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UK 60s Folk Club Boom?

Jim Carroll 15 Mar 19 - 07:36 AM
Vic Smith 15 Mar 19 - 07:37 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Mar 19 - 07:53 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Mar 19 - 08:47 AM
Vic Smith 15 Mar 19 - 09:21 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Mar 19 - 10:28 AM
Howard Jones 15 Mar 19 - 10:36 AM
Vic Smith 15 Mar 19 - 11:07 AM
Dave the Gnome 15 Mar 19 - 11:11 AM
Vic Smith 15 Mar 19 - 11:38 AM
Jim Carroll 15 Mar 19 - 11:39 AM
Vic Smith 15 Mar 19 - 12:18 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Mar 19 - 12:29 PM
Big Al Whittle 15 Mar 19 - 12:31 PM
Vic Smith 15 Mar 19 - 12:37 PM
Vic Smith 15 Mar 19 - 12:58 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Mar 19 - 02:04 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Mar 19 - 02:30 PM
The Sandman 15 Mar 19 - 02:33 PM
GUEST 15 Mar 19 - 03:25 PM
Vic Smith 15 Mar 19 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 15 Mar 19 - 04:03 PM
Vic Smith 15 Mar 19 - 04:43 PM
Jim Carroll 15 Mar 19 - 04:49 PM
Stewie 15 Mar 19 - 08:10 PM
Big Al Whittle 15 Mar 19 - 08:30 PM
Dave the Gnome 16 Mar 19 - 03:44 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 19 - 04:05 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Mar 19 - 04:32 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 19 - 04:41 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 19 - 04:44 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Mar 19 - 05:02 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Mar 19 - 05:32 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 19 - 05:33 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 19 - 05:34 AM
GUEST,jag 16 Mar 19 - 06:13 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Mar 19 - 06:35 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 19 - 06:45 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 19 - 06:55 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Mar 19 - 07:02 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Mar 19 - 07:25 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 19 - 07:27 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 16 Mar 19 - 07:38 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Mar 19 - 07:49 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 19 - 07:51 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Mar 19 - 08:09 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 Mar 19 - 08:27 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 19 - 08:58 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Mar 19 - 09:00 AM
The Sandman 16 Mar 19 - 09:34 AM
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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 07:36 AM

"800 - and still no answer to the original question. Is this a Mudcat record ?"
I would have thought that it was clear from the postings that nobody knew how many clubs there were - how could they
The question was vague anyway
The 'Boom lasted for several years during which time many clubs sprang up which had little to do with the actual industry-driven 'boom', but chose instead to start plundering works like The Penguin Book and The Singing Island and taking songs from the BBC collection
These clubs continued to grow long after the industry lost interest - that independant 'boom' continued into the 1980s
Now, it seems, the scene has returned back into the prdatory arms of the media as a measure of success
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 07:37 AM

