collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

You never get nothing by being an angel child. You better change your ways and get real wild, 'Cause wild women don't worry. Wild women don't have the blues - Ida Cox, Wild Women Don't Have the Blues

Author Topic: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings  (Read 6394 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2011, 02:02:26 PM »
and btw, misterjones, that white guy with Honeyboy is his manager/booking agent and keeps Edwards working (and eating). Kind of a mixed blessing, I guess.
Best
bruce

P.S. Administrators--I've been trying to figure out how to post the cover image of the CD; a really nice previously unseen shot of John. Seems to be beyond my extremely limited skills.

I understand that.  That doesn't excuse his ego in insisting on performing with the last of the pre-war bluesmen or his astonishing lack of talent.  I also understand the importance of (say)Leadbelly's last session and the foresight displayed by someone in getting the dying legend to record on that newfangled magnetic tape.  But that doesn't excuse the gathered elite singing along and people talking about lord knows what in the background while Leadbelly was singing.  I can cut some slack for John Lomax for some of his less than stellar interactions with Leadbelly, McTell, etc. because (unlike his son) I don't think he knew any better.  But I cannot abide recorders ruining recordings by talking over a performance.

I think you are expecting reverent studio recordings from what are mostly field recordings. Some talking, often loud talking, gets done when a bunch of people are hanging out and playing music at home or some gathering and happen to be recording it. We're eavesdropping on those situations. In the case of Leadbelly, I guess they could have left some of that more "social" material off and only released the music that had no intrusions, but I'm sure glad they didn't.

I also think Honeyboy generally needs some support on stage and is likely glad to have it.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 02:06:18 PM by uncle bud »

Offline LD50

  • Member
  • Posts: 159
Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2011, 03:05:35 PM »
There's an interesting little essay on Hoskins here: http://www.bluesworld.com/Fang.html

Tom Hoskins was neither a folklorist nor a musicologist ;)

bruce


Offline RobBob

  • Member
  • Posts: 247
  • Blues is truth.
Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2011, 07:46:15 PM »
I saw it, I ordered it a couple of weeks ago.  I can't have too much Uncle John.

Offline misterjones

  • Member
  • Posts: 232
Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2011, 07:24:36 AM »
I think you are expecting reverent studio recordings from what are mostly field recordings. Some talking, often loud talking, gets done when a bunch of people are hanging out and playing music at home or some gathering and happen to be recording it. We're eavesdropping on those situations. In the case of Leadbelly, I guess they could have left some of that more "social" material off and only released the music that had no intrusions, but I'm sure glad they didn't.

I also think Honeyboy generally needs some support on stage and is likely glad to have it.

I LOVE informal recording and demos.  I prefer them to the polished studio releases.  I think Leadbelly's LOC recordings are superior to his official studio recordings.  I could list many more examples.  Bob Dylan was recorded informally many times in the 1960s.  But those who recorded him (and those present at the time) had the decency to keep their mouths shut while he was playing.  Sure, there was some between-song talk - nothing wrong with that - but they allowed him to perform uninterrupted.  I prefer it that way, but I guess the consensus here is (for example) that Stefan Grossman's chatter on Davis' "I Am a True Vine" is a good thing.  We'll have to agree to disagree on that.

I saw Honeyboy a couple of years ago, and I don't think he needed any support on stage.  We'll have to agree to disagree on that, as well.

Offline BlindSockeyeSalmon

  • Member
  • Posts: 66
    • Sugar in the Gourd: Old-Time, All the Time
Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2011, 08:09:34 PM »
I am delighted to report that the biography is now out, nearly 2 months ahead of schedule. Amazon shipped my copy yesterday, and I received it today.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1617030082/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=thebesselofboocd
http://sugarinthegourd.com
Old-Time, All the Time

Offline Norfolk Slim

  • Member
  • Posts: 974
    • Moonshine - Available at Bandcamp now...
Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2011, 01:30:52 AM »
I popped on the UK Amazon with a view to ordering my copy.  Its priced at over ?30- which is currently about $50.  So I didn't order I'm afraid.

US Amazon is $23...

A real shame- but I suspect those of us in the UK who are interested, may be better off ordering from the US and paying the shipping.

