A new collection of John Hartford’s music, John Hartford’s Mammoth Collection of Fiddle Tunes, is set for release on June 4 from StuffWorks Press. Compiled and narrated by Matt Combs, Katie Harford Hogue and Greg Reish, the book contains 176 of John’s original fiddle tunes, the bulk of them previously unpublished and never recorded, taken from a perusal of his personal journals.
Also included are more than 60 of John’s drawings, depicting his beloved steamboats and river life, plus scenes from home and his favorite musicians. The authors have also dug up a number of photos never before seen except among his family.
They interviewed several of Hartford’s close friends for the book, including icons like Marty Stuart, Sam Bush, Norman & Nancy Blake, and Mike Compton, plus members of John’s family. Some of his journal entries are incorporated as well, especially as they relate to the fiddle and fiddle music.
The authors each come at Hartford’s music from a unique perspective. Combs is a fellow musician and fiddler, and a former member of the John Hartford String Band who appeared on their Grammy nominated Memories Of John album. Hogue is John’s daughter, and the co-manager of the John Hartford Office archive, while Reish is a musician, producer, and musicologist who serves as director of the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University.
This is one that every serious fan of John Hartford will want in their collection, and which every bluegrass fiddler should pore over with great care.
John Hartford’s Mammoth Collection of Fiddle Tunes will be widely available on June 4 through popular booksellers, and at the johnhartford.com web site, with a special pre-release opportunity to pick one up during the John Hartford Memorial Festival in Bean Blossom, IN on May 31.