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John Hartford Backroads, Rivers & Memories CD

  • John Hartford’s Legend and Influence Extend Way Beyond “Gentle on My Mind” and His Appearances as the Banjo-Playing Sidekick on The Glen Campbell Good Time Hour

  • Hartford Was an Indispensable Sideman on Such Seminal Albums as The Byrds’Sweetheart of the Rodeo, James Taylor’sMud Slide Slim, and Many Others

  • On His Own He Singlehandedly Created the “Newgrass” Genre with His Beloved 1971 Release, Aereo Plain

  • Now, Real Gone Music Presents Backroads, Rivers & Memories—The Rare & Unreleased John Hartford, a Collection of 27 Tracks Licensed Directly from the John Hartford Estate

  • 19 Previously Unreleased Tracks

  • Features Five Hartford Songs Never Heard Before in Any Version

  • Includes 16 Unreleased Songwriting Demos Dating from 1965 to 1969

  • Three Unreleased Radio Performances from 1964

  • Eight Ultra-Rare Early Singles with the Ozark Mountain Trio

  • Includes Previously Unheard Versions of Such Hartford Favorites as “This Eve of Parting” (from the recent indie hit filmLady Bird), the iconic “Gentle on My Mind,” and a Brief Recording of the First Rehearsal of the Bluegrass Classic “Steam Powered Aereo Plain.”

  • Compiled and Annotated by Musician and Hartford Scholar Skip Heller

  • Mastered by Kevin Chubirka at Haven

  • Photos from the Hartford Family’s Private Archive

  • Destined to Be One of the Year’s Most Talked-About Bluegrass Releases

    Order Now!

    John Hartford: Backroads, Rivers & Memories--The Rare & Unreleased John Hartford. CD

    If all John Hartford had done was to write “Gentle on My Mind”, his legend would be sealed as a songwriting giant. But his talent as a singer and instrumentalist catapulted him to fame not only as the banjo-playing sidekick on the Glen Campbell Good Time Hour TV show of the late sixties, but also as an in-demand studio sideman (the Byrds’ fabled Sweetheart of the Rodeo, James Taylor’s Mud Slide Slim, and countless others). In the midst of this, he formed the band that made Aereo Plain, the 1971 record that defined newgrass before theprogressive new style had a name. Or any other practitioners. That bold, singular approach was actually years in the making. Starting his professional life as a St Louis banjo player obsessed with Flatt & Scruggs’ history-making bluegrass, John Hartford seemed at the outset to have set out on a conventional country music path, complete with a white cowboy hat, pickin’ and singin’ on the radio, and pressing up singles of his bluegrass group, inching slowly and inevitably towards Nashville. Along the way, he picked up some newinfluences, including Bob Dylan and Roger Miller. And he recordedevery step, every song of his musical sojourn.

    Backroads, Rivers & Memories collects 27 recordings, 19 of which have never been released, the other 8 being his ultra-rare early singles with the Ozark Mountain Trio. Licensed directly from the John Hartford estate, the set features three live radio cuts from 1964, and 16 beautifully rendered 1965-1969 songwriter demos, including 5 Hartford newly-uncovered originals never heard before. Fanfavorites include “This Eve of Parting” (from the recent indie hit filmLady Bird), the iconic “Gentle on My Mind”, and a brief recording ofthe first rehearsal of the bluegrass classic “Steam Powered AereoPlain.”

    Complied and notated by musician and Hartford scholar Skip Heller, mastered by Kevin Chubirka at Haven, and graced with photos from the Hartford family archive, this collection is destined to be one of this year’s most talked-about country/bluegrass releases.



    1. Towboat River
    2. Tall Tall Grass
    3. Front Porch
    4. Eve of My Multiplication 
    5. California Earthquake 
    6. Left Handed Woman7. George
    8. Run
    9. This Eve of Parting
    10. Self Made Man
    11. Minus The Woman
    12. Like unto a Mockingbird
    13. Grownup Man
    14. Gentle On My Mind
    15. Steam Powered Aereo Plain (first rehearsal excerpt) 

    16. Station Break

    Live on WHOW, Clinton IL with Pat Burton (guitar) & Nate Bray (mandolin)

    17. Ice Cold Love 
    18. Matthew 24 

    19. Greensleeves

    The Ozark Mountain Trio singles

    20. Corrina
    21. Greenback Dollar
    22. Jesus Loves Everybody 
    23. I Forgot to Forget
    24. The Way Is Narrow
    25. Short Life of Trouble

    26. That Great Day Is Coming
    27. When I Feel the Hand of My Saviour

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