 25% of clubs nation-wide you'll encounter almost no traditional material at all.

I should say again that during the years when I used to offer a choice between trad, contemporary or original 'folk' material, I was only twice asked by the organisers to major on trad - and on both those occasions when I asked the same question at the start of the show the audience voted against trad. Even when playing in specialist trad clubs (which I often was), where the organisers anticipated a vote for trad, people voted for original material or whatever I fancied doing. I only did my trad-only set one single time (I can't remember where, now).

My personal experience of the much-more-difficult-to-quantify open mic/unplugged/song-session type of gathering would be that trad material would be less than 10%. Proabably a lot less.

I think we all know that tune sessions, by contrast, would pan out at well over 90% trad.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 04:34 AM

TomB: "I'd hazard an educated guess that the number of places which major specifically on traditional song (where you'd hear perhaps more than 80% trad through the year) to be only about 30% of clubs. (Note that I'm using trad to mean proper, old, public domain material, not popular newer 'falk' songs [falk = fakefolk ok?]"
...
"My personal experience of the much-more-difficult-to-quantify open mic/unplugged/song-session type of gathering would be that trad material would be less than 10%. Proabably a lot less."

Very interesting Tom.
30% for more formal venues actually seems a pretty decent percentage to me.
As for the other 10% in less formal groups, my personal experience would tend to match that estimate. With me virtually being that 10% *smile*.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes � not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 04:42 AM

Of the 3 very local (within 5 miles, who'd have thought we'd have so many in the middle of rural North Yorks!) "singaround" type clubs. We have one with less than 20% trad, one that is about 50:50 and a new one that is going to be mainly trad.... too early to say what % but the organiser sings 90+% trad himself (Zeke Deighton.... he sings them very well too).

Our "performance" club is non denominational and I tend to book a lot of acts who do some trad a few who don't do any and a few who do exclusively trad.

The mainly trad singaround club is at The Green Dragon in Exelby near Bedale (just off the A1 if you're passing!) on Monday nights.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes � not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 04:46 AM

I guess that answer should really be on your thread CS....


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: Brian Peters
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 05:10 AM

"on the UK Folk Revival Scene, from experience, I'd say [improvisation] is pretty much anathema, although there's bound to be exceptions."

If you're talking about spontaneous variation (see Tom B's post above) then you could include not only Irish instrumental music but many English practitioners of fiddle (Swarbrick, anyone?), box, etc., and an awful lot of modern ceilidh bands. Many singers from Sam Larner through Bert Lloyd to Peter Bellamy and Nic Jones have varied the vocal melody significantly and unpredictably. The Devil's Interval, for one, improvised their harmonies on the spot, varying from one verse to the next. Quite a few exceptions!


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Subject: RE: Moulettes – not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 05:34 AM

Giving this one some though and I'm surprised by my conclusions given my proclivities, but here goes...

Idiomatic Trad is always a matter of approach than anything else. Mostly these days I'm happy in the corner of an open sesh where the participants are relaxed enough to do what they want when they want. Someone starts a tune, others follow, a bit of chat; someone sings a song, others join in the chorus or contribute instrumentally and so it goes. Not all the material is trad by any means - last week Alan Bell's Pack Man became the vehicle for a bucolic symphony of uplifting delights on which I percussed a bouncing drone on my fiddle strings, having never heard the song before. The crack, as they say, is all that matters.

As a result of attending this particular club, I've even come to find certain Mostly Trad singarounds quite restricting to the sort of all-inclusive collective session vibe which engenders, for me, the heart and soul of the music. The room has to be right, the numbers too, egos left at the door, sense of humour essential, prima donnas (of any abilty) to be roundly abused etc. etc. Even in the two-song-floor-spot sort of folk clubs I doubt it would bother me if none of the songs were trad. if the overall vibe was right. One of my first & favourite folk clubs operate a three-song floor spoot policy which was I'd guess 30% trad and it was a blast. Conversely I've been to 100% trad floorspot clubs, especially those heavy on ballads, and have rapidly lost the will to live. Same goes for storytelling clubs actually, but that's another - er - story! I admit suffering from ADD is not good for ballads and storytelling - I hear them in fragments & images, seldom in terms of complete narratives. In a sesh, I'll only tell a story if asked, and longer ballads become vehicles for collective improvisation and chorus mantra. I find it a little strange to sing a ballad to complete silence to a listening audience if I'm not actuially doing a gig; I don't exprect gig conditions in a folk club, so I tend not to perform if you see what I mean: ego at the door.