Offline Bunker Hill

  • Member
  • Posts: 2832
Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2011, 01:53:25 AM »
I popped on the UK Amazon with a view to ordering my copy.  Its priced at over ?30- which is currently about $50.  So I didn't order I'm afraid.
I'm too experienced the same shock and took similar non action. Hopefully by the time it is published in UK (September) it might have come down in price due to folk like us voting with our feet.
US Amazon is $23...

A real shame- but I suspect those of us in the UK who are interested, may be better off ordering from the US and paying the shipping.
Hmm on the one occasion I attempted to do this on Amazon US in past after a few days later I was emailed that due to pending UK publication they could not fulfil my order and cancelled it. But that was some years ago.......
« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 01:54:35 AM by Bunker Hill »

Offline jostber

  • Member
  • Posts: 616
Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2011, 07:23:41 AM »
I turned away from Amazon both US and UK some time ago because of their sloppy packaging for some of my shipments. I have tried different vendors after that and in my opinion Book Depository is the best. Free shipping, fast delivery, real service and they've the John Hurt bio as well:

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Mississippi-John-Hurt-Philip-Ratcliffe/9781617030086


Offline lindy

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 1059
  • I'm a llama!
Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2011, 02:20:23 PM »
How many times have you heard the story of a young white country blues fan driving from Washington D.C. to central Mississippi to find a musicianer who last recorded in New York City in 1928? The ?Discovery? CD is a recording of that fan meeting the object of his search for the first time. It showed up in my mailbox two days ago, and it?s great!

It starts with Mississippi John Hurt playing ?Cow Hookin? Blues?; track #2 is a 16-minute interview. It took a minute or two for the light bulb to go on over my head that I was listening to a major event in country blues history?Tom Hoskins interviewing John Smith Hurt in Avalon, 1963. Jessie Hurt is sitting next to her husband, helping him remember details and dates. Grandkids are sitting nearby, other family members come and go. Roosters are crowing, especially during ?Got the Blues.? John?s warmth comes through clearly throughout the entire CD, just as you would expect.

I especially like listening to the religious numbers, ?Do Lord, Remember Me,? ?Take My Hand,? ?Waiting for You,? ?Preaching on the Old Campground/Glory Glory.?  Jessie sings along with John (there are other voices, too), and after each song they all share a good laugh, enjoying the simple pleasure of singing a song together in the front room of their home, except that a young white fan of the country blues just happens to have a portable tape recorder to capture the moment.

Two minutes into ?Pallet on the Floor,? John and Jessie and others burst out laughing, I can?t tell what over (maybe one of the grandkids dancing to the song?), but it sounds like they?re close to falling off their chairs they?re laughing so hard, the joy lasts throughout the song. More roosters during ?Spike Drivers? and ?Louis Collins.? John says it?s getting close to feeding time for the cows he takes care of for his boss.

Wow, it?s the first time for ?Casey Jones,? ?Coffee Blues,? ?Mermaids,? ?Richland Woman,? ?Ain?t Nobody But You? to ever be recorded (or if they were recorded in 1928, they never made it to disc). The reel-to-reel recordings have survived 50-plus years in storage in great shape; in the booklet there?s a photo of the kind of portable tape recorder that Hoskins likely used. There are a couple of photos of John in Avalon I hadn?t seen before, and many photos that we?re already familiar with.

You can visit the Arts Center of Cannon County website at www.artscenterofcc.com for the full set list.

Many many thanks to those who put this CD together, it?s a wonderful historical document. Bruce, please pass on our collective appreciation to your fellow producers.

Lindy


« Last Edit: September 09, 2011, 02:27:04 PM by lindy »

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2606
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2011, 04:40:08 PM »
Received mine last week--Highly recommended! Same goes for the book.

Offline bnemerov

  • Member
  • Posts: 233
Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2011, 11:44:28 PM »
Lindy and Stuart,
Thanks for the good words. Indeed, the laughter during Pallet is the grandkids cutting up and dancing to the music.
I'm partial to the antiphonal singing of the gospel tunes as well.
My buddy Jack Pearson---a fabulous musician as well as ProTools wizard (listen to him on Spring Fed Records' gospel CD I'm Believin' where he does some sublime slide work as well as playing a very advanced O Glory How Happy I Am)---spent a lot of hours working on the 48 year old tape sound. A few artifacts remain, but you shoulda heard the source recording!
All-in-all a very pleasant project to be part of....me, I love the booklet's graphics. Props to Sharisse Steber and Evan Hatch for a beautiful package.
best,
bruce

Offline orvillej

  • Member
  • Posts: 70
  • Bama-Lama Bama-Loo- Little Richard
    • orvillejohnson.com
Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2011, 08:53:22 PM »
I just noticed this thread a few days ago and immediately ordered a copy. Got it today and all I can say is wowwwwwwwwwwwww!! I've always loved John Hurt and he was a major inspiration in my blues guitar development, as he was to so many others. To feel present at the moment of his rediscovery...words fail me. To anyone with an interest in this type of music it is simply a "must-have" item. Thanks so much Bruce and everyone involved in making this available.

