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Folk for the Younger Generations.

Apache 20 May 03 - 12:58 PM
GUEST,Auldtimer 20 May 03 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 20 May 03 - 03:59 PM
Phil Cooper 20 May 03 - 04:33 PM
Hawker 21 May 03 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 21 May 03 - 03:25 PM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 21 May 03 - 03:36 PM
Phil Cooper 21 May 03 - 04:07 PM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 21 May 03 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,lancs guest 21 May 03 - 04:33 PM
TheBigPinkLad 21 May 03 - 04:42 PM
hesperis 22 May 03 - 08:08 AM
Folkiedave 22 May 03 - 08:57 AM
Bernard 22 May 03 - 01:38 PM
Firecat 22 May 03 - 02:04 PM
running.hare 22 May 03 - 03:57 PM
pattyClink 22 May 03 - 04:14 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 22 May 03 - 06:48 PM
John Hardly 22 May 03 - 09:19 PM
Wilfried Schaum 23 May 03 - 02:59 AM
sweetfire 23 May 03 - 04:04 AM
Beardy 23 May 03 - 04:44 AM
Jeanie 23 May 03 - 05:11 AM
GUEST 23 May 03 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,Merlin 23 May 03 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 23 May 03 - 09:25 AM
pattyClink 23 May 03 - 10:58 AM
DMcG 23 May 03 - 11:09 AM
Apache 27 May 03 - 12:58 PM
Bev and Jerry 27 May 03 - 02:56 PM
GUEST 27 May 03 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,Russ 27 May 03 - 03:15 PM
Shonagh 28 May 03 - 01:34 PM
GUEST 28 May 03 - 06:47 PM
Al Dente 29 May 03 - 01:54 AM
Apache 29 May 03 - 03:03 PM
NicoleC 29 May 03 - 05:12 PM
GUEST 29 May 03 - 06:04 PM
Apache 30 May 03 - 10:31 AM
Ely 30 May 03 - 10:08 PM
GUEST,amergin 30 May 03 - 10:30 PM
hesperis 31 May 03 - 04:13 PM
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Subject: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: Apache
Date: 20 May 03 - 12:58 PM

Is there anything more that could be done to promote Folk Music and Folk Festivals to the younger generations?

Being only 19 myself and involved in the Folk Scene, I enjoy festivals immensely and can't wait for the next one to come round, I love the atmosphere, the music, the company and the tradition.

I have had friends come with me to some festivals, all around my age and younger and they have all enjoyed the festival and joined in the sing-arounds, concerts, workshops and festival activities, however outside of the festival it forgotten about straight away.

I believe that Folk Music has a bad image amongst youngsters who haven't been brought up in a Folk envronment.

Perhaps more could be done to influence people of around my age to come to festivals and enjoy themselves and not be embarressed about where they are and what they are doing.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: GUEST,Auldtimer
Date: 20 May 03 - 03:20 PM

You tell us.

In fact tell us how to attract more people of any age to attend clubs, festivals or sessions. I have never subscribed to going espicialy "allout" to get the young 'un's throug the doors. I would rather have more of all ages. There are many twenty five and under, musicians and players and quite a fiew, twenty and under, BUT where are the younger crowds coming along to festivals and clubs to see them ? More and more audences are becoming a sea of bald heads and white hair and recieding hairlines, including mine, while most long established artistes will shortly be applying for their bus passes, those that don't already have them. For me, thirty odd years ago a weekend festival = a weekend party. Good music and good company. The company would include all ages, twenties to sixties, shairing a joke and a song. Somehow all this changed as the old song goes "and we've got to find our way back to the garden"

cheers


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 20 May 03 - 03:59 PM

Apache,

I agree with the Auldtimer, you need to tell us. Why are you involved with folk music? What is it about a festival that attracts you? What is it about the music that appeals to you?

When I was your age (I'm really sounding like my parents) folk music was beginning to show it's "age". Back in the early 70's there was a diversity of music. Commercial radio was not as involved with labeling and playlisting as it is today. However, there weren't as many festivals as there are today. Among my friends, we would love to "discover" songs and artists that we would turn on our peers to. Does any of this happen these days? MTV and radio highlight the flavor of the minute and it is very difficult to find new talent among the mainstream.   Radio has become so strict, that only the non-commercial stations are offering an alternative, and even that is changing.

Sorry for getting on the soapbox, but your wonderful message has opened up a vein. The music obviously can't be changed to be more attractive to youth.   The youth need a reason to change to the music.

I host a radio show on WFDU-FM, and this week my guest is Frank Hamilton. He talks about folk music and gave it the best definition I've ever heard. Folk music is a social contract. Before the folk revival put the attention on the performer, folk music was something people did to entertain themselves.

