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The 'New Folk Movement'?

MichaelAnthony 21 Aug 00 - 11:06 PM
Art Thieme 21 Aug 00 - 07:05 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 21 Aug 00 - 06:34 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 18 Aug 00 - 12:28 PM
Rana who SHOULD be working 18 Aug 00 - 10:37 AM
Kim C 18 Aug 00 - 10:22 AM
Jim the Bart 17 Aug 00 - 02:12 PM
Bill D 17 Aug 00 - 01:34 PM
Sean Belt 17 Aug 00 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,Paul G. 17 Aug 00 - 12:07 PM
Art Thieme 17 Aug 00 - 11:17 AM
Mbo 17 Aug 00 - 11:15 AM
GUEST,Russ 17 Aug 00 - 11:06 AM
MichaelM 16 Aug 00 - 02:40 PM
Jim the Bart 16 Aug 00 - 02:34 PM
Whistle Stop 16 Aug 00 - 01:04 PM
Jeri 16 Aug 00 - 11:31 AM
Naemanson 16 Aug 00 - 06:13 AM
Thomas the Rhymer 16 Aug 00 - 03:27 AM
Jeri 16 Aug 00 - 01:41 AM
catspaw49 15 Aug 00 - 11:54 PM
gillymor 15 Aug 00 - 11:35 PM
Mbo 15 Aug 00 - 11:27 PM
gillymor 15 Aug 00 - 11:18 PM
GUEST,Brett Valentine 15 Aug 00 - 10:39 PM
Bill D 15 Aug 00 - 10:37 PM
Max 15 Aug 00 - 10:26 PM
Bill D 15 Aug 00 - 10:17 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 15 Aug 00 - 09:56 PM
Art Thieme 15 Aug 00 - 09:39 PM
Paul G. 13 Aug 00 - 12:39 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Aug 00 - 08:31 PM
Susan from California 12 Aug 00 - 01:45 PM
Naemanson 12 Aug 00 - 12:26 PM
MichaelM 12 Aug 00 - 12:14 PM
Rana 12 Aug 00 - 08:35 AM
Metchosin 12 Aug 00 - 03:59 AM
GUEST,Barry Finn 11 Aug 00 - 11:47 PM
Paul G. 11 Aug 00 - 11:23 PM
Art Thieme 11 Aug 00 - 10:14 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 11 Aug 00 - 08:56 PM
MichaelM 11 Aug 00 - 07:53 PM
Bill D 11 Aug 00 - 05:19 PM
Kim C 11 Aug 00 - 03:37 PM
Whistle Stop 11 Aug 00 - 02:12 PM
Naemanson 11 Aug 00 - 01:20 PM
Mbo 11 Aug 00 - 12:23 PM
Metchosin 11 Aug 00 - 12:19 PM
Clinton Hammond2 11 Aug 00 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 11 Aug 00 - 11:27 AM
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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: MichaelAnthony
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 11:06 PM

Elliot Smith (Good Will Hunting soundtrack) and Aimee Mann (Magnolia soundtrack) are two writers that show me I should check out contempory writers with an open mind. I have to search, but I'm finding things.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 07:05 PM

Thomas,

I plead guilty to just about everything on your good list -- at least some of my time was spent with all those various aspects of the subculture. Substitute beatnik for hippie and anything at all for rocker and I'd be your man.

For some reason I'm left thinking about an organization that Utah Phillips wanted to form back about 25 years. It was called Y.A.W.N.

Stood for: YOUTH AGAINST WHATEVER'S NEXT !!!

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 21 Aug 00 - 06:34 PM

Then again,...Folk will take on whatever form the young and the restless like it in. Which is more important,... form or content?


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 12:28 PM

I like old books. I like songs that speak of the richness of life. I like the term 'folk' musician too, because it tells people what they want to hear. Some of the words that come to mind are... Introvert, Radical, Conservative, Hippie, Malcontent, Christian Revivalist, Moldy Fig, Labor Unionist, Protester, Campfire Singer, Upbeat Storyteller, Depressing Balladeer, Singer/songwriter therapist, Acoustic (Rock Wannabe), Aging Rocker, Traditionalist...

But between you and me,... JUST WHAT IS THE ROOT OF ALL FOLK?

I've been looking through a nifty old book called "Aesthetic Motive" by Elizabeth Schneider. Here's a quote...

