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Singer/players in the bardic tradition

GUEST,Busker On A Budget 28 Aug 18 - 11:46 PM
Jack Campin 29 Aug 18 - 03:35 AM
GUEST,ST 30 Aug 18 - 04:10 AM
Jack Campin 30 Aug 18 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,John C. Bunnell 31 Aug 18 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,A/C in SD 31 Aug 18 - 03:04 PM
Jack Campin 31 Aug 18 - 03:23 PM
GUEST 31 Aug 18 - 03:53 PM
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Subject: Singer/players in the bardic tradition
From: GUEST,Busker On A Budget
Date: 28 Aug 18 - 11:46 PM

Mudcatters, alléz!

No matter how many times I have gotten into Van-Zandt-ian singer-songwriter-isness, or relatively-outlaw-esque, blues-inflected country (or Americana, as the kids say), I've always come back to my earliest, most fundamental inspirations/influences: Alan A'Dale and Fflewdur Fflam, bards par excellence.

Who out there in the stream of folk music would have been, or could be, a writer and performer in that romantic bardic tradition?

I think of Donovan Leitch, of early Burl Ives, and Martin Carthy and Pete Seeger if we include those with a concertedly political bent.

I've been a poet for almost as long as I've been able to write, far longer than I've been a musician of any caliber. I find that the ability to compose, or at least to deliver simply and directly, a love song, a ballad, a bit of gilded-lily verse set to a hummable tune, largely got lost over decades of commercialization.

Suggestions as to records or videos of performers I the vein of the itinerant bards of yore?


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Subject: RE: Singer/players in the bardic tradition
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Aug 18 - 03:35 AM

Look outside Anglo-America and there are plenty of examples of unbroken bardic traditions going back to the Middle Ages. The best known in the West are the griots of Mali, but the Alevi (Sufi-Shiite) "asik" singers of Turkey probably have the largest recorded repertoire.

The Anglo-Americans you named have nothing in common with any bardic tradition, and I don't think most of them would have claimed to.


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Subject: RE: Singer/players in the bardic tradition
From: GUEST,ST
Date: 30 Aug 18 - 04:10 AM

If you mean mediaeval bardic then Robin Williamson   in his current performances is probably your man!    But I’m struggling to put Burl Ives and Martin Carthy in the same category!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_7OmYLjLlE


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Subject: RE: Singer/players in the bardic tradition
From: Jack Campin
Date: 30 Aug 18 - 07:35 AM

Mediæval bards were always more than just singers. The Malian griots are official historians to royal families, and their job is to set the family's history to music. The Alevi asiks are initiate-teachers in the Bektashi dervish order and understand all the theological implications of the stories they are singing (and their songs often have complicated allusions that are only decodable if you understand Sufi metaphysics and Shiite history). The Irish bards seem to have had a ferocious process of training and testing - Robert Graves describes it in The White Goddess, which is maybe a bit OTT but he probably has the basics right.

Robin Williamson isn't in that league.


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Subject: RE: Singer/players in the bardic tradition
From: GUEST,John C. Bunnell
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 01:22 PM

I don't know that I can think of a prominent new example here in the 21st century, but one might make a case for Tom Paxton taking on that role in the last third of the 20th. Certainly there are few writer/performers who've accumulated so large a body of work with so wide a range, including children's songs ("Marvelous Toy"), political commentary ("I Am Changing My Name To Chrysler"), and character-driven lyrics ("Rambling Boy").


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Subject: RE: Singer/players in the bardic tradition
From: GUEST,A/C in SD
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 03:04 PM

What about O'Carolan, must not forget the master!


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Subject: RE: Singer/players in the bardic tradition
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 03:23 PM

His career was nothing like that of a mediæval Irish bard.


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Subject: RE: Singer/players in the bardic tradition
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Aug 18 - 03:53 PM

Alasdair Roberts.


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