Posts Tagged ‘louise jordan’
If we needed any further confirmation that folk music is the new black, we found it when we flicked through the pages of the most recent issue of Vogue only to find several pages dedicated to the folk movement.
The July issue of the fashion bible includes a feature entitled ‘Merrie England’, a collection of images shot by photographer Tim Walker, which showcases the traditionalists who are keeping folklore alive. Usually associated with woolly jumpers and unkempt beards, Vogue’s editor – and self-confessed folk fanatic – Alex Shulman decided to celebrate the folk movement after hearing musician, and former burlesque dancer, Sam Lee perform earlier this year.
“As a longtime folkie, it’s a matter of great personal pleasure for me to see Tim Walker’s tribute, ‘Merrie England’ [on page 96]. It was while hearing musician Sam Lee perform a few months back that I decided we should celebrate folk, not only as a musical movement but as a lifestyle,” reads her editorial. “It is particularly gratifying that, as we were putting the story together, the power of folk – in its traditions, melodies and vernacular – was being brought to international attention by bands such as Mumford and Sons and independent singers such as Bella Hardy, and also by the monumental successful transfer of Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem to standing ovations on Broadway.”
The 12-page feature includes singer Louise Jordan, clog dancer Laura Connolly, curator of the Museum of British Folklore, Simon Costin and ramblers Ed and Will – who travel the country on foot via Britain’s ancient footpaths, singing songs to earn their keep and gathering field recordings.
“You can’t escape folk,” reads the opening paragraph. “Even at our most wordy and urbane and sophisticated, we’re still only a hop, skip and a bell jingle up the evolutionary ladder from the pagans who worshipped the arrival of spring, sacrificed virgins and rocked a lot of hessian.”
This unprecedented revival and subsequent creation of the ‘nu folk’ scene has of course been met with criticism from some hard-core long standing folkies, who believe that these rising stars – such as Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling – are undermining the folk traditional and its original roots. Although one school of thought is that the renaissance is a direct reaction to the over-exposure to Simon Cowell-style manufactured pop music. “Folk is evolutionary, it has to change to survive,” argues Sam Lee who has spent five years collecting folk songs from around the country to teach and perform. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter…