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Saturday, November 06, 2010

GSCBF10: Ramblin' Jack Elliott: Sunday, April 28, 1974, ca. 19:30

Part of a series of back-of-the-napkin thoughts about the Golden State Country Bluegrass Festival (GSCBF), held in San Rafael, CA from Friday, April 26th through Sunday, April 28, 1974.


Previous installments:

Back to Sunday evening. This is a 37-minute set by folk balladeer Ramblin' Jack Elliott (RJE). Some banter during the Greenbriar Boys set at ca. 15:00 suggested that RJE was backstage, and he mentions during his set that he just flew in on "a ae-ro-plae" after a gig the previous night in Detroit. I cant' find any RJE tour dates readily available, but I am guessing a glance through Detroit area bookings would find him there on Saturday, April 27, 1974.

Anyway, this is an interesting set, at turns stunningly beautiful (I am a real sucker for "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright") and then sloppy and, well, rambling, like he shouldn't have sipped from that particular batch of Kool-Aid. On balance I find it totally compelling.

The recording is also interesting. It's said to be from the "Debbie reels", but there are a number of recording discontinuities within this 37-minute span of tape. The other Debbie stuff seems pretty continuous, which makes me wonder. It also makes it impossible to say whether what I list below was the whole RJE set or not.

Anyway ...

Golden State Country Bluegrass Festival
Marin County Veterans' Auditorium Building and Grounds
San Rafael, CA

<--Skunk Cabbage precedes-->

Ramblin' Jack Elliott   
Sunday, April 28, 1974 ca. 19:30

Source: "Debbie reel 4/27/74" CD 3 of 4
Provenance: unknown sbd recording (?maybe MSC > C?) > reel
Transfer: AKAI GX 636 playback > Apogee mini ME @ 24/96 > Apogee Mini DAC (monitoring/mastering) > lynx one soundcard > wavelab 5.0 > CD, by Matt Smith.
Lossless encoding: EAC > CDWave > TLH (FLAC level 8).
Tagging: Foobar 2000.

(9 tracks, 37:00)
GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t01. % San Francisco Bay Blues (1) (2) [4:44] [0:28]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t02. (3) Talking Fishing %// Blues [3:#42] [0:14]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t03. Don't Think Twice, It's Alright [3:04] (4) [0:56]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t04. Cup Of Coffee [5:58] [0:13]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t05. % //Pretty Boy Floyd (1) [3:49] [0:23]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t06. Old Shep [2:45] [0:23] % [0:36]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t07. If I Were A Carpenter [3:46] (5) [0:33] % [0:06]
GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t08. talk (6) and tuning [1:28]
--Encore--
GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t09. Strawberry Roan [3:04] [0:45]

Notes:
! % = tape discontinuity; # = truncated timing; // = cut song
! There is some vocal mic distortion here.
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t01 (1) w/ unknown harp player
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t01 (2) RJE: "we just got together about ... y'know, 15 minutes ago" (re: harp player)
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t02 TFB begins with a beautiful 40-second or so little guitar passage that I thought about tracking separately.
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t02 (3) RJE: "I don't know what you been thinking. I just got off a airplane here."
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t02 TFB gap/splice @ 3:25-3:33
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t03 @ 3:44 (4) RJE: "I was over in Detroit doin' a gig last night, and I came back here on a aero-plane, and I would rather be drivin'."
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t04 @ 0:17 RJE: "I sure am glad to be here y'know ... I wouldn't miss it for the world"
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t04 @ 5:18 RJE asks what time it is, and is told (and repeats) "7". That is pretty darn consistent with the Festival schedule and gives even more confident that we have the Sunday night schedule, at least, pretty well pinned down.
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t05 PBF clips in
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t06 Like TFB, Old Shep track starts with a great guitar improvisation (this one about 45 seconds). Very nice.
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t06 @ 2:27 RJE sort of aborts Old Shep after about a minute and a half. "You know the story. I don't think you want to h ... [trails off]" and the song ends.
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t07 (5) encore calls
! GSCBF-1974-04-28-1930-Elliott-t08 (6) including discussion of "Diamond Joe"

<--John Hartford follows-->

1 comment:

  1. Note to self: the pattern of cuts from the various 4-CD sets (Korona-Lai, probably Berger) are such that the cuts here can be patched. I.e., the Korona-Lai 4 CD set lacks the gap in "Talkin' Fishin' Blues" and has the start of "Pretty Boy Floyd". So at some point this project will have to take on a whole other layer involving optimization of the various sources, etc.

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