Tag Archives: #Acoustic

Afterglow

Robb Murphy - Afterglow Cover art

The boats stack up as they wait for the lock
The captain’s at the table and he’s glad for the stop
He’s got a place he can saddle his shoes
Feet on the land and a drink with his crew

Time will pass years will go
Memories fade stories grow
Here at The Turning Point I’ve come to know
Peace is found in the afterglow

The mood is up as the sun goes down
And the sky rolls over Spijkerboor town
Nobody here feels a stranger’s weight
As the night unfolds the stories are told
God this place has a home in my soul

Two men who met their fate
One robbed one killed by the state
He thought he’d sneak on through
But cut down as suspicion grew

A place for medication, a home for a school
A place for an army to gather and rule
And when they lined up the locals to vet
They couldn’t find where the secrets where kept

The mood is up as the sun goes down
And the sky rolls over Spijkerboor town
Nobody here feels a stranger’s weight
As the night unfolds the stories are told
God this place has a home in my soul

And there may be nothing in a young man’s eyes
But give him time and he’ll awake inside
If it’s what you want stars will align
Don’t let others change your mind

They come from east, they come from west
Music is a force that pounds underneath your chest
Nobody here feels the stranger’s weight
As the night unfolds the stories are told
God this place has a home in my soul

‘Afterglow’ tells the story of a special place, a place we’ve visited each time Robb and the band were touring in The Netherlands; Café ‘t Keerpunt in Spijkerboor. Spijkerboor is a small village in Drenthe (province in the north of The Netherlands) with a peaceful and rural character. I remember walking into the pub for the first time and we were welcomed by the owner, Willem Dijkema, his wife Anneke and dog Skipper. It felt like stepping back in time. The pub breathes history and there’s a story attached to everything you see in the pub. From the pictures and instruments on the walls, to the cabinet behind the bar and the jukebox.

The story of the ‘t Keerpunt starts around 1750 when a lock keeper started a small pub for captains who had to wait at the ship lock. Since then the pub had 11 different owners, but until today the pub still exists. It stood the test of time.

‘t Keerpunt (translated to English: The Turning Point) is the heart of the village. It’s where locals come in to have a drink, eat and talk and it’s where events and activities take place.
It’s not only locals visiting the pub. The pub is known for its live music, poetry, literature and plays. Artists from all over the world have performed there and people come from far to see their favourite artists play there.

A few years ago Willem asked Robb if he would be up for writing a song about ‘t Keerpunt. More artists did the same and Willem explained that he wanted to make a compilation CD of songs about ‘t Keerpunt. Robb didn’t have to think twice about it and right away said yes to that request. This compilation CD will be released later on this year when Willem and Anneke will celebrate their 20 year ownership.

Each time Robb and the band performed at ‘t Keerpunt it feels like coming home. Many great memories were made there. The kindness, warmheartedness, the hospitality, the history… this pub is one of a kind. And this is what the song is about. Afterglow… a song about Café ‘t Keerpunt, a place where the stories and the music will never stop.

You can download ‘Afterglow’ on Bandcamp NOW!

‘Afterglow’ will be available on Spotify, iTunes, iTunes Music Player, Google Play Music, Amazon and other online music stores and streaming services from the 15th of March 2019.

Story behind the picture #2

What’s going on in this picture? Well…it’s just another day in Mr. Murphy’s life… 😉

There’s more to tell about this picture though.
Two years ago Robb released ‘Headstrong’. For this song a video was created, involving a bunch of animals who escaped from the zoo.
In the run-up to the release we shared photos of the making of the video, created a story around the animals and also shared photos of animals taking over Robb’s house. Next to that a few promotional videos were made. When the picture above was taken, Robb was filming this video…animal on the loose…

…and then his phone rang… 😆
The person Robb was speaking to probably never knew what was happening.

For the next video Robb dressed up as a zookeeper… trying to catch those pesky animals:

Thinking back about the ‘Headstrong’-release makes me giggle. The making of the video and the run-up to the release brought so much fun and laughter!

Here’s a link to the pictures of the video shoot. This will give you an idea of how the making of the video went:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheRobbMurphy/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1013656132008362

Preparing the release and the making of the video took up a lot of time. Many people were involved with the video, including friends, family, band members and even The Ulster Quartet!
Along the process more ideas came up and there was this last minute idea to make a release video. Band members got involved once more to help with the making of that video. The animals took over Robb’s house…waiting for Mr Postman to deliver a ‘Headstrong’-vinyl.