Maybe the answer, my friend, is not blowing in the wind but rather in getting your friends together to MAKE music. Play a guitar or a banjo, or sing an accapella song. Maybe none of your friends play instruments, well neither did mine. We just sang along to the 8-Track, belting out Simon & Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell and Dylan at the top of our lungs. Turn on your friends to new songs and artists.   It will spread.

Folk music doesn't need good P.R., it needs a good reason.   It is what you make of it.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 20 May 03 - 04:33 PM

I think getting your friends to come with to festivals is a good start. I think some of my friends, when I was in high school and college, were a little puzzled by my interest in folk music. I managed to get through what I liked to some, and others just stayed puzzled. Ron's point, above, is a good one (getting interest in playing and singing). Seeing if the local festivals are interested in having you as a volunteer to may help too.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: Hawker
Date: 21 May 03 - 02:59 PM

Wadebridge Folk Festival have a children's festival and a youth festival, the children's being for the pre school to about 10 and the youth being about 10 to early 20s, There may be things there for you, but I agree with Auldtimer, Ron and Phil. I was recently involved in a project funded by the National Foundation for Youth Music, at the Final evaluation meeting we all agreed that the hardest area to get participation in a youth project is the mid to late teens. Perhaps what organisers need is to listen to what you younger people would like - I stumbled into folk music in my youth because the folk club served me under age and I could get to dance with every guy in the room! Now of course I still go to dance with every guy in the room, though I tend to go for the slower numbers!!!!!!(LOL)
SERIUOSLY THOUGH, PLEASE YOUNG FOLKIES OUT THERE, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE AT FESTIVALS? WHAT WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TO GO? HELP US TO HELP YOU! (Damn Caps Lock!)
Cheers, Lucy


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 21 May 03 - 03:25 PM

My comments are UK specific.

Getting youngsters into festivals doesn't seem to be an issue.

Clubs are another matter. Most were started by people in the 21 - 30 age group and are still attracting the same people 30 years later. Its only when younger people get involved in running clubs that they will be run in a way that attracts other young people.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 21 May 03 - 03:36 PM

Peter - your remarks are not U.K. specific, I think they apply to the U.S. as well. Most of the folk organizations here are run by older groups. I think it would be nice to see someone under 40 get involved, the 21 to 30 age group would be ideal.

While I feel that people need to find folk music instead of the other way around, I do see that there is a split between age groups over what is folk. Ani Difranco may have a younger following and the older crowd does not find her folk (this is a generalization - there are plenty of exceptions). Likewise my daughter was bored to tears when I took her to see Weavermania, a show that I thought was stunning and the audience agreed.   I am 45 and except for my daughter I was the youngest person in the auditorium.

The trouble is, you can't force people to like something that just doesn't appeal to them.   It is said that the music of ones formative years will stick with them for the rest of their lives.   Today's youth are forcefed music that has been improved by corporations, not developed by true artists. (Another generalization) There are still artists out there who need to be heard, and folk organizations are tring to give them a stage and I am trying to play them on the radio. As I said previously, the only way music will attract an audience is if it offers something that the audience wants.

Ron


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 21 May 03 - 04:07 PM

Ron, in the Martin Carthy box set that was issued a year or so ago, there was a comment about him seeing a traditional singer sing a ballad at age 17 that pretty much set the course for what he wanted to do himself. It's hard to tell what's going to effect someone or not. I remember myself as a college sophomore in the wilds of Wisconsin being floored hearing the recording of Martin Carthy singing "Long Lankin." Imagine my surprise when a young woman I was involved with was not as taken with the song as I was. We broke up shortly thereafter (not because of the above mentioned reason). I thought the Goderich Celtic Roots festival having college age kids helping with stage set up was a very good idea. They have a responsible role with keeping the stage on time and they do a great job.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 21 May 03 - 04:27 PM

You make a good point Phil - you never know what is going to effect someone.   At least Martin had the opportunity to hear that person sing the ballad. I worry about the lack of opportunities today with the commercialization, but then again I am doubting that traditional music was the predominant music choice for public consumption when Martin was 17.

Also, when Martin was 17, I don't think there was any concerted effort to MARKET the music to a young audience.   People were collecting and preserving the music, and audiences discovered it. I think it will happen again when people grow tired of the corporate music that is being foisted upon them. It won't appeal to everyone, but just enough to keep the music alive. It has always been that way and it always will.

Your mention about college kids at the Celtic roots festival reminds me of two things. The NJ Folk Festival is actually run by Rutgers University. It is a college course where students earn credit. It sounds good, but rarely do I see any of the students have an interest in the music. They have fun, but they are doing their jobs and my impression is that they don't leave with any connection for the music.

On the other hand, when you mentioned "Celtic", I have to applaud the seeds that were sown by Comhaltas Celtoiri Eireann. By establishing competitions, and having parents that would help stimulate their childrens interest, CCE helped instill a love for tradition which is why we see many young people involved with Irish trad music.

