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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Jack Takes the Floor

Ramblin' Jack Elliott

1958

Wikipedia

Jack Takes the Floor

Rating

2.72

Votes

3180

Reviews

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2

It is almost impossible to talk about Ramblin' Jack Elliott without mentioning Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan or Pete Seeger. It's true that they were contemporaries of Elliott's, but this album shows that they maybe weren't equals in the creative sense. Guthrie and Seeger are often cited by a wide range of musicians as stylistic influences, while Dylan transcended his genre to become one of the greatest songwriters of the twentieth century. Elliott is different in the sense that he doesn't seem burdened by ambition, nor particularly interested in crafting original compositions, making him quite a throwback, albeit a pleasant one. His introductory musings prefacing certain songs are inoffensive and accessible. However, the songs themselves, although delivered in a slightly tongue-in-cheek manner, just don't have the depth to appeal. Without the drive to create original compositions, the interpretational troubadour has to lend some of himself to the song, which is exactly where this record falls short. Johnny Cash and Elmore James were masters of it, their souls sang other people's lyrics. Elliott merely uses his mouth, admittedly with the authentic scrap of tweed in the corner of it. His adherence to the singing cowboy gimmick is admirable, but he's going through the motions. This is nowhere near a Rory Gallagher roaring out Pistol Slapper Blues, more of a competent and highly likeable folk fan performing Sunday evening open mic. It's nice background music for folk enthusiasts, but falls flat as a record due to shallow material and poor continuity. Not bad, but far from a meaningful endeavour.

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5

Oh, I like this. I like the style of music, the quality of his voice, and his ramblings. His folksy country-boy persona comes across as kind, gentle, and authentic. This despite his being raised in Brooklyn, his first exposure to rodeo being in Madison Square Garden of all places (according to Wikipedia). He sounds to my Wyoming-raised ears just like a genuine cowboy. I enjoyed this a lot.

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4

Ramblin Jack's the shit. In the opening to the first song it’s obvious why he was nicknamed  “Rambling” . This is a man and his guitar providing an onslaught of wonderful music and storytelling.  Jack sure does know how to pick. If an album recorded more recently had a singer  who was picking so well, we could be 99% certain  the guitar and singing were recorded separately. With Ramblin Jack I doubt that's the case.   When I listen to the intro to Salty Dog I can't help but think how stylistically similar those opening licks are to those in Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant. I guess Jack and Woody hung out a lot and Arlo picked up the style by osmosis. 

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2

He does ramble, I'll give him that. I really don't understand why this is worth listening to though.

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2

While the songs themselves weren't blatantly BAD, they also weren't awesome. I get that Ol' Jack was in the mix with influential people but I just can't get past the fake, put-on southerness. You're from New York, sir. Don't tell me you've ever actually seen a boll weevil, you poser.

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5

Superb folk tunes from one of the best of his era

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5

Blues

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5

good old fashioned country tunes love it

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5

Really enjoyed this, solid folk country.

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5

I liked

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5

Interesting 50s honky tonk with some interesting bug blues

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5

Brilliant. Raw, "real" and Woody Guthrie!

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4

really pleasantly surprised, short one too, 11 tracks in 32 minutes

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4

4 stars for the 40 seconds he ya-hewed!

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4

Simple, pleasant country songs filled with authenticity, harkens to Beat Generation aesthetic of fast living in a dressed down manner

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4

I love this - the country/folk mix coupled together with that 50's recording quality makes me feel like I'm playing New Vegas.

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4

I have no complaints

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4

folk gostosinho. chora bobo dylan

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4

Amazing storytelling, so so cool

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4

Yep, I dig this sort of folksy rambling gubbins. Very pleasant! Fave track - "Grey Goose".... HONK!

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4

Some great songs on here, but the Mule Skinner Blues made my ears bleed. It was terrible, but the rest was good.

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4

Feels like an intimate concert around a campfire with an old friend. Somehow it feels like he's performing just for you.

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4

This was fun to listen to.

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4

Yeehaw!

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4

I love this, folk music. The stories are so great.

