Ramblin' Jack Elliott

Bull Durham Sacks and Railroad Tracks

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The second Reprise album by Ramblin' Jack attempts to meld brief Elliott monologues from his club act with relatively slick studio productions of late-'60s folk-rock, making for some awkward moments. The album shines when it gets away from talking and into the music, combining Elliott's accomplished traditional folk vocal style with studio virtuosity. Highlights of the set are covers of big-name country and folk songs from the era, including "Me and Bobby McGee," Tim Hardin's "Find a Reason to Believe," and five Bob Dylan songs. The best of the Dylan lot are "Lay Lady Lay" and "Girl from the North Country." Lowlights are the spoken raps, which just don't work well in the context of the album. Overall, the album is a good representation of the most commercial period of Elliott's career.