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Ballads, Blues, and a Spiritual

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"Not infrequently I am taken to task for the manner in which I approach my material," folk singer and guitar player Dave Van Ronk (1936-2002) wrote in the liner notes to Ballads, Blues, and a Spiritual. A white New Yorker singing traditional Southern black songs, he distinguished himself from others who adopted this repertoire by imitating the way he heard black musicians perform. "Although I can appreciate the ‘white approach’ to Negro folksongs and enjoy the work of many of its adherents, I still reserve the right to sing these songs in the style to which I am accustomed, partly because of habit, and partly, I confess, because I feel that my way is the ‘right way'."

This 1959 release was Van Ronk’s first record. It contains the tracks "If You Leave Me Pretty Momma," "Backwater Blues," "K.C. Moan," "How Long," and "John Henry," which were not featured on the Van Ronk collection The Folkways Years, 1959-1961.

Liner notes include photos, lyrics, song histories, and an introduction by Van Ronk.

Track Listing

101
Duncan and Brady Dave Van Ronk 3:02
102
Black Mountain Blues Dave Van Ronk 4:02
103
In the Pines Dave Van Ronk 3:08
104
My Baby's So Sweet Dave Van Ronk 2:35
105
Oh, What a Beautiful City (Twelve Gates to the City) Dave Van Ronk 3:15
106
Winin' Boy Dave Van Ronk 2:38
107
If You Leave Me Pretty Momma Dave Van Ronk 3:09
201
Backwater Blues Dave Van Ronk 3:04
202
Careless Love Dave Van Ronk 2:59
203
Betty and Dupree Dave Van Ronk 3:37
204
K.C. Moan Dave Van Ronk 3:04
205
Gambler's Blues Dave Van Ronk 2:30
206
John Henry Dave Van Ronk 2:28
207
How Long Dave Van Ronk 3:56

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