Chris Murphy + Barney Kenny
Thursday 27th July 2023
£10 Advance £12 Door
The word ‘Troubadour’ gets banded about all too easily these days. An evocative and meaningful term generally used to add interest and intrigue to every gap-year singer-songwriter chancer sporting skinny jeans and a wide-brimmed hat. But what would the modern Troubadour look like? Would you even know if they crossed your path? They would probably be a multi-instrumentalist who is at home making music in any setting; from a garden party to the coffee shop, and from an intimate venue to a festival stage. They would wander the byways of their home patch as naturally as they travel the globe. They would have a healthy disregard for convention and music genres, but most of all, they would be able to engage with and entertain an audience. If you think such a musician is the stuff of myth, you clearly have yet to encounter Chris Murphy.
A native New Yorker now found basking in the California sun, Chris is an artist who blurs boundaries and defies easy categorization. A solo act and a band member. An exceptional violinist who can just as easily throw in some virtuoso mandolin work. A singer with a natural rapport. He is a musician as comfortable playing bluegrass and country as he is rock and blues. He can fire off salvos of Celtic jigs and folk reels as readily as soothing classical-infused serenades, and is just as likely to be found recording rousing Americana albums as he is creating ambient electronica-driven soundscapes. Now that sounds like a modern Troubadour to me.
But it isn’t enough just to act like said Troubadour, but if you want more proof, it can easily be found in the music. Listen to “Sailing the World Alone,” and you hear the lyrical wanderlust writ large to an authentic roots-rock sound. Before everything else, Chris Murphy is an entertainer and his music is about not only getting the party started, but keeping it going throughout a gig. I could go on, but I won’t. I don’t need to; with THE ROAD AND THE STARS compilation you hold in your hands everything you need to explore his musical world. Already a permanent fixture on the USA circuit, listeners in Europe and beyond are now falling for his not-inconsiderable sonic charms. And with around 250 gigs a year in the diary and an ever-growing following, it won’t be long until he is playing in your town. From personal experience, I can say that when he’s not plying his musical trade, he makes for perfect company, too. Just add a glass of neat Irish whiskey to the proceedings, and you have the makings of a great afternoon, not to mention a friend for life.
Chris Murphy (USA) and Barney Kenny (UK) are traditional musicians from both sides of the Atlantic. After a chance meeting in 2022, these two musicians performed a short run of impromptu concerts together and found that the outcome on stage was nothing short of a natural musical meeting.
Their two styles of playing (Chris, a folk/jazz and gypsy violinist and Barney, a traditional English/Irish folk player) blend effortlessly to provide a show of rip-roaring reels and jigs, americana songs, Anglo-Celtic melancholy and country-blues influences. Enjoy an evening of solo and duo performances from two fantastic players on a unique and special run of shows this July.