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Murphy’s on King Street Offers Music of All Genres This Weekend, Including a Two Time Grammy Winner

By Greg Hince

Kofi Burbridge, courtesy of his Myspace page

July 18, 2012. Murphy’s Restaurant and Pub will feature a full slate of music this Friday and Saturday, July 20-21, with performances from local and state acts, national acts, and even a two-time Grammy winner. A wide range of genres will be represented, from Middle Eastern inspired psychedelic rock, to Appalachian music, to jazz, blues and southern rock.

Singer-Songwriter Daniel Justin Smith will be the first act of the weekend, performing on Murphy’s back porch from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday. Smith is a native of Sparta, N.C., a small community tucked between the New River and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Smith comes from the same mountain region as local icon Doc Watson. Smith practices Watson’s musical mindset of “traditional plus” by creating music that celebrates his mountain heritage while including elements from outside his own way of life.

Smith draws influence from early Appalachian pioneers, such as The Carter Family, Bill Monroe, and The Stanley Brothers, but also shows influences derived from more modern artists like John Prine, Townes Van Zandt and Gillian Welch. As part of his previous band, Big Daddy Love, Smith performed at noteworthy venues and festivals, including FloydFest, House of Blues, Ziggy’s, Brooklyn Bowl, Lincoln Theatre, and Music City Roots.

Headlining Murphy’s Friday is Consider The Source, a psychedelic jam band from New York. The band describes their sound as “Sci-Fi Middle Eastern Funk”, which they consider a melting pot of Middle Eastern scales, psychedelic jams, and a hard rock rhythm section. The band is known for their use of a fret-less double neck guitar.

Guitarist Gabriel Marin, recently highlighted in Guitar Player Magazine, says, “Our music combines influences from Turkish, Bulgarian, North and South Indian styles with jazz and fusion, and then we filter it through our own heavy rock and psychedelic sounds and approaches.”

The musicians cite their influences such as The Bad Plus, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson and Tool—but a major source of their inspiration comes from the complex tala (rhythm) of North India, and the micro-tonal scale structure and melodic ornamentations of South India.

The trio has performed alongside major names like Victor Wooten, Wayne Krantz, Kris Myers (of Umphrey’s McGee), Wyclef Jean, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Garaj Mahal, The Heavy Pets, The Brew, Kung Fu and many others. They’ve appeared at numerous festivals including Burning Man, Mid Summer Meltdown, The Big Up, PowWow Festival (MD), NYC’s Howl Festival, the NY Gypsy Festival and the East Village Arts Festival. Their music has been aired nationally on Fox 5’s Fearless Music TV show, on which they won the award for best unsigned independent act.

A highlight of the weekend’s performances is Saturday’s show featuring Two-time Grammy award winning keyboardist and flautist Kofi Burbridge. Burbridge won his awards as a member of long-running blues/southern rock band The Derek Trucks Band.

Trucks, who also plays in The Allman Brothers, was quoted in 2006 as saying, “Kofi Burbridge has been with us maybe 2-3 years, and he’s one of the few musical geniuses that I’ve had the chance to work with.”

The band won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album at the 52nd Grammy Awards for their 2009 album “Already Free”. The album has received very positive reviews, and debuted at 19 on the Billboard Top 200, reaching 1 on the blues chart.

Burbridge also plays with Truck’s wife, blues guitarist Susan Tedeschi, and various other projects. In addition his solo set, Burbridge will join Winston-Salem based band Sam Robinson and the Groove Elaters Winston to close out the night.

Formed in 2011, Sam Robinson and the Groove Elaters is a mixture of blues, funk, southern rock, jazz and with a dose of psychedelic jamming. The band has opened for blues greats like Tinsley Ellis, Bob Margolin and Dave Matthews Band guitarist Tim Reynolds. They have built a name for themselves on the live scene in North Carolina, and Burbridge sits in with them when he can.

Murphy’s offers live music every weekend, often with performances from nationally renowned touring bands. For more information on their music schedule contact Murphy’s at (828) 264-5117.