Ramblin' Jack Elliott
Here's the real thing from the real deal. You can draw a ragged, wandering line from Ramblin' Jack Elliott to Woody Guthrie. Elliott has influenced just about every folk singer-songwriter out there, including Ä in a big way Ä Bob Dylan. Here, on a rare new release, Elliott puts his singular stamp on 12 songs by other writers, including Guthrie, Tim Hardin and Ian Tyson. This is great stuff, an album any fan of folk music should have.
''Una Forma Mas''
Vocal Sampling, an a cappella sextet, reproduces Cuban music in all its glory Ä complete with realistic, distinct percussion. Somehow they do it without using any instrument but the human voice. Once the mind-blowing novelty of this group from Cuba wears off, what remains is a wondrous album.
Dwight Yoakam serves up a hefty slab of hillbilly rock, progressive country and pop with an attitude on the 17 songs of ''Dwight Live.'' He's one of a very few current country stars worth listening to, and he proves why throughout this disc. Give an award to guitarist Pete Anderson, who shines throughout.
This ought to be THE party album of the summer. ''Louisiana Spice'' is a sample of the wealth of music that's appeared on Rounder over the past 25 years, featuring contributions from some of the top musicians to hail from Louisiana. Cajun, Zydeco, the funky blues, it's all here. Beau Jocque, Steve Riley, Marcia Ball and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band are a few of those who help make ''Louisiana Spice'' so hot. The two-CD set is specially priced, listing for less than a single disc.
''Don't Let the Devil Ride''
''Don't Let the Devil Ride'' is a fine album from one of the most soulful of the electric bluesmen on the scene today. In fact, tracks like ''Children Gotta Eat'' sound closer to Memphis soul than Chicago blues. It's a toe-tapping, head-nodding experience.
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