This thread is intended to encompass folk music in all its forms; although, I adhere to the vast band of followers of folk music from the British Isles, other traditions have informed my appreciation of this genre.
My first contribution is a podcast that I stumbled upon today that has interviews with a few of my favourite British artists.
So far I’ve listened to Richard Thompson and Johnny Flynn. Next up is Steve Knightley, followed by Chris Wood. There is so much to find here …
Hope this Folk thread lasts a bit longer than an earlier one I seem to remember. So how about:
Is it overshadowed by Ragged Kingdom, their earlier collaboration with June Tabor? As a collection of songs, perhaps Ragged Kingdom has it, but as a complete album to listen straight through, I think Diamonds on the Water wins for me.
mention of june tabor reminds me of the 2 quercus recordings on ECM wonderful performances - wonderful sound for what i think are live recordings. these both have a strong autumnal feel, but i could add so many of her earlier recordings.
I rather enjoy these, although some of the renditions are better than others, Jon Boden has produced 12 albums with a song for every day of the year.
Here is April
Good for upcoming stuff - carries an interview with Jon Boden. ‘Last Mile Home’
Hope this thread gets the traction it deserves , to me it’s always been a little difficult to precisely nail down what is Folk ?
Is it strictly traditional or does it encompass singer/songwriter?
Listening to Eva Cassidy some of her traditional songs marry very well with more contemporary
Not that I want to spark a debate, but singer song writer is a wide field encompassing many themes… from Ed Sheeran to KT Tunstall, I would put that more as pop rather than folk, but clearly there is an overlap.
I guess folk tends to be more roots based, and not necessarily aligned with contemporary fashions and styles which could otherwise be refered to as pop.
When @Camphuw started the thread I looked at Bubble and what I have on my Melco. The listing of genres is derived from Gracenote and the seemingly appropriate ones are contemporary folk, country folk, folk, traditional, traditional folk, world and world folk.
Martin Carthy appears in all of them, Fairport Convention in none (they appear in pop?).
Strangely Frank Sinatra appears in contemporary folk.
Overall, the range is from Gregorian chant and Abbess Hildegard of Bingen up to Agnes Obel and Damien Rice, Leonard Cohen.
For the UK, Mainly Norfolk Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music is a good database, it is where I originally found the Walking series and Jon Boden mentioned above.
The Full English Vaughan Williams Memorial Library - The Full English is an ongoing project and of course EFDSS https://www.efdss.org/ is a major source.
However that leaves so much out, camphuw might have to be the arbiter.
She’s recorded some great albums which are well worth investigating.
I particularly enjoy artists who, from within a folk tradition, explore new directions, rooted in the past but looking to the future. They usually have a distinctive character of their own particularly if they write their own material. A case in point is Jim Ghedi. I really enjoyed his previous, largely instrumental album, Hymn for Ancient Land but his recent (2021) album goes in a rather different direction. It’s more angry with a strong sense of injustice in the songs but just as compelling.
I seem to listen mostly to female folk singers. Among my favourites over the past decade are Karine Polwart and Kate Rusby. A more recent discovery is Rhiannon Giddens, although her work is much more varied. Trained as an opera singer, she’s also accomplished on the violin and banjo. Worth checking out.
Super band live. One of my best experiences of live music was the Oysterband playing at Leeds City Varieties Hall.
For the final encore song they came off the stage into the audience and played and sung acoustically “Put Out The Lights”. The audience joined in, and if you have ever seen that venue (Good Old Days on BBC TV decades ago), you’ll know that some of the audience sit in boxes and galleries around the hall. The singing just enveloped the whole theatre and was so moving. A beautiful moment.
I tend to skirt around Folk as a genre without actually diving in too deep. So I have Richard Thompson in my collection, I like King Creosote who crosses the line between pop and folk but is still mainly folk and I also like David Keenan who is folkish but could be described as singer songwriter. I love Roy Harper from the Folk-rock end of the spectrum too.
When I listen to more traditional folk it is mainly as background music and this is despite visiting folk clubs as a youth and lustily joining in with the singing (or wailing in my case).
Ahh… you need to get along to the Folk East festival… it’s open again this year… lusty singing encouraged in the beer tents…
It’s strange how alcohol appears to affect your ability to sing In tune…