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  #1  
Old 12-18-2005, 11:38 PM
ultrafilter ultrafilter is offline
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The Essential Music Library: Folk

The Essential Music Library project is an attempt to get the many musical minds of the SDMB to sit down and discuss what works are absolutely necessary for a well-stocked musical library. There will be roughly 20 threads detailing a variety of genres so that we can get the depth that would be missing from a single-threaded discussion and the breadth necessary to cover what's out there.

This thread's topic is folk music.

Previous threads: Project Planning | Classical | Rock | Jazz | Modern Rock | Blues | Punk/Post-Punk/New Wave | Opera/Choral Music | Rap/Hip-Hop | Gospel | Electronica | Contemporary Classical | Pop | Film Music/Musicals | R&B/Soul | Grass & Roots | Funk/Disco | Non-Western/World | Country & Western
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2005, 11:49 PM
Waterman Waterman is offline
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The list (in order of relevance) is:
  • Woody Guthrie
  • Bob Dylan
  • Pete Seeger
  • Carter Family
There are others but I will be patient and see what others have to say.
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  #3  
Old 12-19-2005, 07:02 AM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is online now
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I fully concur with Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. I've always been conflicted about Dylan. Yeah, he started in folk but I always felt that a lot of his popularity came from being intentionally obscurist (not unlike Tori Amos and suchlike).

Folk admits of a WIDE definition. Does Loudoun Wainright III count? He certainly self-IDs that way. Are we looking for folk musicians in the traditional format or the wider way it turned into 'anyone with a guitar and voice'?
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2005, 07:07 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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I'd recommend Joan Baez, Dick & Mimi (Joan's little sister) Farina, and Tom Paxton.
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  #5  
Old 12-20-2005, 06:10 AM
Boulter's Canary Boulter's Canary is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas
I'd recommend Joan Baez, Dick & Mimi (Joan's little sister) Farina, and Tom Paxton.
From this side of the pond:

ENGLAND

Martin Carthy
Ashley Hutchings (In the field of folk/rock the man is a giant. Involved in the creation of Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, Mr Fox and The Albion Band he has also masterminded many song/drama projects like 'Street Cries', 'By Gloucester Docks I sat Down and Wept', 'Albion River Hymn' and 'An Evening With Cecil Sharpe'. And then there's his folkdance projects........)
Ewan McColl
June Tabor
Maddy Prior

Bill Caddick (vastly under-rated singer/songwriter. Check out his 'best of' compilation 'Unicorns')
Show of Hands (monumentally talented duo, either as writers or interpreters of other people's work)

SCOTLAND

Dick Gaughan
Run Rig (socialist, Christian folk/rock. Partly in Gaelic)
Rock Salt and Nails (youing, gifted and Shetlanders)
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  #6  
Old 12-20-2005, 06:24 AM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is offline
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I'd also recommend Pete Seeger, but the anti-war stuff from the Sixties is becoming cliched. I'd go back to his union days with the Almanac Singers.

Robin
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2005, 07:43 AM
PookahMacPhellimey PookahMacPhellimey is offline
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What Boulter's Canary said.


But I think you've got to give Sandy Denny a separate mention.

I also like Martin Carthy's daughter Eliza Carthy's music. Come to think of it, his wife Norma Waterson is also a great singer as is/was pretty much anyone in that entire family.


I personally think Shirley Collins (who was once in the Albion Band but did some solo work as well) is underrrated.
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  #8  
Old 12-20-2005, 09:02 AM
Kizarvexius Kizarvexius is offline
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- The Kingston Trio
- Peter, Paul & Mary
- The Brothers Four
- John Denver
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  #9  
Old 12-20-2005, 10:19 AM
DfrntBreign DfrntBreign is offline
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Does Fairport Convention belong on this list?
How about Arlo Guthrie?
John Prine? Steve Earle?
I'm not trying to be confrontational or anything. I'm really just curious whether any of these peoples' music is considered "folk" by people who know what that means.
As I obviously don't.
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2005, 11:26 AM
Nimue Nimue is offline
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Does Joni Mitchell count as folk? Certainly some of her work is; particularly the earlier stuff.
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  #11  
Old 12-20-2005, 11:27 AM
Nimue Nimue is offline
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Oops, just thought of a second potential addition -- Judy Collins.
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  #12  
Old 12-20-2005, 12:33 PM
PookahMacPhellimey PookahMacPhellimey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DfrntBreign
Does Fairport Convention belong on this list?
How about Arlo Guthrie?
John Prine? Steve Earle?
I'm not trying to be confrontational or anything. I'm really just curious whether any of these peoples' music is considered "folk" by people who know what that means.
As I obviously don't.
Slight hijack but yes, it's interesting who calls what "folk".

