US folk-blues icon, Mississippi John Hurt, began performing at the turn of the 20th century, pioneering a unique soft-voiced, melodious approach that was in marked contrast to contemporaneous Delta blues players, such as Charley Patton. He made his recording debut for the Okeh label in the late 20s, issuing a string of fine sides including the ragtime-influenced Salty Dog, and the railway ballad Spike Driver Blues. He returned to work as a farm labourer when Okeh collapsed during the Great Depression but was 'rediscovered' during the 60s blues revival. After making a high profile return with an outstanding performance at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival, Hurt returned to the studio, recording several excellent sessions for Vanguard Records. Tragically Hurt's revival was all too brief as he succumbed to a heart attack in November 1966.
Followers: Chris Smither, Bruce Cockburn, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earl, Peter Case, Ben Harper, Geoff Muldaur, John Hiatt, Tom Paxton
Influenced By: Willie Narmour...