The importance of John Hartford's musical influence is difficult to overstate: His presence is felt in the various styles that have grown out of traditional Appalachian, country and bluegrass music, and can be found threaded through the works of contemporary artists like Béla Fleck and The Avett Brothers.
Before his death in 2001, Hartford embraced and performed traditional tunes while simultaneously writing new songs that sounded old. He also wrote unusual hybrid songs — including one of the most popular hits of its time, "Gentle On My Mind," a two-time Grammy winner.
John Hartford was joined in this 1989 Mountain Stage set by his son Jamie on mandolin and vocals, and by upright bass player Mark Schatz. In addition to playing fiddle and banjo, Hartford sang and provided percussion with his feet. Host Larry Groce said of Hartford, "He had one foot rooted in the past, and the other always at least a few steps into the future. And both were dancing."
- "Waynesboro Reel"
- "I Know You Don't Love Me Anymore"
- "A New Love"
- "Run Little Rabbit Run"
- "Gum Tree Canoe"
- "Your Long Journey"