Issue 24 12/2002
FolkWorld's Readers Top
10 of the year 2002 - Cast your vote and win one of 5 CD packages!
FolkWorld is asking all of you, dear readers and visitors, to give your vote on what have been your favourite three CDs of the year 2002. It does not take much time, and you will also have the chance to win CDs: We give away five packages of 3 CDs that you can choose from a selection of 5. Please cast your vote, and help us to compile the official European FolkWorld CD Top Ten - Readers' Choice.
Cast your vote until the 20 January 2003. The FolkWorld Readers' Top 10 will be published just a few days later, along with the FolkWorld Editors' Top 10. We will inform all of our subscribed Readers of the publication date.
Irish Folk Stars against
Ireland. On Thursday, December 5 at 1.00pm, Christy Moore, Paddy Moloney and Paul Brady lead a delegation of Irish musicians opposed to the proposed Section 21 article of the new Arts Bill, which they claim would result in Irish traditional music being treated in isolation to the main body of the arts. The musicians submitted a letter at the gates of Dáil Éireann (Kildare St), to Cecilia Keaveney T.D., Chairperson of the Dáil Committee reviewing the Arts Bill.
Section 21 of the new Arts Bill, currently at Committee Stage in the Dáil, proposes that a standing committee with funding powers be established to oversee Arts Council spending on the traditional arts. It effectively creates a separate Arts Council for traditional music.
The wider traditional music community is opposed to the imposition of the standing committee for the traditional arts. The Arts Council also opposes such an idea. Among the many organisations involved in traditional music only Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann alone have lobbied for the idea of a separate Arts Council for traditional music. However the majority of the traditional music sector has previously rejected such an idea.
The majority in the traditional music world could not have confidence in the ability of a committee, effectively established at the behest of one organisation to fairly and adequately represent the views of the very wide number of bodies and individuals who also do excellent work in the area.
The idea of a separate committee for traditional music is isolationist - if it is a good idea for traditional music why is it not a good idea for all other forms of music, theatre, dance, literature etc?
The traditional arts are not defined in the new Arts Bill.
All artists and musicians welcome increased Government interest in the Arts and especially welcome the promise of increased funding for traditional music. However, enshrining the separate arts council idea in legislation is not the way to best secure the future of Irish traditional music. We call on the Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism, John O'Donoghue, to drop the unfortunately divisive Section 21 aspect of an otherwise excellent piece of legislation and to maintain the arms length principle in dealings between central government and a transparent and accountable Arts Council.
SPONSOR OF FOLKWORLD'S ISSUE 24
4th International Folk Festival Tilburg with a superb line-up
The Netherlands. The 4th International Folk Festival in the Southern Dutch city of Tilburg takes places from 22 to 26 January 2003. The line-up is as always impressive and features some of the very best music that the European scene has currently on offer.
Focal country is this time Italy, with appearances of the complete Banda Ionica with about 30 musicians, Riccardo Tesi & Banditaliana, Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare and Lucilla Galeazzi. Other top acts from Europe include the Galician singer Mercedes Péon, English young star Eliza Carthy, the Russian Neo Folk Band Farlanders, the Belgian top acts Ambrozijn and Troissoeur with Jean-Marie Aerts, and the pop band "The Levellers". Crossing the big pond, the festival also features an American evening titled "Heartlands", featuring among others Nickel Creek.
Further Information and the full festival programme can be found at www.folkfestival.nl or from email@example.comPhoto: Riccardo Tesi. Photo by The Mollis.
Minister wants to jeopardise
folk music in British pubs, his "idea of hell"
England. The UK government launched in November a bill reforming the licening laws, and allowing pubs and bars to open 24 hours a day. At the same time, the rules for live music in pubs and clubs will be toughened, with the bill extending licensing for live music. The newspaper The Guardian reported:
"Members of the Musicians' Union argue that 111,000 entertainers will be drawn into the system for the first time by the bill, jeopardising jazz and folk in hundreds of pubs and clubs, while there will be no controls on big-screen TV.
