- Sings Ballads Blues & a Spiritual
- Artist: Dave Van Ronk
- Format: LP
- Release Date: 12/20/2011
"Being of Northern white origin and stressing Southern Negro songs as I do is, in a way, difficult to justify. I first came into contact with Negro traditional songs through a chance encounter with a recording of "Stackolee" made by Furry Lewis, a southern street singer about whom little seems to be known. Taking it to be a form of Jazz, in which I was primarily interested and involved, I made some further investigations and discovered a whole field of music which I had not previously known existed. At this point I don't think I had ever heard a white person sing a Negro song (with the exception of my grandmother who remembered some old cakewalk and ragtime songs from the 90's) and so, having only such singers as Furry Lewis, King Solomon Hill, and Leadbelly for models, when I tried to sing these songs I naturally imitated what I heard and, if I couldn't understand a word here or there, I just slurred right along with the singer. At that time, nobody listened to me anyway. Since then I have learned that the term "folk music" encompasses more than just "Blue Tail Fly" and "On Top of Old Smokey" and that there are quite a few white singers who sing the same material that I do with a very different approach from my own. Although I can appreciate the "white approach" to Negro folksongs and enjoy the work of many of it's adherents, I still reserve the right to sing these songs in the style in 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.