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Old 04-15-2009, 08:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
killedmyraindog
 
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Default The philosophy of folk

Defining folks is equatable to the plot of Rashomon. Depending on where you stand, its a completly different story.

We spoke to an Aussie once (circa 2003) who claimed Jack Johnson isn't what he'd call folk. He didn't give us details on what he would call folk but we don't have to look very hard to find people for whom JJ is decidedly only folk.

Similarly, "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World," probably not folk to many people. But when he plays in acoustic on Freedom, does it become folk then?

A couple years back, the regulars on the board created stickied threads on what contituted a genre. I was assigned about 5 and didn't do a damn one because I'm a lazy ****, but we've come a long way, and at this point, open discussions might be better that us dictating things. (at the time, the emo war raged)

So I'll ask you folks. Have you ridden the line before? What makes folk "folk" to you? And does it have anything to do with sound, or is there a philosphy behind it? and regardless of what you choose,what areas do you perceive as being tough calls.

This isn't a term paper, so write whatever you'd like.
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TheBig3KilledMyRainDog View Post
We spoke to an Aussie once (circa 2003) who claimed Jack Johnson isn't what he'd call folk. He didn't give us details on what he would call folk but we don't have to look very hard to find people for whom JJ is decidedly only folk.
If you ever hear from that Aussie again tell him he is absolutely right. I don't find Jack Johnson decidedly folk; I find him decidedly intolerable.

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Similarly, "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World," probably not folk to many people. But when he plays in acoustic on Freedom, does it become folk then?
There was always a Folkish element in his music, especially in his earlier work, take a listen to Old Man by a young Neil.

Last edited by Neapolitan; 04-26-2009 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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So I'll ask you folks. Have you ridden the line before? What makes folk "folk" to you? And does it have anything to do with sound, or is there a philosphy behind it? and regardless of what you choose, what areas do you perceive as being tough calls.
"Folk Music" in the original sense was music unique to a community because it was isolated, it was passed down from person to person. "Folk" became an umbrella term for anything that sound like Country song using acoustic instruments, Appalachian Folk song, and 50's & 60's American Folk Music Revival. Because American Folk Music Revival is known as Folk, Traditional Music is now instead .

The world was different place in the 19th century, which allowed Folk Music (Tradition Music) to form, those elements don't exist today, the critea that defined Folk Music (Tradition Music) is gone. Popular Songs, today, are recorded and writen down, the songs are copy-writed; which is the opposite of how "Folk Music" was defined.

Every country has it own folk music, that is unique to that country. Music in America that met the critea of Folk was music from Appalachia. What is considered Folk Muisc today is really American Folk Music Revival. Started by Pete Seger and made popular through artist and groups in the 50's and 60's,
like the Weavers, the Kingston Trio, and especially Bob Dylan.

So artist like the one you mentioned are really playing a Folk-style of Popular Music not really Folk or Traditional Music.

Last edited by Neapolitan; 04-26-2009 at 10:26 PM.
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