Sign up for newsletter
 

Ramblin' Jack Elliott enters studio

Monday, August 18, 2008 – Ramblin' Jack Elliott entered the studio with producer Joe Henry (Bettye LaVette, Solomon Burke, Elvis Costello/Allen Toussaint) to record the follow-up to his Anti- Records debut, 2006's "I Stand Alone." Elliott, 77, sings and plays acoustic guitar, and is backed by musicians including Van Dyke Parks, Brian Wilson's collaborator on "SmiLE," and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos fame on guitar.

Together, musician and producer examine a carefully selected number of pre-WWII blues songs. "Jack Elliot had never approached this music before," said Henry, "but it's important to understand that many of the country blues masters represented here were friends of Jack's. These blues share a tremendous amount - in both form and substance - with the folk music of the same era, the 1930s; and few people made any such distinctions during that day. Everybody was dipping from the same stream, be it Woody Guthrie or Tampa Red, Jimmie Rodgers or Furry Lewis; and Jack drank it all in. His approach is fresh, but authentic. He's using an old language, but he's speaking in the present tense."

The CD will be out next year.

As a budding musician, Jack developed his voice under the tutelage of Woodrow Wilson Guthrie, truck hitching across the country off and on for a couple of years with Guthrie, carrying "only razors and guitars." The pair eventually landed in Topanga Canyon Cal. in the 1950s, where Elliott played for James Dean and stole his girl (who later became Elliott's first wife). On the other coast, Elliott was also a fixture of the Greenwich Village scene, and once spent "three days and a lot of wine" listening to Jack Kerouac read "On the Road." But it is his relationship with a young Bob Dylan that Elliott is perhaps most famous for. Though back in the 1960s the up-and-coming Dylan was often mistakenly dubbed the "son of Jack Elliott," today Elliott simply states "Dylan learned from me the same way I learned from Woody."

More news for Ramblin' Jack Elliott

CD reviews for Ramblin' Jack Elliott

A Stranger Here CD review - A Stranger Here
Now in his late 70s, Ramblin' Jack Elliott has been a presence on the American folk music scene for more than a half-century, and other than Woody Guthrie's own kids is pretty much the last direct link to Guthrie and the Depression-era folk music that Elliott grew up on. A large part of that music was the "country blues" being performed and recorded by people like Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, Son House and Blind Lemon Jefferson. Elliott pays tribute to all these and »»»
The Long Ride
Ramblin' Jack Elliot, with his shaky yet sure voice, has been telling stories for longer than some of us have been alive, and with this, his story trail continues undeterred. The song selection supports the idea that a great story is a great story - no matter how old or young it is. If that were not true, than why does Elliott sound equally convincing on a new Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan song "Pony" and the Stones' "Connection," as he does on so many of these public domain numbers? Elliott »»»
Friends of Mine
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 »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Turner pleases the traditionalists – Josh Turner is a hard-working citizen, a man of faith and a loyal father and husband. He also happens to be one of the youngest members inducted to the Grand Ole Opry. In short, he is the embodiment of country music's champion of the everyman. This night was special for him. He was celebrating an anniversary with his wife and his 18th with his label MCA.... »»»
Concert Review: Not much really changes for LaFarge – Just one look at the stage made it clear that this was not going to be a typical night with Pokey LaFarge. There were only a few guitars to be seen, which meant that LaFarge was going it alone. "I've been touring for years with a band," LaFarge told perhaps a few hundred people before he had even played a note.... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Willis, Robison spin "Beautiful Lie" Eleven years ago, Kelly stepped away from music. She had just finished touring on 2007's exquisite "Translated From Love" and felt the angst of being a travelling musician with family at home. At that point, Willis and her husband, musician/producer Bruce Robison,... »»»
Chip Kinman celebrates brother, career on "Sounds Like Music" For a brief moment last summer, the news of Tony Kinman's death was, if not greatly exaggerated, then at least fortuitously premature. The roots rock icon, known for his work in The Dils, Rank and File, Blackbird and Cowboy Nation with his younger brother Chip, had been diagnosed with cancer in March 2018,... »»»
Shiflett learns "Hard Lessons" Until recently, Chris Shiflett took a somewhat obsessive/compulsive approach to his music career. For the past two decades, Shiflett has been the primary guitar foil for Dave Grohl in Foo Fighters; early in his tenure, Shiflett was so self-deprecatingly... »»»
Thinkin' Problem CD review - Thinkin' Problem
Most hard core country fans certainly have heard David Ball's 1994 "Thinkin' Problem," a true honky tonk classic. Ominvore is releasing the album in remastered expanded format with eight bonus tracks, marking its 25th anniversary. »»»
Onward CD review - Onward
Veteran Texas artist Stoney Larue has been through a lot in 20 years of touring and recording and puts that experience to good use on his first release since 2015's "Just Us." "Onward" enlists veteran Nashville producer and songwriter Gary Nicholson  »»»
Redemption 10: Live at Blue Rock CD review - Redemption 10: Live at Blue Rock
Houston-based singer-songwriter and former lawyer Libby Koch celebrates the 10th anniversary of her first album, "Redemption," by releasing a full band, live audience setting for what was originally a solo acoustic album.  »»»
Live From the Ryman CD review - Live From the Ryman
The very best way - the only way, really - to see Old Crow Medicine Show is live. Like its namesake, the medicine shows of old that were part preaching, part snake oil sales pitches, part old time music and pure entertainment, »»»
Fire & Brimstone CD review - Fire & Brimstone
It would be easy (and lazy journalism) to write about how much Brantley Gilbert's music is un-country. You need only isolate the drum parts for most of these latest songs to confirm this is primarily a rock recording  »»»
Sunshine is Free CD review - Sunshine is Free
Monica Rizzio's second album, "Sunshine Is Free," emblematic of its title, ushers in bright country music, with roots touches but generally gliding in melodic, uplifting country territory. Put this in your player when you need a smile or two. »»»