4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Mellifluous early blues recordings,
This review is from: Avalon Blues: Complete 1928 Okeh Recordings (Audio CD)Mississippi John Hurt recorded only 13 songs before returning to a life of obscurity and hard work on a farm. Of these 13 songs recorded in 1928, 11 were penned by John Hurt with the other two being traditional spiritual numbers ("Blessed be the name" and "Praying on the old camp ground"). The recording quality of these Okeh recordings is simply fantastic, and have the best recording quality I have heard from this era. A little hiss is heard (very little) and not much else.
As to the recordings themselves, they are probably the sweetest sounding, most mellifluous early delta/country blues I have ever heard. John Hurt may not have had the well-known name of a Robert Johnson or Son House, but these recordings have had their influence in their own way. The song Stack O' Lee penned by Hurt became an R&B hit in 1950 (as Stack-A-Lee) for New Orleans pianist Archibald, and also became a rock-and-roll hit in 1958 for Lloyd Price (as Stagger Lee).
It should be noted that after Hurt recorded these songs, he went back to work in his hometown of Avalon, MS. Because this was an out-of the-way town, few passed through it, and because of this Hurt was influenced by few outside artists of the day. What we wind up with on this album is the heart and soul of John Hurt.......and it is magnificent.