Saturday, February 8, 2014

Saturday Night At The Liberal Curmudgeon: Dave Van Ronk Live

I'm following up my review of "The Mayor of MacDougal Street," the autobiography of acoustic folk and blues singer Dave Van Ronk, with a video of the latter speaking about and singing "Green, Green Rocky Road," which became his theme song. Van Ronk's opening remarks from 2001 refer to the Greenwich Village folk music scene of the 1950s and 60s; he played a central role during that era (a street in the Village was named after him in 2004), and it is the subject of his book, which in turn inspired the film "Inside Llewyn Davis" (reviewed here). We then see him perform the song in a 1980 concert. The two parts of the video provide a poignant portrait of Van Ronk, who passed away in 2002, as a raconteur and unique artist. Watch:


Michael J. Mand said...

I grew up on folk music via the influence of my parents, yet van Ronk escaped my escaped my awareness for far too long. "Inside Llewyn Davis" and your post has re-awakened in me the need to investigate a little further for future use on SJI - perhaps on a show near his birthday (June 30).

Jeff Tone said...

I've been listening more to Dave Van Ronk since the film. I too think that I didn't listen to him enough in the past, which is strange since I enjoy acoustic folk and blues. Wish I've seen him when he was alive. I do think Van Ronk deserves a segment on St. James Infirmary.