Rod MacDonald

Rod MacDonald

 Boynton Beach, Florida, USA

" of the most politically and socially aware lyricists of our time" (All Music Guide), Rod MacDonald's 11 cds, including 2014's Later That Night, include such songs as "American Jerusalem" (covered by Shawn Colvin, Garnet Rogers), "A Sailor's Prayer" (covered by Jonathan Edwards and 70+ bands on youtube) and "Every Living Thing." An excellent guitarist and singer, his live shows Rod’s songs will stay in your heart and mind long after the music has ended" says Ft Lauderdale's Labyrinth Cafe.


"A man who has chosen to make his own way, to fulfill his destiny, and to include you in his journeys."

Genre: Singer-Songwriter
Origin: U.S.
Official Band WebSite:

Represented by:
LJ McCormack Agency
Ph: (770) 607-8189

Highlights include:

Florida Atlantic University Instructor & Performance Lecturer

11 cds in a 35 year international touring and recording career

Sing Out! Featured Artist

1st American Folksinger to tour liberated Czech Republic

20 Original compositions included in Smithsonian Folkways Recordings of The Fast Folk Music Collection

Signature songs "American Jerusalem" & "Sailor's Prayer" covered by many notable artists

Acoustic Live Featured Artist

Best Local Acoustic Performer-The New Times Broward-Palm Beach

Best Acoustic Act-Best of Palm Beach Free Press

"Ten Magnificent Musicians Of Palm Beach County"-Palm Beach Post

"Ten Greatest South Florida Folksingers Of All Time"-New Times


A Rod MacDonald concert is an intimate, authentic, inspirational and uplifting experience. From the moment Rod begins to sing he grabs his audiences and doesn't let go. A renowned songwriter, a gifted vocalist and an engaging entertainer in full command of his artistry, his easy going demeanor resonates an appealing warmth and sincerity that quickly creates an intimate rapport with his audiences.

Moving effortlessly between the styles that have deeply influenced him since his early days in Greenwich Village, he masterfully accompanies himself with solid guitar work and exciting harmonica licks. An award winning songwriter whose style defies any genre label, Rod's music is infectious and inspiring, often humorous, sometimes reckless, frequently evocative, usually thought provoking - and - always compelling. Rod has released 11 solo cds in the U.S. and Europe including his latest, "Later That Night", and regularly tours the U.S. and abroad. For the past five years when not touring, Rod has been an instructor with Florida Atlantic University presenting a well-attended 8-week lecture/performance series on the history of music.

Throughout a 35-year performing career, Rod MacDonald has been entertaining audiences worldwide with his timeless ballads, modern folk songs, and his musical versatility. Possessing the heart of a troubadour, the soul of a poet and the voice of a virtuoso, he is as distinctive an entertainer as he is a songwriter. Known for his passionate interest in the events that shape our world's societies, Rod is a prolific and poignant communicator who is regarded as "one of the most politically and socially aware lyricists of our time." (All Music Guide).

Rod has released 11 solo albums, and has performed at many of the world's finest clubs and major international festivals in the U.S., Europe and Canada. The first American folksinger to tour the liberated Czech Republic, Rod performed frequently at the 4 day Straznice Festival for audiences of 10,000, where he debuted his passionate anthem "For The People", a tribute to the newly freed Czechs. He summered with the Oglala Sioux Indians on their South Dakota reservation where he met Frank Fool's Crow, ceremonial chief and medicine healer and to whom he dedicated his 2nd album, "White Buffalo" featuring the song of the same name. Said Rod, "he is a great inspiration to me, and to everyone who knows him."

Among the more than two dozen artists who have recorded his works are Dave Van Ronk, Four Bitchin' Babes with Christine Lavin, Shawn Colvin, Jonathan Edwards and Garnet Rogers. Rod's albums "No Commercial Traffic" (re-released in 2014) and "White Buffalo" are regarded as "one of the towering achievements in modern folk music." (Boston Herald).

Born and raised in a small Connecticut town, Rod was educated at the University of Virginia and Columbia Law School, working summers as a correspondent for Newsweek Magazine. Already performing since his early college days, he graduated from Columbia, never took the bar exam and remained in New York.

