Mary Murphy

Fling with Mary Murphy at CD release party Saturday

Mark Allan

Special to The Record

The release of a new recording is a joyous occasion for a musician even when it’s following 10 or 11 earlier ones.

Accordingly, Mary Murphy promises “loads of frivolity” at the CD release party for Lucy’s Fling on Nov. 4 at the Little Red Church in Comox.

The Comox Valley-based singer-songwriter says she tried a different approach for her latest release, something similar to what used to be called a concept album.

“In the past, I have taken traditional tunes, like melodies, and I’ve written lyrics for them. This CD is unique.”

Her new CD, the Irish native explains in an interview, includes some traditional tunes as well as traditional melodies for which Murphy has written lyrics with a specific character in mind.

“Lucy is the character, although the lyrics are written from a man’s perspective,” she discloses during a chat at her favourite local coffeeshop. “Several songs have Lucy’s name in it … the story is all about Lucy and Liam” from his point of view.

Writing her novel, The Emerald Diaries, gave her experience writing from a male perspective.

“I’ve done it before in other songs. I like going into the male side. I find it interesting,” she states, adding that she doesn’t presume to understand exactly what it feels like to be a man.

Another of Murphy’s experiments on the CD was singing one of the songs in Scottish, rather than Irish, Gaelic. A woman in Campbell River helped Murphy navigate the variances between the two similar, yet different versions of the same tongue.

Lucy’s Fling was recorded, mixed and produced by Murphy’s husband Paul Keim at their Dove Creek Studio, although local musician Jeff Drummond helped with the guitar parts.

“Paul has mixed this CD so beautifully,” Murphy praises. “He just sees into the heart of a song and makes it shine.”

Singing and playing whistles, Murphy was supported by Keim on guitars, Jordie Robinson on cello and Martin Nolan on Uilleann pipes. Nolan played live with Murphy, Keim and Will Millar at Filberg Park during this year’s shellfish festival.

The recording process, Murphy recalls, was “just smooth as silk.”

She started with a “bare-bones” approach to make it easier to play live, but surrendered to her love of “bright, lush harmony sounds. That’s the direction we went.”

That approach is obvious right from the first few seconds of sprightly opening track Lucy’s Fling/Conaic as Murphy’s haunting multi-tracked voice weaves intricately with itself. Listening to it, you can easily visualize a young Irish lass step-dancing so lightly her feet barely touch the ground.

Nolan’s expert Irish piping and Keim’s inspired playing draw you in and after a few minutes, the tracks seem to run together as the tale of Lucy and Liam unfolds. Cellist Robinson, a referral from Cumberland musician-producer Corwin Fox, provides a rich underpinning.

To bring the new CD to life at the CD release party, Murphy has enlisted guest vocalist Sue Medley, “which I’m really excited about.

“We come from such dissimilar musical backgrounds, but we have an emotional connection with each other and our voices … just work together.”

Robinson, Keim and Murphy will supply the rest of the sound Nov. 4 at the Little Red Church.

The hall will be decorated in Murphy’s colourful style. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Gift basket draws will happen for people with pre-purchased tickets. Costing $15 in advance and $20 at the door, they’re available at Long and McQuade and Rosewood Fitness in Courtenay, Blue Heron Books in Comox and the Music Plant in Campbell River. They’re also available online at marymurphy.ca/mary-as-musician.

Mark Allan is a Comox Valley freelance writer.

Just Posted

Elizabeth May juggles Island tour to make stop in Comox

Green leader takes exception to latest tactics from the NDP over minority government question

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to campaign in Port Alberni

Singh joins Courtenay-Alberni candidate for rally to kick off final weekend before election

Comox Valley Regional District agrees to Union Bay governance study

Process will consider whether community should convert services to the region

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

With $4M investment, Camosun College offers first sonography program on Vancouver Island

Starting in May 2020 students from Vancouver Island can pursue a career in sonography

Elizabeth May confirms plan to eliminate fish farming in open ocean pens

Green Party leader stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

STRIKE: WFP and USW are back at the table for mediation

“No further updates until either an agreement is reached or one party or the other breaks off talks”

Pole-climbing thieves pilfering wire in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Repairs are costly and thefts jeopardize public safety

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Most Read