Mississippi John Hurt was one of the greatest blues singers of the 1900’s; to say he is a legend might qualify as an understatement. He was discovered by OKeh records in 1928 and his 78 rpm records sold so well, that OKeh invited him to New York to record at their expense. Moving ahead to 2014 and Scott Ainslie who has become a modern authority on the playing style of Hurt. Ainslie has also made a DVD on the style of blues man Robert Johnson and how to execute it.
Now, Ainslie has released a new CD in which he plays six Hurt classics and fills in with other material popular at the time his Gibson L-50 Acoustic Archtop guitar was manufactured – 1934. His performances are robust yet controlled and he has complete knowledge of the lyrics and the guitar. I found this disc very refreshing and unique. “When I See an Elephant Fly,” from Walt Disney’s Dumbo turned out to be my favorite track, but you’re sure to have your own; there’s not a bad one among the 14 presented. Y0ou can sample them and find out more about Ainslie here. Bonus-realistic, intimate recorded sound.