At the bill's launch in the basement of a Westminster pub, Kim Howells, the minister in charge, was accused of turning his dislike of folk music ("my idea of hell," he once said) into a snobbish vendetta against traditional music. "Traditional music is unamplified, it is not making a noise, and is usually listened to by well-behaved people," said Sheila Mellor, who runs a London folk club, the Cellar Upstairs. "This legislation follows the presumption against live music which goes back a long way. It is rooted in the assumption that live music is something for the lower classes, a bad thing, making a noise." Mr Howells, who last month described the Turner prize art as "conceptual bullshit", complained yesterday that he had been driven out of his local pub by a single musician with an amplifier. But he insisted that the bill was motivated by complaints about noise and safety concerns." (The full article can be found at The Guardian website.)
Hobnobbin also reports the latest news on the British two-in-a-bar laws (-> FW#21, FW#23):
"The government have published the Licencing Bill this week, which, if enacted, would criminalize the provision of most music in England and Wales, unless first licenced. If these laws are passed they will affect everyone involved in making music, and could be absolutely detrimental to music culture in England and Wales. The anti-music provisions are buried in the same bill that will allow longer opening hours in pubs, and as a result will not get much coverage. [...] The new Licencing Bill will make it illegal for any number of musicians to perform in an unlicenced premises or at an unlicenced event. The bill would criminalize any musician who performed at an unlicenced venue as well as the owner of the venue. The wording is not entirely clear but the bill also affects those providing entertainment facilities - this could include recording studios, practise rooms and retailers. Venues now needing a licence will include not just pubs and clubs, but private functions - even in your own home, churches, public land, one-off events. [...] We don't yet know how much the new licence will cost - if it is very reasonably priced and easy to obtain then perhaps there will not be as much of a problem, but there is no reason at all to assume that this will be the case. [...] These new laws pose a real threat because the police and local authorities are known to take the licensing laws very literally, however ridiculous, and enforce them strongly with fines, and in the near future, jail sentences."
There is a online petition against the new law, the petition: "Licensing of Live Music in England and Wales", hosted on the web by PetitionOnline.com, the free online petition service. TO sign, visit http://www.PetitionOnline.com/2inabar/
Lonnie Donegan (1931-2002)
Britain. During the early hours of November 3, Lonnie Donegan died of a heart attack whilst mid-way through a sell-out tour of major British theatres. Mel Roberts recalls the career of the King of Skiffle:
"Born in Glasgow on 29 April 1931, of Scots/Irish parents, Anthony James Donegan moved to London with his mother after his parents divorced. His father had been an amateur concert violinist but young Donegan's musical interests grew from the occasional BBC radio shows of the day featuring American Blues singers and New Orleans jazz bands.[...] He put together the Tony Donegan Jazzband and found a niche among the few jazz clubs around London at that time. A highlight came when he was asked to appear at the Royal Festival Hall as opening act for one of his boyhood idols and the person from whom he had borrowed his first name, Lonnie Johnson. [...] He was banjo-player and vocalist in the Chris Barber jazzband when they made their first album in the early fifties. Lonnie had built up a repertoire of American folk songs and Barber asked him to include a couple on what was basically an instrumental album. [...] Decca, who had only wanted instrumental tracks anyway, reluctantly released Donegan's version of a Leadbelly song, Rock Island Line and watched in amazement at the musical explosion that followed. BBC Radio played the record and it sold 3 million copies, shooting into the British & American top-ten. [...] His music was macho and appealed to teenage boys who decided they wanted to be Skifflers just like him. [...] Contrary to popular belief, Lonnie's skiffle group did not include a washboard or tea chest bass. [...] Lonnie's band comprised the best musicians around and was as electric as any of the rock'n roll groups that followed. [...] Over six years, every single he released was a chart hit [...] Soon after that, the Quarrymen Skiffle group became desperate for success and decided to change their name, to The Beatles. [...] These four Liverpudlians with their fresh harmonic sound made skiffle music old-hat overnight and instantly put paid to Donegan's recording career. He was wise enough to see that it was hopeless in trying to compete so he turned his sights to the huge cabaret scene of the time." [wt]www.lonniedoneganinc.com
Bobby Clancy (1927-2002)
Ireland. Bobby Clancy passed away on September 6th. Earle Hitchner writes in the Irish Echo: "Sometimes described as the brother who stayed home, Bobby Clancy of the world-famous singing Clancy Brothers died last Friday in Ireland after a lengthy illness ending in lung complications. He was 75 years old. While his three brothers became unexpected stars in America during the late 1950s and early 1960s, Bobby Clancy remained in Tipperary to run the family insurance business. But his own abilities as a singer, instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, harmonica, bodhrán), actor, storyteller, verse reciter, and wit served him well in such TV programs as `When Bobby Clancy Sings.' He also enjoyed a solid recording and touring career as a soloist and in a duo with his younger sister Peg before joining his brothers in the mid-1970s for occasional tours and recordings after Tommy Makem and, later, brother Liam left. One of the highlights of Bobby Clancy's career came on Oct. 16, 1992, when he joined his surviving brothers, Liam and Paddy, plus nephew Robbie O'Connell and Tommy Makem, at New York's Madison Square Garden for `The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration' for Bob Dylan.
