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Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock

GUEST,Sam Pirt 09 Oct 00 - 09:24 AM
Jeri 09 Oct 00 - 09:49 AM
Wavestar 09 Oct 00 - 09:54 AM
GUEST,Sam Pirt 09 Oct 00 - 10:12 AM
IanS 09 Oct 00 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,ericroyer 09 Oct 00 - 10:19 AM
Mooh 09 Oct 00 - 10:20 AM
Jeri 09 Oct 00 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,Dave Forshaw, UK 09 Oct 00 - 11:00 AM
hesperis 09 Oct 00 - 11:11 AM
Dharmabum 09 Oct 00 - 11:24 AM
Mbo 09 Oct 00 - 12:16 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 09 Oct 00 - 12:32 PM
dick greenhaus 09 Oct 00 - 12:47 PM
mousethief 09 Oct 00 - 01:00 PM
JulieF 09 Oct 00 - 01:10 PM
Wavestar 09 Oct 00 - 01:33 PM
GeorgeH 09 Oct 00 - 01:51 PM
Benjamin 09 Oct 00 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,Sam Pirt 10 Oct 00 - 11:39 AM
Mbo 10 Oct 00 - 11:50 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 10 Oct 00 - 12:31 PM
GeorgeH 11 Oct 00 - 12:42 PM
paddymac 11 Oct 00 - 01:17 PM
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MikeofNorthumbria 12 Oct 00 - 12:16 PM
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Lena 13 Oct 00 - 12:46 AM
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Subject: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST,Sam Pirt
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 09:24 AM

Last weekend I was at the semi-finals of the young folk award and a discussion was going on about bringing younger audiences in to folk music and the best way of doing this.

One thing seemed to be appearing in the discussion where there was an assumption that if you put drums and bass behind the music it will have a wider appeal, which is in essence what folk rock is at a basic level. This does seem to work to a point.

But

Why bother with drums and basses when the music can stand up for its self very well. It almost seems to me like you are trying to hide the true music with loud drums & bass so that people will hear less of the trad melodies etc and more of the standard drum and bass sounds they are aware of. Will this be then really 'converting' them as such or just giveing them most of what they know with a few added extras, therefore not making as bigger impact on the audience. Do folk musicians know that folk music has loads of energy, subtlety and drive and it can stand up to popular music.

422 (winners of last year's Young folk awards and also the band I play in) don't need drums or bass. Our line up is fiddles, guitar, whistle and accordion and I can tell you we drive the music along. Drums & bass if anything would flatten our arrangements. How then can we get this real music out to young audiences? without resorting to standard tactics of drum and bass?

OK so I realise I may have ruffled a few feathers, but I do like folk rock I just am asking what people think about this and how we can get the more trad folk music (or dance/celidh music) out to a wider audience. It does have an appeal, its not strange its just that people don't know about it.

Cheers, Sam


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 09:49 AM

Sam, this is just an opinion, and I don't know if I'm even close to right.

The appeal in traditional music first comes from people wanting to do it, not just listen. That's always been the way the music's survived. People learn to love it because it's their music, then learn to love other people who do it well.

If you change the music to be more like pop, then you've got pop music. Please note, this isn't a value judgement - I quite like some of it. It's just that you won't have created an interest in traditional music by doing that.

I've seen other discussions on this, and there seems to be an opinion that young people don't get involved in folk because their image of a folkie is one of a mature, somewhat rotund bearded guy with his finger jammed in his ear. Kids place an awful lot of importance on image, and the current image (right or wrong) says "this is not your music." Maybe if the image changed, kids would be more interested. Of course, I have no idea how you would do that, other than with advertising and being seen with "cool" people and in "cool" places.

If you don't want to change the music, you have to change people's attitudes toward it.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Wavestar
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 09:54 AM

Start when they are younger, Sam. It worked for me.

I know what you mean about folk rock, though. I like much of it, but it's a different kind of music. The problem is, young people are trained to react badly to 'traditional' things, so even if they like the music, they won't 'like' it, if you know what I mean.

Appeal in situations where there's no pressure to look cool and you may get somewhere. Congrats on winning with your band, btw...

-Jessica


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST,Sam Pirt
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 10:12 AM

Hi

Jeri your quite right loads of enjoyment comes from playing the music its self which as a result brings with it learning the skills to play it. I started playing accordion at the age of 12 and have been playing accordion for eight and a half years and playing the tunes is if not as fum, MORE fun than listening to folk music.

Cheers, Sam


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: IanS
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 10:13 AM

Hi,

Good thread topic - I think trying to get young people interested in traditional music is crucial to keeping the music alive. The band I play in use all acoustic instruments and I agree that bass and drums can blast out the more subtle nuances of the music - I think that percussion if used correctly can add drive. Recently the band that I play in appeared at a folk festival on the same bill as a band featuring drums, bass and electric guitar (playing very loud) and we were really pleased and surprised to recieve this review which I think is exactly what you are talking about. http://www.freefolk.com/ceolta.htm

The editorial of the freefolk web page is also in agreement with yourself.

The other thing that makes me smile is that it takes me about 20 seconds to put my fiddle in its case and make my way to the bar while the drummer is still putting their kit away 20 minutes later, and the bass player is trying to put their back in joint after carrying a bass cabinet 20 years later.

Ian


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST,ericroyer
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 10:19 AM

Jeri, you said "appeal in traditional music first comes from people wanting to do it, not just listen". I think that may have something to do with why traditional music has survived today alongside the pop music world but playing the music is only part of the appeal. If this were true everyone would have to be a musician to appreciate music. I think what is called traditional music has to get out of the all-player mode to grow, (or it can stay just how it is which is great). I was at a Bluegrass festival and there was a group of teenagers there. One of them was a picker, but he brought a bunch of his friends to listen and it seemed to me to take the music out of the "pickin party" relm and into a larger um... cultural place. boy, do I sound silly or what?


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Mooh
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 10:20 AM

What bothers me most, I think, is the inclination towards the playing of drums in an incessant monotonous plodding beat that sounds more like a computerized disco dance track than something that's alive. Don't get me wrong, I love lots of rock music and am a huge Led Zeppelin fan among other groups. But, drums and bass, as a rhythm section, should swing, move, lilt, or whatever, with the music. Turning the live feel of traditional music to the dead march of computer beats, even when generated by human hands, sucks the life out of the music.

There are many good "folk/rock" bands which do the drums and bass thing well, not the least of which would be Cape Breton's Slainte Mhath. But they come from the tradition. There's a good chance that where the rhythm section thing is done poorly, the participants don't come from, or perhaps understand, the tradition. Either way, to use one style in everything a band plays reduces the bands affectiveness.

My remaining complaint is the limited use of other percussion instruments which are commonly available, from other types of drums to shakers etc, by the rock oriented bands. When coupled with the unimaginative use of a standard drum kit, this makes the potentially most lively instrument a dead bore.

In short, it's not so much that drums are used but how they are used.

That said, there's lots of room for no drums at all, particularly where a rhythm can be kept by other instruments. Nowadays, guitars are as much percussion and rhythm than anything, but most any instrument can be used to support the rhythm.

My (longwinded) $0.02 (Cdn funds), Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 10:53 AM

Ericroyer, good point about "If this were true everyone would have to be a musician to appreciate music." There are loads of people who come to listen who don't play anything, and some who don't sing along on choruses. So why do they pick folk music? Perhaps it's precisely because folk has a small audience. At its biggest, folk has a bunch of small audiences, spread out all over. The people who don't play have friends who do. They can share a beer with the musicians and ask about the music. This is a good thing if people want to really be a part of the music. It's not so good if people expect celebrities, because most folk musicians I've met don't consider themselves celebrities and are uncomfortable being treated like one. Let's face it, the "star" is a major factor in pop music.

(Cynical mode) So someone who's used to -
"Wow, that new CD by Mucous really rocks, and did you know the bass player has a discussion forum and sometimes even answers questions? Wow - he really cares about his fans. Did you see that picture of him in "Guys With Guitars" magazine? Ooh...that sequined kilt was incredible!"

...gets to a folk venue, and thinks -
"Well, he's cute, but where's the spandex? I saw him in a shop the other day, and he was actually chatting with ordinary people. He can't be too good if he doesn't have a bodyguard. He's just one of us - nothing special."


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST,Dave Forshaw, UK
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 11:00 AM

Well, play it fast and play it loud, I will probably be stoned anyway, so what the heck? If the lyric is folk, thenit is a folk song, more to do with content than style of music/presentation. If young uns want thrash folk/acid folk/heavy metal welly-boot folk, so what, as they grow, ans as they age, they will see a use for quieter, more traditional presentation. Untill then..... rock on & folk off!!


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: hesperis
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 11:11 AM

As someone interested in web design, I have to say that image can be important in getting younger audiences. If you put good pictures on your posters/flyers/whatever, that don't make you look like 'stars' but that do put across to people your love of the music you play and the larger tradition behind it, you might get a few more people.

Folk grew out of rural experience: farms, small towns, communities, where people played and listened and danced because it was their idea of fun. (That and there wasn't TV back then.) Music brings people together. Now a lot of music is created in cities, and is getting impersonal. That's all they know about. But the vitality of folk would probably blow them away!

If you emphasise the communication and connection aspect of it, and at the same time have an identity as a cool, young 'trad band', you might get more young people out.
If you have fun, the audience usually has fun, and brings friends next time...

Just my thoughts.

~*sirepseh*~


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dharmabum
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 11:24 AM

I agree 100% Jessica, My kids were exposed to all forms of music at an early age.(Is in the womb early enough? I would play my guitar next to my wifes belly.)
I brought my kids to folk festivals where they not only were exposed the music but saw other kids involved with it as well. I also brought them with me whenever I was playing in a child friendly venue.
I always thought it very important that they were exposed to all other forms of music also,rock,classical,etc. But I made a point of letting them know where alot of the popular music has come from. For example when, I was 16 (IM 47 now)I was listening to Eric Clapton play Crossroads & just had to find out who Robert Johnson was.
The same holds true today. If the younger audience is exposed to traditional folk, via,folk rock,celtic rock, or what have you,it may spark interest in some,not all, to dig just a little deeper. To discover the music's roots.
I'm very proud to say that though my daughter may have Metallica in her cd player at any given time,it could also be Dylan or traditional Scottish bagpipe music.
I think any trad. music will stand the test of time irregardless of what the pop culture may add to or take away from it.After all, we're all here at theMudcat ,playing,singing,& keeping the folkfires burning.

Ron.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Mbo
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 12:16 PM

My philosophy: If it's good, I'll listen to it. BTW Radiohead's new album ROCKS!


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 12:32 PM

Great topic, Sam! And great to see you around here again!
There will always (I hope) be a small group of intelligent, creative, nonconforming young'uns who will look beyond what's "cool" and "what everybody else is listening to" and will discover great music, be it folk, blues, or medieval contrapuntal. I was at a gathering a month ago when a lovely young woman of 21 turned to me and showed me a cd and said, "Look at this great musician I just discovered!" It was Dougie MacLean- not the purest folkie, but a great introduction!


