Mississippi John Hurt
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 that seemed astronomical to a man who had always made music a sideline to his life as a farm laborer -- these qualities make Hurt's recordings into a very special listening experience.
~ Bruce Eder, All Music Guide
John Hurt grew up in the hill country on the edge of the Delta in the small town of Avalon. In 1903, he began playing ragtime on guitar and working as a farmhand, later developing his own unique brand of blues. In 1927, he came to the attention of a scout for Okeh Records which resulted in a recording session in Memphis, February of 1928, yielding eight sides and another session later that year. Almost four decades later, the blues revival of the 1960s "rediscovered" Mississippi John Hurt. They found a bluesman playing just as he had in the 20s, unaffected by the winds of change in the music industry. Commercial success found Mr. Hurt late in life as he toured college campuses, coffeehouses and made a new group of recordings. John Hurt was never bitter, but was instead appreciative of that late-blooming recognition. Unlike many of his contemporaries, John Hurt never fell prey to the excesses common to popular musicians of all genres. He lived his life as a gifted musician, composer, entertainer and farm worker. He lived honorably and with dignity until he died and was interred in his beloved Mississippi hills in 1966. He left behind a unique style of music that he had developed only to please himself. The uniqueness of that music earned him a huge following of admirers who found in Mississippi John Hurt much more to admire than simply his music.
~ Road Dawg