I don't equate Folk with Trad - Folk is something else, it's a liminal thing, diffuicult to pin down, something that lives and breathes according to more factors than just music. With few exceptions I only sing Trad. songs but I don't think of them necessarily as Folk Songs because a Folk Song can be anything that works to enhance a particular collective experience, be it club, sesh or singaround. I've seen many a well-sung Trad Song kill a sesh stone dead, only to have it revived by a heart-felt rough and ready rendition of Sloop John B. In fact, one of my fondest memories of any folk club was a 19 person jam on Sloop John B involving hurdy-hurdies, fiddles, bagpipes and harmonising voices one New Year in the Colpitts in Durham, circa 1991; it doesn't get any better than that because everyone in the pub was involved, smiling, unified, delighted, and we came away flying; my soul soars yet to think of it and it lives on in the hearts of those who were there.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: Howard Jones
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 06:27 AM

"I've seen many a well-sung Trad Song kill a sesh stone dead, only to have it revived by a heart-felt rough and ready rendition of Sloop John B. In fact, one of my fondest memories of any folk club was a 19 person jam on Sloop John B involving hurdy-hurdies, fiddles, bagpipes and harmonising voices one New Year in the Colpitts in Durham, circa 1991; it doesn't get any better than that because everyone in the pub was involved, smiling, unified, delighted, and we came away flying; my soul soars yet to think of it and it lives on in the hearts of those who were there."

I don't doubt that you're right, but I have also seen the exact reverse happen. It all depends on the context and expectations of the individual session - you can't generalise.

Brian beat me to the draw about improvisation. The tendency for traditional singers to throw in variations is well recorded, and most revival instrumentalists won't play a tune the same way twice. That's possibly less common amongst revival singers, especially those who accompany themselves (since improvising variations to both song and accompaniment may be a challenge too far), but there are plenty who do.

As for the percentage of trad/non-trad in folk clubs, I'd say that was always the case. The number of clubs which insisted on 100% trad was I believe very small, in most clubs it was possible to include other songs, especially if done in an acceptably traddy style. It is worth remembering that even performers who are considered to substantially "trad", including Martin Carthy and especially Nic Jones, have always included more recently composes songs in their repertoires.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 06:27 AM

Quite a few exceptions!

Only if you accept spontaneous variation as improvisation. Many singers, traditional & otherwise, never sing/sang the same song the same way twice - and random factors abound in sessions and singarounds which always make you think about a song differently to how you might have thought about it last time you sang it. To what extent did such factors effect The Folk Process? which many see in terms of it being purely random (mondegreens, Chinese Whispers, memory loss etc.) rather that the consequence of deliberate changes made to a song by a particular singer by way of making it their own either as something they purposefully rehearsed to do, or else free-styled in a given performance.

Whilst such things intrigue, folk hasn't given us anything in which improvisation is the determining factor of the music, or yet absorbed the aesthetics of noise, atonality, dissonance etc. in the same way rock & jazz have. Whilst certain early musicians have explored these sonic possibilities, and saving Felix Doran's farmyard sounds in his rendering of The Fox Hunt, what you hear in folk is determined by an abiding obediance to a fundamental harmonic orthodoxy. However so stridently spontaneous this can be at times (see previous post), I think I might have difficulty in accepting such as improvisation in the purest sense (though there are times...) much in the same way many here might have difficulty in accepting Derek Bailey's playing as being in any way traditional, which I do, of course.

Maybe at the sesh tonight I'll just start improvising and see what happens, sure as hell my partners in crime would go for it after a pint or three... Watch this space!


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 06:29 AM

you can't generalise.

I'm not. That was the whole point of the post.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: Shiny39
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 06:30 AM

Well the Moulettes are all folks and not horses so their music passes Louis Armstrong's definition. Main point is that they are brilliant and getting better and I personally much prefer to listen to them than debate what they are. They are also original = uncategorisable which might partly explain the length of this thread.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 07:00 AM

Congratulations on the new thread, GUEST, CS, I was pondering something along the same lines myself but I would have made it more general. I would like to know what is going on in all those separate bubble worlds not just the "mostly trad" one.

