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A Stranger Here

Ramblin' Jack Elliott

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Ramblin’ Jack Elliott (born Elliott Charles Adnopoz) may have reinvented himself years ago as a musical outlaw from a time long forgotten But at 77, Elliott is an indisputable elder statesmen and has earned the right to sing the Depression-era country blues of his heroes, and he does so with force and authority. Son House, Rev. Gary Davis, Blind Willie Johnson, Charley Patton, and Mississippi John Hurt are brought to new life with the gentle, sensitive touch of producer Joe Henry ushering in a sympathetic session crew that includes Los Lobos’ guitarist David Hidalgo, pianist Van Dyke Parks, and drummer Jay Bellerose. There are no out of place solo spotlights, just tight, concise arrangements that deliver the doom and gloom of “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” and “Falling Down Blues” and the pleading sorrow of “Please Remember Me” with an authenticity that simply comes from years of touring, playing and living. No new car smell here. This is music that’s been lived in. 

Customer Reviews

The Man About Whom Dylan Claimed He Couldn't OutFolk

Though often ignored by music critics and the general audience, Ramblin' Jack Elliott has been spoken of (and even sung about---Kris Kristofferson's "The Pilgrim" and John Herald's "Jack Elliott") for more than half a century, usually complementary and usually deservedly. As with most folk singers, he has, along with ballads and country songs, always utilized a rootsy blues repertoire (particularly Leadbelly numbers like "Black Snake Moan" and "Blind Lemon Jefferson"), . "A Stranger Here" pays particular attention to that category and the results are great. Emphasis isn't always on his unique guitar style in this collection. Piano is often featured, and it creates an interesting diversion from the rest of his work.

Perhaps His Finest Album

I first saw Ramblin Jack Elliot 50 years ago when I was still a teenager. I had actually gone to see the opening act, a blues singer named Long Gone Miles, having never heard of Jack, but stayed on to see him, and like everyone else in the audience, I was spellbound and became an instant rabid fan. Through the years I have seen him perform many, many times in a variety of places, once in the late 60s in Orange County, California, to an empty room except for myself and the seven people I brought with me. With so few in the venue, he asked if he could bring his dog on stage while he performed. We laughed and said yes, and after the show he sat down with us and his dog to drink and talk. He is a terrifically nice guy.

This is one of Jack's finest albums, maybe even his best. Although he does not accompany himself with his great guitar picking on it, the instrumental accompaniment is nothing less than astounding, and with his full attention on doing the vocals, his delivery is absolutely perfect for the genre.

No fan of Jack should be without this album.

Ramblin Jack's Back

Jack Elliott is perhaps one of the greatest poets, singers and true american storytellers to every live. I haven't listened to the new album yet, though i'm sure its Mr. Elliot at his best. Can't wait to see him live next month when he returns to his home town NYC. Brooklyn's greatest Cowboy!!

Biography

Born: August 1, 1931 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Ramblin' Jack Elliott is one of folk music's most enduring characters. Since he first came on the scene in the late '50s, Elliott influenced everyone from Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger to the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead. The son of a New York doctor and a onetime traveling companion of Woody Guthrie, Elliott used his self-made cowboy image to bring his love of folk music to one generation after another. Despite the countless miles that Elliott traveled, his nickname is derived from his unique...
Full Bio