Dirty Linen - 2-3/00, p.65
"...just Elliot, his guitar, his craggy voice and great songs....The very long original liner notes is included..."
2 LPs on 1 CD: COUNTRY STYLE (1962)/LIVE AT THE SECOND FRET (1962).
Personnel: Ramblin' Jack Elliottt (vocals, guitar, harmonica).
Engineers: Hal Hustig, Esmond Edwards, Shel Kagan.
Tracks 1-13 recorded on April 12, 1962. Originally released on Prestige/International (13045). Tracks 14-25 recorded live at the Second Fret, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 18, 1962. Originally released on Prestige/International (13065). Includes liner notes by John Greenway and Shel Kagan.
Digitally remastered by Kirk Felton (1999, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Personnel: Ramblin' Jack Elliott (vocals, guitar, harmonica).
Audio Remasterer: Kirk Felton.
Liner Note Authors: John Greenway; Shel Kagan.
Recording information: Second Fret, Philadelphia, PA (04/12/1962-05/18/1962).
A two-for-one single-disc reissue of two 1962 albums: the studio date Country Style and the live club recording At the Second Fret (here retitled Live). With a couple dozen songs in all, you get a good representation of Elliott's repertoire of the time: old country songs ("The Wreck of the Old 97," "Mule Skinner Blues"), old-school country tunes ("Wabash Cannonball," Ernest Tubb's "Take Me Back and Try Me One More Time"), blues ("How Long Blues"), and naturally a few Woody Guthrie tunes. He's trying to sound like Guthrie a lot of the time, of course, and as an inadvertent consequence, sounds similar to very early Bob Dylan (who at the very beginning of his career was also trying to sound like Woody Guthrie). He's not as good a singer as Guthrie or Dylan, and contributed no original material to these sets. That gives this something of a dry historical artifact feel, although the live portion of the disc has a slightly warmer atmosphere than Country Style. ~ Richie Unterberger