Tag Archives: folk

Video: Previously Unreleased Dave Van Ronk Album Set For May Release

The late Dave Van Ronk’s previously unreleased Live in Monterey is will be released on May 13, 2014.

From the press release:

Live in Monterey looks back on his entire career. Recorded at Monterey, Calif.’s Carleton Hall, the album works both as a retrospective and an introduction. The 16 tracks include traditional numbers, blues classics and originals, touching on every aspect of what makes Van Ronk revered by musicians of every generation. The album features just Dave, his voice and his guitar. That’s all that’s needed.

“Dave’s voice is a wonder,” writes set co-producer Rick Chelew (who recorded the set) in his liner notes, “going from a delicate, almost feminine whisper to a powerful frightening growl that would make a punk-rocker shut up and listen — sometimes within the same song.”

Fellow Greenwich Village folk denizen Happy Traum, who also contributed liner notes to Live in Monterey, observes: “Those of us who had a chance to know
Dave Van Ronk were treated to a larger than life, contradictory, ultimately lovable
personality. He was generous, opinionated,
sharply intelligent, hypercritical, hospitable,
cranky, an unapologetic Trotskyite communist, a sci-fi aficionado, a musical polymath
with wide-ranging tastes, a darn good cook,
and a friend, mentor, and teacher to many
a young, aspiring guitarist.”

“At one point in
his career,” Traum continues, “Dave would surely have liked to become famous, but he lived his life and made his music on his own terms an settled reluctantly for being a ‘legend.’ The irony is that none of his peers, no matter how commercially successful they became, were dubbed ‘The Mayor of MacDougal Street,’ had a Greenwich Village street named after them, or are remembered with such affection.”

Yes, there have been other live Van Ronk releases, but all live performances are not equal, and it was a stroke of good luck that tape was rolling in this old Monterey church when the artist, in fine form, played an extraordinary set. “As soon as Dave started to play it was clear that this was one of those rare occasions …,” says Chelew. Van Ronk’s widow Andrea Vuocolo, who attended countless Van Ronk shows, concurs, recalling it as “a particularly strong performance.”
It is time again for an audience with The Mayor.

Track Listing:

1. You’ve Been A Good Old Wagon But You Done Broke Down |
2. Blood Red Moon
3. Jesus Met The Woman At The Well
4. Going Down Slow
5. Losers
6. Cocaine Blues
7. Winin’ Boy Blues
8. Did You Hear John Hurt?
9. Jelly Jelly
10. Spike Driver Blues
11. Sportin’ Life Blues
12. Come Back Baby
13. Candy Man
14. He Was A Friend Of Mine
15. St. James Infirmary
16. Four Strong Winds

Here’s a cool 1997 version of “St. James Infirmary” that is different from the one on the album:

Robert Christgau On ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

Robert Christgau, who knows what the New York folk scene was like way back when has a great story about the new Cohen Brothers film, “Inside Llewyn Davis” that just went online. The piece is mostly about the authenticity of the film, and what that means.

Christgau writes:

“When you read about the scene you see this mania for authenticity,” says Joel Coen, describing what enticed him and his brother Ethan into making Inside Llewyn Davis, a film about folksingers in Greenwich Village just before Bob Dylan touched down and took off. But Coen isn’t really praising the folksingers’ authenticity — it’s their mania that fascinates him. In the very next sentence he goes on: “You have these guys like Elliott Adnopoz, the son of a neurosurgeon from Queens, calling himself Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. In the film we have a character who sings and plays a guitar, wears a cowboy hat and calls himself Al Cody. His real name is Arthur Milgram.”

For the rest of the story, head over to Rolling Stone.

— A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post —

Linda Perhacs First Album in 44 Years Due in March

Back in September I reported that psych-folk singer Linda Perhacs, whose 1970 Parallelograms is now considered both highly influential and a classic, was working on a new album, her first in 44 years.

Today it was announced that the album, The Soul of All Natural Things, will be released on Sufjan Stevens’ Asthmatic Kitty label on March 4th. in a press release Perhacs said:

We get too far out of balance and we must find a way to get back to our polestar. I felt that people needed to be reminded of that. My music isn’t just recreational, it’s not just entertainment. I have a deeper purpose. My soul is giving itself to the people; I want them to be helped, I want them to be lifted.

Listen to a song off the album:

Track listing:

1 The Soul of All Natural Things

2 Children

3 River of God

4 Daybreak

5 Intensity
6 Freely

7 Prisms of Glass

8 Immunity

9 When Things Are True Again

10 Song of the Planets

Read more about the new album here, and get some background on Linda Perhacs here.

— A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post —

Watch: Old Style Folk From Mandolin Orange

Emily Frantz and Andrew Marlin are Mandolin Orange. They’re from North Carolina. They make new music that sounds old.

This is a great song for a sunny Sunday, which is how the world is where I live in Northern California today.

Rediscovering the Great ’70s Folk-Rocker John Martyn

John Martyn’s Solid Air, released in 1973, is one of those timeless albums, an album that stands outside of time but also brings me back to those free-spirited years when I was a college student living at UC Santa Cruz.

I saw Martyn once, opening for Traffic, but that tour didn’t launch a career for him in the U.S.

Now a mammoth multi-CD box, The Island Years, has been released and Rob Young has written an informative review that provides a great overview of the late folk-rocker’s music.

Check it out at Uncut.

Here’s what might be his best song, “May You Never.” A live version from 1973:

Here’s the album version: