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March 28, 1970 - Image 2

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-03-28

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r.

Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Saturday, March 28, 1970

records

mummuummn

op.

" . . r - V Aft i a __en a

Rappi
By GARY BALDWIN
Jack Elliott's new album Bill
Durham Sacks and Railroad
Wracks, is a collection of some
of the finest material in folk
music today. His performance of
the songs is at times better than
anyone else's, and the imper-
fections in some of the other
numbers have the raw charm
that only Ramblin' Jack c a n
give them.
The first band on the album
is a song that will probably be
the least familiar to most lis-
teners. It's a song called "Me
and Bobby McGee" that Jack,
and the song's writer, Kris
Kristofferson, introduced la s t
summer at the Newport F o 1 k
Festival. Some people may have

with Ramblin

Jack Elliott

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heard local singer Mike Smith
perform it at The Ark soon
after Newport. In any event, it
is as fine a song as has been
written over the last couple of
years, and Elliott's Country and
Western treatment of the song is
certainly adequate, though at
times not as sensitive as the
lyrics. The chorus "Freedom's
just another word for nothin'
left to lose/, Nothin' ain't worth
nothin' But it's free . . ." is
particularly well done, perhaps
sung with more expression than
other parts of the song.
Elliott follows with another
country number "Folsom Prison
Blues" by his friend Johnny
Cash. Although Cash first re-
corded the song in 1954, his re-

cent version that gained such
great popularity is a tough one
to match. Elliott is too smart
to try to match Cash, and his
different stylization of the song
is very effective.
Tim Hardin is also a tough
man to outdo doing his o w n
songs, but Ramblin' Jack seems
at least to have done so on "Rea-
son to Believe." Of his many
ways of singing, Elliott has done
the Hardin number in the style
and range with which he seems
to be most comfortable, slightly
reminiscent of his treatment of
"Don't Think Twice It's A 1 -
right" on his last album. He'
gives the song the tone it ought
to evoke, while at the same time
not turning it into a sob song.
His voice resonates well, a n d
seems to come from deeper down
than in some of his more nasal
tones.
As one of Bob Dylan's early
influences, Ramblin' Jack has
yet to do a bad performance (at
least on an album) of a;Dylan
song, and the Dylan songs on
this album are no exception.
Elliott does a freaky, but in-
teresting, "Girl From the North
Country," beginning with a slow
narrative, speeding up and fin-
ishzing with a throaty tone, and a
lot of instrumentation. "I'll Be
Your Baby Tonight" is one of
the finer numbers, and is the
best version I have heard to
date (again, save for, perhaps,
Dylan),. If "Lay, Lady, Lay"

could be played at the same time
with the Nashville Skyline al-
bum, it would probably sound
like one man singing with his
own harmony overdubbed.
Of the host of Dylan songs
"With God On Our Side" is the
last, and the last song on the al-
bum. One immediately notices
that Elliott has cut several vers-
es. After thinking it 'over, I
have decided the effect is to
make the song more current. He
has left out the verses with the
World Wars, and also the last
verse. Vietnam tends to spoil
the effectiveness of Dylan's
"And if God's on our side, He'll
stop the next war." So Elliott
concludes with "It's you who
must decide/ Whether J u d a s
Iscariot had God on his side,"
giving the total song a some-
what different effect.
Even if one is sometimes both-
ered by .Elliott's intentional
(sometimes perhaps not so in-
tentional) cracking of his voice
and nasality on some numbers,
few would contest the appeal of
his "raps." Jack tells of learn-
ing "Don't Think Twice It's Al-
right" while 'snowed-in in Beth-
lehem, Pennsylvania at a "cof-
fee house converted from an old
whore house, which did much
better business before." Rather
than hearing the drinking
sounds like on Young Brigham
(his last album), Elliott repeat-
edly says "I don't dare stand

up, cuz I might break the spell."
Ramblin' Jack at his best.
The back-up band should not
go without mention. It is per-
haps the reason many of the
Dylan songs are similar to Nash-
ville Skyline. Elliott is backed
by the same group of Nashville
musicians, who backed Dylan
and later cut the Polydor album
Area Code 615. Their playing
is as good as ever.
This album is quite a bit dif-
ferent from Elliott's last . . .
the studio effects, the country
band, and the rapping (a little
more informal). Arlo Guthrie
says on the liner notes "I have
heard most of Jack's thirty al-
bums or so and there are none
(including this one) that mean
anything real until you h a v e
heard him live-not just once,
but many times." That's true.
But if you have never, heard
Ramblin Jack live, I think you'll
enjoy his new record anyway. It
seems to capture at least somte
of his stoned-out insanity, and
his often unnoticed ability as a
singer,
3020 Washtenow, Ph. 434-1782
Between Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor

