If Woody Guthrie epitomized the hardscrabble first half of the 20th century — the political action, the collective power of the working class, the Depression, the Dust Bowl — Ramblin’ Jack captured the freewheeling optimism of the second half. He was the spirit of reinvention, rejecting the dour middle-class respectability of his Brooklyn parents for the freedom of the open road, the cowboy spirit, and the rolling carnival of the touring musician, long before those ideals fell prey to the curdled patriotism of pickup truck marketing campaigns and country radio and Hollywood fabulism. Ramblin’ Jack Elliott plays the music of America, but, more than that, he captures the soul of America, the spirit of rebellion that holds that the greatest riches are good company. The music he recorded at the beginning of the 1960s, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott among it, was a bellwether for the decade to come.