Rain of Days - 2006
"An artist of considerable depth and style. He's one of the most intense performers I've ever seen live. His songs are deep and varied, based in blues and folk tradition, yet boldly elusive in scope and daring. This is a breath of fresh air to the acoustic blues lung. Breath it in people! " TB
WOW! what a discovery. This guy is like no other acoustic blues player/songwriter I've come across in a long time -if at all!
The cd Rain of Days is very very good. He plays finger style guitar with total skill and originality. I guess if I was to compare him to someone it would be Phelps, SMither or even the late Chris Whitley due to his power and force of emotion and delivery both vocally and musically. The first track is a truly great slide performance with an understated style something like bukka white or Fred mcdowell on a massive train surge. Others like Standing on a Bridge, Bogg dog or Rain of days are all very different stylistic takes on American roots/blues music without sounding regressive and ironic. The band that backs him on 11 of the tracks (bass, drums and sometime harmonica) are right there with him at every improvisational moment, really holding their own without sounding like just a backup band. Together they are taking blues/roots music to new heights rather than sticking to the same old twelve bar format or rehashing tired Charlie Patton styles. No chuga chuga my baby left me stuff here! The songwriting is very deep with references to the spirit, relationships, greed, society, crows, dogs etc. what else would you want.
For those who are really into acoustic players who know how to turn it up a notch while still swimming in the waters of tradition -this is the one to get!
"t's always refreshing to hear traditional acoustic blues get a modern makeover and still maintain an allegiance to its roots. Sounds like a tall order, but the 15 tracks here are solid proof that it can be pulled off with moving, honest results. Using a precise and strong finger picking and slide style, McMurrian wastes no time showing that he is tremendously adept at both guitar and banjo, able to beautifully manipulate each instrument and give every song a unique sound. Adding to that, 14 of the 15 songs here are original compositions(the exception being the opening track, a wonderfully revamped take on the traditional "Going to Memphis to See Her There"), and 11 feature his equally jaw-dropping backing band. As if this wasn't enough, McMurrian's gravelly vocals and gray-tinted lyrics sync perfectly with the mood and feeling of each distinct offering, allowing this album to be varied and cohesive all at once..." CDBABY.com