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Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)

Richard Bridge 24 Nov 12 - 07:44 PM
GUEST,David E. 24 Nov 12 - 11:33 PM
GUEST,CJ 25 Nov 12 - 12:01 PM
The Sandman 25 Nov 12 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,Lighter 25 Nov 12 - 05:29 PM
MoorleyMan 26 Nov 12 - 05:41 AM
GUEST 26 Nov 12 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 26 Nov 12 - 04:02 PM
Continuity Jones 26 Nov 12 - 04:37 PM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 26 Nov 12 - 05:02 PM
GUEST 27 Nov 12 - 05:03 AM
GUEST,bIG aL wHITTLE 27 Nov 12 - 06:39 AM
Will Fly 27 Nov 12 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,matt milton 27 Nov 12 - 07:09 AM
GUEST 27 Nov 12 - 07:22 AM
GUEST 27 Nov 12 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,Grandad8 27 Nov 12 - 08:20 AM
Richard Bridge 27 Nov 12 - 08:50 AM
Will Fly 27 Nov 12 - 09:02 AM
Continuity Jones 27 Nov 12 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,Lighter 27 Nov 12 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,Big Al Whittle 28 Nov 12 - 06:14 AM
Spleen Cringe 28 Nov 12 - 05:10 PM
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Subject: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Nov 12 - 07:44 PM

Yeah, I know it's a classic and all that, a groundbreaking influential album, but does anyone actually like it?

I listened to it again yesterday and today and hated every single second. Collins vocals are too pretty-pretty and classically intoned (and I don't like some of her melody variants) and Graham's "accompaniment" is fussy, striving, invasive, self aggrandising and annoying - as well as being very iffy as to timing against the voice.

Lots of wizard technique but nerve-scraping to listen to.

But there again I listened to a Fairport sampler from back then too, and that was cringeworthy too.

Maybe I'm just getting TOO grumpy.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: GUEST,David E.
Date: 24 Nov 12 - 11:33 PM

I'm getting old as well, but I still like it. And I have plenty of friends who consider me grumpy.   

David E.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: GUEST,CJ
Date: 25 Nov 12 - 12:01 PM

I love this record. It's high camp in parts, but still plays well to me. The SC output I disagree with mostly feature Dolly on organ.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Nov 12 - 04:11 PM

I hear similarities STYLEWISE between Shirley Collins and Kate Rusby.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 25 Nov 12 - 05:29 PM

I don't mind the singing. I've just never cared for the album.

The jazzy backups don't work for me.

I didn't think Fairport was that great either.

Steeleye, however, was once reliably magnificent.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 26 Nov 12 - 05:41 AM

I too still love the album, but...
It's interesting how acknowledged classic records can sometimes "dip" in and out within one's own listening evaluation. There've been times when I've just not been receptive and found elements or aspects of FRNR almost sterile, yet at other times I've come across tiny details and nuances that've fascinated me and made me appraise the record afresh. Whatever the issues such as undisputed qualities of the playing or singing or interpretation.
And it all depends on what else you're listening to around the same time. Nothing will ever replicate the impact of your first encounter with an album like FRNR, either in terms of its musical impression and values or its context.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Nov 12 - 07:19 AM

Any minute noiw Bob Dylan's going to go electric. I thought I should warn you. Check those pacemaker batteries.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Nov 12 - 04:02 PM

Know exactly what you mean Richard.

The way I look at it is this.

In England , there are two sorts of folksingers. Theres the ones that embrace regionalism - the ecky thump/willie eckerslike northerners and the come all you sail-i-ors southerners. And then theres the bohemians.

Brimstone, Lockran, davy Graham lead the latter group. men with solid working class background, but with no great affection for the same. Folk music is sort of aspirational music for them - an artform they can relate to.

There was always something a little crazy about the sight of Davy striding down Greek Street in his sombrero - but something I respected. he wasn't going to the only coloured kid growing up in a rough Leicestershire village/ he set out to be an exotic and it was a ballsy attempt at it.

Ultimately all the exotics are going to end up a bit like Hancock in The Rebel or the Punch and Judy Man - sort of ridiculous. England is just that sort of place. Cuts us all down to size.