I am not a fan of competition because I see where a student can lose interest, but they have helped to keep the tradition thriving. Perhaps there is some sort of takeaway from all this.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: GUEST,lancs guest
Date: 21 May 03 - 04:33 PM

Being 'one of the younger ones' (even if I am 22) I feel I have something to contribute. I agree that the image of folk is quite negative amongst people of my age. I think it is due to the few popuar folk acts and their terrible recordings. After recently hearing an album by the houghton weavers I was disgusted by their terrible arrangements and overproduction of songs that I like and in some cases play my self. If people encounter folk through recorded/broadcast mediums no wonder they run a mile.
In my oppinion folk needs to be experianced in a communal, comfortable, live setting and in that instance can be hard to resist. However, I understand people want recordings but it should be kept to simple/live arrangements when will people realise that MIDI is horrible. MIDI strings, flute and bagpipe makes me cringe, sometimes when I hear the folk stuff my mum listens to I think that production wise most people need to forget the 80's happened and use REAL INSTRUMENTATION.

Live every time I play I have recieved a warm welcome at all the folk clubs and sessions I have attended. I think people nedd to realise that it is very daunting to perform/play with people that have been playing more years than I have been alive.

As for audiences I think people are up for a hard slog: as Utah Phillips says:- "Folk is not cool" and that matters so much amongs todays young people. In fact the fact it is not cool is one of the things that attracted me to folk as I saw through the veil of image and lies being presented as contempory culture/entertainment.

Recently some freinds got onto this subject after someone saying that there was no indigenous music IN LANCASHIRE! The conversation turned into how folk is dying as generations move on ands that the only people who might carry it on are me and my pal Dave.

Sorry to go on but I feel quite stongly on this matter as I want people of my generation to experiance what I do regularly, the sence of community, freindship across all ages and the good times I experiance regularly.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 21 May 03 - 04:42 PM

I grew up in England and we used to LOVE going to what we called 'Folk' concerts; but they were of the tub-thumping kind served up by Lindisfarne, Stackridge, Humblebums kind of bands. When the finger-in-the-ear guys came out and did a nasel 25 verses of Matty Groves we headed for the bar. Plus ca change, as the saying goes.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: hesperis
Date: 22 May 03 - 08:08 AM

Good points. Young people who love folk music need to get involved in making clubs and venues happen, and in encouraging people to play rather than just listen to music as if the only people who can do music are those who are packaged by record labels...

The music doesn't have to change, but the presentation is important. There are a lot of young people now who have a hunger for something real, something not marketing and slick... but it still needs to be cool, and that's a matter of sex appeal and attitude, really.

Part of why Irish Trad is so popular is the whole Irish attitude, too. English attitude isn't portrayed as sexy except in pop and rock.

Also, people don't hear the roots of modern music. If their favorite artist was influenced by folk music then that might get them excited about it.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: Folkiedave
Date: 22 May 03 - 08:57 AM

There is a similar discussion going on in the E-celidh group at the moment.

I get the impression that some of the livelier bands (Flook as an example) and ceilidh bands, (Tickeld Pink, Hekety), are getting young people interested and in fact at Holmfirth this year there were young people at most of the concerts we ran.

We do go out of our way to encourage the younger performer and this year 14 year-old Ruth Notman got two spots. And blew the brains out of people who heard her. I am also looking at various competition winners to perform - and I hope to put both a young person concert and ceilidh on. And if anyone has not seen Kerfuffle http://www.kerfuffleonline.co.uk/ then go and see them when they are near you. One fourteen and three fifteen year olds. Harriet Bartlett - 17 years of age, http://www.harrietbartlett.com/

I could go on.

It is difficult because at the same time we do not wish to upset our more traditional audience who expect to see established stars as well. I think what might help is when bands such as Kerfuffle and Harriet form a following and bring their "groupie" friends along. And thanks to Folkworks and Pads at Barnsley and other similar courses there are some more great young players coming along.

I do get a bit worried when go to folk clubs, then I get to a festival and see the younger end.

BUT and I wish I could make that BUT much larger, MUDCAT is a great place to say what you want!!

Dave


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: Bernard
Date: 22 May 03 - 01:38 PM

Those of us who are old and wrinkly were once your age. I, for one, started becoming involved in folk music in my late teens because I found the music more satisfying than the 'pop' music of the time.

The music I became interested in was already very old, so the same will inevitably apply to youngsters these days - some will discover folk music and enjoy it, others will not.

The difficulty, as has been mentioned above, is finding a way of promoting folk music to attract potential young folkies, but without shoving it down their throats - which will only put them off, maybe for life.