By saying "mostly trad", you have rather moved the goal posts from the post that prompted me to join in. In response to Shimrod's "BUT if all the others stuff drowned out all the trad stuff I would stop going to folk clubs", you replied "It has in the main I believe, at least on [an] amateur level." implying, if I get you right, that traditional material has all but dissappeared from folk clubs. I think Tom's figures clearly disprove that.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Adam Smith
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 08:07 AM

Uncategorisable? Original? You don't get out much!


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 08:13 AM

"you replied "It has in the main I believe, at least on [an] amateur level." implying, if I get you right, that traditional material has all but dissappeared from folk clubs. I think Tom's figures clearly disprove that."

As said I was personally referring to amateur events (Tom's Open Mic/Singaround bracket) which are also often described as 'clubs' - the broad remit of the term can lead to communicating at cross-purposes.

But yes, other than the strictly amateur arena, I think Tom's 30% is a pretty healthy one for anyone interested in traditional music.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 08:18 AM

I thought the following might ring a bell...

"UNESCO defines oral and intangible heritage as "the totality of tradition-based creations of a cultural community expressed by a group or individuals and recognized as reflecting the expectations of a community in so far as they reflect its cultural and social identity." Language, literature, music and dance, games and sports, culinary traditions, rituals and mythologies, knowledge and practices concerning the universe, know-how linked to handicrafts, and cultural spaces are among the many forms of intangible heritage. Intangible heritage is seen as a repository of cultural diversity, and creative expression, as well as a driving force for living cultures. Since it can be vulnerable to forces of globalization, social transformation, and intolerance, UNESCO encourages communities to identify, document, protect, promote and revitalize such heritage."


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 08:45 AM

Sounds like the usual volk-blather to me, Richard; all humans have such oral & intangible heritage, just as all humans live in communities in which such a heritage is integral. Whether it appeals to your average Folknik or not is a matter of aesthetical discrimination.

Talking of which I see the Xmas house lights are going up already by way of seasonal usage. I think in these parts people start putting them up just as soon as the Blackpool Illuminations are finished.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 08:51 AM

GUEST,CS

As said I was personally referring to amateur events (Tom's Open Mic/Singaround bracket) which are also often described as 'clubs' - the broad remit of the term can lead to communicating at cross-purposes.

Indeed, cross-purposes. We need to define our terms. Since you were responding to Shimrod who said "I would stop going to folk clubs", I was responding in terms of my idea of a folk club - resident performers/floorspots/booked guest. Perhaps Shimrod could tell us which he had in mind.

I go to several tune sessions which are pretty solidly English traditional and stuff that sounds as if it is and an anything goes session (sing, say, play, juggle...) which is largely traditional because of the people who go to it. There is a new songs and tunes session starting up where the remit is "Songs and tunes from the tradition or in traditional idiom."

I went to an open mic once...


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 09:38 AM

The Snail: I think I have enough circumstantial evidence to work out who that might be. The night we booked her (if I'm right) a few months ago was a great success. Congratulations, by the way, on the Woodbine and Ivy launch.

Ah... we must both be talking about Elle Osborne, then! Thanks for your kind words, too - much appreciated... though the Woodbine & Ivy band album is still a little way off. Meanwhile we have Elle and our Bellamy tribute album Oak, Ash & Thorn Project.

I'm half-convinced I spotted you in Lewes, btw. Thought it might be a little innappropriate to start going up to random blokes and accuse them of being Snails, though...


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 09:48 AM

Welcome to Mudcat, Shiny39. I look forward to hearing your opinions on subjects other than the Moulettes!


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 09:53 AM

Oh Mr Radish you're so sharp you'll cut yourself.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 10:06 AM

I thought it must be Elle. That's a rather worrying picture of her on your site. How does she manage to play fiddle so well without any arms?

Sorry for mixing up your projects, all that vegetation is confusing me.

I was away that weekend so it could have been an embarrasing/amusing incident.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 11:20 AM

"all that vegetation is confusing me".. I can understand that. It must be like all your Christmases have come at once for the average gastropod...


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: TheSnail
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 11:26 AM

Yum!


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 11:31 AM

Ah, that'll sort of be Sweeney thinks he is more important than UNESCO.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 11:51 AM

Moulettes - "They are also original = uncategorisable"

hmmmm... well fair enough, that would be a quite innocent and reasonable mistake to make
if the oldest records in yer Mum and Dad's CD collection
were something like "Oasis", "The Corrs" and "The Spice Girls"....


The Moulettes are an ok and potentially better than average new band;
but nothing that would have been remarkably 'different' or out of place
on the overcrowded mid to late 1970's eclectic student gig circuit..


