Gove Scrivenor

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Gove Scrivenor playing an autoharp.

Gove Scrivenor (b. 1945 New Haven, Connecticut[1]) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. Scrivenor is an autoharp player, and includes the instrument in many of his songs. He plays predominantly country and folk music.


Gove moved to Nashville in the early 70s after a four-year stint as a submarine sonar technician in the Navy. This move proved to be a wise one, as he was signed by the largest music publishing company in the world, Acuff-Rose. Wesley Rose saw in Gove the qualities that his struggling TRX record label needed, and Gove was soon signed to a recording contract as well as a songwriter agreement. Things began to happen. Scrivenor signed a management and booking deal with the Don Light Talent Agency in Nashville. During his years with Don Light, Gove toured with fellow agency artists Delbert McClinton, Jimmy Buffett and the Original Coral Reefer Band.

These successes opened many doors and he was soon performing two years in succession on the popular PBS series "Austin City Limits" with Doc Watson and The Amazing Rhythm Aces. He played the character of Daniel Boone on the National Geographic Recording written by Billy Ed Wheeler titled "Cumberland Gap". Gove was often called for jingle work as well, including the early Opryland campaigns for TV and Busch Beer. When looking for expressive and uncommon sounds, Dolly Parton, Neil Young, Dan Seals, Hank Williams, Jr., Iris Dement and Glen Campbell all turned to the evocative sound of Gove Scrivenor's autoharp.[citation needed]

When Gove released early albums on Flying Fish Records, his friends Doc Watson, John Hartford, Marty Stuart, Buddy Emmons, Ben Keith (Neil Young), and Dave "Please Come To Boston" Loggins all lined up to contribute to his recordings. These two albums were re-issued by Rounder Records (Flying Fish) in 1999 as a compilation titled Solid Gove. He was joined by John Prine, Nanci Griffith, Lari White, and Guthrie Trapp for his first Compass Records release Shine On, a collection of five self-penned and selected favorites by fellow artists.

His latest CD, Made Of Sand, features guest appearances by Emmylou Harris, Guthrie Trapp, and Nanci Griffith, along with some the best of the best pickers in Nashville.[who?] It was recorded at Jack Clements' "Cowboy Arms Hotel and Recording Spa" and John Prines' studio "The Butcher Shop" and produced by Pat McInerney and Gove. Gove's music has been described as "high energy folk blues"[citation needed], with inventive slide work and powerful vocals, tempered with singular work on the autoharp and beautiful ballads of his own writing.[citation needed]


  • Heavy Cowboy (1971)
  • Shady Gove (1976)
  • Coconut Gove (1979)
  • Solid Gove (1998) - includes the albums Coconut Gove and Shady Gove.
  • Shine On (1998)
  • Made of Sand (2007)


  1. ^ "Gove Scrivenor: Biography" by the Blade Agency, accessdate=August 23, 2017

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