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folk-funk - can anyone define it?

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  • folk-funk - can anyone define it?

    folk-funk seems to be an oft used phrase these days, and i know there have been a couple of comps under the same title recently, but i'm curious, how exactly do you decide what counts as folk-funk:

    groovement?

    lyrical content?

    label?

    artist?

    producer?

    are all albums one-track affairs? eg christine harwood, kathy smith

    what are your top five essentials?

    what makes folk funky and vice versa?

    is it all bollox and people make it up to make a record sound more interesting?

    answers on a postcard please....

  • #2
    Originally posted by vinylism
    are all albums one-track affairs? eg christine harwood
    I wouldn't say that LP was a one-tracker
    We know when a mate buys it for you too.

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    • #3
      I don't think it's much more than a makeshift category for lots of different things (see also: 'acid folk') but I guess it basically means artists from a folk background (or artists from other backgrounds doing folky material) doing stuff with some kind of groove or funk inflection to it.

      I guess it's more designed to open the ears of listeners who'd tend not to like the received idea of what folk is to some of the other kinds of folk that are out there than to define an actual genre or style.

      Whether something's defined as straight-folk, folk-funk, acid folk, folk rock, progressive, singer-songwriter, sunshine pop, folk-jazz or even country seems pretty arbitrary, but I think to be folk funk it definitely has to have the groove to it...
      Last edited by wayne; 12-03-2005, 12:12 AM.
      a giant steam-powered turntable in warwickshire plays six foot cement recordings of Prince Albert's speeches to the rejoicing populace

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      • #4
        I reckon it's just a way of describing something with GROOVES or BEATS that's not i suppose expected from folk....now i LOVE yer hey nonny nonny type stuff whether it be English traditional...Irish Jigs or American roots etc but like all genres of music some bands just...well...came out with oddities,which while i wouldnt go so far as to saying they didnt fit in with the genre...they just experimented and came out with something that in retrospect,through the kick ass breaks or tripped out umph,sounds to us now to be genius...

        If you think of perhaps Dylan going electric....or Pentangle and the whole folk revival...this was radical back then but to us now it's just bliss and while i'm not able to define what the FolkFunk thing is,except on a personal level, i suppose yes...certain songs or albums have that GROOVE...take the Desire album by Dylan...or the track "i saw an Angel" by Pentangle...as two tiny examples...they both have something...something you just feel...

        FolkFunk is just a lazy term basically...it's otherwise known as FolkGroove or the new one bandied around at the moment is FreakFolk...but in our world i reckon it just simply means music that turns us on with it's roots in folk....as is CountrySoul/Funk or FunkRock...there's no hard and fast rules to any of this but i suppose the terms are being used more because like you mentioned before there are alot of comps around at the moment such as FolkFunkFlavours etc...

        I've collected Funky Rock stuff for years and i call it FunkRock....dunno where i got the name from but it just fit...

        There are loads of Folk records that i'd say are great examples of off kilter folk stuff with grooves but it's down to personal preferance...

        Try out TREES - On the Shore for size...it's got a real great tempo to it...the lyrics are great...there are some trippy beats there....

        On the other end try out DAVID AXELROD - Pride it's again trippy and beautiful but completely different from the Trees album

        Both brilliant albums...both what i'd consider folkfunk...but why?

        I havent a clue....but they just are...
        Last edited by Shiftless When Idle; 12-03-2005, 12:35 AM.
        Country be dyin like poor people do
        Hospitals be closing...doors to me and you (Lopazz - Blood)

        And here's some other stuff that i get up to...

        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Serio...796469?fref=ts

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        • #5
          I tried to write an article on folk-funk for Wax Poetics a few issues back, the further I got into writing it the more I realized I was writing about a genre that doesn't really exist. There may be folk albums with funky tracks on them and there may be a few soul/ funk artists with some folksy songs on vinyl but it doesn't go any further than that.
          That being said I'd still have a seizure if I ever ran into the Christine Harwood LP at a a swap.

