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  • Discovery: Rebirth of Mississippi John Hurt
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Discovery: Rebirth of Mississippi John Hurt Import

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Nov. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: City Hall Records
  • ASIN: B005L3HKCC
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 298,316 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Thomas on 23 April 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A fascinating look into the "rediscovery" of the Blues songster who inspired a whole generation of young "folk-blues" guitarists. Proto-hippie Tom Hoskins heard Hurt's tracks on Harry Smith's Anthology, was fascinated by his melodic, deceptively simple music and set off in search of his new hero. On tracking Hurt down, Hoskins recorded interviews and various musical offerings and, despite Mississippi John's lack of practice and a cold, produced a historic insight into rural Mississippi in the early 60s and the life of a remarkable and important artist. John Hurt's gentle character and wise approach produced a music that attracted so many to wrongly believe that it was easy to copy and that they could reproduce it without taking much trouble or having that innate talent - I like to think that they all soon realised that they were dealing with a complex and highly-developed music and that their respect for this small quiet man increased beyond measure.
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By Skott on 30 Nov. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A good album for a die hard fan, giving more of an insight into the man. Any first timer should start with one of his other albums. Soon you will want them all including this one.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Enjoying the Hurt Musical Legacy 31 Oct. 2011
By composter68 - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I have enjoyed listening and learning to play the music of Mississippi John Hurt for 45 years, ever since I was an undergraduate at UC Berkeley and he came and performed on campus.
I learned his fingerpicked country blues from the original Vanguard Records released after his rediscovery and later bought all the records and CD's issued, including a CD of his original 1929 OKay Recordings.
This new release, 'Discovery The Rebirth of Mississippi John Hurt', fills a critical void in the MJH story for all 'MJH freaks'. The release of the Tom Hoskins recordings taken in Hurt's home in Avalon, Mississippi allow us to eavesdrop on the actual moment his career was reborn.
The music is beautifully remastered and packaged with insightful and informative notes presented in a graphically powerful way. I particularly enjoyed Hoskins interview of Hurt and the banter between Hurt and his wife, Jessie, puctuated by the background of farm sounds.
It is my opinion that the '29 recordings are unbelievably clean and fast and as Hurt grew older his work was infused with layers of irony, humor and emotion, even as it slowed down. This CD documents the maturing of MJH's music. It is a true roots music, created on his back porch and, through the magic of media technology and his improbable story so ably documented in this CD, now available to us all.

I highly recommend y'all get a copy of this CD and enjoy the magic and music of a beautiful man.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Historically Enjoyable Discovery Recordings of John Hurt 27 Feb. 2012
By R. Weinstock - Published on
The year 2011 brought a number of new biographies of blues legends including Phillip R. Radcliffe's "Mississippi John Hurt: His Life, His Times, His Blues" (University Press of Mississippi). Hurt made some recordings for Okeh Records in 1928, some of which were reissued on Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music. Tom Hoskins, a member of Washington DC area record collectors, headed towards Avalon, Mississippi, 35 years later on the hunch that Avalon, Mississippi" which Hurt sang about in "Avalon Blues," might be Hurt's home. Hoskins' journey to the Delta proved fruitful as Hoskins located the legendary recording artist which led to his relocation for several year to the North and what would be three years of celebrity and fame as one of the great rediscovered blues artists.

Hoskins recorded and interviewed Hurt at the time of the discover on March 3, 1963. These recordings have just been issued on a fascinating new release on Spring Fed Records, "Discovery: The Rebirth of Mississippi John Hurt." Wonderfully remastered the CD has 19 tracks including a previously unissued and lengthy interview where Hurt and his wife talks about his early life and recordings, and life after those recordings. It opens with Hoskins introducing Hurt who plays a deft instrumental, presumably as a test, which he names after he finishes Cow Hookin' Blues.

Many of the songs will be familiar to Hurt's many fans including Stack'O'Lee, Coffee Blues (known also as A Spoonful Blues), Richland Woman Blues, Candy Man, Spike Driver Blues, and Louis Collins. His playing is facile although the field tape recording make sound a little bit muffled (especially his vocals as Hoskins seems to have miked the guitar better) and the guitar has a slightly harsh tone. Also one can hear folks shuffling in the background as well as hear livestock, such as a rooster crowing in the background of Let The Mermaids Flirt With Me, whose melody is taken from one of Jimmy Rogers' blue yodels.

The limitations of the field recording though are minor and when folks like Dick Spottswood and Mike Stewart heard Hoskins' tape, one can imagine the excitement the renditions of Nobody's Business, and Casey Jones, engendered. Recording limitations aside, the renditions of Stack-O-Lee and Richland Woman Blues are superb. As noted on the back cover, he re-recorded some of his Okeh recordings as well as other songs that would become staples of his performances and be recorded by various labels) over the next three years. Also there were some religious songs like Do Lord, Remember Me, which his wife Jessie, joined by another woman, sings backed by Hurt's guitar. Waiting For You, is a charming duet between Jessie and John.

Hurt biographer Radcliffe along with Bruce Nemerov wrote the very informative accompanying booklet that detail this recording and include some of the photographs Hoskins took of Hurt and his home community as well as from performances and old 78s. Radcliffe, Nemorov and Evan Hatch produced this marvelous and historically important release, that despite the unavoidable audio flaws, contains some marvelous music. This is not an essential recording, but those interested in Mississippi John Hurt will want to at least hear this and likely will be buying it.

I wrote this review for my blog, and for possible publication in Jazz & Blues Report. There is much to be enjoyed in the informal recordings at John Hurt's home, although some of the sonic imperfections (the guitar sound harsh and vocals by Hurt are a bit muffled) make this one that will be of interest more for those already familiar with Hurt than more casual blues listeners who might be better served by other Hurt reissues.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
History at its enjoyable best ! 12 Jan. 2012
By R. BROADBENT - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This, I think, is about the most charming cd I own, and I have a lot. The banter between John Hurt and Tom Hoskins, and roosters, and Mrs. Hurt, makes me feel like I was sitting in the room with them. How lucky we are to have this fine and lively recording. Not sonically perfect by any means, but the digital magic of today makes it very listenable. Tom Hoskins was clearly surprised and elated to have found John Hurt, and John was by turn bemused at this young white boy who had travelled from Washington just to find him. All without Google or Mapquest !! A bygone age on cd. Wonderful !
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