Best of the Vanguard Years

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
It might be tempting to look at Ramblin' Jack Elliott as a folksinger from a bygone era except for a couple of things. First, he's still with us around the turn of the millennium, and still recording vital material such as 1999's The Long Ride; next, even his older material never strikes the listener as out-of-date. In fact, his performances on Best of the Vanguard Years are fun, not a word usually associated with folk music. He keeps the pace snappy, even on worn classics like "House of the Rising Sun" and "Wildwood Flower." He's probably one of the few folksingers who could give Ray Charles a run for his money on "I Got a Woman," or liven up an old warhorse like ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
It might be tempting to look at Ramblin' Jack Elliott as a folksinger from a bygone era except for a couple of things. First, he's still with us around the turn of the millennium, and still recording vital material such as 1999's The Long Ride; next, even his older material never strikes the listener as out-of-date. In fact, his performances on Best of the Vanguard Years are fun, not a word usually associated with folk music. He keeps the pace snappy, even on worn classics like "House of the Rising Sun" and "Wildwood Flower." He's probably one of the few folksingers who could give Ray Charles a run for his money on "I Got a Woman," or liven up an old warhorse like "Roll On Buddy." One of the most fun pieces on this album is "Guabi Guabi," a song that might be taken as nonsense at first listen, but that is actually an African folk song that Elliott learned phonetically. There's also a great version of "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" that owes more to traditional folk than to Dylan. In fact, with one or two exceptions, Elliott remained grounded in the folk tradition, unlike many folksingers who began to look inward for new material in the mid-'60s. Most of the recordings on Best of the Vanguard Years feature Elliott accompanying himself on guitar and, when needed, harmonica. There is a lot of material here -- more than half of the album -- that has not been previously released, including good versions of "John Hardy" and "Dark as a Dungeon." For those who want to dig a little deeper into folk music's past, this is a fine selection; for those who aren't familiar with Rambin' Jack Elliott, this is a great place to begin one's acquaintance.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/31/2000
  • Label: Vanguard Records
  • UPC: 015707957328
  • Catalog Number: 79573
  • Sales rank: 345,409

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ramblin' Jack Elliott Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Woody Guthrie Composer
Bob Dylan Composer
Ernest Tubb Composer
A.P. Carter Composer
Ramblin' Jack Elliott Composer
Huddie Ledbetter Composer
Jack Elliott Composer
Fiddlin' Arthur Smith Composer
Public Domain Composer
Traditional Composer
Jerry Hubbard Composer
Stephen J. Romanoff Composer
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