"I first met international treasure Ramblin' Jack Elliott in Cookeville, Tennessee at Muddy Roots Music Festival in 2015. Jack turns 90 this year (2021) & he has been getting familiar with video calls while the current pandemic has restricted his travels. On March 18th, the day after St. Patrick's Day, I had an hour long video call with Jack & I turned the audio of the call into Ep1 of 'The Stirring Foot'. Needless to say, the audio isn't of a studio quality, it's a zoom call through the internet. But the stories transcend & shine through, after all, it's Ramblin' Jack Elliott...
Jack now lives on the coast of California & has been described as the "son of Woody Guthrie & the father of Bob Dylan". In this episode, I talk to Jack about his trips to Ireland, Europe & the UK. The Clancy Brothers, Frank Zappa, Bob Dylan, Odetta, The grateful Dead, Magaret Barry, Ewan MacColl, Woody Guthrie & Brendan Behan all get a mention." - Dylan Walshe
Originally aired on Dublin Digital Radio, Ireland. This is an extended version.
Ramblin' Jack Elliott - short bio
"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. 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 the musical trends of any given day. He wrote one of the first trucking songs- Cup of Coffee-recorded by Johnny Cash, championed the works of new singer-songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson and Tim Hardin; and became a founding member of Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue. He continued the life of the traveling troubadour influencing Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, Tom Russell, The Grateful Dead and countless others.
Ramblin' Jack is a two-time GRAMMY winner, National Medal Of Arts recipient, and in 2016, received a Folk Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award. Featured in the recent Rolling Thunder Revue film by Martin Scorcese and also in the early 2019 PBS release of the Woody Guthrie All Star Tribute Concert Center, Ramblin' Jack is an icon of American roots and folk music. A lover of storytelling and veteran troubadour style musician, on tour he is in his element and known for telling the tales gathered along his magnificent journey through the roots of Folk, Blues, Americana and Cowboy musicand poetry. His permanently enshrined seat at Woodie Guthrie Center Theater in Tulsa, OK., sits among other greats, including Lead Belly, Cisco Houston and Pete Seeger.
"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."
Photography by Michael Avedon