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4

I enjoyed this album. It's not perfect, but I liked it - I prefer this kind of old-school folk to the Bob Dylans of the world.

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4

yihaaaw baby lekker hoor

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4

Great tunes love the style

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4

Couldn’t find it

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4

Ramblin' Jack Elliott meriterebbe un 4 solo per la simpatia. L'amore è sbocciato con OI'Riley, da li ogni brano mi ha dato motivo per sorridere. Un po' mi ricorda la versione bianca e meno spirituale di Mississippi John Hurt. A pelle lui è un 3.25. Ma devo dargli 4 perché lo trovo geniale a modo suo, spesso ho avuto l'impressione che non canti ma canticchi, perdendoci in tecnica ma guadagnandoci molto come interpretazione.

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4

Great, should be a 4.5

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4

This was fun. You gotta love an album where the singer tells you it's yet another one of them East Texas prison songs. I love his introductions to these very earthy songs about insects, dogs, prison, hunting, and, naturally, cocaine. He obviously has a love for this music and a desire to share it. He finds interesting connections between American folk subcultures jumping from Texas to Harlem, all sounding raw and soulful.

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4

Proto Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, etc. Good for what it is. Ahead of its time. Succinct. The Sarah Vaughn thing threw me off. But yet another album that is so old I’m not going to rate it a 5 but in its time it was probably due a 5.

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4

Well this was a fun album. Folk music as it was meant to be presented, simple, unencumbered, great stories told simply and succinctly. I enjoyed this album very much. 4 🌟

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4

1/12/22

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4

Banger

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4

Jag gillar

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4

Very quaint and intimate.

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3

Well ol Bob Dylan certainly copped his style.

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3

Very entertaining. Singing Cowboy...

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3

This is a great folk album. I love the stories, and the songs are funny.

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3

It's not exactly my thing, but there's a lot of really good choruses here, and Woody Guthrie showing up for a song or two was really cool! :)

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3

ahoooooooooooo

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3

Was fine. Not my style.

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3

Boll weevils, bed bugs, and cocaine: this album covers all the scourges of the 1950s mid west. Lyrics with more flavor than black jam tortellini

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3

American roots album. The Boil Weevil is a good tune. New York Town with Woody Guthrie is a great tune.

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3

Different. Liked it. Proper inbread hick stuff.

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3

I actually liked it ngl. The first two tracks are amazingly just nice and relaxing, just feels like you're just chilling with the boys by some piece of nature. There are a handful of tracks that I could just play while working as background music which is a very specific and good role to play. High key wanna learn the guitar for some of these songs which is it's own compliment Favourite Tracks: San Francisco Baby Blues, Ol' Riley, Cocaine, Salty Dog

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3

The first few songs were a bit of a strain (on my ears) due to his raw voice> he sounds like someone you'd hear on a Tuesday night in a local bar. The yodeling and harmonica playing in Muleskinner Blues was an improvement. I was curious about the fake duet with Woodie Guthrie so I did some research. It appears Jack is an influential figure in the making Woodie's material known to the "younger generation" and since Woodie isn't on the 1001 list....

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3

Solid but didn’t grab me

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3

never heard of this guy before but he basically sounds like early Dylan. Fun stuff

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3

old old country music

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3

Niet al te speciale muziek, goed voor op de achtergrond

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3

Folksy

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3

3.5

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3

This album harkens back to a time in which country and the troubadour songwriter movements were not so far apart. Jack Elliott finds his voice and helps establish the stronger roots of older country.

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3

Proto-oogle?! I like it

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3

3,5 Makes me wanna move to a ranch in the USA, sip whiskey and get my vibes on! Leuke listen

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3

doet me denken aan woody guthrie, soms ook wat cashy. kzen fan, ma weet niet of ik dit album vaak ga luisteren. grey goose is wel goat lyrics

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3

Yeehaw! Some good old country blues, and he definitely earned the Ramblin’ title. Not much of a country guy but this was a pretty good time.

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3

I am pretty ignorant of folk, so I'm glad this was in the list since it led me to read up on Ramblin'Jack Elliot and by extension, Woody Guthrie. I find the music kind of quaint, kind of cute, and very nostalgic. Not what I'd throw on, but if someone really dug it and wanted to listen to it, I'd have no qualms.

