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What songs can you sing in a folk club?

Cas 14 Oct 01 - 01:00 PM
kendall 14 Oct 01 - 01:06 PM
wildlone 14 Oct 01 - 01:07 PM
Paul from Hull 14 Oct 01 - 01:16 PM
Jon Freeman 14 Oct 01 - 01:23 PM
kendall 14 Oct 01 - 01:42 PM
Little Hawk 14 Oct 01 - 01:46 PM
Don Firth 14 Oct 01 - 01:55 PM
pavane 14 Oct 01 - 01:55 PM
53 14 Oct 01 - 02:19 PM
GUEST,Les/ Manchester uk 14 Oct 01 - 03:00 PM
Herga Kitty 14 Oct 01 - 03:41 PM
Noreen 14 Oct 01 - 03:51 PM
Paul from Hull 14 Oct 01 - 03:59 PM
Phil Cooper 14 Oct 01 - 04:18 PM
Little Hawk 14 Oct 01 - 04:49 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 14 Oct 01 - 04:57 PM
Mr Red 14 Oct 01 - 05:57 PM
Don Firth 14 Oct 01 - 06:10 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Oct 01 - 09:34 PM
GUEST,Boab 14 Oct 01 - 09:35 PM
53 14 Oct 01 - 11:34 PM
53 14 Oct 01 - 11:41 PM
Ralphie 15 Oct 01 - 02:32 AM
Herga Kitty 15 Oct 01 - 02:48 AM
Ralphie 15 Oct 01 - 03:16 AM
GUEST,Boab 15 Oct 01 - 03:56 AM
Paul Mitchell 15 Oct 01 - 04:00 AM
Ralphie 15 Oct 01 - 04:01 AM
Cappuccino 15 Oct 01 - 04:07 AM
Ralphie 15 Oct 01 - 04:19 AM
Ralphie 15 Oct 01 - 04:31 AM
KingBrilliant 15 Oct 01 - 05:55 AM
Steve Parkes 15 Oct 01 - 06:20 AM
Gervase 15 Oct 01 - 07:43 AM
pinkfiddle 15 Oct 01 - 08:31 AM
pattyClink 15 Oct 01 - 09:16 AM
GUEST,Russ 15 Oct 01 - 09:42 AM
Herga Kitty 15 Oct 01 - 12:43 PM
Ralphie 15 Oct 01 - 10:30 PM
Grab 16 Oct 01 - 07:45 AM
Grab 16 Oct 01 - 07:50 AM
Cas 16 Oct 01 - 04:34 PM
Liz the Squeak 16 Oct 01 - 04:49 PM
Liz the Squeak 16 Oct 01 - 04:54 PM
Herga Kitty 16 Oct 01 - 05:27 PM
pavane 17 Oct 01 - 01:06 PM
Steve in Idaho 17 Oct 01 - 01:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Oct 01 - 02:11 PM
harpmaker 17 Oct 01 - 04:35 PM
Steve in Idaho 17 Oct 01 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,greenmantwo 17 Oct 01 - 05:57 PM
Jim the Bart 17 Oct 01 - 06:18 PM
Liz the Squeak 17 Oct 01 - 07:29 PM
Mudshark1 18 Oct 01 - 12:09 AM
Mudshark1 18 Oct 01 - 12:28 AM
Sir Roger de Beverley 18 Oct 01 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,KingBrilliant 07 Nov 01 - 11:56 AM
lady penelope 07 Nov 01 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,JohnB 07 Nov 01 - 12:42 PM
gnomad 07 Nov 01 - 05:47 PM
53 07 Nov 01 - 08:21 PM
GUEST,KB 08 Nov 01 - 05:02 AM
Uncle Steve 08 Nov 01 - 12:08 PM
SharonA 08 Nov 01 - 04:23 PM
Micca 08 Nov 01 - 07:43 PM
Suffet 08 Nov 01 - 09:14 PM
Wotcha 08 Nov 01 - 09:54 PM
Liz the Squeak 09 Nov 01 - 02:50 AM
Ralphie 09 Nov 01 - 03:57 AM
Ralphie 09 Nov 01 - 04:03 AM
Jingle 09 Nov 01 - 06:58 AM
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Subject: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Cas
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 01:00 PM

Not being too up on singing ettiquette.. Is it ok to sing ANY songs that can be sung..Dylan should be ok but what about "killing me softly" What about the odd Bread number or show tune?? Or do we stick to variations of the wild Rover?

