Attention: open in a new window. Print

CD REVIEW

MURPHY AND MIDDAUGH (2010) 
Orville Murphy & Jerry Middaugh
M&M Music - CD Baby

To immerse yourself in this album is to take a journey. With the first song you know you are in the presence of two people who know their music well, and who also have the rare talents to share it perfectly.  Most anyone can sing a song or tell a tale, but few people can capture the wealth and depth of this music.

It is clear from the first harp note that Murphy plays and sings from deep within. He is a lesson to us all … keep the faith … keep the music … keep on keeping on. I’ve known Jerry for many years and he never fails to amaze me. Only someone as well grounded, as Jerry is, in this traditional music can recognize the treasure that this music is.This is a rare musical presentation … we are blessed with their work.

Louis Collins: Mississippi John Hurt wrote this murder ballad in 1928. This is a classic example of the ballad keeping the story alive over the years. Slow Train Through Georgia: Jerry’s warm voice tells you to pull up a chair, relax and enjoy. Have Someone Play Dixie For Me: Murph often says that in most wars, the losers got the best songs. Banjo Medley: This is traditional banjo playing at it’s finest. Shenandoah Wind: Chris Stuart wrote this song of a universal sentiment common to all wars. We’ve Got Franklin D. Roosevelt Back Again: This is a refreshing look back at our political history. This makes me want to run out and vote for F.D.R. again. Won’t You Come And Sing For Me: Hazel Dickens wrote this sentimental song. I recently overheard an audience member say: “You just don’t hear these songs anymore.” Dixie Darling: A.P. Carter recorded this in 1936 and Jerry captures it again. They Have Gone Home: Bill Carlisle Died in 2003 at the age of 93. This song he wrote sounds like a fitting epitaph. Whiskey Death and Whiskey Blind: A Norman Blake classic. Steal Away: I well remember my grandmother singing this old spiritual in the 40’s … it takes me back. Black Waters: This is an all too true story that Jean Ritchie wrote of her home ground in Kentucky. Cotton Eyed Joe: This is Murphy at his best. Listen to the clear, crisp notes. The Winds of Time Won’t Change: Murphy tells us that he sang this song at his brother’s memorial service. Black Eyed Suzie: And this presentation is Jerry at his best. Bob Nelson, January 2011. (Bob Nelson is a local folksinger and co-director of The Pacific Northwest Folklore Society)