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 12:47 PM

mbo- (and others)

You should give a listen to Mr Pirt's album (or rather the group's album) Certainly drives; certainly not rock. It's caled "one" and the group is called "422"

There's more than one way to grab an audience.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: mousethief
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 01:00 PM

In my experience you don't need a drum or bass to grab a young audience, just a funny song, or a song that tells a genuininely interesting story.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: JulieF
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 01:10 PM

I agree with the mass exposure approach to introducing children to any kind of music, along with encouraging them to play. My daughter, when younger, has slept through some great bands (Fairport, Battlefield etc) The balance between trad , folk rock, acid croft etc just depends on the individual. I have heard some horrendus attemts to Modernise folk music but also some brilliant stuff eg some of the Scottish Folk dance stuff. As a teenager Cat will come to concerts such as Runrig with us and we are letting her go to see the Levellers with friends of her own age. It is always interesting to see how she develops - at the moment she wants the music for all Nirvana's songs and plans to get aout to trad sessions after her GCSEs.

To sum up - indoctrinate from a early age with every type of music possible and accept that tastes will diverge from time to time - sometimes its good to generate a generation gap - just to help with teenage friction and remember to search the luggage for your CDs when they leave for University

Julie


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Wavestar
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 01:33 PM

A lot of good that last did my parents, Julie - I've still got a bunch of what were once their CDs, and I'm in 3rd year. Every once in a while they figure it out and ask for them back...

Regarding music appreciation / musicians - A big way I got into traditional music, and still appreciate it, is dancing. Who's foot doesn't tap for lively jigs? I've had dancing contests in the local pub trad. session - who can last the longest! As a kid and still now I went to contra dances, which, at least in Vermont, are being seen more and more as 'cool', or at least not absolutely uncool. If you don't love the music after a night of dancing like that, there's something wrong with you :)

-J


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GeorgeH
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 01:51 PM

Trouble with most folk rock is that it's far more dated than most of the rest of the current folk scene . .

I suppose I've spent about 30 years trying to get young people listening to folk music, with at least an occasional degree of success . Folk Rock as a whole would never be a genre I'd recommend to . . well, anyone, really!

To really get someone hooked on folk you've got to get them to a musical experience which makes the hairs on the back of their neck tingle . . and 98% of Folk Rock doesn't do that, great fun though it might be.

In the three years when I was promoting concerts the band which had the greatest success with young people was Flook! (and that was even before they had a bodhran player).

So . . I can't find much to disagree with your assessment of things, Sam . . But what were you doing back at this year's semi-finals??

Oh, as an aside . . At Sidmouth this year, after the Martin Simpson concert, we were talking to a German woman who'd heard Martin in Oxford, almost by chance, and as a result of that she'd decided to do a bit of "exploring" of what Folk was all about . . She was enjoying Sidmouth musically, but she said what really struck her was the LACK of age division amongst the audiences.

And my daughter (slightly older than Sam) likes considerably less Folk/Rock than I do, but will make an exception for Home Service . .

Just my (also long-winded) 2p . .

G.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Benjamin
Date: 09 Oct 00 - 05:13 PM

I agree with Matt in that I'll listen to anything I think is good.

As for me, I was raised listening to Pete Seeger's childrens records when I was a kid, as well as Bob Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel (and I love all of those guys and their music!).
As I got older, my dad was buying CDs of blues artists he had records of in the 60s. Guys like John Hurt, Blind Willie Johnson, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, etc.
In high school, A teacher of mine got listening to groups like Earth Wind and Fire which got me into soul. Then I found Paul Simon's Rythm of the Saints CD which had been sitting of the shelf for years and listened to it. I then found the Video of the Graceland Tour and was introduced to African music.
I have since been listening to all sorts of music from all over the world. It helped that my parents raised me listening to a lot of it, but I had to find it myself again at some point.

As for the issue of getting young people to listen (as if I'm not young enough) young people want to feel that what they are listening to is new. When working with Jr. High kids last year, they were always talking about Kid Rock, Britney Spears, Nsync, etc. It was funny to me because I could see it as what I listened to in the late 80's in a different package (MC Hammer, etc.) That's a hard issue to adress to deal with. Most of them haven't had a chance to really experience it, so they just listen to what's cool. Image is what sells with a lot of young people. That's what your dealling with.
Just my thoughts from observations.

BMW


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST,Sam Pirt
Date: 10 Oct 00 - 11:39 AM

I think if you try to get your audience into the real folk music that is not trying to be anything else just great trad music you won't confuse your audience and probably give them a great feeling in the fact they have discovered this great music that is as good as say garage, classical, drum & bass, jazz or trance

So how do you actually get your audience to come to the venue?

Say for example you have a great trad band with loads of enegry and drive, as we have discussed above, how do sell it & promote it. And where would you base it, run it and what time would you put the gig on?

I pose many questions but I think it is an important issue for all musicians to keep in mind, come on catters show us what your made of!!

Cheers, Sam


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Mbo
Date: 10 Oct 00 - 11:50 AM

HEY! MY NAME IS KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIID!!!


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 10 Oct 00 - 12:31 PM

"A long, long time ago … I can still remember …" that some people – most of them as old then as I am now – were asking this very question "How do we get more kids interested in folk music?" Back then, they rarely asked us kids what we thought. So perhaps this thread represents some kind of progress. But it will probably achieve little more than those earlier discussions did, and for a similar reason. It goes like this:

Youth is a law unto itself – and rightly so. Youth is the time for exploration and adventure, for breaking rules and defying authority. Marriages and mortgages, parenthood and pension plans, will turn most of our young rebels into conformists soon enough – so let them experiment while they can. Some of their musical preferences may seem alien to us (if Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus, then Teenagers must be from Alpha Centauri), but so what? - our youthful enthusiasms sounded just as obnoxious to our elders.

When I was a teenager, getting involved in the folk movement was like joining an underground musical conspiracy. We thought of ourselves as prisoners who'd discovered an escape tunnel into a magic kingdom, where parents and teachers had no jurisdiction. And if parents and teachers had tried to open the front door of that kingdom for us, we'd probably have run a mile in the opposite direction. So, while I'm happy to share my musical pleasures with people of any age, I try not to thrust them on anybody who doesn't find them congenial. Particularly if they're young enough to be my kids. And especially if they ARE my kids.

So what about bass and drums as a backing for folk music? Do they make traditional material more acceptable to the young? Maybe – it depends on how well they're played, and even more on who's playing them. My experience, for what it's worth, is that what pulls in young audiences is the chance to see young performers strutting their stuff – whatever instruments they're playing. Us oldies should get out of the way, and let them get on with it.

"Our sons and our daughters are beyond our command …"

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GeorgeH
Date: 11 Oct 00 - 12:42 PM

"Youth is a law unto itself – and rightly so". Utter bollocks! This whole youth/non-youth myth is all a part of the establishment "divide and conquer" strategy! Young and not-so-young have far more in common than tbey have to separate them . .

No-one, of any age, likes being told what to do (or - worse still, being compelled to follow those instructions). Everyone need to continue to explore and discover, and even - on occasions - rebel.

But to return to the point . . MOST of those I know who are really into Folk - be they young or old - are committed to it because it is so DIFFERENT to other "musics". Whereas MOST folk-rock seeks to make it sound more like something else.

Of course in its early days Folk Rock may not have been like that . . .

G.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: paddymac
Date: 11 Oct 00 - 01:17 PM

It is a good thing to love whatever you do (musically or otherwise), but it does not follow that everyone else should also love what you do. To think that they should, or would if given a chance, is not far different than to say that all people should (or, eventually, must) go to the same church, or vote the same way, or believe anything or everything in the same way or to the same extent, etc.

Be glad we don't all like the same stuff, and appreciate that our likes and dislikes change through life for lots of different reasons. My own metaphorical view is simply to keep the door open so that I, and anyone else, can walk in, or out, as we choose. All a part of the grand buffet called life.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 00 - 06:57 PM

Bass and drums (kits) have a greater dynamic range than a lot of the smaller more portable instruments which are stereotypically associated with folk music.

Dynamic range however is not inversely proportional to melodic capacity and "musicality".

In a classical orchestral situation or in a Gamelan orchestra bass sounds and percussion are integral to the music.

Folk musicians need to embrace a broader view of "folk" and instrumentation if a younger more diverse audience is desired.

Bass and drums are instruments and its how you use them.

As they say Bass and drums dont kill music "People Do!"


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 12:16 PM

Hi!, GeorgeH – did I tread on your corns, or something?

Of course, you're perfectly entitled to disagree with my remark that "Youth is a law unto itself". But is your conclusion based on experience ? If so, you've led a sheltered life.

My experience has been different. For the record, it includes 28 years as a parent, and 35 as a teacher (mostly with adolescents and young adults). Also various musical activities involving young people – playing for sing-along sessions in schools, calling for children's barn dances, and helping with workshops for juvenile morris teams at Sidmouth and Whitby festivals. Oh yes, and I was young once – a long time ago, but I can still remember it vaguely.

And my conclusion? Young people habitually ignore instructions from their elders - especially parents and teachers. At home, we say "… eat up your greens … do your homework … keep your bedroom tidy …", and they seldom respond positively. At college, we say "cite your sources properly … leave the lab as you would wish to find it … back up your data on a spare floppy…" , but it makes little impact. So why on earth should we expect them to take our advice on the kind of music they listen to?

Youngsters don't enjoy being lectured. They much prefer to discover things for themselves. Of course, they need help from people with more experience. But unless the help is offered discreetly, it's liable to be rejected out of hand. And if this is true in schools and colleges, it's even more true with leisure-time activities. Young folks need to find their own path to musical fulfilment. If it leads them to our door, we should welcome them in. If they seek our advice, we should give it freely. But until they ask us, we should let them be.

And by the way, GeorgeH - if you're still listening - I agree entirely with your proposition that we should all strive to remain young at heart – ever open to new ideas and hungry for new experiences. It's just that constraints like the day job and the mortgage payments (plus the various ailments that afflict our ageing flesh) tend to tie us down a bit as the years go by. But if I'm ever lucky enough to get a lucrative early retirement deal, I'll see you round the campfire at the next festival (youngsters welcome,drums and bass optional).

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Oct 00 - 12:42 PM

I think George mixes up two things - "this whole youth/non-youth myth is all a part of the establishment "divide and conquer" strategy! Young and not-so-young have far more in common than tbey have to separate them . ."

There is indeed a divide and exploit stategy all right. It tries to exploit people by dividing them up and packaging and so forth, and age-group is just one of the ways it tends to that. Labelling different types of music and the people who love them, as incompatible with each other is another example. ("What is Folk...")

And one of the best things about folk music is that it can show this kind of thing up for the lie that it is.

But the lies only work because they are based on divergences and differences and rivalries that do actually exist, and Mike is quite right in what he says about young people wanting to split off and do their own thing.