Jim Bainbridge wrote:-
the idea that Ireland is a lost World of music is rubbish.
to which another Jim replied:-
You edto get out more Jim
I must admit that the idea that Jim Bainbridge needs to get out more (if that was what was intended in what I have quoted) made me smile. I have known him well since the 1960s and if I asked to award first prize for INCURABLE SESSION JUNKIE amongst all the hundreds of people that I have met through this music, there is little doubt that the first name to come into my mind would be that of Jim Bainbridge. I have played with him in sessions in four countries and although I go to many sessions and folk clubs I believe that this number is dwarfed by the number that Jim must have attended. Jim Bainbridge would find it difficult to get out more than he does.
However, this set me thinking, Jim Bainbridge implies that the spread of traditional music in Ireland is patchy - and he has lived all over Ireland, so that is an opinion that I respect... but still an opinion. Another opinion.... but still only an opinion, come from the other Jim and is that traditional music is now widespread and thriving all over the island.
I have recently returned from a month in the Gambia where I have been going every year now since 1997 and one of my purposes when I am there is to find and record the traditional music of Manding jalis. Experience has taught me not to go to the capital, Banjul, or the largest town, Serrekunda, or the north bank ferry town of Barra because I won't find jalis there; I would have much more success in Bansang, in Kembujae and particularly Brikama. If I go food shopping in the bustling, crowded Brikama market with my best Gambian friend, Jali Sheriffo Konteh, the chances are that we will bump into another jali that I have not met before and another contact is made. My impression, like that of Jim B. in Ireland is that the spread of jali traditional music in the Gambia is patchy though still thriving.... but again this is only an opinion.
What we need is some research that produces supportable facts. Now I need help here. Somewhere on the internet, I have seen a scatter graph map of the British Isles that plots the geographical location of every informant of the Victorian/Edwardian collectors - mainly using the Roud Index as a source. I wish I had downloaded it at the time because now I cannot find it and would welcome links from anyone who can locate it. Of course, it is only a retrospective version and it does raise questions; what about the Travellers? Did the collectors cover the counties methodically? Still, it did throw up some fascinating results. Huge concentrations - Aberdeenshire, Perthshire, East Anglia, Herefordshire, Sussex, Somerset as well as large areas that seemed to be traditional song deserts. Many more were located in the south of England than the north. Why were there more than 10 times as many names from Sussex as from Surrey and Kent combined? Are that three neighbouring counties that different? This would seem to be as factual as we are likely to get and it suggests that the spread of traditional music was patchy, particularly in England.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 07:53 AM

Howard
Sorry if I took you wrong
The word 'important' is often used to suggest a crusade to 'save' folksong for posterity rather than to enjoy it for what it basically is - a superb form of entertainment that we can all participate in (with a bit of work and thought)
Some clubs went for all kinds of songs (often referred to as 'Singing Horse clubs after the overused joke by a bluesman) - not all of them by any means
There were enough to choose, but the choice lay between the real stuff and the Zimmerman snigger-snogwriter wannabes - not the Victorian parlour ballad or early pop song stuff, or even the music hall stuff - that came later.
Topic was a good rule of thumd to gauge what was happening in the non navel-gazing side of the scene - when it did music hall stiff it did so as a separate issue (there are exceptions, of course)
"old man's stuff" - I'd care if my objective was to put bums on seats
Mixing in folk song with what appears to be happening now if not going to attract a single individual to folk music - why on earth should it
If you are going to call everything you do as folk song you are going to reduce those of us who involve ourselves in the real thing as a bunch of geriatric eccentrics - stuff that, thank you very much
The answer for me is an easy one - if you don't want to perform folk songs go and do your thing elsewhere under another name, you really have done enough damage (possibly irreparable as far as the next generation goes) as it is
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 08:47 AM

"made me smile. "
Anybody who describes the Irsh music scene as he did most certainly dos Vic - smile away
He may have lived in one of the dead spots but that fact that I can turn the radio on any night of the week and find good quality traditional music - often recorded sessions - seven nights of the week, says what needs saying
The music isn't "still thriving" - it nearly dies and is now soaring and will be for a generation or so
I'm afraid my view on Jim's take on the tradition is somewhat coloured by his summing up of the ballads (the "Muckle Sangs" according to Hamish Henderson) as "inappropriate"
Maybe we have different views on what the tradition is
I find it rather sad that people from a traditional scene which is in trouble should attempt to shoot down another which filling up with enthusiastic newcomers
Neither gracious nor helpful
(hope I managed to avoid typos in that Vic)
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 09:21 AM

Anybody who describes the Irsh music scene as he did most certainly dos
Well... and only since you are asking.... there are two in your first sentence.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 10:28 AM

Didn't expect anything more Vic - certainly not a response
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 10:36 AM

"Mixing in folk song with what appears to be happening now if not going to attract a single individual to folk music - why on earth should it?"

