Arts Center Honors Mississippi Blues Man Saturday

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On Saturday July 30, the Arts Center of Cannon County will celebrate the release of a new CD and book commemorating the life of Mississippi John Hurt by holding a release party and concert featuring the Fedora Brothers and a book signing by author Dr. Phil Ratcliffe.

This all-star evening begins at 7 p.m. with a pre-concert illustrated talk by Ratcliffe, author of the recently published University Press of Mississippi book, “Mississippi John Hurt: His Life, His Times, His Blues” followed at 7:30 p.m. with a concert featuring the Fedora Brothers with Bruce Nemerov and Gene Bush (himself a close friend and protégé of John Hurt).

The participants will be on hand for a meet-and-greet and book signing after the show.

Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $12 for students, seniors and groups and may be purchased by calling the box office at 615-563-2787 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday or online at

The new CD “Discovery: The Rebirth of Mississippi John Hurt” documents the historic weekend in 1963 when Tom Hoskins, a guitarist and folk music enthusiast traveled to pay respects to his hero Mississippi John Hurt.

Compelled by his love of Hurt’s obscure 1928 78-RPM recordings, and driven by thin clues, Hoskins traveled to Avalon, Miss. only to discover the man behind the fluid guitar picking and sonorous voice was still alive, and still able to sing and play the guitar.

Hoskins spent the weekend with Hurt and his family, and recorded two hours of guitar picking, country blues, group singing and memories.

“Discovery” collects these performances and for the first time offers them to be heard by a mass audience.

With thoughtful liner notes by Phil Ratcliffe and Grammy winner Bruce Nemerov, “Discovery” captures original field work, extemporaneous music, and contains the excitement and warmth felt between two new friends, before Hurt’s rise to the top of the 1960s American folk movement.

For this evening the Arts Center and Spring Fed Records are offering a very special package deal.

For $55, fans will receive an advanced copy of the CD (a $20 dollar value), a signed copy of “Mississippi John Hurt: His Life, His Times, His Blues” (a $30 value) and special reserved seating for the Fedora Brothers concert.

Sponsored in part by The University Press of Mississippi, this is a unique concert and musical event in the Arts Center’s Spring Fed Concert Series. Come celebrate the life the times and the contributions of Mississippi John Hurt.

The Arts Center is located at 1424 John Bragg Highway, just west of the town of Woodbury, approximately 20 minutes from Murfreesboro, Manchester, and McMinnville and one hour southeast of Nashville.

“The Kitchen,” featuring fine southern cooking, will be open before this performance.
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