I am involved with running two folk clubs, one of which has a good percentage of 'young blood', and the other doesn't. Difficult to put a finger on a possible reason for this, except that the number of attendees is also proportionately higher. It's encouraging to see a few young teens at folk clubs with their parents - it says a lot for the parent-child relationship, too.

Eeee... I've become a boring old fart...!! ;^)


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: Firecat
Date: 22 May 03 - 02:04 PM

I'm 19 as well, and if I mention at college that I'm into folk music, I immediately receive waves of hysterical laughter. Unfortunately it seems that folk is not "cool" and things like rap are becoming the "norm".

If anyone asks me to name a folk artist they may have heard of, I tell them about the Corrs! They get most of their stuff from folk, so therefore they are trying to bring folk into the mainstream.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: running.hare
Date: 22 May 03 - 03:57 PM

We may be a light epering but we are here! Just spread about over a arge area, I have to agree with the sentaments of "Folk music doesn't need good P.R., it needs a good reason.   It is what you make of it." I 'Discover' more and more other young folkies all the time, some on 'the scene' others at random. No-one shoud be panicing yet, ohh & if NE1's interested we're talking bout arranging a youngster session at sidmouth, for those of us that are "Cleaverly discised as resoncible adults" but detais are vauge to say the east so far..... NE1 interested???


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: pattyClink
Date: 22 May 03 - 04:14 PM

As long as folk music's main venue is bars and clubs, you have an gap problem. Wehn I was a kid in Chicago, there was all kinds of folk music happening but the doors were closed to those 12-18. By the time you hit 18, commercial radio has taken over your tastes. The festival movement has been a big help, and the Comhaltas movement has given kids a structure to pursue the instrumental and dance stuff, but not so much the vocal.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 22 May 03 - 06:48 PM

The fact that the folk club was in a pub was an attraction for me. I certainly wouldn't have started (at 17) if it was served up with tea and biscuits in a church hall.

Now my 17 year old daughter is raiding my Peter Bellamy and Young Tradition CDs and sings the material at the club in her local pub.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: John Hardly
Date: 22 May 03 - 09:19 PM

I'm not too worried. I'm amazed at the number of young players that show up for our twice-monthly fiddle tune jam. There's such a tie-in again between the music they listen to and the folk instrumentation.

I just did a festval (East Lansing) where the entertainment included two VERY young groups doing very atypical music for their age if major media were to be believed (they aren't -- to be believed, that is). "Duhk" and "Steppin In It" -- two bands full of twenty-somethings. Add to that String Cheese Incident and all the other jam bands -- folk music will have a young element. Always.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 23 May 03 - 02:59 AM

First step: Get the young ones to sing and enjoy the songs!
As a young scout I learned a lot of songs, growing older and leading my own troop I always sang with my scouts. I started with special songs of the youth movement, then changed to German and international folk songs, and after some training sang settings with three parts. People having heard us even offered us gigs!
I'm 60 now and still I'm convinced that the Do-it-yourself principle is the best start to entice young people to folk music. It worked with one of my daughters (now training for a professional soprano).

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: sweetfire
Date: 23 May 03 - 04:04 AM

The only thing is, like firecat said, i kept quiet i liked/sang folk music for about 2yrs from any of my friend, and im 16 next month, until i was caught humming a tun and someone asked me what it was, me being in a folkie daydream replied straight awway. 'Who the fcuk is that?' was the reply i got.
they seem to have already have this image in their head was folk sessions/music is already like, when really they haven't got a clue.

i never knew that there where other folkies around my age group. Because except for 1 or 2 exceptions, everybody else is 30+
Maybe thats the problem, if more people knew that it wasn't just an older generation thing (because i did question myself at one point should i be here cos i was so goddamnyoung when everyone around me wasn't) and that younger people do participate/enjoy in folkie sessions/songs.

well, as a way of advertising folk music abit more, why not all the guy perormers should make a really sexy video with a load of blonde half dressed chicks dancing around him, and the female singers make just the same but with guy dancers. that should catch people attention when they stwitch on MTV......no? because thats the kinda stuff that appeals to most teens........

im postive the above will never happen, folk to me is original, thats one reason why i like it, i like it when i can loose myself in the lyrics, its not all this 'ohhh yeah baby,c'mon lets get in on, ohhh yeah baby' crap. its good stuff, i just wish my friends weren't so single-minded!!!


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: Beardy
Date: 23 May 03 - 04:44 AM

I am now in the balding/receding hairline age group with beard; although that has been there since I was 19. I attend 10-15 festivals in Britain a year and go to as many clubs/gigs as interest me and my experience is there are plenty of youngsters in the 10-18 age group who attend with their parents or friends they have made when dragged along over by said parents in previous years. However 18-25 year olds are far fewer; at an age when left to make their own leisure choices despite their exposure over many years. Having discussed this with people of varying ages in numerous bars across the country this appears to be commonplace. When free to choose the children tend to go with their peers to Glastonbury/Reading/Donnington festivals featuring music they ALL have in common rather than folk music which they dont discuss or even mention at school/college.