It's like some kind of social dance, with people going apart and then coming together.Advance and retreat. Turn your back on each other. Promenade. What the exploiters and oppressors want to do is chop little bits off it and sell it, so that the whole thing is fragmented.

But in the end it works out. I believe that there are more young people seriously into making good music, and who respect the music of their parents and grandparents generations, than there have ever been in the lifetime of any of us.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Lena
Date: 13 Oct 00 - 12:46 AM

I don't know if Callie will be around to read this,but.
At my birthday party,weeks ago,in a moment when I was very drunk and Callie& friends were playing very beautifully,a guy a couple of years older than me came up quite arrogantly about how folk music should be like.I remember him shutting my music book (were I keep lyrics and sheet music from folk stuff )saying that there is no point in using it cause that is not the music teenagers will listen to.It made me laugh a lot.Who gives a XXXC about bloody teenagers?!Thay don't make culture,they provide money to corporate crocodiles.And anyway,I was a teenager not a log time ago and I used to listen and enjoy folk music.Beside the fact that teenagers from non celtic-anglo countries listen and dance to irish reels like they would dance to techno music:it's exotic enough to them to do the job.Anyway.Where is the problem of young people writing new folk?!It tells stories and feelings that will be part of people's background some day.Drum and bass are often used siply to polish the sound and make it more appealling to young people.Not many teenagers would love an hurdy gurdy and a mandolin as they would love a fiddle on some rock drums.It just sounds more familiar and fresh to them. I think that folk music is a call.You get to it.At it's everybody's music:you get to it and you play it.Often,it's the only place you belong to.Not a coincidency that so much folk playing comes from 'immigrants' " countries:your music and your sound is the only bit of homeland you can carry with you.Someone a while ago posted a message saying that folk music was the spontaneous sound of urban areas now,and that rap music is the only possible folk now.it's not true.Not a drop of my blood answers to rap music,because it might appeal teenagers but it's not part of my background.It's not the sound of my mother's voice,it doesn't tell me the history of people.I guess the main problem between young people and folk music is the former's tendency to new things and a lack of interest in old past things(which is half of the problem...there comes a time in which you realize that the best way to sort out many troubles is to get back to the human wisdom accumulated in centuries...poetry,songs,paintings,your grandparents' stories from when they were your age...and that's the time in which you stop being a teenager and acquire a vague connection with the world).I've heard some beautiful,deep,moving folk music from young people.Even if not many of my generation are yet on folk music...I guess in a couple of years there will be more on the mudcat.
sorry for the long posting.
And besides.Callie,I've got a tape of of that kid at my birthday plays like.I saved it .You should hear it:it sounds incredibly bad.Hilarious.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST,Guest Young Trad Muso
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 10:36 AM

Not all young players have been groomed to play, I got into it in mid to late teens, when I discovered how great good sessions can be! Mmm, beer and good tunes what a great combination... encourage drinking from an earlier age to lubricate the enjoyment of tunes, sorry, that's me being silly...

Agree with a view above that participation is a big part of really getting into folk, those that have felt the buzz of lifting a room when playing a flying set of reels with friends are likely to be hooked for life.... I personally love being able to do this acoustically but playing plugged in with bass and kit is great too!

So many threads seem to suggest that the tradition is delicate, I see it as really rather robust! Youngun's should be encouraged to play msuic because it'sfantastic,


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 12:17 PM

Would love to know the approximate ages of those contributing their thoughts to this thread...

I think that in order to answer that question posited, you would need to specifically target such a question to as many trad enthusiasts in their twenties as possible, discover what turned them onto the music, and then figure out a way of reproducing the formula.

As a person in her thirties who enjoys the odd music fest - but isn't specifically attracted to folk clubs - My own take would be that infiltrating non-folk music festivals with good young trad performers would be one possible way forward.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 12:49 PM

The core of rock is the beat. Lyrics, mainly, take a back seat. Often, real musicianship does also. The frosting on that cake has come to be distortion, volume, pyrotechnics, choreography and stagecraft. As for vocalists, "American Idol" disease seems to have become dominant.

For an example of one musician's transitiion, I remember when Lightfoot went from nearly pure acoustic (upright bass and acoustic guitars, with Red Shea) to having percussion and amplification, eventually incorporating pedal steel, driving electric bass and distortion, etc. He was, no doubt, trying to find ways to be relevant as tastes rapidly changed. He was not alone. When I listen to his earlier work now, I find I still prefer it, for the most part. The focus is on the lyrics, the melody line is clear - you hear a song without the overlay of noise.

An audiologist friend reminded me that a huge proportion of our young folks have some degree of hearing loss by the time they are in their late teens or early 20's. They have grown up with high-volume, high energy performances and most would probably find straight acoustic music boring - and hard to hear. On occasion, however, I have been pleasantly surprised to see my son's band and others gaining wider acceptance doing "unplugged" pieces. Maybe there is hope. I'd like to see a return to a certain level of simplicity in music.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: JohnB
Date: 04 Feb 09 - 02:10 PM

Well Sleepy Rosie, the age of the people contributing has gone up getting on for ten years since the thread started, I wonder if their opinions have changed since October 2000?
JohnB


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST,Miranda
Date: 03 Feb 19 - 03:25 AM

I like folk (certain types, specifically trad folk). At the same time though, I like a few pop songs.
As to why people my age are more attracted to pop, I think it's because we see ourselves in the lyrics of pop songs which are mostly about love and common worries that we all have but don't like to share.
As for trad folk, the song is usually about someone else and is romanticised to a point where I can't imagine myself in the same situation, so most young people couldn't care for folk.
People my age like to be understood. I do, my friends do. So because we "connect" with pop songs on an emotional level, it's not a surprise that we like it.
Getting youths to like folk though... hm, you'll need an open minded bunch. It's absolutely possible a lot of young people can be attracted to folk music given the right environment.
I was forced to sing a lot of folk songs when I was 6-10 years old and I'm pretty sentimental, also I like old-timey stuff so I like folk music. But then getting those who like to be in the 'now'... well I think you see what I mean.
I'm not trying to make myself out as different. These are what I gather from myself and people my age, just to give an explanation as to why we like pop and don't entirely enjoy folk. Of course I know people my age who like folk too, and classical music, but this is my observation.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Feb 19 - 03:43 AM

Sam, who started this thread nearly 20 years ago, is getting married to Francesco Jacobello on Tuesday! Is it coincidence or did you know, Miranda? In either case I think everyone would like to wish them both good luck and every happiness for Tuesday and the rest of their lives :-)


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Acorn4
Date: 03 Feb 19 - 04:25 AM

Does Sam's original post pre-date The Hut People? Slight irony there?

Now that is a really original use of percussion! Actually includes the proverbial kitchen sink as I remember. Great duo!


Just a minor point on drums though. As they are naturally loud a sound engineer has to take this into account when he does the mix and it can skew things having to balance everything around the drum kit.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Feb 19 - 04:40 AM

I am pretty sure it does pre date the Hut People, Acorn. I think they started about 10 years back but I could be wrong.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Feb 19 - 05:03 AM

"Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock "
How about "folk rock is a passing fad (as is rock itself
Trad folk has survived for may centuries and will contniue to do so given th good will and interest
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Feb 19 - 05:50 AM

I liked one of Gary Aspey's comments when describing more modern music. Something like "The song says 'it's all rock and roll to me'. I say it's all jig and reel to me." :-)

I'm pretty sure drums have always been used in folk music though so I don't know why anyone would say it was a passing fad.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Tootler
Date: 03 Feb 19 - 06:32 AM

From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 03 Feb 19 - 05:03 AM

"Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock "
How about "folk rock is a passing fad (as is rock itself
Trad folk has survived for may centuries and will contniue to do so given th good will and interest
Jim Carroll

Rock 'n' Roll dates from the mid 1950s
That's around 65 years ago
Not bad for a passing fad.

The best music from any era will survive whatever the style.
Traditional songs are those that have survived because they had something to say either lyrically or musically - often both. Part of the appeal of traditional song (to me at least) is the beautiful melodies. At the time those traditional songs were the 'latest thing', there will be many more songs, popular in their day that died because they didn't really have anything much to say.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 03 Feb 19 - 07:29 AM

I think both Rock and Roll, Rock and Folk Rock will be around long after we have gone Tootler and I can't agree more on your statement that the best music will survive.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 03 Feb 19 - 08:56 AM

As always with this kind of divisive versus inclusive 'debate'...

My position is I don't care..

Despite the mostly irrelevant knee-jerk reactions
of any folkie mates who are highly vocifarous intolerant exclusivivity zealots,
clinging onto entrenched [self serving..???] positions of 'authority';

I'll persist in discovering, listening to, and playing whatever folk related music interests and stimulates me...

..and am reasonably confident I am not in the minority with this positive pragmatic musical approach and opinion......

Ok..

If the songs and music are any good,
'folk' will continue to survive an extended evolving healthy lifespan long after we're all gone....


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 03 Feb 19 - 11:56 AM

Let's face it Nic Jones's Canadeeio is as folk rock as the John Tams Albion line ups!! I've had it playing very loud in our Qashqai this week!!


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 04 Feb 19 - 02:48 AM

As a young 59 year old, my interest in folk (apart from the Spinners Christmas shows in my childhood) came from folk rock. At that time my music tastes were evolving from heavy rock to more eclectic interests.

My interest in folk came from a 1979 Radio London broadcast of progressive music during the 70s, of which one track, that caught my attention, was Rising for the Moon. By the time I left college in 1980 my entire folk music collection was History of Fairport Convention (whose penultimate gig I saw when they supported Led Zeppelin at Knebworth) and Year of the Cat.

At that time, in order to broaden my social life, I started going to folk clubs, where I was exposed to the whole spectrum of folk music which I would have never come into contact with via TV and radio - not knowing then that, or would have particularly interested in, radio programmes existed.

So, skipping the next 39 years to conclude. Folk Rock has just as much a role to play as Trad Folk - personally I still like both as well as Contemporary Folk. Also if the next 19 year-old's first contact with folk comes from Folk Rock then nothing wrong with that either.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jack Campin
Date: 04 Feb 19 - 04:22 AM

As for trad folk, the song is usually about someone else and is romanticised to a point where I can't imagine myself in the same situation, so most young people couldn't care for folk.

I don't think it's the romanticization itself, it's who gets romanticized. There isn't any difference of process between glorifying a highwayman in a ballad and glorifying a high-end pimp in a gangsta rap number.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST,Miranda
Date: 04 Feb 19 - 10:35 AM

Certainly didn't know the starter of this post was getting married. Good luck to the couple!

Anyhow, I found this thread searching for anyone on Mudcat who is less than 30 years old because I was interested, so I came here to give my opinion... I didn't check the date though.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 04 Feb 19 - 10:45 AM

Miranda - by current age demographics I'm one of the younger mudcatters...

Mudcat's equivalent of a troublesome bolshy adolescent...

.. I just turned 60...


