Review - Avalon Blues: A Tribute to the Music of Mississippi John Hurt

Artist: Various Artists


It must be daunting to do a tribute album to Mississippi John Hurt. His intricate finger-picking style, wistful delivery and Cinderella career make him a unique character in music. Hurt recorded a few sides in the late '20s, then headed home to Mississippi, only to be rediscovered in 1963 by two blues historians and immediately idolized by a burgeoning American folk scene.

"Avalon Blues" features some big names in the folk/alt-country scene: Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Ben Harper, Gillian Welch, John Hiatt and even Beck doing inspired covers of well-known Hurt tunes like "Avalon," "My Home Town" and "Candy Man." The arrangements are low-key and all the performances here are good. But it's Harper's graceful "Sliding Delta" that comes closest to capturing Hurt's gentle effervescence -- a quality that made him one of the greatest, and most grateful, blues figures in history.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.