Mississippi John Hurt is one of those old blues singers of the same generation at Son House and Charlie Patton. On this CD, there are no liner notes to provide context. However, the Wikipedia notes that he recorded some of his music in the later 1920s (he was born in 1892 or 1893). The records did not do well and the record company went down the tubes during the Depression. Hurt, then, returned to his home in Avalon, Mississippi, worked as a sharecropper, and played local parties and dances.
Here are some illustrative cuts from this CD:
"Avalon My Home" refers to his home town (as one might well guess!). His guitar work is simple but well played. He has a smooth voice (nothing like Howlin' Wolf!). His home town is "always on my mind." "New York is a good town, but it's not for mine."
"Monday Morning Blues" is a song that speaks to many of us, as he observes that it's often hard to get started on Monday morning. Again, good clean acoustic guitar playing and a clear but expressive voice.
"Woke up in the morning
With Monday morning blues."
"Stagolee" focuses on "a bad man." The song is about a hard case, and features, again, nice guitar playing. Typical line:
"Please don't take my life,
He's a bad man."
Stagolee ended up at the gallows, apparently to the relief of many.
"C. C. Rider" "made me love you." Expressive singing over a love affair.
Finally, "You Are My Sunshine." There is a nice introduction to the song addressed to the audience by Hurt. He urges a sing-along style. A nice, affecting version, well sung and well played.
A very nice introduction to the work of Mississippi John Hurt.