Go to a record store in Holland and look in the folk section and it will English, Irish and Scottish music in a traditional vein (Fairport Convention, Solas, Tanahill Weavers and also The Dubliners) but NOT Bob Dylan nor Joni Mitchell.

In Ireland traditional musicians do NOT want to be called folk musicians. "Folk" is something like the Clancy Brothers or quite possibly The Dubliners. Bob Dylan is sometimes referred to as a folk singer, sometimes not. Something like Fairport Convention would be English traditional music and is generally not referred to as "folk". I've seen it lumped either with the Irish tradional music or even with World Music in record shops.

As you can see from this thread, Americans have a completely different definition again. As far as I can see they think Dylan *is* a folk singer, Irish traditional music is *not* folk music (but was to be filed under World and Non-Western) and whether English traditional based music is, well, debatable.



It's very confusing so I just went with what other people thought should be in there and added on people from what I thought was the same genre. I think people should add on music *they* deem "folk" as the worst that could happen is that people look outside of their usual genre and find some new good music.
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  #13  
Old 12-20-2005, 12:38 PM
Godfrey Daniels Godfrey Daniels is offline
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The Weavers, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Phil Ochs, Gene Clark, The Journeymen/John Phillips, New Christy Minstrels.
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  #14  
Old 12-20-2005, 02:18 PM
QuizCustodet QuizCustodet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boulter's Canary
From this side of the pond:

ENGLAND
[B]June Tabor
...
Show of Hands (monumentally talented duo, either as writers or interpreters of other people's work)
I'd take issue with June Tabor - while she undoubtedly has a lovely voice, I think she has quite poor taste in what she records, which in my view would remove her from the essentials of folk music. Two clunkers that stick out in my mind would be 'A Place Called England' and 'The King of Rome'. To give her her due, though 'Mississippi Summer' and 'The Band Played Waltzing Matilda' are both on my favourites list.
Wanted to add an enthusiastic second for Show of Hands, though! A couple more suggestions:
- Stan Rogers. He sang a mix of traditional music and his own compositions, mostly about life in rural and coastal Canada.
- Oysterband. They grew out of a ceilidh band, but are generally heading in a folk-rock direction. I'd say the country focus and traditional influence keeps them in the folk category, but others may disagree.
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  #15  
Old 01-09-2006, 11:43 AM
Boulter's Canary Boulter's Canary is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuizCustodet
I'd take issue with June Tabor - while she undoubtedly has a lovely voice, I think she has quite poor taste in what she records, which in my view would remove her from the essentials of folk music. Two clunkers that stick out in my mind would be 'A Place Called England' and 'The King of Rome'. To give her her due, though 'Mississippi Summer' and 'The Band Played Waltzing Matilda' are both on my favourites list.
Wanted to add an enthusiastic second for Show of Hands, though! A couple more suggestions:
- Stan Rogers. He sang a mix of traditional music and his own compositions, mostly about life in rural and coastal Canada.
- Oysterband. They grew out of a ceilidh band, but are generally heading in a folk-rock direction. I'd say the country focus and traditional influence keeps them in the folk category, but others may disagree.
I like 'A Place Called England' (though it's author, Maggie Holland, performs it better). 'The King of Rome' is a bit naff, I'll admit (It's a song about a pigeon , for Og's sake)

I forgot Oysterband! wonderful group. And yes, I think they can still be called folk music.
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