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Where Have all the Folkies Gone

Stringsinger 19 Feb 19 - 02:00 PM
Jon Freeman 19 Feb 19 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 19 Feb 19 - 01:17 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Feb 19 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin 19 Feb 19 - 12:58 PM
Jim Carroll 19 Feb 19 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 19 Feb 19 - 10:53 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Feb 19 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 19 Feb 19 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 19 Feb 19 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,patriot 19 Feb 19 - 05:29 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 18 Feb 19 - 10:21 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Feb 19 - 08:26 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 17 Feb 19 - 08:05 AM
theleveller 17 Feb 19 - 07:52 AM
GUEST 16 Feb 19 - 01:16 PM
leeneia 16 Feb 19 - 10:52 AM
GUEST,irish lad 16 Feb 19 - 09:17 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Feb 19 - 07:26 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Feb 19 - 07:07 AM
theleveller 16 Feb 19 - 07:02 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Feb 19 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,irish lad 16 Feb 19 - 05:17 AM
The Sandman 16 Feb 19 - 02:52 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Feb 19 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,irish lad 15 Feb 19 - 01:07 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 13 Feb 19 - 05:44 AM
leeneia 12 Feb 19 - 11:58 AM
Little Hawk 12 Feb 19 - 11:39 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Feb 19 - 10:54 AM
The Sandman 12 Feb 19 - 09:55 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Feb 19 - 09:31 AM
Jack Campin 12 Feb 19 - 09:00 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Feb 19 - 08:28 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Feb 19 - 07:12 AM
GUEST,Jim Bainbridge 12 Feb 19 - 06:32 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Feb 19 - 06:08 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Feb 19 - 05:48 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Feb 19 - 05:35 AM
The Sandman 12 Feb 19 - 05:04 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Feb 19 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,JHW 12 Feb 19 - 04:46 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Feb 19 - 04:37 AM
The Sandman 12 Feb 19 - 04:02 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Feb 19 - 03:31 AM
The Sandman 11 Feb 19 - 03:15 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Feb 19 - 03:05 PM
The Sandman 11 Feb 19 - 02:57 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Feb 19 - 02:41 PM
The Sandman 11 Feb 19 - 02:39 PM
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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 02:00 PM

It's gone from the stage and show biz into the living room. It's what it always was.
The people own it. You don't hear about it. No coverage. It's underground.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 01:56 PM

I've known a small few who have attended the Willy Clancy event. The feeling I have is that people invariably come away feeling they have got something positive out of it.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 01:17 PM

I think you would be pleasantly surprised if you tried it. The Willie week is a rather broad church that caters for many interest and approaches. At it's core is it's core principle of education and dissemination of culture and music. It would appear a bit silly to forego all that because of one person, who would probably be unlikable irrespective of him attending the event.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 01:06 PM

"But the only product of it I've ever met is somebody I now avoid being in the same room with."
The feeling is mutual Jack - but personally, I'm far happier discussing something we disagree on rather than hurling abuse - much more adult
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 12:58 PM

I have seen positive descriptions of the Willie Clancy school too. But the only product of it I've ever met is somebody I now avoid being in the same room with.

There aren't many really unpleasant people in the folk scene but it only takes one to make an event into something I don't want to be at.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 11:25 AM

"young performers are more interested in writing their own songs "
Where the hell did I ever say that? - would that more young people made their own songs rather than having to wait till the industry decided what it was going to sell them
I have been talking about what passes for folk songs in today's clubs - I probably know and sing as many songs composed in the folk idiom as I do traditional ones