What is the most non obvious song you ever sang...and what was the reaction?


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: kendall
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 01:06 PM

I once sang, "Those were the days" at the Rockport Folk festival. It was well received.

At the folk club in the Cicil Sharpe house in London, I sang a parody on "Lucille". They loved it. Personally, I would not sing any show tune songs at a folk club.


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: wildlone
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 01:07 PM

The Yetties have a music night where anything can be sung and played. and I have been to sing arounds that are just as free and easy.
If in doubt ask


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 01:16 PM

That was bold of you, Kendall!!! Cecil Sharpe House!

The most 'unexpected' song I've seen done at a proper gig in a Folk Club (as opposed to just folks 'messing about') was probably Dire Straits "Romeo & Juliet", with just one guy singing & accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. It worked too, as you might expect..it fits the 'idiom' even though the song itself, & its 'musical sources' arent necessarily what you would expect to hear in a folk setting.

'course, Mark Knopfler's 'folk' connection is fairly well understood, I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 01:23 PM

Cas, it really depends on the venue and ettiquete should really say if your worried a song might not be acceptable either ask or don't do it.

The folk clubs I have been involved with were all open to traditional, contemporary/ singer-songwriter stuff and the occasional ventures into other stuff but I have been asked by people if it's OK to sing a certain song (most often, if not always by people visiting the club while on holiday from away) as they had been to clubs that wouldn't accept some stuff - even Dylan would be out if the club was strictly traditional...

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: kendall
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 01:42 PM

I'm a "cheeky bugger" Paul. Micca and I popped in there for a bit of a piss up, and, thats what happens when you are over served with Guinness.


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 01:46 PM

Achy Breaky Heart generally does not go over terribly well...

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 01:55 PM

There was a fellow who came to the Seattle Song Circle some years back who sang almost nothing but Jacques Brel songs. He was . . . well . . . tolerated.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: pavane
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 01:55 PM

A performer who sang 'Cats on the rooftop' was NOT well received. Rugby songs have their own place.


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: 53
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 02:19 PM

sing songs by donavan, i think that they would go over very well. bob


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: GUEST,Les/ Manchester uk
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 03:00 PM

I enjoyed singing 'With a Little help from my Friends' by the Beatles. People joined in and it was ok. I heard a great version of 'Things we've said to day', another Beatles song sung by a woman who's name I missed. She sang it to a simple guitar finger pick.

I have trawled the Beatles Complete Song Book for more but to be honest most of the lyrics are pretty poor. I am tempted to have an unacompanied go at 'In my Life'. I remember 2 blokes at a festival singing 'Blackbird' to a concertina accomp. very effective.

One year at a workshop at Whitby Festival the late Kenneth Lovelace was groaning on about the purity of the tradition. Willie Scott, the Border Shepherd respoded with a spoof version of 'The Banks of Loch Lomand'. Sharp et al completely ignored large chunks of the reportiore (?) of country singers and did us all a great disservice.

People should sing what they feel comfortable with. Most of us would feel uncomfortable singing rock or pop at a shanty session, but then again?

I have a thread on dragging rock & pop tunes into dance rhythms, how do you feel about that?


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 03:41 PM

Cas

Folk clubs can be very different in approach. If you're going to be more than a casual visitor you can take time to find out what goes down well in a particular venue. Sometimes it's not even the venue, but what seems appropriate at a particular time in the evening. Personally, I've found that even people steeped in traditional music enjoy Frank Crumit's Prune Song* - perhaps because that's getting so old now...

*this includes Reg Hall, who was responsible for the 20 "Voice of the People" CDs.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Noreen
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 03:51 PM

Someone sang Yellow Submarine in a local folk club recently, and did it really nicely, slowly and folkily (?)... went down well, as there is a wide variety performed at that particular club. As has been said above, it depends on the club.


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Paul from Hull
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 03:59 PM

Hehehehe....nice one, Kendall!


