Rod MacDonald at Mendelssohn

Rod MacDonald at Mendelssohn


A returning favorite, Rod MacDonald, will be back to entertain fans at 8 p.m., Saturday, March 30 at the Mendelssohn Club, 415 N. Church St.

Back in the ’80s, Charlotte’s Web took great pride in presenting one of the leading singer/songwriters from NYC Greenwich Village’s Fast Folk! scene. MacDonald, who earned his degree in history from the University of Virginia and his law degree from Columbia University, also was a correspondent for Newsweek magazine. But he decided to chuck the normal route, didn’t take the bar exam, moved to Greenwich Village and became a full-time folkie.

Touring North America during the ’80s, he received much critical and popular acclaim at the major folk festivals (Winnipeg, Philadelphia, Kerrville, etc.), and at clubs and coffeehouses (The Bottom Line, Tin Angel, Freight and Salvage, The Earl of Old Town, etc.). In the early ’90s, he moved to Italy and toured most of Europe, becoming the first American performer to tour the Czech Republic after the democracy revolution. In ’95, he moved back to the U.S. to care for his aging parents in southern Florida. Then he fell in love, got married, bought a townhouse and continued to be a full-time folksinger, earning awards as “Best Acoustic Act” by the 2000 Free Press and “Best Local Acoustic Performer 2001” by the south Florida magazine New Times.

“He’s one of the great ones,” says the Kerrville Music Festival’s Rod Kennedy. MacDonald has not only performed there but was also a judge of the prestigious national songwriting contest. MacDonald has made six recordings, including 1999’s Into The Blue (Gadfly/Brambus Records), which Dirty Linen calls “a consistent and sensitive album.” In New York City, he co-founded the Greenwich Village Folk Festival and contributed 28 songs to the Fast Folk Musical Magazine, since selected for re-release by Smithsonian Folkways Records. He also performed the beautiful “Pleasures of the Harbor” on Phil Ochs: What’s That I Hear (Sliced Bread Records, 1998); but it is as a singer of his own songs that the Boston Herald wrote, “A creator of classics… he has never stopped writing songs of scope and daring, nor singing in his high, sweet voice.” The Arizona Daily Star called him “A superb songwriter,” and many others agree.

Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Tickets are available at Rockford Area Arts Council, 713 E. State St., 963-6765; Canterbury Books, Highcrest Center, 398-1454; and Tin Whistle, N. Main & Auburn, 963-0270; or by mail with check and SASE, 10928 N. Main, Rockton, IL 61072. For Web information, call 964-2238.

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!