What a pity you have to "book" your singers - we ran clubs where the residents were quite capable of singing their way though an evening without having to buy them in - grass-roots clubs
People have claimed here that the oldies are dying off (hence the fall in sales) and the newbies aren't replacing them
The folk scene was started so we could all develop our singing,and along with it, our understanding of folk songs
That's what appears to have gone down the pan
Jacks take on the Willie Clancy Summer School sums up the reluctance to discuss this issue rationally
The School was first set up to honour one of Ireland's greatest traditional musicians, for as long as it could, it ran on the practice of involving the few remaining traditional musicians and singers who sand, plaed and taught their art and when they died away, their descendants and former pupils took over
This weekend we were treated to two talks on two local musicians - after the first talk, we spent a glorious hour or so listening to the playing of the children and grandchildren of the subject of the talk.
If you find that "smug" Jack - stay away - we really don't need people like you when we have thousands of kids who are playing as well as Tom McCarthy's kids
I always remember my greatest objection to Mary Whitehouse was her readiness in condemning things she refused to try for herself
It seems the U.K. is being haunted by a similar specte at the feast
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 10:53 AM

'refills of snobbery and smugness at the Willie Clancy school - no way in hell would I ever want to go near it'

And you denounce people for bigotry?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 10:34 AM

Pretty similar here in Hull, Jack, except I don't see any snobbery in the many sessions round here or the singarounds which are very varied and lively with a good mix of generations.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 10:31 AM

I got as far as Jim’s opening salvo reckoning that young performers are more interested in writing their own songs and where’s the folk in that?

Folk eh? If only there was an evolving tradition genre of music where songs of yesterday through the generations are blended within a performance with new songs that reflect today’s society?

Tsk.



Meanwhile back in the real world. I’m enjoying the most productive period in UK folk since the revival. The young talent we book at our club each and every week combined with the nostalgic treat of our heroes of yesterday who still tour...

It’s a golden age for the traditional and wider folk music appreciators. One bloke who comes every week even wears his trousers up to his tits. Living the dream eh?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 10:27 AM

Well this ex-folkie has left to get away from the rancid, nit-picking crew with over-inflated egos who have put folk into a straight jacket and aren’t prepared to tolerate anyone enjoying it in a way that deviates from their rigid definitions, thereby squeezing all the joy out of it. Having reached the age of 70, I’ve realised life’s too short and the folk music scene just isn’t fun anymore, so I prefer to spend my valuable time engaging in more pleasurable and life-affirming activities amongst people who are welcoming, friendly, helpful and empathetic (all of which folkies used to be).

My trajectory has been a bit similar, and I now mostly play with much younger people in situations that have nothing to do with folk clubs - but with less negativity involved. I started playing folk music in informal sessions in private settings, and that's what I'm still doing a lot of the time. It was a long time before I found a folk club and didn't really see what it might have to do with me; I was interested in playing the stuff, not in listening to somebody performing things that were only vaguely related.

The folk club scene round me is not exclusive in the way you describe, or the way Jim Carroll wants it be, it's just rather old. There is a handover to a younger generation in progress, and what they're doing is fine by me, I just don't feel fired up to go along to a club no matter what. They tend do have events on nights when I have other stuff to do.

I do occasionally run into exclusive nastiness in the session scene (as well as plain ordinary boredom from ageing players who won't try anything new to them). There's always at least one anti-English bigot at every Irish session, so I don't bother with them any more. They need to learn to deal with that. The absolute pits is a local egomaniac who gets annual refills of snobbery and smugness at the Willie Clancy school - no way in hell would I ever want to go near it.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,patriot
Date: 19 Feb 19 - 05:29 AM

The short list for the 'best folk song in Ireland will make interesting, and likely very depressing reading!


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 18 Feb 19 - 10:21 AM

I know it hadn't really gone away but I heard it used only very occasionally. Occasionally enough to notice the 'best folksong' thing and several other pronounced returns to the public eye (well, RTE).

Interesting to note too that the RTE radio spots sell it as 'what song do you sing along with at parties?' I get a certain image with that and wonder if that is their criterium for finding the best 'folksong', why do they even bother.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 08:26 AM

It's never gone away Peter
The problem is that Ireland divides "folk" and "tradition" in their usage when in fact the terms are two sides to the same coin
I had an enjoyable discussion on this with our friend, John Tunney recently
If anybody isn't aware of John, I understand there is an article due to be published in 'The Folk Song Journal' on his very impressive PHD covering his family's song repertoire and its place in the community
This withh cover the songs of Paddy, his father. his grandmother, Brigid and his uncle, Michael Gallagher, and several other family members
John is also giving a talk at this year's 'Willie Clancy Summer School' - well worth the trip
The School programme also includes a description of the work of collector, Tom Munnelly
There's a good time a-comin'
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 08:05 AM

'we don't have folkies in Ireland'

Is that why RTE is running a 'what is your favourite folksong' campaign?

