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Inside Dave Van Ronk – Fixin’ to Die and the Art of the Folk Guitar

In the spring of 1962, Prestige Records produced sessions with Dave Van Ronk, singing and accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. It was prestigious enough, for a scruffy denizen of the cafés of Greenwich Village’s MacDougal  Street, to be recorded by the label that released the work of Miles, Monk, Coltrane and many others. But the […]

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How Simple Folk Guitar Accompaniment Really Works

In this video, Folk-blues artist Mokai performs “Poor Lazurus” from the repertoire of 1960s folk-icon, Dave Van Ronk, demonstrating how a simple folk guitar accompaniment works to enhance the drama in telling a story.

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Coen Brothers Take on 60s Greenwich Village Folk Scene

Mokai is a devotee of the music and the persona of Dave Van Ronk, hotly anticipating this Coen Brothers’ film “Inside Llyewn Davis” since it was announced a few years ago. The film is loosely based on Van Ronk’s autobiography “The Mayor of MacDougal Street”.

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Garrin Benfield – Unbound

I’ve known San Francisco based singer-songwriter Garrin Benfield for some time. In the mid ‘oughties’ (this century has turned out sucky for decade names so far,) we were booked on the same bill at a local SF acoustic music showcase night. At the end of the evening, Garrin and I jumped onstage for an impromptu […]

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Shaun Cromwell-The Rise and the Fall of It All

One of the guitarists I was lucky enough to meet at the Folk Alliance Region West (FAR-West) conference is Shaun Cromwell. I’ve posted the clip of Shaun playing his very cool song “The Rise and the Fall of It All” to my YouTube page.

Shaun was a featured performer at the FAR-West conference, and his show proved to be one of the most enjoyable for someone like me, who loves good songwriting combined with great fingerpicking.

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Fingerstyle at FARwest 2009–Six Approaches

Fingerstyle guitarist Mokai took video of several Fingerstyle Guitarists for the annual Folk Alliance Region West (FAR-West), presenting them together in a half-hour video “Fingerstyle at FARwest 2009”. The video includes songs by six different performers playing their original material, including Walter Strauss, Shaun Cromwell, Ernest Troost and Garrin Benfield.

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