Turn Your Radio On…

As I was brainstorming ideas for this blog post, I realized that I had overlooked one of my favorite banjo players, and that he needed a post all to himself!

John Hartford. I used to protest when my parents would put on his albums and CDs, but a few years ago I realized this music that I had grown up with was undoubtedly important and GOOD- better than good, great.  My parents seem to own every one of his albums.  As I was digging through five crates of records in my basement this weekend I saw all of them.  Some were peeling at the corners and had travelled with my parents from their old home to the houses in-between, and now landing in our basement.  One of his CDs is always stuck in the side compartment of our car ready to be listened to at any moment.

John Hartford

His songs are sometimes stories, sometimes revelations, and sometimes just a good bluegrass tune.  My favorite album of his is “Aereo-Plain.”  A family road trip is never complete without at least one listen of this album.  It starts and ends with the song “Turn Your Radio On” which is a particularly enjoyable selection.  The entire album though is honestly fantastic.  The banjo playing (of course) adds a lot.  I wish I could more accurately pinpoint the direct influence of banjo on this album, but the banjo serves as an important part of the band in this case.

Another cool thing about John Hartford is that he played at one of my favorite venues, one that I have volunteered and interned at.  This makes me feel as though I have a small connection to him because we have both been in the same place kind of “behind the scenes.”

 

John & Lena

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