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3

Important link in the folk tradition. To me this music is like vegetables that are good for you on a crudite plate and not like a cheeseburger or a slice of pizza. This analogy depends heavily on your opinions of vegetables on a crudite plate vs cheeseburgers and pizza but I think the analogy still holds up regardless of differences of opinion.

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3

I thought this was ok... definitely could hear the influence it might have had on other singer songwriters of subsequent era. Nothing mind blowing.

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3

If Sam Elliot could sing.

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3

Some funny songs. Dust bowl type jams

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3

definitely some interesting songs here. Ultimately not the style of music that I enjoy but I think that the historical significance is inescapable. Seems like a 3.5 star for me.

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3

Sono abbastanza in difficoltà con il giudizio di questo album. Da una parte c'è veramente poco, le registrazioni sono certe volte a malapena intellegibili, i pezzi non è che abbiano questa grande varietà e lui direi che ha azzeccato il nome con Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Dall'altra parte però nonostante fossi prevenuto verso la seconda meta/due terzi dell'album mi sono accorto di aver un po' più intuito il senso, doprattutto con il pezzo in chiusura There are Better Things to Do che è secondo me il migliore dell'album. Mi sono sentito un po' come ascoltare una cena tra amici dove a fine serata qualcuno prende la chitarra e fa qualcosa non solo per intrattenimento ma anche per comunicare qualcosa agli altri ma recuperando un aspetto un po' primordiale della musica che in realtà è sempre stata parte integrante dell'espressione umana quotidiana. Che dire musicalmente secondo me è tipo un 1.5, però lo voglio premiare per questa piccola epifania e gli dò un 3 inaspettato.

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3

Un bon album dans le genre mais ne m’a pas inspire. Je connais meilleur dans le style. 3.25

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3

Just a folksy dude singing folk standards. He started out as a busker, and once you learn that, you can't unhear it. Woody Guthrie makes an appearance, leading me to wonder, "Couldn't I just be listening to Woody Guthrie instead?" Best track: New York Town

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3

This was a welcome change, didn't expect to like any folk that is pre-Dylan but I enjoyed it

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3

This is kind of hilarious. Definitely not my standard kind of music at all but I .... weirdly enjoyed it? Not just a little reminiscent of Stompin' Tom Conners. The "Ramblin'" part is what makes it for me - it's totally silly listened through a modern lens...his low-key folksy chatting to the audience before each song as he's strumming a few chords... but I think that's what draws me in. Probably wouldn't like much more of this and definitely not a repeat spin but for a quick half-hour it's worth the simple and fun look back at raw mid-20th century country-folk. 7/10 3 stars

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3

Easy to hear the influence on Dylan's early records. Bob invited him to take part in his Rolling Thunder Revue tour in the mid 70's and he's pretty hilarious whenever he's on camera (in the Scorsese documentary)

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3

This isn't exactly my type of music and not the kind of thing I'll play often, but I'm very glad to have listened to it. At times the recording were a bit muddy, but the simplicity of the arrangements - a guitar and a voice - made this less of an issue. The album is under "Compilations" in Apple Music and this certainly feels like a compilation rather than a cohesive album to me. The songs deal with lots of subjects – old dogs, boll weevils, bed bugs, dogs, cocaine, 20 mule team borax, love, prison... My favorite songs: The Boll Weevil, Old Blue (from the reissue) Not adding this to my library but a pleasant listen!

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3

With no previous knowledge of Ramblin' Jack, when the first tune started, my first reaction was that this was pretty fun. As the album progressed, it did not hold my attention, however. There were a few other upbeat moments of interested that grabbed me, including the last tune, but overall I was not all that into it.

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3

Old school folk/country album met prachtige stem

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3

Rating: 5/10

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3

they gave me the wrong song at one point

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3

God gammel folk, meget simpelt, men også hyggeligt nok

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3

Marty Robbins doc Watson esque. Pretty decent story telling

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3

Surprisingly fun to listen to. None of the songs seemed too high caliber in terms of skill or talent, but I could see myself singing along around a campfire or something. Folksy and catchy, but nothing stood out as very great.

