Luke Hurley: The Best Of
By Simon Sweetman
Chronologically tracing the folk roots of Luke Hurley across 25 years (1981-2006), this release from Monkey Records will hopefully serve to introduce this under-appreciated Kiwi singer/songwriter to a new audience - while consolidating the best 18 tracks from a handful of self-funded records for his fans. The description of Hurley as "arguably New Zealand's finest busker" is basically a good call, he is certainly one of the most widely known and enjoyed. There's a Dylanesque feel to some of the early songs, before the more ethereal, progressive folk-meets-new age vibe of Michael Hedges creeps in. Hurley is a great guitarist - and can work in both a band setting or as a one man gunslinger. He's touring the length and breadth of the country to support this release, so get out and see him play - whether for the first time, or the umpteenth. He is a talented live performer and though I have enjoyed his other albums more than this compilation, he is deserving of such a professionally produced album that shrinks his catalogue down to a performance-length sampler.