Rounder Records Corp.
One Camp Street
Cambridge, MA 02140
A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Allen Price
Rounder has recently reissued Michael Hurley's 1980 album, Snockgrass, on CD, and it truly stands the test of time. A singer-songwriter in the John Prine/Robert Earl Keen mold, Hurley's songs are sometimes quirky, sometimes ironic, but always command your attention. His pieces are often about down-and-outers, folks on road, the lonely folks, who seem to hold a glimmer of optimism even when things are toughest. Given these cynical times, its encouraging to hear a hopeful voice these days. Just a glance at the track list will give you an idea of the types of tales Hurley tells in his music. If he were a Texan, I think he'd be Jerry Jeff Walker.
Snockgrass is an album that takes several listens to get into. The band creates a honky tonk feeling, with the emphasis on Hurley's gravelly voice. All the better, for it's his lyrics which make the song.
All in all, Snockgrass is a pretty good time.
Included with the album are two previously unreleased cuts, giving the person who has had the vinyl of the original release an excuse to pick up the compact disc.
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Edited by Kerry Dexter