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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label John Hartford. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Hartford. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Real Gone Music : John Hartford - Aereo-Plain/Morning Bugle: The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings - New Release review

John Hartford was an incredibly creative, talented, irreverent and funny musician and song writer. For the general public, Hartford's work is condensed to one track, Gentle On My Mind, made popular by Glen Campbell. I was more attracted to Hartford's incredible musicianship, ability to attract the absolute best talent in the bluegrass world and get them focused on his projects and just to write creative stories and funny songs. Hartford would "tap dance" along with his banjo playing to add his own percussion having fabricated a wooden platform with a microphone underneath to amplify his foot steps. Hartford also performed a number of bluegrass standards and, along with the likes of David Bromberg, Jerry Garcia and the New Grass Revival, brought the joy of the bluegrass movement into the public eye. This double cd recording includes the original 16 tracks from Aero-Plain plus an additional 4 unreleased tracks. The release opens with Turn Your Radio On, the opening track which is as earthy as they come. Done in a very pure form this track is a real treat. Hartford is in the middle of his most creative period when this recording was released and Up On The Hill Where They Do The Boogie is a good example. Followup track, Boogie, was always a crowd favorite and it still brings a smile to my face when I hear it. The most heartfelt grunts ever recorded! Presbyterian Guitar has a beautiful melody and holds its own with most any Lennon McCartney melody. Symphony Hall Rag gives the guys a great opportunity to just stretch out and do what they do best...sit back and enjoy! Tear Down The Grand Ole Opry, a collaboration with Taylor, is distinctively Hartford because of his vocal style but the arrangement of the vocals on this track are particularly smart. Leather Britches featuring Clements is another standout. If you have never seen Vassar, he's a treasure. Sweetheart Can't You hear Me Calling, the first of the unreleased tracks, is a terrific track with traditional bluegrass picking and harmonizing. Taylor and Blake wrote Weave and Way and that should be enough to perk your ears in itself. If you love listening to people who can really play.... this is it! Cumberland Gap adds fuel to the instrumental fire and the boys just jam out concluding with Orange Blossom Special. This is a terrific recording in it's entirety. The second cd, Morning Bugle includes the original 11 tracks plus 4 additional unreleased tracks. This is an extremely strong contemporary bluegrass recording, some of my favorites being Old Joe Clark, instrumental track My Rag, Got No Place To Go where Hartford creates and world of his own both with candid instrumentals and unique vocals and the extremely traditional sounding Flower Power. Among the unreleased tracks, Don't Let Your Deal Go Down gets a great Hartford-esqe treatment. Back Up And Push is another great instrumental that is a fortunate find. Hartford closes the package with original track Bye-Bye where the boys rip it up and Hartford has a good time on his vocals. A perfect send off. This package is also supplemented with a beautiful 14 page booklet which include the original liner notes and covers, 4 pages of history, a great photo of Hartford performing with Earl Scruggs and Norman Blake, one of Hartford playing banjo in front of the White House and another candid photo of Tut Taylor, Vassar Clements, Norman Blake and Hartford. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”