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.


  1. Can this be uploaded again? The file isn't on Rapidshare anymore. I'd really appreciate it, thanks!

  2. Yes a reup would be great . Thank you in advance