|The words to the songs of Michael Hurley
Paroles des chansons de Michael Hurley
Lyrics to 19 songs of the
Great American Folk Legend.
Michael Hurley, is an american songwriter reportedly born in 1941 (aka Doc Snock), whose 40 years of songs have been seeping into the folk unconscious (including covers by Cat Power, Yo la tango, Esper and others). Hurley's melodies and words take flight into a world of plenty, inspiring wonder and humour, sin and slowness, laziness and longing. His music is often coined as "outsider folk." His hobo lifestyle indeed could be looked upon as eccentric, but it might be better to regard him as one of the last insiders keeping alive the traditions of the folk troubadour. Hobo-ing around the country, making music since the days Bob Dylan first set foot in NYC Gaslight club, Hurley recorded his first album for legendary Folkways label in 1964 and continued to release albums for Warner Brothers, Rounder or Devendra Banhart’s Gnomonsong label. His mid-'70s Have Moicy album was among the top ten for the decade selected by Rolling Stone magazine. While many of his contemporaries are long past their prime (or deceased), Hurley's muse is still intact.
Hurley is considered by fellow musicians as a master of incomparable songwriting skills. It is easy to see why. His songs can be seen as excentric, with characters including werewolves, sign-painters, tea and whiskey-drinkers, pork chops and hot dogs, wild geese, intoxicated lovers and blue navigators but above all they always manage to be moving and funny. The perfection of his craft is even more obvious on paper. The Words to the Songs of Michael Hurley is the first publication ever of Hurley’s lyrics. It includes a foreword by critic Byron Coley and a french version by Marie Frankland, winner of the 2007 John-Glassco price for translation.
Cover drawing by Michael Hurley, cover typographic design by Kiva Tanya Stimac. Songs calligraphed by the author. Hand-stiched by Julie Doucet.
Foreword by Byron Coley.
Bilingual edition, translated by Marie Frankland.
48 pages. Format 5,75 x 7,75”.
« …I don’t know what else to say about what he writes and sings, other than that it is gosh-darned great. What kind of music is it? Hell, what kind of weeds does God grow? Let’s just shut up and listen and go to where Michael Hurley is. After all, we can always turn around and come back. He can’t. »
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