Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jimmy "Driftwood" Morris

I came across the Max Hunter Folk Song Collection when I noticed Gadaya included some songs from the archive for compilations on his Old Weird America site. Max Hunter was a traveling salesman from Springfield, Missouri who took a reel-to-reel recorder through yonder Ozarks between 1956-1976. He came across many great folk artists along the way, but one in particular caught my attention while browsing. On this site I found Driftwood Morris, but at the time I did not realize that it was the same Driftwood Morris that wrote Tennessee Stud and the Battle of New Orleans. This was mainly due to the fact that on the first track he was playing what I'm sure is a mountain dulcimer and sounds like he hasn't left his home in years by the way he tell his stories. Also he is only accompanied by his own instrumentals without a back-up band which I have been used to hearing him play with in the past. Anyways, I would highly recommend checking this out. My personal favorite is the last one listed called My Name is Dan Martin. Just scroll down on the webpage to his name.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dave Van Ronk - Ragtime Jug Stompers 1964

This is one of my favorite Van Ronk albums cause theres a ton of mandolin in it. Conveniently someone uploaded this one as well. Let me know if the link dies and I will upload it myself.

Track List:
1. Everybody Loves My Baby
2. Stealin'
3. Take It Slow And Easy
4. St. Louis Tickle
5. Sister Kate
6. Moritat
7. Diggin' My Potatoes
8. Temptation Rag
9. Shake That Thing
10. K. C. Moan
11. Georgia Camp Meeting
12. You're A Viper

Dave Van Ronk - Songs for Ageing Children 1973

I was going to upload this one but noticed that there is already a blog with a link to download it.

Track List:

1. Duncan and Brady
2. As You Make Your Bed
3. Teddy Bear's Picnic
4. Song For Joni
5. Work With Me Annie
6. River
7. My Little Grass Shack (in Kealakekua, Hawaii)
8. Sail Away
9. Candy Man
10. Last Call

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dave Van Ronk - Van Ronk 1971

Track Listing:

Side 1:
1. Bird On The Wire
2. Fox's Minstrel Show
3. Port Of Amsterdam
4. Fat Old John
5. Urge For Going

Side 2:
6. Random Canyon
7. I Think It's Going To Rain Today
8. Gaslight Rag
9. Honey Hair
10. Legend Of The Dead Soldier
11. Ac-Cent-tchu-Ate The Positive

Dave Van Ronk, the Mayor of MacDougal Street, was a key figure in the New York folk scene known as Greenwich Village. He was one of the first to join the scene. He started out as a session jazz musician but once he decided that this scene was dead he found a new home in the folk revival. He was mainly known as a ragtime and blues guitarist, but was not limited to these styles. In his memoir "The Mayor of MacDougal Street" he talks about how, at first when he heard fingerpicking guitar, he thought that there were two people playing at the same time. It was not until he was walking through Washington Square Park where he spotted a man fingerpicking his guitar that he realized what was really going on. He then feverishly learned and even spoke of Tom Paley showing him some fundamentals of the style. Along with Robert Zimmerman, other Greenwich Village contemporaries included the Holy Modal Rounders (two of the tracks on this album are Stampfel covers), Joni Mitchell (covered one track on this album), members of the New Lost City Ramblers, Karen Dalton (Light in The Attic Records just re-released some of her material), Paul Clayton, and I'm sure that I am missing several others. When he died in 2002 Dave Van Ronk left this world, but also left his legacy, influencing countless musicians and likely many more to come.

There were no liner notes is the copy I purchased, but there was a picture with this printed on the back:


Abstract an object from a process on the run
A poem, a play
The turn your back upon it when the damn thin's done
And walk away

To seize a second's beauty and to understand
And let it go
Perhaps you could have held it always in your hand
You'll never know

We either hold a momentand then let it slip
Or we try
To keep a pleasing thing forever in our grip
And watch it die

Now cover up perfection's grave and quickened lime
Or is it better
To grouse among cinders of another time
And call them forever

A poem means just what it says-sometimes it's a bluff
Sometimes it's true
But good bad or indifferent I have said enough
What else is new?

DAVE VAN RONK - Obscure Music, Inc.