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 04:18 PM

I've participated in a variety of song circles. Usually they have not been too high church about repertoire. My local song circle (in the Chicago area) emphasizes more contemporary stuff than traditional. When my turn comes, I'll sing something traditional if the circle has been heavily going the other direction. I try to be careful about what I turn my own nose up at. A few years ago, someone told my singing partner, Margaret, that they were at the Fox Valley song circle. Their forte was playing bluegrass/swing style songs. That's not my favorite genre of music and I guess it showed in my facial expression. They did not come around for long. I felt pretty bad about that and try to look neutral if it's something I'm not fond of (the idea of song circles being inclusive is important, I think). I was also at what was billed a traditional song circle at one of the folk alliance conferences. It was lightly attended (maybe eight participants)and a woman who had been listening in the background finally asked if it was OK to sing a Jesse Winchester song. We, of course said fine. She did a great job and sang some other nice songs during the session. I thought it was a shame to have to ask permission in a situation like that. I disapprove of the trad vs contemporary gap.


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 04:49 PM

Fiddler's Green in Toronto was one of those folk places where you had to be quite careful what you played and how you played it, if you didn't want them looking down their noses at you. I thought they were a pretentious bunch of sods with way too high an opinion of themselves. Particularly that lunatic, Cam, who was a royal pain at the best of times, and seemed to think he owned the place. (Maybe he did.)

Flattop used to go there too, but I didn't know him at the time, which is too bad...we could've probably had a great time comparing notes on this and that.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 04:57 PM

I can think of a couple of clubs where they don't seem to like folk songs.


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Mr Red
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 05:57 PM

Little Hawk
Fiddler's Green in Toronto didn't blanche when I sang there, singers' night, quiet season, my own songs (2 songs &/or 6 minutes). Tam Kearny was running it in 1986 in the TRANZAC club. I didn't get negative vibes but they did have mostly guests so spots were nigh impossible usually. Perhaps I went to a different Fiddlers Green FC, p'raps in a earlier incarnation.
anyone got the definitive answer on who said "Its all folk singing, ain't never heard a horse sing?"
my bette noir is when people try singing a tune learned off a record and in their minds is this 100 piece orchestra blending with their grace notes, & all we hear is the clever stuff from them!
There are less folk songs where that happens by the nature of the genre. - discuss......


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 06:10 PM

"Its all folk singing, ain't never heard a horse sing."

Next time somebody says that to you, try launching into "Che Gelida Manina" from La Boheme or "Di Quella Pira" from Il Trovatore and check their reaction. I ain't never heard a horse sing 'em.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 09:34 PM

One Year at a Folk-Legacy Festival, I was in a favorite songs workshop. It didn't specify Favorite FOLK songs, and I was among friends, so just because it IS one of my favorite songs, I did Searchin' by the Coasters, and several people joined in.

Truth is, I didn't grow up in a log cabin, and most folks didn't pick cotton that I know. I love traditional music, and have enough favorites to sing all night. But, the occassion was a free-wheeling one, with good friends in the workshop and Searchin' seemed just right. If there had only been a broken token involved, I might have passed it off as traditional. I love traditional folk music, but it's just one of my loves. I love jazz, and rhythm and blues and some country music and gospel. Usually I check them at the door..


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 09:35 PM

I am very attached to traditional music and song---but I ain't no "traddie bigot". Rubbish can pop up in any genre, and tradional material has a very large share of crap. Like the 200 year-old antique jamjar, it may very well be genuinely "traditional", but like the jam jar would be better reburied. I have always been lucky in my folk club venues in that a broad spectrum of music wasn't just tolerated, but enjoyed.Bab Dickson had a wide range of repertoire [she went out of our reach by recording an album of Beatles songs] , and how about Archie Fisher's "Sunsets I have Galloped Into"? Like a few others,though, I would suggest that the likes of "Achey Breakey Heart" and "Rhinestone Cowbow" should go over well----over the nearest high cliff, preferably with a bottomless bog at the bottom-----


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: 53
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 11:34 PM

gloom despair and agony on me should go over real well.


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: 53
Date: 14 Oct 01 - 11:41 PM

nancy griffith songs would be good.


