The John Hartford Stringband – Memories Of John

Gone but not forgotten… That’s not just the name of a terrific song, but the sentiment that most bluegrass lovers express when discussing the giants of our music who have passed on.

One who squarely fits in this category is John Hartford, who left a powerful wake in his path during the 64 years he lived amongst us. His distinctive voice, unmistakable banjo sound, classic songs and unorthodox performance style left an indelible mark on those who saw him on stage, and his many recordings are a legacy any artist would be proud to claim.

As we approach the 10th anniversary of John’s passing in 2011, the members of his final band have recorded a tribute project (Memories Of John) that not only includes new versions of some classic Hartford songs, but also a pair of previously unreleased tracks from the 1960s, and new recordings of songs John had written for a project he never got to record.

Going as the John Hartford Stringband, the core players were all members of his touring group: Bob Carlin on banjo, Mike Compton on mandolin, Matt Combs on fiddle, Mark Schatz on bass and Chris Sharp on guitar. Guest performers on the CD include Alison Brown and Béla Fleck on banjo, plus Tim O’Brien and Alan O’Bryant on vocals.

This project was initially recorded for Red Clay Records in Japan, but has been licensed to Compass and will be shipping no later than April 1. The producers created this video to introduce the album.

Memories Of John is one that fans of the late Mr. Hartford won’t want to miss. Audio samples and pre-release orders can be found online.

Share this:

About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.