Just one week ago, on YouTube, a woman watched Ramblin Jack Elliott play "San Francisco Bay Blues" on Pete Seeger's old TV program, Rainbow Quest. Impressed, the woman commented, "cute dude!!!!" The clip was made long ago; Elliott is now 77. Such is the enduring charm of a highly talented shuck and jive. The traveling folk troubadour has recorded 40-some albums and flat-picked his way into millions of hearts and out of a few (try marrying a guy like that or being his daughter; see Aiyana Elliott's documentary, The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack). Although known for cowboy songs and political folk for most of his career, Elliott put out A Stranger Here, a blues record, on Anti- this past April. Comprising gritty but shimmeringly produced pre-WWII songs, the record has been nominated for a Best Traditional Blues Grammy. Cute dude, indeed.
Sat., Jan. 2, 8:15 p.m., 2010