Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Me Oh My How the Time Does Fly
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
This 18-song compilation serves as a useful introduction to John Hartford's quirky, modern old-time music. Culled from his Flying Fish period (1976-87), the set includes solo banjo and fiddle forays, odes to his beloved ri... more »
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This 18-song compilation serves as a useful introduction to John Hartford's quirky, modern old-time music. Culled from his Flying Fish period (1976-87), the set includes solo banjo and fiddle forays, odes to his beloved riverboats (and the fifth-grade teacher who turned him on to them), picking sessions with Nashville's top men (Buddy Emmons, Sam Bush, Bennie Martin, Roy Husky Jr., and more), laments for days gone by, and even a reading of "Gentle on My Mind"--the hit that facilitated this entire off-kilter musical vision. Whether through a nifty instrumental turn, a poignant lyric, or an annoying novelty tune, Hartford knows how to strike a nerve. --Marc Greilsamer
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More Than an Hour's Worth of John Hartford Magic
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 06/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is as much a eulogy for one of my favorite artists--he died June 4--as it is a recommendation of this Flying Fish anthology. John Hartford was a true Renaissance man. He was a songwriter, accomplished musician (banjo, fiddle, guitar), author ("Steamboat in a Cornfield") and riverboat pilot. He was also unmoved by musical trends that could have made him a household name back when Glen Campbell made Hartford's "Gentle on My Mind" a country and pop hit. But the money from that song--his obituary said it has been played on the radio six million times--provided Hartford with the financial security to forsake mainstream success and pursue his own muse. So what Hartford did for more than thirty years was release more than a dozen quirky albums that were, if nothing else, honest reflections of a wonderful storyteller. This collection touches bases with nearly every album--nine in all--that Hartford recorded for Flying Fish beginning with 1976's Mark Twang through 1984's Gum Tree Canoe. [The only album not represented is 1972's Morning Bugle, which is now available on Rounder. The version of "Nobody Eats at Linebaugh's Anymore" is a live recording from 1977's The Festival Tapes where Hartford is backed by the Newgrass Revival.]Hartford wrote fourteen of the tracks here and co-wrote another two. [The only two non-originals are "Gum Tree Canoe" and "Bear Creek Hop."] The list of musicians reads like a bluegrass Who's Who: Benny Martin, Buddy Emmons, Doug and Rodney Dillard, Mac Wiseman, Jerry Douglas, Mark O'Connor, Roy Husky--the list goes on and on. For the most part the song selection steers away from his overtly off-beat numbers, except for "Boogie" and the nostalgic "Good Old Elctric Washing Machine-circa 1943," where he does an admirable washing machine impression. Additional highlights include "Skippin' in the Mississippi Dew" and his own version of "Gentle on My Mind." At 18 tracks and sixty-four minutes this is a marvelous collection from perhaps his most fertile period. I already owned nearly a dozen albums on vinyl, but this and 1971's Aereo-Plain made my CD upgrade list.The closing track, "I'm Still Here," now takes on a new meaning. Mark Twain once wrote, "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." While I will miss John Hartford the artist, I will continue to savor his music. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED"
John John John John John
Collin E Waltner | Freeman, SD USA | 08/14/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is simply a best of album of my hero, John Hartford. If you like absolutely EVERYTHING that John Hartford does, then you will like this album. But I am warning you, if you are some sort of staunch genre purist, this may not be it for you. There is some folksy stuff as well as country and seventies rock sounding numbers. If you are looking for a very good luegrass CD, may I suggest John Hartford Live at the Mountian Stage"
So good it's downright unexpected
Michael O'Brien | 02/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"John Hartford made music to transcend pop-culture barriers like genre and critique, and this album puts a good part of that musical dynamism on display. While I never had the chance to see John play, I admire people who did, because it means that they take pleasure in enjoying themselves to good timing music. John's music is everything that popular radio has tended to exclude - historical reflections on an era, good-humouredness, vitality - and those who take the time to give this record a listen will find themselves to be rewarded for it.
As an american-raised person studying abroad in Paris, and also as somebody who made an effort to find the value in art that goes beyond the frames of my own little suburban microculture, just to come on Amazon and hear a snippet of songs like "Cukoo's Nest", "Slumberin' on the Cumberland" and "I'm Still Here" takes me back to where the music can move you without being uppity or causing your eardrums to rattle. "Cukoo's Nest" especially is a tune that cannot help but speak to anybody who knows about waiting and love, and when John says he does it 'not to get to know you, but just because of love', well that is one of those lines that helps life make more sense. And then "I'm Still Here", a song of surprise about the fact that economic apocalypse hasn't happened yet, should be especially relevant given the current state of American politics and foreign relations policy. If you've been through some crazy times in your life, and if you've never quite figured out why the heck you're still alive, "I'm Still Here" is a song that will surely let you know you're not alone.
But it should be noted that this is not an album meant for fans of Fast Times at Ridgemont High. If you live for the life of big business and 70-story elevator rides to work in the morning, this album may not be for you either. John Hartford speaks to a time, and offers melody to a place, where life was rooted in itself, and where the storytelling tradition may live on to see the day again. And again, if you want an album you can listen to for a few weeks and forget about, because nothing new will come and no more feelings will emerge, then steer clear of "Me oh my", which offers nothing if not that rare mix of grassroots class and off-beat technical mastery ; a mix which is sure to keep you raising eyebrowns, tapping feet, and smiling in your coffee mug for many years to come."