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What Folk Revival?

Tunesmith 21 Nov 11 - 08:09 AM
GUEST,matt milton 21 Nov 11 - 08:19 AM
GUEST 21 Nov 11 - 08:46 AM
Spleen Cringe 21 Nov 11 - 08:47 AM
Tunesmith 21 Nov 11 - 08:54 AM
Mavis Enderby 21 Nov 11 - 08:56 AM
The Sandman 21 Nov 11 - 09:27 AM
Tunesmith 21 Nov 11 - 09:39 AM
glueman 21 Nov 11 - 09:47 AM
JHW 21 Nov 11 - 09:48 AM
Tunesmith 21 Nov 11 - 10:32 AM
glueman 21 Nov 11 - 10:42 AM
Tunesmith 21 Nov 11 - 10:57 AM
glueman 21 Nov 11 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,SteveT 21 Nov 11 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,Big NIge 21 Nov 11 - 12:06 PM
Spleen Cringe 21 Nov 11 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,Big Nige 21 Nov 11 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,Hookey Wole 21 Nov 11 - 12:49 PM
johncharles 21 Nov 11 - 12:50 PM
Rob Naylor 21 Nov 11 - 12:58 PM
glueman 21 Nov 11 - 01:18 PM
Will Fly 21 Nov 11 - 01:36 PM
Tunesmith 21 Nov 11 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 21 Nov 11 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,Hookey Wole 21 Nov 11 - 02:35 PM
Tunesmith 21 Nov 11 - 03:14 PM
Edthefolkie 21 Nov 11 - 05:48 PM
Dave the Gnome 21 Nov 11 - 06:05 PM
Phil Edwards 21 Nov 11 - 06:33 PM
Spleen Cringe 21 Nov 11 - 06:34 PM
Phil Edwards 21 Nov 11 - 06:39 PM
michaelr 21 Nov 11 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 22 Nov 11 - 12:55 AM
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Subject: What Folk Revival?
From: Tunesmith
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 08:09 AM

When I first started going to folk clubs, I would say that most of the songs performed where either traditional or inspired by tradition.
It seems to me that these days, the trad element is almost totally missing on some nights at my local folk club.
Last week, for example, there were only two trad songs performed at the club - an English club -and one was a Scottish song and the other was a trad Australian song.
Now this is rather strange. For example, imagine going to a blues club and not hearing a blues number played.
I think club organisers should ensure that a certain part of each evening is devoted to the presevation of traditional material.
Does this lack of trad material in folk clubs happen in Scotland and Ireland as well?


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 08:19 AM

Next time you go, sing a traditional English song then.

Or invite somebody along who knows one.

I am reminded of that observation: "you are not stuck in traffic: you ARE traffic".


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 08:46 AM

Or start your own club...


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 08:47 AM

I don't think English folk needs to be sung in isolation. I much prefer to see it taken out of its special place and sung in places where it can hold its own alongside other music.

When you've heard Kylie's 'Can't Get You Out of My Head' played as a slow sad song with concertina accompaniment, you'll believe anything is possible...

Meanwhile, folk clubs are simply the sum of the musical tastes of the people involved in them...

I think club organisers should ensure that a certain part of each evening is devoted to the presevation of traditional material.

I'm not convinced 'preservation' is any kind of basis for a good night out, either...


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: Tunesmith
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 08:54 AM

Spleen Cringe says, "folk clubs are simply the sum of the musical tastes of the people involved in them", Good point!
But, it will result in the death of the English Folk Revival because it seems to me that when I first went to folk clubs in the 60s they had been started by - and were dominated by - trad folkies, but somehow the singers of old pop songs and dubious singer-songwriter material have last the course better, and now they dominate a lot of the clubs that I attend.


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 08:56 AM

I'm not convinced 'preservation' is any kind of basis for a good night out, either...

...unless its a jam session









I'll get me coat...


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 09:27 AM

WHEN I am booked I consistently sing 95 percent trad material, it is a frequent occurrence that members of the audience come and say how pleasant to hear trad material.
But there are a few clubs who would not book me because i am too traditional, even though i am capable and flexible enough to include more contemporary material, to suit a particular audience, for instance if i was ever booked at D######## Folk club, i would include more contemporary material , and probably include a guitar and banjo, it would still be sixty /forty percent.
but the organisers do not always listen to their audience members, they have a preconceived idea as to what their audience like,
why, was it peter bellamy had such a hard time getting gigs, was it because he was not easy listening? now people are feting his song writing abilites, the whole bloody thing is enough to make you jump off the ballydehob bridge


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: Tunesmith
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 09:39 AM

I don't think there is anything wrong with preserving things.
For example, the Classical music world is based on preserving music.
There is more concert hall time devoted to the music of Mozart than any other composer. And, that's not an updated version of Mozart! Heaven forbid!
Early Music is also thriving. And don't tell practioners of that style of music that they should include more modern sounds otherwise they're are likely to flatten you with a crumhorn!


