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Dave Van Ronk...


Murph
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That's a very young Mayor of MacDougal Street.

Van Ronk was one of my guitar-paying inspirations back in the 1960s. I still do his version of several songs, including Reverend Gary Davis's "Cocaine Blues".

The group I worked with in NYC almost 50 years ago had a week-long gig at Gerde's Folk City in late 1970 or early 1971. Van Ronk used to come and sit at the bar every night. He wouldn't talk to me until I bought him a Heineken.

He wasn't there to see us. Kate McGarrigle was opening for us, and he was fascinated by her. So was I.

Van Ronk was larger than life, and still is in many ways. Thanks for the nudge.

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Very cool DVR, Murph. A little soft reminder of those folkie days, maybe when there lived more hopefulness than today, a pointless emotion.

When you mentioned Kate McGarrigle  I was stirred to recall my own guitar playing catalyst. You surely encountered Louden Wainwright along the way. His flatpicking jumpstarted one of my early multiple attempts at playing, realizing I could actually do something akin. Off I went, copying every song (except Dead Skunk) those first three albums, until I settled into the style I play today.

The downside...it locked me in to the point where I abandoned fingerstyle, probably forever.

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1 minute ago, jedzep said:


When you mentioned Kate McGarrigle  I was stirred to recall my own guitar playing catalyst. You surely encountered Louden Wainwright along the way. His flatpicking jumpstarted one of my early multiple attempts at playing, realizing I could actually do something akin. Off I went, copying every song (except Dead Skunk) those first three albums, until I settled into the style I play today.
 

I never cared for Louden Wainwright for two reasons: first, he married Kate, and second, "Dead Skunk." Couldn't get past that song.

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Never needed a reminder of Dave.  He and I go back a long time.  I loved the way Dave's playing style melded so perfectly with his vocals.  We used to run into him in the Village now and then.  I recall thinking at the time I should have taken lessons with him.  The movie "Inside Llewyn Davis" was said to be based on Dave.

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1 hour ago, zombywoof said:

Never needed a reminder of Dave.  He and I go back a long time.  I loved the way Dave's playing style melded so perfectly with his vocals.  We used to run into him in the Village now and then.  I recall thinking at the time I should have taken lessons with him.  The movie "Inside Llewyn Davis" was said to be based on Dave.

Man I love that movie sooo much.

And I had no idea of the history of all of you guys.   Very very cool.

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1 hour ago, nrthcountryblue said:

Man I love that movie sooo much.

And I had no idea of the history of all of you guys.   Very very cool.

He was a pretty accessible guy, particularly when sitting at the bar at a club in the Village. He did hold forth in those situations, which was one reason he was known as the Mayor of MacDougal Street.

I have to admit to being pretty timid about approaching him, since he'd been an idol of mine for so long. A lot of people were like that back then, particularly if you had any connection in the business. This was, of course, long before there were people with phones demanding selfies with everyone under the sun...

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