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Avalon Blues: The Complete 1928 Okeh Recordings

4.8 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 5, 2008
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Avalon Blues: The Complete 1928 Okeh Recordings
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  • The Complete Studio Recordings Mississippi John Hurt
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Editorial Reviews

These legendary country blues recordings have been beautifully remastered: Stack 'o Lee Blues; Frankie; Candy Man Blues , and 10 more.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 5, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: January 5, 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SBME SPECIAL MKTS.
  • Run Time: 38 minutes
  • ASIN: B0012GMUZY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,027 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
This cd, which represents the complete 1928 recordings of Mississippi John Hurt is truly blues everlasting. It is amazing to realize when listening to this that it was recorded that long ago. The quality of the songs, John Hurt's voice and his guitar playing skill are all superb.
As other's have mentioned John Hurt was born in 1892, and developed notoriety for his skills as a musician. He was recorded in 1928 and then vanished into the farmlands of Mississippi. With the resurgence of folk and blues music in the early 1960's many so-called lost artists were "rediscovered." Mississippi John Hurt was among these musicians. Rediscovered by a young blues enthusiast Tom Hoskins, who took a clue from a line in one of Hurt's songs "Avalon's my home, always on my mind" to track him down. From that time until his death in 1966 Hurt became a fixture on the folk circuit.
It really is not surprising that he was so well received in the 60's when one looks at this cd which represents Mississippi John's early work. It includes many truly classic songs, Frankie, Stack O'Lee, Candy Man, Spike Driver Blues and Nobody's Dirty Business. Lines such as "he was a bad man, cruel Stack o' Lee." "He was her man and he done her wrong" "angels laid him away," "You're so heavy make a good man change his mind" and "take this hammer, carry it to the captain" demonstrate the richness of both the folk tradition and Hurts music. Artists such as Jerry Garcia, Arlo Guthrie, Taj Mahal and Jesse Colin Young have felt compelled to perform his songs.
His voice is pure, sweet and pleasing. While it does not carry the angst of such early performers as Charley Patton and Robert Johnson, it's honesty is copied by others. His guitar playing is amazing and this alone could carry the cd.
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Format: Audio CD
It was on the basis of these recordings that blues collectors in the '60's made an attempt to "rediscover" Hurt. They found him by using the lyrics to "Avalon Blues," ("Avalon's my home town, always on my mind.") They dug up an old road map, went to where Avalon should have been and asked around at the first gas station they found. Amazingly, the attendant pointed them up the road, where Hurt was sitting on his porch as if waiting for them! Even had they not found him, these legendary sides would have been enough to secure his place in blues history. They are some of the most hauntingly beautiful and unique recordings in all blues. Hurt sang of surprisingly violent and frank subjects in a disarmingly tender voice, coupled with an amazing technical mastery of guitar(there is a story that Segovia, upon hearing these recordings, couldn't believe that Hurt was not playing with anouther guitarist.)
This music will stay with you and is often quite moving and original, since it combines blues with elements and playing styes normally associated with "folk," due to the fact that Hurt hardly ever left Avalon and so was isolated from the "mainstream" Delta styles. There is a sort of spiritual calm and hard-won wisdom reflected in Hurt's music and there is nothing else quite like it in all of American music.
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Format: Audio CD
Mississippi John Hurt (1893-1966) is a strange man in the blues history.In fact, he's not really a blues musician,but rather, like his elder, Leadbelly (Huddie Ledbetter,1889-1949), a songster.He was a small, gentle man, who recorded these 13 sides in the twenties, and waited until the early sixties to be rediscovered;during the last years of his life,he toured,playing at Newport and other festivals, and recorded several albums, mostly for Vanguard.I always found that Hurt's voice was one of the most fascinating I ever heard; a swinging,mild voice,that tells a lot about the graciousness of the man.His guitar picking,which looks like beeing simple,is in fact one of the most difficult and original I ever heard.I wish I had such a thumb to play the bass parts on my guitar ! John Hurt plays some tunes that were already old tunes in 1928 : the haunting "Louis Collins",the eternal "Stack o'Lee",the classic "Candy man"(you can listen to outstanding versions of this tune by Reverend Gary Davis),some sacred tunes,"blessed be the name","praying on the old camp ground",and some blues,"Avalon blues","big leg blues",or "spike driver blues".By the way, Hurt was rediscovered in the early sixties because he recorded that tune,"Avalon blues".Listening to it,some people went to this town,hoping that he still was living there.Mississippi John Hurt is a master in the music of the past century,reaching the same rank as Blind Willie Johnson,Charley Patton or Skip James.His 1928 sessions will allways remain some of the greatest masterpieces in the blues history.I personnaly enjoy his music for more than twenty years,and I hope you'll do the same.
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Format: Audio CD
Mississippi John Hurt was an amazing folk musician and these are some of his finest recordings. It's too bad that Columbia decided to use sonic solutions "no noise" processing on this release. Thankfully a much better release of the same material is available from Yazoo titled: The 1928 Sessions. The difference is between the two releases is so extreme it staggers the imagination how Columbia could have released this cd sounding so poorly.
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