Ramblin’Jack Elliott
7:00 Tuesday, January 25, 2011
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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.


The Gillette Brothers
7:30 PM, Saturday, August 7, 2010

Gillette BrothersGuy and Pipp Gillette, from their home in Crockett Texas, are once again on their way to a series of appearances in California, and they will make a stop for a show in Winnemucca on August 7.

Guy and Pipp appeared at a sold out show in Winnemucca last December, and they were a huge hit.  They perform a mix of traditional cowboy songs, and songs reflecting the Celtic roots, country blues, minstrel and medicine show songs that influenced cowboy music. For me it is always worth the price of admission just to watch and hear Guy play the rhythm bones, musical bones they make from cow ribs.

They have played at major events and venues around the country including: The 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC, The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV, The Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival in Monterey, CA, The Santa Clarita Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival in Santa Clarita, CA, The Willow Tree Festival in Gordon, NE, The Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering in Prescott, AZ; The Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, GA; The National Arboretum in Washington, DC, The Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, WY, and The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, OK, The Museum of South Texas in Edinburgh Texas.

In August 2005, the Gillette Brothers traveled to Japan representing the State of Texas at the World Expo – Aichi/Nagoya, performing their music at the US Pavilion. In October 2008, the Gillette Brothers toured Somerset, England for two weeks, performing in village halls and the Bridgewater Arts Center.

They have demonstrated chuckwagon cooking at the Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City; the Ranching Heritage Museum in Lubbock, Texas; The Museum of South Texas in Edinburgh Texas; Dalton Days in Longview, Texas; and the Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, Georgia.

Their cooking has been spotlighted in Persimmon Hill, the magazine of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum; The National Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook by B. Byron Price; A Taste of Texas Ranching by Tom Bryant and Joel Bernstein; and the Spirit of the West: Cooking for Ranch House & Range by Beverly Cox and Martin Jacobs.

The Gillette Brothers were recipients of the 2009 AMERICAN COWBOY CULTURE AWARD for western music from the NATIONAL COWBOY SYMPOSIUM & CELEBRATION. They were awarded the 2003 and the 1998 Will Rogers Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Advancement of Contemporary Cowboy Music Best Duo/Group by The Academy of Western Artists. They have also received the National Cowboy Symposium’s American Cowboy Culture Chuck Wagon Award.

The Gillette Brothers run The Camp St. Cafe & Store in Crockett, Texas a live music venue, much like the Martin Hotel, that has featured some of the top performers in the country.

They were also instrumental in getting a life-sized statue of Blues Legend Lightnin’ Hopkins erected in Crockett.