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$15,883
pledged of $31,000pledged of $31,000 goal
216
backers
11days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Mon, December 2 2019 10:00 PM UTC +00:00.

Save the Tunes: The John Hartford Fiddle Tune Project

An album of John Hartford's unearthed fiddle tunes performed by his friends, contemporaries, and those he influenced.

Save the Tunes: The John Hartford Fiddle Tune Project

An album of John Hartford's unearthed fiddle tunes performed by his friends, contemporaries, and those he influenced.

$15,883
pledged of $31,000pledged of $31,000 goal
216
backers
11days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Mon, December 2 2019 10:00 PM UTC +00:00.

About

Our Project 

Recovered in John Hartford's archives were literally thousands of unpublished fiddle tunes stored away in two decades worth of notebooks. We are working with John's contemporaries, former bandmates, and those he's since influenced to start recording these tunes so that they can live beyond printed form. The first round of tunes will be released as an album. 

That's what this project will support. Now that nearly 200 of these tunes have been released in the form of the book, "John Hartford's Mammoth Collection of Fiddle Tunes" (which you can get your hands on by supporting this project), we're eager to give them life. We are also excited to have Matt Combs, one of John's former bandmates and proteges, producing this album.

Artists appearing on the album to date:

  • Chris Eldridge
  • Noam Pikelny
  • Ronnie McCoury
  • Tim O’Brien
  • Brittany Haas
  • Former members of the John Harford String Band, including Chris Sharp, Mike Compton, Mark Howard, and Dennis Crouch
  • Tristan Scroggins
  • Megan Lynch Chowning
  • ...plus more to come!

In addition to recording and releasing the album, this campaign will also support an effort to continue working through footage and writing from John's archive to produce videos about the fiddle from John's perspective. 

The Backstory 

John Hartford’s Mammoth Collection of Fiddle Tunes contains reproductions of 176 of John’s original fiddle compositions, taken from sixty-eight handwritten music journals discovered by the family after his passing. Interspersed with stories, quotes, and John’s own artwork, it is a fiddle anthology unlike any other, and a peek inside the unique mind of a prolific musician and composer.

Now that the book has been published and well-received, it’s time to take what’s on paper and translate it to audio. The Hartford Fiddle Tune Project aims to breathe life into John’s foundational tunes while honoring his creative spirit and passion for the instrument.

The initial project will be an album consisting of tunes selected from the book and recorded by various artists from the acoustic music world who were either friends/former bandmates of John’s, or are younger artists influenced by his work. Each tune will be interpreted in that artist’s own voice, demonstrating the versatility and timelessness of John’s writing style, and generating broader interest in the work. The recorded tunes will be released on audio CD, vinyl, and streaming.

Once this album has been produced and promoted, we will consider additional artists for recording tunes to be included on their own projects. We will also use publicity around the recordings to reach out to various college-based music programs with workshop curriculum and opportunities designed for students and ensembles to arrange, engineer, produce, and record select tunes. Ultimately, we hope this activity will encourage interest in John’s legacy and his own sizable music and river archive, which now resides at four major research institutions.

Rewards

From the record we're putting together of these recovered tunes, to copies of "John Hartford's Mammoth Collection of Fiddle Tunes", to—for a select few—a private tour to view the fiddle journals in the Hartford archive at the Center for Popular Music, rewards for this project are varied and there is something for every level of John Hartford fan. 

Risks and challenges

This project is already underway and recording has already begun.

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Support

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    Let's Boogie

    Hey, thanks so much for supporting this endeavor. You'll get a first look at all of the video we produce in support of this project. There is a lot of cool stuff to be seen here.

    Includes:
    • Video
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    Appreciative Postcard

    Hey, thanks so much! You will receive a limited-edition John Hartford-themed postcard expressing our deepest thanks for your support.

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    • Postcard
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    Digital Download

    You will receive a digital download of the album as soon as it's ready to go!

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    • Digital Download
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    John Hartford Fiddle Tune Project CD

    You'll get the CD in the mail as soon as it's ready to go out!

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    • CD
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    Fiddle All Day / Night T-Shirt

    "If we play our cards right, we can fiddle all day and into the night."

    — John Hartford

    Unisex t-shirt featuring this iconic Hartford quote in a typeset style.

    Includes:
    • T-Shirt
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    12" Vinyl LP

    Y'all like vinyl? We've got it here!

    Includes:
    • 12" LP
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    Limited (481 left of 500) 19 backers
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    Mammoth Collection book, signed

    You will receive a copy of "John Hartford's Mammoth Collection of Fiddle Tunes", signed by the authors.