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Ralphie
Date: 15 Oct 01 - 02:32 AM

Well
If Dick Gaughan can do Joe Souths "The Games People Play", and Martin Carthy can get away with "Nothing Rhymed"....Why can't I sing "Little White Bull??"!
(answer...I'm no singer!)
Seriously, a good song is a good song...
I wish I could remember who it was at the Volunteer in Sidmouth (a hang out for all the British trad singers at the fest), who, after a long and moving tale about the origins of his next song, regaled us all with "Two little Boys!"
Went down well too Ralphie


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 15 Oct 01 - 02:48 AM

Ralphie

I seem to remember hearing Jim Eldon sing Little White Bull at the (predominantly traditional) National Folk Music Festival at Sutton Bonington one year - quite late on, in the bar. There were still a lot of people around to join in, though

Kitty


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Ralphie
Date: 15 Oct 01 - 03:16 AM

Kit...Ah !!
So, did Jim get the idea from Nigel Chippindale, or the other way round ???
It became my one song in ERIC....(tried to drop it most nights though!)
While you're on...Would Herga like to book Patterson,Jordan,Dipper sometime?!
Whoops Thread creep, sorry
Cheers Ralphie


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 15 Oct 01 - 03:56 AM

Martin Carthy---brilliant guitarist, well-loved performer; but if Martin came around and started his session with a dirge, I looked for an immediate source of "happy pills"!!


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Paul Mitchell
Date: 15 Oct 01 - 04:00 AM

I once sung a folk version of "Anarchy in the U.K." (a Sex Pistols number) in a folk club in Portsmouth. Nice and slow, crisp clean words, plucking away on the twelve string. It was intended as a joke, yet after the final slow, gentle line of "Get pissed, destroy" I was greeted by wisely nodding heads, a warm round of applause and the statement "An angry, meaningful song from young Paul there".

Bless 'em.

Paul


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Ralphie
Date: 15 Oct 01 - 04:01 AM

Hey...Boab!
I've heard MC do some quite cheery murder ballads sometimes. LOL!
Ralphie


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Cappuccino
Date: 15 Oct 01 - 04:07 AM

In certain clubs, you score points for the depth of research that went into the song. I was once married to a great Scottish singer who I heard say to a rapt and attentive folk club audience:-

"I learned this song from my mother... (respectful attention from audience, five points scored).... who learned it from her own mother (even better attention, ten credibility points on the board), who learned it..."

(audience leans forward expectantly)

"... from an Everley brothers album!"

- ianB


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Ralphie
Date: 15 Oct 01 - 04:19 AM

Paul M
Brilliant story!
(memo to self---must check out my Napalm Death/Melt Banana/Extreme Noise Terror records for new material)
Ralphie


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Ralphie
Date: 15 Oct 01 - 04:31 AM

Also...
Looking back up the thread, and seeing the mention of Beatles.....
How about ..
The Long and Winding Road, accompanied by Melodeon, Bouzouki, and Recorder....sung by Barry Coope...Joyous (and very moving).....
Ralphie..


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 15 Oct 01 - 05:55 AM

I think part of the trick is to have a number of different styles up your sleeve. Its such a shame when people always sing the same type of song each time. They may sing it beautifully, but if its predictable then its hard to give it full attention. There are some people who are amazing the first few times you hear them, but then you forget to listen after a while because it all sounds the same. I know I was a major offender for quite a while - but I'm working on it.....
So - if you work on having a range of songs in different styles available to you, then you can 'play it by ear' and select whatever seems appropriate in the context of a given night.
My most non-obvious song so far is 'Bad Connection' which is an old Yazoo (Alison Moyet) song. Hammerite & I sing it together unaccompanied, Hamm does the spoken bit (the telephone operator) with her nose pinched, and I do the phone ring noises (except when she accompanies us on the mobile!!).

Kris


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 15 Oct 01 - 06:20 AM

An ex-regular at the Bedford (UK) Folk Music Club used to do "Stairway to Heaven"!

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Oct 01 - 07:43 AM

Ex-regular? You mean you shot him? :^)
But, as Kendall said, we put up with any old tripe at Sharp's!
On any normal night we get trad ballads, blues, self-penned material, poetry and some cracking music hall material, but sometimes it's like a breath of fresh air to have something outside the usual canon (especially when done with the panache of someone like Kendall!).
And, Don, be afraid - I'm brushing up an aria of Papageno's from the Magic Flute at the moment which I may one day unleash on an unsuspecting world!


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: pinkfiddle
Date: 15 Oct 01 - 08:31 AM

It's a bit off-topic but a band I was in once did a folk version of a club / dance track, Equador by Sash at a gig. Went down a storm, particularly considering our audience, i.e. predominantly drunk students!

