Veteran touring musician Jim Hurst wows with his bluegrass picking

Reviewed by Jessica Shearer

Jim Hurst/Open Window

Bluegrass guitarist/singer Jim Hurst has one of the most impressive resumes you’ll ever see from an unsigned artist. Having performed with country superstars such as Travis Tritt, Trisha Yearwood, and Holly Dunn, Hurst is no greenhorn. That he has remained relatively unknown to the mainstream country world is not his fault but the lousy corporate machinations that has prevented this vibrant talent from being exposed to a larger audience.

If you don’t think that country radio has become a shadow of itself, listen to Open Window and hear what has been denied you the past couple of years. Combining original country songs with instrumentals and covers, Open Window doesn’t take the safe road; it is proudly eclectic with Hurst remaining true to his roots without any superficial turns for the sake of a buck. For purists and old-school country fanatics, this is a goldmine. The lovelorn “Nothing Like a Hundred Miles” transforms James Taylor’s folksy kiss-off into a vintage bluegrass number with impressive, mesmerizing guitar picking. The man simply lets his fingers rip, plucking each string with a surgeon’s skill and a magician’s sense of wow. On “Wheel Hoss” and “A Minor Infraction,” Hurst will leave you breathless and stunned with his dynamic playing.

Oddly enough, my favorite track is “I Can Tell You the Time,” a Gospel track with warm barber-shop harmonies as Hurst proves that he is versatile enough to color beyond the blue of bluegrass and the blues.

Published in: on January 12, 2008 at 7:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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