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Friday, 6 April 2012

F is for Folk Music

Okay so very nearly did not make this one on time!

Most of you probably will not be aware that I am very into Folk music at the moment. A very unusual genre for someone of my age. Despite only recently getting into this type of ear joys, I already started doing a music based Radio Show for Radio Hope on Folk Music and Folk Myths.

I have called this show Folklore (Ready for the advertising?) which can be heard every Friday at 2pm on (Boom there we go).

I first got into Folk about five years ago in my old Fencing club. A pal of mine there introduced me to the Pogues. I enjoyed their music and needed something new and fresh to what I was already listening too. This then quickly spread to the Dubliners but then kind of just mulled out from there.

A year or so later I started exploring Irish culture a little more (Still haven’t managed to actually get over there though, that is high on my to-do list). To learn a little more about Irish music I went and impulse bought a couple of Irish Music Compilations and quickly found a love for this kind of music growing. Songs such as Midnight Well’s ‘Still Believing’  Tara’s ‘Devil’s Song’ captivated me with the right fast based tempo that I enjoyed and philosophical or at the very least, historical meaning.

One thing I did not really consider at this stage was English Folk Music, my mind was purely set on Irish. This was until my third year at university when I was having a random music based conversation with my friend Anna (Hello! Hope you do not mind the name drop :p) who told me about a band called Bellowhead which is an English group brought together by Jon Boden and Jon Spiers (Part of the aptly named duo... Spiers & Boden). For a while I only then listened to Bellowhead until I got hold of a CD called ‘Umbrellowhead’ which was a sample of some of the work from all of the contributing artists to the 12 piece band.

Now I am faced with an absolute explosion of music from Spiers & Boden, Rachael McShane, Chavo, Belshazzar’s Feast, Faustus and Benji Kirkpatrick. Faustus lead me to the original manifestation of the band Dr. Faustus and Rachael McShane lead me to explore an event from the Shrewsbury Folk festival of 2009 called ‘The Darwin Song Project’.

I had also forgotten until recently that my sister had sent me a single song that I quite enjoyed by a man called Seth Lakeman. Only through discovering his work with Benji Kirkpatrick did I make that connection then between him and Folk.

I am still young on the Folk scene, trying to widen my knowledge everyday, but as I am quickly realising, to really become immersed in a genre of music takes much work!

Naturally a joy about music is participating as well as simply listening. This is proving to be a harder challenge as I am trying to teach myself Banjo. I may add at this stage that I am failing MISERABLY. Part of me wants to learn the Concertina or Accordion but I fear the same dramatic failure.

I am just not musically talented sadly. I used to play the Violin which of course is a folk instrument, but gave it up at a young age. Boy do I regret that decision now.


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