Tag Archives: The Graceless Age

The Immenence of John Murry: UK & Ireland Tour Jan/Feb 2013

8 Jan

John MurryTour 2013

In just under two weeks John Murry begins his first solo headline UK tour. This follows the release last summer of The Graceless Age; an extraordinary collection of personal, soul-baring songs and performances assembled with the support and assistance of Tim Mooney, once of American Music Club, whose untimely death coincided with the release of the record.

The Graceless Age is a barbed album; once it has its hooks in a listener it won’t let go, and they can’t let go. Over the last six months it has infiltrated its way into many lives, and the consequence is that Murry is here shortly for the first of what will be a series of visits to Europe in the coming period.

But 2013 is the year when John Murry comes into his kingdom and this is the one sure chance of seeing him in relative intimacy, in small venues. Its an opportunity not to be spurned, to grasp the moment of watching these songs as they grow and transmute in live performance.

It’s a short tour, a little toes in the water, and this time some parts of the country are better served than others but if you can find yourself anywhere in the vicinity these are the shows that are not to be missed.

And though a Southern bias is quite deplorable if you’re anywhere near the Home Counties you could actually do four of them (Brighton, Oxford, Winchester, and London).


Mon 21st Jan : BRIGHTON: Sticky Mike’s
Info and tickets

Wed 23rd Jan:  GLASGOW: Celtic Connection,

Thurs 24th Jan: EDINBURGH: The Voodoo Rooms,

Sat 26th Jan: BELFAST: The Green Room at The Black Box,  (3.00pm show)

Sun 27th Jan: DUBLIN: Whelans,

Tues 29th Jan: LONDON: The Borderline

Wed 30th Jan: WINCHESTER:  The Railway

Thurs 31st Jan: OXFORD: The Bullingdon
Info and tickets

Fri 1st Feb: HOLMFIRTH: The Picturedrome,
with Steve Cropper and The Animals

Sat 2nd Feb: NEWCASTLE: The Cluny


John Murry reviewed: online notices

6 Aug

John Murry‘s The Graceless Age has been gleaning a lot of very good notices online too. Here’s a selection:

From Electric Ghost


An interview with AmericanaUK

“My name is John Murry. I do as little as possible and make as much noise as is allowed by my family, neighbours, and law enforcement officials. Sometimes I record it”

Read it here


A review in Blabber’n’Smoke

“A dark cousin to Brian Wilsons’ California dreaming perhaps, with the dense and elaborate Southern Sky a contender for song of the year as it pounds and insinuates its way into the listener’s brain.”

Read it all here


A review in Flyin’ Shoes

“Astonishingly complex sounds woven together here that will take a long time to reveal all the secrets of their making.”

Read it all here

John Murry reviewed: The printed word

6 Aug

John Murry‘s The Graceless Age has been gleaning a lot of very good notices over the last few weeks so here’s a go at getting a taste of it all in one place:

From Uncut

There’s also a couple of nice mentions in Uncut editor Allan Jones’ blog posts on Bob Dylan’s Tempest and Tim Mooney.

STOP PRESS: just added to Uncut’s blog is the full interview from which the Q & A was taken.

From Q

From The Sun

From The Daily Mirror

From The Independent On Sunday

Read it here

John Murry’s The Graceless Age is released today

2 Jul

It’s 2nd July, John Murry’s The Graceless Age is released today, and people have already made some telling comments about it:

“A dark and festering masterpiece”.
Allen Jones: Uncut

As brown as the Mississippi and as fraught with undercurrents.”
Nick Coleman: Independent On Sunday

“A mind-numbingly, indescribable, life-altering, bone rattle of an album. First listen left me dumbstruck, and every listen since has had me pretty much questioning the genius of any album I’ve ever considered to be so.”
Lonesome Drifter: Sussex DJ, promoter, agent.

Dark and with its roots deep in country music, but it may be necessary to come up with a new genre for this highly original artist!
American Roots Music

Also read this splendid review from John Davy on Flyin’ Shoes

Distributed by Proper

Buy at Amazon, Rough Trade and all good record shops

Visit John Murry’s website, his blog, and follow him on Twitter

‘John made a record’: Chuck Prophet on John Murry

14 May

It’s come to my attention that you’d like some words from me on my buddy John Murry. I suppose I could come up with a blurb or two or twelve. God knows I’ve written a few – and more than a couple for myself.

John made a record. And it’s great. You know that, of course. Maybe we all do. When he was making it we got together and we talked about it. We had deep conversations on the merits of being certifiably insane. And we came to the conclusion that it beats dressing like you’re homeless. Beyond that, I don’t know what to add. I could dress it up in purple but, like I was saying, we decided insanity beats dressing like you’re homeless. So we’re fairly well attired these days.

John made a record. What’s amazing is that he did it somehow in spite of himself. In spite of the fact that he claims he can’t play the guitar. And that he’s lazy. And that he’s totally unwilling to buy ‘gay ass Serge Gainsbourg records’ and sit in bars in the Mission listening to some dude ‘spin records’ from the 80’s for the sake of irony. Aside from all that John is a seriously complicated dude. For one, he can spend money like nobody’s business and doesn’t seem worried about making much of it. He taught me that money is some magical shit. As you can imagine, that got my attention. So we went out for ice cream (I was buying). John told me more secrets. We do that sort of thing; ‘Ladies (who are men – we believe) who lunch’.

