FolkWorld #56 03/2015

German Letters

Letters to the Editors

Caledonia Redpipes

  Made in Portugal - More Electronic Bagpipes

"Made in Portugal"

"Bagpipe Opportunities"

Avven "Kastalija"

Greetings, five years ago you wrote an article about E-pipes chanter from portugal. Do you perhaps know if it's still on sale and in developement. I can't find any info on their site regarding this.

It's the best sounding e-gaita I have heard so far and would really like to know if you still have an info or contact from the firm.

Best regards, Anej Ivanuša (Avven)

I have not heard about this manufacturer for a while. And to be honest, when I was in St.Chartier I found some other electronic bagpipes (made by some German company) that seemed even better than these ones from Portugal. I believe it was this one : Pío F. Fernandez

  Hubertus Rösch: Better World

"Better World"

Hallo. Happy new year to all of you and a huge thank you so much for your consideration on Folkworld. I love it:)

So the year starts beautiful and with a very positive message for me. Thank you! Thank you for all your effort and love for music!

All the best for all of you for 2015. Best, Hubertus Rösch

  Ivor Game: Dizzy Spells

"Dizzy Spells"

Thank you. Thats a nice review. Didn't think my record would end up being reviewed all the way over in Washington DC by David Hinz.

Thank you again for playing one of the songs on Radio Skala.

All the best, Ivor Game

Through the Woods

  The Okee Dokee Brothers: Through the Woods

"Through the Woods"

Hey! Wow. What a kind review! Thanks so much for sending it our way, and spreading the word about our music.

Our DVD coding should be worldwide, I'm not sure why it doesn't work. You can also download it for US$7 on our website.

Thanks! Justin (The Okee Dokee Brothers)

Cherish the Ladies

"Country Crossroads"

  Cherish the Ladies Celebrates 30 Years

Hi Folks! We're so thrilled on this past January 5th to have hit a major milestone of 30 years of music making and touring. We can't express how thankful we are to all of you for supporting us down through the years and allowing us to do what we love to do!

From humble beginnings at the Ethnic Folk Arts Center with concerts organized by EFAC along with the main man who started it all, Mick Moloney we have gone from the small little venues to performing in the major Arts Centers and Symphony halls all over the world.

We realize how fortunate we are and again, a major thank you to each everyone of you along with our families and all the women who have shared the stage with us down through the years and graced us with their musicality and talents.

All the best! Joanie Madden

  Brouhaha ...

The recent brouhaha over the outrageous threats to Sony Pictures made by North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, led a couple of readers of my Daigressing to write to me to ask if I could see the parallels between what happened to me at FolkWorld, and what happened to Sony Pictures! When I stopped laughing at what seemed to me like an extravagant comparison, I realised that my readers were not laughing: they were being deadly serious. And I pondered on matters, and concluded that they may just have a point. Let me bring new readers up to speed.

Dai Woosnam

In November 2007, I wrote a review where I bent over backwards to praise a particular Folk label and the guy who built it up from nothing to become a major name on the British folk scene. However, in the review, I could not stop a particular bee from buzzing out of my bonnet. At the time of writing, I was receiving up to 5 albums a week from various sources at home here in Britain, and from North America and Germany. Several of these labels would enclose a slip with the CD saying that it was a promotional copy. I had no problem with that.

However, the above-mentioned “major name on the British folk scene” was different, in that they stuck a big sticker on the back of the CD that would not come off at all easily, and seriously hindered you from reading the (sometimes vital) information on the back cover. And this stuck in my craw. And there is no point anyone saying that how a reviewer receives a CD should have no bearing on the review: it does and always will. Just read the first 4 paragraphs of this review of mine on Bob Wood’s website:

Or take this review of Curtis & Loretta:

And alas it can work the other way. Please read this review:

But back to the matter in hand... Two years later, FolkWorld received a bizarre over-reaction from the Folk mogul in question. By this time, I had announced my retirement from reviewing for all ventures other than my spiritual home: The Living Tradition... I was still just winding down my considerable online output in America. My decision to cease most of my reviewing was purely based on a lack of free time. But my Folk version of Kim Jong-un did not know that: he came at me all guns blazing. Nakedly threatening to cut off all supplies of future review copies of CDs to FolkWorld, if they had the temerity to give any of his CDs to me to review. This was a shocking case of bullying. A man who had built a hugely profitable company and therefore was hardly on his uppers, was playing the Powerful Tycoon to two enthusiastic amateurs (in the true sense of the word) at FolkWorld. Michael Moll and Tom Keller then found themselves between a rock and a hard place. And the mogul - I nearly said “dictator” (let me breathe that word back in!) – knew it, full well, by the tone of his letter. Huge shame on him. These two men toiled in the fields of FolkWorld as a true Labour of Love. There was no financial reward in it for them. Nor have I ever received a penny for my Folk reviews in any outlet where I have reviewed CDs.

So it saddens me when somebody caught out in a mean-spirited attempt to ensure that the CDs are not sold on, first attempts to hide behind legislation as he did in his intemperate letter, and then attributes to me motives that are not mine. I have never “sold on” a review copy CD in my life. (Indeed, I have given many to charity shops ... and a few of them are still there years later. Even though they are being sold for pennies!) But although I have never “sold on” a review CD, I reserve the right to do so. The mogul should stop being so precious, and was frankly shameful in his demand that FolkWorld should guarantee that none of his CDs were sold on by any FolkWorld reviewers. What double standards! He can become rich on the back of his army of talented artistes, but reviewers cannot flog-on a CD for pennies to cover at least the cost of their print cartridge!? I recall the words of the late John Junor: “Pass the sick bag, Alice!”

But now, fast-forward a year or so, and The Living Tradition sent me the mogul’s autobiography for review. Blessedly, the book was free of stickers (sorry folks, but I can never resist black humour!), and nobody would have blamed me if I had given it a good kicking. But I am not a man to hold grudges, and gave it a rave review. (For in the final analysis, every writer has to look at himself in the mirror, after putting down his pen. And the book was well-written, well-edited and totally absorbing. And he came over as the good guy I am sure he is.) And I made no reference to his bullying tone, as evinced by his letter to FolkWorld. Why? Simply because it was not relevant to my review of his autobiography.

But my remarks about that mean-spirited, aesthetically-hideous, defacing of his CDs was relevant then (in my FolkWorld review) and is now (assuming he is still doing it). I write this, just two days after the Charlie Hebdo massacre. The mogul should remember that free speech is something people die for. And there is an old London saying that he will know only too well that policemen often use. If caught bang-to-rights, put up your hands and say “it’s a fair cop, guv”.

Dai Woosnam

Daigressing ( Should any FolkWorld reader want a regular free online mailing, just write me at Tell me who you are and where you live please. You will join a large mailing list to 28 countries.

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