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Info/Discuss: Michael Marra (1952-2012)

Andy M 04 Apr 17 - 07:51 AM
GUEST,henryp 04 Apr 17 - 10:51 AM
GUEST,Morrisey 04 Apr 17 - 11:34 AM
Teribus 04 Apr 17 - 11:40 AM
akenaton 04 Apr 17 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,DTM 04 Apr 17 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,Andy M 05 Apr 17 - 06:04 AM
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Subject: MICHAEL MARRA
From: Andy M
Date: 04 Apr 17 - 07:51 AM

I am interested in your views on why Michael Marra is not widely known, celebrated and critically acknowledged. Almost his entire discography has been made recently available on Spotify. As a songwriter, for me he is second only to Bob Dylan, and covers similar musical bases, only in reverse, moving from rock to acoustic, solo or with small groups. The breadth of his vision, with wit and humanity is astonishing, and his introductions (captured best on the CD with Mr McFall's Chamber) are sublime. I know that the leading UK folk magazine considered him not relevant to folk music - an astonishing p.o.v given not only his later work but also his absolute Scottish/Dundee focus. This may be one impediment to his wider fame as his use of dialect/Scots language is too fiercely protected by some as sacrosanct, in my view. Loudon Wainwright III's non-dialect version of "Harmless" getting criticism (though not from his guitarist brother). Hard copy CDs have long not been available; maybe review copies were not issued...who knows? I genuinely do not understand why he is not more widely loved.


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Subject: RE: MICHAEL MARRA
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 04 Apr 17 - 10:51 AM

The song "Hamish (the Goalie)" was written to mark the testimonial year of Dundee United goalkeeper Hamish McAlpine.

McAlpine was a fellow eccentric, with a fondness for kicking the ball out of the ground.

Michael Marra said that, rather than a defensive plan, McAlpine had a foreign policy.


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Subject: RE: MICHAEL MARRA
From: GUEST,Morrisey
Date: 04 Apr 17 - 11:34 AM

Well, I have never heard of him.

A quick google says he died in 2012.


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Subject: RE: MICHAEL MARRA
From: Teribus
Date: 04 Apr 17 - 11:40 AM

Saw him live three times, extremely engaging and very, very entertaining. I was very sad to hear of his passing in 2012.


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Subject: RE: MICHAEL MARRA
From: akenaton
Date: 04 Apr 17 - 12:56 PM

Always liked the "Dundonian" accent and loved his poetry.
Favourite song "Racing to Newburgh"


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Subject: RE: MICHAEL MARRA
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 04 Apr 17 - 01:52 PM

I am a big Michael Marra fan. Isn't everybody?
Andy M asks why he isn't so well known. I think (and this is only an opinion)that he didn't fancy the glamour and subservancy that comes with 'fame'. He always used to say that he liked to see his name on records .... in brackets. That suggests to me that he preferred to be known as a writer of songs rather than a singer of them.
'Macushla' is only one of my many favourites of his.

There's still a big hole in the Scottish scene since his passing. What a loss.


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Subject: RE: Info/Discuss: Michael Marra (1952-2012)
From: GUEST,Andy M
Date: 05 Apr 17 - 06:04 AM

DTM: I think you've brushed against one of my key queries there when you say "There's a big hole in the Scottish scene since his passing". I wonder why there isn't a big hole in the worldwide scene? I know from direct experience that he was awarded at least two Honorary Doctorates from Scottish universities, recognising him on a wider artistic level, it just hasn't reflected in Britain as a whole, or internationally. I guess it's just my problem with someone I regard as one of the few real geniuses who worked in folkmusic.


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