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: John P
Date: 05 Feb 19 - 01:57 PM

Does a traditional folk song stop being a traditional folk song if you add bass and drums to it? I'm having a hard time seeing the difference between folk rock and trad folk, if the music is all traditional.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 05 Feb 19 - 04:46 PM

Congratulations, Sam. I hope you and Francesco have a brilliant life together.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Feb 19 - 05:44 PM

Does a traditional folk song stop being a traditional folk song if you add bass and drums to it? I'm having a hard time seeing the difference between folk rock and trad folk, if the music is all traditional.
Certainly no less traditional than Britten's arrangements.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 05:37 AM

Let's face it Nic Jones's Canadeeio is as folk rock as the John Tams Albion line ups!
no it fecking well is not , it has nothing to do with folk rock, it is a solo guitar and voice with melodeon on occasions , what has tony hall got to do with folk rock ,what an idotic statement, it is an example of brilliant acoustic guitar work


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 05:51 AM

"Rock 'n' Roll dates from the mid 1950s"
A mere speck in the cosmos compared to the many centuries longevity of folk song
Folk rock hardly survived a decade and rock n' Roll comes with a compulsory shelf-life date which ascertains that today's rockers with have no taste for what turned on their predecessors and probably no idea
The main difference between the genres is that Trad folk proper was a grass roots movement made, sung and sung played by the people roiginally and revived to escape the commercial pap that was force-fed into us in the mid 1950s you mentioned
Those songs are our songs and the song nearly said - rock in all its forms comes with a price tag for permission to use it
"Does a traditional folk song stop being a traditional folk song if you add bass and drums to it?"
Is Vaughan Williams' 4th Sea Symphony folk because it uses 'The Captain's Apprentice as a musical theme ?
In my opinion, no to either
A fork songs is a performing form with a storytelling function as well as a set of words.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 05:51 AM

"Rock 'n' Roll dates from the mid 1950s"
A mere speck in the cosmos compared to the many centuries longevity of folk song
Folk rock hardly survived a decade and rock n' Roll comes with a compulsory shelf-life date which ascertains that today's rockers with have no taste for what turned on their predecessors and probably no idea
The main difference between the genres is that Trad folk proper was a grass roots movement made, sung and sung played by the people roiginally and revived to escape the commercial pap that was force-fed into us in the mid 1950s you mentioned
Those songs are our songs and the song nearly said - rock in all its forms comes with a price tag for permission to use it
"Does a traditional folk song stop being a traditional folk song if you add bass and drums to it?"
Is Vaughan Williams' 4th Sea Symphony folk because it uses 'The Captain's Apprentice as a musical theme ?
In my opinion, no to either
A fork songs is a performing form with a storytelling function as well as a set of words.
Jim


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 06:08 AM

Folk rock hardly survived a decade

Errrr, it's still going strong Jim.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 06:21 AM

No it's not.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 06:28 AM

British folk rock (Wiki entry)

Note sections

Heyday 1969–76

Decline and survival 1977–85


And particularly

Resurgence 1985–present

Which has the final paragraph

This resurgence represents nothing like the heady days of the 1970s. The number, and mainstream recognition, of electric folk groups is lower in the 21st century than it was in the late 20th. However, the genre has not only been highly influential on both rock and folk music, thanks to the remarkable longevity of the key groups and productivity of the members, together with renewed interest in subsequent generations, electric folk continues to survive and artistically thrive.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 06:30 AM

"Errrr, it's still going strong Jim."
Wot guest just said Dave
It sounds somewhat passé nowadays
Even if you were right Trad folk would have a several centuries lead on it
Sorry 'bout that
Jim


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 06:54 AM

Did you read the links I provided, Jim?

I agree wholeheartedly that Trad folk has 'several centuries lead' but that does not preclude the possibility of other genres still existing. In addition, at any time in those 'several centuries' folk music, particularly for dancing, has used drums and bass lines of varying types. Folk music is not and never has been exclusively unaccompanied song.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 07:17 AM

Rock n Roll was just a commercialising commodifying marketing name applied to a form of music
that had been evolving as grass roots poor black and whites 'folk' music
for decades prior the 1950s and Alan Freed and all the other corporate bandwagon jumpers...

..and it's a hell of a lot more engaging and exciting tham a huge amount of stodgy dull British/Celtic 'folk' music...

... and 'our' folk music mostly aint as interesting and emotive as central, northern, and eastern European trad folk music...

[best not rile any folkie brexiteers..]


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 08:54 AM

"Did you read the links I provided, Jim?"
Yes I did Dave and, as lst time Wiki proves as unreliable as it did first time around
I tend to judge for myself rather than a site usually written to promote personal tastes rather than accurate information
Fads such as folk rock and mini choir "Waterson Wannabes" came and wentwhen I was still,involved
Sorry Punky - your taste is obviously not that which drove
It appears that MacColl was right when he said folk music would only be at the risk of dying when it fell into the hands of people who didn't like it
"stodgy dull British/Celtic 'folk' music...|" just about sums that up for me - and would leave me feeling personally insulted if I took it seriously
I still picture "punk" as the somewhat saddo group of weird looking middle-aged people who haunted the top of Royal Avenue on the Kings Road when I lived in London - "chacun a son gout" I suppose
Jim


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 09:16 AM

Wiki proves as unreliable as it did first time around

How so, Jim? Can you disprove the statement, "However, the genre has not only been highly influential on both rock and folk music, thanks to the remarkable longevity of the key groups and productivity of the members, together with renewed interest in subsequent generations, electric folk continues to survive and artistically thrive."?

I would be interested to see your repudiation of the fact that there are many Folk Rock bands currently thriving and drawing large audiences wherever they appear.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 10:48 AM

BTW - Wikipedia, for all its flaws, is generally a good and accurate resource. From its own 'about' page -

Wikipedia is written collaboratively by largely anonymous volunteers who write without pay. Anyone with Internet access can write and make changes to Wikipedia articles, except in limited cases where editing is restricted to prevent disruption or vandalism. Users can contribute anonymously, under a pseudonym, or, if they choose to, with their real identity. The fundamental principles by which Wikipedia operates are the five pillars. The Wikipedia community has developed many policies and guidelines to improve the encyclopedia; however, it is not a formal requirement to be familiar with them before contributing.

So, if there is anything you disagree with then you are perfectly entitled to submit amendments. Of course everyone else is entitled to do the same so they then apply the following process

Where there are disagreements on how to display facts, editors often work together to compile an article that fairly represents current expert opinion on the subject.

In a nutshell, if you don't like what Wikipedia is saying, you can do something about it.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 11:06 AM

"I would be interested to see your repudiation of the fact that there are many Folk Rock bands currently thriving and drawing large audiences wherever they appear".
Examples , please ?


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 12:32 PM

Jim - ey up.. I couldn't resist that little indulgence of cheeky mischief making...

Took my mind off going to the bloody dentist again - 3rd time in 2 weeks...

Any trad folk songs about dentists getting their come uppance...???

Of course I don't think all our Brit/Celtic trad folk is dull stodge...

I just bought some more "The Young Tradition" CDs...

including the previously unreleased USA live gig...


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 12:46 PM

" I couldn't resist that little indulgence of cheeky mischief making..."
Me too

"Can you disprove the statement, "
Can you prove it
Wiki is what I said it was


I MAKE THE MOST RECENT AROUND A DECADE OUT OF DATE -
Do you sing The Banks of Denial ?
Jim


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 12:56 PM

I don't like the title of the thread..why does it have to be one vs the other. Both types of music offer good listening. So why denigrate one at the expense of the other ?


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 02:58 PM

Well said, Guest 07 Feb 19 - 12:56 PM.

Guest 07 Feb 19 - 11:06 AM

Examples.

Old school folk rock. Every tour by Steeleye Span sells out.
New folk rock. Every tour by Blackbeards Tea Party sells out.

Those are just the obvious ones. I am not going to do your homework for you by listing the many others that a little googling will find

Jim. I don't need to prove anything in Wiki. It has already been done by a team of editors and experts in the field.

I am not going to argue with you. There is little point as the world I live in is vastly different to yours. One day I hope to visit yours and I have already invited you to visit mine. One courtesy I would ask of you though. Please stop saying that the world I live in does not exist. It does. It is full of traditional folk, dance music and folk rock. I enjoy it :-)


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 07:12 PM

Surely shouldn't be too hard to give us say 10 examples of all these great folk rock bands around in 2019 ?
Is that too much to ask ? Please ?


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 07:37 PM

I agree with the other guest.

Thanks for the Tea Party recommendation. I had never heard of them, and they are not my thing. I really don't like Fairport and Steeleye Span though. Though I think Pentangle are great. But maybe Pentangle are not folk rock.

Got to wonder how people define folk rock, I imagine as usual on here everyone is arguing at cross purposes.

But srsly, telling those of us who don't know and who are interested to go and look it up is not helpful. We don't know. We don't know where to look. We don't know what you are talking about. Why not show us.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: sian, west wales
Date: 07 Feb 19 - 08:24 PM

These kids certainly enjoy their trad. I think it's a great project!

sian, west wales


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 03:08 AM

"Jim. I don't need to prove anything in Wiki. It has already been done by a team of editors and experts in the field. "
Wiki isn/ made up of "editors in the field" Dave - it consists of information and opinions sent in by whoever feels like doing so - it even invites people to edit its entries
You are getting to sound like the people I have spent my life arguing so pointlessly with
I really don't know why I'm bothering discussing a music I haven't the slightest interest in which I have only ever considered predator section of the pop scene looking for ways to use folk music
Folk rock, as far as I'm concerned was made up of wannabe pop stars who could't make it on the mainstream scene and so chose the folk clubs as a platform
Fine by be as long as they did no damage to the music that mattered - they were never more than a passing fad as all pop based music is - to be re-invented whenever the industrty felt it profitable to do so
It could never be considered grass-roots in the scene I was involved in because the people I knew couldn't have afforded the necessary equipment if they'd wanted it.
Folk song proper is basically a solo act by people who used it for self expression; the sharing of ideas, emotions and aspirations via the songs they sang - that is still working for me after over a half century's involvement - you couldn't ask more of a lifelong interest
The lady from West Wales has just put up a link of youngsters getting the same enjoyment I have out of traditional song - I envy them their youth and I hope they get a fraction of the enjoyment out of it that I have
One of the ways they will do that is by realising its importance and by sharing that importance with others - a far cry than faddiish -based pop music that needs to die regularly to keep the industry in profit
Our folk scene came into being to escape the tedious pap about 'pink and blue toothbrushes' and wanting to be "Bobby's Girl"   
It worries me to see many of today's performers who count success in how many CDs they make or how many paid gigs they can get - as for the media driven competitions.... don't get me started!

