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Sunday Street

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Editors’ Notes

One of the chief instigators of the late-‘50s Greenwich Village folk revival, Dave Van Ronk had become a legendary figure by the time he released Sunday Street in 1976. Fortunately, his gruff vocals and salty sense of humor hadn’t mellowed with the years. On this album, Van Ronk dives into a mixed bag of traditional and contemporary tunes with his usual rakish gusto. His bear-like growl and comedic timing are in fine form on “That’ll Never Happen No More” and “Jivin’ Man Blues.” His softer side comes through on poignant readings of “Jesus Met the Woman at the Well” and “That Song About the Midway.” Equally impressive is his nimble acoustic guitar on “Maple Leaf Rag” and “The Pearls.” Evident throughout is Van Ronk’s ability to radically shift moods and wrench extremes of emotion from his songs. From the yowling playfulness of “Would You Like to Swing on a Star?” to the lonesome grace of “Mamie’s Blues,” Sunday Street finds Van Ronk at the height of his formidable powers.

Customer Reviews

"Jivin' Man Dave's Blues!"

Dave Van Ronk was a great guitar player and a serious musical scholar, to boot! When Time and Newsweek all flocked to Greenwich Village to anoit the young Bobby Dylan as "The Next Big Thing" on the "New Folk Scene"; Van Ronk called it "The Great Folk Scare!" It has come to light that so many young and hungry "scenesters" came to worship {and steal licks from} the "Church Of Van Ronk"! (We had the rare pleasure of catching Dave Van Ronk in a small club down in Newport, R.I.; we stayed for both sets, shook hands with him & thanked him at the break; and he did not repeat one song in over four hours; just an amazing evening!} This seminal LP, "Sunday Street", was a big seller for the small Folkie Label, Philo Records. Dave Van Ronk's voice contained echoes of all the old bluesmen & jazzmen he admired and his guitar playing; I remember him saying, came from studying & transposing old piano players like Scott Joplin. Dave speaks in the "No Direction Home" film about Bob Dylan; and he reminices fondly about "The Old Days" on New York City's MacDougall Street! Well, Dave, I hope you are now "Swinging On A Star"; 'cause you deserve it, man! Grimmbo.


Long time Dylan fan who has know of but not listened to Dave Van Ronk. He explodes out of the speakers. Listen to "That Song About the Midway" and try not become a fan. I did.


Born: June 30, 1936 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Guitarist, singer, songwriter, and native New Yorker Dave Van Ronk inspired, aided, and promoted the careers of numerous singer/songwriters who came up in the blues tradition. Most notable of the many musicians he helped over the years was Bob Dylan, whom Van Ronk got to know shortly after Dylan moved to New York in 1961 to pursue a life as a folk/blues singer. Van Ronk's recorded output was healthy, but he was never as prolific a songwriter as some of his friends from...
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