Monday, March 21, 2016

JIM HURST at Arts at 311
March 17, 2016
     SOMEWHERE NEAR THE TOP OF THE HEAP of bluegrass songwriters, singers, and guitarists, there is the one and only Jim Hurst. During his recent stop for a KASU-FM 91.9 Coffeehouse Concert at Arts at 311 Church Street, Jonesboro, AR, we had the chance to sample some of his vocals and his handiwork on his Jim Hurst model Gallagher guitar (produced by hand in Wartrace, TN). Jim was introduced by KASU-FM Station Manager, Mike Doyle.
     Arts at 311 is a small converted waiting room that once served a local doctor. Dr. Carl Abraham of Jonesboro Infectious Disease and Control Consultants developed the idea for having all types of music in what was at one time his waiting room. He supplied the sound and lighting, put in a stage, and there you have it! What a dandy little spot for music in the medical district of Jonesboro, AR.
KASU-FM 91.9 Station Manager
Mike Doyle introducing Jim Hurst
Front window of Arts at 311
Jonesboro, AR
     Jim Hurst grew up with his flat-picking father and brother, and at age four, Jim took an interest. By age eight, he began to explore the mandolin and banjo. The two-time Guitar Player of the Year at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards practiced a lot, developing his own style along the way. When one hears him, Jim is easily recognized immediately. One can hear a bit of the Carter Family, Doc Watson, Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, Dan Crary, Norman Blake, and Tony Rice in Hurst's performances. He has performed with Holly Dunn, Trisha Yearwood, Missy Raines, and Claire Lynch, to drop some influential names on you. He took notes, studied hard, and in 2010, he decided to go out on his own. That was quite a leap of faith, and yes, Jim talks and sings about the importance of the simple things in his life, including his deep faith.
Jim Hurst preparing to perform at Arts at 311
We enjoyed every aspect of Jim Hurst's performance, especially what we call his 'noodling around' on the guitar between songs or while telling a short story. He just plays whatever is in his heart and on his mind, and listeners are totally fascinated. That's what we call some serious noodling!
Jim Hurst, the Gallagher, and a fan
      Jim's selections for the evening: You're the Reason Why; I Picked the Wildwood Flower; Cold Hard Business; Vaya con Dios; Preacher and the Bear; Gadget Daddy; Through the Garden; guitar styles on various songs: Wildwood Flower (Carter Family); I'll See You in My Dreams; Freight Train; Windy and Warm; Jiffy Jam; Dixie, and Yankee Doodle (Chet Atkins); Wildwood Flower in different keys; All of This, Just One Man; Clouds (instrumental); Open G Medley; You've Got a Lock on Me; I'm Not the Man I Was; Irish songs for St. Patrick's Day (March 17): Mary of the Wild Moor and Angeline the Baker; Only a Child on My Papa's Knee; Road Scholar, and his encore was Danny Boy. Throughout his performance, Jim Hurst took time to mention friends and associates who wrote many of these songs Paying proper respect to other songwriters is his way of thanking them.
Jim Hurst Model
Gallagher Guitar
     Jim Hurst's newest releases are "Atlantic Crossing" and "Looking Glass". Incredible projects and so very Jim Hurst! You would be wise to invest in these and his earlier albums as well.
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The Arts @ 311
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