A friend who attends Sidmouth each year with his daughters is a case in point. The 16 year old loves the festival scene but has no points of reference with her school friends when she goes home so doesnt say where she spent her holiday. When discussing Chumbawumba earlier this year she was delighted to 'discover' she had seen them 4 years ago and could boats to her friends.

Wanting to see many more youngsters at folk music events may be highlt=y desireable but how to achieve it is altogether more problematical. At 18 would we have wanted to be seen listening to the same music as our parents?


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: Jeanie
Date: 23 May 03 - 05:11 AM

I agree with Peter from Essex - the fact that the folk club was held in a pub was a great attraction (same time, same pub, as it happens, and I was 15 !) Likewise, it was the "tea at the vicarage" image that stopped me from going to 'barn dances', even though I would have been hearing more or less the same kind of music.

Even in what might be looked back on now as the "golden heyday" of folk clubs, I must point out that folk music was *never* considered 'cool': I was the only person from my school who went to the folk clubs and played traditional music - so the situation that the present-day teens find themselves in is nothing new.

- jeanie


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: GUEST
Date: 23 May 03 - 08:13 AM

I myself am only 16 & i LOVE going to clubs & festivals alike. In fact, I am leaving in a couple of hours too go to Cleethorpes, my second festival of TEN this year! I was telling my friends about my "holiday" in school just this morning, all the fun i am going to have, all the people im going to meet up with, & all the music i am going to hear. The thing is, they were all really interested, until one of them said, "what sort of music are you going to be listening too?" As soon as I said Folk music, they all switched off.
I have discovered from past experiances that the problem is not the music, but the name. Mention "Folk" & everyone looks at you like you're from another planet.
I have, however, managed to persuade two of my friends to come to our local club in a few weeks time, (courtesy of Les Barker & the Mrs Ackroyd Band), & i only hope they enjoy it & ask to come back!
Although i havent actually told them its a "FOLK" club yet.....

If anyone knows a way to get the young people onto the folk circuit,
please share your knowledge as i am dying to get more of my friends involved!
                Bye for now, luv AAA x


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: GUEST,Merlin
Date: 23 May 03 - 08:45 AM

As a very young folkie (high school) I would say that one reason so few young people are involved in the folk world is a total lack of exposure. While there are a number of teens into folk, it's usually because they were brought up with the music. Folk doesn't need to be made "more appealing" to kids, because a lot of the time, when they hear folk they like it. A lot of teens go in for filk- sick sense of humor is truly appealing. Also, some of the faster paced Irish, Cajun, Acadien or Scottish stuff is liked. Generally, kids who like aoustic and have enough free time will find the internet and stumble into the wide world of folk. A lot of aspiring guitarists start getting into blues and folk. However, it tends to be the "weirdos" who go in for this kind of thing. So really, my advice for attracting younger people would be to just avoid creating a "no kids" atmosphere. Really, having a sense of humor about things helps.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 23 May 03 - 09:25 AM

What a great topic! And one which is endlessly discussed amongst the (probably) fiftysomethings of the current 'folk scene'.My brother-in-law and I have a pet theory about the apparent lack of interest in folk music by the younger generation. Folk music was 'inflicted' on the progeny of this older generation in the form of compulsory festival visiting and club-going at a very young age...and in many, many cases it didn't take. Show me the child who thinks that everything his parents say and do is great. Of course there are exceptions to the rule but appreciation of this music sems to have largely skipped a generation. Quite how you sell the attraction of sitting in hushed reverence in the back room of a quiet pub being 'shooshed' and 'quieted' whilst not being allowed to smoke or drink (it is alleged that young people are not immune from these habits), frankly beats me, well certainly the drinking part. Festivals are another matter...amplified music and a free and easy atmosphere brings the whole experience more into line with what is the norm for them. Someone said that unless the kids organise Folk Clubs themselves they won't be interested, and I reckon that could be right. My first folk club visit age 16 found me in the company of my peers, with the organisers certainly not of my parents generation even if a little older than myself - it was exciting and edgy believe it or not, with young people interpreting the music. Often a song or tune was attributed to a certain traditional singer which meant that there then followed a voyage of discovery to either seek out a reference, recording or even to see that person perform. One night someone concluded a song followed by the fateful words "and that was from the singing of The Copper Family" and eventually I ended up marying one of them!

As for our own younger generation, well, they came to the singing when they were ready. Never cajoled or persuaded they just saw what a damned good time we oldies had when we got together. Maybe it's the taking part that counts and not the performing. Maybe there will be a new way in which folk music can be appreciated that will ensure the attraction of youngsters...someone said it's not cool - that's for sure, although Eliza Carthy appearing on Jools Holland's show was a stroke of genius on someone's part, what a fine ambassador she is!

