Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Dave Van Ronk

  • Van Ronk [Polydor, 1971] B+
  • Going Back to Brooklyn [Gazell, 1991] *
  • To All My Friends in Far-Flung Places [Gazell, 1994] Neither

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Van Ronk [Polydor, 1971]
Although I've always thought Van Ronk was hard to listen to--after all, his range is about half an octave--what he does with songs by fellow "nonsingers" like Peter Stampfel, Leonard Cohen, and Randy Newman makes me think some more. He shoots his shot at big-label production here, and now and then the orchestration (not to mention the material) turns surprisingly schmaltzy, but for the most part this shouted melee of song collection is a riot. B+

Going Back to Brooklyn [Gazell, 1991]
the most steadfast of the folkies--and the funniest ("Another Time and Place," "Garden State Stomp") *

To All My Friends in Far-Flung Places [Gazell, 1994] Neither

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