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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: Into the Blue

1. Seven Days

2. No Problem

3. Best Defense

4. Days of Rain

5. Here's a Song for You

6. It's a Tough Life

7. 6 Strings & a Hole Big & Round

8. The Aucilla River Song

9. Deep Down in the Everglades

10. Lightning over the Sea

11. Into the Blue

12. Fear

13. Sun Dancer

14. The Cure for Insomnia

x

Track List: Later That Night

1. Hole in the Bible

2. One More Heartbreak Song

3. We're All One

4. You're Already My Wife

5. Big Time Record Contract

6. Don't Come Knocking

7. Joe Public

8. Many Can't Be Moved

9. Raven

10. Sleepless Nights

11. That's Why You Play the Game

12. The Girl Songwriter

13. The Last American Worker

14. To My Dearest One

15. Young Republicans in Love

16. White Flour

x

Track List: The Man On The Ledge

1. Zydeco

2. It's Your Dime

3. I Can't See The Reason

4. For The People (Song For Czechoslovakia)

5. Hey, Mister President

6. Some Things I Like About America

7. Dallas

8. The Man On The Ledge

9. Up On The Mountain

10. Women Of The World

11. American Jerusalem (1994)

12. Honorable Men

13. Auschwitz

14. For All The Grapes On The Vine

x

Track List: Highway To Nowhere

1. Norman

2. Now That The Rain Has Gone

3. The Coming Of The Snow

4. Moonlight And Fire

5. After The Singing

6. So Many Songs

7. Love At The Time

8. Distant Radios

9. Saving Grace

10. The Well

11. The Way To Calvary

x

Track List: Songs Of Freedom

1. Springtime In America

2. Google Me Baby

3. Big Money

4. Freedom Of Religion

5. Election Night At Walmart

6. The Belly Button Song

7. True To The Blues

8. Learning To Crawl

9. When You Were Two

10. One Good Song

11. Moron Radio

12. Why It's So

13. Open Up Your World

14. John King

15. Just Because

16. Watching The Birds

x

Track List: Recognition

1. You Who Sleep Beside Me

2. The Man Who Dropped the Bomb On Hiroshima

3. Just One Kiss

4. My Neighbors in Delray

5. Dr Gachet

6. Video Game

7. When Angel Gets Blue

8. We Got It Good & That Ain't Bad

9. Mickey World

10. Dance By Lightning

11. Ireland, Ireland

12. 137 Executions

13. The Little Girls Love to Dance

14. Willie Jean

15. Now You're Talkin' Baby

16. For the Good of America

17. Mojo & the St Luke's Flukes

x

Track List: After the War

1. Opening Disclaimer

2. Stop the War

3. For the People

4. Days of Rain

5. Two Americans

6. The Coming of the Snow

7. Ballerina

8. After the War

9. American Jerusalem

10. Soldiers

11. Half Heaven Half Heartache

12. I'll Walk in the Highlands

13. After the Singing

14. White Buffalo

15. Wings of Light

16. Every Living Thing

x

Track List: A Tale Of Two Americas

1. Ray & Ron

2. Terror

3. Missing

4. The Governator

5. My Beloved Enemy

6. Smoke

7. Treat You Right

8. I'm Your Dad

9. The Lucky Ones

10. Don't Let Your Dim Light Die

11. Sacrifice

12. Peace

13. Here I Stand

14. True Love

15. A Tale of Two Americas

16. Love Is the Common Ground

17. I Am Bob Dylan

18. With God On Our Side

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 - European Edition

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

11. A Sailor's Prayer

12. Routine Day In Paradise

13. Every Living Thing

x

Track List: Bring On The Lions

1. Saving Grace

2. Now That The Rain Has Gone

3. Love At The Time

4. Distant Radios

5. The Coming Of The Snow

6. After The Singing

7. Norman

8. Wonderin' Why

9. The Well

10. So Many Songs

11. South Africa

12. New Man

13. Wings Of Light

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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