Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Avalon Blues

Some time ago a friend of mine (hey bud!) asked me if I had any albums by Mississippi John Hurt, so I promised to burn him a copy of Avalon Blues. I finally got it done tonight, and decided to share it with you too, dear reader. All because Avalon Blues (subtitled The Complete 1928 Okeh Recordings) is one of the finest country blues collections you´ll ever hear.

Hurt was a true original. He was self-taught and stylistically indebted to no one. The reason for that: no blues singer that could have influenced him ever played near Avalon, the hamlet in northwestern Mississippi where Hurt (born in 1892) lived most of his life. He got his break recording for the Okeh label in ´28 by word of mouth, and travelled to Memphis and New York City for two now legendary sessions. But soon after the Depression hit the States, Okeh went out of business and Hurt - apparently not embittered at all - went back to sharecropping and playing local jukejoints. "New York´s a good town, but it´s not for mine..."

He finally got his reward when he was rediscovered in the sixties folk revival and enjoyed quite a lot of success playing live and making albums until his death in ´66. Shame he didn´t live to see the royalty cheque he was entitled to when Dylan did a great cover of his Frankie (now titled Frankie & Albert) on Good As I Been To You in ´92.

Mississippi John Hurt - Frankie MP3
Mississippi John Hurt - Avalon Blues MP3
Bob Dylan - Frankie & Albert MP3

1 comment:

tincaveerman@gmail.com said...

poor woman, he done her wrong.she should have had a "nation bag"!