A Tribute To John Hartford: Live From Mountain Stage

(Blue Plate Music)
Multiple Artists

By Bob Mitchell

Larry Groce, Host and Artistic Director for Mountain Stage, has given us a loving tribute that comes less than three months after John Hartford's death. The release begins with an energetic "Gentle On My Mind" from Kathy Mattea and Tim O'Brien and ends with an appreciative John Hartford saying, "Thanks for giving me the flowers while I'm living." Hartford performed on Mountain Stage nine times, including this last show on September 24, 2000. It is obvious that Hartford is touched by the tribute, so if you like John's music, this is recording that you can enjoy as much as he did.

The selections are as varied and as unique as Hartford's music. Jamie Hartford, sounding a little like Lyle Lovett, provides a hard driving blues version of "Who Cut Your Heart Out?" Riders in the sky swing, western style, "Billy The Kid." Gillian Welch sings her heart out on a poignant thought provoking "In Tall Buildings." The centerpiece for this tribute is soulful "More Love" by Tim O'Brien. Other artists featured in this collection are Norman Blake, Bela Fleck, Pat Flynn, and John Cowan.

Five of the twelve tracks showcase John Hartford and his band. Interestingly, even though the show was a live tribute for Hartford, John chose to include three tributes to musicians who influenced his life. Flatt and Scruggs are honored in "Me and My Fiddle" and "The Boys From North Carolina." Bill Monroe is remembered with, "In The Heart of The Cross Eyed Child."

To learn more or obtain a copy of this CD contact Blue Plate Music at 1-800-521-2112 or on the web at www.blueplate.com