Folkfinds: John Ashley Murphy’s “New Hot Springs Creek”

photo of John Ashley Murphy at Clifftop by Sheila Newman © 2007

photo of John Ashley Murphy at Clifftop
by Sheila Newman © 2007

John Ashley Murphy is a fiendishly talented harmonica player who’s only recently gotten around to releasing his debut album, ‘Midstream.’ While the influence of his rock roots is evident in his playing, John’s involvement in the Charlottesville old-time scene (with band Faster than Walking) has affected his repertoire and composition significantly. The album is full of charming tunes mainly built around an old-timey base; his harmonica fronts guitar and banjo accompaniment with occasional bass and percussion. A great intro to the record is his tune ‘New Hot Springs Creek,’ a relentless groove showcasing his remarkable breath control and fluidity in the harmonica’s lower register. At just over three minutes, it’s too short, but fortunately there’s an album and then some to listen to on John’s Soundcloud page.

Q & A

What is your goal in recording and sharing music?

My tunes start with some kind of itch or longing. For a while, they reside only in my head or in the woodshed. But when I share with others, the music starts to move and breathe beyond the confines of “me.” A connection is formed, and that’s when music comes to life.

Come up with a descriptive, original genre name for your music.

Harmonic Distortion: The harmonica can produce wonderfully suspenseful tones in its effort to avoid the constant peril of quacking or shrieking. 🙂

Who do you view as a likely audience for your music?

Harmonica lovers, of course. But also anyone interested in exploring original music that can’t be readily classified.

If trapped on a desert island with only three songs, which would they be?

“Zen (live recording)” – Rokia Traoré
“Song of Cherubim” -Krzysztof Penderecki
“Naked” – Anoushka Shankar

Is there an instrument you do not currently play that you’d like to learn?

Bass guitar, piano, drums.

Who is your musical hero(es), if any?

DeFord Bailey, Toumani Diabate, Maria Callas, Stevie Wonder, Krzysztof Penderecki, Ravi Shankar.

You can hear more from John Ashley Murphy on his Soundcloud page: Click Here

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Folkfinds: John Ashley Murphy’s “New Hot Springs Creek” — 3 Comments