Jack Elliott ramblin' on

by Mark Scheerer (22 May 2020 4:48:10 PM EDT, CNN)

Ramblin' Jack Elliott

NEW YORK (CNN) -- In his 66 years as a wandering troubadour, Ramblin' Jack Elliott has been a living link between Woody Guthrie, the Beat poets, the '60s folk boom and today's best singer-songwriters.

Now the folk singer's daughter Aiyana is documenting his life on film and Elliott has released a new CD titled "Friends of Mine."

The album includes performances from people Elliott has met during his time in the music biz, like Bob Weir, Arlo Guthrie, Jerry Jeff Walker, Emmy Lou Harris, Nancy Griffith, Rosalie Sorrels, and Tom Waits.


Elliott sings "Friend of the Devil"

365k WAV audio file
1.2Mb QuickTime movie

Brushes with legend

And it draws from Elliott's wealth of experience, from the days when he found himself in the company of legends -- like the time he visited Woody Guthrie.

"Ended up staying at his house for about a year and a half," Elliott recalled. "One day led to another, we just started playing music together. It got to be a good thing."

Or the time he found himself in the middle of the 1960s counterculture revolution in Greenwich Village.

"I met Kerouac. He had just finished writing 'On The Road,' and read me the manuscript," Elliott said. "Took three days, sitting on a floor on Bleecker Street.

"I went to visit Woody, bumped into Bob Dylan and there was this whole big folk boom."
-- Ramblin' Jack Elliott, folk singer.

Elliott's CD Friends of Mine

"I recorded about seven or eight albums in Europe, came back to the United States, just to see what's happening over here. And I went to visit Woody, bumped into Bob Dylan and there was this whole big folk boom. And things started to mushroom."

The film on Elliott promises to recount his fascinating life. And he's still going strong. How does he do it?

"I've got big lungs," he says. "(But) I need longer legs and bigger lungs. There's less air out there every day. And less road."

This article was dug up at http://cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/Music/9805/22/ramblin.jack.elliot/index.html