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Going Back To Brooklyn

4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 1, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

This album is a reissue of the only full album of Dave Van Ronk originals which was originally released with very limited distribution in 1991. Van Ronk was one of the most important and influential figures in the history of American folk music. These recordings are solo acoustic with just Dave and his guitar. Also included are comments from the artist about each some and quotes about Van Ronk from Bob Dylan and Tom Russell.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 1, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Shout Factory
  • ASIN: B000G75ADO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,486 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Be warned before you listen to this album that it contains some very crude language, and some very good songs. It displays Van Ronk's humor at its best ("Head Inspector") and its worst ("Tantric Mantra"). The guitar picking is superlative, including a couple of rags that will make you forget who Scott Joplin is, but one of them is wasted by using the names of offbeat cities in New Jersey as the lyrics. But the gems are worth poring through the ore for. "Blood Red Moon Rising " is a great blues song. "Closing Time" captures the desperation of the alcoholic (Lawrence Block used one of the lines from this for the title of his best selling mystery "When the Sacred Ginmill Closes.") "Luang Prabang" may be the best war protest song ever written! Finally, "Another Time & Place" and "Goodbye, Honey Hair" are love songs by a man who's been there and has the scars, and the memories, to prove it. Though a couple of things could have been left off, it's still one of the most original "folk" albums I've ever heard, and well worth listening to over and over!
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Format: Audio CD
I picked up this CD, sight unseen, never having heard Dave Van Ronk. I fell in love with the lyrics of "Last Call", which are quoted in Lawrence Block's book "When the Sacred Ginmill Closes", and snapped up this album for that song alone. What a revelation! This music is right in that wonderful little niche between folk and blues, and it works all the way across the gamut, from the cynical anger of "Luang Prabang" to the tenderness of "Another Time and Place". I'll definitely be buying more of his stuff.
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Format: Audio CD
This is my favorite of DVR's albums. His voice is at its gravelly best and he shows himself equally adept at blues, folk, ragtime, etc. Plus, it has one of the most beautiful love songs ever written, in my opinion: "Another Time and Place." Buy this version, which is superior to the remake he did on the "From Another Time and Place" album.
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By Jay Dee on October 31, 2005
Format: Audio CD
What do you like in your music? If you're a top forty sugar sweet treacle lover of the latest fad(s)...If you think voice as the instrument and who cares about the songs sentiment or thought as the thing then you'll want to stay far away from this album...

As a music lover of the tale and the viva la difference of singers not cut from the same mold, I am pleased to comment on this work with the experience of someone who has several of Dave's Albums and has appreciated him for a long time...

There is no one, not even Dylan who has such a distinctive voice. Imagine Louis Armstrong squeezed through a toothpaste tube then chewed on by Shel Silverstein and then lit on fire by Lord Buckley and you might begin to have an idea how good he sounds if you've never heard him...HAVEN'T HEARD HIM?!...I wish I could be with someone the first time they hear him!...He's a distinctive American treasure...

This album is definitely one of his best...One minute sublime, the next sincere, the next succulent, the next saucy...He never keeps the same mood on this album from one song to the next...

"Honey Hair" and any of the Joplin inspired rags on this album via his guitar are worthy of any love song pantheon or collection...A personal favorite don't miss of mine is the lewd and crude and absolutely wonderful " Whores Of San Pedro"...It's raunchy, it's nasty, it's vile, and it's...hysterically funny and a great take that goes further adventurously out of bounds than his usual stuff ( raw language kiddies!)...SOmeone in a previous write up disses the New Jersey inspired take that exclusively features the odd and beautiful city names of N.J...Doesn't belong here?! Au contraire mon frer!...What DOESN"T belong here?!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Luang Poang song is a serious veteran of a war song. Should be heard by anyone contemplating putting the US at war or egging one on. With his gravely voice, Van Ronk gets this one rolling right through your gut. Be careful this is definitely child material. Could give adolescents something to talk about with parents (well maybe...). Other numbers are great too. He is eternal and classic.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am prompted to write after recently buying this CD.

I had a compilation LP of Dave Van Ronk (a Folkways recording I think) I packed around with 20-30 other LP’s when moving around a lot when young (just like Dave says he did when young in the Village!). I used to pull it out to play on occasion and friends would often ask, "who is this guy?', because they could hear how unique and good he was. He was such an excellent guitar player and song interpreter.

As a child I saw Dave performing on TV on some day-time show; big gruff looking guy with greasy looking hair hanging down over his forehead as he bent over his guitar playing and singing some plaintive song. His performance was sincere and SO contrary to all else that was going on in that show that he made a big impression on me.

Dave’s Going back to Brooklyn came out when I was doing a four-hour folk music show on a Public Radio station Sunday nights. This was his first original recording in many years. I have to say that I was excited the first time I saw it when I came into the studio because of my musical history with him. When I checked out the recording I was not disappointed, he still had it. His singing had aged but like fine wine with even more color and inflection, his guitar playing was as excellent as ever. I think I played one tract off of this release on every show for a number of months, it was that good. The rags are played just great, the humorous tunes like Losers are sharp, smart and witty. My favorite though is Another Time in Place; that is what I played most, so real, so soulful.

I leave it here except to say I only saw Dave perform once (solo) in an intimate small club off the seashore in New Hampshire. He was a great as I had hoped he would be and gracious as well. I went up to him after the show to briefly thank him. I’m glad I did. I don’t we thank the people in our lives enough who inspire and are important to us
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