Tara Hill,Gorey, County Wexford
Johnny Murphy is a man borne of Wexford coasts and Dublin streets. Fascinated by music throughout his childhood, at 16 he set about teaching himself guitar and at 17, moved by the sounds of the Beatles and Van Morrison, he felt compelled to start writing his own kind of music. After moving to Dublin city at the age of 18, Johnny quickly became permanent fixture in the capital’s ever changing music scene.
His music career began like so many before him; performing at open mic nights throughout the city, including long established and well respected gigs such as the Glor Sessions in the International Bar and the Zodiac Session in Bruxelles. Early successes at these open mic nights quickly led to showcase gigs in the Voodoo Lounge, Bewleys and Whelan’s, featured spots on both national and Dublin based radio and support slots for acclaimed singer/songwriters such as Anthony Furey,Brian Mc Govern and Fiach.
While Johnny was honing his skills as a live performer he was also recording demos at a furious pace, experimenting with genres, mixing styles and recruiting like-minded musicians to help him forge the sound he was looking for. This current EP, recorded over the course of 6 months, is the culmination of his musical journey thus far and demonstrates Johnny’s gift for melody and ambitious lyrical insight. Johnny writes about his world, what he sees and what he has experienced. As a result, his songs are highly personal accounts of life that will resonate with the listener long after the last note has played.
Hot Press: First Cuts
"Think parts Mick Flannery, Mumford’s, The Band, John Spillane and Van Morrison and you're close to what Johnny Murphy is up to on his EP Better In Time which reveals a man with a musical maturity beyond his years. 'More Is More' is a smouldering slow soul blues with loose brass, a rolling band and great vocals from Murphy delivered in his raw rural tones. The female vocals sprinkle further helpings of magic .The biographical 'Lacey's Shoes' opens with a beguiling Celtic wistfulness before Murphy goes all Van with more gritty vocals and a band who feel even better than the play. ‘See What I see' raises the tempo with sparkling guitar and piano underpinning Murphy's evocative voice and some fine string soloing. ‘Newer Kind Of Comfort' is a real Mumford’s-style gem. Check him out"
Pick of the fortnight by Jackie Hayden