The Complete Studio Recordings Mississippi John Hurt
Vanguard captured the beauty and soul of this Delta bluesman to great effect on The Immortal Mississippi John Hurt, Today! and his last studio recording, Last Sessions . Those three LPs are all here, featuring Moaning the Blues; Poor Boy, Long Ways from Home; I'm Satisfied; Keep On Knocking; All Night Long , and more, with detailed notes.
Gentle, graceful, subtle, sweet--these aren't descriptions generally applied to the blues, but they offer a sense of Mississippi John Hurt's uniqueness and enduring legacy. Rediscovered during the 1960s folk boom after last recording in the late 1920s, Hurt cut the three albums compiled here when he was in his early 70s. His conversational phrasing sounds as natural as breathing, while his ragtime-tinged fingerpicking on acoustic guitar reveals more complexity the closer you listen. Beyond blues classics like "Candy Man" (the sly sensualist wasn't referring to lollipops), Hurt's range encompasses everything from folkish narratives ("Talking Casey," "Spike Driver Blues") to Southern spirituals ("Nearer My God to Thee," "Farther Along"). Though Hurt died in 1966, shortly after the last of these sessions, the music still sounds so fresh, you can almost hear the twinkle in his eye. --Don McLeese