I always adored Davy Graham's image. But it was the style I liked rather than the substance. I always hated the forays into world music as much as I dislike Froots doing the same now. It always seems unmemorable.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 26 Nov 12 - 04:37 PM

Al, do you like any music from outwith Britain and Ireland? Do you like any music which contains fusion of different ethnicities? I don't want that to sound rude, I'm just curious.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Nov 12 - 05:02 PM

I've got to admit - I didn't 'get' Robert Johnson for a long time = or Leadbelly - sounded very African and alien to me. And irish music, its only when I started playing it I got the sublteties, and country music come to that.

I'm pretty conservative in my listening. But then so are most people. Whats opened my ears a lot has been having to play different sorts of music to earn a living.

I remember Mike Storey the country music agent once said to me - the people you deal with from the country music clubs can be pretty stupid, but the folk club/college crowd are just as stupid and narrow minded in their own way.

he was right.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Nov 12 - 05:03 AM

I always hated the forays into world music as much as I dislike Froots doing the same now. It always seems unmemorable.

I can't remember it because I've never listened to it without the beans in my ears . . .


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: GUEST,bIG aL wHITTLE
Date: 27 Nov 12 - 06:39 AM

I wonder why it is that an honest opinion is never respected, whilst the trendy ones - however preposterous and pretentious are treated like rocks with the truth written on them, brought down from Mt Sinai.

I sat in Davy Grahams gigs and my heart sunk every time, he started out saying this is in 15/17 rhythm and some bloody tosh like that.

At least I went to his gigs. If you and countless others who talk pseudo intellectual bollocks had actually gone to see the poor sod when he was alive and paid him the compliment of listening to him - maybe, just maybe he would have enjoyed a more happy prosperous life.

You're the ones with beens in your ears. Has been fucker journalists, who were nowt to start out with....


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Nov 12 - 07:07 AM

I loved the album when it came out - and I love it still. I loved the combination of Davy's great and original guitar playing and Shirley's voice. At that time, I was really "into" the mixing of musical styles and culture.

As well as "Nottamun Town" and "Pretty Saro", there were great guitar solos to get my teeth into, like "Blue Monk" and "Grooveyard". I played it all recently and still like it.

Let me be clear: I knew Davy in London in the late '60s and was treated charmingly by him - and he could be a funny sod. After the heroin taking kicked in (let's not be coy here), I was saddened by the degradation in his playing - and I don't think he ever recovered that initial panache. Later albums also became derivative.

BUT - "The Guitar Player", "Folk, Blues and Beyond" and "Folk Roots, New Routes" were ground-breaking in their day and inspired many, many guitar players to get out there and do it. So - I raise my glass to Davy and Shirley and, if you don't care for it? Tough!


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 27 Nov 12 - 07:09 AM

FRNR is the album that got me into folk music when I got it out of the library 10 years ago.


"Collins vocals are too pretty-pretty and classically intoned"
well, I'm not sure I'd agree with "classically", but "intoned" is fair enough. Disagree with "pretty-pretty" very much. Granted, there's something a little virginal in her delivery.

But that all sums up what I like about the album. It's odd. It doesn't fit. It's a square peg in a round hole.

For similar reasons I think Graham's playing works really well. If you prefer your music hand-in-glove, a perfect fit, then you can listen to all the (wonderful) albums Shirley did with her sister Dolly. But Folk Roots New Routes is an oddity, a clockwork orange, and you're either going to love it or hate it.

Hearing Shirley Collins sing over bluesy jazzy backing is always going to sound like some strange anomaly. But I like strange anomalies!


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Nov 12 - 07:22 AM

"In England , there are two sorts of folksingers. Theres the ones that embrace regionalism - the ecky thump/willie eckerslike northerners and the come all you sail-i-ors southerners. And then theres the bohemians. Brimstone, Lockran, davy Graham lead the latter group. men with solid working class background, but with no great affection for the same. Folk music is sort of aspirational music for them - an artform they can relate to."

I think you're on slightly dodgy ground there, Al.
Maybe you're referring to specific stuff that Davy Graham said or did that I'm unaware of, but where does that "no great affection for the working class" come from? I hope it's not simply because he was interested in lots of different musics of the world, and referred to time signatures in the intros to his instrumentals.

Being scholarly, being an intellectual, showing off, being a jazz musician, being an avant garde composer - irrespective of whether you do it well or badly, whether you do it pretentiously or convincingly - ought to have nothing to do with whether you're working class or not.

