michael hurley armchair boogie

Michael Hurley // Troubled Waters (1971)

This song’s been haunting us for months; from the mournful opening lick to each cracked yodel, the intimacy and honesty of Hurley’s music is compelling. Hurley, aka Doc Snock, recorded his first album for American Folkways on the same reel-to-reel tape machine Leadbelly used to cut his final tunes. Snock’s bluesy hobo songwriting brilliance has been recognised by Devendra Banhart and, amongst others, Cat Power, whose cover of “Troubled Waters” does away with structure and tune, reimbursing us only with her sadly familiar narcoleptic burps.

Hurley’s albums have been re-released by the likes of Mississippi Records and Light in the Attic. We especially recommend checking out underground music emporium Volcanic Tongue‘s wise words on the “melancholy warmth” of Snock’s music.

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