Guitarist Dave Van Ronk was a leading light of the Folk/Blues revival movement centred on Greenwich Village in the early 60s. With a deft fingerpicking style, a rough voice and a devilish way with a lyric, Dave was a popular act around New York, but showed little interest in becoming a star, preferring to explore his own agenda. A political activist, teacher and raconteur, with an extremely wide range of influences including Jazz, Folk, Blues and Classical music, Dave was an inspiration to the younger musicians in his circle as he encouraged them to pursue their destinies.
Dave’s version of ‘Stacker Lee’, prefeced with a chat about Furry Lewis.
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[stextbox id=”custom” caption=”Dave Van Ronk Discography” float=”true” align=”left” width=”300″]You just can’t beat this for value. Two original 1962 albums, ‘Inside Dave Van Ronk’ and ‘Folksinger'(which is pretty much all Blues) in one great package.
INSIDE DAVE VAN RONK
[/stextbox]Dave was a fixture on the club and Festival circuit for four decades and he recorded 20 studio albums and many live sessions, displaying his wide range of influences from Lightnin’ Hopkins to Kurt Weill via Duke Ellington, and he also voiced Prokofiev’s children’s classic ‘Peter and the Wolf’. The precision of Dave’s playing and his gift for improvisation and syncopation gave us many incomparable performances, and he shared those gifts by coaching and inspiring many younger players. He did not like flying so Dave never toured widely abroad and, apart from a brief spell in California, he preferred to stay in Greenwich Village, where he passed away in 2002. Dave’s biography which was published in 2005, was called ‘The Mayor of MacDougal Street’, and a section of Sheridan Square in The Village has now been named ‘Dave Van Ronk Street’.