But then, why on earth shouldn't it? It didn't seem to put people off during the boom years, when (as others besides me have pointed out) the clubs presented a broader interpretation of "folk" than purely traditional. "What appears to be happening now" is nothing new. How many people in the 60s discovered traditional music from first listening to Bob Dylan and then exploring other aspects of folk? How many people familiar with Simon and Garfunkle's "Scarborough Fair" may then have siscovered Martin Carthy's version?

Someone hearing "Fairytale of New York" on the radio might look on Spotify for the Pogues, which might then introduce them to Oysterband, which might lead to their version of "Our Captain Cried All Hands" with June Tabor, which might then lead straight to Pop Maynard's version from VoTP - they're all on Spotify. It's easier than ever before to discover new music and follow connections, and young people are far more open-minded - if they like something they're not concerned with whatever label has been put on it.

You continue to assert that a broad interpretation of "folk" is both new and damaging, without providing any evidence that it is actually putting off young people. When festivals like Shrewsbury and Towersey, which attract sizeable young audiences, sell out rapidly I don't think this can be true.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 11:07 AM

Jim Carroll wrote
Didn't expect anything more Vic - certainly not a response

Good, then we understand one another. Unlike others on this thread, I will never allow myself to submit myself to your self-imposed role as interrogator here.

I thoroughly disprove of Mudcat's allowance of unnamed GUEST posting here - and have objected to this several times - because they are sometimes mischief-making and the source of insults. In fact the GUEST who posted at 12 Mar 19 - 05:36 AM was verging on the insulting in his pithy description of you. However he does ask a vital question when he writes He talks about "judgements"; are all the other participants in this thread happy to accept the didactic pronouncements of the...three words that I would rather not quote... as the sole arbiter of "what is suitable to be called folk"?

The answer from me to that question is a resounding "NO".


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 11:11 AM

Nothing wrong with a bit of an interrogation, Vic, but no one expects the Spanish Inquisition :-)


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 11:38 AM

The Spanish Inquisition


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 11:39 AM

"I will never allow myself to submit myself to your self-imposed role as interrogator here."
Others seem happy to consider it lively discussion Vic
". as the sole arbiter of "what is suitable to be called folk"? "
Are you seriously suggesting taht what I am arguing has peen solely my view Vic
I have given sources and quotes for every single claim I have made - people regularly refer to my arguments as 'mine' but they most certainly are not
IF that's your attitude maybe it's just as well we don't wish to talk to each other - I certainly have no wish to take this any further
Out as far as this revealing incident is concerned
"But then, why on earth shouldn't it?"
Because it never has Howard - erzatz folk only attracts an interest in erzatz folk - god knows what the present stuff attracts
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 12:18 PM

Jim again -
"as the sole arbiter of "what is suitable to be called folk"? "
Are you seriously suggesting taht what I am arguing has peen solely my view Vic


I am suggesting nothing. It should be clear from reading the post and the fact that these words are in italics that this is a quotation. If you want an answer to this then you must direct your question to the person who wrote it; in this case unnamed GUEST 12 Mar 19 - 05:36 AM


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 12:29 PM

"I am suggesting nothing. "
"However he does ask a vital question when he writes "
Not suggesting anything - then why put up the quote as " vital question" Vic - especially when you are not prepared to back it up with argument?
This argument may have been vigorous, intense and even personal on occasion (not from me) bt it has never been nasty - until now
Forget it
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 12:31 PM

Let me explain Jim.

To be a decent (not inspired) just competent folk guitarist you must work diligently at your craft for at least ten years (Paul Downes reckoned, and I think it was a conservative estimate).