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: glueman
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 09:47 AM

Classical music acknowledges new compositions using the same idiom.


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: JHW
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 09:48 AM

There were 'traditional' and 'contemporary' clubs way back when and it was with some trepidation would you dare sing a song out of remit. I think it a benefit that this has given way to more freedom yet commiserate with the original post.


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: Tunesmith
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 10:32 AM

glueman says "Classical music acknowledges new compositions using the same idiom"
Well, not always in the same idiom! Atonal musical, for example - to my ears - is a world away from Mozart!
And, of course nowhere near as popular.


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: glueman
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 10:42 AM

"Well, not always in the same idiom!"

No not always, some atonal music is classical, some is contemporary serial music, some is experimental ambient and so forth. The difference I was trying to show is there is no barrier of process to a composition by, say, Avro Part being discussed or labelled in the same light as Mozart or Palestrina.


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: Tunesmith
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 10:57 AM

Yes, but the concert going public prefer - most of the time - to listen to music from the past, and have no desire to see it updated!
However, within the British folk scene the cry is "update or die".
Well, I don't buy into that at all - well, maybe, just a little bit!


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: glueman
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 11:27 AM

The 'concert going public' usually want their prejudices and expectations pandering to, wherever they lie.


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: GUEST,SteveT
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 11:46 AM

"There were 'traditional' and 'contemporary' clubs way back when and it was with some trepidation would you dare sing a song out of remit."

Absolutely and it's still true, though there's a lot fewer of both.

"I think club organisers should ensure that a certain part of each evening is devoted to the preservation of traditional material."

True, there was a time (from the mid 1960s to about 1980 I'd guess) when "traditional" folk was popular and such clubs were plentiful but if it doesn't catch people's imagination now in the same way you can't make them like it by legislating or compelling them – they'll just vote with their feet and not turn up.

"when I first went to folk clubs in the 60s they had been started by - and were dominated by - trad folkies, but somehow the singers of old pop songs and dubious singer-songwriter material have last (sic) the course better, and now they dominate a lot of the clubs that I attend."

Part of the problem, I think, is that there are some abysmal singers around who think that "traditional" means basic and poor. I've sat through some appalling renditions of traditional songs whose very simplicity means you actually have to be a much better singer and interpreter of song to do them justice than you have to be to get away with most of the contemporary material. OK, I'm biased; I love the traditional songs (especially LDBs – long dismal ballads) and I'd rather these songs were sung than not but I don't blame some people for switching off. (I'd better add that the singarounds I do go to are fantastic with some excellent singers who do full justice to the tradition but there are singarounds and clubs that even I can't face.)

I've got a choice now between three or four monthly singarounds (though, to be fair, not folk "clubs") which are predominantly "traditional" and weekly and monthly folk clubs that have become (or started out) mainly "contemporary". The traditional singarounds were started mainly because the singers there didn't want to spend an evening listening to singer-songwriters, American inspired material from the sixties and seventies and "folk-pop". Either you're unlucky and this choice doesn't exist where you are or you just haven't found it yet. If the former, set up your own singaround with a group of you that do like the traditional songs and treatments. If they're good (the songs and the singers) you'll have a full house like we do.


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: GUEST,Big NIge
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 12:06 PM

SteveT, I think all things are ok in a Singaround setting,(even the dreaded Singer Songwriters), as what ever they do you don't have to listen for too long. The Guest situation is somewhat different, you may have to have the arse bored of you for long periods and wished you'd stayed at home. I've seen many an audience gradually drift into the downstairs bar, because some Guest turns out to be too far up their own arse.


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 12:09 PM

Their arse, your arse... arses, arses everywhere!


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: GUEST,Big Nige
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 12:33 PM

I think its fairly obvious what I'm getting at. We've had too Guests who flatter to deceive, the downright dreary, the DADGADers, the groaners, the deluded souls etc, small wonder Guest Booking clubs are dying out in the UK.