The release of ‘Headstrong’ was a success; the song received a lot of critical acclaim. ‘Headstrong’ is one of Robb’s most streamed songs on Spotify and yesterday the video passed the 20000 views on YouTube.

Listen on Spotify through the following link. Please give Robb a follow while you’re there, so you’ll stay updated on future releases!

If you’re a vinyl lover…there are still some 7” vinyl singles left! You can get a copy through the following link:

https://robbmurphy.bandcamp.com/album/headstrong

Headstrong

 

 

Happy New Year!

It’s the last day of the year… I just made some tea and I’m listening to the Top 2000 on Radio 2 (The Top 2000 is an annual marathon radio program in The Netherlands, that plays the 2000 most popular songs of all time, from Christmas through New Year’s Eve). It’s rainy and windy outside and ‘Dancing Queen’ is playing on the radio. I’m looking back at the past year. It’s been a year with ups and downs, but I’m grateful for all the great memories 2017 brought.

New Year’s Eve…whether you love it or loathe it, it’s there! It’s one of the largest global celebrations, the end of another year… on TV the saddest, the best and the most successful moments of the year are being shown, shops are crowded with people getting food and drinks to celebrate that last night of the year. The most frequently asked question on this day is ‘What’s your new year’s resolution?’

We’re programmed to reflect back on the year. Where were you a year ago? What were the best moments in the past year? What have you achieved? Are you happier now than you were a year ago? What do you feel grateful for?

At night people gather to celebrate, dance, drink and be happy. There’s a collective feeling of things coming to an end and a feeling of a new beginning; expectations are high. At midnight we’ll ring in the new year with fireworks and champagne. It’ll be the 1st of January…the start of a new year… Apart from sore heads, eyes being sensitive to light and family obligations waiting, is this day any different from other days? If you think about it it’s just another day.

It’s funny how we all let time dictate our lives. We’ll get running for another year…365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months to fulfill the dreams and to accomplish the goals we’ve set for ourselves on New Year’s Eve to find ourselves in the same setting again next year… ringing in the new year with fireworks and champagne. It’s a really strange global tradition if you think about it.

In reality, New Year’s Eve is just the same as every other night of the year, but as it’s such a big global event, it’s something that connects us all. We all make it a special night and make it meaningful. I’m doing the same thing. I don’t need a big celebration but personally I do think that new year’s eve can make a difference. It’s a good moment to use the vibe to make some positive changes and set some realistic goals. I like the feeling of a fresh start in the new year to work towards my dreams.

Over to you, thank you for reading and sharing the blogs this year and thank you to all who’ve been supporting Robb’s music!
Happy New Year to everyone and I hope that 2018 brings you everything you wish for!
Tomorrow we all have a new year, make it a good one!
“…‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know…”


The Mysteries of the Heart, lyrics:

I will say it once and say it clear
I’m standing on a roof top crying out I am sincere
And I’ll look up to the heavens and I’ll wave my flag of truce
‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know

I’ve been holding on to something real
I’m holding on to hope that I can finally clench that deal
And I’ll look up to the heavens and I’ll pray I have your ear
‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know

And let it all unfold, the mysteries of the heart
And let the truth be told, if I really have your hand

And I’m not giving up or letting go
I’m ready to evacuate my self-doubt, take control
All I want is something real
All I want is something pure
‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know

And if there was a mountain in the sky
I’d climb up to the top and place a rock for you and I
And I will show you love
And I will show you hope
‘Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know

And let it all unfold, the mysteries of the heart
And let the truth be told, if I really have your hand

So I wont hinder ’till tomorrow
I’m ready to accept my fate and let my feelings show
So I look up to the heavens and I’ll pray for clarity
Take a breath and fall onto one bended knee

And let it all unfold, the mysteries of the heart
And let the truth be told, if I really have your hand

 

Happy New Year

 

The Darker Side

 

People who’ve been following Robb Murphy and have been listening to his music will know ‘The Darker Side’.
Last week Robb posted a picture on Instagram. The beginnings of ‘The Darker Side’, which brought the idea to write this blog.
A lot of songs have developed in the past few years, but with this song in particular you can hear the difference and how it has grown, because there are a lot of versions to find online.