I very much doubt that playing the violin is much easier.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 12:37 PM

bt it has never been nasty - until now

No? Not even when you made an insulting comment on 7th February which I objected to a day later and then the mods removed both your insult and my objection as it made no sense for it to remain as yours had been removed?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 12:58 PM

I must apologise - the date of your post was the 17th February not the 7th.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 02:04 PM

"I very much doubt that playing the violin is much easier."
I've no idea Al -I don't play either neither do I care too much - as someone ahas alreafdy said, folk music is an Art, it doesn't need to be a competition
I do know the incredible skill that goes into playing these instruments - especially by young people, is worthy of a little more than the begrudgery that has been shown here
Hardy encouraging for those making the effort

Vic whatever I said I said, it's no excuse for your behavior here
Up to now the discussion has been fairly civilised - I've come to accept 'folk police' and 'purist as par for the course
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 02:30 PM

By the way Vic - I find no trace of my 17th February posting but I can only assume it was in response to your:
"How someone thinks that improvement can be brought by persistent repetitive and badly-researched negativity is beyond me"
Personally, I find that extremely personally insulting when being aimed at someone who has spent half a century of singing, organising and researching the subject we are discussing
ou got as good as you have, it seems to me, the difference being that I didn't feel the need to run to sir as you did
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 02:33 PM

jim carroll quote"The usual line was,   there are ten year old in Ireland who play better fiddle than Swarbrick."
There weren't then - there are now Al
THIS IS AN OVER SIMPLIFICATION , VERY FEW 10 YEAR OLD FIDDLERS CAN ACCOMP0ANY SONGS AS WELL AS DAVE SWARBRICK. YOU SEE IT DEPENDS ON THE ASPECT OF FIDDLE PLAYING THAT IS BEING DISCUSSED.
personally i have not seen 10 year old fiddlers who are better than Dave, there are some very good teenage fiddlers, but while thay may be technicaly excellent and good at,l but it is akin to comparing apples and oranges
dave swarbrick played trad music other than irish and plyed it well, but he had skills that they did not possess.
Some body once said to me you are not as good as noel hill, what a stupid remark, i may not play reels as well as noel but he cannot accompany songs as well as me, we are different we play different systems of concertina, remarks like that just show how ignorant some people are , this music is not a competition, variety is what it is about


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 03:25 PM

Sandman/Dick-
             Like yourself, I was in West Cork in the 90s and as you well know, there was such a dearth of musicians to entertain the tourists that they had to employ a blow-in Geordie to do it!
What music there was came mainly from other English immigrants, largely with a background in English (mainly southern) folk clubs.

Seems things are a bit better now, but I do not believe that it is any more than patchy ANYWHERE in Ireland- I suspect the multiple TVs have driven the music out of most of the pubs, although there is certainly a decent scene in the homes of Ireland- which is where it all started after all!
Of course it's patchy in Northumberland and Sussex too- it's still a minority activity, as in Ireland, although nowhere in England suffers from the ghastly musical depths of the Irish Country scene!

Music in some parts of England thrives despite the almost total lack of support from the authorities in England, in contrast to the CCE/State support in Ireland.

Thanks for the kind words Vic, your club was always a second home to me, along with a few others & you & Tina deserve a lot of credit for the way you ran it for all those years....


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 03:30 PM

You are digging yourself a hole, Jim.

* You cannot find your 17th February post because it was deleted by the moderators and in that case all reference to it on Mudcat goes.

* By posting "ou got as good as you have, it seems to me, the difference being that I didn't feel the need to run to sir as you did" you are assuming that the insult was against me. It wasn't. You were being rude about another person, though I don't suppose that you remember who it was - but I do. Neither is the first time that this has happened. Previously you made extremely defamatory remarks about a friend of mine, Bryan Creer (The Snail), a person you have never even met. As in this case I objected not on personal grounds but because I found the comment unpleasant, untrue and unnecessary. Again both the insult and my objection to it were removed and in that case a warning to close the thread was issued.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 04:03 PM

last guest was me- sorry...


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 04:43 PM

Well, it doesn't say it but the post at 15 Mar 19 - 03:25 PM must be from Jim Bainbridge. There are a few things that I would like to add to it.
Jim B wrote. -
I was in West Cork in the 90s and as you well know, there was such a dearth of musicians to entertain the tourists that they had to employ a blow-in Geordie to do it!
What music there was came mainly from other English immigrants, largely with a background in English (mainly southern) folk clubs.