"If the solution of the problem is, as many writers believe,that each artist restates eternal truths in terms of his own generation-then what are these eternal truths? and why does each generation find at least as much "inspiration" in the art of the past as in that of its own time? Moreover, although there is no general agreement that contemporary work in any art is superior to all past art, nevertheless there are generally recognized and unmistakable changes from age to age in what gives aesthetic pleasure, as in the history, for example, of musical concords, where we find that the now pleasant concord of a major third was once a discord.

There are, to be sure, those who believe that the pleasure derived from old writers and artists is merely a conventional cult, without reality and that actually, art of the present is always superior to that of the past. But in general those most intensely interested in art do not feel this to be true."


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Rana who SHOULD be working
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 10:37 AM

It is also interesting to listen to "folk-singers'" versions of songs that were note originally "folk"

Dick Gaughan made the Rolling Stones' Ruby Tuesday into a superb "folk-song".

Norma Waterson's solo CDs have interpreted many songs really well. As has June Tabor's 'non-folk' stuff.

What it comes down to is there is that there is no black and white, just a very large area with differing amounts of grey. The problem comes when people want to impose strict definitions which eventually begin to contradict themselves which is clear from a different thread on the Mudcat. However, if it is good music it will stand the test of time, no matter what the label. People are arguing over the label, which at least, shouldn't detract from a whole load of excellent music

Cheers

Rana


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Kim C
Date: 18 Aug 00 - 10:22 AM

Let us also note that some of the songs considered "folk" today were popular songs when they were written, such as the works of Thomas Moore, or George Root, or William Bradbury. They were popular songs that were handed down through history and so now they're "folk." But they weren't when they were written! So consider the possibility of the Beatles being "folk" music 100 years from now, because I'm pretty damn sure people will be handing those songs down for years to come.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 02:12 PM

I tell people I play "Neo-Folk and Americana". What does it mean? Whatever you think it means is fine with me. What do I mean by it? Some stuff you've never heard and some stuff you think you heard a long time ago, but it sounded different then. Mostly it's whatever the hell I feel like singing today with acoustic guitar and harmonica, to boot.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 01:34 PM

ah, Sean...that is truly as nice a way of getting at it that I have heard in ages...You manage to explain that there IS a difference without pretending to label and 'define'......I should learn to be so gentle with it...


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Sean Belt
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 12:24 PM

In my sets, I'm likely to sing a combination of 'stuff'. I'll likely include a couple of ballads like 'Lady Margaret' and/or 'Come All You Fair & Tender Ladies', then shift to Old-Time music - 'Handsome Molly' for example. I'll also include 'Hesitation Blues' or 'Delia' because I love blues and ahve played them for years. Then maybe throw in some Richard Thompson, John Prine, or Dar Williams song that fits the mood. And I almost never play an evening without singing "Love Hurts" and "The Dark End of The Street" because I am always effected in a positive way by singing them.

So, some of it's folk and some of it's not. But I like all of it.

If someone asks what kind of music I play, I usually say old songs. If they press for more information, we can talk about blues and folk and old time country and what they mean. And the person I'm talking with probably goes away with a completely different concept of those terms than I hold in my head and heart.

As others in this discussion have stated, the distinction really shouldn't be about labels, but about quality and sincerity. Or something like that, anyway.

- Sean


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: GUEST,Paul G.
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 12:07 PM

Russ has added a great twist to this thread. This really hits home with me because I'm frequently asked to categorize, define, explain, or otherwise lable my music. "Folk" or "Contemporary Folk" (yes, I know some of you will consider this an oxymoron) are the easiest of those answers because they elicit notions of acoustic music outside of the pop and country gernres -- though I don't find it a complete or even satifying response, so I usually end up in the long conversations Russ tries to avoid...I once replied "Florida Music" and the questioner said "Oh, like Jimmy Buffett!" So I don't use that terminology any longer...

pg


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 11:17 AM

I usually say, "The story songs. The ones from history that can (and sometimes do) tell us how we got from there to here and what we did along the way."

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Mbo
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 11:15 AM

I like "I play 'stuff'." It's true.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 11:06 AM

Personally, I love the fact that "folk music" is so vague.

Sometimes the cat escapes the bag and acquaintances or colleagues at work learn that I am an amateur musician. "What sort of music do you do?" they ask. At that point, I must decide how long I want the ensuing conversation to be.

