Benjamin Adair Murphy OLD CHORDS

Benjamin Adair Murphy
Old Chords
Self Release

Straight Up Sparse Lo-Fi Americana/Folk-Rock That’s Full of Smart Melodies and a Desperado Guitar.

Not as dangerous as his earlier release, Let’s Make a King, yet recorded during the same sessions, the six songs that make up the EP Old Chords are straight up Americana/Folk-Rock full of smart melodies and tight, sparse arrangements.
Recorded in studios as varied as Tel Aviv, Brooklyn, and New Mexico, the production by Israeli-American musician Roy Gurel, serves the songs well with lap steel, guitar, organ, and a deep dark bass guitar.
Murphy himself is in fine voice throughout these tunes, and he sounds as if he’s having fun letting loose from the seriousness of Let’s Make a King.
The title track, “Old Chords,” one of the two songs voiced by Allison Langerak, who played with Murphy in the band Blue Eighty-Eights, is a Country ballad where the narrator seems to be looking for peace in the familiar, even though it’s repeating the past that keeps one’s heart broken.
Spacious layers of lap steel, add to the unsettled-ness of the song.
“That Ain’t Nothin'” brings together a desperado guitar and some sparse percussion to tell the story of someone just glad to have gotten by this far, despite the hardships they’ve faced.
Some days we focus on the things we want,
more than the things we have,
while the lap steel and the organ give a sense of triumph.
“The One I’m Waiting On” is a bit swampier and mournful, the busy bass adding to the restlessness of the narrator.
“Get Out of Here” Is the album closer, but would also have made a great opener with it’s story of woe and hopefulness, the combination of guitar and bass conveying the feel of a man walking away from everything bad that ever happened to him, and not sure what’s next.
This EP by Murphy and friends is a sweet Country sidestep from his last album.
Maybe he can mix it up on the next one?
A bit of danger, mixed with a dab of honey could be a good thing.

Review by the Legendary Roy Peak


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