Michael Hurley has always been on the move.

“Even in the womb,” says the beloved Bucks County-born songwriter. “I was conceived in New York City. And before I was born, I had already been to Florida and back.”

Days before his 80th birthday in December, Hurley was speaking from his home outside Astoria, Ore., celebrating The Time of the Foxgloves, his lovely, free-spirited new album released on the Philadelphia label No Quarter Records.

The Time of the Foxgloves takes its name from the bell-shaped purple flowers that were blooming last summer when its 11 songs — nine Hurley originals and covers of the Louvin Brothers’ “Alabama” and Rob Keller’s “Boulevard” — were recorded with a crew of musicians who, like his fan base, are generations younger than him.

Hurley painted the album’s colorful cover, showing two women sitting on the side of a car pouring wine on a summer night with foxgloves at their feet.

Last year, the Irish label Blue Navigator also released Snockument, a vinyl-only tribute to Hurley that includes contributions by such indie acts as Yo La Tengo, Calexico, and Cass McCombs with Lansdowne-raised guitarist Steve Gunn.

(“Snock” is an onomatopoeic nickname Hurley started calling himself about 60 years ago. “It’s the sound of a clave, of two woodblocks hitting against each other. Or a clamshell breaking.” He makes the sound with his tongue on top of his mouth. “That’s a snock.”)

“I’ve always lived in a sea of youth, which seems to be constantly replenishing itself,” the singer says. “Being my age, and still circulating, there aren’t many people doing the things that I’m doing. So the people who are doing it keep getting younger and younger, so it seems. But it’s really just me getting older and older.”

The Time of the Foxgloves arrives a mere 57 years after Hurley made his debut with First Songs on the Folkways label in 1964. The singer-guitarist who grew up in Solebury and across the river in Raven Rock in Hunterdon County, N.J., was among the fresh faces of the Greenwich Village folk scene, along with Phil Ochs, Karen Dalton, and Bob Dylan.

The conventional wisdom was that the young folkie did not have what it takes. A New York Times review of First Songs said that “although some of Hurley’s songs show imagination and passion, he is not ready for consideration as a professional singer or songwriter.”

Then as now, Hurley had “a casual attitude” toward conducting a music career that’s been on the upswing since he was rediscovered in the 00′s by freak-folk acts like Vetiver, Devendra Banhart, and Philadelphia band Espers.

In a two-hour phone interview — he can’t quite get the hang of Zoom — Hurley talked about how growing up in a traveling showbiz family fueled his wanderlust. “That’s why I’m so game to relocate,” said the singer, who has lived in New York, Vermont, Ohio, Virginia, and Philadelphia and has five children in locales as far-flung as Thailand and Bulgaria.

A sense of adventure and wonder courses through his homespun songs, from Foxgloves wide-eyed opener “Are You Here for the Festival” to the pump organ and guitar instrumental “Knocko the Monk.” The gossamer closer “Lush Green Trees” is a song of hope. “Sorrow ignore me please,” Hurley sings. “Leave me all days like these.”

Hurley was shaped by a Quaker upbringing. “They weren’t preachy,” he says. “They weren’t imposing a lot of habits.” His father produced musicals and operettas like Showboat and The Merry Widow under a tent in Bucks County and Lambertville, N.J. Every winter the family packed up the car and headed to Florida to put on productions in the Sunshine State.

His father played drums, his sisters played mandolin, and his mother sang. “My mother had a high soprano voice she never lost. I think that’s probably why I never lost mine.”

He absorbed the Jelly Roll Morton and Josh White records his parents played, bought his own by Fats Domino and Thurston Harris, and picked up a mandolin at 16, soon switching to a guitar that was more suitable to playing Chuck Berry’s “Rock and Roll Music.”

The family had pet border collies named Boone and Count who have been immortalized in Hurley’s music and visual art. Count got renamed Jocko, after legendary Philadelphia DJ Jocko Henderson, whose afternoon TV show Jocko’s Rocket Ship was a sort of an interplanetary American Bandstand. “His music was much better than the rock and roll Dick Clark played,” he recalls.

