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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 19 January 2007
It sounds over the top but I can only describe this collection as 'truly wonderful.'

The digital remastering has left the orginal colour and warmth of the recordings intact while producing a high quality noise free sound quality.

The songs are delightful and I agree wholly with the previous reviewers comments.

It is also excellent value for money with three CDs in the set.
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on 8 February 2004
Mississippi john hurt, a legend, in my opinion this cd set contains all his best recorded songs, taken from three albums released by vanguard,the music contains such a soft and mellow approach, you dont realise how good it is until youre singing along with the master,
There is not a single bad song here,there is not even an o.k song in here, they are all brilliant, i never knew how good this man could be 'til i heard these sides. if you like country blues, mellow, kind and happenin' get this now!
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on 5 January 2012
I can't really add any more to previous reviews, other than to say that this is a great place to put your toe into the ocean that is the Blues. The original recordings were good, the remastering is even better and the music is very fine indeed. The three albums you get are "Today", "Immortal" and "Last Sessions" and there isn't a bad track in there. This is the Blues played from the heart, quiet, unassuming and deep. Take a swim in here and you may never get back out again.
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on 19 November 2003
Soft & gentle, simple & serene, light & joyful. An old man with no anger or fear - staring death in the face with a twinkle in his eye. Happy blues! Music like this has so much wisdom it really can change your life.
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You could argue that Mississippi John Hurt isn't a Blues Artist at all - but a Folk Singer like Josh White who happened to be a black entertainer. But that's to downplay or even dismiss the quiet majesty and magic that exudes from these 1966 recordings of just a man and his guitar (literally). There's a sweetness to his fingerpicking delivery of songs about wanderlust men ("Talking Casey"), frisky gals with their daddies gone out on Saturday night ("Richland Woman Blues") and murder in small town America ("First Shot Missed Him") - a sort of calming effect as his nimble fingers roll over the frets and the stories unfold. Here are the burdens laid down...

UK released 31 October 2000 (November 2000 in the USA) – "The Complete Studio Recordings" by MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT on Ace Records/Vanguard Masters 3VCD 181 (Barcode 090204991754) is a 3CD set and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 – "Today!" – 43:50 minutes:
1. Pay Day
2. I'm Satisfied
3. Candy Man
4. Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor
5. Talking Casey
6. Corinna, Corinna
7. Coffee Blues [Side 2]
8. Louis Collins
9. Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight
10. If You Don't Want Me Baby
11. Spike Driver Blues
12. Beulah Land
Tracks 1 to 12 are the album "Today!" – released 1966 in the USA on Vanguard VSD-79220

Disc 2 – "The Immortal Mississippi John Hurt" – 37:48 minutes:
1. Since I've Laid My Burden Down
2. Moaning The Blues
3. Stocktime (Buck Dance)
4. Lazy Blues
5. Richland Woman Blues
6. Wise And Foolish Virgins (Tender Virgins)
7. Hop Joint
8. Monday Morning Blues [Side 2]
9. I've Got The Blues And I Can’t Be Satisfied
10. Keep On Knocking
11. Chicken
12. Stagolee
13. Nearer My God To Thee
Tracks 1 to 13 are the album "The Immortal Mississippi John Hurt" – released in 1967 in the USA on Vanguard VSD-79248. He died in his sleep November 1966 aged 73.

Disc 3 – "Last Sessions" – 46:51 minutes:
1. Poor Boy, Long Ways From Home
2. Boys You're Welcome
3. Joe Turner Blues
4. First Shot Missed Him
5. Farther Along
6. Funky Butt
7. Spider, Spider
8. Waiting For You
9. Shortnin' Bread
10. Trouble, I've Had It All My Days
11. Let The Mermaids Flirt With Me
12. Good Morning, Carrie
13. Nobody Cares For Me
14. All Night Long
15. Hey, Honey, Right Away
16. You've Got To Die
17. Goodnight Irene
Tracks 1 to 17 are the album "Last Sessions" which feature February 1966 sessions finally released 1972 in the USA on Vanguard VSD-79327.

