Keith Murphy – an evening of traditional song from Newfoundland and New England
Keith Murphy comes with a concert showcasing material from his newest release, Suffer No Loss, (Oct 2014). The program includes a mix of songs and ballads from his native Newfoundland as well as New England, his adopted home these last 20 years or so. In particular, Murphy has revisited some of the most well known, classic Newfoundland folk songs, songs he grew up with and now reinterprets after years of musical traveling. With simple yet elegant arrangements of traditional songs pared down to just voice and guitar, Murphy brings the focus back to the beauty of these texts. He creates a rich palette of textures using multiple open tunings and rhythmic ideas on the guitar, while also bringing in influences from French Canada which has long been part of his musical profile. The addition of his mandolin, foot percussion and chorus songs make for a well rounded evening of music for lovers of traditional song.
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.
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.
His 2005 album, Bound for Canaan showcased his refined sense of balance between innovation and tradition while his most recent CD, Suffer No Loss (2014) is a beautifully spare recording in the style of early classic recordings of the traditional English and Celtic music revival.