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      David Lee Murphy calls his music "Saturday night in a pickup truck with the windows rolled down having a good time party music". It's the kind of country music that moves the feet as well as the heart. Murphy burst onto the scene in 1994 when his song "Just Once" (from... read more
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      David Lee Murphy calls his music "Saturday night in a pickup truck with the windows rolled down having a good time party music". It's the kind of country music that moves the feet as well as the heart.

      Murphy burst onto the scene in 1994 when his song "Just Once" (from the soundtrack of the film 8 Seconds starring Luke Perry as bull-riding champion Lane Frost) was released as his first single. He followed up with the hits "Fish Ain't Bitin'", "Party Crowd", "Dust On The Bottle" and "Out With A Bang" (all from the MCA CD Out With A Bang). "Dust on the Bottle" spent two weeks at the top of the country charts and "Party Crowd" became the most performed country song in 1995 according to Radio & Records magazine. It later became one of ASCAP's 50 most performed songs of the decade. Murphy's Out With A Bang became the best selling debut album by any male artist in 1995.

      Murphy was a classic 10-year overnight success story. He arrived in Nashville in 1983 from Herrin, Illinois intent on establishing himself as a songwriter so he could have a solid source of material as an artist. He had some success as a writer, with cuts by Reba McEntire, Dobie Gray, and Doug Stone, but most of the time he struggled, traveling around the southeast fronting a honky tonk band and staying true to David Lee Murphy. "I was just a struggling, flat-broke songwriter," he recalls, "but living that lifestyle was doing what I wanted to do. Even when I didn't make much money I was happy because I was working toward something."

      On Murphy's second album, Gettin' Out The Good Stuff, he stretched his artistic range with a variety of songs, all of which he wrote or co-wrote. "Everytime I Get Around You" and "The Road You Leave Behind" continued his string of hits, while "Born That Way", "I've Been A Rebel (And It Don't Pay) and "Genuine Rednecks" continued to establish Murphy as one of the most energetic and rockin' performance acts in country music.

      Murphy's music has always been unique and different from the Nashville norm. Part of that uniqueness stems from the fact that Murphy, as a former struggling songwriter, always felt at home in a studio. "Since 1983, when it was a big deal to go in and make demos, recording in the studio was fun for me" he explains. "When you write the songs, you just want to go in there and make them come to life. I think part of what makes my records stand apart," he states, "is that I write and sing the songs; do the background vocals; make the arrangements; play acoustic guitar and oversee the production of the songs. From all those years of making demos and writing songs, I just learned how to make records. You have to when you're a songwriter because you don't have a producer telling you what you need to do. It's survival of the fittest.

      Although Murphy was "hands on" in the studio for his three MCA CDs, it wasn't until his third album We Can't All Be Angels, that he was given "associate producer" credit. Angels took Murphy's music even further out of the Music City boundaries. Critics and industry insiders agreed that the songs, the sound and the entire direction of the CD were way ahead of their time. Although not commercially successful, We Can't All Be Angels was hailed by one critic as "the best album to come out of Nashville in many years". It contained the singles "All Lit Up In Love", "Just Don't Wait Around 'Til She's Leavin'", and "We Can't All Be Angels" (which was included in the movie soundtrack for Black Dog which starred Patrick Swayze, Randy Travis and Meat Loaf). "It's a rockin' record," says Murphy. "Mentally, it's the country message, but as far as the framework goes, it's got a rockin' feel to it. All my records have been more rockin' than normal for Nashville. I like to record music that we're able to really crank up and rock on live."

      Murphy still maintains a constant grass roots touring schedule and songwriting regimen. Promoters across the country are amazed at the loyalty of his fan base and the extreme distances his fans will travel to catch one of his performances. One top country promoter recently compared Murphy's fans to those of the legendary rock group the Grateful Dead. He stated, "They will travel hundreds of miles to see David Lee in concert. You see many of the same faces at everyone of his shows on a tour."

      In addition to his touring schedule, Murphy continues to write songs for himself and other artists. His compositions have been recorded by some of country music's hottest acts: Aaron Tippin, Brooks & Dunn, Trick Pony, Andy Griggs and Chris LeDoux to name a few. He has written with some of the top songwriters, artists and producers in Nashville, including the legendary Waylon Jennings. He is also a very "in demand" songwriting partner for many of the top Country artists and producers in Australia, where he recently toured and established an avid following. Murphy recently wrote and recorded a song, "Holdin' On", for the Professional Bullriders Association project Dancin' With Thunder on Sony Records. The song continues Murphy's rockin' country tradition that is being emulated today by many of the new artists on the country music scene.

      Murphy's unique influence on country music continues to be felt in his distinctive songwriting style and recurring airplay of his classics like, "Dust on the Bottle", "Party Crowd" and "The Road You Leave Behind". He is currently finishing up his next studio project, which will be his first release in many years. There is little doubt that the eyes of the industry and the public will be closely focused on Murphy's next recording. He has gained a reputation for musical integrity, exploration and adventure. One thing is for certain…David Lee Murphy will never be accused of following the pack.

      Categories: Music | Country

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