On The Road: A Tribute To John Hartford

John Hartford, a four-time Grammy award winner, is fondly remembered in the music community, influencing scores of musicians across generations through his country-folk song-writing, old-time /early bluegrass music, as well as his dynamic live performances. There have been many Hartford tributes, and another comes in the form of the album, On The Road: A Tribute To John Hartford (LoHi Records 420), to be released on June 26, 2020. 

Several acclaimed artists, including Jamie Hartford, Todd Snider, Sam Bush, John Carter Cash, Leftover Salmon, The Travelin’ McCourys, Keller Williams, Yonder Mountain String Band, Jerry Douglas, Norman Blake, The Infamous Stringdusters, Railroad Earth, The Band Of Heathens, and Fruition celebrate Hartford’s legacy with the June 26, 2020 release.  

All net proceeds from this special tribute will be donated to MusiCares – the charitable foundation organised by the Recording Academy – in order to benefit artists and musicians to help mitigate the hardships and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. With all live performances and tours being halted, an enormous number of artists and musicians are without any source of income. Since the early 1990s MusiCares has been finding ways to help thousands in the music industry and community by providing assistance during crises such as that being experienced at the moment.

Three tracks from the album have recently been released. The first being The Infamous Stringdusters’s a soulful arrangement of the country-folk-pop masterpiece Gentle On My Mind, one of Hartford’s most enduring songs that has become a standard previously covered by Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin among so many others …..  


Also available already is the first track on the album, Sam Bush’s version of On The Road, a song that Bush performed live with Hartford as far back as 1977.


Another early release is the Leftover Salmon’s funky rendition of The Category Stomp ….. 


On The Road: A Tribute To John Hartford, for which the full track listing is shown below, will be available on CD, vinyl as well as for digital download. 

All 14 songs / tunes are John Hartford originals…. 

  • Sam Bush – On The Road 
  • Fruition – Back In The Goodle Days 
  • Yonder Mountain String Band – Holding 
  • The Infamous Stringdusters – Gentle On My Mind 
  • Leftover Salmon – The Category Stomp 
  • The Travelin’ McCourys – No End Of Love 
  • Railroad Earth – Delta Queen Waltz 
  • Keller Williams with The Travelin’ McCourys – Granny Woncha Smoke Some Marijuana 
  • The Band Of Heathens – Up On The Hill Where They Do The Boogie 
  • Todd Snider – I Wish I Had Our Time Again
  • Horseshoes & Hand Grenades – Let Him Go On Mama 
  • John Carter Cash and Jamie Hartford (featuring Norman Blake and Jerry Douglas) – In Tall Buildings 
  • The High Hawks – Waugh Paugh
  • Greg Garrison – Tear Down The Grand Ole Opry 
  • Danny Barnes – On The Road 

John Hartford passed away on June 4, 2001 after a long battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.