January 7, 2012



Traditional Americana Tales


A Tribute to Jack Hardy and Dave Van Ronk

From his early days in Greenwich Village nearly 35 years ago to his recent teaming with the late great Jack Hardy as a Folk Brother, David Massengill is as essential to the New York folk community as a boy from Tennessee can be. He retains his accent from East Tennessee, where he once chased a bobcat and vice versa.

As distinctive a performer as he is a writer, David accompanies himself mainly on the Appalachian dulcimer, which he slings over his shoulder like an electric guitar. The sound of his dulcimer has an intimate, detailed quality that complements the easy grace of Massengill's stage presence, DAVID MASSENGILL :: Photo © ROBERT BERKOWITZ/RSBImageWorks@aol.comand he wrings from its few strings a complexity and richness far beyond anything it was meant to produce; drawing the listener close in on the human foibles and experience that are the substance of his best songs. It was Dave Van Ronk that said that David took the dull out of dulcimer.

Jesus escapes from a mental hospital, history's greatest villains gather for a dinner party, a New York restaurant kitchen crew saves an illegal alien cook from the immigration man, a young woman and a bandit fall in love as he robs her — these are just some of the vividly imagined scenes and characters with which David Massengill captivates his audiences. Massengill's songs are rich with insight and poetic imagery, upbeat and engaging but full of subtle complexities, placing him among America's finest songwriters.

David tells us that at this concert he intends to tribute both his Folk Brothers partner Jack Hardy and his mentor Dave Van Ronk. He will also be doing many new songs and will do a few requests if given fair warning. He would like to encourage the open mic performers to do any Jack Hardy song they might favor (not a requirement, just a suggestion).

DAVID MASSENGILL :: Photo © 2008 - JAYNE TOOHEYVisit his website: davidmassengill.com

Listen to his music on YouTube — Riders on an Orphan Train

  Opening tonight were our featured open mike performers:

Andy Romanoff
Ira Perlman
Mark Virgilio
... and Hank Stone

– Slide Show of Concert Pictures –

Photographs of the open mikers and the headline performer were taken by Robert Berkowitz. These can be seen as a slide show or as a collection on Flickr. (On some computers, you may have to then click on a dark blue "please click here" ). Clicking on the flickr in the upper left corner will bring you to a page with thumbnails of all images and other RSB sets. There are other viewing controls on the flickr pages for image size, etc.

If any use of these images is desired for ads, web pages, publication, etc., — high-res versions are available from Bob at RSBImageWorks@aol.com, and permission should be requested and Robert Berkowitz credited in any reproduction usage.

If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of this century ...