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A great companion to Hobo's Lullaby
Kenneth Jenrow | 07/19/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While COMING INTO LOS ANGELES is probably the best-known song on this album, you'll appreciate the more soulful OH, IN THE MORNING and the bouncy MY CREOLE BELLE. This album is worth owning just for OKLAHOMA HILLS and Arlo's rendition of STEALIN'."
Not his best but still a favorite
Tom Tuerff | That there Phoenix place | 10/30/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Those of you who remember Arlo Guthrie from "Alice's Restaurant" on may have forgotten that he was still a teenager when he started making records -- a smart-assed, bad-teenage-attitude teenager who knew he was quickly becoming a household name. Like all kids, he mellowed in his 20s but here, on "Running Down the Road," Arlo is still Arlo the Kid, and his spunky attitude shines on the best songs here and helps along the lesser tunes. If you need any proof that Arlo was once a teenager, listen to the false start on "My Creole Belle." You can hear him bawling out some session musician who probably had more experience playing music than Arlo had years on him. It's really funny, then when you hear another musician say, "Let's do it! While we're happy!"This album also has the studio version of the other early Arlo "classic": "Coming Into Los Angeles," a cocky song about smuggling dope in the swingin' 60s. You couldn't get away with that song now, could you?Arlo's connection to Pete Seeger begins to form itself here, with Arlo doing Seeger's "Going to the Country," and doing it quite well, thank you. This CD probably won't be the one you play most often but it's one you will enjoy every time you do play it. And I recommend it for that very reason."
First time out of Alice' shadow
Tom Tuerff | 04/13/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album's always been a personal favorite because it was the first time Arlo Guthrie made an album without the buffer of "stand-up comedy," for lack of a better way of putting it. Funny as ALICE'S RESTAURANT and much of ARLO were, I tended to file them away with my Smothers Brothers and Bill Cosby albums after a few listens. Not so with RUNNING DOWN THE ROAD, where Arlo the musician takes center stage. From the opening C&W take on Woody Guthrie's "Oklahoma Hills" to the paranoid rock of the title song at the end, Arlo sings, plays and struts his stuff with charm and assurance. Gus Cannon's "Stealin'" is a picker's feast, with ensemble singing on the chorus that foreshadows WORKINGMAN'S DEAD and AMERICAN BEAUTY. "Oh, In The Morning" is a quiet little jewel of a tune, just Arlo and piano paying homage to life. And though "Coming Into Los Angeles" sure sounds dated now, it's exhuberent all the same, with some great country picking from Clarence White.This CD isn't Arlo at his best, but it has Arlo the singer muscling out Arlo the comedian for the first time, as well as some songs that still sound terrific after all these years."