I heard a story once that back when Ramblin’ Jack Elliott was touring Europe in the 1950’s (which he was the first American folk singer to do), he once happened upon a group of English school children while he was waiting for a train. For some reason or another Jack decided that he was going to sing for these young boys and girls and promptly pulled out his guitar and serenaded them with a few songs. After several minutes of playing Jack noticed his train had arrived, put his guitar away, and bid the children farewell as he walked off to catch his ride. Years later, Mick Jagger confessed in an interview, that it was seeing an American folk singer play for him and his classmates at a train station in England that inspired him to go out and purchase his first guitar. So when I say to you that Ramblin’ Jack Elliott’s influence on contemporary music is immeasurable, you know what I’m talking about. The above tune comes from a record that was released around the time Jack likely played for Mick and his classmates. The song has him paired up with banjo player Derroll Adams and they bring the house down with their awesome performance of “Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms”. Jack and Derroll recorded a slew of records together various UK labels in late 50’s/early 60’s that are damn near impossible to find. However, this Early Sessions album compiles the best cuts from all them, snag it if you can. Additionally, if you have the chance to see Ramblin’ Jack Elliott live, do it without hesitation, the man is a national treasure and he isn’t getting any younger.
More information on Rambin’ Jack Elliott can be found at his official website.