Label: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
In the late 1950s, singer and guitarist Dave Van Ronk was the man for any folk revivalist who found the Kingston Trio and the Weavers too antiseptic (too Caucasian-sounding). His gravelly voice felt both ancient and earthy. And yet the New Yorker was uniquely urban, possessing an ability to subtly blur the difference between folk, blues and jazz. It was an aesthetic that would go on to influence a slew of hippie-era icons, including Bob Dylan, Fred Neil, Tom Rush, John Sebastian and Richie Havens.