One of the few folksingers as loved by Pete Seeger
as by Bob Dylan
, Ramblin' Jack Elliott
nailed the persona of the itinerant folksinger, with his laconic yet flexible delivery and leathery image. He reflected his old-timey vocal influences without ever sounding overly affected, and he could sound rustic ("John Hardy") or steel-belted ("Black Snake Moan") whatever the occasion called for. Vanguard Visionaries
, a ten-track compilation sans liner notes, can't possibly do more than scratch the surface of Ramblin' Jack Elliott
's career. Still, it's true that Elliott
recorded much great work on Vanguard, and there's no question that these songs -- "Black Snake Moan," "1913 Massacre," "House of the Rising Sun" -- are among the best of his Vanguard work.