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September 13, 1970 - Image 2

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Sunday; September 13, 1970 00

Page Two THE MICHIGAN DAILY Sunday, September 13, 1970

music

A

cry,

a whisper... Van Ronk

By DANIEL ZWERDLING
Reviewing Dave Van Ronk's
show at Canterbury House Fri-
day night is as woefully inade-
quate as applauding after some
of his songs; and not everyone
who surrendered himself to
Van Ronk for two hours ap-
lauded. When he rasps or coos
his way through songs, some-
times caressing or sometimes
angrily ripping the strings from
his guitar, your gut moves, your
pulse quickens, maybe your eyes
tear a little. Somehow, slapping
your hands together seems a
hell of a way to say "Thank'
you, David, for making me feel
some fine emotions."
Writing about Van , Ronk's
concert comes to an absurdity
such as this: trying to transl'ate
in two dimensions a performer,
an audience, the performer's
music, his moods, the audience's
moods, and all that passes be-
tween them in two hours of 5pe-
cial communication.
Canterbury House bills Van
Ronk as "simply the best there
is." Van Ronk performs unlike

any there is. Most people who
have heard about Van Ronk
casually known him for dirty
songs, and he has a reputation
for sometimes getting so drunk
that he is terrible. But Van
Ronk's incredible genius lies in
his voice: it is the hardest,
meanest voice in folk music but
which breaks apart into the
most beautiful,' painful, gemntle
tones I've ever heard. Almost
every one of his songs Friday
night showed Van Ronk's tender
crying side, but probably the
best was "Clouds" (Joni Mitchell
says Van Ronk sings it better
than anyone else-I think that
includes Joni Mitchell) andone of
Van Ronk's own, "Money Hair."
Van Ronk's v oi c e rasps,
wheezes, it cries in a half-crack-
ed falsetto, he looks and sounds
pained, he must be " pained,
choking his huge violent voice
so much to let out only a whis-
per which catches and cracks on
the way. The chips in his voice
are what make the songs so
tender, much like the wrinkles
in a face etch all the sadness,

happiness and griefs of a beau-
tiful, full life. Van Ronk exerts
astounding control over every
note, as when he sharpens a
long, lingering half-whisper in-
to a ragged, furious shout, or
when an angry Van Ronk sud-
denly cracks open his hardness
like a coconut and hushes into
his beautiful whisper.
He 'exerts the same control
over his listeners on a good
night. He starts out with a
malleable audience and turns
it into something quite different
by the end of the evening. "It's
up to me to decide what they
(the listeners) are emotionally,"
says Van Ronk. "There's a ques-
tion of who is in charge. I'm
on the stage. Under the circum-
stances, it means I lead. Other-
wise, let someone else get on
the stage and lead."
Unlike a class of coffeehouse
performers who get on stage
with a whole repertoire to
choose from, and grope their
way through random songs as
they go, Van Ronk plans his
show to a great extent-selecting

numbers which pull the audience
down, lifting them up, set them
on an even keel, bring them
down, up, medium again. But
then, he takes chances, "some-
times I do a whole show of fun-
ny songs, sometimes a whole
show of obscene songs," Van
Ronk says. "I told the audience
(Friday) I didn't feel like tic-
kling their genitalia."
Van Ronk is a nard man to
see. He hasn't played Canter-
bury for two years, and doesn't
like to travel much. He spent
January through March in New
York as one of the leads in the
Kurt Weill, Bertold Brecht
opera Mahagonny; one of his
most gripping pieces from the
show, translated by Van Ronk
(who did his first translation
when he was 18, Kahlil Gibran's
the Prophet, using a Persian-
English dictionary).
No one seemed disappointed
when Van Ronk left Friday
after only two short sets, the
shortest evening at Canterbury
that I can remember, even
though they had paid $3, the
most at Canterbury House that
I can remember. They didn't
get donuts or tootsie rolls like
in. the old days. No one cared.
That's the feeling you get when
a performer has given you his
utmost, pouring into his s'ings
as much of himself and what
he has to feel and say as he
possibly can. Van Ronk's few
songs said all he had to say Fri-
day-which was a lot.

