A Stranger Here - Ramblin' Jack Elliott
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. These dark, old blues tracks have never sounded more haunting.
  2. Here the folk legend rings in the new with songs from the old, sensitively produced by Joe Henry.
  3. 80
    Elliott is better at world-weariness than he is at sass, but has enough guile to mould the songs in his own image.
  4. illustrates how slight the distinctions between country, blues, and folk genre labels are, and it adds to Elliott's legacy as one of popular music's finest storytellers.
  5. Elliott brings a seen-it-all authenticity to this repertoire while Joe Henry's sympathetic production (aided by guest appearances by Los Lobos' David Hidalgo and Van Dyke Parks) is pitch perfect.
  6. Although it contains some fine backing musicians here, notably Van Dyke Parks and Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo, Henry uses them to accent Elliott’s unique sound rather than to accompany him.
  7. This is not so much a reinvention as another way to look deep into the heart of Elliott's music. It's also an early nominee for folk album of the year.
  8. The pre-WWII country blues that the 77-year-old honed under the tutelage of Woody Guthrie are in full bloom on 'The New Stranger Blues' and 'Soul of A Man'. [Spring 2009, p.77]
  9. 60
    It's on those songs that strike a chord with Elliot personally that he's most convincing. [May 2009, p.103]
  10. Now in his 78th year, all that know-how has been meaningfully brought to bear on this collection of vintage, Depression-era blues. [May 20009, p.112]
  11. 84
    Ramblin' Jack Elliott has teamed up with producer Joe Henry to deliver a starkly dimensional and soulful collection of dark blues. [Winter 2009, p.94]
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. MusicMaster
    Apr 25, 2009
    10
    Scary as hell blues soundtrack to the apocalypse.