The Songs and Guitar of Ramblin' Jack Elliott

Ramblin' Jack Elliott
80-minute video, includes tab. Hosted by Arlo Guthrie
  • Code:DLRJEGT21
  • Skill Level:Early Intermediate (3)

This lesson captures a fascinating musical exchange between two icons of American folk music as they reminisce, sing songs, and talk about the various influences on Jack's singular guitar style.

Jack and Arlo discuss Jack's formative days and the first songs he learned when he ran away from home to join a rodeo. Then they proceed through many of the blues, ballads and cowboy songs that form his rich repertoire. Jack and Arlo play songs of Jack's many musical heroes, including Arlo's dad Woody Guthrie (his major influence), Cisco Houston, Lead Belly, Rev. Gary Davis, Brownie McGhee, Tim Hardin, Libba Cotton, Johnny Cash and others.

Our split-screen cameras are there to capture Jack's guitar technique as he plays through some of his best-known songs, allowing you to see up-close how he creates the guitar arrangements that make up his unique style. Jack demonstrates several traditional guitar standards, fingerpicking Railroad Bill, Freight Train, Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out and Candy Man, and using country-style flatpicking on Take Me Back and Try Me One More Time, Cup of Coffee, The Cuckoo and Hard Travelin'. Jack adds flatpicking blues licks to San Francisco Bay Blues, Poor Howard, Blind Lemon and Black Snake Moan, while Woody's Talking Sailor utilizes a rolling three-finger strum. Jack tunes his guitar to double dropped D tuning (DBGDAD) for his fingerstyle arrangement of Tim Hardin's If I Were a Carpenter.


"Bob Dylan called him his "long lost father". He's a living link to Woody Guthrie, Brownie McGhee, and the beat poets. Mick Jagger, Lou Reed, Van Morrison, Paul McCartney, Kris Kristoffersen, Bruce Springsteen, and Beck all cite him as an inspiration. Now more than ever, Elliott stands alone, a crucial reminder of a proud and dying American tradition - a self-made wayfarer whose fifty-plus years of experience resonate in every note he sings."-- From a blurb on


There are currently no reviews

New Review




required (not published)



If you enter anything in this field your comment will be treated as spam*