DAILY OFFICIAL
BULLETIN
Daily Official Bulletin
The Daily Official Bulletin is an
official publication of the Univer-
sity of Michigan. Notices should be
sent in TYPEWRITTEN 0 or m to
IRoom 3528 L. S. A. Bldg., before
2 p.m., of the day preceding pub-
lication and by 2 p.m. Friday for
Saturday and Sunday. Items ap-
pear once only. Student organiza-
tion notices are not -accepted for
publication. For more information,
phone 764-9270.
SUNDAY. SEPTEMBER 13
Day Calendar
Museum of Art Lecture: Prof. Ed-
iwards, "Learning and Creativity: Wang
Hui and 17th Century Chinese Paint-
ing": (in conjunction with exhibit at
Museum of Art): Aud. B, Angell Hall, 3
p.m.
General Notices
Computing Center films: "Basic Use
of 29 Card Punch," 5, 5:30, 7, 8 p.m.,
"Advanced Use of 29 Card Punch," 6.
}6:30, 7:30, 8:30 p.m:, Sept. 14-18, Rm.
1011 Computing Center. Direct ques-
tions to B. aller, 764-4143.
* , , ,
NLSA JUNIOR-SENIOR COUNSELING
OFFICE ADVANCED CLASSIFICATION
APPOINTMENTS-WINTER
TERM. 1971

Counseling Office in the College of
Literature, Science, and the Arts has
initiated a procedure for making ap-
pointments. Find your field of con- G J L OS
centration in the lists below and de-
termine your group number, and select 802 Monroe -
appropriate dates to make your ap-
pointment. MONDAY, SEPT. 14
Group I: Anthropology, Astronomy,
Biophysics, Cellular Biology. (Srs.. in
dept.), Chemistry, Classical Archaeology, NOON LUNCHEQN 35c
Far Eastern 'Lang. and Lit., Classical
Studies, Far Eastern Studies, Georgra-
phy, Geology, History of Art, Linguis-NALD HALL, P et
tics, Microbiology, Near Eastern Lang.
and Lit., Physics, Psych-Speech-Hear- "Woking Up the Inside"
ing, Romance Linguistics, Russian &
East European, Slavic Lang. and Lit ,____
Social Anthropology, Studies in Re-_____
ligion, Zoology, y) ®0
Group II: American Culture, Com-
munication Sci.,
munication eScince, English, English
TCMathematics Philosophy. Social
Group III: Biology, Botany, Econ-
omics, History, History T.C., Jdurnalism, I
Political Science.
Group IV: French, French T.C., Ger- CN o a Ta o"
man. Music Lit., Psychology P-Z, Pre- lZez Y g., Tarot
Dent., Pre-Legal, Pre-Med., Pre-Pro- AlJA
fetsional, Psychology A-O, Cellular Biol. Alchem, Astrology T heosoph y
(Jrs. only), Sociology, Spanish, Span-
ish T.C., Speech, Speech Correction.
All Seniors may appear on the dates , A,.~lC
below to make appointments: Tarot, ragic, Parapsycolog,
Group I: September 15-17 in: appro-
priate dept.
Group II: Sept. 15: appointments Macrobiotics and Health Food Books
made at 1223 Angell Hall.
Group III: Sept. 16: appointments y
made at 1223 Angell Hall.
Group IV: Sept. 17: appointhents v 215 S.:STATE ... 2nd Floor
made at 1223 Angell Hall.
Second semester sophomores and jun- 10 A.M.-8:30 P.M. 769-1583
iors appear on dates below to make ap-
pointments:
(Continued on Page 8) t)C-yt<--yt":|) '|:| Ot) b- - yo>U

10E

k

Rosalie Sorrels -vocal cowgirl

By LUKE BALDWIN
Rosalie Sorrels made 4 lot of
friends at the Ark Friday night.
She was warm, and cordial, and
sang like only Rosalie can sing.
The receptive audience brought
her back for five encores (in-
cluding a standing ovation.. .
to my memory, a first at the
Ark). She was incredible.
Rosalie and I had become
friends this summer, so I was a
bit reluctant to review her. But
I can say now that I have no
reservations about it. Her per-
formance was fine by anyone's
standards. /
When Rosalie first played at
the Caffe Lena in Saratoga
Springs, New York, she was bill-
ed as "A housewife from Idaho
w h o: sings Mormon songs."
That's true, but as the people
there found out, she has much
more to offer than that. Those
who have h e a r d her at the
Mariposa Folk Fox Hollow, and
Philadelphia Folk festivals have
learned the same.
Yes, she's a 3 year old moth-
er of five kids, but she'll take
her 1950 rodeo queen shirt and
a bottle of bourbon over apron
strings and warm milk any day.
She is gentle, and sensitive; but
she has a lot of energy and a
lot of .guts.
I suppose all this rambling on
about Rosalie is just my way of
reflecting what her songs are
like, and how they effect me.
There are a lot of traits I look
for in a 'good singer, and. for