If I want it to be short I answer "folk music." The nice thing about the term "folk music" is that most people think they have some idea what it is. Better, most people know that folk music is NOT pop, rock 'n' roll, bluegrass, rap, new age or any of the other genres they might hear on the radio or TV. Best, most people (outside this forum, of course) think they know enough about folk music to know that it is a genre that they are not very interested in. Thus, "folk music" tends to be a nice, polite "conversation stopper."

Sometimes the person I am talking to will say something like "Oh, you mean stuff like The Kingston Trio/Joan Baez/ (your favorite folksinger's name here) did/does?" My personal rule is that no matter whom they name, I say "Yes." That normally ends a conversation that I didn't want to get into anyway.

On the other hand, if, in my judgment, the asker can handle a long conversation and discourse, and I am in the mood for such, I answer "Old Time Music." Generally nobody except the people who play it or have friends or significant others who play it have any idea what it is and it takes a while to explain it.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: MichaelM
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 02:40 PM

Susan from California, the book is Young Men and Fire by Norman Maclean (author of A River Runs Through It). I happen to be re-reading Young Men & Fire when I stumbled onto this thread. Frankly I prefer the book to the song.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 02:34 PM

IMHO
Some of John Gorka's stuff is great, some is product. I guess that's what happens when a recording career has to be fed.

I'm afraid that the fact that everything and everyone gets recorded as soon as they make their first marketable sound has caused the folk process irreparable harm. Melodies aren't allowed to mature, or lyrics to develop, when definitive versions are committed to tape (or disc). Songs don't mutate they way they used to; they aren't allowed to gestate regionally or locally. Any new development or idea is spread around the world almost instantly, usually before it "grows legs" to stand on its own. So we get a lot o'crap with the occasional dash of pure genius.

Me? I'll listen to as much as I can, take the best and leave the rest behind.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 01:04 PM

Susan from California, the song sung by Richard Shindell on the Cry Cry Cry CD is called "Cold Missouri Water," by James Keelaghan. It's a very moving work, and I found myself reflecting on it a lot the past couple of weeks. It's based on a true story, by the way, which was recounted in a popular book a few years ago -- I think it was called "Young Men and Fire," or some such title.

Regarding the "what is folk?" question (sorry, I can't resist), it is interesting to me that people who are trying to guard the definition of "folk" don't seem to care about the definitions of other forms of music -- rock and roll, jazz, "pop," etc. (as evidenced by the "that's not folk, it's pop" comments that use the word "pop" as a catch-all). It might be worth exploring this, in order to reveal a greater truth about this topic. What is "pop"? Is it just music that's popular? How popular? Does it have to be universally popular, or is popularity within a specific demographic enough? If so, doesn't that mean that folk music IS pop music, because it's popular among folkies?

Consider these rhetorical questions, which point up the silliness of this debate. Like Humpty Dumpty in "Alice In Wonderland," we can choose to make words mean whatever we want them to mean, relying on whatever justifications appeal to us. But we cannot force others to abide by our definitions, no matter how sensible we consider them to be. Ultimately, language is not created (or modified) by the purists, or the pedants, or the self-anointed keepers of the flame. It is made by the people, for the people. It is just as much a folk tradition as anything we've ever discussed in this forum, and it will remain so, everyone's protests notwithstanding.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 11:31 AM

Now that we've got the argument about words out of the way (I hope! At least I feel better now.) we can talk about singer-songwriter, alternative, avant-guarde, pop, whatever music we like. I like James Keelaghan, Garnet Rogers, Darden Smith, Shawn Colvin (although I like her older CD's better, and can leave the latest ones.) I'd probably like Richard Thompson as I've liked most of his songs I've heard other people do. Word on Usenet has it that Eliza Carthy's next CD (to be released soon) will be "pop," so that may fit here. She does both traditional folk and new music, and does them both well.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Naemanson
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 06:13 AM

I think this is the same as arguing religion. We aren't going to change anyone's mind about what is or isn't folk music.

But it's fun to discuss it.

Let me see if I have the positions right.

There is one faction that holds that folk music is traditional music only. I think part of there position is that it can have elements of traditional music in it and still be folk.

There is another faction that holds that folk is an amorphous body of work consisting of traditional, traditional style, and new music. I'm not sure how the representatives of this faction distinguish between folk and other forms of music.

And there is another faction that thinks this discussion is for the birds. If we like it and we are folkies then it is folk. Plus this faction sees the distinctions only as a way for the stores and the media to categorise music and musicians.