I must say I am surprised at the recent re-emergence of the F word in Ireland.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: theleveller
Date: 17 Feb 19 - 07:52 AM

"Leveller, I just checked the long list of threads you have posted to, and very few of them are about playing music."


I think you need to go back a few years to when I was actively involved in the folk music scene - which I haven't been for several years now. You'll find that my particular interest was in promoting my local music scene, particularly festivals such as Ryedale and Moonbeams when it first started, and discussing the early day of my folk music experience in the 60s. Now most of the people I engaged with on Mudcat have long since left - although several became personal friends. To judge someone's involvement in folk music by what they post on Mudcat is, to say the least, short-sighted. For the record, though, Will Fly and I have had interesting discussions about London in the 60s, and remember the wonderful Reimagined Village thread? They stick in my memory more than the interminable 'what is folk' discussions and the constant bickering by the usual suspects. If you looked at my PM archives, you'd find a lot more went on behind the scenes than you could ever know about, so, basically, please get your facts straight before you start to cast personal slights.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 01:16 PM

exactly Leveller- it isn't fun any more - far too many taking it seriously!


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: leeneia
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 10:52 AM

Leveller, I just checked the long list of threads you have posted to, and very few of them are about playing music.

Where were you when I posted songs to try? When I posted links to interesting new performances? When someone asked for chords? When a beginner asked for musical help?

Where were you when Will Fly posted a fine guitar performance and two people bothered to listen and say thanks?

Where were you when Mudcatters were discussing lyrics old and new, from medieval to the rock scene?
========
If you are tired of rancid arguments, you know which threads to avoid.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,irish lad
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 09:17 AM

Yes there are plenty of traddies here- nothing to do with Aran pullovers?- where did that come from? No regrets about the demise of the 'ballad session'!!

There are plenty of places in Ireland where the music thrives, Jim, but in MOST pubs nationwide, it is generally unwelcome and a distraction from the multiple TV sets which are the norm these days.


Part of the problem may be the (sometimes skilled) musicians who insist on sitting in a circle & making no attempt at communication - surely the essence of the peoples' music?


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 07:26 AM

Plenty more have gone before you because they couldn't find what was adveritised when they turned up at a folk club
If expecting folk songs at a folk club is "putting music in a straight-jacket", then so is expecting to her jazz at a jazz club, or classical music at a classical concert
We came to promote a certain type of music not put bums on seats
Only people who came to hear folk music and didn't have the right to complain - we did what we said we would do - if they didn't like it they were free to go elsewhere
I have yet to come across anybody who can describe what folk muis is if it isn't what it has been researched to be
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 07:07 AM

That's a shame, leveller. There is still plenty of good stuff still going on in folk clubs. You seem to be throwing out the baby with the bathwater but that is your decision and your loss.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: theleveller
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 07:02 AM

Well this ex-folkie has left to get away from the rancid, nit-picking crew with over-inflated egos who have put folk into a straight jacket and aren’t prepared to tolerate anyone enjoying it in a way that deviates from their rigid definitions, thereby squeezing all the joy out of it. Having reached the age of 70, I’ve realised life’s too short and the folk music scene just isn’t fun anymore, so I prefer to spend my valuable time engaging in more pleasurable and life-affirming activities amongst people who are welcoming, friendly, helpful and empathetic (all of which folkies used to be). On the rare occasions when curiosity drives me back to Mudcat to see if anything has changed, I realise the scene is only getting worse and it reaffirms my decision.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 06:54 AM

