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Moulettes - not folk say gatekeepers

GUEST,21stCenturyBluesman 18 Jan 11 - 02:21 PM
Manitas_at_home 17 Jan 11 - 07:48 AM
pb43 17 Jan 11 - 07:21 AM
GUEST,21st Century Bluesman 06 Dec 10 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 20 Nov 10 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 20 Nov 10 - 05:39 AM
GUEST 20 Nov 10 - 05:21 AM
doc.tom 20 Nov 10 - 05:20 AM
GUEST,cs 20 Nov 10 - 04:33 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 20 Nov 10 - 04:14 AM
GUEST 20 Nov 10 - 04:14 AM
Don Firth 19 Nov 10 - 05:41 PM
mousethief 19 Nov 10 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,Banjiman 19 Nov 10 - 03:03 PM
Will Fly 19 Nov 10 - 02:18 PM
mousethief 19 Nov 10 - 02:15 PM
Will Fly 19 Nov 10 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,cs 19 Nov 10 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 19 Nov 10 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 19 Nov 10 - 11:51 AM
Richard Bridge 19 Nov 10 - 11:31 AM
TheSnail 19 Nov 10 - 11:26 AM
Spleen Cringe 19 Nov 10 - 11:20 AM
TheSnail 19 Nov 10 - 10:06 AM
greg stephens 19 Nov 10 - 09:53 AM
Phil Edwards 19 Nov 10 - 09:48 AM
Spleen Cringe 19 Nov 10 - 09:38 AM
TheSnail 19 Nov 10 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 19 Nov 10 - 08:45 AM
Richard Bridge 19 Nov 10 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,CS 19 Nov 10 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,Adam Smith 19 Nov 10 - 08:07 AM
TheSnail 19 Nov 10 - 07:00 AM
Shiny39 19 Nov 10 - 06:30 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 19 Nov 10 - 06:29 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 19 Nov 10 - 06:27 AM
Howard Jones 19 Nov 10 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 19 Nov 10 - 05:34 AM
Brian Peters 19 Nov 10 - 05:10 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 19 Nov 10 - 04:46 AM
GUEST,Banjiman 19 Nov 10 - 04:42 AM
GUEST,CS 19 Nov 10 - 04:34 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 19 Nov 10 - 04:22 AM
GUEST,CS 19 Nov 10 - 03:05 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 18 Nov 10 - 05:56 PM
Richard Bridge 18 Nov 10 - 05:22 PM
greg stephens 18 Nov 10 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 18 Nov 10 - 03:50 PM
mousethief 18 Nov 10 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 18 Nov 10 - 02:31 PM
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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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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: 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: 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: 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,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
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: 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,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: 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
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 02:12 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: 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: 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,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: 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: TheSnail
Date: 19 Nov 10 - 11:26 AM

Yum!


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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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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,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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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,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: 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,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,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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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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