Song wise, I sang a few verses of 'What took you so long?' by Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) at an irish session the other day (err but that was a bit of a joke) and I've also sung bits of Carmen in the Old Road Tavern in Chippenham. My accordion playing mate Jason is a bit of Carmen nut.

pf


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: pattyClink
Date: 15 Oct 01 - 09:16 AM

I have no idea what the 'rules' are. But it seems that a way to win listeners over to listening to something not 'folk' would be to observe that in every generation, there are some songs that are so good and beloved that they will (or ought to) pass into the folk tradition, and here's one I personally think will (or should) be sung a hundred years from now. (and if the song is not worthy of that introduction, rethink it)


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 15 Oct 01 - 09:42 AM

Lots of good advice. It wouldn't be unusual for a newbie to be expected to pay some dues and endure a little hazing. Once you've established yourself as a "regular" you can do anything you please.


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 15 Oct 01 - 12:43 PM

Herga is pretty eclectic too, will listen to anything and welcomes new singers and players. We have a guest about once a month - Ralphie, re Patterson, Jordan, Dipper, this may be thread creep but I don't have your e-mail address. Herga bookings are now the responsibility of Bob Hambleton, herga@kestrel-folk.demon.co.uk. I think he's booked quite a way ahead, but the AGM is next month and I think there's likely to be a discussion of booking policy.

Kitty

PS Any chance of James learning some cheerful songs with choruses?


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Ralphie
Date: 15 Oct 01 - 10:30 PM

Kit Old Bean
Ralph.Jordan@bbc.co.uk
And No....James is still singing songs about death and destruction...No change there then !!
Love Ralphie xx


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Grab
Date: 16 Oct 01 - 07:45 AM

A friend a few weeks back started off saying, "This is an old Indian temple song." Started with some suitably twangy guitar, then launched into "Well I'm the king of the swingers, a jungle VIP..." :-)

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Grab
Date: 16 Oct 01 - 07:50 AM

A friend a few weeks back started off saying, "This is an old Indian temple song." Started with some suitably twangy guitar, then launched into "Well I'm the king of the swingers, a jungle VIP..." :-)

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Cas
Date: 16 Oct 01 - 04:34 PM

Thanks, Some v. good advice. In Norwich FC we got a fasntastic African tune which resolved itself into DOWNTOWN!! Gobsmacked and awestruck I turned to you lot for guidence i'll bear it all in mind... now what do you do if you have NEVER sung before???


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Oct 01 - 04:49 PM

ER.... don't get pissed... it sounds great to you but f**king awful to everyone else..

And she isn't kidding about the African/Calypso rhythmn 'Downtown', I know, cos I was there too!!!

Having been to the aforementioned club and done two of my own there, one silly, one serious, both to trad tunes but only one a trad subject, I'd say that practically anything would go down there, but I'd lay off the Napalm Death for a while.....

Admit to being a 'virgin' and you will either get patronised beyond forbearance (three guesses who I have in mind....) or else a level of tolerance that old hands might not get.... don't expect total silence when you start though, because it very rarely happens.

Smile nicely and say thank you when you have finished. Indicate you have finished clearly or else you will get some bright spark starting the applause in the dramatic pause before the last verse (an ORGANISER has do


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Oct 01 - 04:54 PM

To finish....

(an ORGANISER has done that to me - in the middle of a song with 3 verses to go, and quite obvious at that!) I find picking up my drink or closing my book is a good indicator.

As for material, Lady P has done 'I get a kick out of you' at many a festival and never had a bad reception... it's not such a giveaway when you start with the bit most people leave out! I tend to stick to the more traditional ones and I never announce my own writings any more unless someone asks me who they are by.

Good luck - maybe if you come down for a week we'll take you to Sharpe's and we can show you Gervase...

Gervase, I think I can remember most of the Queen of the Nights' aria if you want to make it a full length jobby??

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 16 Oct 01 - 05:27 PM

Going back to first base, and Cas's original post, I've heard Eddy Richards sing and play a really bluesy, moody and slow version of Wild Rover. Theme nights can throw up a lot of interesting stuff too. It's probably worth thinking beforehand whether you want the audience to listen or join in or both.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: pavane
Date: 17 Oct 01 - 01:06 PM

Ralphie, if you are thinking of 'Two Little Boys', why not look up 'Two little chaps (in two sailor caps)' in the Levy collection - dated 1906! The folk process lives!


