In the midst of the singer/songwriter era, Arlo Guthrie chose to become his generation's true folk singer, closer in spirit to Pete Seeger than to James Taylor, more an interpreter than a prolific songwriter. In this role, he kept songs alive that may have been forgotten or were never known, and recorded songs from the pens of his contemporary peers. Last of the Brooklyn Cowboys follows a formula similar to its predecessor, Hobo's Lullaby, with one exception -- there is no hit single à la "City of New Orleans." However, this release has some very strong material woven into its mix. Guthrie gives his father's "Gypsy Davy" a bouncy Caribbean feel, breathing new life into this tale of wanderlust in a way probably not envisioned by Woody Guthrie. He also pays tribute to Hank Williams with a yodeling rendition of "Lovesick Blues," and delivers his customary Dylan song. This time it's "Gates of Eden," featuring the fingerpicked electric guitars of Clarence White and the bottleneck slide of Ry Cooder. The album also contains two of Guthrie's finest original songs, "Last Train" and "Cooper's Lament."
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AllMusic Review by Jim Newsom