Phil Cerny - Traditional Folk Music of North America and the British Isles
What is folk music?


Folk music is what people sing that reflects the underlying meaning of events and changes in their daily lives.  While it is valuable as entertainment, for me it has a deeper significance too. Traditional folk music has been around for some time, even centuries. It chronicles historical and social changes, personal upheaval and joy, stories and myths.  It's not just about "what went wrong with my last relationship" or what sells commercially, but about the profound undercurrents of the human condition -- love, death, work, and images of right and wrong. Some contemporary music strikes this kind of chord and will become "traditional" as it becomes second nature, but we cannot all be Bob Dylan ...

I play an eclectic mix of traditional music -- from Britain to America, from ballads (songs with stories) to blues and country, from rural to industrial societies, from the local to the global -- as well as a few of my favourite contemporary songs. My CD "Atlantic Passages", recorded in 2004, is typical, although in live performances (and on my next CD, currently recording)the selection of material has moved on since then, including both newly learned songs and the revival of older ones I've been doing since the 1960s.

Having recently moved back from a job in the United States to York, England, where I have lived on and off since 1970, I intend to devote more time to my music. As this website develops, so I hope my music will develop too. In the meantime, I will continue to perform as a "floor singer" and occasional MC at the Black Swan Folk Club, located in a 15th Century pub in York, on Thursday nights -- see http://www.blackswanfolkclub.org.uk/.

I am available for bookings. See the contact details on the next page.




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