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: GUEST,Hookey Wole
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 12:49 PM

I'm always wary of any 'folk' singer walking out on stage wearing a spotless laundered & ironed white shirt
and very neatly combed and spray-lacquered hair and beard.

it just screams MOR ..


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: johncharles
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 12:50 PM

Off to "Folk Club" tonight. Think I will go with a nautical theme, Polly on the Shore,and Henry Martin. Folky and not too long so should be safe. I will save Edith Piaf and The white Stripes for next week.
john


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 12:58 PM

Yes, but the concert going public prefer - most of the time - to listen to music from the past, and have no desire to see it updated!
However, within the British folk scene the cry is "update or die".


Disagree here...although the classical concert going public goes mainly to music from the past, they also go along to hear newly composed pieces "in the classical idiom". What's happening isn't that things are being "updated" but that the classical repertoire is expanding. It takes a while for more modern oieces to be accepted into the "canon".

The same thing should occur in the folk scene, too....new songs or tunes in the trad idiom will, in 50 or 100 years, become part of the "trad canon". If they're "not allowed to" then I'm afraid the genre *will* die...or become the preserve of a(n even more) microscopic number of people with aspic pickling tendencies.

I heard the Huw & Tony Williams song "Travelling By Steam" done at a session the other week, followed by "Fiddler's Green"...both songs written by artistes who are still with us...and I'd be hugely disappointed if songs such as those, or Bob Kenward's "Man of Kent" were regarded as "not traddy enough to be acceptable".

I've lost count of the number of times I've heard people do songs that they *thought* were "trad" but which in reality have been composed by people in recent years. "Safe Harbour Tonight" was the latest.


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: glueman
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 01:18 PM

Expand your mind...Here


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: Will Fly
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 01:36 PM

Rob, I posed the same question on another thread some days ago. If the traditional stuff we're listening to now is - say, for argument's sake - 100 to 200 years old then, in another 50 years, it'll all be 150 to 250 years old. In another 50 years' time, it'll be 200 to 300 years old.

Where will the 50-year old or 100-year old music of that future then come from? It should be appearing now, shouldn't it? The only response I got to that question was, "I don't care, I won't be here."

Well, as for songs, I would add "Cornish Lads" to your shortlist - plus lots of tunes by Tom Anderson, Andy Cutting and lots of other excellent tune writers - all in the idiom.


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: Tunesmith
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 02:15 PM

Well, I'm all for writing new songs in the idiom. But, of course, we all have slightly - or widely - different takes on what that means!
For me, these new songs should sound like a natural part - or extention - of the tradition.
For example, often listeners will mistake an modern "folk song" for a traditional song because "it sounds old".
Also, I'm not keen - or I don't think I am - of introducing alien sounds into the arrangement of a trad song.
I've got to be careful here because someone will point out that the guitar hasn't goy a very long history in accompanying trad songs.


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 02:16 PM

"Where will the 50-year old or 100-year old music of that future then come from? It should be appearing now, shouldn't it? The only response I got to that question was, "I don't care, I won't be here.""

I think that the person who gave that answer was me. I also pointed out that it's a question without an answer (yet) because no-one can predict the future. In addition, as a trad. folk fan, I get a bit irritated when I'm told that I belong to the only class of music fan who is responsible for posterity!

"Part of the problem, I think, is that there are some abysmal singers around who think that "traditional" means basic and poor."

Unfortunately, I have to say that that is true of a significant number of singaround participants. I believe it's because they believe that they have some sort of right to 'sing' but no responsibilty to entertain their fellow participants or audience. There are far too many excrutiatingly boring groaners, who can't hold a tune and sing to their notebooks - because they can't be bothered to learn the words. These people sing without passion, skill or artistry and I resent having to spend my time listening to them!

In some ways I'm a bit of a 'purist' and prefer trad. material - but but what I actually demand is conviction and commitment.


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: GUEST,Hookey Wole
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 02:35 PM

"In some ways I'm a bit of a 'purist' and prefer trad. material - but but what I actually demand is conviction and commitment."

- absolutey agree


"Also, I'm not keen - or I don't think I am - of introducing alien sounds into the arrangement of a trad song."


- seriously disagree,

but [ and recognizing your hint of openness to persuasion..]
would politely ask "Why ?"


