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Music Review - `Reason to Try` by Shaun Murphy (jm)

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

28 August 2019



Shaun Murphy has done more for the Blues and traditional R&B than should be expected from any native of Nebraska. In a career that dates back to the late 1960s, her powerfully emotive voice carries the gravitas of someone born and raised in the Fourth Ward or Chicago’s Southside. From the album’s start, with the impassioned pleas off of “If you’re gonna hurt me, babe, you better hurt me good,” from the opening track off of Reason To Try, Murphy - a Cornhusker by birth - is convincing enough that you’d swear she followed Robert Johnson’s route down to the Crossroads to chat up the devil.

Through the years, Murphy has recorded and toured with a slew of big acts, from Clapton, Bob Seger and surprisingly even Alice Cooper. She was also a member of Little Feat for 15 years but despite the obvious positive contributions she has made to others over the past few decades, she is truly best appreciated as a solo artist. Reason To Try, her latest, is a stellar calling card for anyone unaware of her work. 

From the slow burn of a song like “Thang For You” to the full-throttle jam “Rumor Mill” she soars, but the sharpest moment here is on the beautiful Danny Flowers’ penned “Reason To Fly,” with piano, organ, and subtle guitar leaving plenty of room for Murphy’s smoldering vocals to dominate the track, a vulnerable love song that Murphy brings to almost a low growl with emotion. Almost as powerful is “Don’t Come Crying To Me,” another slow build burner.

 At 14 tracks there is a little filler here and there that fails to properly do Murphy justice (“Road House Rockin’” comes to mind), but Reason To Try is peak Shaun Murphy. 



Music Reviewer - John Moore  

John B. Moore has been covering the seemingly disparate, but surprisingly complementary genres of Americana and punk rock for the past 20 years.

Blurt/New Noise Magazine/InSite Atlanta/NeuFutur Magazine

twitter @jbmoore00

To Read All of John's Reviews, Click Here





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