Chris Murray


The one man ska band rides again on his latest CD from Asian Man Records. In the tradition of the great Lee Perry, Chris Murray has done things with a 4-track that are hard to do with an '8.

It took a while for this album to grow on me. I was kind of confused by the abundance of vocal harmonies over a backdrop of deceptively simple music. I didn't know how Chris could reproduce songs such as "California Time" onstage, which have several vocal tracks.

However, there are lots of people who love Chris Murray and know his songs well enough that they will jump right up and back him up when he's onstage. In this instance, members of Go Jimmy Go were right there to contribute to a four-part vocal harmony on songs such as "Rock Steady" and the old Maytals rocksteady favorite, "Sweet and Dandy" (one of my favorite songs of all time).

Also, it initially seemed to me that this album was somewhat morose, due to a lot of low vocal tones on tracks such as "Science Fiction Picture Show" (from the Rocky Horror Picture Show), "Steady Beat Convention" (a tribute to the So. Cal Ska scene) and "Boyo" (an old King Apparatus tune). However, When you understand the motivations behind the vocal range Chris was using, it all makes sense.

Chris Murray is an enigma in the modern Ska scene, and will undoubtedly go down in history as such. If you haven't listened to him yet, this would be a good time to start! Check out 4-Trackaganza today.



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