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: Tunesmith
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 03:14 PM

Well, as to the alien sounds; I guess I'm a bit wobbly on that one.
One of my favourite bluesy artists is Harry Manx and he has introduced Indian sounds in to his playing of blues and some Appalachian material - and I love it!
I love a lot of the Afro-Celts stuff.
Also, one of favourite tracks by Nic Jones is "Willie Don't you weep for" in to which Nic inserts a driving bluesy riff.
I guess I'm a lot wobbly on the whole "alien sound" thing.


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 05:48 PM

My son went to a gig last week by some Finnish madmen called Turisas, who dress up like beserkers and wear face paint a la Braveheart. I had a look on YouTube and they have a girl playing four row accordion and a lad playing fiddle. I thought at first that the attractive tune was from the Finnish tradition but it turned out to be "Ra Ra Rasputin, Lover of the Russian Queen". No doubt in 100 years this will be a much appreciated cornerstone of the Finnish Folk Revival. I look forward to a UK equivalent.


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 06:05 PM

Yes, Ok, but we ALL know that the FOLK POLICE are responsible for the death of everyting in world. I mean to say who **wouldn't** leave a folk club unless everyone there played drum and bass? I'm just so FUCKING SURPRISED that it has lasted so long. I keep telling you that unless you book chief whatthefucksisname, who I said was good AT LEAST 10 minutes ago then you are just NOTHING but a set of miserable wankers who like nothing better than gazing at your own famous flowers.

So fucking there.

:D tG

(aka Davey Lancs)


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 06:33 PM

Will:

Where will the 50-year old or 100-year old music of that future then come from? It should be appearing now, shouldn't it?

I'll tell you a story. Once upon a time in the land of Fiftyfornia, cruel King Ewan banned the use of electrical sound recording devices of all kinds. The people of the land flocked to watch films of musicians performing, so he banned video and TV and had all the cinemas closed down. The Fiftyfornians became avid fans of music radio, before that too was banned. Clockwork devices were exempt from the original legislation, so gramophones, phonographs and player pianos had a brief vogue among the music-starved population, before they were banned in turn.

Only two options were available to the Fiftyfornians. They could go and listen to professional musicians, performing in concerts, recitals, operas, ballets, musical comedies and theatrical pieces of all sorts. And go they did, but for most people the cherished musical nights out came round all too rarely: professional musicians need to make a living (the clue's in the name), and only the very richest Fiftyfornians could afford to go to a concert more than a couple of times a month. The only other option for the Fiftyfornians was to make music themselves. They would play tunes and sing songs when they met in pubs, at family get-togethers or even just to while away a quiet night in; the children would sing in idle moments at school, the adults would sing in busy moments at work. They played tunes they'd heard in concerts, and after a while they made up tunes of their own; they sang songs they'd heard at the theatre, and after a while they made up new ones. For most of the people, most of the time, there was only one way to hear music: you made it, or got a friend to make it for you. After a while everyone knew a song or two, in the sense of being able and willing to get up and sing it straight through; most people knew ten or twenty, and a few people knew a couple of hundred. Among the theatre-going public, the talk was all about the latest songs from the latest shows. For the great majority of people, the songs that counted were the songs they knew and their friends knew: not "show songs" but "people's songs".

A hundred years later, a revolution overthrew cruel King Ewan, and the new regime repealed all the mad old King's laws banning recorded and broadcast music. Film, TV, radio all abounded in recorded music; records, CDs and MP3s all found a ready market (although pianola rolls didn't really take off). The Fiftyfornians rejoiced as they rejoined civilisation. Some people expressed anxiety about the future of "people's songs", but the new government dismissed the doubters. "People's songs have lasted a hundred years," said one spokesperson. "Why would they die out now?"


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 06:34 PM

I'm always wary of any 'folk' singer walking out on stage wearing a spotless laundered & ironed white shirt
and very neatly combed and spray-lacquered hair and beards.


What? You mean you're not ready for the cheesefolk revival?


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 06:39 PM

A hundred years later, a revolution overthrew cruel King Ewan

OK, maybe it wasn't quite a hundred years later. Or maybe mad King Ewan had a healthy diet and got lots of exercise, and lived for a very long time. Never mind.


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: michaelr
Date: 21 Nov 11 - 07:43 PM

Folk music is not a pickle. It doesn't need to be preserved.


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Subject: RE: What Folk Revival?
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 22 Nov 11 - 12:55 AM

I think michaelr has it correct...The best ingrediebt for pickling is "Limes" (I particularly lean towards Pataks on toast for my elevenses)


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