Beginning of The Darker Side

The Darker Side is one of the few songs from the album ‘Sleep Tonight’ that wasn’t written in Italy. Robb wrote it in spring 2013.
In June 2013, not long after Robb wrote ‘The Darker Side’, he uploaded the demo on Soundcloud.

Robb and the band started playing this song live, but it wasn’t until 2014 before the song was recorded.
During the recordings of the album ‘Sleep Tonight’ Robb wrote several blogs and shared previews of several songs from the album. In July 2013, just before Robb finished the album, he uploaded a vocal taster of The Darker Side on Soundcloud.

Robb finished the album at the end of July 2014. It was sent off for mastering and right after that he and his fiancée went on holiday. During their holiday they filmed several acoustic videos of songs from Sleep Tonight.
One of those songs was ‘The Darker Side’. A different version of the song was born.

I remember hearing this version for the first time and I really loved it. Just like all songs from the album ‘Sleep Tonight’ this song can be played in many ways, full band or just stripped back with only a guitar and vocals.

The album ‘Sleep Tonight’ was released in March 2015. The Darker Side is the first song of the album:

Not long after the release of ‘Sleep Tonight’ Robb was asked to perform an acoustic version of ‘The Darker Side for The Arts Show (BBC TWO).
Due to the great feedback Robb received on this performance he decided to record and a release a new, stripped back, acoustic version of ‘The Darker Side’.

Last summer the band started rehearsing again and the song kept developing.
A tour of The Netherlands was planned in October and that’s when the best version of the song (so far) was recorded during a live session for Live uit Lloyd, RTV Rijnmond in Rotterdam.

Recently Robb donated the album version of ‘The Darker Side’ to AER Music. They’ve put together a CD of local music which they’ll sell to raise money for Love Amy (http://loveamy.co.uk/ )
AER Music was launched in January 2014. It’s named in memory of founder Mark Reids daughter Amy, who passed away from cancer in February 2013. Their aim is support local music and provide a platform to introduce it to a listening audience and through what they do raise funds to support children and young people affected by cancer and invest in its research.

The Darker Side – lyrics

When the night falls in and the nightmares come
When there’s fading light and the day is done
I will fight you ‘till the morning comes
I will guard my heart and steady my head

‘Cause there is hope for all mankind
If we let go of the darker side
There’s nothing here to hold us back
And everything is open wide
If we let go of the darker side

Down the hill and through the pastures
To the old stone smokey house
I’ve not been here for years
Afraid that I will not confide
Not let go of the darker side

Here I am I come to you
With an open hand but life’s tattoo
I will fight you ‘till the night turns day
Everything is open wide
If we let go of the darker side
If we let go of the darker side
If we let go of the darker side

 

Headstrong / NL Tour

It’s been a long time since I wrote my last blog… Two months have passed… Often I thought about writing a blog, but I was too busy with other things… And if there was time and I sat down to write, I couldn’t get a blog written. But…here I am… It’s Friday night, weekend just started and I’m making time to write again.

Earlier I was reading the last blogs I wrote and realised how much I didn’t share on the blog yet… So much has happened in the passed two months! Robb has released the single ‘Headstrong’ along with a music video. Just in case you’ve missed it… Watch! The animals kept Robb busy for months…the result is well worth a watch!

After their escape from the zoo no one heard from the animals again until the day ‘Headstrong’ was released… The animals were very excited about the release! Look at what happened on the morning of the release day:

I’m not sure how the animals are doing now, but as far as we know they’re still free… I think that at some point they will show up again…

Another thing happening was the tour of The Netherlands… For months we’ve been preparing things and closer to the tour I realised that I actually had forgotten how much work it is… Sending out press releases, contacting venues to check up on everything, getting merchandise sorted, flyers, tour posters, make a comprehensive tour planning, check up on the accommodation, get groceries, pick up instruments and amps and there’s so much more to do just before a tour.
But…we managed to do it and all the work was so much worth it…

What an amazing week it was. We traveled from the north of the country to the south and back to do gigs, radio shows and a TV show. A lot of people came to the gigs and it was good seeing people enjoy the music so much. Robb and the band performed at great venues and we’ve met a lot of people.