Tina and I visited you in Durras a few times in those years. You were going to take us to a session one night. You said "Would you like to go the Dutch Irish session or the English Irish session?" I thought it was a joke until we ended up in Ballydehob (memory suggests that the pub was called Rosie McCanns?) and I found that was true - the participants were English immigrants.
Jim again -
Seems things are a bit better now, but I do not believe that it is any more than patchy ANYWHERE in Ireland- I suspect the multiple TVs have driven the music out of most of the pubs, although there is certainly a decent scene in the homes of Ireland- which is where it all started after all!
Big Screen football TVs are just part of the problem. What were once clubrooms that organisations could hire have become restaurants but landlords who reckon that they can make more from food than they can from drink. Either that or the cost of hiring the room has made it prohibitive for hand to mouth folk clubs. Pub closures in England are currently running at 40 per week. We have lost three in recent years in Lewes but there are still five that feature sessions on a weekly or monthly basis. We have sessions in our kitchen which can comfortably sit 15 and we go to singarounds in other peoples' houses. Lots of activity but all below the radar.
You also ran a folk club in Schull (memory tells me that it was called "The Courtyard"?) and you booked Tina and I there. I remember looking through the guest list leaflet and seeing that the three previous guests had been mutual Scots mates that we had heard at TMSA festivals. Didn't say much for the local talent.
Also in Schull you took us to a session that you led with an English guitarist (Patrick Forester?) and the pub was heaving and we could hardly get in. What had happened was that your guitarist had been working away one week and you had asked another locally based guitarist to deputise - a man called Christy Moore. The word had got around and the possibilty that the great man might be there the following week had packed the pub out.
Jim -
Of course it's patchy in Northumberland and Sussex too- it's still a minority activity, as in Ireland.
It always was and it always will be. It doesn't make it any less enjoyable though. A night of good music - session, singaround, folk club, concert gives an incredible lift.
______________________________________
Finally, a short funny story. After we left you in Cork one year, we went to Clare and ended up in Miltown Malbay. We went into an attractive gift shop and were looking around. The only other customers in the shop were an older American couple. It was in the week leading up to their "Darling Girl Of Clare" festival. A local woman came in, not to buy but to have a chat to the shop assistant. There was a gap in the conversation and then the visitor looked around the shop.
Visitor - "Well, are ye all ready for your 'Darling Girl'?"
Shop Assistant - "On don't be talking! I haven't got over my 'Willie Week' yet."
The Americans opened their eyes wide and looked at one another. I think they were wondering what they has stumbled on.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 04:49 PM

"You are digging yourself a hole, Jim."!
Not me Vic
I've d given you what kicked off our argument - Bryan's name doesn't even appear on the list here - you never mentioned his posting being deleted and I certainly would never have made an extremely abusive comment to someone who isn't part of the discussion - I find behaviour like that offensive and have commented on it often enough when others have done it
You were offensive then as you have been again here
It's always been my experience that those who abuse are usually the first ones go go running to the headmaster
I tried to put an end to this and you continue it
I am not going to continue with this - feel free to do so - I've had enough of it
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Stewie
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 08:10 PM

Dave and Vic, your Spanish Inquisition brought this to mind. It's somewhat over the top, but quite amusing:

Click

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Mar 19 - 08:30 PM

The thing is Jim - this attitude you have - believe me is not confined to folk music.

Its a sort of naively quantitative view of things. The more notes you hit cleanly, the faster you play...

i think maybe the Suzuki method started it in Japan. Fifty kids in a room all learning ... something or other.

There are guitar institutes churning out heavy metal, jazz guitarists..god alone knows what else. But they all have twelve-year-old prodigies boring the arse off anyone unfortunate enough to get trapped into listening.

Its all over the world and basically it stinks. Of course you say, very good, wonderful! Cos they're kids and proud parents and its nice to be nice.

