Posted in music | tour dates on October 4, 2011

Michael Hurley

A singer/songwriter in the subversive Greenwich Village folk scene of the late '60s and '70s, with several songs lent to the Holy Modal Rounders, Michael Hurley maintained an infrequent solo career into the '90s but was more famed for his writing credits. Born on December 20, 1941 in Pennsylvania, he migrated to Greenwich Village by the early '60s and was ready to sign a major record deal when he contracted mononucleosis; after spending several years in the hospital, Hurley returned to music and released a Folkways album in 1964 titled First Songs. Though he was inactive through the rest of the '60s, [the self-titled LP of his 1976 project with Holy Modal Rounders leader Peter Stampfel, Have Moicy]... was critically praised, landing recommendations for Album of the Year by The Village Voice and Top 20 LPs of the '70s by Rolling Stone. Hurley's prominent place on the album -- guitar, fiddle, several lead vocals -- gave notice that he was ready to resume his solo career, and he signed to the folk label Rounder in 1977. Hurley released only two LPs for the label (Long Journey and Snockgrass), spending most of his time on his farm in Vermont or playing sideman on several albums. He resurfaced occasionally, recording LPs in 1984, 1988, 1995, and 1999.

Hurley continued to record in the 21st century. In fact, from the late '90s he was embraced by hip indie singer/songwriters such as Devendra Banhart and Chan Marshall, who were attracted to the singer's unconventional vocals and esoteric sensibility. -[allmusic]

Michael Hurley has remained active in the past few years, releasing material on Banhart's Gnomonsong imprint and dropping an album as recently as last year (2010's Blue Hills).

Hurley is knocking the door to his 70s, and though no retirement is in sight, you never know, so try and catch the influential folk singer either at Union Pool TONIGHT with Meg Baird (10/4) or at Zebulon on 10/6 with Rain Machine (aka Kyp Malone of TV On The Radio, who also play this week). The shows are part of a set of select East Coast dates that last through the weekend and are listed below.

If you do go tonight, look for both Deer Tick (who covered Hurley at DBA last night) and their friend Jonny Corndawg (who recently played Brooklyn Bowl with Hurley) in the audience.

Tour dates, a 2007 live video from Union Pool, and a documentary short on Hurley is below.

Snock 'N Roll: Adventures With Michael Hurley (Complete Documentary Short)

Michael Hurley at Union Pool on December 4th, 2007

October 4 Union Pool Brooklyn NY
Ocober 6 Zebulon Brooklyn, NY
October 7 Brickbat Books Philadelphia PA
October 8 Elk Creek Cafe Millheim PA



Comments (17)

Austin post ... check
Fat guy post .... check
Old guy post .... check

Next up, Ted Leo!

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2011 2:43 PM

How come I've never heard of this guy before?

That's not really an insult, I wonder how people who have been playing this long continue to fly under the radar/

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2011 2:43 PM

^ because you're not as hip and informed as you think you are, silly head!

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2011 2:51 PM

cause he's extremely under the radar. but he's amazing, total cult guy. better than ed askew for sure

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2011 2:51 PM

You take that back, young whipper snapper!

Posted by Ed Askew | October 4, 2011 2:54 PM

This guy is so under that radar that sometimes even he forgets who he is...maybe that's just because he's old. Regardless, Hurley = legend, so go check him out if you can!

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2011 2:57 PM

Hurley killed at bbowl, upstaging Corndawg... and the tick covered 'be kind to me' at pier 54 in July too... he's the shit.

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2011 3:04 PM

This old man has seriously tasty sperm.

Posted by spermtaster | October 4, 2011 3:29 PM

where has this dude been for the past 50 years?

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2011 4:33 PM

^ that's what the supposedly "hip" said about Hasil Adkins and Daniel Johnston too.

Why can't you accept that you are just not that informed? That you are left out on what is really interesting?

Oh, I bet that Deer Tick show was really awesome last night too, huh?

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2011 4:40 PM

who's this old fart?

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2011 5:04 PM

is this the guy that used to go by the stage name Slappy Jack?
i think i remember him. used to play in NorCal all the time

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2011 5:06 PM

haven't heard of him? I see people everywhere wearing shirts with his name on 'em.

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2011 6:21 PM

this dude had a Deer Tick on him back in the '50s.

Posted by Anonymous | October 4, 2011 7:40 PM

The show was incredible and sold out before the opener started. If you're going to the Zebulon show you probably want to start lining up early, especially because of no ticket pre-sales and the TVotR dude.

Posted by Anonymous | October 5, 2011 2:42 PM

"who's this old fart?"

He's someone who has accomplished far more than you.

Posted by Anonymous | October 6, 2011 10:26 AM

That is well known that money makes people disembarrass. But what to do if somebody doesn't have cash? The only one way is to get the personal loans or just student loan.

Posted by HENSLEYFLORINE31 | May 17, 2012 4:39 AM

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