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When talking about some of his earliest musical experiences, he'll mention listening to his Dad's 60's record collection and recalling pivotal moments; like being mesmerized by the poetry and mystery of Bob Dylan’s early recordings and being drawn in by the Rickenbacker guitar sound and vocal harmonies of the Byrds. Sure, he listened and loved the music of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the Stones, but it wasn’t until he heard Neil Young’s seminal classic Harvest that he found his inspirational mother lode. Later, discovering the world of both classic and “new traditionalist” hillbilly music that WHN radio introduced to New York City (from Merle Haggard and George Jones to Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle), the American tradition of story and song became Dave Murphy’s compass.
He’s travelled the honest career path of the troubadour, from the open-mics and showcases in Greenwich Village to earning opening spots for artists including Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Ray Wylie Hubbard and even author/punk rocker Jim Carroll. He eventually found himself on stages with Suzanne Vega, Alejandro Escovedo, Slaid Cleaves and Steve Forbert (Steve Forbert makes a guest appearance on Dave’s third album, ‘Chasing Ghosts’) at venues & festivals including the Living Room - NYC, Joe’s Pub - NYC, The Knitting Factory - NYC, Speakeasy - NYC, Southpaw - Brooklyn, NY, Union Hall - Brooklyn, NY, Tin Angel - Philadelphia, PA, Maxwell’s - Hoboken, NJ, Outpost in the Burbs - Montclair, NJ, New Jersey Folk Festival, Kerrville Folk Festival, Wildflower Music Festival to name a few. Dave has also had success with music placements in Film and Television as well as AAA and Americana Radio.
AWARDS: Top 12 DIY in Performing Songwriter Magazine for Under the Lights.
WINNER: Great American Song Contest and New Jersey Folk Festival Songwriters Showcase.
FINALIST: Kerrville New-Folk Contest, Wildflower Arts & Music Festival Songwriting Contest, Mountain Stage New-Song contest, Susquehanna Music & Arts Festival Songwriting Contest.
#MAKING American Landscape
“I felt I had some good songs and decided to put my energy towards my performance and put the production side of things in someone else’s hands. My first call was to Ben Wisch. Ben had the cred and the chops of a top producer and engineer and the 2 GRAMMY awards to go with it. What was even more important to me was the warm, positive atmosphere that Ben fostered in the studio. I’ve never been more comfortable and relaxed making a record; not getting hung up on trying to be too perfect. I think the organic, natural flow of this record is a great representation of our experience making it.
Why the title American Landscape? Yes, a bit lofty, I know, and although it was not my intention at the outset, the songs on this record are linked by a common thread rooted in the American experience. They share a sense of place, both literally and metaphorically, in what might be called the “American psyche.”
I’d been spending alot of time listening to Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs record “God Willing & the Creek Don’t Rise” and thought the band would be a great match for this new batch of songs. As it turned out, both LA based drummer Jay Bellerose and bass player Jennifer Condos were available. So was Boston based guitarist Kevin Barry. And so the Pariah Dogs (Bellerose, Condo & Barry) along with the amazing talents of Patscha on keyboards and Lucy Kaplansky on vocals, became the musical foundation of American Landscape. Ben gave them all the freedom to express themselves with minimum guidance. The result is a backing band that always played in service of the song, a cohesive sound and some really stellar musical moments. This turned out to be the album I have always wanted to make. Thanks for listening. I hope you enjoy it.”