What Folk Music Continues To Do
For nearly twent five years now, Joseph Porter has been performing his songs as frontman with Blyth Power, a band so unique they defy classification, but for whom critical acclaim has never been less than rapturous. Now Joseph is performing acoustic solo sets in the interests of reaching those venues and audiences geared to something a little more reflective than a band described by a leading roots orientated publication as making The Levellers sound by comparison like Peter Paul and Mary.
Or was it Bob, Ted and Carol?
Performing a collection of songs largely unrecorded by the band, Joseph reflects upon historical indiscretions ranging from the fall of Troy, and the truculence of an unrepentant Helen, to the abdication of Edward VIII and the gleeful chants of his equerries as they invite him to clear out his desk and leave them the keys to his rooms.
An evening in the company of Joseph Porter, and his hard-beaten acoustic guitar has been compared to a cross between Private Eye, 1066 and all That and John Betjeman's coming out party. Combining a curious Englishness of style and voice with all his years' experience as a performer, and the oceanic wastes of his vocabulary, Joseph has something for everyone, whether they want to find Charles II in the Oak tree and grass him up, blow the gaff on the Baader-Meinhof gang and send them all to Stammheim prison, or engage in dangerous liaisons with sinful blue-rinsed ladies at the Blackpool party conference. Hoorah!
Folk music is all about telling stories. Unfortunately it seems to have overlooked the last century or so of history, and it is with this omission in mind that Mr Porter picks up on some unlikely heroes and events and turns them into the folksongs of tomorrow about today; Nixon, ASLEF, The Cod War, Sinking the Belgrano, all this and a great deal more because history hasn't stood still, and we need a roots culture that acknowledges the fact.
What folk music did next: exactly what it did before only different.