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Long Ride

6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 14, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Genre: Country & Western
Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 21-SEP-1999

The follow-up to old folkie Jack Elliott's watershed release, Friends of Mine, The Long Ride is even more beguiling than its star-laden predecessor. The folk patriarch proves from the get-go that he doesn't need a bunch of famous pals to garner attention. The opening track finds him swerving his way through an unlikely cover of the Rolling Stones' "Connection" with irresistible buoyancy. With that opening highlight behind him, Elliott and producer Roy Rogers (who also helmed Friends of Mine) are off on a characteristically ad hoc escapade. A little Guthrie here, a Dylan tune there, an Ernest Tubb chestnut to keep 'em guessing, and some traditionals tossed in for good measure. Add a suitable Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan number ("Pony"), three originals, and a few lower-wattage guest stars (Dave Van Ronk, Tom Russell, Maria Muldaur, Dave Alvin) and you have an album that's as unpredictable, unassuming, and amiable as the man whose name it bears. --Steven Stolder

1. Connection
2. Cup Of Coffee
3. Ranger's Command
4. Pony
5. St. James Infirmary
6. Picture From Life's Other Side
7. East Virginia Blues
8. The Sky Above And The Mud Below
9. Take Me Back And Try Me One More Time
10. Now He's Just Dust In The Wind
11. True Blue Jeans
12. Diamond Joe
13. With God On Our Side

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 14, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hightone Records
  • ASIN: B00000JZAU
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,485 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jerome Clark on January 31, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Ramblin' Jack Elliott's return to recording -- this is his third CD in recent years -- after a silence of more than 25 years is gratifying. And in Roy Rogers, who put together this and the previous CD, he's found a sympathetic producer who can actually make Elliott's erratic sound mesh with other instruments. The Long Ride, however, is an uneven, sometimes bumpy excursion. "Connection," the old Rolling Stones song that opens the disc, is essentially a throwaway. "Cup of Coffee," six+ minutes of Elliott and Tom Russell clowning around, is amusing once. "With God on Our Side" is every bit as clunky and ham-fisted as it was when a very young Bob Dylan wrote it in the early 1960s. "Ranger's Command" and Tom Waits's "Pony" are both good songs which deserve better than the shaky treatments here. On the other hand, the duets on two traditional folk standards, "St. James Infirmary" (with Dave Van Ronk) and "East Virginia Blues" (with Dave Alvin), border on perfection. Russell and Elliott rehabilitate their musical partnership with a suitably dark, brooding take on Russell's grim Western ballad "The Sky Above and the Mud Below." A Woody-and-Cisco anecdote -- can there ever be enough of these? -- engagingly introduces the venerable 19th-Century parlor weeper and old-time country staple "Picture from Life's Other Side." In short: this is about half of a successful recording.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steve D. Marsh on February 6, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you know Ramblin' Jack Elliott already, you know what you are in for. If you don't, what you are in for is a treat! There are better voices in the business and the there are better guitar players too. But there is no one with more deep-in-the-soul honesty than Ramblin' Jack. And remember Jack's an old man on this recording. You get all of those years of hard living and the accumulation of decades of contemplation of the human condition. My personal favorite is Cup of Coffee, a long (6 minutes) and kind of winding talking tale about the life of a truck driver that sounds like Bob Dylan of the 1960s at the age of 65 or more. His version of St. James Infirmary is hauntingly sad...but again with all that painful honesty that is Jack Elliott. And finally, With God on Our Side clocks in at 7:32 and it is the perfect blend of Jack's airy old voice and Bob Dylan's young man writing. Powerful commentary on the futility of war and the frailty of human life. You would have to search pretty hard to find a better marriage of artistic generations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ray N. on April 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD

I've been a fan of Ramblin' Jack since the early 70's, and have had the honor and joy of seeing him in concert about six times. Yes, Jack's getting on in years, but he still picks guitar with the best of them, and his vocal phrasing continues to be a gift from the Almighty Something-or-other, to us. Jack's a music machine, one with (to paraphrase one of his songs) about two million miles on it, a machine designed and made-to-order for the expression of music. He's the real deal, folks.

As for this record, The Long Ride, I've listened to it only about, oh, two million times (where have I heard that before?) Sure, maybe it's not as great as Kerouac's Last Dream, which I think might be Jack's finest record. (Hell, it would be anybody's finest record.)

But to call The Long Ride "dreadful," as did the last person to review this record, is beyond my befuddled comprehension.

Where to begin? Jack's earthy voice is a perfect match for these songs, like Ernie Tubb's country classic, "Take Me Back and Try Me One More Time." And Jack's a terrific guitar player. (He invented this stuff. Taught it to Bob Dylan; taught it to Woody's kid, Arlo; taught it to the thousand of us folks in the US and Europe and all over this world, listening to his records, trying to figure out how he did it). His guitar playing really shines on "Cup of Coffee," and on the capo-way-up-high-on-the-fret board, gorgeous "Ranger's Command."

Back to the songs. "True Blue Jeans" would make an incredible ad for Levi's, if Jack were willing to sell out. If Levis had a sense of humor. Jack sure does have a sense of humor (How else does anyone make it to `round about 70?
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