Thursday, May 18, 2006

17. Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Jack Takes the Floor (1958)

Track Listing

1. San Francisco Bay Blues
2. Ol' Riley
3. The Boll Weevil
4. Bed Bug Blues
5. New York Town
6. Old Blue
7. Grey Goose
8. Mule Skinner Blues
9. East Texas Talking Blues
10. Cocaine
11. Dink's Song
12. Black Baby
13. Salty Dog


So a son of Jewish parents who plays the guitar and the harmonica in a folksy context? You guessed it! Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Yes indeed! And he sounds like a certain Bob Dylan at times, but he's a self-styled cowboy. It is fascinating how influential Jack Elliott is, particularly on later folk singers and Bob Dylan as mentioned. His nickname of "ramblin'" is actually quite present thorughout this album where he doesn't start any track without a bit of rambling on the song's origin or some amusing story or something.

So it is extremely strange why this album isn't available anywhere seeing as he was a major influence on Dylan, Keith Richards and Paul McCartney. But if you want Sir Mix-A-Lot's Baby Got Back there's a surplus. Now, I've been able to listen to the whole thing only after I finished the list! Thank fuck for soulseek.

It seems to the the natural transition from Woody Guthrie to Dylan personified, and Woody actually makes an appearence on the album. Also it has some amazing tracks, San Francisco Bay Blues, for example has become quite famous and so has Mule Skinner Blues and they are both great examples of astounding guitar playing and in Mule Skinner's case vocal acrobatics. Yes there is some yodeling, but good yodeling.

Track Highlights

1. San Francisco Bay Blues
2. Mule Skinner Blues
3. Cocaine
4. New York Town

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Elliott's musical style influenced Bob Dylan so heavily that Dylan's first gig in New York City was billed as "Son of Jack Elliott." While Dylan rose to prominence through his compositions, Elliott continued as an interpretive troubadour, bringing old songs to new audiences in an idiosyncratic manner.

San Francisco Bay Blues:


Ian said...

Did you ever manage to get hold of a complete copy of this album?

I managed to find it a couple of days ago. Drop us a line if you still need it. For the record, I really enjoyed it. Not quite what I was expecting and all the better for it.

Francisco Silva said...

Fuse: No I haven't found it yet, where did you get it? I was quite liking the tracks I got...

Ian said...

Found it on Soulseek after a couple of days of trying. I can put it in my shared files tonight. I'm on there, predictably, as 'fuseball'. I got it from 'jmariani2'.

I'm trying, where possible, to get hold of original copies of everything. Once I'm into the '60s stuff I know I can borrow a lot of it from friends and family. Mostly on vinyl too, which feel appropriate for that era. Alas, I'm having to get hold of some of these earlier recordings any way I can.

Francisco Silva said...

Thanks Fuse :)

Ian said...

Should be up all today. :)

Macon Blueberg said...

Hey I'm doing this 1001 albums thing to and i just started. I'll be up to this album in a couple days but i can't find it anywhere. If you ended up getting it could you possibly send it?

Francisco Silva said...

Matt: sure thing, how do you want it?

Macon Blueberg said...

Can you upload it to rapidshare or something? You could send it to

Francisco Silva said...


Anonymous said...

Man, this album's hard to find! But luckily I've got in my ipod!

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

Francisco...You state that Woody Guthrie appears on the album but I have to disagree...It was a trait of Ramblin' Jack to do impersonnations during his act and I'm afraid that this is one of them...He did Elvis as well !