I think I would like to take the role of mediator and score keeper in this discussion but, alas, I have my own views on the subject.

Music categories are becoming blurred these days though that is not a new problem for music. There have always been cross over musicians. Look at O'Carolan and the classical influence on his music. Look at all the serious composers who incorporated folk and jazz into their "classical" work.

I'm afraid I've always seen the singer/songwriter as soft rock wannabes. Some don't seem to be very good at getting there but that appears to be their goal. And, as with ALL other forms of music, some of their stuff is very good. But I agree that categories exist for the convenience of others and all we will ever be able to say is, "I like music."

I challenge all of you to honestly say there is some form of music of which you hate all its elements and form. Please note, that some of what you may hate in its original form will be very nice when played in a slightly different style. I have heard Beatles and Rolling Stones tunes played in song circles and on coffeehouse stages that were very nice indeed. It wasn't until the song was half over that I recognized it as being a rock song.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 03:27 AM

That intangible quality; call it folk.
I like it best when I'm flat broke,
Some find it background for a joke

Elegant? well,... maybe so...
Sad or happy, fast or slow,
It doesn't matter, I dont know,
Which or when or where to go

But this I do know, try it out!
Don't analyze and poke and pout...
Opinions aren't what its about,
Oh Boy! WE DO FOR CHORUS, SHOUT!

Preservation gives me hopes
The Past will show us the new ropes
And believe not now the marketing dopes
Just sidestep progress; folk elopes!


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Jeri
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 01:41 AM

It's OK, Bill D and Spaw, not all of us are buying into it. I do like a lot of other types of music, but it's not folk. If all music is folk music, then why not just call it "music?" Why are you bothering with ANY label?

Classical composers who incorporate folk music are still composing classical music. A jazz rendition of a rock song is still jazz. A country western artist who performs a blues song is still singing country western. Why is there some great need to call everything "folk?"

My dictionary says "folk song, 1. a song made and handed down among the common people: folk songs are usually of anonymous authorship and often have many variations. 2. a song composed in imitation of such a song." At least with definition #2 there's some tradition involved. The thing that bothers me about pop music swiping the term "folk" is there's nothing left to call songs that fit the dictionary definition. I try to tell people I like folk music, and they automatically assume I'm a Jewell or Bob Dylan fan. (Well, I do like Dylan, but that wasn't what I was talking about.)

Before anyone jumps in here with the tired old whine about people being pedantic, please first explain why it's so important to you to call pop music "folk," and why you're bothering with any label if everything fits into the category. If there are going to be labels, they should mean something. Oh well, I think I'll just give up and go to bed...


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 11:54 PM

Hey Bill........This argument was a lot more fun when we could at least all agree on a few simple distinctions. Now we're talking about whether music is good or bad or something.

Honestly people, classifications are simply a way to save time and money in the record store or at the coffeehouse/venue. Everybody is free to like anything they wish, but like Bill said, what do we use when the old terms are gone? What was wrong with "Folk" and "Folk-Style".......seemed easy enough to me.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: gillymor
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 11:35 PM

Tounge was firmly planted in cheek on that one, Mbo, but thanks for the additional info.

Frankie


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Mbo
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 11:27 PM

Not really Frankee. They were merely covering Thin Lizzy's original rock version of Whisky In The Jar. Metallica is not, and does not want to be folk. The album it came from was a bunch of covers of their favorite songs to play when they were kids.

--M


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: gillymor
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 11:18 PM

I heard Metallica doing Whiskey in the Jar on the radio the other day so perhaps they're also in the vanguard.

F


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: GUEST,Brett Valentine
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 10:39 PM

Hmmm... New Folk movement? Anyone still writing today... One of my favorites is still David Wilcox, also, Erica Wheeler. She has grown on me quickly.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 10:37 PM

lots of stuff with some folk "roots", Max..*grin*...but I guess I'd better quit even trying to hold on to 'folk' as a useful word...there may be a tiny bit of life left in 'trad' yet, but when that one has been totally co-opted, I don't know what I'll call that older, different stuff Art & I and a few others are trying to defend as a genré.....


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Max
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 10:26 PM

In my opinion, there is a new folk movement going on, and I'm way into it. But the artists that I consider leading the charge are Ani Difranco, Martin Sexton, Ben Harper and Dan Bern. Modern no doubt, but if pressed, I am sure I could prove it's folk.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 10:17 PM

why, Thomas..a component is.......naahhhh...too easy-go get your dictionary. You'll never learn new things if you don't do some for yourself. Daddy can't always hold your hand.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 09:56 PM

Daddy? what's a component?