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3

I liked a couple of songs, but the album on the whole was pretty average.

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3

very stripped back and bare but what can you expect from a 50s country rock album. very easy listening

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3

Not my favorite classic western album of all time, but some tracks were pretty fun.

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3

This was good, but it didn't leave much of an impression on me.

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3

Gently rolling country folky fun

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3

This is the kind of album I'm doing this for. Not much chance I'd have given this a listen if it didn't pop up in this list. The more sober / serious songs were great, and I really liked this rendition of Cocain Blues. However, I could be doing with less of the comical tunes. Grey Goose is truly awful

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3

Enjoyed the start of the album but some songs were questionable towards the end.

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3

An interesting flashback to a more traveling folk singer vibe... particularly with interesting perspective songs like Boll Weevil and Mule Skinner Blues. Was cool to listen to.

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3

Yep. It's an interesting song. And when you have songs about the boll weevil, bed bugs, and cocaine, it's a recipe for high bugs? I do like the simple tones accompanied by a guitar. I wonder if these are the songs Walker sings in Yellowstone. Either that or Walker doesn't have the copyright to sing anything else. As I ramble I'm reminded that I'd probably listen to this again, given that this is the very first time that I've listened to it.

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3

Kind of no-politic Guthrie

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3

A nice bluesy album with a little country/folk twang thrown in for good measure. However, listening to this album straight through has it all sounding like the same song.

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3

Solid twanging.

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3

A notably critter-centric album. Critters include the human kind and reinforce the humanity of the music. Ups, downs, echoes make me happy I listened.

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3

Some rather simple, rambling songs, nothing I will revisit.

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3

It was good. Ain’t Dylan or other famous folk, but solid.

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3

Orrefors hade fel jag tycker detta var bra.

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3

Pretty minimal

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3

Like the background story on Ramblin' Jack. Had never heard of him before. Not my typical music but I did find it enjoyable. I like the folksy sound. 3/5

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3

A man, a guitar and that's it. With all the modern means of production that we hear on today's albums, a return to basics is often very pleasant. Ramblin' Jack Elliott not particularly hooked me, but I'm happy to know him better now!

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3

Basic stuff, but still enjoyable.

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3

Genre: Contemporary Folk 3/5 Well, I'll give it this: this is folk music, for real. Fuck that phony Bob Dylan shit, fuck any of that goofy UK shit that followed him (except for Donovan, he's cool), this is real down-home cookin', dust bowl whirlin', foot tappin' folk music. Jack Elliott, his guitar, his harmonica, and his roaring voice, which can even be stretched to yodels whenever necessary, make for a pretty darn good little album, albeit quite dated and a bit repetitive. This whole album felt like it was ripped directly out of O Brother, Where Art Thou. Jack Elliott is a goofball, and you feel his sense of humor throughout this album. Some of the songs stray away from your average lost-love, hard-times blues tune (Cocaine, Ol' Riley), and you get goofs like Bed Bug Blues and New York Town, which are sweet little nuggets of music that help cut through the straight folkiness of it all. All in all, really not as bad as I had thought it would be, but only because its authenticity is apparent. Good stuff from Jack.

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3

Ljúf plata með tónlist sem er einhvern vegin i dnainu eftir mjög mikla Bob Dylan hlustun á unglingsaldri.

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3

3.5 - I'm sitting in my jammies, putzing around before bed and this record is right now a terrific companion. I'd also enjoy hearing this in the background at a used bookstore with a curled up cat dozing in a sunny corner. Standouts: "Mule Skinner Blues", "Cocaine."

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2

1958. Key Songs: San Francisco Baby Blues

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2

A bit too country for my taste.

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2

He do be ramblin’

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2

A classic, something I'm glad to have heard but will not listen to again.

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2

I was pretty bored by this one, the woodie Guthrie track was fun though, that’s the most I got out of this though

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2

Eh... it’s ok. Not a huge fan of how short and disjointed most of these songs were after you got through the talking, but there are some decent ideas on here Favorite track(s): “Cocaine” and “Salty Dog”

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2

3.5

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2

Sounded a bit screechy and annoying.

