Artist: Michael Hurley
Songs: Wildegeeses + unknown* + O My Stars
Recorded at The Tranzac's Main Hall (Quiet Quiet Annex Lights concert series), April 22, 2016.
Time, of course, has a way of rendering the strange familiar, so anyone coming to Michael Hurley at this end of his career might be surprised to find that someone who was received as an elder statesman was long considered too weird for the folk scene. Sure, there are his particular concerns, from UFO's to bodily functions, that might be too vernacular for vernacular music, but there's also a timeless study of nature and human relationships. (There was also a recurring preoccupation with food as a cornerstone of culture that would make Les Blank proud.) Dressed in a jaunty scarf, striped shirt and polka dot hat, Hurley looked like the last of the singing engineers and was indeed in fine voice throughout the night. Having never played Toronto before, this show was so anticipated that a second night was added and both quickly sold out — and his influence could be seen by the number of noteworthy local songwriters that were in the crowd taking this in.
* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!