David Ferguson readily admits that “Hard Times Come Again No More” has always been one of his favorite songs. “Ever since I heard it about 35 years ago for the first time—I think I heard Johnny Cash singing it,” he says, “I always wanted to record the song and I did so for this record. I had some very special guests on the recording with me: Sierra Hull and Justin Moses. I was really lucky to have them over to the Cowboy Arms Hotel and Recording Spa where we shot this video and record it with me.”
Ferguson’s version would certainly make Stephen Foster proud. He, Hull, and Moses, capture the tranquil plaintiveness of the song with rolling guitar fingerpicking and silvery mandolin and banjo runs laying down a shimmering sonic bed for Ferguson’s warm, gravelly vocals. The simplicity of the video for the song conveys the directness of the song’s titular plea that hard times stay away. The sparse beauty of this version of the song transports us with its candid transparency, and Hull’s and Moses’ cascading solos on the instrumental bridge shine with radiant tenderness. Ferguson’s version of “Hard Times Come Again No More,” which closes his forthcoming album Nashville No More, out September 3 on Fat Possum Records, speaks from his heart to ours in the midst of our own hard times.
As Ferguson says of the song, “I really think Stephen Foster might have known he was writing a song that would only get better and more meaningful with time—to write one that’s still loved over 160 years later ??—is only more proof of his true poetic and melodic genius.”
Nashville No More is out on September 3 and available for pre-order/pre-save – HERE.