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 17 Oct 01 - 01:29 PM

I would think it would depend on how you define "Folk." Most of the folks mentioned above I don't know - so mabey I'm Folk Illiterate *G* - but anything that has to do with heritage would probably work for me. I've even seen some fairly new things that I would consider folk.

The audience is the real clue here. Me and a friend were booked to play "Folk, Country, and Bluegrass" at a local spot. Best gig I ever had. Paid well, great stage, lots of latitude on what to play. Only problem was it was a college crowd that liked Rock and Roll.

The first night the hazing was insane, the second night the place was emptier than my wallet, and the third night we were home looking for another gig.

Got paid though!

Scared to sing - yep yep yep - sounds like a coyote out of synch! I figure if Lyle Lovett can sing and make money - I can sing. The rest is just doing it until you don't mind what others think of your voice.

I really like the Paltalk sessions. I don't care how good or bad you are, in your own mind or others, these guys just LOVE everyone! It is a great booster to get the nerves settled down and be comfy with letting others hear you.

Folk music is really all about HEART! If your heart is in the right spot it is Folk - IMNSHO -

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Oct 01 - 02:11 PM

Ain't what you sing, it's the way that you sing it.


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: harpmaker
Date: 17 Oct 01 - 04:35 PM

Some of the trad' folk songs realy grind on me, but I never show it. I always clap and admire people who try, whatever they are singing (or playing) Sometimes I play more modern stuff, I like it, and most others do to. In my opinion, the old trads in the "closed shop club" should be more tolerant. No wonder folk music strugles at times with poor turn outs. If I get the long face treatment from these narrow minded people, I give them a blast of "Delilah" rock style on my celtic harp. The velosity of applause blows the cobwebs off there faces.


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 17 Oct 01 - 05:08 PM

I play a lot of old time fiddle stuff. These old guys get upset if anyone even thinks about changing a note! Has to be their way or the highway!!

Saturday night at one of the local pickin sessions a young banjo picker from the Carolinas turned to a near 90 year old fiddler and asked him, "When the heck are you going to learn to play that thing?" We all nearly fell off our stools laughing so hard!!

Ya gotta have fun with this stuff!!!!

Steve

McGrath has it dead on!! My hero for the day!


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: GUEST,greenmantwo
Date: 17 Oct 01 - 05:57 PM

The bottom line is - sing what ever you like (or can remember ?!?)- my own song selection criteria is based upon the mood of the club that I am attending. If every song has been a "Slit your wrists" type then I will try changing the mood by singing something funny, likewise if all the songs are humorous - then I'll sing a "hanging" song (eg."McPhearson's Farewell")

ALWAYS SING SONGS THAT YOU LIKE !!!

The most outrageous song that I sing is [to a very mixed response ?!?] "Benny the Bouncer" by Emerson, Lake & Palmer, from the album "Brain Salad Surgery" - If I can get away with that one - then anything is possible !!

PS. - Try singing "Hangman/Prickly Holly Bush" in calypso style, it's easier than you'd think, it's a joy to sing and the folkies love it (and it is Traditional) !!


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 17 Oct 01 - 06:18 PM

The older I get, the more I realize that it really doesn't matter what you play and sing, if you do it well and it comes from the heart. The rest is just tricks and show biz.


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 17 Oct 01 - 07:29 PM

And hey, if Lyle can cancel with only days notice.......

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Mudshark1
Date: 18 Oct 01 - 12:09 AM

I do a lot of solo work now that it's hard to play with bands.Unfortunately DJ's are winning the war.SOOOOOOOO' I decided to buy a 12 string Rickenbacker,along with my electrics and acoustics and do things my way for a change. Honestly,Roger Mcguinn,Jimmy Buffet,Paul Simon, Kenny Loggins and James Taylor still go over well.I did a rendition of "Daylight Again/Find The Cost Of Freedom " by CSandN.Jackson Brown is excellent.Of course I'm 40 something so I come from many directions with experience.Hope this helps you out.All Thee Best,Mudshark1


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Mudshark1
Date: 18 Oct 01 - 12:28 AM

