Michael Martin Murphey to perform in Grand Junction
WHAT: Michael Martin Murphey concert
WHEN: Friday, Feb. 7, at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Recital Hall, Moss Performing Arts Center at Colorado Mesa University
COST: Reserved seating $35 and $30
INFO: 970-243-8497; http://www.sandstoneconcerts.com
Singer-songwriter Michael Martin Murphey will bring his banjo, guitar and harmonica — and perhaps his concertina (a small squeeze box accordion) — when he comes to Grand Junction on Friday, Feb. 7, for a performance at the Moss Performing Art Center’s Recital Hall.
Murphey is known for such iconic hits as “Wildfire,” “Carolina in the Pines,” “Geronimo’s Cadillac,” “Cowboy Logic,” and Cherokee Fiddle.”
During Saturday’s concert, Murphey said he will emphasize songs from his new album, called “Red River Drifter.”
Released in July, the CD’s songs have a “real connection to Colorado,” he explained. The first tune in particular, “Peaceful Country,” is about the lifestyle Coloradans love.
Like a lot of musicians, Murphey grew up in Texas on Gospel music. He listened to people like the Blackwood Brothers Quartet and the Stamps Baxter Quartet. He started singing at 4 years old; his first performance was in church.
Then his uncle turned him on to bluegrass music.
“My uncle was a farmer and he collected records — lots of bluegrass,” Murphy said. “He gave me a stack of 78s when I was a kid. I bought a tape recorder and recorded it all. I learned all that stuff.”
Those artists included such icons as Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, Woody Guthrie and the Louvin Brothers.
Murphey’s songs reflect his lifestyle — “I’m a cowboy and a rancher and I write about it,” Murphey said. He and his family raises and trains working cow horses.
He spends most of his time between his ranch in Beulah, Colo., and Red River, N.M. — where Murphey performs a series of concerts in the summertime.
“Rolling Stone” magazine once called Murphey “one of the best songwriters in America.” His songs have been covered by such artists as Lyle Lovett, John Denver, Kenny Rogers, Hoyt Axton and others.
Murphey has topped the pop, country, bluegrass and Western music charts with his songs, and has earned six gold albums and multiple Grammy nominations.
He performs 200 concerts a year, although not all those shows are far from home. He’s often back at the ranch at the end of the day. Murphey plays a lot of concerts locally around Beulah and Red River and at a 1,000-seat amphitheater on La Veta Pass in south-central Colorado that’s accessible only by the Rio Grande Scenic Rail Road.
“The train’s pretty cushy — it’s a nice ride out of Alamosa,” he said.
Murphey also started a nonprofit that is in the process of restoring some old cabins near the railroad where he plans to sponsor writing retreats — not just for songwriters, he said, but for all types of writers.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Local teams just missed out on qualifying for state as teams but will be sending individual representatives following Friday’s regional meets.