The prolific, shambolic folk songwriter Michael Hurley, a genuine hero of Outsider art for over 50 years, performs at the Bearsville Theater on Sunday, April 19. An eccentric figure who emerged from the Greenwich Village folk-revival scene of the ‘60s, Hurley is associated with Peter Stampfel and the legendary Holy Modal Rounders. But it is his own seemingly endless stream of solo records – from 1964’s First Songs to a fistful of releases in the last five years, some on Hurley-acolyte Devendra Banhart’s Gomonsong label – that Hurley fully developed his rambling-but-richly-musical voice as a writer. He is his own genre, a distinctive psych/folk style that he has dubbed “snockgrass.”
Hurley relocated to Oregon in the 2000s, greatly reducing the frequency of his East Coast appearances. In 2013, the storied folk veteran played the Newport Folk Festival for the first time. His music, his influence and his story are clearly in ascendance, and this spring Hurley returns to play a number of dates in the Northeast. Performing with Hurley on April 19 will be the notable Woodstock area duo of Elizabeth Mitchell and Dan Littleton. In an inspired and fitting choice, Woodstock’s preeminent folk eccentric and troubadour Paul McMahon – a storied songwriter and a gifted player in his own right – has been tapped to open the show.
The show begins at 8 p.m. Admission costs $15. The Bearsville Theater is located at 291 Tinker Street in Woodstock. For more information, call (845) 679-4406 or visit www.bearsvilletheater.com. For more on Michael Hurley, visit www.snockonews.net.