In August,I sang a John Sebastien song"She's a Lady".I made eye contact with this sweet lady about 40 I would say.I feel in love with her as the song touched her heart. It was kind of like"Good Vibrations".I did all I could from going over to introduce myself but rememberd that I am married.Unhappily mind you but married.I need to be loved so bad that it hurts.Now I'm forty something and shouldn't be thinking of these things. I usually have a lot of chances but I stop myself. This time I really regret talking to this lovely woman.I think about it day and night. Sort of Mesmirized by her.In a way sorry I didn't do something.She left by the time I finished the next set but managed to sing a song by England Dan and John Ford Coley"It's sad to belong".That did it.I sang it with tears in my eyes as she left the room to go home. Thanks for listening,Mudshark


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 18 Oct 01 - 11:41 AM

I've always believed it to be a self evident truth that a good song is a good song whatever tradition it comes from. You can't tell me that "I don't like Mondays" isn't just as valid social comment as "The Trimdon Grange Explosion" or that "Let him go let him tarry" isn't a put down of a lover in the same way as "That'll be the day" is.

My attitude to this probably stems from the fact that I have been going to folk clubs since 1964 and was exposed to Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and the Beatles shortly before encountering traditional and contemporary folk. Also in 1964/5 I would see, say, Ewann Macoll on Thursday night at the folk club and then, 500 yards away in another pub The Rats(who became The Spiders From Mars) on the Friday and then go to listen to some jazz on the Monday in yet another pub.– ah, those were the days.

One of my current party pieces is to play a medley of "Diamonds on the soles of her shoes"(Paul Simon) and "Words of love"(Buddy Holly) as an example of the folk process – try it and see how you can interchange verses or even alternate lines without breaking rhythm.

Roger


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: GUEST,KingBrilliant
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 11:56 AM

Stand by.... Hammerite is planning to do "Pretty Vacant" complete with electric guitar tonight at the open mic. I'm drafted in to help (but only allowed accoustic guitar). We plan to sing the first verse very sweet & folkie, then THRASH....
Then I'll take her home & tuck her into bed - it's school in the morning.

Kris


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: lady penelope
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 12:18 PM

At the Wareham wail, someone sang Sting's "Fields of Gold" and it worked beautifully. I think the main thing to take note of, is what the session is actually like. Is it rabidly traditional, is there a general sense of humour about the place, what have other people been singing, how bored do people look, has any body actually fallen asleep yet ( not including Bob at the wail, it appears he really can sleep through anything ).

I agree, never bother sining songs you don't like. But do pay attention to what your voice is like and what it can handle. I'm an alto and there are some songs I adore but they don't sound all that when I bring them down to my pitch. I would love to do some of the talking blues type stuff but I just sound stupid trying to do an american accent and they don't even sound funny when performed with a thames estuary accent.

TTFN M'Lady P.


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 12:42 PM

Surely this is what seperates the greats from the also rans. If you are losing the audience, you don't do 347 verses of Robin Hood and Friar Tuck, you don't do Somewhere over the Rainbow either. You may win them back with a 60's Rock'n'Rolly thing though. You have to read the audience to see what you can get away with, by all means stretch the boundaries from end to end. Try 53 Vincent Black Lightning in a really Trad club, it has All the elements of a Ballad, or Martin Said to his Man in a contemprory environment. I remember a guy back in England years ago who threw in a few Buddy Holly songs now and again, always went down well. Boldly go where no folk have been before. Good Luck, you may need it. JohnB


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: gnomad
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 05:47 PM

Not a hard line trad joint, but the Tap at Whitby UK open session on Sunday managed a decent performance of what I understand was Mustang Sally (new to me I'm afraid) performed by 4 roaming Goths in full regalia. The point for me was that they performed for the joy of the thing and the pleasure of those there. The regular musicians seemed to be enjoying the change of pace/style.

Was it folk? Not by my reckoning. Was it fun as a novelty item? You bet!


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: 53
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 08:21 PM

why don't you sing them some john mellencamp that'll get em moving. BOB


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: GUEST,KB
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 05:02 AM

Bah! Hammerite wimped out. She decided bed looked more inticing than the pub, so she didn't come out. That was lucky though as the organiser didn't turn up, so we had no PA.
We had a lovely night just all singing & playing together though. We had everything from classical guitar to a group rendition of Doh a Deer (accompanied by a lecture on how all music comes from the Sol Fah..)
Folk - innit wonderful?

