Wednesday 2 April 2014

Dave Van Ronk

I've been reading The Mayor of MacDougal Street recently, which is Dave Van Ronk's memoir of the folk music scene in Greenwich Village in the 1960s. The Coen brothers borrowed many of the incidents that happened to Van Ronk during that time as a structure for their character of Llewyn Davis, though they have been at pains to say that the personalities of the two are widely different.

Dave Van Ronk (1936-2002) was one of the founding figures of the 1960s folk revival. He was a pioneer of modern acoustic blues, a fine songwriter and arranger, a powerful singer, and one of the most influential guitarists of the '60s, he was also a marvelous storyteller, a peerless musical historian, and one of the most quotable figures on the Village scene.

The Mayor of MacDougal Street is a first-hand account by a major player in the social and musical history of the '50s and '60s. It features encounters with young stars-to-be like Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, and Joni Mitchell, as well as older luminaries like Reverend Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, and Odetta. I enjoyed The Mayor of MacDougal Street and would recommend it to anyone interested in that period in American culture.

Here is the Making of video for Inside Llewyn Davis.

IMDb    Website    Wikipedia

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wow, another gritty original Coen movie with heart. And folk music!