But privately I wonder which lunatic thought this mad scenario up. Basically I think its just another aspect of that hydra headed monster - the music business. Someone's making a dollar in there somewhere.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 03:44 AM

I think you have got hold of the wrong end of the stick, Jim. Vic was talking about 2 separate incidents and you have conflated them into one. Not being insulting, patronising or any other ing here, just trying to help. These discussions would go much more smoothly if we were all to read what was actually said and focus on what the point really is.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 04:05 AM

"I think you have got hold of the wrong end of the stick, Jim. V"Isn't that alqways the case Dave ?
I've finished with that unpleasant attitude - I'm sorry you wish to continue with it
I read what has been said and attempt to reply to them - pity others don't do the same
Have no Idea where Suzuki guitars fit in with what is essentially an unaccompanied art
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 04:32 AM

Once again a response totally out of step with the point raised. Sorry, Jim. I really do like most of our conversations but I have come to the point where I have realised that we are often speaking a different language. Now, as discussion is a two way thing, I know part of that must be down to me but as I understand what most others mean and most others get the real gist of what I say, I think it is fair for you to shoulder some of the responsibility. Try reading others posts more carefully before shooting from the hip.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 04:41 AM

We are speaking in different languages when it comes to folk song Dave
As far as this unpleasant incident is concerned, I have deliberately chosen to leave it behind in order to keep what discussion we have alive
These threads have a nasty habit of being closed when they get personal - quite rightly
I was serious when I said otheres haven't addressed my points - I gave a list a long time ago of what I believe distinguises folk song proper from much of the stuff you and others argues can claim the description 'folk'
Can you honesly say there has been a response to this fundamental question (other than "people regard folk differently now") has been responded to - if so, where
Where does that leave the genuine 'Voice of the People' ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 04:44 AM

It would be gratifying if somebody at least attempted to show how my list was inaccurate
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 05:02 AM

Humour me, Jim. Give us the list again or at least a link to where it is and I will respond. But do bear in mind what I have already pointed out. There are two types of music that I would welcome in any folk club. One is traditional folk music and the other is contemporary music in the folk idiom. The first is unquestionably set in stone. It is the latter that is disputed. We are not arguing about what is traditional folk and I am sure that your list defines that very well. We are discussing what defines the folk idiom in contemporary music. That is, I believe, subjective and cannot be categorised by a simple set of conditions.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 05:32 AM

I suppose there is a third set - traditional folk played in a contemporary fashion such as folk rock. But as we are not likely to get the likes of Steeleye Span down at the local folk club can we discount that? We are, after all, discussing folk clubs here.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 05:33 AM

"There are two types of music that I would welcome in any folk club. One is traditional folk music and the other is contemporary music in the folk idiom."
My argument from day one Dave - I've goven myself typist's cramp repeating it
The problem is your interpretation of what constitutes 'the folk idiom'
Our folk songs are basically word dominated, narrative communications of ideas and emotions - accompaniment, where it occurs (which is hardly ever in the case of British singing) is secondary to the narrative
The characters in the songs are identifiable people, usually with occupations and individuality, not the identityless ciphers of pop songs
They have problems and situations we can all identify with, which is why our folk songs have lasted as long as they have
Structurally they ar four or eight line versified, they may have choruses but they hardly ever repeat phrases other than as a plot device - unlike the endless and usually mindless over and over repetition   
That, in my opinion, is 'the folk idiom'
How the hell does your Ed Sheeran or The kinks... or much of what passes fro 'contemporary folk" fit into any of that
The original list is on another thread I think - I'll dig it out if you insist, but I can assure you, you have not responded to it despite my requesting you to do so several times
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 05:34 AM

There is excellent book entitled 'Idiom of the People' by James Reeves, which gives some superb examples of what I have described
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,jag
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 06:13 AM

not the identityless ciphers of pop songs
I don't listen to pop, but hearit all around. That is nonsense.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 06:35 AM

Thanks Jim. We are back on track and almost in agreement about what we are discussing. Discount traditional folk, which is taken as read. Discount folk rock, as that is not played in folk clubs and we are left with the only discussion point being contemporary songs in the folk idiom. Which is what I said. I do however disagree with your statement "The problem is your interpretation of what constitutes 'the folk idiom'". That is not the problem. The problem is that our interpretations of what constitutes 'the folk idiom' differ.

