Once a bet is won, why not try a new one? The series of concerts “My band plays folk music”, which took place between 1994 and 1995 and became a recording project in 1996, had made people know and appreciate and –why not- had launched so many bands playing folk music from all over the world in our Region. Also thanks to them our Folk Club had made itself noticed by the national specialized press, which quoted our project in extremely flattering terms. Why not try again, then, by adjusting our aim towards the so-called ‘singer-songwriters’ from our Region? As in old popular ballads , these twentieth-century’s minstrels sing of everyday’s life and problems with the absolutely biased eye of a man living these problems and realizing he can’t solve them by just a song. So “The flower and the nettle” was born, a review of regional singer-songwriters who accompained us at regular intervals through 1997 and 1998. Now, in 1999, also this experience is caught on a CD.
It was not a blind start, though. There were friends and members who had asserted themselves in important competitions more than once by winning (just for example) the “Pavanello-Cantautori triveneti” prize in Trento or the more famous one in Recanati dedicated to national “New Tendencies of the singer-songwriter”. There already existed singer-songwiters in the Friulian language who had (and still have) their own faithful and passionate audience; and there were other friends like Rocco Burtone and Francesco Ursino, both singer-songwriters who had a project like this in mind. It was just a matter, then, of putting all these potentials together and so the project started. More than thirty of them offered their art to the Buttrio audience and more than half of them are present on this CD: We wish our adventure may go on, with increased opportunities for all the new ones, who are more numerous than it can be imagined.
Apart from the initial space given to Andrea Dell’Orbo, a Roman singing in Friulian, the author of “Preiera” (well known here in Friuli) and a surprise guest at one of the “Flower” nights, there is not a precise order in the listing of both songs and artists, not even an alphabetical one; as we didn’t want to separate the ones singing in Friulian from those using Italian, the committed from the carefree , the well-known first and then all the others. They represent true life, which has no compartments: laughter and tears live side by side, so do war and love, hope and bitterness, meditation and grimaces, the flower and the nettle. And we have not even quoted the names of the musicians accompaining them at the Club: the spotlight was on for the authors and we gave them the whole space, saying a sincere thank you to those who greatly contributed to enhance texts and melodies newly born or left in a drawer for years.
Let us express immodest satisfaction for the result, in the conviction that we have contributed to draw the attention of the audience to this side of music in Friuli and in the Region. What is produced here is not less important than what is made in Genoa, Bologna or Naples. If the juries of various national contests have recognized our artists’ numerous merits, they have certainly done so for the quality of their poetical inspiration, if for nothing else. It’s the task of promotors like us to trust ourselves more; it’s the task of the audience to make sure that the artists don’t lack their support; it’s the task of institutions (starting from local municipalities) to support (even at the risk of making mistakes) the emerging of so many poetical, musical and artistic voices. For this the Buttrio Folk Club thanks the Friuli – Venezia Giulia Region, the Province of Udine and Buttrio Town Council, who believed in this idea and sponsored it.
Last but not least, thank you to the large, faithful and informed audience at the Folk Club and to the Durì family, who in 1990 opened up their restaurant for us, a place we’re envied for everywhere.

(Marco Miconi, 1999)


Promoters and singer-songwriters at the Folk Club during a break of “The Flower and the Nettle”