In Hurley’s comic strips, paintings, and songs like “Werewolf” — covered by Cat Power on Snockument — the dogs are transformed into wisecracking (and howling) Beatnik wolves.

Hurley quit school and hitchhiked to Mexico when he was 17, and after returning to New Jersey was discovered by Folkways’ Fred Ramsey, who had recorded Lead Belly years earlier.

Having a record deal didn’t make Hurley consider himself a “professional” musician. “That never happened,” he says with a laugh.

After being hospitalized with tuberculosis and mononucleosis in New York in 1965, Hurley spent a year in Philadelphia, getting healthy on a macrobiotic diet. He worked as a “not entirely nude” artist model at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and made kielbasa at a Polish grocery. He was so skinny that “the local kids called me ‘the skeleton,’ ” he recalls.

He didn’t perform much but kept working on songs, living in a $25-a-month South Philly apartment with illegally hooked-up gas and electric, where he wrote “Light Green Fellow,” which appeared on his second album, Armchair Boogie, in 1971.

Hurley’s reputation grew. In 1975, he and a group of fellow ‘60s counterculture travelers released Have Moicy!, credited to Michael Hurley, The Unholy Modal Rounders, and Jeff Frederick & the Clamtones. Rock critic Robert Christgau has called it “the greatest folk album of the rock era.”

Hurley stayed productive, releasing whimsical, surreal albums like Snockgrass in 1980, Parsnip Snips in 1996, and Ida Con Snock in 2009. In the past decade, Portland’s Mississippi Records put out a series of vinyl releases by Hurley, who is described on the label’s website as “perhaps the great living singer/songwriter (besides Bob Dylan).”

Mike Quinn, who runs No Quarter out of his home in the Wissahickon section of Philadelphia, had an ongoing aspiration to get Hurley into a real recording studio and release an album with international distribution.

“It was a pie-in-the-sky goal,” says Quinn, who is also sales director for New York label ATO Records and will release albums by Austin, Texas, singer Jana Horn, Philadelphia guitarist Chris Forsyth, and British guitarist Richard Thompson on No Quarter in 2022.

Hurley’s music “is so sincere, and so heartfelt,” Quinn says. “It encompasses so much. … He’s known, but I just felt that he was due for more notoriety.” No Quarter artist Joan Shelley, who Quinn manages, urged him to approach Hurley, whom she’s friendly with.

He did, when Hurley was playing three shows at the Brooklyn venue Union Pool in January 2020. COVID-19 put an end to Hurley’s plans to travel to Kentucky to record. Instead The Time of the Foxgloves came into being, with Hurley bringing home recordings into a pair of Oregon studios in July, his favorite month of the year, and various players adding xylophone, banjo, violin and ukuleles to the airy arrangements.

Being unable to tour has frustrated Hurley, particularly with Foxgloves gathering positive notices, including a best-of 2021 list in the New Yorker.

He’s getting antsy, sitting around his kitchen waiting for 11 gallons of homemade apple juice to turn into hard cider. “It would be good if I could get around and play some high-profile gigs,” he says. “It’s an emotional need to express what you do. To spill it to the people is part of my psychological makeup.”

The unpolished Snock sound has led Hurley’s music to be labeled as “outsider music.” He’s OK with the label, but has a better description

“I’m a non-commercial spectator pop star,” he says. “ ‘Spectator’ means I’m watching the show. I’m not running it. And ‘noncommercial’ means this wasn’t meant to sell. But it is, now. Ever since the mid-’80s, it’s been supporting me, my music has.”

Career concerns have never been a Hurley hang-up.

“I just play the music for the music’s sake,” he says, noting he’s currently working up an arrangement of the theme to the 1952 movie High Noon, one of his mother’s favorite songs.

“If you really appreciate a moment of your existence, you’re not worried about your future. That’s my theory. And if you’re involved and engaged and you’ve got things to do, that’s your life. You’re there. And it may be destroyed at any time. So, enjoy.”