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Walls We Bounce Off Of

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Album Review

This batch of casual solo performances highlights Hartford's humorous sensibilities on tunes that sound made-up on the spot, including "The All Collision All Explosion Song" and "Hooter Thunkit," though they would sometimes appear in his concert set lists. Over the course of 13 numbers, he sings and plays banjo, fiddle, guitar, and his shoes. He also reads a piece of skeptical fan mail and answers a ringing telephone that interrupts some banjo tuning before the start of a song. Whatever this relaxed album lacks in comparison to the studio polish of his early RCA recordings or the reverence for older traditions that characterized his Rounder releases, there's no refuting that Hartford's love of music and joy for life permeate these seriously silly songs.


Born: 30 December 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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Walls We Bounce Off Of, John Hartford
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