Sign up for newsletter
 

Ramblin' Jack Elliott

Friends of Mine – 1998 (HighTone)

Reviewed by Eli Messinger

Subscribe to Country CD Reviews CD Reviews

CDs by Ramblin' Jack Elliott

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, Ramblin' Jack Elliot can.

As a human confluence of 40 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 Waits on the newly penned lament, "Louise."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.