Mississippi John Hurt

Candy Man Blues

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With an intricate, delicate guitar style and a soft, gentle voice, Mississippi John Hurt benefited mightily from the recording technology of the day when he recorded 20 tracks for OKeh Records in three sessions (one in Memphis and two in New York City) in 1928. In a genre known for slashing bottleneck stylists and gruff-voiced shouters suited to street corners and gin mills, Hurt was an unassuming front porch performer, and the recording studio microphones allowed the gentle nuances of his songs to be heard. Following his rediscovery in the 1960s, microphones again made it possible for him to make the transition to the coffeehouses and festivals of the folk circuit, where he was immensely popular. Of the 20 tunes he cut for OKeh, seven were never issued and are now lost, leaving the 13 tracks found on this disc. All are classics, and although Hurt revisited a number of these tunes in the 1960s with undiminished skill, he never did them with more assurance than in these versions.

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