Arrive early and take it all in, as tonight’s music bill is worthy of your wandering time and attention… It’s going to be like a ramble: not sure if there will be sightings of big cats or tastings of wild garlic, but there will be songs (and ales) that will taste good, bite at your ankles and glisten your lips. Have Moicy!
Air is abuzz with anticipation and chitter-chat – Michael Hurley is going to play The Cube. Mr. Hurley’s songbook is one of the most important living, walking, talking, singing, playing bodies of work in Northern American culture. He is a singer of beautiful old style Americana songs, by turns melancholic and funny, and wrung into life on the banjo, fiddle and guitar.
Michael Hurley, known affectionately to his fans as ‘Snock’, was born in 1941 in Florida. He has unleashed a string of consistently ground-flattening records on such labels as the seminal and anthological Smithsonian Folkways Records (his debut record First Songs was recorded on the same reel-to-reel machine that taped Leadbelly’s Last Sessions) and the prolific omni-temporal roundabout that is Mississippi Records. Hurley’s songs seem to criss-cross time and labels without convention, just like the man himself.
Sometimes they coin him as Outsider Folk. Hmmm… Michael’s songs certainly declare his love of old style folk music and he certainly has a unusual flair for setting his own course, but it is the rich seam of lyrics mined by Hurley that really transcend any hep media tags you might wanna throw at him. Michael’s influence in today’s American music is immense; his repertoire has been lauded, visited and spread wide; but this is his first fully-fledged tour in Europe in more than 10 years.
The perfect middle section to this bill is Rozi Plain, whose effortless, beatific and gracious songs have come to mean a lot to folks round here. She has a timeless, English, rustic and dewy-eyed sound, but with a raw and tender undertow that allows her songs to snag unexpected heartstrings, making you wistful for a time and place and somebody that you have yet to experience. Dreamy…
Dean McPhee is a solo electric guitarist who lives in West Yorkshire. He plays a Fender Telecaster through a valve amp and effects. He has a fluid, hypnotic and melodic style but factors in aspects of Krautrock and sprawling post-rock atmospherics. Something says this is a intense guitar player that needs to be heard direct with no interference. The Wire talked of his…”free-ranging variations on melodic ideas via a mesmerising progression of harmonics, cleanly picked notes, full chords and string-bending arabesques…”
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