I now live in a place which had a rich tradition of traditional song and now has a throbbing six-night-a-week traditional music scene - largely played by youngsters a third of my age - some of them already as good as the best I have ever heard
Here they share the music rather than selling it -
That's beginning to happen with the singing, but it'll take time, thought and effort to build a lasting foundation for it to build on
I would love to see that happen in the UK, but it ain't going to happen on a scene that can't even put a name and identity to the music they claim to perform and hurl epithets like "purist" and "folk-fascist" at anybody who can.
Folk song is extremely enjoyable in all its aspects, but like Shankley once said about football - it's much more important than that   
If it's going to survive it has to be shared - that sharing can be ecery bit as enjoyable as listening to a good song, well performed
Come in - the water's lovely - it always has been
Jim


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 03:10 AM

OK, Guest 07 Feb 19 - 07:12 PM . I don't know you as you do not have the courtesy to put a name to your posts but, assuming this is not a wind up and seeing as you said please, here are your 10 (In no particular order)

Steeleye Span
Fairport Convention
Albion Band
Broadside Electric
Oyster Band
Jethro Tull
Edward II
Runrig
Red Hot Chilli Pipers
Blackbeards Tea Party

If you want any more Google, Amazon and Spotify will do it far better than I so ask them.

Guest 07 Feb 19 - 07:37 PM

If you do not like Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention or Blackbeards Tea Party, chances are you do not like Folk Rock so I suspect your request for more information is spurious.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 03:14 AM

Jim

I really don't know why I'm bothering discussing a music I haven't the slightest interest in which I have only ever considered predator section of the pop scene looking for ways to use folk music

Spot on. You have no interest yet you are happy to say 'it hardly survived a decade'. Do you not think that it may be that because you have no interest, you have not kept up with the genre? In which case, how can you possibly know what the current Folk Rock scene is like?


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 03:21 AM

BTW - Forgot to add. I've been swimming in the same pool since about 1975 but at times I do like to get out and do something else :-)


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 03:33 AM

my opinion is that folk rock has made little progress since the days of steeleye span, its proponents are still sufferin from too loud decibels and will continue to go deaf, itdoes not seem to have anything nmew to offer, are there any cutting songs of social comment?


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 03:38 AM

"Spot on. You have no interest yet you are happy to say 'it hardly survived a decade'."
No I don't Dave - others do - I jusy pass on the information
The fact that I have no interest in it doesn't miss I am unaware of it - how could you miss something as loud as that
It's not possible to to keep up with a genre that comes with a built-in shelf life unless you are prepared to scrabble around the dustbins
No-one lives in a bubble any more - they only have to log in to find what's happening - and god knows, there are enough people o this forum to put yuo straight
I put up the Spotify list - nothing younger than twenty years
Steeley Span - Fairport - Albion - Oyster - come-on - they've had more revivals than Frank Sinatra
Jethro Tull - inspires a picture of stages needing wheelchair ramps

"but at times I do like to get out and do something else :-)"
Why - can't you do both ?
I stop swimming when I need a piss - that's the only reason I have to "get out" of a music that still fills my life

Jim


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 03:58 AM

Why - can't you do both ?

That is exactly what I am saying Jim, I do both. But not at the same time :-D

Your spotify list may contain artists that have been going a long time but, the point is, they are still around. Far from a flash in the pan. There are plenty that have been formed a lot more recently too although, seeing as you have no interest, I would not expect you to be aware of them.

And BTW, Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull may be 71 but he would run rings round most people here!


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 04:02 AM

Guest: Surely shouldn't be too hard to give us say 10 examples of all these great folk rock bands around in 2019 ?
Is that too much to ask ? Please ?


Dave the Gnome's list contains a fair few bands that a re a bit long in the tooth. A list of just ten (from many) more recently formed bands, off the top of my head:

Gilmore and Roberts
Faustus
Sam Kelly and The Lost Boys
Midnight Skyracer
MG Boulter
Kerfuffle
The Willows
Emily Askew Band
Dovetail Trio
Cardboard Fox

There are loads more out there, that's just off the top of my head.

Re DtG's Wiki quote: The number, and mainstream recognition, of electric folk groups is lower in the 21st century than it was in the late 20th.

They may not have the "mainstream recognition" of say Steeleye or Fairport in their heyday but I'd argue that the number is no lower this century than it was last. Their standard of musicianship is very high, and they regularly fill reasonably-sized venues.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 04:12 AM

Thanks Rob. It's nice to know I did not imagine it :-)

I stuck to the bands that people may recognise rather than the many others I have either seen or listened to.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 04:15 AM

BTW - I only know two on your list (Faustus and Kerfuffle) so I will use the rest as recommendations :-) I was going to include Something Nasty in the Woodshed on my list but was sad to find they had disbanded in 2016. Do you know them?


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 04:16 AM

A bit of (Norfolk born and Cornwall raised, despite the Irish surname)Sam Kelly and The Lost Boys:

Jolly Waggoners and Banish Misfortune


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 04:29 AM

I really like that, Rob, and no electronics in sight! Giving credence to my statement that folk music could have always used drum and bass :-D


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 04:57 AM

Thanks for that list, Rob Naylor - I will check them out.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 05:09 AM

Found them on Youtube. Nothing at all on that list I would consider "folk-rock". I'm out of this fairly pointless "discussion".


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Howard Jones
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 05:12 AM

It's very difficult to define what folk-rock is. I don't think its the same as using electric instruments - an acoustic guitar is not more authentic than an electric one. From time to time I've played in bands which have included drum kits, electric guitars and electric bass, but we certainly wouldn't consider ourselves to be folk-rock.

Folk-rock was a deliberate attempt to present traditional songs in a (then) contemporary style. Steeleye Span were a 1970s guitar band with added fiddle, and their sound was very much of that time and now sounds dated. Just because they use electric instruments I don't consider Blackbeard's Tea Party to be folk-rock, because I feel their approach is much more a lively folk style rather than an attempt to sound like contemporary popular music. I would regard someone like Seth Lakeman as being much more in the folk-rock tradition as his style appears to derive more from contemporary popular music than from folk.

Folk music has come on since the 1970s and it is now commonplace to find a much wider range of instruments than used to be the case. Brass, keyboards, saxaphones and electric guitars and bass are now commonplace, but in most cases these are not used to mimic popular music and the result is folk rather than rock.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 05:20 AM

Well done Dave & Rob for giving examples showing that folk rock is still alive and kicking - though I'm not sure I would class Gilmore Roberts as folk rock much as I love them.

Dick asks if there are any songs of social comment being performed in the genre - try Merry Hell or some of Robb Johnson's rockier albums as starting points.

For excellent interpretations of traditional material Joshua Burnell is a newish kid on the block and of course Jim Moray has excelled for many years.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 06:17 AM

Good points, Howard, even though I disagree on some. But that is what healthy discussion is all about :-) I would define Folk Rock as a genre that uses elements of both folk and rock music as its structure. As such it is independent of types of instrument although a driving rhythm is required to fulfill the rock element. There are Steeleye Span songs that do not have any rock element and I would not place in that category but, in the main, they are the archetypal folk rock band. Blackbeards Tea Party make good use of percussion and bass to provide that rock element and, again, in the main, they are good examples of Folk Rock.

Following that through, if we look at the development of rock it came from rock and roll which in turn came from blues which came from gospel, jazz and country amongst many others. I think it fair to say that, although the term was not coined until the 1950s, rock has always existed and in folk music, particularly dance. Those driving rhythms that we now term Folk Rock have been around forever!


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 06:18 AM

Thanks Rob for that great list. Lots of brilliant bands on there. I have never heard of most of them and have checked out half on Youtube now. more later. Got to agree though that I would never call that folk rock, and would certainly never dream of calling it just folk. I mean I wouldn't on this forum :-)


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 06:21 AM

This is becoming a bit like Holby City with a bunch of doctors standing around a patient on life-support saying "She' just twitched"
Does it really matter !
The basic difference for me between Folk and 'folk(sic) rock" is that, whenther it has made it this far or not, it exists only for itself - it has nbasic o identity of its own other than the one it has stolen and misused from a centuries-old song /music form, no great history of development and no input into national culture or society - it does not exist outside its immediate paerformance - a sound and nothing else.
Fol - song in particular, is exactly the opposite - it carries both national and socal history the songs were made to express the aspirations and observations of those who made them and carried them down the ages - it is an integral part of society
Dave talks about 'getting out of the water' - I don't have to; almost everything that interests me is in there with me.
My first live music interest was the wonderful jazz that was played at the cavern before it became Beatle infested - that love never went away, but it took me to the Blues which developed a further interest in Black America, slavery, The Civil Rights Music..
Then to British indigenous music with all its historical, political and social implications - Lloyd's and Lomax's work threw open the international gates.
My meeting and falling under the influence of MacColl and Seeger developed a latent interest in Theatre - MacColl not only introduced me to some great theatre and literature, but his pioneering work on technical work was based on that done by Stanislavski for The Moscow Ats Theatre - his relaxation excercises were pioneered by Rudolph Laben's 'Efforts' adapted for dance - Ewan adapted them for singing
Throw in my interest in Cinema and literature and I'd have to live three lifetimes even to scratch the surface
Next to this 'Folk Rock is all a little fanzine, I'm afraid - sorry
One thinng I've learned in life is, get on the right bus and it'll take you anywhere
Jim


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 06:40 AM

Dave talks about 'getting out of the water' - I don't have to; almost everything that interests me is in there with me.

And there we have it, Jim. There are many who like to swim in the same pool all the time just as there are those who like the sea, lakes and rivers as well. There are also those who cannot swim at all. It is all about personal taste and what interests you. Peoples tastes and interests are very personal and to decry them as being somehow not as good as your own may generate the type of rancour that we sometimes see on here. Not that I am saying you do that but when you use phrases like "wannabe pop stars who could't make it on the mainstream scene" to describe other peoples heroes you must understand that it is a very contentious and mainly false statement. I don't believe for one minute that anyone who performs music is in it just for the money. They do it out of passion and love of music. That they managed to make money out of is largely due to being exceptionally good at what they and being in the right place at the right time.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 08:01 AM

Speak up John! :-)


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Howard Jones
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 08:11 AM

Folk music is simply the source for this, and lets not forget that in the British Isles songs were usually unaccompanied. Once you start arranging them for instruments, whether for acoustic guitar, orchestra or rock band, you are moving away from the original and no approach can claim to have a greater moral authority over another. It then becomes a matter of personal taste and whether the ideas work from a musical point of view.

For me, the distinction lies in whether it is just different way of performing folk, or whether folk is being used as raw material to create something in a different genre. When classical composers such as Britten or Vaughn Williams arranged folk songs they used the songs as raw material to create 'art' music for a classical music audience. Bands like Steeleye and the Albion Band appear to me to be doing something similar, aimed more at a popular music audience rather than a folk one, and that is what I think makes it folk-rock. There are plenty of bands who happen to include rock instruments who I wouldn't consider folk-rock, because they are aiming at a folk audience.

The question is whether performing folk music in the style of contemporary popular music helps to attract young people. In some cases it will, in others it may put them off. Unless it is very well done it can fail both as folk and as rock. As with everything to do with music, it comes back to personal taste.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 09:30 AM

Your last sentence is spot on, Howard.

