- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
|Michael Martin Murphey||Primary Artist, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals|
|Sam Bush||Fiddle, Mandolin|
|Pat Flynn||Acoustic Guitar, Guitar|
|Ryan Murphey||Mandolin, Rhythm Guitar, Background Vocals|
|Andy Leftwich||Fiddle, Mandolin|
|Troy Engle||Banjo, Fiddle|
|Carin Mari||Vocals, Background Vocals|
|Craig Nelson||Acoustic Bass|
|Mike Bubb||Upright Bass|
|Michael Martin Murphey||Composer, Executive Producer|
|Keith Compton||Engineer, Mastering|
Posted September 9, 2011
Now in his 60s, country singer Michael Martin Murphey may be best known for his song hits from the 1970s, "Wildfire" and "Carolina in the Pines," as well as his well-received 1987 album, "River of Time." From Texas, Murphey's also been active with Native American causes and environmental issues. Nearly everything he does celebrates the Golden West. I believe his first album project entitled "Cowboy Songs" appeared on the Warner label in 1990 with old favorites like "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" and "Happy Trails." Within the last few years, he's also released a couple CDs with bluegrass themes.
"Tall Grass & Cool Water" is very appropriately named as it presents a mixture of both bluegrass and cowboy music..his sixth volume of "Cowboy Songs" and his third of "Buckaroo Blue Grass." It's a nice approach that works well, although some of the songs sound a bit overdone with a few too many tracks of instrumentation and vocals in the final mix of some of the up-tempo offerings like "Texas Cowboy." I guess I'm just used to hearing cowboy music with a little leaner, rawboned sound. While his voice has aged a tad over the decades, Murphey's at his best with a slower, more evocative number from his own pen like "Partner to the Wind" or a cowboy ballad he got from Harry McClintock, "Trusty Lariat." Every good cowboy is a storyteller, and Murphey is no exception with ballads about the outlaws Cole Younger, Jesse James and Frank James. We have occasionally heard classic cowboy numbers covered by bluegrass bands, and it's hard not to like those favorites from the Sons of the Pioneers like "Cool Water" and "Way Out There" with Carin Mari's fine yodeling. She also sings on "Cool Water" and "Springtime in the Rockies." I particularly liked Murphey's cover of "Blue Prairie," one of Bob Nolan's most poignant songs of loneliness, sadness and regret. The CD's session musicians include Pat Flynn (guitar), Andy Hall (Dobro), Charlie Cushman (banjo), Andy Leftwich (mandolin, fiddle), Sam Bush (mandolin, fiddle), Craig Nelson (bass), Ryan Murphey (guitar, mandolin), Troy Engle (fiddle, banjo), and Mike Bubb (bass).
"Tall Grass & Cool Water" is a musical tribute to the culture, history, intrigue and stories of the west. Every buckaroo with some nostalgia for the prairie needs to corral a copy of this album. The bluegrass instrumentation is as blue and big as the Texas sky, and the cowboy songs are perfect for listening to around the campfire after a long day on the trail. (Joe Ross, Roseburg, Oregon)