Freitag, 5. April 2024

Dave Van Ronk - Van Ronk (1971)

"Dave and I both had a love/hate relationship with this album, because it had some of his greatest material but the arrangements keep undercutting or overwhelming his vocals. His take was, "they gave me impressive recording budgets, and we worked out some pretty interesting arrangements, with strings and horns and what-all. I enjoyed that, at times, and it gave me a chance to do some material that I would not have otherwise done, though I also was coaxed into doing some arrangements that even at the time seemed overblown and buried the material."
In this period he had fully committed himself to the new styles being created by friends like Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, which he thought of as a new kind of art or cabaret song and mixed with Brecht and Jacques Brel. His version of Mitchell's "Urge for Going" stays pretty close to his guitar chart, with nice strings, and is altogether a good example of what he could do with full orchestration (though he hated the drums), and "Legend of the Dead Soldier" is one of his most frighteningly powerful versions of a Brecht lyric. Peter Stampfel's "Random Canyon" is Dave at his most intentionally and ridiculously bombastic, and works just fine. "Fox's Minstrel Show" is a strange piece of material, but well suited to the big arrangement, and although Dave eventually decided that Brel's "Port of Amsterdam" was too drenched in nostalgie de la boue, he sings it well. Dave kept toying with the idea of rerecording the material he liked best from this album, but was held back by the fact that he never worked out his own ways of performing things like the Brel or Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going To Rain Today. All in all, this is a mixed bag, but well worth hearing after one knows his basic repertoire--I find it exciting to revisit it once and a while and wonder what he might have done if he'd had the chance to go on experimenting with these kinds of production values."  - Elijah Wald


Bird On The Wire 3:55
Fox's Minstrel Show 3:05
Port Of Amsterdam 3:25
Fat Old John 1:06
Urge For Going 4:37
Random Canyon 2:05
I Think It's Going To Rain Today 3:50
Gaslight Rag 2:55
Honey Hair 3:15
Legend Of The Dead Soldier 4:05
Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive 2:30

Dave Van Ronk - Van Ronk (1971)
(ca. 256 kbps, cover art included)

4 Kommentare:

Feilimid O'Broin hat gesagt…

As a teenager growing up in the late 1960s, I heard and read about Dave Van Ronk and his influence on contemporary folk in the United States; however, we had already entered the age of the singer-songwriter who wrote his or her own songs. Consequently, although I grew up within a stone's throw from Cambridge, Massachusetts, attended performances at Passim's, formerly Club 47, when my budget permitted and was an avid listener to folk radio in Cambridge and Boston, Van Ronk was not part of my music collection. Frankly, his records were getting little, if any, airplay which may be due to the parochialism and rivalry with New York of Boston's folk scene, his belonging to an earlier generation, and his defiance of easy categorization which must have frustrated some record company representatives . Regardless, I did not have an opportunity to really listen to Van Ronk's music until I discovered this blog. Perhaps, it says something about the immediacy of music tastes and heavy focus on the present day here that my first exposure to Van Ronk's music was from a German music blog. Whatever the reasons, I have become hooked on Van Ronk, have purchased many of his records during the last few years, and read his memoir 'The Mayor of MacDougal Street: A Memoir' on which he worked with Elijah Wald. More than a folk musician, Van Ronk was a unique force and I wish I had seen him perform. I am immensely grateful to this blog for the introduction to Van Ronk and other artists such as Richard and Mimi Farina who don't receive sufficient recognition here. Equally important, this blog allows me to introduce my young adult daughters to so many U. S. artists who are nearly forgotten in their own country and discuss with my daughters how the genre and its evolution have been culturally important and often a powerful voice of protest since the 1950s. Again, thanks for providing the music and essential information that enable me to discover and explore.

zero hat gesagt…

Thanks a lot for your wonderful feedback, that means really a lot to me! It is wonderful that you and your daughters are interested in exploring the music. Have a good time!

Anonym hat gesagt…

Thanks very much. I'm a fan of the sub-genre of folk music with orchestral backing.

zero hat gesagt…

Now there´s a fresh link.

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