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Rod MacDonald

Singer/songwriter Rod MacDonald was a big part of the 1980s folk revival in Greenwich Village clubs. After graduating from Columbia Law School and joining the staff of Newsweek, MacDonald elected to become a folksinger in the 1970s. Via the Fast Folk Music Cooperative, MacDonald and others like Richard Meyer, Christine Lavin, and Michael Jerling were an important part of the rebirth of the folk scene in New York in the 1980s. While MacDonald wasn't exactly a new face to New York folk music fans, he began to gain national stature in the early '90s, performing at folk festivals and coffeehouses around the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

MacDonald's songwriting influences include Phil Ochs, Richard Fariña, and Bob Dylan. True to the folk tradition, MacDonald is not afraid to get political, take chances, and perhaps shock some people. Songs like "American Jerusalem," "White Buffalo," and "Every Living Thing" have been covered by his peers and his elders, including musicians Garnet Rogers, Jean Redpath, Gordon Bok, Happy Traum, and Shawn Colvin. MacDonald's place in the folk hall of fame is assured by his "A Sailor's Prayer," a hymn-styled tune that many people have mistaken for a traditional song.

MacDonald issued a pair of albums in the 1980s, No Commercial Traffic in 1983 and White Buffalo in 1985, and two albums by the singer/songwriter appeared on Shanachie Records during the following decade, 1992's Highway to Nowhere and 1994's The Man on the Ledge. And Then He Woke Up and Into the Blue appeared on Gadfly in 1996 and 1999, respectively, and during the new millennium his recordings have included 2002's Recognition, 2005's A Tale of Two Americas, 2009's After the War, and 2011's Songs of Freedom. Rod MacDonald has been based in Florida since the mid-'90s. ~ Richard Skelly
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: And Then He Woke Up

1. Happy All The Time

2. Ballad Of A Black Haired Man

3. On Any Old Sunday

4. And Then He Woke Up

5. The Death Of Victor Jara

6. Me And Uncle Joe

7. I Can't Believe (How Good You've Been To Me)

8. The Last Train To Pontiac

9. Love For All Seasons

10. Out In The Country

11. I'll Walk In The Highlands

12. Keeper Of The Flame

13. Who Built The Bomb (That Blew Oklahoma City Down)?

14. Timothy

x

Track List: White Buffalo

1. Song Of My Brothers

2. Cross Country Waltz

3. Ode To The Pretty Girls

4. Sanctuary

5. Sand Castles

6. White Buffalo

7. Water

8. The Aliens Came In Business Suits

9. Blues For The River

10. Stop The War

x

Track List: No Commercial Traffic

1. The Unearthly Fire

2. It's Going To Take Some Time

3. Butter My Bread

4. Something Beautiful

5. On The Road (In New York Town)

6. American Jerusalem

7. Dear Grandfather

8. A Sailor's Prayer

9. What I Wanted

10. Every Living Thing

Comments

Report as inappropriate
joanmcomber
We love Rod's material and his delivery. Just saw him in The Barn concert here close to home. Please add him to your Folk Song stations!
Report as inappropriate
Rod is one of my absolute favorites. I have seen him so many times, and he never, ever fails to deliver powerful music. At Dylan festivals, I've found that he is a terrific interpreter of Dylan's songs -- straight on, never tries to impersonate Dylan, but always so very good. After decades of listening to folk music on the radio, I have not yet heard even one song by Rod. What gives?
Report as inappropriate
I remember listening to and talking to Rod at the Speak Easy coffee house in the Village back in the early-mid-ei g h t i e s when the folk scene was truly rich and deep and wide with idealism.... if a somewhat cynical idealism.. As much as his songs spoke to me then, they speak only moreso to me now, thirty years later...
Report as inappropriate
this is a wonderful artist, why does one not hear more of his music. he tells it like it is.
Report as inappropriate
Please consider adding more albums by this artist - he shares a history with many notable artists and is a 35 year internationa l touring and recording veteran. His songs have been covered by more than two dozen well known artists, including his signature song "American Jerusalem". Other releases include: No Commercial Traffic, The Man On The Ledge, Into The Blue, Recognition, Highway to Nowhere, A Tale of Two Americas and After The War.

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