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Mouldy Figs - Folk Equivalent?

GUEST,Doc John 10 Apr 11 - 06:17 AM
Fred McCormick 10 Apr 11 - 06:25 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 10 Apr 11 - 06:35 AM
Jack Campin 10 Apr 11 - 06:48 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 10 Apr 11 - 07:28 AM
Will Fly 10 Apr 11 - 08:02 AM
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Subject: Mouldy Figs - Folk Equivalent?
From: GUEST,Doc John
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 06:17 AM

Most of us know who Mouldy Figs are: jazz enthusiasts who believe that Jazz is the music played by King Oliver, Johnny Dodds, George Lewis, Kid Ory etc and not that dreadful stuff Ken Clark listens to. Johnny Dankworth played contemporary music and certainly not Jazz. What is the folk music equivalent: those who totally reject electification, fusion, keyboards, choirs, strings, recording tricks, most stuff in Froots, Dylan etc? If you can't play it on a street corner and if it isn't by the folk, about the folk and for the folk, then it ain't folk. Mouldy Figs (Folk) or something else?
Count me among both by the way.

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Subject: RE: Mouldy Figs - Folk Equivalent?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 06:25 AM

Those of us who dig Harry Cox, Phil Tanner, Jimmy McBeath, Joe Heaney, etc. and believe that "folk" has come up with nothing to match them since.

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Subject: RE: Mouldy Figs - Folk Equivalent?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 06:35 AM

Opinionated folk bores maybe...?


How do you think all these classic recordings were made - a cheese sandwich and a kangaroo - they were achieved by use of a microphone, an electronic device. Electronic devices are in quite common usage. you don't have to be a punk rocker with green hair, gobbing on the memory of Sam Larner.

Electronic tuners are just great - no more arguing about who is in tune. Even really expensive recordings before tuners became cheap and popular - you can hear instruments that are out of tune.

sorry about the caps.

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Subject: RE: Mouldy Figs - Folk Equivalent?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 06:48 AM

What's the word for someone who thinks that if it doesn't use guitar, drums or keyboard, it can't be worth listening to?

There are a hell of a lot more people like that.

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Subject: RE: Mouldy Figs - Folk Equivalent?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 07:28 AM

An interesting point jack. Its not really the unaccompanied business that disturbs and confronts the modern earn ear though , is it?

people have always accepted choirs unaccompanied. I can't remember Leadbelly's 'lining track' polarising opinion. Or the Flying Pickets group.

Back in the 1970's when my wife was a teacher she played a track from The watersons Frost and Fire album to her infants class. then she asked them what instruments they'd heard playing on there. The children had 'heard' organs, guitars and god knows what else. they loved it.

i played my class in a secondary school the Rev Gary Davis singing Its a Long Way to Tiperary - they hated it. One of them said, even you're better that THAT.

I don't think its something to do with accompanied or no, its the modern sensibility which is at odds with folk artists of so long ago.
These old recordings are deserving of respect - but so are people currently living entitled to express themselves without being told, they're not as good or as valid as their grandparents.

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Subject: RE: Mouldy Figs - Folk Equivalent?
From: Will Fly
Date: 10 Apr 11 - 08:02 AM

My guess is - though I can't be sure of this - is that I might probably also have found Gary Davis boring in my early teens, before I took up guitar. When I started to take an interest in folk, jazz and blues around 16 or 17 or so - and particularly when I started on guitar at age 20 - I mixed with different people in different social environments. These people, all more experienced in the world than me, taught me a huge amount about different music and opened my ears to things I never knew existed. A process, by the way, which has not yet ended even now.

Children's tastes are just what they are - children's tastes. As we get older, we change, and our ideas and tastes change. However, my main point is that I have never closed my ears to any particular sort of music. When I played jazz, the "mouldy figs/dirty boppers" argument seemed, and still seems, puerile. This isn't to say that I don't have my own tastes and particular likes - but my musical net is cast very wide. I can sit down to Gregorian chant one minute and take a hit of Ry Cooder's version of "I Think Everything's Gonna Work Out Fine" the next.

And one of the greatest evenings of my life - ever - was seeing the Reverend Gary Davis at the Free Trades Hall in Manchester in the mid-60s.

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