"Ultimately all the exotics are going to end up a bit like Hancock in The Rebel or the Punch and Judy Man - sort of ridiculous. England is just that sort of place. Cuts us all down to size."

Well, what's wrong with being "sort of ridiculous" - the best art often is! Didn't Adam Ant sing something about that?

But for another, I'm not sure I recognise that England you're describing. Sex Pistols, David Bowie, Robyn Hitchcock, Peter Bellamy, Bob Cobbing, Gilbert & George... add your own names to the list.. none of them strike me as having been "cut down to size" in this country, so much as celebrated


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Nov 12 - 08:16 AM

Sorry did I read someone said Dylan going electric, No No No! what is the world coming to. Someone will be saying next that Steeleye Span has recorded a commercial record called All Around my Hat


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: GUEST,Grandad8
Date: 27 Nov 12 - 08:20 AM

Sorry did I read someone said Dylan going electric, No No No! what is the world coming to. Someone will be saying next that Steeleye Span has recorded a commercial record called All Around my Hat


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Nov 12 - 08:50 AM

I do like quite a lot of different stuff, medieval choral, delta and chicago blues, race music, 70s soul, rock and roll, English pub-rock blues, some prog-rock and kraut-rock, Pata Pata and Iko Iko were great singles, some reggae and ragga and a little bit of blue-beat and ska, some generic Dixie, I even know of one Johnny Halliday record and one Nilsson record that I like. Oh, yes, I like folk music even if I'm not keen on that fake Scot's singing. Hate the Beatles, hate the Moody Blues, hate pan-pipes, not all that keen on calypso or two-tone. Hate Sinatra and most of the rest of the rat-pack.

So, no, it's not the fusion I don't like. I'm not that keen on most jazz but Graham's rendition of Blue Monk jars not because it's jazz, but because it's stilted.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Nov 12 - 09:02 AM

Well then, Richard, we just have to agree to differ.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 27 Nov 12 - 09:30 AM

That's a fine opinion for me, Big Al. I find it hard to perceive anyone who does music should have such a narrow scope of interest and it's also a shame, in a way, as there's so much great music out there.

But I respect your opinion on this, of course. Afterall, who am I to judge what someone else likes or dislikes? Similarly to a previous poster, I don't have much truck for the Beatles and don't even get me started on folk rock...


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 27 Nov 12 - 09:34 AM

> Hate the Beatles.

Good to know I'm not alone.

After all those years.

(I don't *despise* them, mind you; I just don't find their lyrics interesting or their admittedly innovative instrumentals that effective.)

And anybody who doesn't like that I don't like them can bugger off. I probably don't like you either.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Nov 12 - 06:14 AM

We generally I'm reckoned to be pretty eclectic in what I play - hardly narrow. I just find middle class values sort of skewed.

John Peel, for example, reckoned generally to be the high priest of maverick talent at the BBC. Here was a guy who played on the world service the most hackneyed reggae, and African high life, the most cacophonous and outrageous punk music he could lay his hands on - yet I can remember on TV one time he didn't recognise a Merle Haggard song that everyone at the local miners welfare country music night would have been able identify.

It was only really when Elvis Costello did the George Jones song that it became 'acceptable' for the middle classes to listen to some country music. Not the rubbish of course - and they (being made of sterner stuff than the rest of us) would unfailingly recognise that,
And still some people in folk clubs turn their noses up at any American country music.


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Subject: RE: Review: Folk Roots, New Routes (Collins, Graham)
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 28 Nov 12 - 05:10 PM

Sweeping generalisations of course, Al. But where would we be without them.

PS - There's only two Merle Haggard songs I'd recognise and I listen to plenty of country and Americana, though not generally in UK folk clubs, it has to be said. I'd rather see it at a concert venue (and for the record I'd far rather listen to George Jones than Costello's rather boring covers). Talking of Americana, you might enjoy this feller: Charlie Parr - 1922 Blues

And I won't hear you carping at Peel. He was the soundtrack to my teenage years (77 - 82, for the record. No wonder Merle H is ancient history for me...).

Back to the point. I think I'd rather listen to Shirley Collins being Shirley Collins. I have a copy of FRNR and I think I've listened to it about twice. Still, I prefer it to Folk, Blues and Beyond.


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