Folk

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The Kennedys present a heartfelt tribute to Nanci Griffith

Kennedy

It’s more than a mere impersonation. When Maura Kennedy sings a Nanci Griffith song, she not only sounds like Griffith, but seems, somehow, to actually become her. She’s got every little vocal tic, every facet of Griffith’s personality down pat. Griffith had a big influence on Kennedy’s songwriting, and Kennedy has worked with Griffith for many years, on and off, as a backing vocalist, songwriting partner and producer. She doesn’t just know Griffith’s songs inside and out, but seems to have internalized them, and sings them with great warmth. Continue Reading →

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350 Jersey Songs: ‘Garden State Stomp,’ Dave Van Ronk

The late folk and blues singer Dave Van Ronk was nicknamed the Mayor of MacDougal Street, for his longtime status as a leading figure on the Greenwich Village folk scene. Yet he must have done a lot of touring in New Jersey: How else can you explain his delightful novelty song “Garden State Stomp,” in which he gruffly recites a bunch of New Jersey city, town or place names — “Allamuchy, Hacklebarney, Rockaway, Piscataway/Ho-Ho-Kus, Secaucus, Lower Squankum, Fair Play …” — so that they seem like something akin to poetry. Van Ronk — who died in 2002, at 65 — included the song on his 1985 album, “Going Back to Brooklyn,” and also sent it to Bruce Springsteen, in hopes that the Boss might record it. The Boss declined, though one still hopes and dreams that one day he might get to it. Continue Reading →

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