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Part of Your History - The Songs of John Hartford

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Album Review

Jamie Hartford's Part of Your History: The Songs of John Hartford is an intriguing, slightly off-center release. One can reasonably ask why the younger Hartford chose to re-record versions of his father's songs, since John Hartford's work is available. The thing is, these are good songs, so it's nice to have other versions of them whether it's John Hartford singing them or someone else. It's also interesting that Jamie Hartford chose mostly his father's early work (at least two-thirds of the album), in essence offering his interpretation of his father's legacy. "Back in the Goodle Days" and "In Tall Buildings" from the '70s, then, are of more value than most of the stuff John Hartford recorded after 1980. The acoustic arrangements have an authentic, down-to-earth feel on Part of Your History, and never attempt to copy the originals. "Back in the Goodle Days," for instance, is much lazier, and this works well with Jamie Hartford's gruff vocals (in other places, like "In Tall Buildings," Hartford sounds much closer to his father). The downside to Part of Your History is that Hartford isn't a great singer, and songs like "Holdin'" and "First Girl I Ever Loved" just don't match the vigor of the originals. Even in its failings, however, Part of Your History holds on to the musical values that made John Hartford a musical rebel during the '70s. For that reason, the CD will be appreciated by anyone who remembers great albums like Aereo-Plain and Morning Bugle. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Customer Reviews


man, after being turned on to the tunes of John Hartford via the Yonder Mountain String Band, I came across this album after hearing some tunes on the Mountain Stage on NPR. Man, if you like Yonder, and Bela Fleck and all those guys, this album is for you. The only song written by Jamie, "part of your history" is incredible. Get this album now, and have fun

Part of your History

I have had the pleasure to know Jamie when he first started his musical journey at Cowboy Jacks... I directed his first low budget video...Like to think we became good friends....This album is so touching and I'm so proud of Jamie....To have your own voice, seperate from your famous father and to follow your own dreams is a challange all by itself, but to be able to honor your father, a true american treasure, with such honesty and love fills my heart with joy and deep gratitudet hat Jamie has kept the Hartford family alive for all generations. Thank You Jamie for your commitment, passion and sincere honesty in the music you have created.....All my best to you, Stephen Kopels

this is how you do it

Tribute albums are usually a few stars, a big concept, and have very little to do with actual tribute. But everybody's heart was truly with John Hartford, Jamie sings his butt off, and the band plays these songs as songs, not vehicles. Plus, the material is chosen in such a way as to form a true picture of the songwriter as a 3D human.

Part of Your History - The Songs of John Hartford, Jamie Hartford
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Customer Ratings