Salut! Welcome

Blowing trumpets

Salut! and its offshots, Salut Live! and Salut! Sunderland, have no special rule book about the separation of editorial and advertising.

These site take a lot of time to maintain, and have no obvious source of proper income. They are, on the other hand very rewarding in other ways and I love the exchanges, many of them sharp or funny or illuminating, that my postings sometimes inspire.

A lot of you have said you like at least some of what you find here. Some, as I have admitted before, will arrive by chance, recoil in horror or yawn and scarper as fast as their cyber legs will carry them.

But if you are in the first category, please do not be offended if I occasionally draw your attention to small ways in which, absolutely according to your own choice, you can help me keep the sites going and keep looking as enthusiastically as now for interesting material to share.

The book and music links are obvious examples. If you come here, and then find out about something you might like to read or hear, please use the links down the right hand column to make such purchases from Amazon.

If you like a flutter, and are at Salut! Sunderland, look up the Boylesports link (the Irish bookmakers are, for unsuspecting folkies and francophiles, the new sponsors of Sunderland AFC.

And if it's a visit to Cornwall that appeals, visit the site of my old friend and former colleague Mike Fleet, whose B&B near Lostwithiel makes an appearance from today. I have not been there and will offer no personal recommendation save to say that Mike's a grand lad, despite being a Plymouth supporter, and is rather proud of his fry-ups.

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Presenting Salut! Live: the home of cool folk

MeYou are all warmly welcome at the birth of a new site intended to appeal to lovers of folk music.

Folk is what I call it. I no longer hold reactionary objections to the word roots but have lingering doubts about world, which strikes me as a definition that, taken literally, can exclude nothing.

If Louis Armstrong somehow got away with saying all music was folk music because "I ain't never heard no horse sing a song", the man who invented world as a generic definition should perhaps be sent into solitary confinement.

There are phrases you will not catch me using at all, or at any rate not after today unless it cannot be avoided. Nu-folk. folktronica and the rest. Babyish babble or crass marketing tools, they are taboos as far as I am concerned.

If those introductory remarks send trendier people scurrying for cover, so be it. I cannot pretend to be what I am not. And yes, I'm the ugly sod pictured above.

Folk, a description sometimes derided for its supposedly cosy, middle-class connotations when the music should be rougher and angrier, was good enough in my County Durham youth and there was nothing twee about the pubs and clubs where it was played then.

But I have no wish to impose my views on others. The comments field will allow any number of nu-folkers, folktroniques and the rest. You might even rattle my cage. I do not expect everyone to agree with my views.

So what will the site do? What is it for? Well, it is the second offshoot of my French blog Salut!, which I launched after being made redundant in moderately controversial circumstances by the Daily Telegraph (29 years on the paper, the final two and a bit as Paris correspondent).

The first son of Salut! was Salut! Sunderland an unashamedly partisan football site which. as you'd imagine, is currently en fête.

Salut! Live will be hot on lists, and maybe in time competitions and other forms of reader involvement. Lately I have been up to my neck trying to earn a crust from the French elections so progress may be sluggish at first.

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