The Record Collection

Dave van Ronk: Gambler’s Blues

Verve/Folksway FV/FVS-9017

Track list:

Side 1
101 – Duncan And Brady
102 – Black Mountain Blues
103 – In The Pines
104 – My Baby’s So Sweet
105 – Twelve Gates To The City
106 – Winin’ Boy Blues
107 – If You Leave Me Pretty Momma

Side 2
201 – Backwater Blues
202 – Careless Love
203 – Betty And Dupree
204 – K.C. Moan
205 – Gambler’s Blues
206 – John Henry
207 – How Long


Dave van Ronk – Guitar, vocals

Recorded and Edited by Kenneth S. Goldstein

This 1959 release was Van Ronk’s first record. Folkways released the album as: “Dave van Ronk Sings Ballads, Blues, and a Spiritual” [FW03818/FS 3818 (1959)]

This album has also been released as “Gambler’s Blues” [Verve Folkways FV/FVS-9017 (12/1965)] and “Black Mountain Blues” [Folkways 31020 (1968)]

Liner Notes [FS 3818] (pdf 3.5MB) include photos, lyrics, song histories, and an introduction by Dave van Ronk.

“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’.”

Dave van Ronk:
Born: June 30, 1936 Brooklyn, New York
Died: February 10, 2002 (aged 65)