Ramblin’Jack Elliott
7:00 Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Tickets on Sale NOW!

Ramblin' Jack Elliott

Ramblin’ Jack Elliott is returning to the Martin Hotel for a Great Basin Arts and Entertainment produced concert at 7:00 PM, Tuesday, January 25. Jack played the Martin just one year ago, on his way to Hollywood to pick up his Grammy Award.

This year he is returning, on his way to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, but he is bringing along two of the best sidemen in the business so he can perform some of the songs from his Grammy Award winning record. Van Dyke Parks will accompany Jack on the piano, and David Piltch will play standup bass as Ramblin’ Jack performs some of the classic blues tunes that formed the theme for his latest recording.

One of the last true links to the great folk traditions of this country, with over 40 albums under his belt, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott is considered one of the country’s legendary foundations of folk music.

“Nobody I know—and I mean nobody—has covered more ground and made more friends and sung more songs than the fellow you’re about to meet right now. He’s got a song and a friend for every mile behind him. Say hello to my good buddy, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.”
– Johnny Cash, The Johnny Cash Television Show, 1969.

Long before every kid in America wanted to play guitar — before Elvis, Dylan, the Beatles or Led Zeppelin — Ramblin’ Jack had picked it up and was passing it along. From Johnny Cash to Tom Waits, Beck to Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder to Bruce Springsteen, the Grateful Dead to The Rolling Stones, they all pay homage to Ramblin’ Jack Elliott.

In the tradition of roving troubadours Jack has carried the seeds and pollens of story and song for decades from one place to another, from one generation to the next. They are timeless songs that outlast whatever current musical fashion strikes today’s fancy.

“His tone of voice is sharp, focused and piercing. All that and he plays the guitar effortlessly in a fluid flat-picking perfected style. He was a brilliant entertainer…. Most folk musicians waited for you to come to them. Jack went out and grabbed you….. Jack was King of the Folksingers.” – Bob Dylan, Chronicles: Volume One

There are no degrees of separation between Jack and the real thing. He is the guy who ran away from his Brooklyn home at fourteen to join the rodeo and learned his guitar from a cowboy. In 1950, he met Woody Guthrie, moved in with the Guthrie family and traveled with Woody to California and Florida, from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters. Jack became so enthralled with the life and composer of This Land Is Your Land, The Dust Bowl Ballads, and a wealth of children’s songs that he completely absorbed the inflections and mannerisms, leading Guthrie to remark, “Jack sounds more like me than I do.”

In 1954, along with folksinging pals Frank Robinson and Guy Carawan, Jack journeyed south through Appalachia, Nashville and to New Orleans to hear authentic American country music. He later made this the basis for his talking song, 912 Greens.

In 1955 Jack married and traveled to Europe, bringing his genuine American folk, cowboy and blues repertoire and his guitar virtuosity, inspiring a new generation of budding British rockers, from Mick Jagger to Eric Clapton.

When he returned to America in 1961, he met another young folksinger, Bob Dylan at Woody Guthrie’s bedside, and mentored Bob. Jack has continued as an inspiration for every roots-inspired performer since.

Along the way he learned the blues first-hand from Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt, the Reverend Gary Davis, Big Bill Broonzy, Brownie Mcghee and Sonny Terry, Jesse Fuller and Champion Jack Dupree.

He has recorded forty albums; wrote one of the first trucking songs, Cup of Coffee, recorded by Johnny Cash; championed the works of new singer-songwriters, from Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson to Tim Hardin; became a founding member of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue; and continued the life of the traveling troubadour influencing Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, Tom Russell The Grateful Dead and countless others.

In 1995, Ramblin’ Jack received his first of five Grammy nominations and the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album, for South Coast (Red House Records). Jack was again recognized with a Grammy Award for best Traditional Blues Album in 2009, for A Stranger Here (Anti-Epitaph Records).

In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded Jack the National Medal of the Arts, proclaiming, “In giving new life to our most valuable musical traditions, Ramblin’ Jack has himself become an American treasure.”

In 2000, Jack’s daughter, filmmaker, Aiyana Elliott produced and directed The Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack, her take on Jack’s life and their fragile relationship, winning a Special Jury Prize from the Sundance Film Festival.

Through it all—though agents, managers, wives and recording companies have tried—Jack resisted being molded into a commercial commodity. He played his shows without a written set list or including any songs that did not ring with his gut feeling of what mattered to him.

Ramblin’ Jack’s life of travels, performances and recordings is a testament to the America of lore, a giant land of struggle, hard luck and sometimes even of good fortune. Ramblin’ Jack takes us to places that spur us on to the romance and passion of life in the tunes and voices of real people.

At seventy-nine, Ramblin’ Jack is still on the road, still seeking those people, places, songs and stories that are hand-crafted, wreaking of wood and canvas, cowhide and forged metal. You’ll find him in the sleek lines of a long haul semi-truck, in the rigging of an old sailing ship, in the smell of a fine leather saddle.


Brenn Hill~Cowboy Singer/Songwriter
7:00 PM Saturday, October 30, 2010

Singer/Songwriter Brenn Hill doesn’t just sing about the American West, he reveals its heart to anyone who will take the time to listen. His most recent release “Equine” (2010), clearly defines what might be his most profound work to date, as well as a mirror of his growth as an artist over the last ten years. Its broad theme of horses, the cowboy’s working partner, is but a pathway into and through his own personal journey. No longer just the observer or narrator of our Western story, but its strongest interpreter, life’s trials and tribulations are also his raw material. Faith, trust and love are his guide.

“Overall, I want a listener to know that my music isn’t about me,” explains Hill. “It’s how I make my living and not a vehicle for stardom. My goal is to present a valid story about people, places, and events that are song-worthy. If I can challenge someone’s perspective, or offer a new one on a classic theme or issue, I’ve achieved my goal. I feel a deep sense of purpose with my music and am honored to have the opportunity that I have. I deeply appreciate my listeners. The greatest compliments I receive come directly from those that listen to my music. When a song touches them so profoundly that they tell me, “that song changed my life,” or, “that song got me through a hard time,” or, “that song’s about me,” then I know I got it right. No amount of money or recognition could mean more than that.”

Born into a 6th generation of a family anchored to the West and raised in Utah, Brenn and his music revisit the many stories that come from the land with a fresh, contemporary and personal twist. Home for the Hill’s is Hooper, a rural community in Northern Utah where Brenn resides with his wife, three children and a cavvy of horses. “Time in the saddle is my payoff for the hard miles on the road, the gut-full of showbiz, and the time away from loved ones,” says Brenn. “Horses bring me purpose in life. They provide a foundation and theme for my music and are an endless fountain of inspiration. In a way, horses write a lot of my songs, especially since they are an integral part of my connection to the land. They reveal my character. They’re constant teachers with endless patience and capacity, and likewise, provide an endless bank of inspiration that I can draw from.