By Tony Scherman
Updated August 17, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

On this quasi-star-studded, rich salute to the blues of John Hurt (1892-1966), Beck plays it surprisingly straight, a subdued folkie giving us the plain facts about ”Stagolee”; Lucinda Williams spins her usual forlorn haze around ”Angels Laid Him Away.” Of all the performers — Ben Harper, Steve Earle, producer Peter Case, etc. — the ringer is that wily old bluesman John Hiatt (”I’m Satisfied”), a master of the sly charm that made Hurt one of the 20th century’s great folk musicians.