The key cuts from John's 1976-84 LPs are collected here, from his evocative steamboat songs to his whimsically weird progressive-bluegrass tunes. A re-record of his most famous song, Gentle on My Mind , joins Cuckoo's Nest; Miss Ferris; Gum Tree Canoe; Natchez Whistle; I Would Not Be Here; Boogie; Bear Creek Hop , and more!
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