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2

Wasn't fully sold on these rambles. Folksy cowboy hat pickins, but I can't identify any qualities that make this stand out from the rest of the genre.

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2

Not for me. Never heard of him. All sound the same.

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2

Cowboy blues

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2

Rough. Can see the importance, wouldn't listen to it often though.

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2

Pass. Not for me.

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2

Wow. Was good for it's time. Considering the low tech approach still could have been better

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2

I personally find this pretty dull but i understand why it has it's place in musical history. Quite liked having it in the background. 2 stars

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2

Is a bit of a slog to be honest. And it’s only a brief album! The most interesting thing is reading about Elliott’s background. Dink’s Song is very pretty. But nobody needs folk songs about Boll Weevils or Bed Bugs in their life.

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2

An incredibly talented guitar player and folk singer. Huge influence to dozens of other famous folkbartists, including Dylan. First song is a folk classic but the rest serve as nothing more than display his talent. This album is probably on this list solely for the first song.

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2

Not for me

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2

Non è un album che risentirei, non perché sia brutto, ma non è scattata la scintilla tra me e Jack Eliott. E' un album molto vecchio, 1958, che quindi è anche difficilmente valutabile secondo gli standard attuali però nessuna canzone mi è rimasta nel cuore. Un country folk da 2.5.

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2

Especially i don't like man vocal in a country music

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2

obviously it isn’t my favourite but i didn’t hate it. the talking was a little awkward and there were some like screeching noises? but it’s was funny

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2

Not super interesting.

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2

Pretty samey but Mule Skinner's Blues is a great little ditty.

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2

Recognized a lot of these songs. Enjoyable, but not something I’m going to seek out again to listen to on my own.

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2

A goofier Guthrie. A cowboy Woody. I can dig it. No doubt Bob D took a page from Jack's book on how to sing through your nose. Compared to those two folk titans Jack seems like a lightweight. Woody had a way of making simple things universal, and Bob is untouchable Bob. Do I need more Oakie Folk in my cereal? Probably not, but Jack's a goofy marshmallow. C. P.S. did Sarah Vaughan randomly drop in the middle of this album for you too?

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2

Like a time capsule - interesting, but dusty.

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2

sygt at det er lavet i 58

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2

Ja fint nok. Men lidt ligegyldigt

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2

Un altre dels discos històrics que ha perdut ja gran part de la seva rellevància. Acòlit de Woody Guthrie i per tant un dels primers mestres de Dylan, els temes sonen ja prehistòrics i cal tenir una gran conciència històrica del folk i la música en general per poder acceptar la seva importància

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2

It was a simpler time, I suppose.

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2

This reminds me of some of the stuff grandpa Kenny used to sing/strum, but his voice was WAY better. For me, this has only historical value.

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2

Never heard of him before but his music sounds familiar. Either he is doing someone else's style or they are all doing his. Good for what it is. 2/5

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2

probably would have enjoyed it more then

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2

5/10

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2

Zupełnie nie trafił w mój gust

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2

Meh. Although I can recognize its importance and understand why it would be included on a list like this, I ultimately found this album unimpressive and pretty average. It is hard to even call it an album as it is more of a collection of random songs Jack Elliott recorded at the time (it doesn't even show up as an album on Spotify; it shows up as a playlist). I'm sure what he was doing at the time could be considered groundbreaking in the folk scene, but I didn't feel the same impact that I do when I hear a rock or blues album from the 1950's in that the songs here are pretty simple and somewhat forgettable. One track that stood out to me was 'Grey Goose', and that is only because it sounds straight up like an Adam Sandler song. Another track, 'Cocaine', I remember for its unique reference to a drug that I'm sure wasn't being done very often, but I cannot tell you anything about the song other than that. Overall, there just wasn't enough depth or emotion here that would make it stand out when compared to other folk artists who came afterwards that were most likely influenced by Elliott. I didn't hate it, but I ultimately found it perfectly mediocre. 2.5/5.

