Northern Irish musician Simon Murphy describes himself as an infant songwriter as he began writing in earnest when in his 30's. On the contrary I feel his late ingress into the world of musical composition has benefited from his maturity in years. His work as a psychiatric nurse has helped in making Simon an interesting songwriter skipping the wishy washy lyrical penchant of youth.
Simon writes on his bio '"I'm trying to write the songs I want to hear on the radio" and with the album opener 'Once upon a time' an explosive pop sound reminiscent of Huey Lewis confidently fits into any radio airplay list. It is quickly followed by the well balanced "Meet me on the other side' with flowing harmonies and subtle guitar riffs that leave the listener settled into a groove.
Other songs like the stadium anthem 'Not in my name' , the catchy 'Lone Star Heart' and the fabulous 'I have a voice' with Belfast Blues star Kaz Hawkins marks Simon as a serious contender for The Acoustic Yard songwriter of the year.
Simon tips his toes very delicately in the large Nashville fish bowl with country sounding licks and melodies particularly in songs like 'Evergreen' and 'I smell a rat' yet manages to come out unscathed and free of being labelled and categorised.
Kaz Hawkins' powerful backing vocals joins other special guests on the album, including singer/songwriter Anthony Toner and the celebrated jazz trumpeter Linley Hamilton, all add their own unique silhouette to an already superb collection of songs.
Looking forward to hearing where Simon pitches his songwriting tent in the next few years and perhaps we'll 'hear his songs on the radio' more often.
David Dee Moore
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