But let's leave that for now and go to your points made about what a song in the folk idiom comprises of. These are :-

1. word dominated, narrative communications of ideas and emotions
2. accompaniment, where it occurs is secondary to the narrative
3. The characters in the songs are identifiable people, usually with occupations and individuality
4. They have problems and situations we can all identify with
5. Structurally they ar four or eight line versified, they may have choruses but they hardly ever repeat phrases other than as a plot device

Before I begin to address these I want to make sure that you are saying that if a song (not the singer or the performance) contains these elements, it is in the folk idiom. What about the melodic structure? Should we discount this and, if not, other than it sounds folky, how do we define that?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 06:45 AM

"(not the singer or the performance) "
Nope - not saying anything of the sort Dave
A singer needs sto sing a narrative song alternatively in order for it to do its job and communicate - you can't have one without t' other - that's what the audences came to listen to
Anyone can sing a folk song pop style, or put an orchestral accomaniment to it, or sing it like Dame Nellie Melba - once they do any of these things it becomes something else
That's what Rod Stewart did with 'Wild Mountain Thyme' or Shirley Ellis did all those years ago with 'Rubber Dolly'
They become something else   
THere's nothing wroong with any of that until you startd describing it as 'folk'
The melody is there to carry the words in our traditions
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 06:55 AM

Best description I know of folk tunes - "the canvas on which the singer paints his/her songs"
Works for me
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 07:02 AM

and some of us prefer colours other than rustic sepia


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 07:25 AM

Ok. Got that, Jim. The performance is as important as the song. I can go with that. So, in addition to your other points, the song has to be sung in a folky way to be considered in the folk idiom. Yes?

I am not sure what point you are making about the singer though. I agree fully that Rod Stewart's recording of Wild Mountain Time does not pass the test but what if he were to sing it unaccompanied in a folk club? Not likely I know but I am trying to establish if who is singing has a bearing rather than how they are singing it.

The other question I asked is does the melody come into it and, if so, how do we measure that?


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 07:27 AM

"and some of us prefer colours other than rustic sepia"
Nobody says you have to like folk song Al
About time a few more people admitted that they don't - thanks for that
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 07:38 AM

I'm trying to stick to the thread heading & there's little doubt the British folk club boom was very valuable in Britain, but also a catalyst to the Irish traditional scene, which was seriously struggling at the time.
There were few Northumbrian pipers in that county in the 60s and likewise few uilleann pipers in Ireland, but the numbers are FAR higher now- their quality is a matter of opinion, of course.

During a spell working in Newcastle around 1960, Luke Kelly attended the local folk club & was amazed to find these foreign singers' repertoire included songs his own family had. This gave him new respect for the songs, and he never looked back!

I remember Christy Moore being delighted to find Ted Poole of Swindon staying with us in West Cork - his words- 'Jasus, you two were the only ones who would book me in those days'....
So the 'boom' has had lasting effect on both sides of the Irish Sea, but maybe its day has now gone?
In Britain in the 60s, the rarity of a new Topic/Folkways LP was a major event, not to mention the legendary Caedmon series. Via the clubs, we all had the chance to meet such as Davie Stewart and Paddy Tunney, and to learn they were not just a disembodied voice on a piece of vinyl, but real people with a real story to tell, often illustrated by songs and stories.
I never met Sam Larner or Harry Cox, but have little doubt they were the same- Rod Stradling's great work is in preserving the material of fine singers like Daisy Chapman and the recordings of Keith Summers. BUT, I would always contend that this is a live music, with recordings a poor second to that and modern interpreters of the old songs lack the validity and background of someone like Fred Jordan. Maybe that's why Rod's excellent productions don't sell well?

