Hailing from Galway, Hubert Murray moved to London several years ago. At that time he started playing bluegrass and is now well known on the bluegrass/old time scene as lead singer and guitarist of The Hot Rock Pilgrims and of Irish bluegrass fusion band Lands End. He’s recorded CDs with both bands and toured across Ireland and the UK, playing at numerous gigs and festivals including the Isle of Wight, Wilderness and Kilkenny Rhythm & Roots. Now embarking on a solo career, this week Murray releases his debut solo EP, Shorten the Road. The six tracks – five originals and one traditional tune – showcase his own style, which he likes to call soulful folk. With clear influences showing through from various folk, blues and bluegrass traditions, the CD is marked out above all by Hubert’s remarkably powerful and soulful voice.
Opening song, the lilting Will You Love Me Again features delicate mandolin and backing vocals from Leanne Thorose, perfectly complementing the lead vocals and fine finger picking. Where We Last Met is a stripped down lament with Hubert’s voice taking flight, backed by robust solo guitar. Can’t Stop Playing the Blues is a jaunty and upbeat little blues, featuring Dublin banjo maestro Paddy Kiernan (Murray’s Lands End band mate) making a guest appearance on the 5-string. Paddy also provides subtle backing on Run Buddy Run, which rolls along with a kind of plaintive undercurrent. There’s also a lovely stripped down solo flatpicked guitar rendition of traditional fiddle tune Sally Goodin, and the EP finishes strongly with Slapstick, which shows off Murray’s blues style playing, has a real swing to it and ends much too soon at just 2 minutes 2 seconds long. Overall this is a top notch debut with strong original songwriting providing a worthy framework for Hubert Murray’s pleasing and versatile guitar picking and unique voice.
Order the CD via Bandcamp
The CD launch gig is this Thursday 26th May, 7:30pm at The Harrison, Kings Cross.
Hubert Murray will also be on tour in Ireland and England this June.
Thurs 2nd June – Ranfurly House – Dungannon, Northern Ireland
Fri 3rd June – 5th on Teeling – Sligo
Sat 4th June – Private Function – Dublin
Sun 5th June – Mannions Bar – Balla, Co. Mayo
Mon 6th June – Kenny’s Bar – Lahinch
Tues 7th June – The Greyhound Bar – Kilkee, Co.Clare
Wed 8th June – Connemara – live radio session
Thurs 9th June – Mullarkeys Bar – Clifden, Connemara
Fri 10th June – Westport Bluegrass Festival
Weds 15th June – Leaf – Liverpool
Thurs 16th June – MonoBar – Chorlton, Manchester
Fri 17th June – The Last Drop – York
Sat 18th June – Hope Bank Works – Honley, Holmfirth
Sat 25th June – Vdub at the Pub Festival – Wimborne, Dorset
Sun 26th June – Joy Festival – Lewes, East Sussex