Over the last two decades, Bobby Clancy recorded albums with his brothers and nephew Robbie O'Connell. He also issued such solo recordings, both featuring daughter Aoife (former lead singer of Cherish the Ladies) and son Finbar (vocals, guitar, flute, banjo, bodhrán). Other albums on which Bobby Clancy appeared include Cherish the Ladies' `At Home' in 1999 [-> FW#10] and `The Girls Won't Leave the Boys Alone' in 2001, and Aoife Clancy's `Silvery Moon' just recently.
My brothers and I always kept true to our music, Bobby Clancy once said of the extraordinary career they enjoyed. It's not unusual for three generations of fans to come to our performances. And just by the smiles on their faces when we are singing something like `Tim Finnegan's Wake' or `The Galway Races,' well, that's what makes the whole show worthwhile for us."
Frank McGrath of the Nenagh Singers Circle adds: "They say, to sing is to pray twice. So, if you wish to remember Bobby as he would wish to be remembered; if you wish to pray for him as he would wished to prayed for - just SING!" [wt]
Visit www.theballadeers.com/Clancy_01a.htm, www.celtica.com/bobbyclancy/, www.liamclancy.com.
Derek Bell (1935-2002)
Ireland. Derek `Ding Dong' Bell, harpist of the Irish traditional group The Chieftains (-> FW#7, FW#8, FW#8, FW#13, FW#22) died unexpectedly in Phoenix, Arizona, on October 17th. Derek Bell undertook a routine physical examination and surgical procedure after a Chieftains concert and television taping in Nashville, Tennessee. The US appearances were part of the group's promotional campaign on behalf of their 40th anniversary and their new album, `Down the Old Plank Road.'
Derek Bell was born on October 21, 1935 in Belfast. A misdiagnosis of imminent blindness led his parents to compensate by giving him a musical environment. Derek wrote his first concerto at the age of 12, and studied and appeared with symphony orchestras throughout Europe and the US subsequently. After previous guest appearances with the Chieftains, he joined `that tatty folk group' as a full-time member in 1974. Chieftains' leader Paddy Moloney said that `the introduction of the harp completed the sound that I had always wanted to achieve.' Derek Bell recorded more than 30 albums with the group as well as 8 solo albums, including `Carolan's Receipt, the Music of Carolan,' `Ancient Music for the Irish Harp,' and compositions of yogi Swami Kriyananda. He introduced a small cimbalom which he christened `tiompan' after the medieval Irish instrument. In 2000, he was awarded Member of the British Empire for his contributions to traditional Irish and classical music.
`His passing will leave a silence that will never be filled,' the Chieftains announce. `Anyone who has had the honor of meeting Derek will know that the world will be a much less interesting place without him. We will all miss him terribly, Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.' May his harp play on for eternity. [wt]
The Chieftains: www.irish.com.
Naat Velioy & The Original Kocani Orkestar "GypsyFolies"
Trumpet player Naat Veliov has become famous from his collaboration with the film producer of the gypsy epics "Underground" and "Time of the Gypsies", Emir Kusturicas, as well as his internationally successful CDs "L'Orient est rouge" and "Gypsy Mambo". (Aris CD 219 749 12)
Atahualpa Yupanqui "La paloma enamorada"
This CD, documenting the "Cologne Concert", takes us back to the year 1977, and presents Atahualpa Yupanqui at the heigths of his arts. (Aris CD 219 603 22)
Please find the complete catalogue of ‚pläne' records under www.plaene-records.de.
America? No thanks!
