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Jack Takes the Floor

Ramblin' Jack Elliott

1958

Jack Takes the Floor
Album Summary

Jack Takes the Floor is an album by American folk musician Ramblin' Jack Elliott, released in Great Britain in 1958. The original release was a 10-inch LP.The album was reissued with two additional songs: "Old Blue" and "East Texas Talking Blues" as Muleskinner. A later reissue further added "Brother Won't You Join the Line?" and "There Are Better Things to Do".

Wikipedia

Rating

2.71

Votes

9440
Genres
Folk
Country

Reviews

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Mon Apr 12 2021
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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Thu Apr 27 2023
3

Have just embarked on the Ken Burns country music documentary in an attempt to resolve my deep seated hatred for the fiddle and banjo. Will report back in 16 hours.

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Fri Nov 19 2021
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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Sat Feb 20 2021
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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Thu May 19 2022
1

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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Tue Jun 22 2021
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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Wed Nov 02 2022
4

Jack Elliot sounds like Woodie Guthrie. Bob Dylan sounds like Jack Elliot. He did the whole "pretend to be a country bumpkin though really from a privileged upbringing" before John Fogerty did it. Can definitely see why this album is in the book even though I'm not a huge folk fan. If you like folk, this is a classic. If you don't, it will be grouped w/ Dylan and you'll rate it the same.

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Wed Aug 18 2021
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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Thu Jan 19 2023
2

Ok, hear me out… Jandek Takes the Floor. A full cover of this record as performed by Jandek. I’m not crazy, right? There’s something there? Like it could definitely work.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
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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Sun Jan 21 2024
4

Folk music- never new but it never gets old. Some weird arrangements (I feel like Dink's Song was mislabeled)

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Wed Aug 11 2021
2

Cool, authentic sound that eventually gets boring, which is striking given how short this album is. The dude is aptly named, just kinda talks his way through much of this. Songwriting rarely seems original, too, and my favorite song was literally just Sarah Vaughan singing Liked: San Francisco Baby Blues*

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Wed Mar 09 2022
2

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

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Thu Dec 03 2020
5

Superb folk tunes from one of the best of his era

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Thu Jan 28 2021
5

good old fashioned country tunes love it

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Thu May 27 2021
5

Really enjoyed this, solid folk country.

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Wed Sep 22 2021
5

Interesting 50s honky tonk with some interesting bug blues

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Thu Oct 14 2021
5

Brilliant. Raw, "real" and Woody Guthrie!

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Fri Jul 22 2022
5

This was a fun story-time romp which had me laughing out loud at times!

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Wed Aug 31 2022
5

I can not compare jack with Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan or Pete Seeger,but just love the ramblin country vibes!this is what i call the digger's delight!

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Wed Dec 07 2022
5

I like this Folk shit. Sue me.

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Wed Feb 08 2023
5

Another great country/folk album. Ramblin' Jack Elliot has simple yet earnest style. On this album, we are treated to a feature by Wood Guthrie himself, a mentor of Elliot. Jack Elliot himself went on to have a massive influence on artists such as Bob Dylan, and Woody's son, Arlo Guthrie. Jack Elliot is a living line directly to Woody himself.

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Mon May 29 2023
5

I have now been indoctrinated into folk. This is all I want now. 5/5 Favorite song: San Francisco Baby Blues

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Thu Jun 29 2023
5

I love stripped down folk country. This sounded like it was recorded at open mic night with the song intros and the live, “first take” quality of the music. Sounds like this was a pretty heavy influence on Arlo Guthrie (East Texas Talking Blues v. Alice’s Restaurant). And I had no idea Jackson Browne didn’t write Cocaine! Neither did Elliott, but at least he credits Rev. Gary Davis introducing the song. I will absolutely listen to this again.

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Wed Aug 16 2023
5

Oh fuck yeah. Jack outdylans dylan all over the place. Muy autentico.

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Wed Sep 20 2023
5

A fascinating little slice of history. Weird to think that this album was released closer to when Marco Polo discovered America than today.

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Wed Jan 03 2024
5

Could t find the actual album but listened to a bunch of other stuff

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Wed Feb 21 2024
5

I’ve seen him in person several times. Ramblin’ is an apt name. He talked more than sang & most of what he said made little sense. I do like his music, his style.

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Thu Sep 03 2020
4

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

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Wed Feb 17 2021
4

4 stars for the 40 seconds he ya-hewed!

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Thu Feb 04 2021
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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Thu Jan 28 2021
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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Sun Feb 07 2021
4

folk gostosinho. chora bobo dylan

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Wed Feb 17 2021
4

Amazing storytelling, so so cool

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Wed May 26 2021
4

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

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Thu Jun 17 2021
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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Thu Apr 01 2021
4

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

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Mon Jun 28 2021
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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Fri Aug 27 2021
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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Fri Nov 19 2021
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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Fri Dec 03 2021
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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Wed Jan 05 2022
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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Wed Jul 06 2022
4

I sometimes feel like I succumb to the “authentic therefore good” reasoning with this kind of thing. Is it that great? Is it authentic even, I suppose, this Brooklyn-bred child of a well-to-do professional. On the other hand it’s safe to say running off at 15 to join the rodeo wasn’t some stunt to develop a good backstory for his later music career. I didn’t mind this at all though this kind of deep roots country is not a music I go to as a rule. But I’ll defer to Woody Guthrie and Johnny Cash to tip the scale on this one.

