Albion, the Country and Bands
I feel like I should have made more explicit in my last post that my background
is rural-as-hell English. I spent the first 13 years of my life in a tiny village
outside Hereford. I only moved to Canada six years ago, at the age of 25.
So, I guess, all I'm saying is that I feel some kind of organic connection to the
English folk aesthetic that (superficially?) informs the whole free/freak-folk
scene. Being an expat gives me a really odd perspective on that connection.
It's like I had to leave the country(side) for a protracted period of time before I
realised what an essential part of my cultural outlook all that stuff always was.
Anyway, I'm actually more into actual English folk music and folk-rock than I'm
interested in the contemporary American post-folk scene. I really love
Fairport Convention, The Pentangle (check out the picture of me in a Pentangle
shirt on this bloc), Shirley Collins, Anne Briggs, Davy Graham, The
Watersons, Incredible String Band, Forest, Trees etc. etc. The catch is that I
didn't discover this stuff until a Canadian Britpop fan played me the first
Pentangle album about five years ago.
I'm extremely aware that my interest in folk music may be due to nostalgia for
an imagined England that never really existed/is a mere delusion of a
homesick expat. However, I know that a lot of people in the UK are also
digging this stuff and that the old real-ale-finger-in-ear stigma around britfolk is
finally fading away. Look at the success of the Green Man festival, just a
short trip west from where I grew up. Also, what's wrong with using music as a
means with which to envisage Utopia?