Britain/USA. Half a year ago, the English roots magazine fRoots published an editorial which said: "Blues, jazz, American folk, the still-fresh roots of rock'n'roll, the writings of Kerouac, the language of Lord Buckley, Bob Dylan! - all these things were hip, sophisticated, attractively different... It's all different now, of course. America has dumbed beyond belief, and the secret cultures are our own and those of all the other local communities around the world who have undergone cultural ethnic cleansing... Go to most parts of the globe and turn on the radio and you'll hear the same thing. Walk down the streets in most places on the planet and the same American corporate advertising will lure identically dressed zombies in backwards-facing American baseball caps into American chains to eat American junk food. Things have to change... Obviously first and foremost we will continue to promote local musics from out there, from at home and around the world, be a resistance movement to US cultural colonialism. Where American music is concerned, it's partial cultural boycott time... We will no longer give space to music that has no sense of roots, place or community."
According to the editors, that piece drew the biggest postbag on anything ever published, remarkably with huge and unexpected support from American readers. "After September 2001 [-> FW#21, FW#22, FW#24], we and our American friends in the world roots music business widely expressed the hope that the sharing of musical and cultural experiences would be a route to reconciliation and understanding in the USA. It hasn't happened. The Bush regime have continued with political, environmental and commercial policies that are terrifying the world and have squandered much of the international sympathy that resulted from the World Trade Centre incident. They have encouraged jingoism and xenophobia at home, and have pushed the door nearly shut on world musicians entering the country. We think it's time to ferment some cultural resistance, however tiny..." [wt]
Read more: www.frootsmag.com/content/boycott/.
Folk music for the
Eurovision Song Contest
Belgium/Estonia. The Eurovision song contest has a reputation of presenting some of the most tasteless and bland music of European countries. This year there is at least one entry that will present quality - and FOLK MUSIC!!!
The Belgian folk group Urban Trad will be performing for Belgium on the next Eurovision Songfestival on the 24th of May 2003 in Latvia. Those of you who don't know the band: quick visit there site: www.urbantrad.com
Wales. The small market town of Llangollen in North Wales became the first temporary Eurozone in Britain. During the 56th annual International Musical Eisteddfod held in July, which attracted over 100,000 visitors, 80% of shops, pubs, restaurants and hotels did accept the Euro as payment. Local MP Martyn Jones said, `It became obvious to me that Llangollen could benefit greatly from simply throwing its doors open to the new currency during Eisteddfod week. The Llangollen Eurozone will make life considerably easier for visitors as they will not have to face the inconvenience of changing currency when they arrive in the town.' One visitor, Amanda Keow from Northern Ireland, said she wished she had known about the scheme sooner. `I really think accepting Euros is the way everything's heading, it makes life a lot simpler. We were all running around before we came away to try and get Bank of England notes gathered up and you're only going across to Wales. If we'd have known we could have just got Euros.'
However, not everyone is in favour of the move towards the Euro. Opinion polls continue to show that a majority of people in Britain would vote `no' in a Euro referendum. Recently (Irish) pop star Bob Geldof joined the campaign to keep the Pound and featured in an advert being launched by the `No Campaign.' Critics remark: `Many visitors do indeed come from continental Europe but they also come from USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Russia as well as African and Asian countries. Why then do the good people of Llangollen show this sudden act of benevolence to European visitors only? I would imagine that you would be given short shrift if you tried to pay for your round of drinks with Thai Baht, Polish Zlotys or Israeli Shekels. It is of course nothing more than a cynical plot by the pro-Euro brigade to get the currency circulating in the U.K. It could be just the first of many stunts that they will pull in order to brainwash the public into accepting something that most of them don't want. I hope that this move is reciprocated within the Euro zone. On your next visit to France, Germany or Italy you will no doubt be welcomed with open arms after announcing that, because you wished to avoid the inconvenience of changing currencies, you will be paying for everything in Sterling.' [wt]
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Foot Stompin' Celtic
