Michael Martin Murphy: Tall Grass & Cool Water

Album review
Michael Martin Murphy: Tall Grass & Cool Water

Michael Martin Murphy

Tall Grass & Cool Water

Label: Rural Rhythm
Media: CD
Genre: Rock/pop

Since abandoning his hit-making stint as a mainstream country romantic balladeer in 1989, Michael Martin Murphey has fashioned a productive if unlikely career singing western music. Now he’s up to six volumes of Cowboy Songs, with the latest arguably his finest yet. True to his recent embrace of bluegrass, his band here includes Sam Bush, Ronnie McCoury, Andy Leftwich, Charlie Cushman, Pat Flynn, and Mike Bub, and the result is a unique amalgam of southwestern plains and mountain music that revivifies cowboy songs as surely as did Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers in their 30s heyday. In fact, Nolan, the poet laureate of the western song, is represented by three tunes here, including a beautiful, laconic version of “Cool Water” that Murph sings with tender appreciation for the loner’s struggle against the forces of nature. Contemporary sources include Murph himself, a fine songwriter, whose loping ballad “Partner To the Wind,” featuring his instantly identifiable tenor croon enhanced by winsome atmospherics from Andy Hall’s dobro, is an exquisite love song to life lived in concert with the natural world. With a lean, uncluttered sound framing the evocative vocals, Murph and his co-producer son Ryan have fashioned a gem of new/old west testimonials

More Info

  • primary artist, Michael Martin Murphy
  • CD

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