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Fri Aug 05 2022
4

Fun cowboy stuff with plenty of heart.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
4

Hard album to find cause I guess it's not on any streaming but thanks to illegal YouTube uploads I got it. This album is so very good. It feels like it's like a crowd of 10 or 15 people just sitting around listening to this musical traveler. He's got songs from all over and he's just the voice passing them on. Excellent all around

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Thu Oct 06 2022
4

This one caught me off guard. Definitely one of the founding fathers of the folk/protest movement of the 60s along with Dylan. Surprisingly good stuff.

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Wed Nov 02 2022
4

This must have been a pretty wild recording back in 1958. I really like the guitar.

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Fri Mar 10 2023
4

love the commentary between tracks

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Fri Mar 10 2023
4

Liked the sound of the guitar. Stories were kind of funny too. Woody Guthrie surprised me.

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Wed Mar 15 2023
4

A must have for any road trip

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Fri Apr 07 2023
4

This was a cool album. Really enjoyed the guitar work and the vibe of it.

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Fri Apr 28 2023
4

Been a good week (musically only)

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Mon May 15 2023
4

Un disco que pinta un paisaje y epoca exquisitos. El folk hace que te sientas en casa y ese sonido viejo de mal grabado aportan a la sensación. a pesar de que pinta el paisaje de manera literaria, no es más que eso y el album se queda un poco liso en eso, por es que el disco es un 8/10.

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Mon Jun 05 2023
4

Listening to Mountain Stage the other night, I realize how limited my knowledge of traditional American music is (folk, blues, etc). Guess this is a good jumping off point. Very by the basics, but you see where American music gets the jumping off point from recordings like these. While I'm here, how is there no Woody Guthrie album on here? He has recordings. Favorite tracks: "Boll Weevil", "New York Town", "Dink's Song", "Salty Dog"

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Thu Jun 29 2023
4

So happy to listen to this. I did need to find this on vinyl preferably a little scratched up, get a heavy pour of cheap bourbon and sit back and enjoy.

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Mon Aug 21 2023
4

Loved this. Didn't know this guy but read about him. Good mates with Woody Guthrie, as we know from that one song, and certainly sounds like him. Very good stuff.

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Mon Aug 21 2023
4

At first couldn't connect with this music but it got better as it went on I thought salty dog was fun -kinda kinky Liked 'brother won't you join in the line' the best

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Mon Aug 21 2023
4

This was so wonderful!! Salty Dog was a fun highlight and also the tracks with what I think was a woman's vocals? Really nice vintage country vibes. Never heard of Jack Elliott before but all of the Spotify suggestions after the album were corkers too so that's always a great sign!

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Fri Sep 01 2023
4

I listen to a good bit of folk music but I’ve never really listened to any this old before besides covers. Really interesting comparison. No particular favourite song but I liked the album.

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Thu Sep 07 2023
4

It is 2023. Bob Dylan is referred to as this guy’s musical “son”. Dude knew Woody Guthrie and taught Woody Guthrie’s songs to his son Arlo. Johnny Carson thought that this guy knew everyone and had a song for everything. And he’s still alive! It’s 2023. This dude is a living musical history treasure trove.

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Thu Sep 28 2023
4

Good stuff, different from what I usually see on this list and better for it. 4/5

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Wed Oct 04 2023
4

The recording is bad, but what can I ask for from 1958. I like the guitar playing a lot. Ramblin’ Jack has a decent voice too.

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Sun Oct 22 2023
4

it’s nice it’s a nice blue album. I knew some songs. I liked the one about big bad bugs and cocaine.

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Thu Nov 02 2023
4

actually kind of enjoyed this surprisingly. liked the casual nature of it, just chatting with friends and jamming. felt like home.

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Wed Dec 27 2023
4

Un increíble álbum de Folk, con canciones del imaginario norteamericano de principios del siglo XIX. Las interpretaciones de Jack Elliot son emotivas y sumamente cautivantes. Recomendado para cualquiera que disfrute del género.

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Tue Jan 02 2024
4

A good ol' time with some good ol' boys. Ramblin' and hollerin' country folk music. Anyone who is a friend with known communist and fascist hater Woody Guthrie is a friend of mine.

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Wed Jan 03 2024
4

Looks like country but it's very much folk. Songs are simple and reflective of the time where they came from. Elliott learned folk the folkiest way possible: on the street. He would later learn under Woody Guthrie and began spreading American folk music to the UK and Europe. Elliott's vocal stylings would influence the great Bob Dylan so his work is the blueprint for a lot of great contemporary folk music in America.

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Fri Jan 05 2024
4

I love cowboy folk music. awesome album!! personal top3 in no order: The Boll Weevil Bed Bug Blues Salty Dog

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Thu Jan 11 2024
4

I really enjoyed it a lot. Definitely my kind of folk/blues I enjoy. And Black Baby has aged really well.

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Tue Jan 16 2024
4

Just an excellent early record from an incredible americana folk musician.

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Thu Jan 18 2024
4

I liked this album. I've never listened to something like this before.

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Wed Jan 24 2024
4

A song about a weevil, a song about bedbugs, a song about cocaine…what more could you ask for? A really fun album with a lot of heart.

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Thu Jan 25 2024
4

I can imagine Janis Joplin doing acoustic recordings of some of these songs.

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Thu Feb 08 2024
4

I like it a lot. Great album and probably my favorite from the decade.

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