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2

I've never heard of this man before, but I'm glad to see he's still alive. There's yodelling and songs about weevils - it's hard not to be at least a little charmed. Plus, the recording is *so* primitive and the chat *so* typically old-timey, it has to be the real deal, right? 2.5

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2

Possibly a fine example of C&W music, and fine if you like that sort of thing. Sounds like whining to me.

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2

Not my thing at all - they all sound remarkably similar

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2

Uff ps supongo que fue bueno en los 50s

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2

Somewhere between Guthrie and Dylan but not as good as either.

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2

Quite boring tbh. Only 1 or 2 songs worth coming back to and one of them was a Sarah Vaughan song (cover?). 3/10

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2

Not for me but I can see where Boring Dyling got his inspiration from.

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2

It was fine I guess. Guitar was nice. Boring album overall

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2

never heard of this guy before, don't have to listen again

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2

Barn síns tíma, for sure. Áhugaverð hlustun.

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2

Very rudimentary stuff, I almost died of boredom

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2

Rudimentary folk/country music from the late 50's. As a whole, this felt like a mess and even at 30 minutes it was a bit of a drag to get through. Sorry Jack. I do love your 2009 comeback though, so I'm still willing to hear your other albums.

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2

Сижу как-то я у дельты реки где-то в штате Алабама и слышу этот альбом;)

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2

Mikill áhrifavaldur segja mér menn. En það er bara ekki nóg kallinn minn.

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1

Ugh... This album is from 2015 so the old timey sound is on purpose and I really don't like it It's so fake I really don't like this. Like this guy wants to be a redneck so badly and I hate it. I feel like this guy probably recorded this with a piece of wheat hanging out his mouth. Uggggghhhh Nothing about this interests me, the music is dull and repetitive and the vocals are so fake and put on. Okay so I've skimmed this album and skipped ahead in some of these songs and there is nothing for me in this. I'm not finishing this one Faves - HAHA No songs saved or added to playlists Overall - nahhhhh Rating - 1/5

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1

Bad cowboy music

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1

1950's American folk won't stand a chance on my player.

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1

Du blues très chiant

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1

Ramblin' is an understatement for the verbal vomit that happens on this album. Every time it would start to pull me in, a monologue, lyrical repetition, or a yodel pulled me back out again.

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1

I did not care for this album and I do not care for country music.

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1

Not into it

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Jack Takes the Floor by Ramblin’ Jack Elliot (1958) Ramblin’ Jack Elliot is the phony that folks accused Bob Dylan of bein’. Ramblin’ Jack Elliot is the young Bob Dylan without the brains. Ramblin’ Jack Elliot sounds like he came from Missouri, ‘cept he don’t sound like that to people who been there. Ramblin’ Jack Elliot knows how to tune a guitar, but he don’t. Ramblin’ Jack Elliot learnt everythin’ from a Madison Square Garden rodeo clown except how to avoid the bull. Ramblin’ Jack Elliot shares the politics of Woody Guthrie in there somewhere, but it’s kinda hard to find. Ramblin’ Jack Elliot is important for the history of somethin’ that really ain’t that important. Ramblin’ Jack Elliot has fans who know exactly what I’m talkin’’bout. 1/5

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Im trying to take it for what it is. The point of doing this for all genres is to give it a chance. Its old country blues with a single guy singing and playing guitar. topics include whatever and i mean whatever. a song about bed bugs… still better than the twang but wont relisten … 1 to 2

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mehhhhhh

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This folk album is from Ramblin' Jack Elliott and was released in 1958. It's so old that there is little information on it. The music is alright if you enjoy a single, folksy singer songwriter. I thought this album was forgettable.

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I see now why he is called RAMBLIN' Jack Elliott. He also drawls, howls, yodels, and warbles. Definitely not my thing. It was bearable for 30 minutes, but just barely. I would argue that I could have gone without hearing this one before I die.

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well this was an album! it had a great sense of authenticity and i liked how unrefined it was. however, it is definitely from 1958 and i don't think i liked it. i could not believe i listened to a song about bed bugs. whoever sang dink's song has the loveliest voice, but i don't think it was mr. elliott.

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