Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Courtney Hartman started playing guitar at the young age of eight, after having already spent several years on the fiddle and mandlin. Her early years were spent steeped in American Roots music, and today she has fused a diverse range of influences from Norman Blake to Bill Frisell, creating music that acknowledges and pays homage to her roots, while pushing beyond its defined boundaries.
Courtney left her native Colorado for Boston, where she studied in the American Roots Music program at Berklee College of Music. It was there that she joined Della Mae, and began to grow as a songwriter, contributing songs to the group’s second and third albums. Her solid rhythm playing and melodic improvisations has brought her accolades from the guitar oriented press. She appeared on the cover of Acoustic Guitar’s 2014 30 under 30 issue where her flatpicking prowess was lauded as “Staggeringly good” by the editors and the Fretboard Journal heralded Courtney as “...easily one of the greatest flatpicking guitarist performing today.”
Courtney now lives in Brooklyn and tours frequently, playing some two-hundred days a year, both at home in the states, and in countries as far off as Pakistan and Vietnam as part of the US State Department’s Music Exchange program; an experience that has had a profound impact not only on her music, but her world view. Her literary songwriting is filled with stories about changing relationships, life on the road, and—implausibly enough—a song that finds beauty and longing in jet lag. In addition to her solo work and touring with Della Mae, Courtney has worked with a range of musicians including Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s Mike Campbell, Buffy St. Marie and Hot Rize’s Bryan Sutton. Courtney will release her first solo project later this year.