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Frankie & Albert

Mississippi John Hurt

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Album Review

Mississippi John Hurt did a live 21-song set on April 15, 1965, at Oberlin College in Ohio, a scant two years after his rediscovery in 1963, and a year before his death in 1966. Hurt was remarkably consistent as a performer, whether you listen to his famous 1920s Okeh tracks, his rediscovery studio work for Vanguard Records, or the handful of live shows like this one: the skill and delivery is always steady, professional, and charming. Among the highlights in this set is his intricate and atmospheric slide guitar work on "Talking Casey," one of the few times Hurt abandoned his trademark three-finger guitar picking style. This concert has been issued in various configurations and sequences by several labels under different titles and with different cover art over the years including In Concert (Magnum), Frankie & Albert (Tomato), Live! (Columbia River), Satisfying Blues (Collectables), Revisited (Varese), and Mississippi John Hurt (Dressed to Kill). Vanguard added a handful of live tracks recorded at Hurt's workshop appearance at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival to the 21 original Oberlin songs to make 2002's Live, which is probably the best choice out there. Just make sure you get the 1920s stuff first.

Biography

Born: 03 July 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