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Thread: John Hartford died this day, 15 years ago.

  1. #1
    Registered User fentonjames's Avatar
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    Default John Hartford died this day, 15 years ago.

    This is a sad day for me. I love John Hartford. I'm kind of surprised that there hasn't been a thread about him today. Granted, he wasn't a mandolin player, but he is a direct bridge from bluegrass to newgrass and wrote so many songs covered today. Norman Blake played with him as did Sam Bush and Mike Compton.

    Every time I fiddle or play mandolin standing up and I get a good groove going, I find myself trying to clog like John.

    He was a true legend.



    1935 Gibson A-1 Wide mandolin
    Late 1800's Unbranded German fiddle

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    Default Re: John Hartford died this day, 15 years ago.

    I always liked him, too.

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    Default Re: John Hartford died this day, 15 years ago.

    Yep, sure do miss John Hartford. Even as a mandolin player, I spend more time listening to his fiddle music than anything else...currently working on 'Flannery's Dream' from his 'Wild Hog in the Red Brush' album. John and his music just has a way of lifting me up above the cares and insanity of this world. About twice a year, I watch his fiddle instruction DVD just to see and hear him. Brandon Ray Kirk (google Brandon Ray Kirk Harts Creek) has a site that has the Ed Haley manuscript that he and John worked on plus some good recollections of his time with John. John can teach you that music and humor are maybe the best defense.

    Yeah Buddy.

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    Default Re: John Hartford died this day, 15 years ago.

    What a great performer.

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    Default Re: John Hartford died this day, 15 years ago.

    God Bless John Hartford. I've said it before, Hamilton Ironworks changed my life.
    One of the most quotable fellars that ever was.

    Y'know, he's really just sitting in a deckchair, high up over Kansas City, watching them clouds roll by.

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    Middle-Aged Old-Timer Tobin's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Hartford died this day, 15 years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by fentonjames View Post
    Granted, he wasn't a mandolin player, but he is a direct bridge from bluegrass to newgrass and wrote so many songs covered today.
    I think one of the things that made him so great (one of the top ten musicians of all time, if you ask me) is that he was so many things to so many people. You see him as a bluegrass-newgrass pioneer. I see him as an old-time stalwart who breathed essential life into fiddle & banjo tunes. He did SO MUCH, across a wide spectrum, and he touched countless lives in the process. He was certainly a unique character, and a musical genius.

    While he did enjoy popularity, and still does to this day, I think his days of fame are yet to come. One day the world will sort of wake up and realize just how "big" he was for folk music.

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  12. #7
    Registered User fentonjames's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Hartford died this day, 15 years ago.

    tobin, don't forget steamboat captain!



    1935 Gibson A-1 Wide mandolin
    Late 1800's Unbranded German fiddle

  13. #8

    Default Re: John Hartford died this day, 15 years ago.

    I know that this thread is quite old, but I wanted to reply to it because I just discovered that John Hartford *was* a mandolin player, albeit not known as one. Before Doug and Rodney Dillard formed The Dillards, they recorded a handful of tunes on K-Ark Records as The Dillard Brothers, and playing mandolin on most of those recordings was their friend John Hartford! (This may actually be common knowledge to a lot of folks, but it was a fun discovery for me).

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    Default Re: John Hartford died this day, 15 years ago.

    I have to put John Hartford up there with the great poet lyricists of the end of the 20th century, While he traveled in many musical circles he was dead center with Norman and Nancy Blake, bringing the best of a historic musical tradition to the light with modern grooves and swing.
    Now at local jams its no surprise to hear someone call "Steam Powered Aeroplane" or "In tall Buildings", "Gentle on my Mind", "Vamp in the Middle", or "Steam Boat Whistle Blues". I just took to learning "Natural to be Gone" as Travelin' McCoury's cover it so well.
    I was so glad to see Micheal Cleveland cover "Old Time River Man" with Tim O'Brien on his Grammy winning "Tall Fiddler" recording, one of John's finer tunes to my mind.
    Seen him once up close at Cafe Lena in Saratoga, unforgettable.
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
    Got no compassion, thinks its a sin
    All he does is sit around an play the Mandolin"

  15. #10

    Default Re: John Hartford died this day, 15 years ago.

    So many songs to choose from but for some reason, this is the one that came to mind:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnJJADMv9d4

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