Kris


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Uncle Steve
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 12:08 PM

Hey, Landola... I've lately been doing this sort of odd Lou Reed type treatment of "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" with the guitar all choked down and a low speaking voice, then sneak into "Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes" and gradually opening it up. Kinda fun, quirky, get's a couple of smiles from the listeners paying attention.

I once played at a (what I think is fairly snooty) rabid "acoustic only, preferably traditional" coffee house, where I pulled off a decent rendition of Bruce Cockburn's reworking of Blind Willie Johnson's "Soul of a Man." Now, even given that last sentence and the concept that it was two or three iterations away from the "original" it is still a damned good tune and takes some effort to play well. Anyway, the audience was polite but subdued, and last nail in the coffin was that I was followed by a regular favorite who sang an original tune consisting mostly of coyote howls over a I-IV-V waltz. Crowd went nuts.

Go figure.


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: SharonA
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 04:23 PM

Way up there somewhere in the thread, Cas asked, "Now what do you do if you have NEVER sung before???"

I'm not sure how to interpret the question (which, of course, affects the answer!): do you mean "if you have never sung at the particular folk club before", "if you have never sung at any folk club before", "if you have never sung in public with everyone else listening before" or "if you have never sung any song in your life before, even alone in the shower"?


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Micca
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 07:43 PM

Cas, if it is from SharonAs list ", "if you have never sung at any folk club before" ah av a change of underwear and alemon handy,, habving only crossed this particular bridge earlier in the year.. The change of shreddies is obvious, the lemon is th wipe the smile off your face!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Suffet
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 09:14 PM

David Kleiman, the MC at the New York Pinewoods Folk Music Club's monthly traditional music open microphone likes to say, "Anything goes, as long as it's legal." We offer a venue where traddies are both welcome and appreciated, but we in no way insist that all songs be traditional. In fact, we are surprised if we don't draw a decent share of singer-songwriters.

The one time my wife and I went to the singers' open night at Sharp's Folk Club in London, we had a great time. I did a song I wrote myself to a traditional Irish tune, a Woody Guthrie song ("Hard Traveling"), and a traditional American song ("In the Pines" or "Black Girl"). All were really well received.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Wotcha
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 09:54 PM

When you are stuck in the middle of the desert with a bunch of expats with diverse musical talent, you get a wonderful variety of songs. In Kuwait, we had everything from manic accordian to Beatles and of course, sea chanteys. We had songs in Greek, Gaelic, and Afrikaans. Depending on the setting some songs go over better than others.
Just to liven up our local chantey sings, I am working on a song of the sea set to the tune of "Dominque" (the Singing Nun/Soeur Sourire) ... I've got the chorus down, just need some verses:

Jacque, Jacque, Jacques Tar
He is a sailor blue,
He sails the seven seas
He drinks his grog,
Before he's outward bound
And likes his women round

[I know ... don't quit my day job...]


Cheers,
Brian


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 02:50 AM

Micca - it won't work, Cas eats lemons like they were oranges.... She would drink vinegar for a laugh and likes weirder stuff than I do!!

Cas, whatever you sing, be happy about it. They will know if you don't like the song you are singing. And you can have one of mine if you like...

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Ralphie
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 03:57 AM

After the week I've just had...
This thread has just confirmed my belief in the (in)sanity of people.
I haven't laughed so much for a long time. Thank you all!
Conclusions?....We are all human, and we are all still here. Let's be grateful for that.
Yes, we'll fight, moan, love, hate, cheer, cry....etc.
But
We all still care about humanity, long mat it continue
Love Ralphie...xx
PS...Jury's still out on Achy Brakey Heart though...


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Ralphie
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 04:03 AM

Memo to Self...
Go to typing school..."Long Mat??"
At least it wasn't " Long Lankin"
R x


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Subject: RE: BS: What songs can you sing in a folk club?
From: Jingle
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 06:58 AM

Hi gnomad - I was there too at the Tap on Sunday night and I thought the Goths were great. It didn't go down well with everyone present but I for one was belting out "ride Sally ride" with them. It's a great compliment when you sing to people and then they in turn sing to you.


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