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Aug 00 - 09:39 PM

Folks,

Most of you know that I am 100% certain that I KNOW what folk is and isn't ! There must be traditional components. About 75% of what I feel folk is about are traditional components. Let's just agree to disagree. O.K.?

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Paul G.
Date: 13 Aug 00 - 12:39 AM

Another intersting tid bit...I just returned from a gig in High Springs Florida. Locally, my band was advertised as "Folk-Pop"...Interesting classification, as we are a bunch of over-40's who would call ourselves "new folk" or "contemporary folk". Just goes to show you...the labels are in the minds of the beholder, and really don't mean much. It's music, that's all that matters, as long as someone likes it, listens, and passes it on. Maybe we can get someone to call us the pre-eminent band of the folk-pop movement!

pg


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 08:31 PM

Most music at any time is pretty dire stuff, and always has been. Most books are pretty dreadful. Most poetry is not worth reading. Most art is appalling.

But there's enough that's the other way that helps make it worth living.

The one essential thing for me is that people aren't just trying to be original. True artists, in any medium, is original because it's the only way to say something that they are trying to say, and to get people to listen to it (or look at it or whatever) and understand.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Susan from California
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 01:45 PM

I want to echo the nominations that Richard Shindell has rec'd and make a nomination of my own--one of my current favorite cd's is "Cry, Cry, Cry" which is Richard Shindell, Lucy Kaplansky and Dar Williams. On this cd they mostly cover other singer-songwritter/new folk stuff and there are songs on there that are darned good, one that is very timely if you are in one of the burn areas of the Northwest-it's about a firefighter in Montana. I can't remember the name of the particular song, and I lent out my copy of the cd...but I sure thought about the song when I was in Montana last week.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Naemanson
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 12:26 PM

Art, you may have answered the question but you cannot ride off because we are beating your mount into a bloody pulp! At least we'll arue it until we are all a little hoarse.

I have never cared to categorise music. There are good and bad elements in all forms. There are new rock songs that I like, there are old folk songs that I hate. There are songs that comprise elements of jazz and those that include country or rock.

To all boils down to this (note the lack of descriptive adjective):

Music is! Music Rules! Music is what we like.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: MichaelM
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 12:14 PM

Rana,I think the distinction between folk and jazz (oh boy, I'm in trouble now) is that folk musicians attempt to communicate with their audience while jazz musicians play to each other.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Rana
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 08:35 AM

So this thread seems to have drifted into a definition of folk music minefield.

Is John Gorka "folk"? As much so as other people that may have been mentioned on the Mudcat - James Keelaghan (who I think Gorka sounds a bit like), Garnet Rogers, Stephen Fearing etc. And then continuing with this list - Stan Rogers, Tom Paxton, Bob Dylan etc etc. Or do you have to have a traditional component to make it folk? - Richard Thompson has written some great "traditional English folk songs" eg Beeswing. I suppose the best thing is to enjoy the music and give up on trying to categorise it.

I just saw this on another list serve which acts as yet another (amusing ) definition of "folk"

"Folk is when you're too old to rock'n roll, and too dumb for jazz."

Seems as good as any other definition!

As for Gorka, what I've heard I like, but I will agree with Paul G. above and say that one of my favourite artists' at present is Richard Shindell. When I heard him for the first time this year, he absolutely blew me away. Enough so that we're putting him on at the Flying Cloud Folk Club in Toronto on Sept. 21 (OK a bit of a plug here - I'll put the full list in What's On eventually).

Cheers Rana


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Metchosin
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 03:59 AM

Art, I thought the question was what was what is this "New Folk Movement".

If most of us can't come to an agreement about what "old" Folk is, its hardly surprising that the thread drifts a bit regarding a definition of "new folk".