Offline Stuart

  • Member
  • Posts: 2606
  • "The Voice of Almiqui"
Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2011, 11:59:57 PM »
After listening to it for the last  week or so, I realize that I've been using the wrong standard all of my life when listening to music. Now everything else sounds too clean and polished! Gotta get a rooster...

Offline Chezztone

  • Member
  • Posts: 295
  • Hey!
    • Steve Cheseborough 1920s-30s-style blues
Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2011, 02:42:17 PM »
I was SO excited to hear this recording was available. I am a huge John Hurt fan (I include some of his songs in my repertoire, and I'm on the board of the Hurt Foundation). This is like the Holy Grail. I am awestruck and sublimely grateful to Phil Ratcliffe, Bruce Nemerov and everyone else involved, for first of all, finding this recording, and then making the effort to turn it into a CD available to the general public.
However, there are some things that bother me about the CD, and it has not become a favorite of mine, much to my own surprise. I still recommend that you all buy it and hear it -- it is just an amazing document and I hope the people who made it at least break even on the project. But I want to reopen this discussion and hear from others who have listened to it.
The guitar is capoed up four frets. The liner notes speculate that this was to help Hurt sing because he had a cold. But it seems to me that if anything that would make it more difficult to sing with a cold. My guess is that the guitar, which Hoskins was lending Hurt, happened to have the capo there, and Hurt chose not to mess with the man's guitar. He left it where it made it more difficult for him to sing and possibly also to play.
Which brings us to the most troubling aspect...Hoskins was 22 and Hurt is in his early 70s, yet Hurt calls Hoskins "sir" and Hoskins calls Hurt "John" throughout! My, what a different session this might have been had Hoskins just tried calling the older man, an idol of his, "Mr. Hurt." And asked Hurt to call him "Tom." I think the way they address each other colors the entire program. Hurt is not comfortable, this is not a group of friends and family having fun with a newcomer present. It is a strange, unequal and unwilling meeting. Again, I know it is a part of its time, it is something that happened, I appreciate hearing it, it's too late to ask anyone to change the way they addressed each other there. But this factor dominates the proceedings and affects the music, I believe. Most of the music is not at the high standards we expect from Hurt. And this certainly does not show that it took studio wizardry to make him sound good. There are many, many live recordings of Hurt, and they are almost always topnotch. I promise to listen to this one some more, and maybe it will grow on me.
And a telling exchange comes at the end, when Hurt talks about "feeding time" and there are a few chuckles as Hoskins says he'll end the session so Hurt can get to his job of feeding his boss' cattle. Despite the chuckles this is no joke. Hurt may have been torn between getting in trouble with his boss who needs him to work or getting in trouble with this mysterious visitor who wants to hear him play. That conflict may have been on his mind for awhile and, again, may have influenced the music.
OK, those are some of my initial reactions to the CD. Again, please don't attack! I am not criticizing anyone involved with this (except possibly Hoskins); I love the project and am delighted to get to hear and own the recoding; just commenting on the goings-on inside the little Avalon house that day (that we fortunately get to spy on as if through a keyhole) and asking others what they think of it after listening. Thanks. Cheers, SC

Offline Tom Rushen

  • Member
  • Posts: 39
Re: New 1963 Mississippi John Hurt recordings
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2011, 03:46:28 PM »
Your observations and your discomfort are all valid.

At the same time, this was Mississippi, 1963, with all that entails. And Hoskins was just a kid who may not have been as "respectful" to elders (black or white) as we sometimes might wish, even today. I'll choose to cut Hoskins some slack, while acknowledging we wish he'd handled some of these things more politely, more sensitively.

I haven't yet ordered or heard the CD, though I intend to.

But it is what it is, just as there are many of us who grow uncomfortable listening to Alan Lomax interview Blind Willie McTell in 1941 when he presses Willie about "hard times" songs.

 


anything