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 12:16 PM

for the average gastropod...

Oh I see now - I first read that as quadroped - which made a sort of sense with respect of canines - oak, ask, thorn, lamp posts etc.

Ah, that'll sort of be Sweeney thinks he is more important than UNESCO.

Not at all, at all, Richard - just cautious of subjecting the vibrancy of human culture to the fundamentalist folk fantasies of academia that's all.

Why did you quote that anyway?


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,cs
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 01:15 PM

Moulettes - not horses says new forum member


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 02:12 PM

I'm off to Dieppe for a weekend trip tomorrow. I'll be looking out for some Moules & frites. Moulettes Marinieres would be quite acceptable as well, though presumably I'd need more of them as they'd be smaller...


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: mousethief
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 02:15 PM

I thought "Sloop John B" was Jamaican trad? Just because the Beach Boys did it doesn't make it not so.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 02:18 PM

Lonnie Donegan did the "Sloop John B" well before the Beach Boys...


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Banjiman
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 03:03 PM

Yep,

I thought Sloop John B was trad as well..... is it not?


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: mousethief
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 04:57 PM

Lonnie Donegan did the "Sloop John B" well before the Beach Boys...

True dat, but who holds Lonnie Donegan against a song?


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 05:41 PM

"The John B. Sails" is a folk song that first appeared in a 1917 American novel, Pieces of Eight, written by Richard Le Gallienne. The "secret" narrator of the story describes it as "one of the quaint Nassau ditties."

Carl Sandburg included it in his 1927 collection of folksongs, The American Songbag, as "The John B. Sails." He states that he collected it from John & Evelyn McCutchen who told him, "Time and usage have given this song almost the dignity of a national anthem around Nassau. The weathered ribs of the historic craft lie imbedded in the sand at Governor's Harbor, whence an expedition, especially sent up for the purpose in 1926, extracted a knee of horseflesh and a ring-bolt. These relics are now preserved and built into the Watch Tower, designed by Mr. Howard Shaw and built on our southern coast a couple of points east by north of the star Canopus." John McCutchen was a political cartoonist from Chicago.

Also known as "The Wreck of the John B."

I learned the song in the mid-1950s from Carl Sandburg's book. In 1959, while singing in a Seattle coffeehouse, someone requested it. So I sang it. He grouched afterward, complaining that I hadn't sung it right. I hadn't done it like The Kingston Trio. I told him where I'd learned it—from a book of folk songs a famous American poet had collected. And that the book had been published in 1927. And that 1927 was before the members of The Kingston Trio had even been born. So if anyone was singing it wrong. . . .

The Beach Boys recorded it in 1966. Probably learned it from a Kingston Trio record.

By the way, the liner notes on The Kingston Trio's 1958 album lists "The Sloop John B." as "traditional."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Nov 10 - 04:14 AM

Interesting, the Beach Boys Sloop John B is basically The Kingston Trio's arrangement from the late fifties. Blind Blake Higgs earlier (early fifties according to this YouTube) recording, serves as an interesting contrast.

Blind Blake Higgs
Kingston Trio
Beach Boys


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 20 Nov 10 - 04:14 AM

Fascinating stuff, but I doubt very much Sloop John B was sung as a Trad Folk Song on the occasion I refer to, rather as a slice of a wider Cultural Ambience which is common to us all which might, from time to time, include the odd actual Folk Song (such as Child Ballad #1) but includes a lot of other stuff to. It could just as well have been Yellow Submarine* for I, or indeed anyone else, cared at the time: as far as we concened we weren't singing anything so rarefied as a Trad Folk Song but a common or garden Pop Song which to the majority of people (myself included) of course it is. It only becomes a Trad Folk Song if subjected to the sort of sourcing and scrutiny we see here, otherwise it lives & breathes as something else entirely.

* Mike France of Spitting on a Roast once told me how his daughter collected a fragmentary Folk Processed Yellow Submarine from the singing of other children in the playground when she first went to school, entirely obvious of its actual source. Now that fits the 1954 Definition like a glove:

...it can likewise be applied to music which has originated with an individual composer and has subsequently been absorbed into the unwritten living tradition of a community.

The term does not cover composed popular music that has been taken over ready-made by a community and remains unchanged, for it is the re-fashioning and re-creation of the music by the community that gives it its folk character.


