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February 2014

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Shaun Murphy
Cry of Love
CD Baby

Shaun Murphy

I really appreciated the original songwriting on Shaun Murphy’s last CD, Ask For the Moon, so I wasn’t sure what to think when Shaun’s new disc, Cry of Love, hit my doorstep. Turns out it’s been a personal goal of Shaun’s for awhile now to record a disc of some of her favorite Blues, R & B and Gospel tunes and now was the time to make that happen. The result speaks for itself so let’s throw it back into the CD player.

Shaun opens up with “I Wouldn’t Treat a Dog (The Way You Treated Me),” and I can’t imagine anyone in their right mind doing this lady wrong but it happens. “But when the going got rough…you hardly knew my name…you locked me out…and you threw away the key…I wouldn’t treat a dog…My, Lord…the way you treated me!” Fortunately for Shaun’s sake the tables turned and she walked away with her dignity intact. A guitar intro from Shawn Starski allows Shaun to segue into the Albert Collins tune, “Got a Mind to Travel,” and Shaun’s missing her mind. “I got my suitcase packed…heading down the railroad track…I’m looking for my baby…got to try and bring my baby back…I got a mind to travel!” Shawn’s guitar is predominant throughout and gives Shaun the energy she needs to hit the road.

The simplicity of our next tune, “Broken Things,” is one that brings Shaun back to her gospel influences. “You can have…my heart…if you don’t mind…broken things…you can my life…if you don’t mind…the tears.” Shaun’s been through some tough times and hopefully this is a good man in her life that will help her fix, “the broken things.”

Our tempo picks back up as Shaun tackles an Elmore James tune, “Can’t Stop Lovin’ My Baby.” John Wallum on the keys and a little harp from Tim Gonzalez help bring the character of this tune back to life. “Baby…you know I’m all alone…ain’t had no loving…since my baby gone…come take a walk with me…I’ll make you happy…as a man can be…can’t…stop loving…my baby tonight…no matter what I do…he don’t treat me right.” I’m not sure Shaun’s on the road to recovery but she’s definitely on the road to somewhere.

A little Hill country influence rears its head next as Shaun moves on to a Jessie Mae Hemphill tune, “Go Back to Your Used to Be.” I’m loving the growl in Shaun’s voice as she tells her man…”you can go on back to your used to be.” Her man didn’t love her right so he might as well go on…and at the end of the tune we hear his footsteps taking him right out Shaun’s door. Shaun’s independent streak rears its head next when she tackles a re-worked version of Ellas McDaniel’s tune (I’m a Man) from the feminine side in “I’m A Woman.” “I’m a woman…oh yea, I’m a ball of hot…I’m a woman…I can make love to a crocodile…I’m a woman…I can sing the blues.” More harmonica from Tim Gonzalez supports Shaun’s version that she’s all W-O-M-A-N!

Shaun’s tender side re-emerges as she moves on to “Cry to Me.” “When your baby…leaves you all alone…and nobody calls you on the phone…don’t you feel like crying…some c’mon baby…cry to me.” Shaun’s more than willing to console her friend through the heartache of a break up with the one she loves and I would expect nothing less from Shaun. She then moves on to a song that O.V. Wright owned and made famous, “Nickel and a Nail.” I’m reminded that this is a disc of Shaun’s favorite tunes and I’m with her in acknowledging “Nickel and a Nail” as one of my favorites as well.

We’re all on this earth to do the best we can and in the end all of us will answer to a higher power. Shaun expounds on this thought in “You Can’t Hide From Truth.” “You can’t hide from truth…you can’t run from time…you can’t walk away…until that judgment day…you can’t hide from truth…nor run from time.”

Cry of Love closes with another beautiful ballad by Shaun in “Somewhere Between Right and Wrong” as well as the impetuous “I’m a Little Mixed Up.” The former finds Shaun lamenting a forbidden love in her life …”We know someday….we’re going to have to cut it all loose…but we ain’t ready…no, we ain’t ready…to be free.” At some point they both know this affair is going to have to end, just not now. The latter finds Shaun receiving mixed messages from the man in her life. “I’m just a little mixed up…mixed up about you…I’m a little mixed up…and I don’t know what to do.”

I’ve enjoyed this disc from Shaun and the opportunity it gives me to appreciate some of her favorites tunes, all on one disc. She’s surrounded by an amazing group of musicians who helped her tackle this task and they all performed flawlessly behind her. I know Shaun’s heading up to Minnesota soon to perform a couple of gigs and I think the boys in Rochester will give her and the band a rousing welcome. While I don’t necessarily recommend heading up to the frozen tundra to see Shaun, check out her schedule at www to catch a show near you. And and order a copy of Cry of Love while you’re there. Shaun’s soft spoken manners aside, she rocks when she wants to and had me at “I’m a woman!”

--- Kyle Deibler



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