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          • #6
            ellen mcilwaine?!?
            can you explain to me what this word means?

            www.myspace.com/deenoakathedustybutton

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            • #7
              yeah, you've all kinda confirmed some of my suspicions, it's all rather arbitary and down to personal interpretation maybe.. i often use the phrase funk-rock and would have a clearer idea of it's definitions (probably my own really).

              but - even though i've got and love albums by ellen mcilwaine, christine harwood, trees, joy of cooking, etc, etc - i'd still struggle to put my finger on whether it's funk-folk, folk-funk and how exactly this is decided. the groove (probably) or musical / social background and lyrical content (hmmn.. dodgy territory). but where does that put eugene mcdaniels?

              i know i know stop analysing and enjoy the music, but it's a curious beastie and no mistake.

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              • #8
                It's folk music with funk or jazz beats/overtones & when it's good it's really fu*king good

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                • #9
                  just funky folk innit? not that nebulous a description. You know it when you hear it that's for sure, and when it's good, it dont get much better for me.
                  I think a lot of stuff that was basically just jazzy rock got lumped in with folk funk. Start with Harwood and if it dont sound too much like that, than it's something else

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                  • #10
                    check this out

                    Never heard of folk funk but i do love folky funk.If you dont know it check out Eugine McDaniels "Headless Heroes of the Apocolypse" LP. Simply Awsome .My Itunes genre says Jazz Folk but folk funk would have done the same job. Also i guess Shugie Otis "Inspiration Information".
                    I would love any more suggestions.

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                    • #11
                      and check these

                      Oh and of course Oscar Brown Jnr. , Richie Havens , Terry Callier ,and a bit harder Brian Auger+Oblivion Express (with Julie Driscol).
                      Are we getting warmer ?

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                      • #12
                        . I suppose Terry Callier & Richie Havens are quite folky, but I cant see much folky about Brian Auger.

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                        • #13
                          Few Lps to look out for
                          Kathy Smith (Both Stormy Forest LPs)
                          Montreal / A Summers Night / Stormy Forest
                          Barbara & Ernie / Prelude To / Cotillion
                          Chris Harwood / Please Meet Miss Christine / Birth
                          Del Richardson / Pieces Of A Jigsaw / MCA
                          Terry Callier / What Colour Is Love / Cadet
                          Rotary Connection / Songs & Hey Love / Cadet
                          Bugsy / Inside Bugsy / Dot
                          Heaven & Earth / Refuge / Ovation
                          Sound Of Feeling / Spleen / Limelight

                          Fucking hundreds of others, be warned a lot of these are 1 trackers

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Beaver
                            be warned a lot of these are 1 trackers
                            that seems to be the common theme with 'folk-funk' titles..

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Beaver
                              Few Lps to look out for
                              Kathy Smith (Both Stormy Forest LPs)
                              Montreal / A Summers Night / Stormy Forest
                              Barbara & Ernie / Prelude To / Cotillion
                              Chris Harwood / Please Meet Miss Christine / Birth
                              Del Richardson / Pieces Of A Jigsaw / MCA
                              Terry Callier / What Colour Is Love / Cadet
                              Rotary Connection / Songs & Hey Love / Cadet
                              Bugsy / Inside Bugsy / Dot
                              Heaven & Earth / Refuge / Ovation
                              Sound Of Feeling / Spleen / Limelight

                              Fucking hundreds of others, be warned a lot of these are 1 trackers

                              well these ones certainly aren't:

                              Montreal / A Summers Night / Stormy Forest
                              Barbara & Ernie / Prelude To / Cotillion
                              Chris Harwood / Please Meet Miss Christine / Birth
                              Del Richardson / Pieces Of A Jigsaw / MCA
                              Terry Callier / What Colour Is Love / Cadet
                              Sound Of Feeling / Spleen / Limelight




                              We know when a mate buys it for you too.

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