    "John Hartford’s Mammoth Collection of Fiddle Tunes" is a sizable anthology containing 176 of his original compositions. Most of these tunes are previously unpublished and unrecorded, taken from Hartford’s personal music journals. Compiled and narrated by fiddler Matt Combs, John’s daughter Katie Harford Hogue, and musicologist Greg Reish, the book sheds light on Hartford’s creative process through original tune compositions, his own reflections on the fiddle, and interviews with family and fellow musicians, including Marty Stuart, Sam Bush, Norman & Nancy Blake, and Mike Compton.

    The book includes 60+ of John’s personal drawings—ranging in theme from steamboats and the river, to fellow musicians, home and everyday life—as well as several never before seen photographs. The cover artwork is masterfully drawn by St. Louis artist and John’s personal friend, Dan Martin.

    Includes:
    • Hartford's Mammoth Collection Book
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    Fiddle Device Cards

    Hartford took copious notes on 3x5 cards, which he then kept in his vest pocket for quick reference. This set contains facsimiles of cards carried by Hartford with notes on fiddle playing, including numerous fiddle devices. Set contains 50 cards total.

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    CD and T-Shirt

    You get the CD and the t-shirt.

    [These will ship separately; the t-shirt will ship when the campaign wraps and the CD will ship March of 2020 or earlier.]

    Includes:
    • CD
    • T-Shirt
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    24 backers
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    CD and Mammoth Collection Book

    You get the book once the campaign wraps and the CD once it's out!

    [Book will ship by the holidays and the CD is expected to ship by March 2020]

    Includes:
    • CD
    • Hartford's Mammoth Collection Book
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    Vinyl + T-Shirt

    It's the t-shirt and the Vinyl.

    [They will ship separately - the t-shirt as soon as the campaign wraps, in time for the holidays, and the record as soon as it's ready. We're shooting for earlier, but allow for March.]

    Includes:
    • 12" LP
    • T-Shirt
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    Mammoth Collection book + Vinyl

    It's the book [signed!] and the vinyl.

    [They will ship separately - the book as soon as the campaign wraps, in time for the holidays, and the record as soon as it's ready. We're shooting for earlier, but allow for March.]

    Includes:
    • 12" LP
    • Hartford's Mammoth Collection Book
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    Bronze Hartford Fan Collection

    The download, the book, the fiddle tune device book, and the t-shirt.

    Includes:
    • Digital Download
    • T-Shirt
    • Hartford's Mammoth Collection Book
    • Fiddle Device Cards
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    8 backers
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    Silver Hartford Fan Collection

    The CD, T-Shirt, Hartford's Mammoth Collection Book, and Fiddle Device Pamphlet.

    [The merchandise will ship in December—in advance of the CD—and the CD will be sent upon completion in 2020]

    Includes:
    • Digital Download
    • CD
    • Fiddle Device Cards
    • Hartford's Mammoth Collection Book
    • T-Shirt
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    7 backers
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    Gold Harford Fan Collection

    Digital Download, CD, 12" Vinyl, T-Shirt, Hartford's Mammoth Collection Book, and Fiddle Device Pamphlet.

    The merchandise will ship in December, and the CD and vinyl will ship upon completion in early 2020.

    Includes:
    • Digital Download
    • CD
    • Hartford's Mammoth Collection Book
    • T-Shirt
    • Fiddle Device Cards
    • 12" LP
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    12 backers
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    Supporting Credit

    Prominent listing on the album as a supporter. You will be supplied with a certificate thanking you for and acknowledging your contribution.

    * This is in credit only and does not include shares in / of the intellectual property of John Hartford or his estate.

    Includes:
    • Supporting Credit
    • CD
    • 12" LP
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    1 backer
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    Platinum Hartford Fan Collection

    You get all the merch we have to offer, including the supporting credit.

    You'll get all the items that are not the record in December, and the rest by March.

    Includes:
    • 12" LP
    • CD
    • Fiddle Device Cards
    • Hartford's Mammoth Collection Book
    • Postcard
    • Digital Download
    • Supporting Credit
    • T-Shirt
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    0 backers
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    Private Archive Tour

    John's daughter, Katie Hogue, will take you and one guest to lunch, and then on a private tour of the Hartford archive at the Center For Popular Music in Murfreesboro, TN. With assistance from the on-site archivist, you will be allowed to view the original sixty-eight fiddle journals, containing thousands of handwritten tunes, on which this project is based. (This is a unique opportunity, as the collection is currently not available to the public.) You and your guest will each receive an author-signed copy of "John Hartford's Mammoth Collection of Fiddle Tunes", plus the audio CD.

    * You are responsible for getting to the Nashville area for this tour; only the lunch and archive visit are included in this reward. Visits must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance, and during the hours of 8:30am-4:00pm CST, Monday thru Friday. Archive visit will last one hour; no photos will be allowed of the journals. We will work with you to schedule a date that works for all parties in 2020.

    Includes:
    • Hartford's Mammoth Collection Book
    • CD
    • Supporting Credit
    • 12" LP
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited (2 left of 2) 0 backers
    $

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