Irish-born singer/songwriter Richard Murray, after years of working as a session musician and band member to countless artists, finally delivered his debut album “Desert Wind” (E-SHARK Records). The album has enjoyed great reviews and success in the UK Songwriting Competition (Forgive Me Sera & Enlighten Me) and the Indie Music Awards (Best Alt. Country Album). Richard also released the singles ‘On Carey Street’ and ‘I Drove Across the City’ for Play Records.
In every song on “Desert Wind,” Richard Murray writes about the nature of living against the backdrop of a larger life context. He is, indeed, as much a poet as he is musician. You never feel he is someone attempting to tower over his audience with holier-than-thou wisdom and excessive eloquence. He’s a brother, perhaps a cousin, or a friend, inspired over set backs, passionate over suffering and surmounting each, by writing and singing about them for us.
Murray will speak to you through his artistry, and, perhaps more so, through his integrity in meeting you with the same truths, vulnerability, wisdom, passion and vigilance you expect and need to experience in music of this very intimate and personal genre.
The music, production, and lyrics on this true-grit Americana sounding album are superb, and some of my personal favorite songs on here, include; “Down In This Town,” “Enlighten Me,” “The Wind And Rain,” “Midnight Oil,” and “Wandering Infidel.” However, this album is solid all the way through, and an emotional roller coaster at that.
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Richard Murray successfully captures the emotional highs and lows on each song, with perfect execution. Comfortably moving his art into a musical category, embracing awe-inspiring musicians who care about the world. Like Neil Young, Jackson Browne, James Taylor and Sheryl Crow, to name a few.
The arrangements are restrained and honest, allowing the songs to speak for themselves. Song after song, “Desert Wind” breathes refreshing, elegant, effortless tunes.
Most of the album sounds intensely personal, as well as emotionally intense. The album’s undercurrent “Desert Wind” theme really hits hard. You can’t praise Murray’s craft enough. The lyrics are poetic and deeply affecting. He finds focused, irresistible and memorable melodies that are the perfect fit to enhance his tales. Then wraps his thewy and gravelly, cobblestone vocals around it all.
Murray makes each song on this album dramatic and powerful, but he’s always supremely tasteful and never resorts to bombast. I honestly think that “Desert Wind,” is a flawless album. It rocks in places and it moves you in more ways than one. Richard Murray’s introspective mood never loses touch at any point over the course of the songs. It’s almost beyond all belief how well he puts his feelings and perceptions into words on this album. It’s an album that after many listens, continues to entice and intrigue the listener, and is pure therapy to the mind and soul.
I can’t understand why this album hasn’t received more accolades and publicity since it’s release, as it’s hard to comprehend anyone with even half a heart denying this album. It’s an absolute must have, for any serious listener of Americana, Heartland Rock, Alternative Country or Folk-Rock.
All in all, “Desert Wind” is a fine piece of work. Musically and lyrically it has breadth and depth and contains a collection of songs that is both nostalgic and current. The album represents a stunningly intelligent Irish-born “singer-songwriter” at his very best, immersed within a traditionally popular, American genre.
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