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Web Sites:
    Ramblin’ Jack Elliott
    The Long Ride
    Hightone Records

Nobody knows exactly why, but there’s an unspoken rule these days that says you cannot be a true cultural icon in music unless a bunch of other famous musicians play on your albums. "The Long Ride" by Ramblin’ Jack Elliott follows this rule obediently, but he can rest assured his iconhood was already secure—even before this particular project was hammered out. Elliott’s eclectic musical tastes are what really make this disc memorable. Whether these songs are humorously autobiographical, like "True Blue Jeans," or timely, as with the cover of Bob Dylan’s "With God On Our Side," or just downright surprising with the out-of-the-blue cover of The Stones’ "Connection," listening to this album is like playing "Let’s Make A Deal," where with each cut, you immediately fall in love with what’s behind every door. Of course, who can complain about his "guest stars" here, either. Especially entertaining is the hilarious banter between Elliott and Tom Russell on "Cup of Coffee." Even if he’s unintentionally following one of the music culture’s modern "You must have plenty of stars" guidelines, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott has always been a rule breaker, and "The Long Ride" is worth every surprise twist and turn of its blissfully blind journey. —Dan MacIntosh

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