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Essential
Ramblin Jack Elliot
Essential
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (23) - Disc #1

In terms of song selection, this is, indeed, the essential Ramblin' Jack. Originally released as a two-LP set, this 23-song collection is split into studio and live halves. The studio portion consists of a bracing assortme...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Ramblin Jack Elliot
Title: Essential
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: Vanguard Records
Release Date: 3/20/1993
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop
Styles: Cowboy, Traditional Folk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 015707899024, 0090204730032, 015707008914, 090204730032

Synopsis

Amazon.com
In terms of song selection, this is, indeed, the essential Ramblin' Jack. Originally released as a two-LP set, this 23-song collection is split into studio and live halves. The studio portion consists of a bracing assortment of traditional tunes that Elliott picked up from his many travels. He was, after all, Woody Guthrie's last road companion, and the highlight of the first dozen tunes is Guthrie's dramatic "1913 Massacre." The last section of the CD was recorded in concert at the Town Hall in New York City. The Ramblin' Jack of 1965 was a versatile, likable performer as adept at essaying old cowboy tunes ("Buffalo Skinners," "Night Herding Song") as then-contemporary folk tunes (protégé Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"). One complaint, though: liner notes explaining this linchpin folkie's role as a bridge between generations of troubadours would make The Essential all the more indispensable. --Steven Stolder
 

CD Reviews

Great But Not Quite Essential
Mark Oliva | Muenchsteinach Deutschland | 02/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The essential Ramblin' Jack Elliott is to be found on CDs released on labels other than Vanguard. Nonetheless, this is the best on CD from RJE's middle period, the years when he almost became a star but with considerable effort on his own part managed to avoid it (for which we owe him thanks unending) after teetering on a dangerous brink at Warner Brothers in 1967. This package CD includes two vinyl Vanguard albums that have little to do with one another but certainly give us lots of slices of RJE at a very good price. The first dozen songs are studio takes that appeared on the 1964 Vanguard LP "Jack Elliott," also repeated on the mildly interesting Vanguard CD "The Vanguard Years." The various tracks include accompaniment by Bob Dylan on guitar and mouth harp, aliasing as Tedham Porterhouse, and Erik Darling on banjo ("Will the Circle Be Unbroken"), Ian & Sylvia, Eric Weissberg, John Herald and Monte Dunn ("Guabi Guabi"), John Hammond on mouth harp ("Roll On Buddy") and bassist Bill Lee on several numbers. No, don't look for this or any other information in Vanguard's liner notes. There aren't any liner notes. These studio takes - as one might expect with such helpers on board - made for the liveliest of all RJE's studio sessions up to that time. However, one only gets 100% of Ramblin' Jack when he's playing to an audience, and that's what he does on this CD's last 11 tracks, all taken from his superlative April 30,1965 concert at New York City's Town Hall. When RJE begins Track No. 13, Jesse Fuller's "San Francisco Bay Blues" in concert, the atmosphere begins to glow. In a sense, all 11 live pieces are highlights. If so, the first among equals are Leadbelly's "Blind Lemon Jefferson," Hank Williams' "Lovesick Blues" and Scottish comedian Will Ffyfe's "I Belong to Glasgow," which is one of several high points in the RJE discography, far better than the 1961 studio version for Prestige International, now on the Fantasy CD "Ramblin' Jack Elliott." If you're a Ramblin' Jack fan, you'd be downright foolish to avoid acquiring this CD."
JACK ELLIOTT IS AN AMERICAN ICON
ANTHONY ALBO (oblatna@dmi.net) | los angeles, ca. | 11/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I REGRET THAT I WAS FORTY YEARS OLD BEFORE I EVER HEARD RAMBLIN' JACK. I WAS USED TO LISTENING TO THE BEATLES, STONES, ETC. BUT JACK ELLIOTT KNOWS THE PROPER WAY TO DELIVER A SONG. A FRIEND OF WOODY GUTHRIES, HE LEARNED WELL. THIS ALBUM CONTAINS SONGS THAT WILL MAKE YOU LAUGH, AND MAKE YOU CRY. HOW DOES HE PLAY THE GUITAR SO WELL? EAT YOUR HEART OUT CLAPTON, SANTANA, ETC. ETC. THIS ALBUM IS A MUST FOR ALL MUSICIANS AND ALL MUSIC LOVERS."
Horses
James E. Hackney Jr. | Thonotosassa, FL United States | 07/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I met Ramblin' Jack in 1967. He had come to Tampa to do a gig at a tiny coffee house. He was late. (Yeah, so, what's new.) He had driven from NC and was frazzed. He proceeded, after a glass of water, to give it his all, for hours.

After the show, knowing he was a rodeo cowboy, I asked him if he would like to stay with me and meet my barrel racing champion Appaloosa stallion -- Snapper. Say no more.... We've stayed in touch as we wandered through our lives over almost 40 years.

What Dylan learned, he learned and Jack is totally giving as were all the folks who came to Woody's. He was a sponge, a user who drifted through. A musical wizard who was predisposed to Woody's stuff. It would be nice if he were to acknowledge those who formed him. Since he is not nice, he won't.

Jack has faithfully taken Woody's legacy and has, not as a writer, but a performer, become a treasure, a peer to his mentor.
He has only gotten better in the last, what, almost 60 years.

His body hurts, but his mind is free. He and Pete Seegar are the greatest living people's musicians.
"