I am not too sure about the songs being usually unaccompanied. In terms of the bardic tradition, IE telling a story, you are mostly right. I am sure some storyteller/singers chose to provide themselves a a bit of musical or percussive accompaniment but I would certainly accept that in the main they just sang. However, singing is only part of the tradition. Music and in particular music to dance by has always played a massive roll in the folk traditions of any country. I don't think that either is more important than the other and personal preference comes into it a lot.

Maybe, just maybe, the oral tradition of storytelling via song has lapsed simply because if people want news or stories there are now so many other sources open to them? Music for its own sake however will never fall into disuse. At least I hope not! Poetry, whether set to music or not, is a different kettle of fish and I think people enjoy the wordcraft as much as the tune. I, for one, love Peter Bellamy's arrangements of Kipling's poems. But is that folk music? Let's not start that again... ;-)


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 09:48 AM

"There are many who like to swim in the same pool all the time just as there are those who like the sea, lakes and rivers as well. "
I've just attempted to show how what I do covers a far wider range than most - other musics, theatre, literature, history politics, the classic (including classical music)...
You appear to have read what I have written and come to the conclusion that if I don't like folk rock I am "narrow"
I've shown you mine now you show yme yours
Wanna discuss Shakespeare - see you on the thread - wanna learn a few good jokes - go look up mine on the joke thread - my taste in music is probably wider than most - unfortunately I regard anything connected with modern pop music mildly imbecilic at best and aggressively oppressive at worst - "pump up the volume" is the musical equivalent of invading Poland as far as I am concerned


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 10:06 AM

>> lets not forget that in the British Isles songs were usually unaccompanied

This is such a bizarre myth to propagate. I wonder where it comes from. It is certain that on here there are plenty pushing this idea, and claiming a greater moral authority through doing so.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 10:10 AM

Jim

I was referring to your statement "Dave talks about 'getting out of the water' - I don't have to; almost everything that interests me is in there with me."

Sorry if I misunderstood and that does not mean that you are happy to stay in the same pool.

And just a word of advice on your last line. It is not a good one to use to son of a Pole who had to leave his country when it was invaded. Good job I am thick skinned.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 10:17 AM

One thing that is worth remembering is that for some people folk rock may be their way into folk music. I'm sure Steeleye, Fairport etc encouraged many young people to explore further and I would hope bands like Merry Hell, Sail Pattern, Blackbeard's Tea Party etc would have a similar impact on young people today


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 10:18 AM

They are certainly more likely to get onto folk that way than listening to some old blokes droning on in the back room a pub - not all folk sessions are like that by any means but a fair few are!


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 10:32 AM

some old blokes droning on in the back room a pub "
There we have it - wegpo allo our fo;k songs from "old blokes and women droning awayiun pubs - tyha new crowd take 'em for free , usually f*** them up, arrange them and sticdk a little (c) on them to capitalise on them and then hurl ageist remarks at the people who gave us our songs
Sums up 'Folk Rock" as far as I'm concerned
" folk rock may be their way into folk music."
There their way out of folk music - there is litle in folk roick to light a path into 'the real thing'
Our folk songs are narrative - stories set to music - folk rock is little more than a sound - how can you follow the plot when the words are drowned out by overloud instrumentation
It comes from the fat that they are unaccompanied - even in Ireland where the musical tradition is extremely high
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 10:51 AM

Sorry that last comment was a reply to
"This is such a bizarre myth to propagate. I wonder where it comes from. "
I replied It comes from the fact that they are unaccompanied - our oral tradition is overwhelmingly solo singing without accompaniment
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 10:55 AM

100 :-)


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 11:17 AM

Folk rock is not just a British or Uko-Hiberno-American phenomenon, and its variations in other places point to some directions Anglophones haven't tried. The Italian singer Ginevra di Marco often works with a rock lineup and she's as political as anyone could want. Hungarian bands like Kerekes don't touch contemporary issues, and their material is pretty much straight trad, just scored differently. Probably the most publicly influential folk-rock group in the world is Kardes Turkuler from Turkey, and they use their choice of repertoire to make a political point, incorporating players and songs from ethnic minorities like Kurds and Armenians. (They had a 25th anniversary gig in London last week - wish I could have gone).

I am not sure if Runrig see themselves as folk rock, but they are certainly the voice of their community, not just rootless entertainers seeking patronage from anywhere.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 11:54 AM

>>> It comes from the fact that they are unaccompanied

Simply not true.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 11:56 AM

Some interesting people to seek out there Jack - thanks. I love folk music but I love folk rock and many other genres of music. Folk rock does absolutely no harm to folk and if anything complements it. Just because Jim and other of the folk police don't like it it does not mean that it is in invalid. By all means don't listen to it if you don't like it but I for one can certainly hear the words sung by John Tams (in my view one of the greatest living interpreter of folk song as well as a superb writer of original material) in the Albion Band and many other singers in folk rock bands!


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 12:01 PM

"Jim and other of the folk police "Please downt lower this discussion to the level of personal insults otherwise it will be closed down by the mods
The only police hre are these who ride roughshod over existing and long established terms and use them to their own ends   
One of the obvious examples of damage that things like folk rock has done ids to create an oppressive atmosphere making well manned and friendly discussion nigh wel impossible by the use of terms like 'folk police'
Please don't do it again
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 12:15 PM

"Simply not true."
Prove it - show me where British or Irish folk music was ever and accompanied form
A few street singers sang accompanied - but in the main, the main corpus of our recorded examples are unaccompanied
It was the revival that introduced instrumentation
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST,JoeG
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 12:36 PM

'Folk police' is hardly an insult - just a gentle reference to those who think that their interpretation of folk is the only one. I'm sorry Jim but to blame folk rock for creating 'an oppressive atmosphere' is just laughable. You are the one who is trying to oppress by insisting that those of us who love various forms of folk music do not call the music we admire 'folk' when it quite obviously is. If there is to be any hope of getting new generations into the music that has enriched my life and presumably all of us here then such narrow definitions of folk and antagonism to music that expands and enriches the genre really needs to stop. Though I can't imagine many young people look in here very often as they will have been appalled by the narrowness and intransigence of some contributors views. A shame as there is much to learn and enjoy


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 12:59 PM

Jim, not all folk music is song. As I said earlier, music and dance is equally important and seems to be unaffected by the gloom you report to unaccompanied song.

As to "One of the obvious examples of damage that things like folk rock has done ids to create an oppressive atmosphere", I am not sure where to start. The fact that someone who likes folk rock has offended you becomes the fault of the folk rock genre is a leap of faith that not many could make.

Jack. I think of Runrig as a folk rock band in that they seem to tick both boxes. Maybe others think differently. On the subject of world folk I think you may like Hanggai from Mongolia and Guilhem Desq (France?) on his electric hurry gurdy!


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 01:04 PM

"'Folk police' is hardly an insult "
Yes it is, and you know it
I's ususlly refined by some people when they find themselves at a loss for words and have to resort to bad manners as "folk fascist" or "purist"
If you don't agree with my please dont try to insult my intelligence

"just a gentle reference to those who think that their interpretation of folk is the only one"
If you have another definition, please give it, but bring a consensus with you so everybody can understand you
Fork rock is only one of the genres that have created an oppressive atmosphere with the use of these terms
WE could resort to name-calling like yours if you wish, but I'd rather try to argue rationally - haven' used the term sniger snogwriter in yyears and have never referred to anybody as a "police"anything
I know young people who detest Shakespeare and Dickens and Beethoven and Louis Armstrong.... but I wouldn't wish to change any of them to attract those people - why on earht==th should folk song be any different ?
If they can't accept folk music for what it is - tough - it's never going to be4 anything else
I came to folk music when I was 20 and nearly walked away because I found the watered down version (The Liverpool Spinners) too bland - luckily I was encouraged to search out the real thing and when I found it and came to terms with it it bacame part of my life - I was serving my time as an electrician on the Liverpool docks at the time
If I could do it then I see no reason why any other young person can't do the same.
If you water whiskey down you end up with a taste for watered whiskey (vomit)
There really is no antagonism on my part - it's a case of thaking what's on offer or walking away
Jim


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: John P
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 03:27 PM

The folk police are the people who tell you that you are playing music wrong. I've been loudly accosted during performances multiple times. "That's not the way THEY play it" seems to be the common theme.

I think many people confuse the concepts of traditional music with historical music. This implies a stopping date for the tradition. I prefer living traditions that grow and change and incorporate new things.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 03:49 PM

We love Jim for all the good he has done collecting, archiving, preserving, and championing trad folk...
I also admire his politics and zest for arguing against the wrongs of dominant right wing society...

But we just have to learn to turn a deaf ear
when he goes off on one prescribing what is and is not valid 'folk' music,
and his wrong headed diatribes against popular music...

He's still a top bloke though...


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 04:01 AM

Nice bit of patronizing insulting PFR

"The folk police"
There we go again - more folk policing attempting to prevent friendly discussion
Who has mentioned right and wrong hre?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 05:31 AM

Jim, do you not think that saying some top folk musicians are only in it for the money or are pop star wannabes is somewhat insulting to both those musicians and their fans?


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 05:44 AM

Btw. Sam, who started this thread is both a wonderful musician and a man blessed with inner peace. As well his solo accordion pieces which you can find on YouTube he is also in a duo with brilliant percussionist, Gary Hammond. He no longer visits the Mudcat Cafe.

I wonder why...


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 06:28 AM

"Jim, do you not think that saying some top folk musicians are only in it for the money or are pop star wannabes is somewhat insulting to both those musicians and their fans?"
Where have I said that Dave ?
The only people who make money out of music of any form to any great degree are the interpreters
Even the pop-star wannabes take second place to them and appear to seek attention rather than money - there can be little doubt that his is how some aspects of folk are being sold - name and fame
What I actually said is that the scene I was part of was run by non-professional grass-rooters who gave their time and effort for the music without expecting payment
Nothing wrong with being paid, but it should never dominate and run the scene
Shortly after we moved here, Irish Television put on a programme entitled "Has Irish Traditional Music Sold Out?"
One of the greatest musicians on the scene, Paddy Glackin, put it in a nutshell - "very few solo performers can get anywhere on today's scene without joining a group" - in other words, the employer called the shots.
Paddy, his brother Kevin, and many other top musicians worked their balls off to change that situation and succeeded in creating a scene based on love of the music rather than providing careers - many youngsters, including members of Paddy's and Kevin's own families hve benefited from that work and are now contributing to it
Kevin Glackin's daughter is both a fine fiddle player and a good singer - we saw her perform last year.

Having said that, I was at a Loughborough National Folk Festival talk many years ago where one of the leading folk rock stars of the day, Bob Pegg, was asked why they did what they did - his reply was, "For the money"
Birmingham folk journalist and activist, Trevor Fisher wrote an excellent pamphlet based on Pegg's statement entitled, 'We're Only in it For the Money" - let you have a copy if you're interested

If you are suggesting that anybody has left this forum because Folk Music is discussed critically my reaction is, perhaps they should never have been here in the first place
No creative activity put on for public consumption should ever be considered above criticism   
I have no knowledge of the performer you named but I' prepared to take your word for it if you say he considers himself above criticism
You have suggested before now that I shouldn't post here if I don't like what's happening in the clubs
Sounds like an attempt to create an exclusive club of self-congratulatory backslappers to me
Shame on you
Jim


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 07:19 AM

"interpreters"
******* spellcheck - should be the entrepreneurs
Jim


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 07:36 AM

Where have I said that Dave?

