Dream Mountain Dream
As a key member of the Guthries and (until recently) Cuff the Duke, Murray has long made a mark on the Canadian roots rock scene. It has been a long time between solo albums for the East coaster, as debut Brighter Lives, Darker Side came out in 2005. Dream Mountain Dream is an impressive outing, showcasing Murray's strengths as a writer, as well as the guitar skills for which he has long been recognised. Four cuts were co-written with another fine Maritime singer-songwriter, Christina Martin, and she adds backing vocals. