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REVIEW:Good Musicianship Shines On Lauren Murphy’s “Psychedelics”

Americana Highways

Lauren Murphy – Psychedelics

Recorded in Mobile, Alabama this 8-cut by Ms. Murphy is her 5th. Psychedelics (Independent – Dropped March). It opens with “Time Across,” which shows potential for Ms. Murphy as a jazz singer. Her intonation, phrasing & tone are excellent. The lead guitars/slide guitars (by 3 musicians Mark Karan, John Cochran, & Drew Smithers doesn’t break down into individual tracks). The song should’ve been called “We Are the Dreamers You & I,” as that hook line is dominantly heard. Very nice tune.

“Psychedelicize,” (a term first heard on The Chambers Brothers’ “Time Has Come Today,” back in 1967) finds Lauren vocally in a seductive Peggy Lee crossed with a smoky Julie London voice. Quite effective too. Good guitars & drums throughout. Her warm, unique jazz-tinged voice is instantly captivating.


Grateful Web 

" …..Murphy's  latest CD, Psychedelics, is her fifth.  It was recorded in Mobile, AL, at Dauphin Street Sound, founded by former SF Giants pitcher Jake Peavy. Psychedelicize” is Lauren’s plea to the modern world, with its substance and tech-addicted society, repeating the refrain “Manifest the Mind,” which is the original meaning of the word psychedelic (psyche is mind, delos is manifesting).  “Give in to Love” follows as a theme to unite humanity in spite of our divisions, and simply love one another and be in harmony.  “Booker and Honey” is really a metaphor for the music industry’s various games.  It was written for Lansdale Station as an 1890’s Dixieland swing thing, but wasn’t recorded until Lauren’s fourth CD, El Dorado.  This incarnation came when her guitarist Cochran began “dancing it,” shifting the song into a cool ‘70s funk vibe.  It was a complete accident – except they all agreed that was the way it should play. Both it and “End of the World Blues” were recorded in only one take.  “My Most Deadly Sin” is about addiction, but to the endorphin rush of being in love—and being strung out on a person who isn’t good for you.    

Finally, “Time Across” is a giant, anthemic tribute to the spirit of California. Consciously positive, it takes its chorus from the Willy Wonka line, “We are the music makers; We are the dreamers of the dream.”

read full review

Southland Music Line 

After much anticipation, Lauren Murphy, singer-songwriter from the Alabama Gulf Coast with strong ties to the San Francisco Bay area, has officially released her latest album, “Psychedelics”. Following its December 2020 pre-release show, Murphy will now, rightfully, begin promoting it in 2021.

In a previous review of Murphy’s music The Southland Music Line said “Lauren Murphy can always be found delighting audiences everywhere with her inimitable style. In a crowded field of sometimes repetitious musical mediocrity, it’s refreshing to experience Murphy’s gift for originality and soul-stirring performances.” What was said then has only taken on more meaning since. This latest album highlights all these things previously said of Murphy and more.  Keep reading here…..

Do The Bay San Francisco

Beloved Vocalist/Songwriter Lauren Murphy of ZERO & Lansdale Station fame, returns to Northern California for one night only. Since relocating to Lower Alabama, Lauren has exploded on the southern music scene with her new band, 'The Psychedelics', playing from Mississippi into Florida, and has been featured numerous times on NBC. Tonight, her West Coast band will deliver high energy rock favorites & originals of the classic San Francisco sound fused with Lauren's southern swagger. This is guaranteed to be a high energy psychedelic show peppered with power vocals & exemplary musicianship. 'The Southland Music Line' calls her style "Inimitable", going on to say 'In a crowded field of sometimes repetitious music mediocracy, it's refreshing to experience Murphy's gift for originality and soul-stirring performances.' Murphy will be backed by an all star band of Bay Area heavyweights; Vince Littleton on drums( Merl Saunders/ Super Diamond), young guitar prodigy James Harman , Nola born Mike Sugar on bass(Jambay/The Fall Risk ) and special guests TBA. With The Achilles Wheel trio opening the show, we predict a super jam on the horizon . Buy The Ticket, Take the Ride. 
"Excellent" -WWOZ New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Radio 
"Simply Brilliant. Emotional Honesty. The Real Deal" -No Depression 
"Lady Willpower" -Relix

El Dorado - Where heart and renewal meet the river of time by Deborah Grabien 

No Depression 

I should probably lead into what’s likely to be a deep look into this extraordinary 10-song CD with something snappy, or possibly something erudite and intellectual.

I can’t. Not going to happen.

Every song on Lauren Murphy’s “El Dorado” hits in places that everyone who ever draws breath is likely to feel: maybe as a sudden flush of the cheeks, as a tightening of the muscles that control laughter or tears, or maybe in the pit of the stomach. Speaking strictly for myself, it hits in all those places and more. Emotional honesty, the real deal, takes a lot to ignore. Certainly it takes more than I’ve got. Reaction to the weight of that honesty, at least my reaction, is not likely to be technical coherence.

Okay. Now that I’ve got that first exhale out of the way, a few comments on the bigger picture.

First off, about Murphy’s voice. I heard her first in 2006 with her band Lansdale Station, playing the opening of a music photography exhibit in Marin County; the photos were by Bob Minkin who, nine years later, also did the layout for this exquisite solo effort. The gallery opening party was noisy, a bit raucous, as such things are wont to be. Not the ideal place to really listen to music, but I remember her pipes, cutting through all that happy noise. They’re something to be remembered.

Giving “El Dorado” my second straight listen, I realised what her voice was bringing to mind: a young folk singer, back in 1963. My father brought home an LP and dropped it on the turntable, and there was this voice, good lord so soaring and clear. At nine years old, it twisted my spine and heart for me. Once heard, never forgotten: Oh the name she gave was Flora, the lily of the west…

Lauren Murphy’s voice took me back to the first hearing of Joan Baez. It’s not that the two voices are the same, but rather that Murphy’s voice hit me like Baez’s voice did. She has more smoke in her voice than Joan’s had or has, and just enough less detachment to make damned sure that when the lyrics make her bleed, you’re going to bleed too.

Now, about the production on “El Dorado”. Keep reading …….

A Marriage at Lansdale Station - Jambase (a critical look into the love life and art of Judge and Lauren Murphy)

The Judge passed away in 2013 after a 4 year battle with cancer and organ transplant.

‘Though the sepia-toned front cover art of Lansdale Station‘s signature CD, Lansdale Station featuring Judge and Lauren Murphy (self-released last December) depicts a leggy beauty backed by a gang of four black-clad outlaws stiffly posed on the railroad tracks, you’d be incorrect to assume that this album is intended to showcase a fashionable solo act supported by non-descript cowboys. Rather the photo on the back cover – a relaxed shot of husband/wife Judge and Lauren Murphy gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes at the station – more accurately depicts what this musical endeavor is all about: The successful marriage of two contrasting styles into a pleasing and unique blend of authentic Americana’ 

Read full interview here