The fourth solo release from this veteran Seattle based singer-songwriter is just another string to the bow of a man who has led a varied career as poet, author and composer of musicals.
At 17, he befriended Dylan's Greenwich Village contemporary Dave Van Ronk and in 1978 Captain Beefheart based the song ‘Bat Chain Puller’ on one of his short stories.
As a performing artist, Murphy has shared the stage with an impressively varied range of artists including Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, Big Star, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Jonathan Richmond.
'Ride Out The Storm' was produced by Scrappy Jud Newcomb who also features on various guitars, mandolin, bass and vocals. Other players are Pat Manske on percussion, Jon Notarthomas on bass, tremolo, baritone guitars and vocals, and Penny Jo Pullus who contributes backing vocals on two songs.
Murphy's likable folk songs contain elements of bluegrass, Tex Mex and classic Americana and are colourfully described as sound tracking "a gutsy, rustic stroll along rutted, weathered roads".
With gritty story songs of love and solidarity, the emphasis is on understanding your roots (as in Where You Come From) building meaningful connections (see When People Come Together) and finding a purpose in life (like Stella Rae).
Neither the crooning voice nor the subject matter is particularly innovative but the nostalgic tone is genuine and the solid songs have a universal relevance.
Kaz Murphy's website