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May 30, 2023 - 4:27:43 PM
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14 posts since 5/7/2023

So I just discovered John Hartford (thanks YouTube) and my mind is blown!!!!

Gotta say after taking up the banjo last month I’ve gone down a really fun road of American history and music (I’m Canadian) there’s some real wholesome and not so wholesome deep history I wasn’t aware of.

Looking from outside one tends to get bogged down with the politics and the ugly, and not much further, glad to be learnin.

May 30, 2023 - 5:09:41 PM
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61048 posts since 12/14/2005

Can't dare to claim any ONE John Hartford song as my favorite, but my favorite QUOTE is

"My art consists in doing what I enjoy.
That way, if others also enjoy it, well and good.
And if not, at least I haven't wasted my time."

May 30, 2023 - 7:32:35 PM

747 posts since 2/11/2019

Truly an amazing artist. Highly talented songwriter who could pick, sing, and dance all at the same time! I'm getting to where I can pick and sing - SOME songs but it takes a lot of practice and it's HARD. He made it look so easy, and I don't think I'll ever add dancing to picking and singing.

May 30, 2023 - 7:58:22 PM
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70291 posts since 10/5/2013

One of his best,, and there are many


May 31, 2023 - 12:08:46 PM

78866 posts since 5/9/2007

In the late 80s Vaughn Meader noticed that John was playing in New Hampshire.
He called John there and asked him to come to Maine and play an evening at "The Speakeasy" in Hallowell.
Two days later John and his son Jaimie arrived and played two sets there and sat at the table with Vaughn,me and my Country Choir band.
Unforgettable.Vaughn knew everybody.

May 31, 2023 - 2:23:09 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


27422 posts since 6/25/2005

As his later career revealed, Hartford was at heart an old-time SE Missouri fiddler who enjoyed entertaining.

May 31, 2023 - 11:29:21 PM
Players Union Member



966 posts since 6/29/2007

My favorite is, "Gum Tree Canoe".
He used to hang around here in Peoria and pilot the Julia Bell Swain river boat.


Edited by - rvrose on 05/31/2023 23:29:49

May 31, 2023 - 11:42:50 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


27422 posts since 6/25/2005

If his music career had flopped (no chance after “Gentle on my Mind”) he could have made a very decent living as a pilot.

Jun 1, 2023 - 5:23:56 AM

78866 posts since 5/9/2007

Old Time Riverman is my favorite John Song.It seems to have been written about my folks.

Jun 1, 2023 - 1:06:28 PM

3303 posts since 4/5/2006

From the moment John Hartford stood up in the audience, playing Gentle On My Mind on that Summer Brothers Smothers Show, I was hooked. John left an indelible impression on me. 

Jun 1, 2023 - 7:40:58 PM
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Paul R


16638 posts since 1/28/2010

We sang "Old Time Riverman" at the Song Circle Wednesday. John was licensed to pilot a 40 mile stretch of the Mississippi. The test includes drawing a map of the section in question, including all navigation markers - from memory.

"Music got in the way. I'm a riverman first, a musician second, to support my steamboat habit.

"Working as a pilot is a labour of love. After a while, it becomes a metaphor for a whole lot of things, and I find, for some mysterious reason, that if I stay in touch with it, things seem to work out all right." J.H.

Working as volunteer staff at the 1971 Mariposa Folk Festival on the Toronto Islands, I was introduced to John Hartford, Norman Blake, Tut Taylor, and Vasser Clements, all at once. Talk about gobsmacked!

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