Jun 17, 2009

Mississippi John Hurt, or John Hurt, the Mississippi being added by Okeh records, sang the blues in the ‘20s, but when the Depression came he more or less went into obscurity. He was rediscovered during the folk revival of the ‘60s, and enjoyed a few years of popularity before dying in 1966.

Candy Man Blues gathers together songs that Hurt recorded in 1963, shortly after his rediscovery. The title song, Candy Man Blues, is a raunchy celebration of sex. The lyrics make it pretty clear exactly what kind of candy the Candy Man provides.

Joe Turner’s Blues is a song that was recorded by W. C. Handy back in 1915. It’s based on an historical character named Joe Turney, the brother of the Tennessee governor at the time. Joe had a nasty habit of impressing blacks and forcing them to work on his plantation. For more information about Turney see this.

Spike Driver Blues takes off from the death of John Henry. The singer says to take John Henry’s hammer to the captain, and “tell him I’m gone, tell him I’m gone.” The song neatly sums up the pain of everyone who has ever for worked for unappreciative idiots and psychopathic bosses.

This is acoustic guitar, no amps, no other instrumentation except for John Hurt’s voice. Overall a good introduction to his music.