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directed
starring

REBECCA
by ALFRED HITCHCOCK
SIR LAURENCE OLIVIER

SUNDAY MATINEE
MARCH 29,1 & 3 P.M.
AUD. A, ANGELL HALL, 75c

"Hair' to highlight
play-of-month series

ENJOY THE SOUND OF MUSIC ON EASTER .
YOUTH FOR UNDERSTANDING
international Teenage Exchange Program
THEPresents in Concert
THE KEPLER GYMNASIUM ORCHESTRA
of Tuebingen, Germany
HELMUT CALGEER, Conductor
AND
THE YFU ALUMNI CHORALE
ROBERT PRATT, Conductor
EASTER SUNDAY 4:00 P.M.
Mrch 29, 1970 Hill Auditorium
N4 ADMISSION CHARGE

i

The most striking series of
Broadway and Off-Broadway
touring attractions e v e r pre-
sented under the banner of the
Professional Theatre Program
at the University of Michigan
are scheduled for the 1970-'71
Play-of-the-Month Series, Execu-
tive Director Robert/C. Schnitz-
er announced today. The series
will commence in early Novem-
ber and run through April.
Headlining the six current hits
will be Hair, the sensational Age
of Aquarius tribalrock musical
now playing major U.S. and
European cities and still a reign-
ing Broadway smash. A special
Hair company will be created for
the national university tour next
season.
1776, the delightful musical
based on American historical
themes which travelled recently
from its long Broadway base
to the White House for a Pre-
sidential performance, will also
be a highlight of the Ann Ar-
bor series.
You're A Good Man Charlie
Brown, "the irresistible intimate
musical" based on the beloved
"Peanuts" cartoo4 characters,
will be another notable attrac-
tion in next season's roster.
Neil Simon's hilarious Plaza
Suite, a leading Broadway suc-
cess, will titillate Ann Arbor
playgoers when the three witty
short plays with a comedic stel-
lar team come to the Michigan
campus.
The much-acclaimed Hadrian
VII which London and New
York reviewers hailed as "su-
perb", "enthralling" and "mag-
nificent" will be the fifth dis-
tinguished attraction of the
1970-',71 Play-of-the-Month Ser-
ies, featuring a major dramatic
star.
Climaxing the line-up of bril-
liant productions will be the
NOC. THEATRE CORPORATION
AWJ, NATIONAL GENERAL COMPANY

electrifying musical Zorba, bas-
ed on the film Zorba the Greek.
The score and the Harold Prince
direction of Zorba are by the
same gifted team which creat-
ed the immortal Fiddler on the
Roof.
All the productions will be
presented in Hill Auditorium
except Charlie Brown. "Because
of the intimate nature of this be-
guiling musical we have arrang-
ed to book it in Ann Arbor for
an entire week", Professor
Schnitzer explained. "Many par-
ents will want to bring young-
sters to join the student and
regional audience at Charlie
Brown. We want to be certain
that its charm is preserved in
the smaller Mendelssohn Thea-
tre."
"Next season will be the last
in which the Play-of-the-Month
Series plays Hill Auditorium" he
added. After next year all Pro-
fessional Theatre Program pro-
ductions will play in the new
Power Performing Arts Center
under construction on the Mich-
igan campus.
Subscriptions for the 1970-'71
Series are on sale at major dis-
counts to both student and re-
gular patrons for reserved seats
and choice of performance dates
on a mail order basis only until
March 30.

F. U

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PETITIONING FOR MEMBERSHIP
CALL 761-1294 or 769-0437 before Mon.,
March 30, for Appointment
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kWhat the Wo'p/4Iflee 44 l"&iw
Wi/I, te at Mill/Iudfitioaipt~'iI 3
THE U. OF M. MEN'S GLEE CLUB
IN CONCERT
8:30 P.M.
TICKET SALES AT HILL BOX OFFICE MAI ORDERS TO:

I

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FOK VILLa5E
375.No.MAPLE RD.-7694300
THURS.-FRI-2:15
4:30-6:55-9:30
SAT.-SUN.-1 :45
4:15-6:50-9:25
"DAZZLING!"
-LA. TIMES

Block Ticket Sales March 24-26
General Ticket Sales March 30-April 3
Ticket Prices: $3, $2.50, $2

U of M Men's Glee Club
6048 Administration Bldg.
Ann Arbor, Mich. 48104
PHONE 764-7265

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J['...AK0VI.M-
STURGES.
PRDCMN
$ ll rfAiU '.
Esrr Raccow
l'mL~t I Piht "

"The last word
in thrillers.
Terrific.
-Gene Shalit. Look Magazine

8:0
LAST CHANCE
A MUSICAL PARTY
with
MICHAEL COONEY
JOE HICKERSON
ROGER RENWICK
BARRY O'NEILL
LARRY HANKS

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