Michael Hurtt's "Hamtramck Baby" hits Detroit

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As a lover of old records — heck, of all things with a layer of dust or two — there’s reason to be excited this month. See, rockabilly recording artist and sometimes MT scribe Michael Hurtt and his band have a new single out. It’s a handsome little disc on Motor City Special Records that sounds like it came teleported out of the past, featuring covers of Ray Taylor’s “My Hamtramck Baby” and Jimmy Kirkland’s “I Wonder If You Wonder.” Sure, the tracks are a little beefed-up compared with the originals from 1957, but they sound wonderfully old-school thanks to the live-in-studio recording job.

Then there’s the obscuro-factor of covering two historic artists so unknown they don’t even have a Wikipedia page? Boss, daddy. And that’s to say nothing of the local angle, with “My Hamtramck Baby,” which even references one of our favorite watering holes in that city-within-a-city: Whiskey-in-the-Jar. As Hurtt has maintained, the Hearts are “a Crescent City band with a Motor City obsession” — for which we’re grateful.

Want to hear it? Want to own it? It’s available through the good folks at New Fortune Records. Or chances are some will be on sale when Michael Hurtt & His Haunted Hearts play this Saturday, Dec. 10, at Donovan’s Pub (3003 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; 313-964-2267), along with Danny Kroha and DJ Atomic Adam.

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