Zijn album ‘Have Moicy!’ (uit ’76) werd destijds door The Village Voice omschreven als ‘the greatest folk album of the rock era’ en belandde in de top tien van ‘dé albums uit de jaren ‘70’ in Rolling Stone. Hurley nam als outsider zelfs albums op voor Warner en passeerde de jongste jaren via Gnomosong, het label van new weird folkie Devendra Banhart.
Hurley’s songs zijn danig excentriek en hij werkt met terugkerende karakters als weervolven, whiskey drinkers en wilde eenden. Figuren die vaak terugkomen op de hoezen van zijn albums, Hurley is namelijk ook begenadigd tekenaar. Voor het eerst in 10 jaar toert Doc Snock – Hurley’s bijnaam - opnieuw doorheen Europa met zijn excellente outsider folk.
Michael Hurley (born c. December 20, 1941) is an American singer/guitarist. He also plays the fiddle and piano. He grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Hurley's debut album, First Songs, was recorded for Folkways Records in 1964 on the same reel-to-reel machine that taped Lead Belly's Last Sessions. He was discovered by blues and jazz historian Frederick Ramsey III, and subsequently championed by boyhood friend Jesse Colin Young, who released his 2nd & 3rd albums on The Youngbloods' Warner Bros. imprint, Raccoon. In the late 1970s, Hurley made three albums for Rounder, all of which have since been reissued on CD. His 1976 LP Have Moicy, a collaboration with the Unholy Modal Rounders and Jeffrey Frederick & The Clamtones, was named "the greatest folk album of the rock era" by The Village Voice's Robert Christgau.
In 1996, Koch Records released Wolfways with Hurley backed by Mickey Bones on drums. Tours with Son Volt and high praise from younger performers like Lucinda Williams, Vic Chesnutt, Woods, Calexico, Cat Power, Julian Lynch, and Robin Holcomb followed.
Michael Hurley is one of the last remaining ramblin' American folk troubadours. Hobo-ing around the country, making music since the days Bob Dylan first set foot in New York City's Gaslight club, Hurley recorded his first album for Moses Ash's legendary Folkways label in 1964 and continued to release albums for both Warner Brothers and Rounder. 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's songwriting talent hasn't gone unnoticed by a new generation of musicians. In recent years, he was invited to tour with alt-country heroes Son Volt and Lucinda Williams. He's also shared bills with Smog and Palace Brothers, played with the Giant Sand rhythm section, and has of course appeared with (and been covered by) Vetiver and appeared on their records. His songs have also been covered by indie stars Cat Power and Yo La Tengo, among others.
So, the matter at hand, a new album of recordings sung and played by Hurley, backed by Ida, appropriately titled Ida Con Snock: Snock himself marvels at this 21st studio album, recorded at Levon Helms' studio in Woodstock, NY. Ida's less-is-more finesse shines on these rich recordings, melding perfectly with Hurley's playing and singing. Many of these songs are already well familiar to Hurley's devotees. There are seven originals and five loving covers of '50s rock 'n' roll, C&W, and vintage folk, each tune capturing Hurley and band at peak performance levels.
In 2001, Locust Music reissued Hurley's debut under the new title Blueberry Wine with new artwork contributed by Hurley. Gnomonsong released a new Michael Hurley album titled Ancestral Swamp on September 18, 2007. Backing was provided by longtime Hurley associate David Reisch of the Holy Modal Rounders and new friends Tara Jane O'Neil and Lewi Longmire.