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Music Review - `Reason To Try` by Shaun Murphy (lz)

Shaun Murphy -- Reason To Try    (click on image to watch video)

RELEASE DATE Aug 1, 2019

 7 July 2019

 

Black

Suffice it to say Shaun Murphy boasts some mighty impressive credentials. Aside from  performing under the stage name Stoney -- the female foil to Michael Lee Aday during the pre-Bat Out of Hell days when the pair recorded under the aegis of Stoney and Meatloaf-- she tallied an extensive resume that includes an original role in Hair, ongoing membership in Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band, a lengthy association with the band Little Feat, and time spent touring and recording with Eric Clapton. At the same time, she’s proven to be a formidable force on her own as well, courtesy of three Grammy nominations and a pair of Blue Blast Music Awards.

Still, the best evidence of her credence and capability comes courtesy of Reason To Try, a remarkable new album that confirms quite convincingly that all the accolades and accomplishments were clearly well deserved. It’s evident at the outset that Murphy can belt the blues with credence and conviction. While she sticks to the traditional template throughout -- veering from brassy ballads to sassy, strutting rockers -- her voice takes the songs to a higher dimension, capturing an inherent emotion and emphatic attitude in the process. The telling “Power Of Love” provides an early indication, courtesy of a passionate plea to put aside earthly temptations and revere real emotions and affections instead. The equally steadfast “Welcome To Bluesville,” “Thang For You,” “Rumor Mill” and “Dancing in the Sun” express similar notions, each exemplifying a solid, spirited delivery as well as some decided determination.

On the other hand, Murphy ably counters that fluid fanfare with an equal number of torrid, soulful ballads. They allow her to express a reliable array of downturned emotions, from slow soulful laments (the title track, “Don’t Come Crying To Me”) to an occasional utterance of unbridled optimism (“Someday,” a track composed by her longtime boss, Mr. Seeger himself). Yet, regardless of whatever means or mode she employs, Murphy’s confidence is clear. There’s not a single offering include in this 14 song set that doesn’t offer some sort of formidable feeling while leaving a lingering impression in its wake.

Ultimately then, Reason To Try adheres to the mantra its title suggests. After paying her dues both on her own and while in service to others, Murphy is finally seizing the spotlight and retaining it all for herself. 

 

 Lee Zimmerman

 

Lee Zimmerman

To Read All of Lee's Reviews, Click Here

 

 

 


 

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