# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Kaz Murphy - Ride Out the Storm

  by Fiona Hutchings

published: 22 / 2 / 2019

Kaz Murphy - Ride Out the Storm
Label: Kaz Murphy
Format: CD


Fine fourth solo album from Americana storyteller Kat Murphy who sets out to explore life's predicaments in detail but also with a relaxed and engaging style

Kaz Murphy has lead a fascinating life. A drummer and lead singer at the tender age of ten he had written and performed over a hundred songs by the end of High School. He befriended one of his folk heroes, Dave Van Ronk, at the age of seventeen and went on to perform as a percussionist for fellow poet Allen Ginsberg to sharing a stage with the Jesus and Mary Chain to much more besides. Alongside his songwriting, performing and poetry, he is also a short story writer. These different strings to his bow means every song feels like a perfectly crafted, evocative vignette of lives and experiences that feel both personal and universal. While Murphy wrote and released this album himself, he has plenty of support from a group of musicians. They include producer Scrappy Jud Newcomb who also provides a variety of instruments from bass to acoustic to mandolin. Pat Manske mixed the record as well as contributing drums and percussions, and Penny Jo Pullus provides backing vocals on 'All I Wanna Do is Work' and 'Rise Me Up'. Finally we have Jon Notarthomas bringing yet more guitars - tremolo and baritone guitars among them and vocals too. 'When People Come Together' opens proceedings with a lazy country-tinged sound. It might be 'A Sunny Day' but still Murphy is waiting for the big train to take Johnny away. Each song tells a story and is put together in a very skilful way, so that neither music nor lyrics overwhelm the other. Somehow I know what a 'Blue Devil Sky' means to me, even if my experience in an English urban city is very different picture yo that which Murphy paints here. It's also got a very catchy chorus that I found myself humming for a long time after the song finishes. 'Soft Heart' is a classic country style story of a man hitting rock bottom and being helped back on his feet by a kind stranger. 'Where You Come From' has shades of Nick Cave in the vocal, and 'All I Wanna Do is Work' is probably my favourite track of all. There is something hypnotic about the rhythm and wanting to get on with life that resonates through. 'Rise Me Up', which is short, sweet and upbeat, finishes off the album. It makes me smile and surprises me a little with its drum rolls and almost gospel-tinged chorus. The overwhelming sense this record leaves me with is one of deep comfort. Kaz Murphy knows exactly what he is doing and so do the artists he performs with. Listening to the songs I can imagine them all being recorded in one take by a group sitting around together jamming. Now the sheer number of different guitars that contribute to the overall sound makes that technically impossible, but somehow despite that the sound remains fresh and relaxed. There is no anxiety or uncertainty in this record. Murphy trusts you are going to get it and whether you are familiar with Americana, folk and bluegrass, or not, you can access this record from its first listen. It pulls you in. You want to hear the stories as you sway to the guitars and take as much time as you need to soak it all in.

Track Listing:-
1 When People Come Together
2 A Sunny Day
3 Blue Devil Sky
4 Thunderhead
5 Soft Heart
6 Where You Come From
7 All I Wanna Do Is Work
8 Somebody Could Be Me
9 Stella Rae
10 Forget About the World Tonight
11 Rise Me Up

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