Mississippi John Hurt | Artist

Mississippi John Hurt | Artist

Tags: Era_1900s, Gender_Male, Genre_Blues, Origin_USA, Type_Artist

John Smith Hurt aka Mississippi John Hurt, was an American country blues singer and guitarist born 1892 in Teoc, Mississippi. Raised in Avalon, Mississippi, Hurt taught himself to play the guitar around the age of nine. He worked as a sharecropper and began playing at dances and parties, singing to a melodious fingerpicking accompaniment. His first recordings, made for Okeh Records in 1928, were commercial failures, and he continued to work as a farmer. Blues enthusiasts Dick Spottswood and Tom Hoskins located Hurt in 1963 and persuaded him to move to Washington, D.C. where he was recorded by the Library of Congress in 1964. This helped further the American folk music revival, which led to the rediscovery of many other bluesmen of Hurt's era, such as Big Bill Broonzy, Skip James and Furry Lewis. Hurt performed on the university and coffeehouse concert circuit with other Delta Blues musicians who were brought out of retirement. He also recorded several albums for Vanguard Records. Hurt returned to Mississippi in 1965 where he died in Grenada a year later. Material recorded by him has been re-released by many record labels and his songs have been recorded by Bob Dylan, Dave Van Ronk, Jerry Garcia, Beck, Doc Watson, John McCutcheon, Taj Mahal, Bruce Cockburn, David Johansen, Bill Morrissey, Gilliam Welch, Josh Ritter, Chris Smither and Rory Block. Hurt used a fast, syncopated fingerpicking style of guitar playing that he taught himself. He was influenced by an elderly, unrecorded blues singer from the area where he lived, Rufus Hanks, who played twelve-string guitar and harmonica. He also recalled listening to the country singer Jimmie Rodgers. According to the music critic Robert Christgau "the school of John Fahey proceeded from (Hurt's) finger-picking, and while he's not the only quietly conversational singer in the modern folk tradition, no one else has talked the blues with such delicacy or restraint." Recommended albums include Folk Songs and Blues (1963), Worried Blues (1964), Today! (1966), The Immortal (1967) and Last Sessions (1972). Also highly recommended is the 1979 archival release on Yazoo, 1928 Sessions.

Artist Website: wikipedia/Mississippi_John_Hurt

Featured Albums: Mississippi John Hurt

Video Clips: You Gotta Walk That Lonesome Valley, Spike Driver Blues, John Henry

Listen on Apple Music

Share this Page