By the same token of course, our version of Sloop John B was a folk song, but not for the reasons given by Don et al, rather because we took what was, in essence, a Pop Song and gave it shed loads of Folk Character in our spontanbeous re-fashioning & re-creation of it!


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,cs
Date: 20 Nov 10 - 04:33 AM

"I doubt very much Sloop John B was sung as a Trad Folk Song on the occasion I refer to,"

That might possibly depend on the ages of those you were playing with of course? It's easy to forget that other people have memories reaching back prior to the sixties - or indeed seventies for me.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: doc.tom
Date: 20 Nov 10 - 05:20 AM

TomB(liss)said "in the matter of language the fact that a usage is common absolutely DOES make it correct." ---err!!! I hardly think so, Tom - it might make it "current usage", and we knbow how quickly that can change, but that doesn't make it CORRECT: given shifts in usage, I would suggest there IS no 'correct'. I'm still singing songs with words like 'gay little man'(Glossop Road)when his sexual orientation is definitely towards the opposite sex! But then, it's all IMHO anyway - yours and mine.
TomB(rown)


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Nov 10 - 05:21 AM

Obviously a much recorded song prior to 1966 anyway:
Jimmie Rodgers
The Tokens
Johnny Cash
Lonnie Donnegan
Somewhere I read that The Weavers recording outdayes all of them, but unfortunately I can't find it on YouTube.


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 20 Nov 10 - 05:39 AM

That might possibly depend on the ages of those you were playing with of course?

Maybe so, CS - of course what I should have said that as far as I was concerned it wasn't a Folk Song - rather a Pop Song of the Common Cultural Ambience, like Yellow Submarine and All Around My Hat, which is also a Folk Song, but even folk clubs gets sung as a Pop Song. I still regard Folk Song as much in terms of Idiom as I do Provenance, and Pop Songs are Pop Songs whatever their provenance might be.

One time, when I worked as a carer for special needs adults, I was fond of a chap who was very religious and given to lamenting the trivial nature of Pop Song lyrics. This day the song in question was Bony M's Rivers of Babylon which was riding high in the charts at time. Of course when I told him its actual provenence, pointing out the relevant psalm in his Bible, it became his favourite song of all time. But Boney M sacred music? I shudder to think of it - although I must confess that Daddy Cool is one of my favourite songs of all time and have often thought of giving it a Jim Eldon-style Folk makeover...


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 20 Nov 10 - 06:32 AM

Hi Tom ,

Well I guess the point turns on what we mean by 'correct' (probably not Politically Correct in the case you cite).

I agree with you there there is no 'correct' if we are taking that word to mean 'approved by society', (or perhaps just 'the pedagogic element thereof.')

One so hears people criticising someone's use of language as 'incorrect', when in fact they are 'correctly' using a regional, slang, patois or other variant - without which the mainstream (BBC/Queens/Oxford English) would soon ossify. (For it is precisely these generators of new words, meanings and phraseologies which keep a language developing).

I think the definition of 'correct' in my post to Richard would be best expressed as 'effective.' To put it another way, a word is 'correct' if we use it in an appropriate way, to convey the meaning we intend, to the person we are addressing.

Elsewhere I said "There is actually no such thing as correct language. Only better or worse understanding" and in that instance I was referring to the pedagogic meaning.

Tom B(liss)


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,21st Century Bluesman
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 03:12 PM

For those who liked the sound of the Moulettes, folk or not...

...they are playing The Lexington, 96 Pentonville Rd, London N1 9JB – Tomorrow night, Tuesday 7th Dec. £5 tickets still available at wegottickets (dot) com (well, £5.50 with booking fee...

Also playing Hare & Hounds in King's Heath, Birmingham on Thursday, the Ruby Lounge in Manchester on Friday 11th, and the Canteen in Bristol (free entry that one) on Sat 11th.

Hope to see some of you somewhere or other....


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: pb43
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 07:21 AM

Can anyone tell me how to contact the Moulettes for a booking?


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 17 Jan 11 - 07:48 AM

presumably through their myspace site http://www.myspace.com/moulettes?


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Subject: RE: Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers
From: GUEST,21stCenturyBluesman
Date: 18 Jan 11 - 02:21 PM

Contact me: Joe on 07775 744 867 or ballingthejack1(at)gmail(dot)com

The band just got named 1st Runner-up in the Innovation category at fatea(dot)co(dot)uk behind death-metallers O'Hooley and Tidow and ahead front of electro-poppers Jenna & Bethany Reid ;-)


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