Michael Hurley - Ancestral Swamp
Yet again picking up the guitar or Wulitzer organ for another romp through portraits of whatever catches his eye, Michael Hurley hands in his 20th release in a career that has seen him described as everything from a folk singer to an outsider artist, from a hobo to a convict. He has been all of these, and “Ancestral Swamp” bursts with the humanity that comes from having met al sorts of people, and a whimsy that comes from knowing that doing good and fucking up are relative, and if you just accept it, it is all good.Hurley has lived under the radar since the sixties, but has managed to attract a rabid fan base, and not all of them critics. Anyone listening to songs like “Dying Crapshooter Blues,” “Lonesome Graveyard” or “She Got a Mathematic” who is not moved is not paying attention. Hurley’s understated, generous and jaundiced worldview is matched by the minimal arrangements of the tracks. From his first record, recorded for Folkways in 1965, to this new one on Gnomonsong, Michael Hurley has seen a lot and loved most of it. Gritty but harmless, “Ancestral Swamp” is an eccentric but oddly peaceful record. You are in the hands of someone you want to know.
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