Live [Vanguard]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/2/2002
  • Label: Vanguard Records
  • UPC: 015707970228
  • Catalog Number: 79702
  • Sales rank: 164,881

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mississippi John Hurt Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Technical Credits
Billy Altman Liner Notes
Bob Scherl Producer
Georgette Cartwright Creative Services Coordinator
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