Folk music and Yorkville Coffeehouses

The Riverboat Playlist

AMBULANCE BLUES - NEIL YOUNG: In 1974, Neil Young recorded this song that looked back at the influence that the Yorkville Scene had on him and mentioned the Riverboat specifically. It starts off with the lines "Back in the old folky days, the air was magic when we played. The riverboat was rockin' in the rain" and even references a Yorkville rooming house where he lived for a period of time on Isabella Street.

SUGAR MOUNTAIN - NEIL YOUNG: One of Neil Young's first written songs about a boy who is too old for the fair. This recording of it is notable because it is off his Live at the Riverboat 1969 album which was recorded during a live performance at the venue.

NIGHT IN THE CITY - JONI MITCHELL: Written at the Riverboat according to Nicholas Jennings, this 1968 song was about the feeling of spending the evening in Yorkville. "Music comes spilling out into the street" is exactly what one would have experienced walking down Yorkville Avenue at this time.

STEEL RAIL BLUES - GORDON LIGHTFOOT: This song was written by Lightfoot in the “tiny rehearsal room" with "graffiti-lined walls” of the Riverboat. It is about a man who is experiencing many troubles but does not allow this to get him down as he will soon be boarding a train to his lover.

EARLY MORNING RAIN - GORDON LIGHTFOOT: An early hit for Lightfoot written when he was still struggling to be heard over the sounds of the Saturday night hockey game at Steele's Tavern. Written about the old tradition of Canadians working industrial jobs up north and then coming back down south to the city. This song was later covered by Ian and Sylvia Tyson after they were enthralled by the song writing capabilities of Lightfoot.

CHANGES - PHIL OCHS: One of the most famous songs by the singer songwriter which was preformed live for the first time at The Riverboat.

MORNING DEW - BONNIE DOBSON: Perhaps Dobson's biggest hit, this song was later more popularly covered by The Grateful Dead

COAT OF COLORS - 3'S A CROWD: a staple of the band's set and also featured prominently in the documentary titled Christopher's Movie Matinee

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