It’s wonderful to see the revival of interest in the music and art of Dave Van Ronk. This is a direct result of the Coen Brothers Film, Inside Llewyn Davisthat started its limited engagement in New York and Los Angeles today.
Tompkins Square Records released Live At Caffe Lena: Music From America’s Legendary Coffeehouse 1967-2013 this past summer. It’s a chock full 3 CD Box Set that is complemented by a coffee table book, Caffè Lena: Inside America’s Legendary Folk Music Coffeehouse (powerHouse Books) which brings more than 200 never seen, evocative images and stories to the public.
“The story of Caffè Lena is the secret history of the folk-music scene. Lena was a pioneering woman in a man’s world and her story needs to be told.” —Holly George-Warren
Here is a Sound Cloud of 40 minutes of Dave Van Ronk’s set from 1974 at Caffe Lena
I increase my knowledge of American folk music as time leads up to the release date of the Coen Brother’s film, Inside Llewyn Davis on December 6, 2013.
I noticed that WPKN is hosting a two-day American & Folk Music Special fundraiser. (Tue. 11/12 & Wed. 11/13) WPKN is a 100% non-commercial, listener supported radio station broadcasting at 89.5 FM in Bridgeport, Connecticut and formerly 88.7 FM (WPKM) in Montauk, New York. You can also hear WPKN via the Internet at WPKN.ORGor through their WPKN LiveiPhone & iPad App available for free from the iTunes App Store.
In April of 1961, more than 500 musicians gathered in Greenwich Village’s Washington Square to sing folk songs to promote peace and harmony. The result was what would become a symbol of these tumultuous times, police riot squads attacking singers and civilians with billy clubs, arrests and lines drawn in the sand.
The clash became known as the Washington Square Folk Riot and put down in the history books as the first ‘freedom of speech’ revolt, and only strengthened the drawing power of Greenwich Village as the place of change for a generation.
The movie’s structural binding ingredient is the voice of Susan Sarandon reading excerpts from “A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village,” a 2008 recollection by Mr. Dylan’s onetime girlfriend Suze Rotolo, who met him in 1961, when she was 17 and he was 20. (Movie Review, When They Hammered Out Justice in the ’60s ‘Greenwich Village: Music That Defined a Generation’ by Stephen Holden, NY Times, January 17, 2013)
The Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack is available on vinyl at indie record stores at the “throwback 60’s” price of $5.98, today only, one week ahead of the CD and digital versions’ official November 11th street date.
If you can’t get to an indie store it is available online, today only at the Nonesuch Store. Nonesuch Store orders include an exclusive 11″ x 7″ poster from the film and an instant download of “Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song)” performed by Oscar Isaac, who plays Llewyn Davis in the film, and Marcus Mumford.
The Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack has been announced on Nonesuch Records. The soundtrack features songs by Bob Dylan and Dave Van Ronk, along with tunes performed by stars of the movie, including Justin Timberlake, Oscar Isaac and Carey Mulligan, as well as Marcus Mumford (Mulligan’s husband) and the Punch Brothers.
The 14-song collection, produced by T Bone Burnett, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, is due out September 17th on Nonesuch (pre-order it here). Soundtrack pre-orders include an exclusive, 11″ x 7″ print from the film.
The Coen brothers have collaborated with T Bone Burnett for the fourth time, who won five Grammys for the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou?
“Hang Me, Oh Hang Me” (Traditional; arranged by Oscar Isaac and T Bone Burnett) – Oscar Isaac
“Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song)” (Traditional; arranged by Marcus Mumford, Oscar Isaac and T Bone Burnett) – Marcus Mumford and Oscar Isaac
“The Last Thing on My Mind” (Tom Paxton) – Stark Sands with Punch Brothers
“Five Hundred Miles” (Hedy West) – Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan and Stark Sands
“Please Mr. Kennedy” (Ed Rush, George Cromarty, T Bone Burnett, Justin Timberlake, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen) – Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver
“Green, Green Rocky Road” (Len Chandler and Robert Kaufman) – Oscar Isaac
“The Death of Queen Jane” (Traditional; arranged by Oscar Isaac and T Bone Burnett) – Oscar Isaac
“The Roving Gambler” (Traditional) – John Cohen with the Down Hill Strugglers
“The Shoals of Herring” (Ewan MacColl) – Oscar Isaac with Punch Brothers
“The Auld Triangle” (Brendan Behan) – Chris Thile, Chris Eldridge, Marcus Mumford, Justin Timberlake and Gabe Witcher
“The Storms Are on the Ocean” (A.P. Carter) – Nancy Blake
“Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song) (Traditional; arranged by Oscar Isaac) – Oscar Isaac
“Farewell” (Bob Dylan) – Bob Dylan
“Green, Green Rocky Road” (Len Chandler and Robert Kaufman) – Dave Van Ronk
At the 2013 Cannes Film Festival the Grand Prix prize (AKA, second place) went to Joel Coen and Ethan Coen‘s ‘Inside Llewyn Davis,’ which tells the story of a folk musician in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s.
I have been enthusiastic about this film since I first discovered its existence. I went out and purchased the book The Mayor of MacDougal Street about Dave Van Ronk on which the fim is based. I read it with a passion I rarely feel from authors.
I was in Greenwich Village yesterday on MacDougal Street actually spending time with our son and family walking about as we admired the sights and the scene.
Here is the new poster for the film, scheduled to début on US screens on December 6, 2013.
I am eager to hear the soundtrack when it is released as I believe T-Bone Burnett has the midas touch when it comes to music. T-Bone Burnett let it slip there would be a series of live music shows performed prior to the film’s release. The music of our heart is all ears for when these performances will be announced, trusting some will be in NYC 😉
I was unable to attend last night’s New York Public Library event, Sing Out! Broadsides and Banjos: The Folk Music Revival with Elijah Wald. I was there in spirit as I completed the audio book, The Mayor of MacDougal Street (Dave Van Ronk/Elijah Wald)last night on the drive home from the campus. I swear I was listening to Elijah Wald’s Afterword as he was finishing up his public talk.
I was jazzed however to discover that the event was taped and available for viewing on the IRocke YouTube NY Public Library channel.
Dave Van Ronk and the folk music era of the 60s in the Village is vogue right now. This is due to the interest and energy centered around the Coen Brothers film, Inside Llewyn Davis. The book, The Mayor of MacDougal Street serves as a major source for the film. After listening to the audio book these past two weeks I totally get why the Coen Brothers chose that book to underscore the film.