The Mayor of MacDougal Street: A Memoir - Dave Van Ronk, Elijah Wald
After the beats and before the British Invasion, Dave Van Ronk was a working folksinger in New York city. It was a time of dirt-cheap rent in the Village, jam sessions in Washington Square Park, and passionate discussion of art, politics, and music. Van Ronk's writing is clear, precise, and rife with insight and humor. He rubs shoulders with and has juicy opinions about blues and folk legends like John Hurt, Joan Baez and, of course, Bob Dylan. Contrary to the romantic image of the starving artist, Van Ronk hated poverty, made a living from his art, and was damn proud of it. Part riveting memoir, part fascinating time capsule The Mayor of McDougal Street is an essential piece of American cultural and musical history.