Kerouac's Last Dream
'Kerouac's Last Dream' is regarded as a definitive Ramblin' Jack Elliott CD, even by Ramblin' Jack, who says 'I think this album is better than any of my previous albums.' It has also been also cited as his best-sounding recording prior to his 1995 Grammy-winning 'Sun Coast.' On this reissue of a rare 1980 German LP, with eight previously unreleased tracks added, Ramblin' Jack performs classic songs by his primary inspiration and early-'50s traveling companion, the late Woody Guthrie ('Pretty Boy Floyd,' 'Talkin' Fishin',' '1913 Massacre'), by a younger Guthrie acolyte, Bob Dylan ('Don't Think Twice,' 'I Threw It All Away'), by seminal country music artists Ernest Tubb ('Soldier's Last Letter') and Roy Acuff ('Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain'), and some traditional folk standards ('Freight Train,' 'Roving Gambler,' 'Cuckoo,' 'Buffalo Skinners,' and 'Nightherding Song'). For good measure, there are even a couple of Elliott originals ('Cup of Coffee' and '912 Greens'), always a rare commodity. Performing solo on acoustic guitar and vocals, Elliott has assembled a showcase of timeless songs and unaffected delivery. As 'the last of the Brooklyn cowboys,' as Arlo Guthrie has called him, Elliott could be singing these songs at a lonely campfire after a hard day on the trail. Listeners are lucky to be within earshot.
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