While Van Ronk's '60s folk peers ventured into rock, pop, and death, he tirelessly kept the flag of traditional American music flying for decades after the "folk boom" ended. Age brought audible wisdom and experience to his performances, making him one of the most undiluted and affecting performers in folk and blues, and something of a living legend. It seems he'll go on playing indefinitely, since even by the time of this live 1983 Paris recording, he already sounds like a man immune to the winds of time.
This set finds him focusing on the blues side of his repertoire, and his gravelly voice and incisive fingerpicking are the perfect media to disseminate tunes like Blind Willie McTell's "Statesboro Blues" and Rev. Gary Davis's "Jesus Met The Woman At The Well." It's no exaggeration to say that, by this point, Van Ronk had become a bluesman equal to either of the aforementioned composers.