Apr 20, 2010

Roots Music, Mississippi John Hurt

In case you don't know him, or need a reminder, here's the understated lowland blues master, Mississippi John Hurt (and should you like this kind of thing, there are several more on YouTube, though most have only still photographs).

YouTube - Mississippi John Hurt - You got to walk that lonesome valley

YouTube - Mississippi John Hurt Richland Woman Blues

And here's one of his protegees, who also has several videos up on YouTube. I don't find a lot of talent on YouTube, except for those young kids on uke and guitar a while back. Young Christine here seems to me to hit some awfully good sounds in the middle and low notes, and her picking impresses me. Am I a soft touch? Should she show more emotion, or is the blank expression more compelling? I think the second number's more accomomplished, but the first one might fetch a grin and coax you to give at least a minute to the second one, "Richland Woman Blues."

YouTube - IplayBanjoNow's Channel Diddy Wa Diddy

YouTube - IplayBanjoNow's Channel


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Brenda's Arizona said...

My dad loved banjo - starting with Eddie Peabody. Gosh, I don't know how many Peabody albums dad had! He loved this one, too

If you ever told dad that Steve Martin was a comedian, he'd correct you. He only knew of him as a banjo player!

Thanks for these links!

Banjo52 said...

Thanks to Gothpunkuncle, we had a brief look at Eddie Peabody here on Feb. 22. Of course, that's dixieland, four-string banjo, but it still sounds great. And for the record, the young woman on IplayBanjoNow is actually on guitar.

Braz, you've gotta quit this ESP business--Mt. Union dads, NE Ohio, dogs named Sophie, and so on. Just last night, I went to Orchestra Hall in Detroit to watch and listen to Steve Martin on his several banjos (he does three-finger picking as well as frailing) with the Asheville, NC bluegrass band, Deep Canyon Rangers.

It was a great show because Steve Martin has the sense to mix a lot of comedy into the music. He writes all the music, and you might call it fusion, bluegrass with jazz, folk, children's music, and who knows what. The band keep it sounding as bluegrass as it does. They're good.

If Martin brings the show to your city, be sure to go. For at least two hours, you'll forget about bankers and the fashionablity of Americans hating each other.

Barbaro said...

It just doesn't get any better than MS John Hurt.

I first heard him (on cassette) while driving the back roads of northern FL: shaggy cypress and live oak, the sonorous swamp, air you could eat with a fork, and that Zen-like voice and box-picking...magic!

The term "roots music," I'm afraid, has been corrupted into meaninglessness. MS John Hurt is what it ought to describe.

Banjo52 said...

Barbaro, you paint a great picture, and yes, the music and that landscape fit each other. Of course, ditto that for Mississippi. With "roots music" I was just trying to sound current--flopped again. What was wrong with the old term, "lowland blues"?

BrAZ, you took me to Steve Martin, which led to him on Letterman, which led to Andy Kaufman getting knocked to the floor by a pro wrestler on Letterman--back in the day, the fuzzy-haired Letterman. You're a real troublemaker, BrAZ . . . Actually it was a very pleasant hour or so.

Brenda's Arizona said...

I know this way off topic, instrument wise, but remember Papa John Creach? His violin/fiddle playing was awesome! And I must admit, I only now found out he played with Jefferson Airplane?? Gosh, my brother introduced him to my family as a 'southern soul fiddler'.

I looked up Steve Martin's tour schedule - nothing in our 'neighborhood', sigh. But he is in Denver in July - which is a cool escape from AZ! Thanks for the heads up, as my fingers are crossed to see him.

Lovers' Lane