• michael hurley Ancestral Swamp (LP, £11.95)

    label: gnomonsong

    ANCESTRAL SWAMP IS THE 20TH FULL-LENGTH ALBUM BY LEGENDARY RAMBLER, CARTOONIST, OUTSIDER FOLK SINGER AND GUITARIST MICHAEL HURLEY. A BATCH OF NEW TITLES AND ENCORES OF SOME OF HIS CLASSIC TUNES, ANCESTRAL SWAMP BUBBLES WITH LAID-BACK EASE AND TREMOLODIC GOODNESS. MOST SONGS HAVE THE SIMPLEST OF ARRANGEMENTS: HURLEY SINGING SOLO, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS GUITAR, WURLIZTER ORGAN OR FIDDLE. TARA JANE O'NEIL HELPS LEND A NICE TOUCH TO 'ELDORADO' AND SNOCK CALLS UPON FREQUENT PAST ACCOMPLICES DAVE REISCH AND LOUIE LONGMEYER FOR THEIR GRACEFUL TOUCH ON SLEEPY WINNERS LIKE 'NEW RIVER BLUES' AND 'GAMBLIN' CHARLIE'. AS WITH ALL HURLEY'S ALBUMS, ONE IS PUT IN A CERTAIN PEACE AND PLACE. HIS VOICE AND SONGS ARE UNIQUE, SHUFFLING WITH CHARACTERS AND VISIONS CLEAR AND WILD. WITH ANCESTRAL SWAMP, IT SEEMS SNOCK HAS LEFT HIS FRONT DOOR OPEN A BIT WIDER THAN USUAL. IF YOU LEAN IN CLOSE, YOU CAN INHALE A LITTLE OF THE VAPOUR RISING OFF THE WATER, AND ENJOY A TALE OR TWO. SNOCK HAS PERSONALLY TEST MARKETED THE ANCESTRAL SWAMP AND THE RESULTS ARE IN: ANCESTRAL SWAMP IS ACTUALLY A GOOD PARTY RECORD, EVEN THOUGH FRAUGHT WITH DIRGES OF DYING AND DEATH.


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