TOM VICKERS produced the reissue and the 8-page inlay has liner notes by JOHN MILWARD who has contributed articles to the New York Times and Rolling Stone. He talks of John Hurt's extraordinary life – born into Carroll County in Mississippi – recording his first sides in 1928 for Okeh Records – then disappearing into varying work for the next 38 years. Then at the sprightly age of 71 – he’s rediscovered by collectors to be still living in Avalon – records these sides and after the debut album release in 1966 – gets a second chance – picked up upon by an adoring American public who have gone gaga for both Folk and Blues music. Legendarily he recorded the music on this 3CD set in only three days – just him and his guitar. The first album came out in 1966, the second in 1967 (after he'd sadly passed away in November 1966) and the third set showed up posthumously in 1972. The 3CD compilation was engineered for release by JEFF ZARAYA using the original analogue tape and remastered to 20-bit digital using the Sonic Solutions process. The Audio is lovely – just him and his Acoustic – small amounts of hiss – but nothing that detracts too much.

It opens with "Pay Day" which establishes his fingerpicking style – a soft rolling rhythm he uses on almost every song (those expecting slashing slide and bottleneck should turn away). Favourites of mine are "Coffee Blues" where he sings the praise of Maxwell House and the chipper upbeat rollick of "Hot Time In Old Town Tonight". His huge personal warmth comes out in "If You Don't Want Me Baby" where he recounts "...I tried my best to do my father's will..." and the simple but touching "Spike Driver Blues" where "...John Henry was a steel-driving man..." The album ends with another Americana picker called "Beulah Land" where his 'mother is way beyond the sky'...

The 2nd LP offers more of the same – but in my book has the better tunes. It opens with the load-off song "Since I Lay My Burden Down" and the superb dual guitars of "Moaning The Blues". He slaps the guitar frame on "Stocktime (Buck Dance)" with his fingertips while the short but cool "Lazy Blues" is 1:30 minutes of acoustic magic. His lyrics on "Wise And Foolish Virgins (Tender Virgins)" could have been pervy but end up being so obtuse that you don't know what Buddah was doing (probably best that way). Another nice doubling-up of guitars comes with "Monday Morning Blues" – a sweet lollygagging tune that ambles in and wins your heart. For me the "Last Sessions” record is the worst of the three - feeling like stuff that was tried but not deemed good enough. "Joe Turner Blues" is uncharacteristically bitter (Big Joe dipping his toes into bedrooms he should stay out of) but the delightfully titled "Funky Butt" has that charm and wit that served him so well on the first two albums.

It's not all genius as some claim and after a while the same song and style can wear – but sometimes like Springsteen's "Nebraska" or Muddy's "Folk Singer" – it's that very sparseness that you crave. And as he sings "Nearer My God To Thee" (only a few months later, he would be) – it's hard not to be just a little in love with this gentle and humble troubadour.

The lonesome train rattles down the tracks in the midday sun and old Mississippi John Hurt is riding it...heading to that great gig in the sky...a smile on his lived-in face...with his trusty acoustic guitar in hand...going home...
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on 25 July 2016
Even when the lyrics of a song are a bit down, the warm mellow voice of Mississippi John Hurt seems to be singing with a smile and his relentless incredible guitar picking drives you along, shaking your head in disbelief, as though how can this three-chord trick man be really playing like this.
Yeah, of course, MJH mainly uses only three chords, C, F and G, but with a D and an A now and again thrown in and his finger picking seems deceptively simple, but is fiendishly difficult - at least for me it is!
But don't be fooled all the time, for somewhere along the line, there are two guitars used or one double tracked, as on "Good Morning Carrie", but given the skill, craftsmanship and sheer genius, it wouldn't surprise me if Mississippi John Hurt could play two guitars at once!
A really great collection and totally recommended - listen to MJH enjoying playing Poor Boy.
One thing though, it might be my sound equipment, but I find I have to turn up the volume a little more than I would usually have to, but it doesn't spoil anything.
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on 21 December 2010
Just beautiful - and the remastering has been done really well. It would be difficult to dislike anything on this collection. The guitar work sounds so simple but as someone on the sleeve notes says - it ain't.
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on 29 September 2008
Here is a most moving 3 cd set of one of the greatest of all blues players.Miss this at your peril,because you'll be missing out on a treat.try the Amazon other suppliers for a real bargain.
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on 28 December 2012
Mississippi John Hurt could very well have been the first to record a song attibuted to Hank Williams and that's My Bucket's Got A Hole in It.Here its called Richland Woman
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on 13 February 2015
If you are a fan of blues music or a student of the guitar this must-have collection will not disappoint.
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