some reason I don't often find
them in women. Someone like
Jack Elliott has the capacity to
be as raw as sheep manure, and
still very sensitive at t i m e s.
Rosalie is a woman who can do
much the same. But for that
matter, I have yet to hear Jack
Elliott sing in a soothing vibra-
to. Rosalie sure can.
It's always tempting to be
metaphorical in describing the
way someone sings. The New
York Times said she sang like
a bird. I might agree with that,
but it certainly isn't precise. A
bird has neither the capacity to'
sing with a gentle nasal twang
or bend its voice to the sound
of a steel guitar.,.
Aside from her ability as a
singer, she is also a fine song
writer. er versatility as a writ-
er can e heard in songs rang-
ing from "Up is a Nice Place to
Be" to a children's song "I'm
Gonna Tell on You." And as
Rosalie , said Friday "All my
songs are true. W h e n I see
something happen that strikes
me right, I write a song about
it.". "I'm Gonna Tell on You"
was taken almost verbatem from
a conversation between her
kids.
Rosalie isn't a great guitarist.
She is very capable of playing
by herself, but a s i d e guitar
seems to add extra fullness and
dimension. So this weekend she
was backed by Christopher de
Loach and Steve Newhouse on
pedal steel. Friday was the first

they had played together (with-
out a practice session), so in
spots, particularly on the end-
ings, the guitar w o r k wasn't
quite together. Both are fine
guitarists, so I'm s u r e things
fell together beatter Saturday
night.
That brings me to the second
pitfall of this review. Having
caught the first set and a half
of Dave Van Ronk. I only heard
about half of Rosalie's perform-
ance. As fine as it was, I prom-
ised myself I would hear anoth-
er set Saturday before writing
the review. I didn't want to miss
my deadline by staying the
whole show Saturday. But I
sure wasn't going to miss two
sets either.
So . . . ignoring any kind of
journalistic, deceptive garbage,
let me say that I'm on my way
to hear her now. It's just an
hour before the Saturday night
show starts, and I sure h o p e
you were there. If you weren't
you might pick up her album
If I Could Be The Rain (Folk
Legacy) and discover that I'm
not lying when I say "she's the
best best damned cowgirl sing-
er you'll ever hear."
National General Theatres
FOH VILLGE
375No.MAPLE RD.-769.1300
Mon.-Fri. 7:25-9:45
Sat. 5:10-7:25-9:45
Sun. 1:00-3:00-
5:10-7:25-9:45
COLUMBIAPICTURES - .,
ELLIOTT CANDICE
GOULD-"BERGEN
GETV9N
KIMPlG f

The Michigan Daily, edited and man-
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DIAL 662-6264
Box Office Opens 12:45
NOW SHOWING!
3-SHOWS AT:
1-3-5-7:05 and 9:10 P.M.

I

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OPENING TUESDAY
First Appearance
in Ann Arbor
EXCITING DUO
WILLIAM
and JOYCE
2800 Jackson Rd.
769-0700

I =
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3

ANN ARBOR (IVI THARE
proudly presents its 41st season
"CACTUS FLOWER" Oct. 14-17
"MAN OF LA MANCKA" Dec. 16-20
"SUBJECT WAS ROSES" March 3-6
"BLITHE SPIRIT" March 31-April 3
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(an original musical)
DON'T DELAY-ORDER YOUR SEASON TICKETS TODAY
(Use This Coupon)

NAME__9HONE
ADDRESS

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CITY.

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Please reserve sets of season tickets, as indicated below,
I have enclosed $ I understand the tickets will be
mailed to me in the fall. I have enclosed a self-addressed,

Tues. Night, Sept. 15
9-10 P.M. ALL BEER
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TODAY
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TODAY
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Come see
how thevampires do it.
ssri"g Also starring
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and
JOAN BENNETT" "Elizabeth
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stamped envelope.
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Wed. orchestra
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Thurs. orchestra
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Fri. orchestra
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Sat. orchestra

6 SHOWS
$ 8.50
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9.06
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"EXTRAVAGANTLY F U N N Y performances by
Wilder, Griffith, and especially Sutherland!"
TIME MAGAZINE
"WHAT A PLEASURE TO LAUGH! The acting to a
man is wildly funny!"

OPTION: If you prefer tickets for only 5 shows, please indicate
which show you wish to omit.
MAIL to P.O. BOX 1993, ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN A106

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11

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"JUST FUNNY! JUST GREAT!"
CHIC
"VERY FUNNY ... lush and lavish!"
Gene "START THE
Wilder
REVOLUTION
out o
"The WITHOUT
Producers" ME"

ICAGO TRIBUNE
AGO SUN-TIMES
JUDITH CRIST
Donald
Sutherland
fresh from
M*A*S*H

...

I

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A new album
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Contains generous
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well mixed and
gently stirring.
Ingredients:
Reflections
My Girl
Close To You
Touch Me
Up on the Roof
A Natural Man
Since You've Been Gone
Make It WithYou
The Sun Ain't Gonna
Shine Any More
Hey, Girl
love,
joy
happiness.

,I

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Your favorite place for
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REFLECTiONS

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