Scotland. Simon Thoumire's Foot Stompin' label (-> FW#7) made a major upgrading of their web site this summer. Most important, it is now changed to www.footstompin.com. Stimulus to check out some recent reviews of Foot Stompin' artists: Croft No. Five, Fine Friday, Gillian Frame, The Scottish Stepdance Company, or Simon's own. For the bright young stars of Scottish traditional music. [wt]
The Song Makers
Britain. Billy Bragg, Bert Jansch, and a host of old and new songwriting talent provided tracks to help the homeless. 10% of the profits from The Song Makers Project (Vol. 1) will be donated to the housing charity Shelter. G. Fisher reviews: `There's plenty to discover here, established artists I didn't know well like Eric Bibb and Ted Hawkins, and new acts from the UK acoustic scene. There's a lot of variety here, but the songs all fit well together, with tracks covering folk-blues and storytelling (Jezz Hall), soulful pop (Ayo), catchy folk (Roger Askew), and tender and melodic country-tinged offerings from Brothers Falloon and Maureen Munroe.' [wt]
9th Scoil Gheimhridh Frankie
Kennedy (Frankie Kennedy Winter School)
Ireland. The 9th Scoil Gheimhridh Frankie Kennedy will be held in Gweedore, Co. Donegal, Ireland, between the 28th of December 2002 and the 2nd of January 2003. As every year the Scoil Gheimhridh includes classes, concerts and recitals. The following instrument classes are given: flute / whistle by Tara Diamond, Harry Bradley, Clodach McGrory, Conor Byrne and Marcus Ó Murchú, fiddle by Paul O'Shaughnessy, Orla McGrory and Liz Doherty, button accordion by Peter Browne, accompaniment on guitar and bouzouki by Mánus Lunny, accompaniment on bodhrán by Seamus O'Kane, uilleann pipes by Gay McKeon. The fee for the classes is €50. Other events include the launch party for the album "Trad Tráthnona 2", a recording featuring Donegal singers such as Máire Ní Cholm, Diminic MacGiolla Bhride, Nora Duibhir, Connie Mhary Mhicí, a fiddle recital with Paul O'Shaughnessy, Jimmy and Peter Campbell and special guests, a singing recital lead by Dr. Lillis Ó Laoire, a flute "blow-out", concerts with Paddy Glackin and Mícheál Ó Domhnaill, Altan, Dezi Donnelly, Liz Carroll and John Doyle. The New Year's Eve Party in Óstan Ghaoth Dobhair will present Seamus Begley & Jim Murray amongst others.
HARLEKIN RECORDS - Your source for FOLK MUSIC (North America, Ireland, Great
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Harlekin Records and its full catalogue is available on the Internet, at www.harlekin-records.de.
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England. January seems to become one of the main festival months of the year. First there was only Celtic Connections, the two week long Celtic mega festival in Glasgow. Then the International Folk Festival in Tilburg was started, presenting the best of European music during a long weekend in January.
The Norwich Folk Festival is the newest of these three top festivals taking place in January. Norwich 03 (or short: No.03) takes place from the 31st of January to the 2nd of February 2003. It is a festival of concerts, dances and workshops, taking place in the charming East Anglian town of Norwich. It is one of the few British festivals that has a focus on European music. This year's festival features among others the Anglo-Swedish band Swåp, French hurdy gudry star Patrick Bouffard with band, the English duo Becky Price & Dave Shepherd, and the local pan-European bands Mooncoin and Gare du Nord.
Full Information at www.vickhast.demon.co.uk or from firstname.lastname@example.org
European Youth Folk Orchestra
stops because of running out of funding
Europe. The European Youth Folk Orchestra, Eyfo, has released this year their first CD. The band is a collaboration of young musicians from across Europe, and the result is rather stunning. The band was created with the help of funding from the European Union, and adds to the list of other youth orchestras (classical, baroque, jazz etc.) that Europe has already.
Unfortunately, the funding of the European Union has run out this autumn, which means that the band will not be able to survive - as the band members are so spread out across Europe, peractising and performing is impossible. The funding was not even enough to allow Eyfo to play in all of the countries that is has members from - Eyfo did not manage to appear in Britain. Again the question how useful some of the European funding programmes are, if they are only for a limited period of time.
The lasting results of this project are the CD, reviewed in FolkWorld's last issue, and the experience for the members of Eyfo of meeting each other and gaining "lovely and talend friends, dotted all over Europe.
Hopefully this will not be the end of this exciting venture - maybe some festivals might give the band the incentive to keep on playing together, by inviting them!
In the German news you can find as additional news:
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