"I didn't mean 'traddies' as a compliment-many of them are a pain in the arse"
As are many snigger snogwriters and wannybe Clancys - don't get me started about bodhran bashers
Ireland is undergoing a Traditional music Renaissance which has guaranteed its survival for several generations
I sat in talk/session last night with the second and third generation of a musical family Tom McCathy's - piper, concertina player whistler and fiddler - nearly 20 years dead
Ten members of his family were there daughters and grandchildren - all masters of their instruments
Beats your singing pullovers any day
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,irish lad
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 05:17 AM

I didn't mean 'traddies' as a compliment-many of them are a pain in the arse, like folkies


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Feb 19 - 02:52 AM

In CLARE, the trad scene is strong, elsewhere it is not as strong, Jim B, I know what you are saying and I agree it is a double edged sword, but credit has to be given where it is due, and CCE has played a part in promoting trad music , at the least just the presence of the national fleadh, of course much money has been wasted and their competition system in my opinion is unhealthy and steers the music in a certain musical direction to the detriment of regional styles, but even if one dislikes what they are trying to do it is only fair to give them some credit.JimCarroll imo sees things in black and white, it aint like that, if oneloks at the situation in an adult and fair way CCE HAS PLAYED A PART IN PROMOTING TRAD MUSIC , YOU MAY NOT LIKE THE WAY IT DOES IT BIT IT DOES IT NEVERTHELESS


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 01:14 PM

"but we don't have folkies in Ireland, we have traddies & they are everywhere"
With you 100%
We start a weekend devoted to the concertina tonight in Mitown Malbay but have to break off on Sunday to catch the end of a singing weekend in Ballyvaughan at the northernmost point of the County
A lesson to be learned there
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,irish lad
Date: 15 Feb 19 - 01:07 PM

but we don't have folkies in Ireland, we have traddies & they are everywhere


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 13 Feb 19 - 05:44 AM

Having spent 20 of the last 30 years in Ireland, I am always fascinated by the view that the country is some kind of lost world of traditional music & that CCE are some kind of inspiration to all.

Government money to CCE is not always spent usefully, and often misappropriated- I have heard many anecdotes about this, one an offer to 'take over' a small thriving village festival by the 'brown envelope' method, made to a dedicated, but fortunately altruistic organiser, so be careful what you for, money isn't always a help.
It seems to me that even without the cash, the music is thriving in Britain in certain areas (Vic Smith mentioned Sussex in an earlier thread) just as it is in Ireland (Jim Carroll similarly in Clare) so the folkies are still there, even if not in the clubs.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: leeneia
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 11:58 AM

:-)


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 11:39 AM

I think we may have finally discovered the secret to the perpetual motion machine.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 10:54 AM

The CCE spends what money they get funding their own image and weird take on Irish music
They have driven more young people away from Irish music than they have caught their interest with their competition ethos (we've covered this far too many times to make it an issue here Dick)
Their seizure of Clontarf branch's new premises says enough about what they are about than anything else

EFDSS seem to have found the direction they wish to taake but it has little to do with folk music
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 09:55 AM

The Irish government finances tradtional music through CCE, AND they are PARTLY responsible for the interest among young people. I do have criticisdms of CCE but they are partly responsible for young interest as is also Wille clancy summer school, meanwhileEFDSS appears to be a a ship with no one at the helm drifting rudderless into some back water


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 09:31 AM

"Where this thread started: dismal CD sales of trad material."
Stradling ventured some reasons of why them might be happening - the EFDSS's somewhat schizophrenic approach to the music they have taken responsibility for over the last century plus featured
I have taken it further and intend to expand on that by covering what is happening in the world of research - all part of the same subject as far as I'm concerned
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jack Campin
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 09:00 AM

Where this thread started: dismal CD sales of trad material.

