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|Jamie Hartford||Primary Artist, Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals|
|Sam Bush||Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals|
|Vassar Clements||Fiddle, Vocals|
|David Grisman||Mandolin, Vocals|
|Ronnie McCoury||Mandolin, Mandola|
|Randy Kohrs||Slide Guitar|
Posted October 1, 2010
The impressive guest list would seem to imply that this is yet another all-star tribute or an attempt to imitate some old Hartford standards with Jamie at the helm. This is most certainly not the case. This project is a bittersweet tribute, not only to his late father, but also to the lost art of making music. Jamie is an incredibly talented musician, his acoustic guitar work on this project will delight fans who know him only as a gifted roots rock Telecaster player. The title track “Part of Your History” was written by Jamie and fits snugly among the songs penned by his father. Alone it is a great song, within the framework of this project it becomes something more. Every song on this CD is a treasure, with Jamie being joined by generations of the musicians who influenced and have been influenced by John Hartford. Hard core fans of the father will be delighted to hear Norman Blake, David Grisman and Vassar Clements while new grassers will enjoy next generation pickers Sam Bush, Tim O’Brien, Ronnie McCoury, and Bela Fleck. Still, it is not the all-star band or their outstanding individual performances that will make you want to listen over and over again. It is the unique way the music honors the songs, the honesty in the voice of the son and the sense of presence of his father that will draw you from one song to the next. Remember when you used to listen to an entire CD? All of it? Not just a song or two, but you actually listened to the whole CD? There are those of us who recall those times with fondness and a certain longing while we hit the skip button in search of a song we like. Jamie Hartford’s “Part of Your History: The Songs of John Hartford” has given my “skip” button a long overdue rest.
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