Here, Jim.

From: Jim Carroll - PM
Date: 08 Feb 19 - 03:08 AM

Folk rock, as far as I'm concerned was made up of wannabe pop stars who could't make it on the mainstream scene and so chose the folk clubs as a platform


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 07:41 AM

My turn now

You have suggested before now that I shouldn't post here if I don't like what's happening in the clubs

Where have I said that

I' prepared to take your word for it if you say he considers himself above criticism

Where have I said that?

What's good for the goose and all that...


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 07:42 AM

There is another way people first encounter folk music, far more commonly than via folk rock and from long before the Anglo-American "revival" - folk pop. That was the way I first heard folk music, and it was a more wide-ranging genre than either the revivalists or the folk rockers ever contemplated. The Andrews Sisters in Yiddish, Eartha Kitt doing Turkish, Mary Hopkin using Russian folklore. The most prominent performer in the UK doing that today is Ed Sheeran, and he must outsell everybody performing on the British folk club circuit put together. A constructive response to what he's doing would help.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 07:48 AM

I like Ed Sheeran. And Mumford and Sons. I think they are all doing a great job.

Mentioning Mary Hopkin, my Dad played and sang "Dorogoi dlinnoyu" for us shortly after hearing "Those were the days". He was a far better musician and singer than I will ever be!


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 08:35 AM

Jim - not being patronising at all - just an honest opinion from one internet 'folkie' mate to another...

All the great things you do for trad folk are unfortunately partially cancelled out by your negative strictures..
I've witnessed the effect..

For instance some years ago, when that young modern electronica folkie living in France
made an effort to seek out your permission to cover a song in your collection,
and you refused.
If I recall correctly, only after lecturing us/him on why he was not fit enough to record that song...

He would have been intersting new blood for aging & declining mudcat community,
and that was the last time we ever saw him here....


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 08:45 AM

Jim - "If you are suggesting that anybody has left this forum because Folk Music is discussed critically
my reaction is, perhaps they should never have been here in the first place
"

no.. no... no.. no.. no

Trying to appeal to 'a higher calling and standards'
to justify knocking down the ideas and confidence of young newcomers
is not acceptable...

Again, imho...


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Vic Smith
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 08:51 AM

Having said that, I was at a Loughborough National Folk Festival talk many years ago where one of the leading folk rock stars of the day, Bob Pegg, was asked why they did what they did - his reply was, "For the money"
Birmingham folk journalist and activist, Trevor Fisher wrote an excellent pamphlet based on Pegg's statement entitled, 'We're Only in it For the Money"


Not long after that time, I interviewed Bob Pegg. I asked him if he regretted making that comment. He replied that he was in two minds about it. He had made it as a sort of wry self-mocking joke because he lost a lot of money on trying to launch that folk-rock band Mr. Fox and ended up with huge debts. In my opinion the band was too esoteric, too cerebral to reach more than a cult audience but they were one of the most inventive and interesting of the bands in that genre though it was the band that, to my ears, seemed to be closest to the tradition. Yet he became a totemic enemy of the Parkhouse Convention crowd who really blackened his name though they never, apparently, tried to contact him to explain his position which he thought reflected badly on them rather than on himself. Later, off air, he confided that he hadn't tried to contact them himself because he was in a bad place with big debts and the break-up of his marriage.
I believe that he now lives in Scotland where he has spent decades involve in collecting from Highland-based storytellers and musicians. People who collect the tradition deserve our praise. Other enthusiasts gain a great deal from it but it is a labour of love and not something to to if you are "in it for the money".


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 09:28 AM

Bob said what he said and he was reported accurately - I was there and heard him say it
Trevor used his quote to illustrate what he believed was happening to the folk scene back then - he took it no further as far as Pegg was concerned so it is inaccurate to describe Park House as using Pegg as a "totemic enemy" - to my knowledge, his name was never mentioned again in their literature or at any of their gatherings - another 'folkie legend' it would appear
If he hadn't meant what he said he shouldn't have said it publicly
People who 'collect the tradition' tend to get the rough end of the stick when they dare to criticise the folk scene, as I am finding out regularly
As far as I'm concerned all folk activity needs to be a labour of love
It's always struck me that it might help things if, instead of putting a little (c) next to arrangements of folk material, all paid performers should be asked to make a contribution towards furthering the survival of folk song and music whenever they use folk song, tune or tale
It appalls me to remember that the "arrangement" of a rare ballad collected from a Traveller who died of malnutrition in a derelict squat has been copyrighted by a well heeled musician who has little to do with folk song
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 09:42 AM

"Trying to appeal to 'a higher calling and standards'"
Who is doing that - I am suggesting that if folk song is to survive it has to be performed to a reasonable standard and has to be identifiable as folk song
I would expect no less from any other publicly performed endevour
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 09:48 AM

I know Bob slightly (over the last 10 years, had no idea he'd ever been a folk rocker) and wouldn't have been surprised by that rather ordinary ironic remark. Nobody should need to watch their mouth in case some grudge-cultivating Aspie folk bureaucrat might be eavesdropping.

Should I have heard of Park House? What were they or it?


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 10:01 AM

There should be no 'perchance' about it - not if the club scene is to survive
During these arguments I have experienced a great deal of hostility - that towards my self, which I have got used to, ut that towards the folk songs themselves (inappropriate long ballads, etc) and the 'boring old geezers' who gave them to us
Park House was a series of meeting named after Charles Parker's Home in Leominster, which hosted a number of week-end events to discuss, work on and perform folk song
It published regular bulletins and those who organised it went on to set up @the Charles Parker Archive' in Birmingham Central Library - some later established 'Banner Theatre' in The Midlands
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 10:02 AM

"There should be no 'perchance' about it - not if the club scene is to survive"
Posted to wrong thread
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 10:09 AM

I thought Bob lived near Whitby somewhere? Thoroughly nice chap who not only answered my questions with grace but sent me one of his CDs completely free and without my asking. Hardly the actions of a money grubbing wannabe! If everyone had to watch what they say all the time I can easily refer to some comments on this very thread that could well pop up and bite someone's bum :-)


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Vic Smith
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 10:22 AM

Jack wrote:-
Should I have heard of Park House? What were they or it?

Doc Rowe, who was a founder member described Parkhouse Convention described it thus:-
I was a founder member of Park House Convention (1972) - a group who believed the modes of expression found in the oral tradition are tailor-made for contemporary artists. I helped co-ordinate a number of conferences associated with this as well as producing a newsletter.

It was part of the huge movement of radical and student politics at the time and seemed to be based in Birmingham. Charles Parker seemed to be a prime influence, The newsletters which I received reflected a variety of opinions, some concerned attitudes to traditions, others were more to do with how song could be used to further the left-wing and Communist viewpoints. The newsletters are long since disposed of and I cannot remember a great deal about them. There was some Maoist vs. Russian Leninist arguments which were standard fare at the time. The only thing that really sticks in my mind was an article of advice to folk club organisers which said something like - At our club the committee has chosen in advance "A pig of the week (or was it month?)" and we set aside a time for members to come up and speak about them. Something of that nature with the appointed being a current hate figure. This was one of the ideas that I did not take up but there were others, concerned with maintaining standards and encouraging variety which I was much more sympathetic with.
Like many radical organisations, it only lasted a few years but many of the members went on to be influential in other ways.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 10:38 AM

I'm afraid Doc's memory doesn't serve him too well
I still have a full run of the Park House bulletins and none bear resemblance to that of Doc's description
The most memorable event I attended (and recorded) was the one addressed first by historian, E P Thomson on working class culture, followed by one by Roy Palmer on Folk Song in education
We gave a recording of Thomson's lecture to a history group who held an event and made a film concerning 'The Putney Debates of 1647'   
I treasure and have regularly shared the superb recording of the talk given by Sandra Kerr on Folk Song styles
Must have been another Park House Convention I didn't know about
The folk world seems to be populated by such legends
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 11:14 AM

Just dug out Parkhouse Convention Bulletin of Feb 1974
The subjects covered are; 'Music of the People' Day school, Bit=rmingham and Midland Folk Centre, Falmouth Folk Festival (the only mention of Doc in the bullitin is as organiser of this event)
Nottingham Traditional Music Club
Drama and the Media
Folk and Mumming Plays
Workshop on Traditional material led by Charles Parker by Pam Bishop
Song Style Workshop Sandra Kerr
Article on songwriting John Pole
The only political content report and script of a feature evening on The Shrewsbury 24 building workers strike and trial
The contact name for the bulletin is given as Brian Homer (a flatmate of Trevor Fisher)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 11:57 AM

"Pig of the Week" sounds like a great way to do theme nights - "this is the Arron Banks Clog Hornpipe, the kicks are exactly the right height to hit him in the goolies"...


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Vic Smith
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 12:04 PM

... and to ensure the kicks are high enough, we will ask it to be danced to The High Level Hornpipe.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 04:28 PM

Jim: Prove it - show me where British or Irish folk music was ever and accompanied form

I play both British and Irish music with accompaniment, and have for decades. So, you see, it is an accompanied form, and has been for decades. If you're trying to say that there wasn't any accompaniment prior to some magical cut-off date, fine. Tell us your date. I'll tell you mine. Where will we be then? You seem to be confusing the concepts of traditional music and historical music.

BTW, I've never been part of a revival. I'm not trying to revive anything. I just play the music I love in the way in which I feel called to play it. While I find the historical aspects of music interesting, it is just academic scholarship. It doesn't really have anything to do with the melodies, and certainly doesn't tell us how the music "should" be played. I think the music itself is way more important than knowing lots of historical things about it. I know it's probably not true, Jim, but the things you say make it sound like the scholarship is more important to you than the melodies.

Jim: I am suggesting that if folk song is to survive it has to be performed to a reasonable standard and has to be identifiable as folk song

Sorry, Jim, but every trad song ever recorded by Steeleye Span is clearly identifiable as a folk song, and all were performed to a high standard.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: John P
Date: 09 Feb 19 - 04:30 PM

Sorry, the last guest was me without a cookie.

