Jan. 17 street date. "Not infrequently I am taken to task for the manner in which I approach my material", folk singer and guitar player Dave Van Ronk wrote in the liner notes to 'Ballads, Blues, And A Spiritual'. A white New Yorker singing traditional Southern black songs, he distinguished himself from others who adopted this repertoire by imitating the way he heard black musicians perform. Originally released in 1959 on Folkways, this release was Van Ronk's first record. It contains the tracks "If You Leave Me Pretty Momma", "Backwater Blues", "K.C. Moan", "How Long", and "John Henry". Liner notes include photos, lyrics, song histories, and an introduction by Van Ronk.
October 29 street date. This December, the award-winning Coen Brothers will release the film Inside Llewyn Davis, inspired by Dave Van Ronk’s autobiography The Mayor of MacDougal Street and its recollections of life in the Village in the early 60s. Includes Van Ronk’s recording of 'Dink’s Song', which is featured in the film and on its soundtrack. Featuring 54 tracks, nearly three hours of music (including 16 tracks never before released) on three CDs, and a 40-page booklet. Called 'The Mayor of MacDougal Street', Dave Van Ronk (1936-2002) was a leading figure in the Greenwich Village music scene for more than four decades. He epitomized the urban 'folksinger'.. apprenticing through immersion in the music revival’s New York City epicenter of Washington Square Park. Drawing from and developing a wide repertoire of songs, guitar techniques, and performing skills, he mentored younger musicians and songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Jack Hardy, Suzanne Vega, Christine Lavin, and many others. Down in Washington Square includes 16 neverbefore- released recordings coupled with tracks from the Smithsonian Folkways archive, and spans early live recordings made in 1958 (one year before his first Folkways album) to his final studio recordings in 2001, just months before his death. It paints a musical mosaic of Van Ronk’s artistry and expands his legacy, keeping alive the genius of a legendary performer who inspired audiences, musicians, and a major motion picture - Inside Llewyn Davis, written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.
February 1 street date (date change). Dubbed “The Mayor of MacDougal Street,” Dave Van Ronk (1936–2002) was an iconoclastic folksinger and an influential figure in the American folk music revival of the 1960s. Because of his interest in African Americanfolk music and blues, and his gift (or curse) of a gravelly baritone voice, Van Ronk was often criticized for his approach to his musical repertoire. His rejoinder was that he reserved the right to sing songs in the style that he deemed to be “the right way.” This 1959 Folkways recording, his first on any label, is a collection of 19th- and early 20th-century traditional folk and blues songs that persuasively illustrates his stance. Remastered from original LP Master Tapes in 1959 in Classic Folkways style tip-on jackets featuring original liner notes.