Below are a couple of links to radio shows. You can listen back to the shows online.
Live uit Lloyd, RTV Rijnmond:
http://www.rijnmond.nl/programmas/live-uit-lloyd/berichten/27-10-2015/robb-murphy-gb-live-uit-lloyd

Universe Radio, Showcase:
http://www.universeradio.nl/shows/Universe%20Radio%20-%20Robb%20Murphy%202015.mp3

It’s hard to fit everything into one picture but the picture below sums up what we’ve been doing during the tour.

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It’s been a very tiring but really great week. Many people were involved. The hospitality and kindness of people was really great to experience and we had a lot of fun. The weather was great during the whole week. There wasn’t much time for sight seeing, but we did get to enjoy great views while traveling and had time to visit the Euromast in Rotterdam to experience amazing views from 180 meters above ground… Below some of my favorite pictures of the views we got to see.

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Last Monday the tour ended. Robb and the band flew back to Northern Ireland, taking great memories back home with them. Back to ‘normal’ life again… But for now I will probably be looking at all the pictures we took to remember the good times we had…and to hold on to the good feelings the tour brought…

A song to end this blog with…actually a couple of songs.
Last week Robb and the band performed at Noardewyn Live, a Dutch TV show on Omrop Frylân.
Watch and enjoy!

Sleep Tonight

In March of this year Robb released his second album ‘Sleep Tonight’.
The album was written in the summer of 2012 in Italy. Robb started writing blogs and posting demos from the album at the end of the year 2012. It was the start of what became a long but great project with an amazing result. Robb`s initial plan was to record a relatively quick second acoustic solo album. Acoustic yes, but relatively quick? That didn’t happen… 

The first decision Robb made was to not go into a studio to record the album. Time pressure would be of great influence and instead of buying time at a studio, he decided to invest in good studio equipment and build a studio at home. That way there was plenty of time and when things didn’t work out with recording, they could just come back another day and try again.
That decision, along with this way of recording, brought about the final result… which is now the album Sleep Tonight.

I was lucky enough to see the whole process of the recordings. Robb shared little previews whenever things were recorded and mixed. It was great to actually hear the songs grow. It often got me so surprised at how the songs were developing and how it all sounded. Every time Robb shared a preview there was something new to hear. It was great to see (and hear) everything fall into place. Thinking back, I’m still amazed by the skills and the perseverance of all musicians involved.

There’s a song that always stood out for me…right from the start.
It’s very hard to explain why, because I love all the other songs from the album as well.
But this song in particular is a song I still remember hearing for the first time very clearly.
Robb wrote this blog about it and posted the demo in March 2013.
http://www.robbmurphy.com/RM/Blog/Entries/2013/3/3_Sleep_Tonight_-_The_Storm.html

I still remember that I had goosebumps while listening to it for the first time and it’s been a favourite ever since. It’s also a good example of how a song can develop. There actually are better examples, but this is just one of my favourite songs 😉

The demo for this song wasn’t available to listen to for a long time, but I asked Robb if he could make it available again for the public to listen to, so I could use it for this blog, which he did! (Thanks Robb!)
Take a moment and listen to the demo:

What started with a 4:28 minute demo ended up being a really amazing 6:25 minute song. The last song on the album. This song also features The Ulster String Quartet; Danny McCann-Williams, Thomas Jackson, Nicholas Rippon and Sian Hetherington. A lot of the songs on the album relied on the string parts and Sleep Tonight is one of them. The strings add so much to the song.
Here’s how the song ended up. It’s not very different from the demo, but you can very well hear how much this song has evolved during the recordings.

Sleep Tonight was one of the last songs Robb was working on before he finished the album. The last part Robb added to the song are these lyrics:
“I am able
I am willing
I am hopeful
I am stronger
I am patient
I am grateful”
I remember that I thought the song was finished and then Robb came up with that last final touch. Sleep Tonight became a really beautiful end of a great album!

Robb actually made himself finish the album before he went on holiday last summer… He is a perfectionist and there would always be something that he would want to change or make better…

Actually, it was weird that the album was finished at some point. First of all it must have been weird for Robb, because he worked on the album (almost non-stop) for months. And then the band, and everyone else involved as well… a lot of time when into recording this album. I know that I’ve been in serious withdrawal…no more previews… this was actually something I got so used to. It was good that it was summer and a summer break was needed to let everything sink in and to look forward again on what was coming.

If you want to know more about the album Sleep Tonight, the recordings etc., read the blogs Robb wrote about it.

http://www.robbmurphy.com/RM/Blog/Archive.html

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