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Cadillac Rag

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Album Review

As a musician, John Hartford vascilates between writing modern folk singer/songwriter and being an academic revivalist, researching and recording traditional country and folk songs in their original arrangements. Cadillac Rag is one of his academic albums — a selection of 10 traditional tunes, played simply and directly by Hartford (banjo), fiddler Ted Masden, Buddy Spicher and John Yudkin. Occasionally the sleek professional production and studied performances make these traditional songs sound lifeless, which prevents Cadillac Rag from being a truly engagining listen. However, it is an interesting one, particularly if you're interested in studying traditional country from an academic standpoint.


Born: December 30, 1937 in New York, NY

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

John Hartford remains best known for the country-pop standard "Gentle on My Mind," a major hit for Glen Campbell and subsequently covered by vocalists ranging from Frank Sinatra to Aretha Franklin. The song remains among the most often recorded in the history of popular music, its copyright netting Hartford well over a hundred thousand dollars annually for many years. But there was more to Hartford than that curious mix of highly literary folk music and MOR romantic nostalgia, told from the perspective...
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Cadillac Rag, John Hartford
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