Posts Tagged ‘Ramblin’ Jack Elliott’

Club Passim, Formely Club 47

January 18, 2010

I was visiting my uncle Paul in Concord, MA.  At the time I was in school at Mercyhurst College and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott was hero of mine. Paul was a child of the 60s.  Now he’s an established rustic furniture expert and teacher.

Before dinner Paul put on some records.  He started with the Beatles, then moved to Dylan.  My mother had told him I was a fan.  Then, I went through his record collection.  He had lots of Beatles albums and some The Band.  But, it was the Ramblin’ Jack album that really made me jealous.  I had recently discovered Jack Elliott and I was obsessed. Paul put on the record and we ate dinner.

Not a whole lot happens in Concord at night. So, he took me into Harvard Square to see some street artist and maybe pop into a book store or two. I bought a book at a shop on Brattle Street that’s no longer in business.  Then, we headed back to the car.  Paul suggested we take a shortcut through Palmer Street.  As we got to the end of the block on Palmer there was music coming from an underground cafe called Club Passim.  I took a quick looked in to find a quiet audience enjoying a the ramblings of Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.

Club Passim opened in 1958. Back then the name was Club 47.  Originally, the club hosted blues and jazz, but Club Passim is mostly known for the number of famous folk/singer-songwriters that have performed on its stage. Joan Baez developed her stage craft at Club Passim. Early in his career Bob Dylan often took road trips from NYC to see Joan Baez and Eric Von Schmidt.

So who’s passing through Passim over the next 30 days?

Jan/15 – Tony Trischka – banjo extraordinaire. This guy is one of the top traditional virtuosos in the country.

(Michael Daves – featured in the last post – is the guitar player. Tony is to the right of Steve Martin.)

Jan/22 – Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem – contemporary roots pop.

Jan/26 – Ryan Montbleau – I’m not sure, but I think I lived across the hall from this guy when I lived in Sommerville, MA.

Feb/5 – Sarah Lee Guthrie – cool by default.

Feb/6 – Jeffrey Foucault – a singer-songwriter for singer-songwriters to enjoy.  He’s clever and classy – not for everyone though.

Feb/16 – Annie Lynch & the Beekeepers – soft, whispering bluegrass.

Best Dylan Covers

November 10, 2009

All day I’ve been thinking about my top 5 Dylan songs.  After long contemplation I’ve come to the realization that there’s no answer, because it’s constantly changing – kinda like his works.  So, I thought to myself, what are my top 5 favorite covers?

#5 – Come Una Pietra Scalciata, Articolo 31 – a popular band in Milan, Italy, Articolo 31 covered Bob’s Like a Rolling Stone.  I first heard this song in Masked & Anonymous.  Only hard-core fans have seen this movie.  Even with a stacked cast it’s a feat in itself to make it through the entire film.

#4 – Wagon Wheel, Old Crow Medicine Show – most fans of Medicine Show don’t know that Bob Dylan wrote OCMS’ most recognized song.  Well, actually he wrote the chorus.   He never officially released Rock Me Momma, however it was included in an outtake from the film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid film.  Ketch Secor of OCMS wrote autobiographical verses for the song and released it on their 2004 debut album.

#3 – Just Like a Women – Jeff, Buckley – some say Dylan wrote this song about New York socialite Edie Sedgwick, a women who often hung out with Andy Warhol.  Some people say it’s about Bob’s relationship with Joan Baez and his scorn for her.  Either way, Jeff Buckley’s voice works perfectly for this tune.

#2 –  All Along the Watchtower, Jimi Hendrix – sure, Bob released a great version on John Wesley Harding, but, Jimi owns this song.

Dylan’s reaction to the song: “It overwhelmed me, really. He had such talent, he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them. He found things that other people wouldn’t think of finding in there. He probably improved upon it by the spaces he was using.”

#1 – Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott – this is quintessential Dylan singin’ and playin’.

In the documentary A Ballad of Rambin’ Jack,  Jack Elliott tells a story of when a young fellow said, “hey you sound like Bob Dylan.”  He replied, “I’ve sounded like Bob Dylan for the last 20 years.  Now you figure that out.” Classic Jack.