One thing's for sure, the music will never die but it may go into a sort of suspended animation for a while awaiting the arrival of a whole new audience discovering it for themselves for the first time...just the way we greybeards did forty plus years ago.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: pattyClink
Date: 23 May 03 - 10:58 AM

Peter and Jeanie, you are absolutely correct that teens are drawn like moths to the glamour of pubs. However, in the US they are NOT ALLOWED in such places. There are exceptions here and there particularly for underage performers, but by and large, bars and nightclubs have staff who check I.D.s. (yes I know there fake IDs but your average honest kid is not into that at age 15)

This backs up what others admit is going on. A sizeable group of kids like the music at festivals, but there is no routine place they can hang out and hear the stuff, and I contend that's because it's almost all in adult venues. The only ones who really pursue it despite this are the young players themselves who can hold sessions at houses, etc. But the audience....there is none until the next festival, when Brigadoon appears and disappears.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: DMcG
Date: 23 May 03 - 11:09 AM

As one of the middle-aged types, I think it is easy to forget that folk was not 'cool' (or whatever we called it) in the 60s either. The vast majority of teenagers at that time listened to 10cc and so on. There were groups like Lindesfarne and Steeleye Span that were part folk and part rock, in the same sort of way that the Corrs are not easily classified as one or the other now; but the majority of teenage music was not folk even using a very wide-ranging definition.

Back in the sixties, what most teenagers thought of as folk were people like 'Jimmy Shand and his Band' and 'The White Heather Club': not exactly manstream teenage material!


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: Apache
Date: 27 May 03 - 12:58 PM

>>>Apache,

I agree with the Auldtimer, you need to tell us. Why are you involved with folk music? What is it about a festival that attracts you? What is it about the music that appeals to you?<<<

I'm 19, from Chester. My dad runs a session every Tuesday in the Ship Victory Pub (47 George Street Chester, 8:00 start, Free Admission, --plug plug--) and write the Folk Orbit Magazine (http://www.folkorbit.com --plug plug--), I've been going to Chester Festival for about 9 or 10 years and have more or less grown up in and around the folk scene.

I love festivals because it's a chance to break away from normal life, I've always enjoyed camping and music and this brings them both together, I loove the relaxed, laid back attitude and open mindedness of the festival goers, the passivness of the whole experience.

This weekend at Chester, me and a friend invited someone to come down for the day, see what he thought of it all, he's a rocker, into Heavy Metal and Rock Music, he ended up staying until Monday afternoon and he thoughally enjoyed himself and by the end of it he said his eyes were opened into a whole new music genre and he's thinking about other festivals to goto and he said he'd definatly come back next year.

I posted this thread before Chester Festival started and since going I've realised just how many children of a young age there are. In 10 years there will be such an influx of 18 - 25 year olds!

As I have said on another thread I thourghaly enjoyed this festival, I think as I'm getting older I'm appreciating everything going on around me so much more and taking in so much more from the experience.

I'm involved in the organisation of Chester Festival in so much as I help out on site from Wednesday setting up the site.

It's a shame that tradition is lost on some kids these days, but it has been shown that it is recoverable.

Someone said something this festival which is more or less true, "Never trust a man in an Adidas cap", they're usually the kids that are irrecoverable.

Regards,
Apache
--"Folk Dancing was orinally a way of swatting flys."


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 27 May 03 - 02:56 PM

Here's an article from the current issue of The Folknik, the newsletter of the San Francisco Folk Music Club:



Bring the Young Ones Home!

Ashley Hogan writes:

Dear Folknikans,
At this New Year's folkadelic bash known to us all as Camp Harmony, many of us were refreshed to see members of the younger generations showing up, and joining in the various activities of camp. Not only were many of them found to be attendants of camp by free choice, but actually often enough as enthralled members of the folken community.
It has been observed and often mentioned lately that: "Wouldn't it be great to have even more young people showing up as bona-fide Folk Club members?"

This has occurred to plenty of us as a necessary step to the further continuance and evolution of the Folk Club, i.e., to effectively pass the good torch of folk music and community that we have all gathered and shared, there needs to be a good source of some-ones around to pass it on to.

Being myself of the youngish disposition (age 23), I can say without doubt that there are in fact plenty of people of both high school and college ages who would truly enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to participate in a community like the SFFMC. If they are only invited and welcomed, I'd even say that many of the people, my age and hereabouts, are indeed hungry, both spiritually and musically, for the kind of kinship and wonderment that come with connecting to one's roots and cultural heritage. That's to say, what is to be experienced at every SFFMC gathering I've ever been to.

