A native of Newfoundland, Keith’s traditional song repertoire is based in Eastern Canada and Quebec as well as his current home, Vermont. His direct and intimate style of traditional singing in English and French infuses old ballads and songs with a powerful immediacy while his rhythmic and percussive finger style of guitar playing brings new shape and color to his songs. His 2005 album, Bound for Canaan showcased his refined sense of balance between innovation and tradition while Suffer No Loss (2014) is a beautifully spare recording in the style of early classic recordings of the traditional English and Celtic music revival. His most recent solo recording is Land of Fish and Seals (2018) – an ever tasteful mix of traditional and tradition-inspired songs in English and French with an impressive list of guest artists – Becky Tracy, Yann Falquet, Pascal Gemme, Rani Arbo and Mark Roberts.
Keith was a founding member of Nightingale, a trio which broke new ground in its sophisticated approach to traditional music. He is a mainstay of the Boston fiddle extravaganza, Childsplay and has also worked extensively with Tony Barrand on the song repertoire from the early twentieth century of the Atwood family from Dover, Vermont. He also appears frequently with his wife, fiddler Becky Tracy as well as part of the Hanneke Cassel Trio.
Keith is an accomplished composer and arranger in the realm of traditional music and has also composed for theater and film. He is a featured performer on well over a dozen recordings and a guest musician on numerous others. His versions of traditional songs have inspired recordings by other groups including Solas, Uncle Earl and Great Big Sea. Several of his compositions have been featured on the recent Ken Burns’ documentary on the Roosevelts.
Keith is a faculty member of the Brattleboro Music Center (BMC) and the artistic director of the BMC’s Northern Roots Traditional Music Festival in Brattleboro Vermont which he founded in 2008. He was a featured performer in the Boston Revels 2016 Christmas show and he is the music director for the WGBH Boston public radio’s annual Celtic Sojourn St Partick’s Day concerts held at Sander’s Theater and elsewhere in New England.
- Suffer No Loss (2014)
- Bound for Canaan (2005)
Music samples from Suffer No loss
- Lukey's Boat Keith Murphy 1:08
- Golden Willow Keith Murphy 1:05
- Let Me Fish off Cape St. Mary's Keith Murphy 1:21
Sample Press Release
A sample press release including a bio and description of Keith’s solo show that you can copy and paste, adding details for your event to send to your local press or email list. Go to sample press release.