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Candy Man Blues

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Album Review

With an intricate, delicate guitar style and a soft, gentle voice, Mississippi John Hurt benefited mightily from the recording technology of the day when he recorded 20 tracks for OKeh Records in three sessions (one in Memphis and two in New York City) in 1928. In a genre known for slashing bottleneck stylists and gruff-voiced shouters suited to street corners and gin mills, Hurt was an unassuming front porch performer, and the recording studio microphones allowed the gentle nuances of his songs to be heard. Following his rediscovery in the 1960s, microphones again made it possible for him to make the transition to the coffeehouses and festivals of the folk circuit, where he was immensely popular. Of the 20 tunes he cut for OKeh, seven were never issued and are now lost, leaving the 13 tracks found on this disc. All are classics, and although Hurt revisited a number of these tunes in the 1960s with undiminished skill, he never did them with more assurance than in these versions.

Biography

Born: July 3, 1893 in Teoc, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '00s, '10s, '20s, '30s, '60s

No blues singer ever presented a more gentle, genial image than Mississippi John Hurt. A guitarist with an extraordinarily lyrical and refined fingerpicking style, he also sang with a warmth unique in the field of blues, and the gospel influence in his music gave it a depth and reflective quality unusual in the field. Coupled with the sheer gratitude and amazement that he felt over having found a mass audience so late in life, and playing concerts in front of thousands of people — for fees...
Full Bio