So, just remember that there is an ongoing sacred mission of sorts at hand here, in both the interests of bringing the Folk Club new vitality and fresh enthusiasm, as well as the giving of the gift of community to young folks whom the warmth of folk life might otherwise have overlooked.

So bring 'em home, O brethren and sister folks, and keep on discussing the ways in which we can each enliven and invigorate this here Folk Club, for she is a jolly good fellow, which nobody can deny, and we should take good care of her, as best as we know how, for generations to come.back to top

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: GUEST
Date: 27 May 03 - 03:14 PM

Fellow geezers. Enjoy it while you can.

I live in the states and I am familiar only with American old time music of the southern mountains. Go to lots of festivals and do a lot of jamming at parties in private homes.

A few years ago we geezers and soon-to-be geezers were bemoaning the dearth of young people at our gatherings. We assumed the music would die with us.

Now we're getting our butts kicked regularly by toddlers. The winner of the mandolin competition at Vandalia (Charleston WV) this year was a young lady who didn't look old enough to possess a driver's license. Probably only one of the bluegrass banjo finalists has to shave more than once a week.

If you just keep making good music, they will come.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 27 May 03 - 03:15 PM

OOPS! The preceding was from me.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: Shonagh
Date: 28 May 03 - 01:34 PM

Well, Im 17 (18 next month! yay) and I LOVE goin to festivals. Ist quite hard for me though, I mean, being in Scotland and not being able to drive means i have 2 rely on my 'rents a fair bit, its not too bad though coz they enjoy the folk scene as much as I do. In fact, it was me who got them into folk in the first place!! Aye, well anyhoo, Ive been goin 2 festivals since about 13ish. Started off doin the competitions and things and gradually have been invited to a few to perform. Great fun. Im doing a good few fesitvals this year. My mates from school (totally different to the ones at fesitvals, unfortunately....) know im into folk but they dont seem 2 say much to be honest. This year although, Im doin Keith Festival and i have persuaded a few school mates 2 come along and see what its all about. Maybe i can convert them yet!!
Sho x


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: GUEST
Date: 28 May 03 - 06:47 PM

I'm just turned sweet sixteen and have been going to festivals for... about eight years with my dad. (I had to do the maths there, lol)

I adore festivals- the camping, the stalls, the music, the good vibes, the atmosphere, etc etc. I adore folk concerts and gigs. I adore the folk club.

I'm doing quite a decent job of converting my friends, actually. I've taken a couple to concerts and one has been to the folk club and has intentions of coming back.

A lot of people I know go for 'unique' music, with your Slipknot etc, but now that horrible stuff is becoming more and more mainstream, they'll need somewhere else to turn. Maybe they could grow to love folk music, because I think once you're into it, it is more than a passing phase...

I've always thought that folkie-ism = music and friends for life.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: Al Dente
Date: 29 May 03 - 01:54 AM

I've been scratching my head over this one for awhile. One thing I think we shouldn't do is water folk down to make it more palatable to the masses. Despite sporadic spikes in interest (the folk revival, the folk craze), traditional folk ain't gonna be mainstream. But hey, that's a good thing. I think there's more interest in folk among 20-somethings than most of us realize (and, no, I'm not talking about Ami DiFranco). I went to a show recently that with scant promotion pulled in a packed house, and I was one of the few gray beards in sight. The rest were in their 20s and 30s. All there to hear young performers. Someone did Lakes of Ponchatrain. Someone else did a John Prine song. Along the way all did memorable original folk music. It turns out that there's a vibrant local (SF Bay Area) folk, bluegrass, old-time scene attracting young performers and fans that is mostly under the radar of the traditional folk movement, not to mention the media. Performers like Laura Veirs, the Be Good Tanyas, Noe Venable, Jolie Holland, AJ Roach, Mica Lee Williams, Sean Hayes, Rachel Garlin, the Crooked Jades, the Old Joe Clarks and dozens of others are out there taking traditional music and giving it a little modern spin and coming up with something fresh and vital sounding. Many of these performers come from the punk and alt rock scene and have gotten bored. After hearing a lot of the great old music now readily available on CD (the Lomax Collections, the Smithsonian recordings, the folk rockers of the 60s and 70s), these young performers are finding an emotional depth and honesty and raw energy in folk that they couldn't find in other forms of rock and pop. Maybe there's a new spike in interest just starting to make itself known. Time will tell, but something seems to be stirring.

