Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ramblin' Jack Elliott|
Friends of Mine
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop
The spirit of Woody Guthrie lives on in Ramblin' Jack Elliot, a folk legend in his own right who got his start in the late '40s. A half century later, Elliott still lives in a parallel universe where Dylan (a one-time stud... more »
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The spirit of Woody Guthrie lives on in Ramblin' Jack Elliot, a folk legend in his own right who got his start in the late '40s. A half century later, Elliott still lives in a parallel universe where Dylan (a one-time student of his) refused to go electric and Elvis never mattered. Friends of Mine is a collection of low-fi duets with Emmylou Harris, Tom Waits, John Prine, Rosalie Sorrels, and Bob Weir. But the album isn't so much about Elliott's famous pals as it is about songs that refuse to die: Joe Ely's "Me and Billy the Kid," Dylan's "The Walls of Red Wing," and even more grizzled standards like "Hard Travelin'" and "Riding Down the Canyon." Stripped of the Dead's hippie caravan, even "Friend of the Devil" sounds like something two itinerant musicians might have played on a '20s street corner. The only misstep is the shamelessly sentimental "Bleeker Street Blues." Written by Elliott when he heard Dylan was ailing in 1997, it exists mostly for the names it drops: Joni Mitchell, Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, and even that avatar of folk, Eddie Van Halen. --Keith Moerer
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The old guy can still come through...
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 12/16/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Most who would be reading this review already know that Jack has been more famous for his friendships than for his own performances. Woody's last protege, Dylan's first personal mentor, and all that. But in this recent album, he shows he can still create moments that are deeply touching. "Walls of Redwing" and "Rex's Blues" are the gems here...I listened to them over and over and over the first couple of months I owned the disc. There are three or four other fine selections as well, and then there are the misfires..."Me and Billy the Kid" and "Last Letter" and "Bleeker Street" didn't work for me. I bought this on impulse because I didn't even realize Jack was still making records, and I had not bought one of his albums since about l970. Despite it being a mixed bag, I don't regret paying full price for "Friends of Mine." What's good on here won't ever be done better by anyone...and what isn't great is still interesting. A new RJE fan should buy the reissues of his early work...but if you are in the upper 50's like me, and remember the birth of the folk revival in l957-58, it is kind of a kick to buy Jack's album and savor the fact that he has survived and still turns out good work."
Elliott further establishes himself as a vital link in folk
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 06/07/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"We should all be lucky enough to have Jerry Jeff Walker, Emmylou Harris and Tom Waits for friends. We should all lucky enough to have lived and toured with Woody Guthrie or influenced Bob Dylan early in his career. And while most of us can't count these among our personal experiences, we're blessed to share them through the life and music of Ramblin' Jack Elliot.As a human confluence of forty years of people, places, and songs, Elliot draws from a bottomless well of experience in this series of duets. He recalls his earliest influence with Guthrie's "Hard Travelin'," and his Greenwich Village days with Dylan's "He Was a Friend of Mine." He harmonizes with Rosalie Sorels ("Last Letter"), trades verses with John Prine ("Walls of Red Wing"), and blends his vocals with Tom Waits on the newly penned lament, "Louise." Emmylou Harris and Nanci Griffith help conjure the spirit of Townes Van Zandt on "Rex's Blues."With his latest, Elliot once again proves himself a vital link in the chain of folk-music tradition."
Good but mixed
Eric Antonow | Palo Alto, CA United States | 05/26/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"About half the songs are gems, the other half either don't seem to work. Falls pretty squarely in the traditional 'folk' category so fans won't be disappointed. Only a few of the collaborations seem to really bring the best out of both parties (Rex's Blues) while the others, unfortunately, seem muddled. A slightly more successful experiment like this was Rob Wasserman's Duets. First timers to Ramblin' Jack should probably try one of the other albums."