John Hulburt – “Sunrise” (Stereogum Premiere)

In the ’60s and ’70s, the Midwest was not a place for mellow, acoustic rock. You could enjoy it in the South and on both coasts, but places like Chicago were dominated by the blues and dance. John Hulburt was born in 1947 on a southern Wisconsin farm and later relocated to suburban Chicago, where he joined garage rock band the Knaves. Eventually, Hulburt wrote, recorded, and distributed a solo album of the aforementioned mellow, acoustic rock, but the album, titled Opus III, would primarily fall on deaf ears. In a fashion similar to the rediscovery of dreamy ’80s artist Lewis, Ryley Walker stumbled upon Opus III in a Chicago record store and liked it so much that he decided it deserved a reissue. “Sun” is a guitar-only acoustic track, but the late Hulburt’s gentle, somber plucking is more than enough to capture the soul like Nick Drake would. Listen below.

The reissue of Opus III is out 8/28 on Tompkins Square. Pre-order it here.