What should the response us old-timers be? Support and encouragement by seeking out the new performers wouldn't hurt. The performers mentioned above all have self-sponsored web sites. Just put their names in search engines, go to their sites, and listen to their songs. It's a great way of circumventing the corporate control of the airwaves, in the true DIY folkie spirit. So, we keep putting on festivals and shows, and we invite the new performers and they bring the young uns looking for an alternative to MTV crap. See? It's easy! Well, not easy, but it's happening.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: Apache
Date: 29 May 03 - 03:03 PM

>>> A lot of people I know go for 'unique' music, with your Slipknot etc, but now that horrible stuff is becoming more and more mainstream, they'll need somewhere else to turn. Maybe they could grow to love folk music, because I think once you're into it, it is more than a passing phase...<<<

If I'm not at a folk festival or at a session in a pub, I do listen to Rock Music, I am a Rocker and proud of it. I listen to Slipknot and Cradle Of Filth and appreciate that music as much as I appreaciate John Brindley or Kate Rusby, I like both styles of music because in both they make the most out of the instruments they use.

For example in Folk music, you have fast jigs/reels, played at 100mph with motors in each finger, and you have the soft sweet melodic harmonies of many instruments played together, this is much the same in Rock music with Riffs and Licks played at 100mph and soft interludes and diferents played together complimenting eachother.

Many of you may disagree with me on this one, but it's just a thought.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: NicoleC
Date: 29 May 03 - 05:12 PM

The question of how to get young people involved in folk depends on the answer to the question, "what is folk." I grew up listening to bluegrass, got introduced to Irish traditional music by an Irish rock band, and heard all kinds of what we call "world music" (non-American/British folk) in the US by mixing the shows. My interests branched off from there. I don't like it all, but I do like lots of it.

Yet, 60/70's "folk" mostly bores me to tears, which is what the oldtimers are frequently trying to sell. At 32, I haven't ever been to anything you'd call a folk festival, because the headliners always seem to be the same dull, repetitive (to me) 60's guitar folk.

Today's youth are forcefed music that has been improved by corporations, not developed by true artists.

Amen! If you want to find radio without the corporate playlists, you have to pay for the priviledge. I have a subscription to Sirius satellite radio in my car, and variety and quality of the music they play is so far beyond terrestrial radio, I hesitate to compare the two.

For young folks to branch out beyond the top-40 playlists, they have to be able to hear their choices -- and be allowed to choose what they want to listen to in a non-pressured environment, like with the headphones on in their room. Like spinach or broccoli, one has to aquire the taste instead of being force-fed. Internet and satellite radio may be the ticket to getting the music out there. There's a whole bunch of tech-savvy broadband-connected young kids growing up that have an opportunity to experience genres that even the teens today didn't have.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: GUEST
Date: 29 May 03 - 06:04 PM

Apache-

I can see why people would appreciate things like that (though I can't quite take Slipknot I'm afraid, lol)... just not my bag at all.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: Apache
Date: 30 May 03 - 10:31 AM

That's fair enough. I agree with the whole "Manufactured bands destroy music" theory, it's true, that's why I don't listen to pop, I listen to accomplished musicians and instrumentalists. To be honest Slipknot is fairy lame and not very heavy, they appeal to the younger audience.

With folk, it's not just a form of music, there is a whole lifestyle attached to it, but it's one that can be interpreted in so many ways.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: Ely
Date: 30 May 03 - 10:08 PM

I was in a square-dance band in college; we also had a neo-Appalachian band and several solo performers on campus. We weren't coolest acts but we were certainly some of the better-respected musically.

Speaking as a "younger" person--I'm 25--I've been a member of two acoustic music clubs for 10 years, and I find I have a hard time being taken seriously. I'm always being asked to teach songs I've arranged, but nobody ever learns them (they seem to get them in the class, I just don't think they practice). I was music director for a year for one club and it was impossible to get any support; I had to beg each month for people to teach and often, they didn't show up. I would hear muttered complaints but when I asked for suggestions at club meetings, nobody said anything. I don't know if I just had the bad luck to be in office when everyone was having a bad year, or if they all still think of me as a child, but I almost didn't renew my membership this year because I was sick putting the work in and not getting any feedback or encouragement.

I'm not saying that older folkies are ageist--I know that they aren't--but I often feel like a novelty, or an affirmative action case, instead of a member of the group.


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: GUEST,amergin
Date: 30 May 03 - 10:30 PM

I agree about the 60's "folk" stuff...most of it makes me cringe...though there are a few good songs that i dont mind singing...but most of it is watered down too much for my taste...


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Subject: RE: Folk for the Younger Generations.
From: hesperis
Date: 31 May 03 - 04:13 PM

Hey, this thread has given me a cool idea. We younger folkies should get together to do a folk video series and get it on mtv!

Celtic dancing piece
Slow dramatic ballad
Showstopper piece

Riverdance was pretty popular... not that I actually saw it, but it did seem to spearhead the whole "celtic" thing of the past few years.

Part of the issue is that folk music grew out of the country life, and most people today grow up in cities. That's why rap is so normal, it's the "folk" of inner city life... with older music, we can bring a breath of fresh air from the past to illuminate the present...


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