Disaster of Irish folk/trad integrating with punk, rock, jazz

The changing face of the great Irish folk/trad music is a complete disaster. Punk groups trying to play  Irish folk music can only be described as a laughable as for the rock one of the rolling stones said this music is beautiful and should be left alone. Thank god for the Chieftans and the Dubliners. Stop making a mockery of our music.

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ok, I'll bite...

 can I assume these fellows don't refer to their music as "Irish Traditional"?

or, maybe I'd nee dan example to understand the contention...



I think it is wishful thinking to hope that Irish Tradional will be left alone.
It needs to change to remain alive and vibrant.
There have been some real change over the years with the introduction of new instruments.
The guitar, the Bazouki, even the banjo were not really Irish traditional instruments. But now they have a place in the music. And not many can argue that.
That's just one aspect of the change in the music.
But I think the main concern here is that artists are changing the music form by enhancing recordings with techniques that are foreign to the music as well as rearranging it to accommodate variations of their own creation.
I won't go into the specific names but there are so many it would be difficult to recount most of them. And some of them are quite respectable within the genre.
This music has millions of followers throughout the world. I came late to this wonderful music form by being introduced to the music by some of these artists in the aforementioned.
But I dug further in order to find the roots and have been rewarded.
It's my opinion that we need to take the bad with the good.
Most people will listen to the schlock and crass efforts to capitalize on the music and they will think that that is Irish music. But if you're really interested you will dig deep to find the real deal.
There are some very interesting variations in the last couple of decades. I think there is a place for them in that it shows where the form could go when the mind takes it past its boundaries.
Other than that most of it will be forgotten and the original stuff that we all enjoyed sessions will remain.
These are tough times for the music and for musicians. It's very hard for musicians to earn a living and there are many intrusions on the tradition. But I believe that in the end all will be well if we just believe that the
"Trad Nua" is trasient and the "Pure Drops" are eternal. And we make sure that newcomers know that difference.
And forgive me but Thin Lizzy's "Whiskey in the Jar" is one of my favorites .:-)

I've been a member of the Chiff & Fipple board for a lotta years..

Funny how folk get to raggin on the likes of Riverdance & what not...cuz it's got a synth under some pipes..

I mean cmon, Davey Spillaine??


the dubliners are the original singers of whiskey in the jar thin lixxy copied it from the dubliners who were the greatest folk group ever to come out of ireland plus clancy brothers as well they started this great irish folk music its not rock music we see enough of that on x factor

stumbled onto Clancy brothers only in the past year or so

the clancy brothers started irish folk music after an appearence on the ad sullivan show they were well known in the usa songs of rebellion love drinking songs after the clancys the dubliners started luke kelly regarded as the greatest  ever to come out of ireland folk singer irish folk music is magic mixed with the punkies rock  does not work 

boy, that Ed Sullivan knew what he was doing

Interesting thread. However I think that your dislike of rock/modern versions of "trad" music is based more on your personal tastes... that's good because if we all liked the same things, the world would be a rather boring place. If you prefer The Chieftains and the Dubliners to Thin Lizzy/The Pogues etc then that's fine as it's your personal choice.

I live the other side of the world in a country where the number of young "trad" players is increasing by the day, which is also good. I'm lucky to be part of an organisation that consists of up to 40 or 50 fiddlers ranging in age from around 10 to north of 70 (I'm at the more... ahem... "senior" end of that range). I get to session with not only the "old hands" but also youngsters who have learned their chops either as children (or grand children) of folkies from my era or because they learned violin as young children and got switched on to this "cool music" by listening to "trad" players from a variety of backgrounds - recordings of (or workshops with) Kevin Burke, Alasdair Fraser etc through to acoustic “trad” bands such as Lunasa, Danu etc through to "rock/punk/experimental" bands such as Capercaillie, The Pogues, Peatbog Faeries etc - plus local "Folk/Rock" bands from our country. And lest you think that the latter is not a starting point, please read Donal Shaw's excellent liner notes on Capercaillie's "Grace and Pride" "Best of" anthology. I'm sure that this situation is the same in Ireland/Scotland/US/New Zealand/Canada etc etc

So please don't discount the value of music that you don't personally like. It has its place.

Moving sideways a little I did note a few comments from others about your original post. A common thread is what passes as a "traditional" instrument. If you read noted musicologist Sean O'Riada's "Our Musical Heritage" (Dolman Press 1982) you'll see that he strongly disliked the Piano, Banjo, Guitar, Saxophone, Accordian. Of course these instruments have long been accepted as part of the "trad" musical landscape - the piano in particular. Interestingly he played the harpsichord with his "band", Ceoltoiri Chuallan (a precursor to The Chieftains). Of course his opinion was a milestone along the way and many of the instruments that he criticised with such venom are now part of mainstream "trad".

Another comment stated that "the dubliners are the original singers of whiskey in the jar". I somehow doubt this. It probably originates from long before any of The Dubliners were born. I've even come across an Australian version which refers to the trooper as Frederick Pottinger, a well known policeman from the bushranging era of the 1880s and American collector Alan Lomax also collected variants. A quick search of Wikipedia states that "The song collector Colm Ó Lochlainn, in his book Irish Street Ballads described how his mother learnt "Whiskey in the Jar" in Limerick in 1870", although it also dates the song's origins to at least the 17th century

Yet another "the clancy brothers started irish folk music after an appearence on the ad sullivan show". As far as I can tell, that appearance was in 1961, long after the modern “Folk Music” movement had gained hold and the appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show served to bring their music to middle class America. There are many field recordings of the Clancys and Tommy Makem (and their families) which long predate 1961.

Not sure what all of this proves except to say that the music has been around for ages and has withstood many changes (as any living tradition must) over time. And these young teenagers that I’m privileged to session with/share the stage with show me that the future is in good hands. Enjoy!

quite a mouthful Peter, but I appreciate it.

I'm sure folk will take issue with you, and each is entitled to his/her opinion naturally.

I however, respect your wisdom and think you're bringing some fine balance & perspective to the discussion.

Peace all,


"TexMex Accordion"



wanted for english folk awards 2016 saxaphones  trumpets nose flutes kazoos rock songs welcome rolling stones elvis presley songs judges prefer rock punk material

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