A tenor with a clear voice and wide range, MacDonald is often cited for both his musicality and the content of his songs about political and social events: “Rod MacDonald is a brilliant folk singer and composer. His melodic songs possess words that go straight into your heart and soul.” The Press Of Atlantic City….“A poet with a lot on his mind who has never allowed himself to make points at the expense of making music.” The Boston Globe….“True to the folk tradition, MacDonald is not afraid to get political, take chances, and perhaps shock some people….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.” All-Music Guide.Although usually labeled a folk singer, his musical styles include rock, pop, country, light jazz, and blues. In addition to his work in Greenwich Village, he has written extensively of experiences on US Indian reservations and in Europe, living in Italy from 1989 to 1992.
MacDonald has released 11 solo recordings on several record labels in the US, 8 in Europe on the Swiss label Brambus, and 21 songs with Smithsonian Folkways (through the Fast Folk Musical Magazine), and appears as lead singer of Big Brass Bed, a Palm Beach County rock and roll band, on 3 cds of Bob Dylan songs and originals. As with many independent artists, his recordings are often sold directly at concerts, and at online sites. His current label is Blue Flute Music.
MacDonald has appeared on stage with fellow artists, including Pete Seeger, Peter Yarrow, Odetta, Tom Paxton, the Violent Femmes, Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, Dave Van Ronk, Emmylou Harris, Richie Havens, Ani DiFranco, Tom Chapin, Jack Hardy and David Massengill. He has performed at festivals in Philadelphia, Winnipeg, Florida, South Florida, Riverhawk, Boston, Kerrville, Greenwich Village, Falcon Ridge, New Bedford Summerfest, Port Fairy (Australia) and Trowbridge (UK), and on the radio program Mountain Stage. He was reportedly the first American singer to tour the newly independent Czech Republic in 1991, and has made 35 tours in Europe since 1985, nearly all of them with NYC bassist Mark Dann.
He remains active, touring in Florida, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the Pacific Northwest, New York and New England in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In May 2011, Brambus Records and Blue Flute Music released Songs Of Freedom, a collection of 16 previously unreleased songs, in Switzerland and the US; Blue Flute also released Big Brass Bed’s “Dylan Jam + 2”, a new set of 9 Bob Dylan compositions and two originals. In May 2014 Blue Flue Music released a new Rod MacDonald collection, “Later That Night”, as well as “Big Tent”, a new cd by Big Brass Bed; Blue Flute also re-released a remastered version of his 1983 album “No Commercial Traffic.” He appears locally as a guitarist-singer, and with the Bob Dylan cover band Big Brass Bed, with the Humdingers, with Irish singer Tracy Sands, and with songwriter George Goehring’s show “My Life In The Brill Building”. The Palm Beach Post has called him one of the “Ten Magnificent Musicians of Palm Beach County”. In June 2013 New Times Broward-Palm Beach named him #6 of “Ten Greatest South Florida Folksingers Of All Time.” Since 2006 he is also an instructor for the Florida Atlantic University (Lifelong Learning Center), hosting the lecture and performance series “Music Americana”, and was given the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2012
Seven Days No Problem
Days Of Rain
Here’s A Song For You
Tough Life 6 Strings & A Hole Big & Round
The Aucilla River Song
Deep Down In The Everglades
Lightning Over The Sea
Into The Blue Fear
The Cure For Insomnia
Produced by Mark Dann & Rod MacDonald at Mark Dann Recording, NYC
Additional Recording at Voiceworks, W Palm Beach, FL