Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Yes, and that's me with the quote on the back cover of this excellent collection by longstanding Wellington bluesman Dave Murphy.
Here's what I say: "The blues is a music made by people who have struggled, have hard and true stories to tell and do so in a voice that is compelling. Dave Murphy, 35 years a journeyman on New Zealand's blues highway, is one of those characters and this captures him at his essence: unadorned, honest and live as he records his long overdue debut album."
But there is much more here because this disc also comes with a DVD film by Costa Botes (who did the terrific Windy City Strugglers doco) in which the recording sessions and the singer-guitarist are captured with the same kind of crisp and undramatic focus as Murphy's music.
Some may feel a central aspect of Murphy's life is skimmed over, but the truth is in the acoustic music and Murphy -- here on material by Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Louis Jordan, Mississippi Hurt and others -- leaves you in no doubt he had ridden on hard roads and happy to be here now.
His original, the title track, is an autobiographical piece about his residency in a bar which can be either funny or sad depending on your perspective -- and you can guess Murphy sometimes saw his life as the singer beside the cigarette machine in those bitter-sweet terms too.