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Jamie Hartford

What About Yes – 1997 (Paladin)

Reviewed by Bruce Kidder

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CDs by Jamie Hartford

Is it roots rock? Perhaps roadhouse? Country blues? The truth is, it doesn't matter. Jamie Hartford's debut is a spirited musical adventure. The son of county/folk star John Hartford has persevered through a record deal gone bad to create a career record the first time out.

The disc cuts across many musical boundaries opening with the countrified boogie of "Somebody's Gonna Pay (for the way you've treated me)," great country anguish set to roadhouse boogie. Before heading off to work each day, listen to "Hard Hard World," another roadhouse number that will get you set for your daily grind. "Good Things Happen When You're Around" has that mellow love song feel and a nice musical groove as well. Stand out harmonica work abounds throughout.

Hartford won't be heard on country radio, nor rock, as it is somewhere in that hinterland. That is a shame because this disc is one of the best in recent months.