Tracing the lineage and citing the fore-bearers of the New Weird America, one can’t help but mention the music of bizarre folk singer/guitarist/artist Michael Hurley. If you haven’t been following his career since the 1970’s (when he was collaborating with the likes of the Holy Modal Rounders and Jesse Colin Young) then you probably discovered him in the past couple of years via Devendra Banhart’s & Andy Cabic’s label Gnomonsong, who have released Hurley’s recent recordings.
Hurley’s debut album, First Songs, was recorded for Folkways Records in 1965 on the same reel-to-reel machine that taped Lead Belly’s Last Sessions. He was discovered by blues and jazz historian Frederick Ramsey III, and subsequently championed by boyhood friend Jesse Colin Young, who released Hurley’s next two album on The Youngbloods’ Warner Brother’s imprint, Raccoon. How’s that for cred?
In the 1970s, Hurley made three albums for Rounder Records; Have Moicy! (1975), Long Journey (1976), and Snockgrass (1980) which after being out of print for decades are now being reissued on Light In The Attic Records.
In recent years, tours with Son Volt and high praise from younger performers like Lucinda Williams, Vic Chesnutt, Calexico, and Cat Power, have increased Hurley’s legend.
Listen & Buy
New recordings from legendary 60s throwback folk hobo Michael Hurley, aka Doc Snock, whose tunes have been covered by universal faves like Cat Power and Yo La Tengo, to name but two.
Tracing the lineage and citing the fore-bearers of the New Weird America, one can’t help but mention the music of bizarre folk singer/guitarist/artist Michael Hurley. This 1976 LP Long Journey showcases Hurley’s often overlooked talent. On this classic LP, Hurley mines the roots of American music, delivering warm and heartfelt original songs with an earthy twang.
Tracing the lineage and citing the fore-bearers of the New Weird America, one can’t help but mention the music of bizarre folk singer/guitarist/artist Michael Hurley. Hurley’s 1980 LP Snockgrass is a delightful singer-songwriter mix-up, with songs that switch from the serious to the satirical at the drop of a hat (sometimes in the middle of a song), which can result in unexpected laughter – the cover painting (done by Hurley himself), tends to get puzzled and startled reactions for its surreal landscape filled with naked people and instrument-playing wolves!
Michael Hurley is a singularly unusual singer, guitarist and artist. Following our recent re-issues of Hurley’s three albums for Rounder Records, 1975’s Have Moicy (LITA 061), 1976’s Long Journey (LITA 062) and 1980’s Snockgrass (LITA 063) we are now set to revisit some of Hurley’s earliest solo works: 1971’s Armchair Boogie and Hi Fi Snock Uptown.
Hi Fi Snock Uptown
Featuring 14 twisted songs produced by “Banana” and Joe Bauer, Hi Fi Snock Uptown saw Hurley amplifying some of Armchair Boogie’s willfully esoteric qualities and delivering an album that explores the full range of his sound, from blues to country and folk to playful sounds – like his crow impressions on ‘Old Black Crow’. As ‘Twilight Zone’ neatly puts it, “everything is weird”. It also features some of his most loved songs such as ‘Water Train’, ‘Eyes, Eyes’ and the gorgeous traveling track ‘Blue Driver’.
Armchair Boogie LP
Michael Hurley’s most popular album, and with good reason.