-John


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 03:05 AM

"I play both British and Irish music with accompaniment, and have for decades. So, you see, it is an accompanied form,"
I doubt if you are a traditional singer - we are all revival singers using somgs and playing music made in the past and passed on to us
The songs in the British and Irish folk repertoire are all taken from an older generation - there is no evidence that they accompanied their songs
What you, as a modern singer, choose to do with them is immaterial - the British and Irish song tradition is an unnacompanied one

"Sorry, Jim, but every trad song ever recorded by Steeleye Span is clearly identifiable as a folk song, and all were performed to a high standard."
Every section of that statement is debatable - the songs may have been taken from the folk but I very much doubt if the folk they were taken from would recognise them as their songs - the way Steeleye sing them makes them difficult to follow as stories (which is what they are)
As for their standard - I detest what Steeleye did to folk songs - how good they are is a matter of opinion - sorry
No - it isn't "academic scholarship" - I spent thirty yyears interviewing the older generation of singers and they were totally bemused at what some modern groups did with their songs
I'm not an "academic" - I'm a retired electrician who served an apprenticeship on the Liverpool Docks ans spent his life climbing into people's lofts and crawling under their floorboards to fix their electrical problems - I now live on a State Pension
All I do is give the songs and music that interest me a little thought - that's all it takes, and folk music is worth that much effort - surely
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 03:39 AM

how good they are is a matter of opinion

Sorry Jim but I must pull you up on that one. Quality is never a matter of opinion. There is much I dislike but I can always admit that something can be of good quality even if it is not to my taste. How good they are at what they do and whether you like what they do or not are two entirely different things.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 03:58 AM

"Quality is never a matter of opinion. "
Nothing to do with quality Dave - interpretation is everything in art
Nobody quibbles with the instrumental skill of Steeleye but as far as I'm concerned, their interpretation of folk songs is virtually non-existent - isn't that the same with all art ?
I love Shakespeaar's 'King Lear' but nearly walked out in disgust at Anthony Hopkins's (undoubtedly a good actor) interpretation of it at The National back in the nineties
"It ain't what you do but the way that you do it - that's what gets results" (as the song says)
Jim


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 04:30 AM

Yes, that's fine, Jim. I agree with it entirely but it is not what I understood you to mean when you said "how good they are is a matter of opinion - sorry". 'How good they are' means, to me, quality. Sorry for the confusion.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 06:33 AM

Attempting to analise and compare songs is all too often misinterpreted as criicism Dave - it never should be
I don't like modern pop music for specific reasons, but that has everything to do with my expectations and tastes which I have no right to impose on others
For me, what Steeleye (are they really still in the land of the living) did with folk song goes against folk-song form and becomes something else
Our oral traditions are narrative - word-based - if you miss a couple of words you (literally) lose the plot - lose the plot and you lose the reason why the song was made in he first place - to convey ideas, aspirations, emotions.... etc
There are far too many words in a folk song to treat then as groups like Steeleye do
That doesn't mean to say what they do has no relevance - you can like the sound they make if you're willing to settle for that (I'm not, but that's me)
We have a recording of a radio programme on ballads by Maddy Prior; probably the worst programme ever made on the subject
She starts off fine - playing narrative performances which you can follow
Then she moves on to group performances without analytical or critical comment
Finally she ends up in a long conversation with a psychoanalysis who was probably superb at her job but didn't have a clue about folk or ballads or the societies that made them
Her interviewee then attempted to apply modern psychoanalysis to the make up of the ballads - an utter waste o valuable air time during a week that was dedicated to celebrating music - a dreadful wasted opportunity that might have helped put folk song on the map
For me the enjoyment of singing folk songs is in finding and interpreting the stories of the songs and applying them to my own life and experiences
When you do that with a song it becomes part of you and is yours forever
Now I've reached the age I have, you can't imaging how enjoyable and important that is
My greatest problem nowadays when singing is to maintain a balance between the performance and the emotion
Traveller, Mary Delaney had the same problem - she described some of her songs "too heavy"; she occasionally broke down in the middle of them because the allowed the emotion to dominate the performance (Buried in Kilkenny, which is on line, is one she regularly lost in this way
Enjoyment is essential when singing, but for me, that enjoyment increases if you can re-live your songs rather than just repeat them
Jim


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Howard Jones
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 06:34 AM

Jim has made the accurate point "I doubt if you are a traditional singer - we are all revival singers using somgs and playing music made in the past and passed on to us". This raises the question how should we be performing them?

Jim laments the passing of folk clubs where you can expect to hear a folk song. In the clubs I used to go to in the 70s and 80s there were plenty of traditional songs, but very seldom were they sung in anything resembling a traditional style, even when unaccompanied. More usually they were accompanied, usually on acoustic guitar but sometimes with other instruments.

As recordings of traditional singers have become more widespread I have noticed a trend back towards that style of singing, but even so it now seems to be uncontroversial that traditional songs can be accompanied, to the extent that this is probably the norm. That being the case, the conventional acoustic folk style of the folk revival is no more authentic than Cecil Sharp's piano arrangements on one hand or folk-rock arrangements on the other.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 06:59 AM

Not only in the land of the living, Jim, but still producing albums and touring. Last time I saw them was a couple of years back with their new fiddler, Jessie May, a young and brilliant folk violin player. She joined them in 2014 to replace Peter Knight who has gone on to form the rather cheekily (IMO) named Gigspanner.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Vic Smith
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 09:00 AM

One of the most embarrassing moments in my life was asking one of the best singers I have ever heard, Davy Stewart, to write his name and address down for me. "You'd better write it doon fir me, laddie' Ah haene' got ma specs wi me" - even though he was wearing them at the time. I realised this giant of traditional song was illiterate and must have learned orally his huge repertoire of traditional ballads, folk songs, bothy ballads, cornkisters, music hall songs from Scotland, art songs, rebel songs from Ireland, songs in Scots traveller cant and funny ditties set to Scots dance tunes which as far as I can work out, he wrote himself. He is oustandingly my favourite male singer of folk songs, though there are a number of women, also Scots travellers, that I hold in equally high esteem. He sang unaccompanied or more often to his own accompaniment of piano accordion and in his later years a melodeon.

Many years ago, I was in a conversation with Brian Pearson and the subject was - as it has been at times here - the nature of the song tradition in the British Isles. Brian said that this tradition was exclusively an unaccompanied one. I replied that I felt that if we were to be accurate, then we needed to say that it was mainly an unaccompanied tradition but that there were important exceptions and I mentioned Davy.
Brian said, "Davy Stewart is irrelevant, an aberration!" I have never been in a fight since I was in junior school but at that statement I felt murderous. I had to walk away immediately. To hear my great hero dismissed in this way was too much for me.

On reflection it seems trivial in the great scheme of things, but at one level it is important. If we are to dismiss evidence of traditional singers accompanying themselves then we are to dismiss Davy Stewart, The McPeakes, Jane Turriff, The Findlaters in Orkney, John MacDonald, Elizabeth Stewart, the singing fiddle players in the Shetlands - and that is just a quick list off the top of my head. We must learn to state what the evidence tells us and not what we would like to be the case. Far too often those in influence in folk song scholarship have approached the subject with their own agenda and have set out to prove their own beliefs. That is why the most recent important researchers are eschewing hard and fast theories in favour of statements of evidence; and when there is no evidence they are honest enough to say so and ask for further research. To me this feels like a breath of fresh air blowing through a subject that I have been concerned with all my adult life.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 10:02 AM

Further to Vic Smith's comment: what do we know about singers of traditional material in former times accompanying themselves on the piano? It used to be a very common and classless accomplishment, and pianos were everywhere, making them a much cheaper and more portable backing than a guitar or concertina.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 10:51 AM

How many "travellers" had a piano ?


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 11:32 AM

All of them, any time they were in a pub.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 11:38 AM

"How many "travellers" had a piano ?"
Lucy Stewart did

"JUST CHECKED - SEE THEY'RE DOING A TOUR "
A joke aimed at a friend who obviously took it as such Vic
"Would it be possible to interpret this as an insult?"
You're welcome to if it turns you on Vic - only here to please
Regarding your earlier post, of course some of the old singers used instruments - it's debatable whether they improved their songs by doing so, but that's another argument
My point was that, overwhelmingly British and Irish traditional singing is unaccompanied
Davie Stewart was largely a street performer, as was Maggie Barry, Jane Turriff, as far as I know, did it because she liked to -in my opinion, her playing makes Tiftie's Annie, (my favourite ballad) unlistenable, but that's me.
There's no rule to say you can't do anything to the songs, just as there's no law to prevent me from saying what I think of what you do
I believe that the fact that our tradition is largely an unaccompanied one has a reason
Our songs are largely narrative and and unless you are a very fine musician capable of accompanying a song rather than intruding on it or drowning it, accompaniment is unnecessary to the performance and can even detract from it
I have long stopped listening to wannabe Segovias whose accompaniments left to time to have a pee and grab a pint while they strutted their stuff on their guitars before proceeding with the next verse
Once again - that's me and that's not what I want out of a song

I have a recording of a talk given by Peggy Seeger back in 1969 - she opened with one of the wisest pieces of advice I've heard, "The first thing you ask yourself when deciding whether to accompany a song is, is it necessary - if it isn't, don'y"
She went on to say, "If your audience is listening to your playing then there's a good chance you're destroying your song"
That's always worked for me
When I lived in Manchester I sang everything accompanied - luckily I had a mate who was happy to do that for me and we worked together quite sympathetically
I moved to London and he moved there shortly after and we continued to work together, though much less
I moved to Ireland twenty years ago with a repertoire of around 300 songs, half of the accompanied - I thought I'd have to abandon a large slice of them
I can now sing them all through unaccompanied and make them work for me.
I believe there are very few songs in the British and Irish tradition than benefit from an accompaniment
JIm


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 11:39 AM

Well said Vic Smith!

Yes it's totally agenda driven and completely ludicrous.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Vic Smith
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 11:56 AM

I believe that the fact that our tradition is largely an unaccompanied one

That's fine. That's all I was asking for. By the time you move into your thoughts on this, we are moving from evidence into opinion which is also fine, provided that it is clear that this is the case.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 12:24 PM

Wonder what that "agenda" can possibly be
I have not spoken out of turn or insulted anybody here - pity everybody can't say the same
Please pack it in - it really isn't necessary
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 12:57 PM

Well put, Vic.

If we need to be totally authentic none of us revivalists should be singing the songs at all because we are not part of that traditional community any more. However, that is totally ridiculous.

These wonderful artefacts are in the public domain and we are at liberty to present them in any form we and our audiences enjoy, with whatever accompaniment we feel appropriate. Adding accompaniment, in an age where most people can afford to do so, can popularise the song and the music in general. Yes it can be overdone, but so can anything. Audiences and reviewers will soon let us know if that happens.

Personally most of my repertoire is still unaccompanied but I'm lucky enough to play an instrument and be in a band with other instrumentalists. I run concerts on a regular basis and I'd say about half of the songs sung on them are unaccompanied, but that is not a criterion I use when selecting the performers.


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Subject: RE: Young Audiences - Trad Folk V Folk Rock
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 10 Feb 19 - 05:06 PM

Accompanying a song, like most things, can be done well, badly or in between. Of all the accompanists that I have heard, in my opinion a few do a really good job, but only a few. Likewise a few singers accompany themselves very well, but too often the accompaniment occupies too much of a singer's attention, preventing them from doing justice to the song.

A year or two ago I attended the launch of an album by a singer whom I approve of, but on stage with the singer were about half a dozen musicians. A lot of the time they were all playing at once and it smothered the song. I did not buy the CD.


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