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The Folkways Years, 1959-1961

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The Folkways Years, 1959-1961 album cover
01
Duncan and Brady
3:04
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02
Hesitation Blues
2:35
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03
In the Pines
3:08
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Willie the Weaper
2:50
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05
Oh, What a Beautiful City (Twelve Gates to the City)
3:16
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River Come Down
3:46
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Careless Love
2:59
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Betty and Dupree
3:37
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Bed Bug Blues
2:46
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Leave Her Johnny, Leave Her
1:29
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Yas, Yas, Yas
2:08
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Please See That My Grave is Kept Clean
2:58
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13
Winin' Boy
2:39
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14
Just a Closer Walk with Thee
3:03
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15
Gambler's Blues
2:45
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Spike Driver's Moan
3:15
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Georgie on the IRT
3:31
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Come Back Baby
3:54
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Black Mountain Blues
4:02
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My Baby's So Sweet
2:32
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Album Information
EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 20   Total Length: 60:17

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user avatar

A great collection

z9611

This is a great collection of Dave Van Ronk tracks. It's one of the best compilations from that era I've heard.

user avatar

Gambler's Blues

danacab

I wasn't sure which Dave Van Ronk album to check out as a new listener. I figured I couldn't go wrong with a Folkways recording, eh? Gambler's Blues is a favorite, but it's good from start to finish. It does sort of make me want to stop my timid/silly attempts at finger picking though!

user avatar

raw and classic

ferrocarriles

dave van ronk is pretty incredible all around.

eMusic Features

1

Dave Van Ronk, the Real Llewyn Davis

By John Morthland, Contributor

How important a figure was Dave Van Ronk on the Greenwich Village folk scene in its heyday? Consider the description of Bob Dylan, who was befriended by Van Ronk upon his arrival in New York in 1961, in his own memoir, Chronicles: "He was passionate and stinging, sang like a soldier of fortune and sounded like he paid the price. Van Ronk could howl and whisper, turn blues into ballads and ballads into blues. I… more »

They Say All Music Guide

In his characteristically sardonic liner notes to this compilation of his earliest recordings, Dave Van Ronk denies that he was ever a folksinger. While such a declaration may seem ludicrous on its face, Van Ronk’s perspective contributes to an understanding of his musical approach. When he made these recordings for Folkways Records between 1959 and 1961, he was coming out of years of playing banjo and singing (unamplified) with a traditional jazz band; he turned to fingerpicking an acoustic guitar and singing the songs of old folk-blues musicians like Blind Boy Fuller, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and the Reverend Gary Davis as the “trad” fad gave way and the folk revival gained momentum in the late ‘50s. But he continued to play and sing hard, as if still trying to be heard over Dixieland arrangements. That sounded unusual to the more polite folk audiences of the time, in contrast to singers who played tame versions of traditional folk and blues tunes. But more than three decades later, it keeps Van Ronk’s performances from sounding as dated as those of many of his peers do. Nobody worries much anymore about an articulate, urban white man trying to sound like an unlettered, rural black man, and these recordings have proven very influential. For example, it’s possible to hear a good part of Hot Tuna’s acoustic repertoire in the music Van Ronk was making here a decade earlier. If he was imitating the originators at the time, now he sounds like a master whose work has been emulated by the rock musicians who followed him (and who made a lot more money doing so than he ever did). – William Ruhlmann

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