A major part of the 80s Greenwich Village folk renaissance, He performed with Pete Seeger, Richie Havens Tom Chapin, Dave Van Ronk, Suzanne Vega, Doc Watson, John Gorka, and Emmylou Harris, and frequently headlined at New York's Speakeasy and Folk City clubs. His memorable performance at The Bottom Line of "American Jerusalem", was heralded as a "defining moment in folk music history" when it became the opening song on Smithsonian Folkways reissue of the Fast Folk Musical Magazine. Smithsonian Folkways's reissues include 21 of his songs.


137 Executions (And Not One Innocent Man)

Written By: Rod MacDonald

While ranking extremely low in many social service areas, the great state of Texas does have one national record to be "proud" of: number one in executions! In fact, our president holds the national record for most executions while governor; 152. He also has the lead for most executions in a single year - 40 in 2000, averaging one execution every nine days. But, his "greatest" mark on history might just well be allowing two prisoners to be executed on the same day in the same prison.

"137 Executions", one of 17 songs on the newly released CD "Recognition" (Wind River), drives home the point that we have to be careful when dealing out retribution.
Down in Texas it's a new century
They're leading the world in the first degree
Fidel Castro and China, too
Are executing fewer people than you
The Governor looked at the evidence
Found not a single case of innocence
And signed those warrants with his own hand;
Hundred-thirty-seven executions and not one innocent man.

Down in Texas they like to keep it short
Get you a county lawyer who's a friend of the court
He's drunk at the trial, you appeal to the state
The judges say "Sorry, son, it's too late.
If you weren't poor, if you were white
You'd had a better lawyer and got off light."
The judges say "Son, you're just a link in the chain,"
Hundred-thirty-eight executions and not one innocent man.

Investigators toured death rows all around
One in seven convicted were eventually found
Innocent of murder, wrongfully tried
How many men in Texas have wrongfully died?
Some people say we're too soft anyway
If we kill mistakenly that's the price you got to pay
And they ran that Governor for President
Hundred-thirty-nine executions and not one innocent man.

Tell me how does it feel to have blood on your hands?
Hundred-forty-five executions and not one innocent man.

CD - Live At Main St. Cafe

Written By: Homestead, Florida

To request a CD of Rod performing in concert at Main St. Cafe, please contact Laurie McCormack at

CD-Live At Florida Folk Festival & Tucson Folk Festival

Written By: White Springs, Florida/Tucson, Arizona

To request a CD of festival performances by Rod recorded live, please contact Laurie McCormack at


Songs Of Freedom (BlueFluteUS/BrambusEurope)
The Last American Worker (single)
After The War (US)
This One (Europe)
A Tale of Two Americas (US/Europe)
Recognition (US/Europe)
Into The Blue (US/Europe)
And Then He Woke Up (US)
Highway To Nowhere (US)
The Man On The Ledge (US)
Bring On The Lions (Europe)
White Buffalo (US/Europe)
No Commercial Traffic (US - 1983 and 2002)

To read Kevin McCarthy's review from Celtic Folk Music of "A Tale of Two Americas", go to:

To read Arthur Wood's review from FolkWax, go to: Wait for the FolkWax icon to appear.

Set List

Rod is an extremely versatile performer with an extensive repertoire of original compositions that cross many genres, including blues, rock n' roll, light jazz, pop and contemporary folk. A seasoned performer, he is as distinctive an entertainer as he is a songwriter, offering his audiences a high energy performance and a memorable evening of entertainment.

"He's considered by many to be one of the preeminent folk musicians of his time..." writes Scott Rupp of The Brandon News/Tampa Tribune.

Typical 1st set is one hour long, followed by a 15-20 intermission. Second set is typically 60 minutes long or more, depending on the venue, plus encores.

A few of Rod's tunes are listed below:

"My Neighbors In Delray"
"For The Good of America"
"You Who Sleep Beside Me"
"Out In The Country"
"Stop The War"
"I Am Bob Dylan"
"I Have No Problems With This"
"White Buffalo"
"American Jerusalem"
"The Aucilla River Song"
"After The Singing"
"We Are The Lucky Ones"
"A Tale of