If the folk club scene was really failing to meet a massive demand for it, those sales ought to be skyrocketing.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 08:28 AM

Just for now
Definition and 'pigeonholing' are very much a part of this discussion - if you advertising you are selling something and then try sell them something other than what you advertised, people stop coming to your shop - that's what has happened on the club scene and unless you do something about it it will continue to damage folk scene
inging in pubs is both restrictive top the singer and intrusive to the regular customers (the chances of finding a pub where this is not the case is extremely difficult, as we have found)
Our folk song repertoire includes long narrative songs, particularly "intrusive" ballads
It is unreasonable to expect pub regulars to remain silent through the length of an average ballad or song and it is damn near impossible to make a half decent ballad to a background of pub noise
That's why the folk scene evolved in booked rooms adapted specifically to sing in
A for festivals - the ones I have attended are for showcasing established singers - where singing sessions take place have been usually in the circumstances described above
They need to be additions to the club-based scene, not replacements for it
Folk clubs evolved as community based venues relying on local talent and energy, grass-root venues rather than concerts - with all the fantastic advantages that brought
Lose that and you've lost a great deal of the reason for singing folk songs
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 07:12 AM

It doesn't avoid the fact at all, Jim. I specifically mentioned that Ireland is doing a good job of getting youngsters back into folk. I've done my bit BTW. 3 out of my 5 kids are fans of traditional English folk and one of the other 2 is really into world music. The final one isn't into any folk but married a lass that is :-)


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,Jim Bainbridge
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 06:32 AM

I think you're right, Dave the Gnome- young folks have gone elsewhere- thriving informal sessions, festivals, clubs of various kinds, not to mention the time-waster of social media (another form of SM behaviour (IMHO)- they have different ideas
Older folk do continue attending folk clubs, I believe, although I haven't done any recently & haven't lived anywhere near one for thirty years- I probably would be very particular about which one I attended as there is a huge variety of approach. Both Jim & the Sandman are aware of my preferences & I've no wish to get into that argument again!
No I'll just carry on doing the very occasional folk club & festival, but my preference will always be outside that, preferably in a non-folk social context, like a good pub or daycentre.
On the subject of folk songs & drawing lines, I'm totally with patriot's recent post & Jim's description of folk songs being written at some stage & then heading out into the world & changing/developing via the people is an interesting one.

I'm of an age where some pop songs still told a story (one definition of a ballad) & have sung such as 'She wears Red feathers' in my own way with melodeon accompaniment since I first heard Guy Mitchell's version. It may be non PC but that's irrelevant here. My current version bears little resemblance to the original 78 so has its progress through the folk process (mainly me- I am a person) made it a folk song?
I also sing 'that great old song 'As time goes by' but not from the Casablanca version. No, there's another stage- I got it from the Boldon Banjo Band- my uncle Tom played piano with them in the Boldon Lad pub for many years. Even more folk process, and again developed by the folk (ie ME) so again is it now a Folk song?- not that I give a damn what it is, I just hate all this pigeon holing & line drawing, it's prescriptive & am not happy about all this definition- one reason why some folkies have gone elsewhere, TO GET BACK TO THE SUBJECT.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 06:08 AM

"I think, by and large, the reduction in numbers is due to an aging population."
The Numbers began to reduce sharply thirty odd years ago Dave - we were in our prime then
Even if it were true, it avoids the fact that, unlike Ireland, the UK is failing miserably to attract young people in sufficient enough numbers to make uo for the ageing process
The answer lies in those involved so pointing the finger is just passing the buck
For a long time asking for a grant for traditional music was pushing an already open door - those working at the music proved that the cultural importance of the music and got the support - once the enthusiasts took the music seriously, the Arts bodies followed
Now Irish music has become an important part of the Irish economy by drawing visitors in to listen, play, learn and research - this one-street town on the West Coast survived the 'Banker's Folly' recession by being recognised as being 'the home of Irish Traditional Music'
You can make your venues places for a knees-up or where you put bums on seats, but I believe the future of traditional music lies in its cultural and historical importance
Ther is no reason on earth why you can't accept and work at that and enjoy singing, playing and listening at the same time
There's little hope of that happening in the UK since the EFDSS seems to have lost the plot (as confirmed by Stradling's letter) and even the researchers seem to have decided that there's nothing special about Folk song, that it's no different from the oupourings of the commercial music buisnesses and that it never was music created by the folk (as was once established by a centuries worth of research) anyway
The UK folk scene seems hell-bent on self-harm, from where I stand
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 05:48 AM

