Jack jumps in to rescue the Monday book post – –
The Folk River – Fraser Bruce
I should start by saying this is yet another book to which I had some input.
It started with a lengthy series of discussions instigated by Fraser Bruce on FaceBook where he challenged some of the accepted ‘myths’ surrounding the Scottish folk scene of the late 1950s and early 1960s. This led him to do some serious research, including interviewing those folk still around from these days, as well as previous publications – books and magazines.
He then set out on the mammoth task of pulling it all together and then enlisting our mutual friend Pete Heywood to proof, type set and insert lots of pictures.
Most other books covering this subject that I’ve seen tend to be written by observers rather than practitioners so this one is different and wherever Bruce’s experiences overlap mine I can attest that they are accurate. I can be reasonably sure, then, that where he overlaps with other folks’ experiences they are likely accurate as well.
Being married to a writer and published author I have some idea of the work that has gone into this and commend Bruce for taking on this formidable task.
Of course it will be of most interest to the diminishing band of like-minded folk who were around then, but I hope, like Bruce, that it might add to the existing small number of more academic publications about this fascinating time.
Finally – even if I hadn’t been involved I would still recommend this as an excellent window to a time that both mirrored and connected with the similar American folk revival.