We jigged and we danced and we played bohemian. And in bohemian circles, there was the American folk music of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and of course, Bob Dylan.

I had a great love of acoustic blues as well. I would be in the record store — hanging out, smoking dope, reading Buddhism, and going down to the record store to hunt for rare albums, like the finger-picking albums of Ramblin' Jack Elliott. One time when Dylan came to England, the press asked him, "Have you heard Donovan? He's ripping off your style."

Dylan said he hadn't heard me and asked if they'd play him my record. When they played it, they waited for him to say, "Yeah, he's ripping me off." What he did say was, "He doesn't play like me. He plays like Jack Elliott."

Donovan, quoted in Joe Smith, Off The Record, New York 1988, p. 219

John Lennon attributed learning the fingerpickering style he exhibited on compositions such as "Julia," "Dear Prudence," and "Look at Me" from Donovan while in India. Donovan, in turn, attributed it to American folk styles he'd assimilated through Jack.

"Donovan says he copied my guitar style, but I don't sound anything like him."

Jack Elliott, San Francisco Examiner, 8/4/96

Derroll Adams and Jack started out together in the 50's and became the first authentic singers of American songs in Europe, tindering what would become rock 'n roll. They inspired young musicians who would later become the British rock stars of the 1960's.

In 1967, even as Adams was temporarily retired, he became the subject of perhaps the best song that Donovan Leitch (aka Donovan) has ever written, "Epistle To Derroll." Appearing on the Gift From a Flower to a Garden album, the words and music reflected the debt that Leitch owed Adams as a musician and songwriter -- the entire song, and specifically the line "bring me word of the banjoman with the tattoo on his hand," may be the most poignant and haunting in Donovan's entire song output.

Bruce Eder, All-Music Guide

Derroll Adams was my main influence to write and play in my sensitive styles. This cd is a major rediscovery of a Zen-Folk hero.

Donovan, on the Banjoman – A Tribute to Derroll Adams disc

Jack and Donovan are both included on Troubadours of the Folk Era, Vol. 1, a Rhino release as well as the Banjoman – A Tribute to Derroll Adams collection.