Donnerstag, 30. September 2021

Mississippi John Hurt - Live (Vanguard, 2002)

It's the stories, the warmth of the voice and guitar and the straight-from-the-heart stage patter that made Mississippi John Hurt one of our most enduring bluesmen. This 1965 concert reveals how influential and inspiring he was.

Mississippi John Hurt's vocal and guitar style are always easy on the ears. Unlike a number of Delta stylists with their high-pitched voices and slashing slide guitars, Hurt's approach to country blues is immediately accessible. Recorded (for the most part) at Oberlin College in 1965, "Live" captures Hurt a couple of years after his rediscovery and one year before his death. He kicks off with several spirituals, including "I Shall Not Be Moved" and "Nearer My God to Thee." As Billy Altman points out in the liner notes, religious material was often excluded from studio recordings because no one believed it marketable. The remainder of "Live" consists of folk-blues, from "Salty Dog Blues" to "Coffee Blues" to "Ain't Nobody's Business." Hurt's finger-style guitar reminds one of Elizabeth Cotton and has more in common with the Piedmont players in general than those of his Mississippi home. Perhaps this connection helps explain why Hurt, who is considered primarily a bluesman, covered so many traditional folk songs. Indeed, the inclusion of songs like "C.C. Rider" also connects him to that other great straddler of folk and blues, Leadbelly. The last three tracks -- "Hop Joint," "Trouble, I've Had It All My Days," and "Spike Driver Blues" -- originate from the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 and fit in well with the other material. Fans will thank their Maker that Tom Hoskins traveled to Mississippi in 1963 to find out if Hurt was still among the living. Otherwise, excellent recordings like "Live" would've never been made.

"Country blues just doesn't get much better, or any sweeter, than Hurt's performance here. When this concert recording was issued as a two-record set 35 years ago, it bore the misleading title The Best of Mississippi John Hurt. Misleading because it featured the rediscovered 70-something artist reviving material he'd originally recorded more than 35 years earlier. But age did nothing to diminish the sly sensuality of Hurt's songs or the gentle virtuosity of his guitar. The selection includes traditional spirituals, such as "I Shall Not Be Moved" and "Nearer My God to Thee"; signature standards, such as "Candy Man" and "My Creole Belle"; and surprises, such as the instrumental "Spanish Fandango" and the evergreen "You Are My Sunshine." Hurt's return from obscurity ranks with the more rewarding upshots of the 1960s folk revival, and his legacy (since his death in 1966) has continued to influence contemporary folk and blues musicians. In addition to the original recordings from a 1965 concert at Oberlin College, this reissue contains three previously unreleased tracks recorded at the same year's Newport Folk Festival workshop." --Don McLeese

1 Here Am I, Oh Lord, Send Me
2 I Shall Not Be Moved
3 Nearer My God To Thee
4 Baby What's Wrong With You
5 Ain't Nobody's Business
6 Salty Dog Blues
7 Coffee Blues
8 Avalon, My Home Town
9 Make Me A Pallet On The Floor
10 Since I've Laid This Burden Down
11 Sliding Delta
12 Monday Morning Blues
13 Richland Woman Blues
14 Candy Man
15 Stagolee
16 My Creole Bell
17 C C Rider
18 Spanish Fandango
19 Talking Casey
20 Chicken
21 You Are My Sunshine
22 Hop Joint
23 Trouble, I've Had It All My Days
24 Spike Driver's Blues

(320 kbps, cover art included)

4 Kommentare:

Anonym hat gesagt…

Thank you so much for this. John Hurt was a wonder.

zero hat gesagt…

His music is a pleasure. You are welcome!

Anonym hat gesagt…

Great site great blues. Thank you!

zero hat gesagt…

You are welcome!

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