I think, by and large, the reduction in numbers is due to an aging population. Whichever folk club I go to nowadays I am often one of the younger ones. And I'm 66! If we cannot get youngsters involved the participants will naturally die off :-( Unfortunately I don't have the answer to that one but Jim has mentioned that Ireland's program to get the young more involved is working. I can't see the present government doing anything to help with that though. They couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 05:35 AM

"We're out at the folk clubs"
The question is about whether what goes on in the clubs if 'Folk' and if the fact that by and large it isn't, whether that has caused the sharp decline in numbers and the exodus of enthusiasts
Anybody with a bucket of whitewash and a brush can call themselves a 'folk club organiser' on today's folk scene, in my experience
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 05:04 AM

The singers club was prescriptive.finally MacColl was a good performer and an excellent songwriter but his attempted scottish accent was not very asccurate


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 04:49 AM

Where have all the folkies gone?
Gone to folk clubs every one
When will they ever learn?

:D tG


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: GUEST,JHW
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 04:46 AM

'That you can't be bothered to read the posts says what needs to be said, I think - there certainly isn't too much to read as far as Im concerned'

I've been out to folk clubs four out of the last five nights.
Where Have all the Folkies gone - on Mudcat?
We're out at the folk clubs


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 04:37 AM

It was a practice for the residents
MacColl often advised singers to sing in their own accents - that makes sense to me
I have no intention of falling into o of your Alice in Wonderland rabbit holes bu one more point
You don't insult people by trying to imitate peoples accents - invariably you become a source of amusement - we used to call them 'Mickey-Mouse singers" - Tim Lyons once described them as "Glochamorra singers"
You do far more damage to yourself by imitating accents that are not yours
You need to hand around in the bar after someone who has attempted an 'Oirish' accent has just left
Over and out ick
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 04:02 AM

I am not caling anyone a liar, my quote was directly from peggys interview with colin irwin, there was a rule in the singers club. further more i knew of two singers who were approached outside of the singers club and were criticised by macColl for singning bessis smith songs,
jim , you are trying to rewrite history.Irepeat the quote from Peggy herself which ilustrates that there was a rule and the club was prescriptive
DOubtless contributing to that stereotype is the ban imposed by Peggy and Ewan at the club they were running in London in the early days of the folk revival on anyone performing material not of their own musical culture or heritage. Originally triggered by a heavily Americanised set at the club by Long John Baldry, it continues to inspire animated debate to this day. Peggy, who readily concedes that MacColl himself was singing American songs when she first met him, is unrepentant about their stance and sees no dichotomy in her current mash-ups with Broadcaster.

“I sing Scottish songs in the bath tub because they are so beautiful but I wouldn’t sing them on stage because I don’t feel qualified. I can’t pronounce them properly. I’d have to live up there for a long time. I’ve heard enough English and Scottish people singing Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly – and I was brought up with those songs – to know that I mustn’t sing Scottish songs in public. It would be too painful for the Scots to listen to


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Feb 19 - 03:31 AM

"Jim, performers in the club had to sing in their own accents and songs from their own background,"
No they didn't Dick
I was never asked to sing in a Liverpool accent in my life - this is a complete distortion of what the club did - nor was I ever expected to confine my repertoire to se shanties
This is typical of the myths that surrounded MacColl and the club
When Lomax came to Britain Ewan, Bert and the rest were singing American songs - I have a recording of MacColl singing 'Sixteen Tons' here somewhere
Lomax suggested that if the clubs were going tto mean anything to British people they needed to examine the British repertoire - MacColl and Lloyd took his advice and began to devote their activities to the British and Irish repertoires
The scene moved away from being Guthrie wannabes to exploring our indigenous traditions - it worked
The problem arose again a few years later when some singers wanted to become Bobbie Bleaters or Joanie Clones
If you find that 'restrictive' that's your prerogative, personally I believe it not pretending what you are not
I sing Scots songs - dozens of them - and Irish ones - I always have; but I restrict them to the ones I can Anglicise comfortably, not becaus of any rule-book but because I can't get them to work for me in a phony accent
Nobody ever stopped me singing in th Singers Club - Pat and I even shared an evening with Ewan and Peg one night; both of us, especially Pat, who, (according to Ewan), was a great ballad singer with a repertoire of Scots ballads
Your post is somewat contradictory - you appear to be arguing against yourself

