Musician - 2/97, p.127
"...stunningly beautiful recordings, at once rooted in the blues of the Mississippi delta where Hurt lived and completely apart from it due to Hurt's syncopated guitar style and favoring of minstrel melodies..."
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Although Mississippi John Hurt made his best-known recordings in the 1960s after being rediscovered during the collegiate folk and blues revival, his original 1928 recordings remain his finest work. In contrast to Robert Johnson's hellhound mythology or Bo Carter's salacious hokum, Mississippi John Hurt's original output, as collected on AVALON BLUES: THE COMPLETE 1928 OKEH RECORDINGS, is the gentle day to the perpetual night that over-romanticizing blues historians tend to emphasize.
Hurt wasn't much of a singer even by the non-technical standards of blues, tending to sing in the quiet, thin voice of a man who doesn't know or care if others can hear him or not. It's an endearingly genial voice almost entirely lacking in the familiar swagger most people tend to associate with blues singers. Of course, it was as a guitarist that Hurt truly shone, though--largely self-taught and not part of a specific local style, Hurt developed an idiosyncratic but relaxed method that influenced generations of guitarists, most obviously John Fahey and Leo Kottke.