   No disrespect to younger singers, but whatever their quality as judged by the objective observer/listener, the way in which the old songs were only a part of an individual lifestyle (fishing, farming, busking whatever) is lost for ever. Rod knows this, but even the comprehensive and informative accompanying leaflets do not bridge the gap.

Mention of all these youngsters playing & singing in Ireland- I know it's true in terms of numbers, but as Big Al more or less says- 'numbers don't equal quality' - technically skilled groups of people playing fast & furious stuff has nothing to do with folk or traditional music, nor does an Irish Gaelic name add any validity. I'd run a mile to escape groups like 'BOGEI' 'FAECSE' or whatever- this is all commercial hype, and I'd much rather listen to the Kinks- IMHO it's about COMMUNICATION and the KINKS got much nearer to that than all this alleged traditional stuff....


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 07:49 AM

So, Jim, in addition to your original points that I repeated 16 Mar 19 - 06:35 AM we need to add they way the song is performed. Is that right?

I want to make sure I fully understand what measures you are setting to define the folk idiom before I respond. We have had enough misunderstandings already. I

I would appreciate your views on how we decide if the melody is folky enough as well.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 07:51 AM

"I'm trying to stick to the thread heading & there's little doubt the British folk club boom was very valuable in Britain, but also a catalyst to the Irish traditional scene, which was seriously struggling at the time."
When the revival came on the scene Ireland still had a thriving tradition - musicians like Willie Clancy, Bobby Casey... and singers like Joe Heaney, Paddy Tunney.... and many many others
The Willie Clancy Summer School was built on living traditional singers and musicians and Tom Munnelly was turning in thousands of songs from living traditional singers - Tom was regarded as the most prolific collector in Europe in his lifetime
Ireland didn't need a revival - it still had the real thing so they created a situation where youngsters could learn from it
They had their 'Folk Boom period, which came and went, allowing the real lovers of tradition to get back to the real thing
The fact that they built a foundation on that 'real thing' has guaranteed a future for the Irish tradition, which is more than can be said for England
As has been amply demonstrated here, England has abandoned its tradition and replaced it with something with a short shelf life
What world do yuo occupy Jim
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 08:09 AM

And some of us think your idea of folksong is mistaken. And maybe it's about time you admitted that it is a point of view we're entitled to.

so please stop telling us that the music we have loved all our lives isn't folk music.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 08:27 AM

So, to be in the folk idiom a song must meet the following criteria :-

1. word dominated, narrative communications of ideas and emotions
2. accompaniment, where it occurs is secondary to the narrative
3. The characters in the songs are identifiable people, usually with occupations and individuality
4. They have problems and situations we can all identify with
5. Structurally they ar four or eight line versified, they may have choruses but they hardly ever repeat phrases other than as a plot device
6. Performed in a traditional "fo!ky" style

No mention as yet of the melody.

Is this correct? If not, what have I got wrong?

Sorry to keep labouring this but I do want to make sure I fully understand what you believe to be in the folk idiom before I respond.


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 08:58 AM

"No mention as yet of the melody."

Sorry - I could have sworn I wrote
The melody is there to carry the words in our traditions
est description I know of folk tunes - "the canvas on which the singer paints his/her songs"
Works for me
Keep up Dave - I thought I was the one who didn't read what people said

"must meet the following criteria"
There's no rule Dave - that's how our songs in the folk idiom are structured - nothing to do with definition
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 09:00 AM

"And some of us think your idea of folksong is mistaken"
Once again - not mine Al
Folk song is far too well documented to need my imput
If you have an alternative explanation you have to put it - your problem is nobody can agree on another - or hasn't so far
Jim


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Subject: RE: UK 60s Folk Club Boom?
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Mar 19 - 09:34 AM

Alan lomax described jessie james as an american folk song, the song was written by billy gashade, does that make it a contemporary folk song, he calls the bookthe penguin book of american folk songs, check mate, jim. or are you more of an authority tahn alan lomax


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