Easy Ed's Weekly Broadside

I saw Van Ronk in a little folk club near San Diego back around 1985. It was like being in the same room with a hurricane.

Damn. Wish I would have come up with that line. Exactly the way he performed. And by 85 he was a windy old lion but still had the power and fury of youth.

Nice piece Ed, as usual.  Love to see another shout-out for Van Ronk.  I remember several of my friends and I obsessing over the album Just Dave Van Ronk, recorded in the mid-sixties or so.  We listened to it through the early seventies.  We were especially fond of Wanderin', a trad song done wonderfully by Dave. An earlier version of Candy Man (song in the video above) was also on this album. 

Wanderin' is on YouTube:

When I moved to Toronto in '73 I discovered that Dave was going to play at the Riverboat, iconic folk club on its last legs at the time.  An ex-girlfriend from Regina (one of the obsessed ones) and some other friends joined me.  Great set, but when he asked for requests he wouldn't do Wanderin' .  We were very disappointed.

Funny how some songs just hit you in the right place at the right time.  I still listen to that one.

Thanks for the shout out for the Ebony Hillbillies.  However, I tried to find a place to get the music.  Their website store is empty, and they're not on iTunes or CDBaby, etc.  Hoped for Bandcamp, no luck.  I think there is something on Amazon, but I can't download from there in Canada.  Will continue to search.

Thanks for highlighting 3 of my favorites.  I have had the pleasure of seeing them all live in their startling virtuosity.  The Ebony Hillbillies under Times Square, Dr. Ralph in concert at a festival where he silenced a large crowd with "O Death", and Van Ronk on a street in Venice, Italy where he gave a mesmerizing impromptu show to an ignorant teenager just for the heck of it.

Your contributions are among my favorite parts of ND.  Please keep it up.


Van Ronk in Venezia...tell us more about that.  It sounds interesting.  


Not much to tell.  I was on a European tour with a student group.  We had some free time and I wandered alone on the back streets of Venice.  I saw this guy leaning against a building playing guitar and I stopped to listen.  We talked.  He told me he was Dave Van Ronk.  In retrospect, while he did look like the photos, he might have been kidding me; but he sure could play and sing. I was very naive, so I suppose it could go either way.   

At the time, I didn't know who Dave Van Ronk was so I can't remember anything he played.  Only that I enjoyed it and probably spent about an hour with him, just the two of us.  And that 47 years later I can still remember it.  There isn't much else from that trip that I can remember.

Great story.  Some of Life's best moments happen just like that.