You know all this - we've discussed it before
You've read Peggy's letter to The Living Tradition apologising for her reaction to the singer in Walthamstowe trying to sound like a black chain-gang convict
Every time you make this statement you call Peggy a liar - I'll pass on her address if you want to do it personally (not true of course, Peggy has enough to cope with)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 03:15 PM

Jim, performers in the club had to sing in their own accents and songs from their own background, or did that only apply to the residents ,nevertheless that is a rule.here in her own words in an article by colin irwin she explains this RULE
DOubtless contributing to that stereotype is the ban imposed by Peggy and Ewan at the club they were running in London in the early days of the folk revival on anyone performing material not of their own musical culture or heritage. Originally triggered by a heavily Americanised set at the club by Long John Baldry, it continues to inspire animated debate to this day. Peggy, who readily concedes that MacColl himself was singing American songs when she first met him, is unrepentant about their stance and sees no dichotomy in her current mash-ups with Broadcaster.

“I sing Scottish songs in the bath tub because they are so beautiful but I wouldn’t sing them on stage because I don’t feel qualified. I can’t pronounce them properly. I’d have to live up there for a long time. I’ve heard enough English and Scottish people singing Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly – and I was brought up with those songs – to know that I mustn’t sing Scottish songs in public. It would be too painful for the Scots to listen to.


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 03:05 PM

" the one i knew was that it was prescriptive."
It was not and it had no "rules"
There were expectations of competence and material if you wre a resident, but beyond that there were no "rules"
As Peggy said in her letter to 'The Living Tradition' "The only expectations that the Club has was confined to the residents"
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 02:57 PM

Further more the singers club had rules but if one went there you would hear songs that are generally known as folk songs, there would not be people singing buddy holly songs


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 02:41 PM

" bemoaning the fact that you cannot go to a folk club and hear folk songs "
Without hearing ANY folk songs Dave
"Anthony John Clarke"
I'd never heard of him until I just googled him - pleasant enough but little to do with the narrative folk song Northern Ireland is renowned for
He wansn't the type I was referring to
Last Time I was at the club at C# House Cellar we were treated to someone reading the words of Buddy Holly songs from a phone
I have never used the term unacceptable - my complaint is that non fok songs have more otr less driven the traditional songs away - acculturation, I think is the technical term
There has never been a problem with contemporary songs a long as they fit easily in with traditional ones
omeone came into the Singers Club one night and gane Ewan and Peg a first edition set of Child - instead of raffling it, the Club ran a songwriting competition - John Pole won (the bastard!!)
If yhou can't see the difference between what I am saying and what you are, it reall is a waste of time us talking I'm sad to say

Regarding Sweet Thamas -
A highlight of last Sunday in Dublin was to hear a youngish woman sing it beautifully- as well as I've heard it for a long time - she sang it unaccompanied
If you can't manage to accompany it - don't bother - it doesn't need it
Jim


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Subject: RE: Where Have all the Folkies Gone
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Feb 19 - 02:39 PM

The singers club had a reputation, the one i knew was that it was prescriptive.although to be fair as performers the residents all had very good reputations as performers
ok, i have listened to the performer you mentioned, Dave, i am not sure the songs i listened to are folk songs, however he is a good performer of his comedy songs and other songs, personally i would rather listen to Martin Carthy who does sing folk songs, but that is personal taste, and no detriment to the perfomer you mentioned.
What does annoy me are the less competent singer songwriters who are not american and sing in false american accents.


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