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: GUEST,Barry Finn
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 11:47 PM

Whoa right there Art, John G's been around this neck of the woods for sometime now & if he happened to move out your way I wouldn't think once of stopping him, I'm not fond of his stuff at all (personnel taste). I don't think it's so much that some of the new stuff is or isn't folk I just think alot of it's trash & will eventually get dumped & what's good might see the light of a new day. Traditional or old/contempory folk has had the benifit of time to sift through the shit, new stuff hasn't & if a buck can be made from the good as well as the bad it's gonna be up to time & personnel choice (or the music industry's choice). I'd say that most GREAT song writers are blessed if they can get one gem out of every 20 they write so if that's even close where does that put all the wantabee's, but yet they can pump 'em out 10 at a time & a new CD every birthday as a present to themselves each & every year. Maybe we can all start a co-op that judges each new song that comes across the table at the board meeting & if a song can score over 5 votes out of 100 then it'll pass & we'll know it's an ok song, bad idea, ok I'll keep to myself about what I think's trash & only time will tell. Barry


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Paul G.
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 11:23 PM

Michael's question about the "writing of folk music" and this thread in general brings to mind the following anecdote for me (hope it fits here...)Ask yourself this question: Is the song "16 Tons" a folk song?...(16 tons and what do you get, another day older and deeeper in debt....). The song was written by Merle Travis, as related to me by his son, Thom Bresh, because the label told him they wanted him to write something that sounded like a folk song. It became a huge hit and made the record label a lot of money. Maybe Travis was the leader of the New Folk movement of his time...Thom said that Travis told the label "you can't just write a folk song...they come out of the ground through the people". He wrote the song none the less.

As for Gorka, I like a little of what he does enough to keep buying his stuff in hopes of finding the one or two "keepers" he slips onto each album among the mundane balance of his tunes. Give me Richard Shindell any day. Hell, I'll even confess that the last CD this grandfater bought was by the Dixie Chicks.

pg


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 10:14 PM

Hey folks,

The person who started this thread ASKED A QUESTION. They (he, she, whatever) wanted to know about John G. All I did was answer that person. Now I'll just jump on my pony and ride off into the west. I suspect I'll say "giddy-up". And I won't say "WHOA" until I'm pretty far away. ;-)

Art


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 08:56 PM

This subject is fascinating, and MIGHTY close to home. I play my own SS compositions, and try to match them pretty much one to one with trad songs. This ballence was chosen by Dougie on his 'Craggy Dhu' release which utterly won't leave my mind since I was introduced to it in 1987. It seems a 'fair and rightful' goal. I have been encouraged by many traditionalists to seek the integrity of time honored songs, and I have a great interest in reaching people with songs that relate to their/our lives RIGHT NOW, with no confusing metaphors to peel away. The validity is obvious to both cases, and the corelation between the two makes my audience more informed, and MAKES ME A BETTER WRITER.

We learn by studying the masters. If someone is gifted at finding the musical pulse of discontent and happiness in our lives today, then I have something to learn from them. If a song stands the test of time, then it's quality is indisputable (in some reguard) to me now.

Pop, Clasical, Country, Blues, R&B, Rap, and even alotta Jazz have their roots in folk music, INDISPUTABLE! If we choose to write songs, or appreciate songwriters, it doesn't make us any less the folk enthusiasts for it. It is quite fun to here the hand me down derividity in all music, and the only danger to doing it is the oft misinterperated put down "this is derivitive". Like anything we listen to isn't? LOL...

But these days, people need reminding about folk music, like they need to get into an antique shop and outta the mall. I achieve this by following one of my recently written songs about life as it is today (complete with Polyharmonic Modal Variants) with a triditional song that I love so much about some vaguely simmilar topic. My heart lives for the traditionals, and my career may become dependent upon new sounding stuff... Some of the old songs carry magic though, and I can't presume to understand what it actually is!


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: MichaelM
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 07:53 PM

Is anyone writing folk music? Is the notion of creating folk music that is new unthinkable? If we have relegated folk to pre-1900 (for argument's sake) haven't we created an amber-cast canon fit only for scholastic exhumation or folk-park tourism? An article in Harpers this month discusses the death of small languages. Is folk going the way to dusty death?

Michael Miland


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Bill D
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 05:19 PM

well, let's all just take a minute to laugh...here are 3 cards & cartoons I ripped off my wall above my stereo and scanned....

musical points to ponder


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Kim C
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 03:37 PM

Hmmm.

I am not really familiar with John Gorka but I do like the song "Winter Cows."

I think what happens is that when a singer/songwriter/acoustic instrument-type artist can't be pigeonholed into a standard category, The Great Unwashed just say, oh, he/she must be folk because he/she doesn't fit anywhere else.

