Called ‘The Mayor of MacDougal Street,’ (also the title of his autobiography) Dave Van Ronk (1936-2002) was a leading figure in the Greenwich Village music scene for more than four decades. His memoir also inspired the recent motion picture Inside Llewyn Davis, directed by Joel & Ethan Coen.
Van Ronk was said to epitomise the ‘folksinger’s folksinger’ apprenticing through immersion in the folk music revival’s epicenter of Washington Square, mentoring musicians such as Bob Dylan, Suzanne Vega, and many more.
Drawing from unreleased recordings as well as from the Smithsonian Folkways vault, Down on Washington Square covers material from Van Ronk’s first Folkways album to his final concert in 2001.
Down in Washington Square includes 16 never-before-released recordings along with tracks from the Smithsonian Folkways archive, spanning early live recordings made in 1958 (one year before his first Folkways album) to his final studio recordings in 2001, just months before his death. The three CD box set contains 54 tracks, nearly three hours of music plus a 40-page booklet with extensive notes.