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Michael Hurley

Friday, October 13, 2023

Michael_Hurley by Sarah Taft.jpeg

Astoria, OR

 

Website

 

Music

 

   ​Michael Hurley could be called the godfather, or grandfather, of ‘freak-folk” but the Oregon-based singer, songwriter, artist and storyteller’s roots go back to his childhood in rural Pennsylvania and early forays into New York City, where he found kindred spirits like Peter Stampfel, Sam Shepard and the Holy Modal Rounders. The 2019 inductee into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame has, in recent years, been embraced by the likes of Devendra Banhart and Byron Coley, both of whom have released his albums on their labels. But all along, Hurley has marched to his own drummer, as a truly original American artist.

As a songwriter and performer, Michael Hurley has earned totemic status among freak-folkers, alt-country people, and punk-and-indie rockers alike. The 77-year-old’s homespun yet artful music can make eyes mist and guts rollick. For a guy who has sung, finger-picked his guitar, blown the “mock trumpet,” and played his banjo and fiddle in semi-obscurity over the years, Hurley’s impact has resonated across the cultural landscape, his underground renown spanning from Baby Boomers to Millennials.

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