Band of Heathens Cover John Hartford's 'Up on the Hill': Listen - Rolling Stone
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Hear Band of Heathens Cover John Hartford’s ‘Up on the Hill’ for New Tribute Album

“Up on the Hill Where They Do the Boogie” is among the tracks on the upcoming ‘On the Road: A Tribute to John Hartford’

Roots-rock group the Band of Heathens are among the country, folk, jam, and Americana artists paying homage to bluegrass Renaissance man John Hartford on the new album On the Road: A Tribute to John Hartford. The Austin band tackle “Up on the Hill Where They Do the Boogie,” a freewheeling track off Hartford’s 1971 album Aereo-Plain.

While Hartford’s recording is breakneck and loose, the Band of Heathens slow theirs down into something deliberate and even mournful. Heathens singer-guitarist Ed Jurdi calls the song “a campfire cult classic.”

“It’s a folk song that checks off all the boxes: activism, humor and a sing-along chorus. It’s the tune that you learned as a child and rediscover as an adult and realize at once how hip it is!” Jurdi says. “John Hartford was a great musician, songwriter and arbiter of culture. He is one of the unsung heroes of American music, and I hope this tribute helps awaken people to his influence and lasting impact.”

Hartford died in 2001 after fighting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. On the Road: A Tribute to John Hartford arrives June 26th, with all net proceeds benefiting MusiCares. Other artists on the album include Todd Snider, Sam Bush, the Infamous Stringdusters, and John Carter Cash.

In This Article: Band of Heathens


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