I like the fact that there’s a picture somewhere of John – a picture of Barry Hannah holding him (and a drink) when he was just a baby. Hannah was friends with his (John’s) dad. Hannah fairly recently lived with John’s little brother or something, before he went to meet his maker (who makes Barry Hannah?). The first day he was there he demanded the kid “go get some pussy” and he bought them both .357’s. I don’t know where those .357’s are now. But Hannah is gone daddy gone. Of course, we’ll never stop reading him.

Anyway, John made this record and it’s pretty cool. He went up the mountain and talked to the elephant, as we used to say. I don’t pretend to know what was moving through his veins when he made it (do we need to?). All I know for sure is that I enjoy eating ice cream with John. So, in an effort to get to the heart of what this record means, I asked him what drove him to make it. He promised me he had a manifesto and he’d share it with me when he was ready. And though it wasn’t clear just what it was – he said he could come up with them (manifestos) all day long. That’s true. And that he’s happy to run his mouth, and the shit that comes out will always run golden, that is, too. Opinions really are like assholes. Of course assholes are truly great, absolutely necessary, and interesting parts of the human body. Which is really my way of saying that John made a cool record and that you might want to seek it out. It’s worth the seeking. It’s never a bad idea to keep an eye on John. Not because he’s dangerous, but because you’ll miss something. An idiotic musician renting space at the studio once found out John was addicted to heroin. In a ridiculous move to endear himself to the ‘better’ of us there (what a fool!), he expressed concern over John’s presence – as if he and his shit were in danger. I’ll tell you what I told him: “Don’t ever underestimate John Murry. Don’t ever presume to know.” I was wary of that drummer after that. Never have been of John. Not when he was high as a kite with no string, or crazy as a loon with no meds, or sane as a professor with too many books. John Murry is John Murry. That’s kinda that. What John wanted more than drums or money wasn’t never what they thought. He gave it all away, anyhow. It still isn’t. He fears absolution and embraces condemnation. He loves the hated and hates the loved. And I think we all oughta pay attention now. He never needed Bob The opposite was true. Down at the studio we all knew it. John is just now – maybe, hopefully – figuring that one out. If he does – if he has – then there’s more to come. I’m waiting. We all should.


Chuck Prophet

John Murry’s The Graceless Age

3 May

To say we’re excited about this one doesn’t even come close. I’ve been conscious of this record for nearly two years now and elements enter my head unbidden at the strangest times. I like that.

I first met John Murry five years ago, when the world was a different place, and he was touring with the old Memphis folkie Bob Frank (it was Frank’s take on ‘Wild Bill Jones’ that Jim Dickinson did on Dixie Fried back in 1971). Somehow he took a liking to me, and thus we’ve stayed in contact. As a close listen to The Graceless Age will indicate he’s had a strange few years in the interim. But he’s come out of it alive having taken to heart Chuck Prophet’s sage advice: “insanity’s fine. The rest won’t fly”.

Murry comes from Tupelo, Mississippi and he’s William Faulkner’s grandson or nephew or something; if you look at Faulkner’s genealogy you get the idea, you can’t miss the Murrys. He used to hang out at the juke joints of folk who’d record for Fat Possum and he knew the Dickinsons. He listened well and he played for a bit in Lucero. Seven years ago he moved to Oakland and took up with Bob Frank. They came up with an album of haunting, uncompromising murder songs, World Without EndDavid Fricke wrote, “With his low, hanging-judge drawl, Murry sounds as severe and modern as Leonard Cohen”.

He began recording The Graceless Age (co-produced with Tim Mooney and Kevin Cubbins) four years ago on the West Coast. He took the tapes to Memphis and back again, adding layers of sound as thick as San Francisco fog and Mississippi mud. He tells a survivor’s tale of savage misadventure recounted by an uncompromising, compelling voice surfacing from a melange of layered guitars, strings, voices, and electronics. A big sound at times, those backup singers, the panoramic guitar noise, sweet piano melodies, an orchestra of strings, bells, horns, but no matter how ethereal or expansive, at the heart of each song is something simple maybe written on an acoustic guitar or upright piano about loss and solitude and bad screwing-up, not always with a guilty conscience.

They’re songs written in words “blood red as Mississippi clay”. They may be crafted but they’re soul-wrenchingly emotive, to the point of exploring and revisiting a personal Cavalry Most of the seeming metaphors aren’t metaphors, they’re literal reporting; the fire happened, so did the ambulance rides.

And through those layers of sound, the guitars, the electronica, the twisted muzak, you’re held by Murry’s North Mississippi voice, and you hear the echoes of his Nobel laureate, near-kinsman, and the lessons he learned at Junior Kimbrough’s place, at the Zebra Ranch, in the clubs and bars of Memphis. That he took to the city by the bay, down to The Mission where he died, was resurrected, and by grace got to tell the tale.

John Murry’s The Graceless Age is released by Bucketfull Of Brains (BoB122) on July 2nd, and distributed by Proper.

The photo of John Murry was taken by Amoreena Berg