The music of youth is a funny thing. I will always love the Beatles, and I will always love Chopin. Likewise I will always love Bryan Adams. I don't have much interest in Duran Duran anymore, but have fond memories of those old LPs. (Yes, LPs. We didn't have CDs in those days. Hard to believe now.)There are also artists I didn't like then, that I like now, like the Allman Brothers, and Van Morrison. And then there are those artists & songs that make me roll my eyes and say, holy cow, I can't believe I ever liked that...

Mister, who is 12 years older than me, has eschewed most all the music of his youth in the 70s. He rolls his eyes when I wanna listen to a little rock-n-roll. He says, it served a purpose at a certain point in my life, and it doesn't any longer. Fair enough. But if he had his way, all we'd ever listen to is pre-1865 music, and as much as I love that, and make a little cash from it, It Ain't All There Is! Gimme my Tom Petty! And my Georgia Satellites!!! And my Bryan Adams! And my Chopin nocturnes!!!!!!! :)


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 02:12 PM

This budding war between the generations is pretty silly. Mbo, you like SOME of the music of my youth, as I like SOME of the music of yours. Much of the music from my youth has been lost to the ages, for which we can all be grateful (it wouldn't bother me if more of it were retired). Much of today's music will also fall by the wayside, and rightly so. There was some good music when I was your age, and there's some good music now. With any luck our beloved "folk process" will help separate the wheat from the chaff, and the good stuff will still be around for all of us to enjoy in the future. We may all have our opinions about the worth of certain performers, but they're just opinions at this stage -- we'll just have to wait and see whether people remember Oasis fifty years from now.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Naemanson
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 01:20 PM

Weeellll, speaking of the music of our youth and all, does anyone want to talk about what happened to disco? There are a lot of people out there who loved it when it was hot but are embarassed to acknowledge that now.

I mean after all, it was just a way to provide a loud dance rythm. Wait a minute, isn't that what fiddle tunes are?

Come on people, 'fess up! Who among us owned the lime green leisure suit?


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Mbo
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 12:23 PM

The only problem I have with what you said Spaw is And EVERYONE when they're young find that "our" music is great and the old folks don't understand it. I'll probably be dead thirty five years from now, but I'd love to talk to you then.

I'm sorry but I just don't believe in that. This music,just like your folk, will carry on as long as someone is there to enjoy it. Spaw, the music of your youth is just as popular with me as anything else. You think that everyone has forgotten it, just as you "think" the modern music I like will some day? Well FORGET IT! Because even though I didn't live through the 30's, 40's 50's 60's and 70's I still know and love the music that came out then. To say that it has been forgotten and to revert to some older style is stupid. I like the music of your youth even though you may not anymore, and there are a lot of young folks besides me, though you may not see them, who know this music too. I'm SURE the our modern music will be remembered 35 years from now. And if you don't believe me, come to HearMe sometime and I'll sing you the hit parade of 1965.


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Metchosin
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 12:19 PM

Fear not Mbo, here is one more old fogey that is a fan of some of what is called "New Folk"

Shooglenifty rules for me! Especially if I feel like listening to the music with my body as well as my mind and kick up my heels and dance, besides they are fairly decent musicians to boot. I'm still not too old to partake in a "Whiskey Kiss".

Besides, I don't know what to class Richard Thompson and his music as. Guess I just like any music with "soul" and Burl Ives never did do it for me (although he did do a fairly decent version of Ghost Riders in the Sky) but that's not folk is it?

There are some very old tunes buried in the DT that could be called Folk just because of their age but they were boring when they were penned a hundred or two years ago and they are still boring,now....gee I guess I'm veering off into the unanswerable, done to death "What is Folk" topic....sorrry!


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 11:34 AM

"I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was... Now what it is seems strange and frightening..."
---Grandpa Simpson---

"Do your thing, you go in and out of style, but you'll be happy. no sence in chasing trends."
---Ian Anderson--- "Nothing good comes from Switzerland... Feckin' Cuckoo Clocks and Toblerone!!! Ya can't eat the thing without hurting yourself!!!!"
---Billy Connolly---

:-)


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Subject: RE: The 'New Folk Movement'?
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 11:27 AM

I don't know Gorka but I did investigate Terry Callier who also claimed to be "new folk" because he was described as bringing a jazz feel to traditional folk music. I must say I was disappointed. A pleasant enough voice and guitar backing but he did everything so slooooowly that everything sounded the same and dirge-like. IMNSHO.
But then I'm not a folkie, just an ignorant old git who likes a little folk to leaven the jazz & blues occasionally.
RtS


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