Home > Post-midnight Youtube filler > Post-midnight Youtube filler: Dave Van Ronk – The Outcaste

Post-midnight Youtube filler: Dave Van Ronk – The Outcaste

We usually copypasta a dumb comment from underneath the original Youtube clip here, but not this time, because a) said video has less than 400 views and only one comment and b) this song really is so fantastic that I don’t want to draw attention away from it with zings.

If you know anything about ILB, you’ll know the one artiste we stan for harder than any other is outlaw country demigod Tom Russell, you can catch what a young ILB said about his albums “Hotwalker” and “Love and Fear” back at StylusMagazine.com. And although we personally find “Hotwalker”, his retelling of his friendship with Charles Bukowski through song fragments and an impression of a circus midget, to be his best work, proper chinstroking folk critics always go to bat for “The Man From God Knows Where”, his 1999 song cycle about the first wave of immigrants to America.

Thankfully Van Ronk got on this album, as he carked it from complications emerging from cancer just three years later. The rest of the album is pretty sedate: Russell, and other guests like Iris Dement, singing solemn tales of alienation, how the Irish and the Norwegians and the Germans and the Italians felt being wrenched from the bosom of their motherland to travelling three months across the ocean into a land they didn’t speak the language and didn’t understand the animals. Proper, harrowing, “learn your history stuff”. Van Ronk, on the other hand, has just drunk nine beers with a Jammy Donut shot chaser for each one and is gonna get your toe-tapping while dropping science on the role slaves built in building the Whitehouse, and then does what all good folk songs should do, which is just run-through a list of racist epiphets. I am not joking when I say, as of 12:18am on July 27, 2009, this is the greatest song ever recorded.

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