Michael Hurley :: Living Ljubljana

Feeding Tube Records has a nice archival live series going with living legend Michael Hurley. First, we got the excellent Redbirds at Folk City, capturing the singer-songwriter at a mid-1970s peak. Now, the Massachusetts label has released an LP made up of easygoing jams taped in Slovenia in the spring of 1995. Spending a little time in the Snockaverse is never a bad idea, and Living Ljubljana is a very worthwhile addition to the catalog, with a sensitive rhythm section giving tried-and-true classics like “I Paint A Design” and “Portland Water” a vibrant edge. Hurley is a subtle performer; he’ll surprise you with a dazzling guitar run, or shake you out of a reverie with an intense line reading when you least expect it. “Horse’s Ass” might be a joke in anyone else’s hands, but here it’s a little scary. And he can break you heart with casual precision — take a listen to Living Ljubljana‘s luminous “O My Stars” and you’ll know you’re in the presence of a master. Long live Snock! words / t wilcox

Michael Hurley :: The Portland Water