Monday, May 19, 2008

Mississippi John Hurt - Avalon Blues: The Complete 1928 OKeh Recordings

Mississippi John Hurt was amongst the oldest of the blues men to be recorded. A native of Avalon, Mississippi, who began the guitar playing that made his fame at age 9. Back then, the genre was as firmly defined nor was it really in huge demand, so he played folk and traditional songs while working as a laborer on farms during the 1920s. Luckily for us, a friend recommended him to the folks at OKeh Recordings. Whereby, he was recorded in Memphis and New York City, with the compiled tracks making up the album shared here. The songs are simple, just the man and his guitar. However, adding almost anything would be more like subtraction, for he did what he knew very well, folksy blues. The lyrics of these reworked traditional tunes are alternate between poor relationships with women and good relationships with God. The song "Got The Blues (Can't Be Satisfied)" is featured, which even those unfamiliar with the blues should have a rough idea about. "Blessed Be The Name" seems too quaint not to love for myself. Moreover, some of the raciest sentences I've heard in music are preformed in "Nobody's Dirty Business" with lines like 'Sunday morning gonna, wake up boozy; gonna grab my gun, gonna kill old Suzie.' Another prime find from the public library, even if the blues wasn't where I thought to look first I'm glad I did.
John Hurt's affects were felt beyond his two sessions in done on the eve of the Great Depression, when a musicologist sought him out and helped to relaunch his musical career when folk was in a revival overall in the mid-1960s. Thus giving him some of the recognition he rightfully deserved before his death in 1966. Additionally, this resulted in more recordings, so there's more for anyone that may like this work to seek out.

To be had here (128 kbps):
Mississippi John Hurt - Avalon Blues: The Complete 1928 OKeh Recordings

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