Making a Scene Presents An Interview with Kaz Murphy!
A thoughtful storyteller with a heart for the underdog, singer songwriter Kaz Murphy explores life’s predicaments with a fine toothcomb and works at weaving a path that will somehow make sense in the long run. No Depression wrote this about “One Happy Camper”, “Seattle singer-songwriter Kaz Murphy’s solo debut is packed with songs so full of rich imagery, quirky characters, cultural insights and instrumental diversity that if there were such a thing as classic Americana, this would be it.” Now, on his fourth solo release “Ride Out the Storm” Murphy continues exploring edgy stories that build and coagulate into hope for higher truth and salvation. Produced by Scrappy Jud Newcomb (Patty Griffin, Slaid Cleaves, Ray Wylie Hubbard) Murphy’s deep soulful voice of solid conviction guides the listener through tales that are large yet believable, while he prays for the lost, praises the found and concedes the observer to be a man existing on both extremes. Musically, these 11 cuts are simple, gutsy, and spacious with a sweet sonic dichotomy between mandolin and baritone guitars.
A drummer and lead singer at 10, Murphy performed with rock n roll high school bands in South Jersey and Philly. At 13 he picked up the guitar and banjo, wrote over 100 songs by high school graduation and performed many of them at local coffee houses. At 17, he befriended Dave Van Ronk, one of his folk heroes, and knew then that he would always be a songwriter.
Moving to Santa Fe, and opening for artists like Eliza Gilkyson and Family Lotus, Murphy also began getting poetry and short stories published locally and in 1978 Don Van Vliet (Captain Beefheart) released the song “Bat Chain Puller” from one of Murphy’s tales. In 1979 Murphy became percussionist for poet Allen Ginsberg. Then, off to Seattle, he wrote the science fiction musical “Great Galactic Fame Game”, getting a six-week run at 66 Bell Theatre, and in 1985, his second musical was produced “Chester’s Club” at New City Theatre.
In 1988, Murphy formed the folky new wave band, Mad Mad Nomad, and was signed to Green Monkey Records. They released single “Keeper of the Cage” and album “Snap Out.” In 1997, “One Happy Camper” was released on Liquid City Records, receiving praise from the Americana community. Two years later, he was hired by Nofrontiere in Vienna, Austria to be the story teller for the book “In the Place of Coincidence” published by Gingko Press. Relocating to Los Angeles, he has continued to release albums, tour in the US and Europe with a band and solo, doing radio interviews and periodically placing instrumental songs in tv and film.
Kaz has shared the stage with, among others, Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, Jonathan Richmond, The Derailers, and members of Whiskey Town, The Posies, Sky Cries Mary, Big Star, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Afghan Whigs and Insect Surfers.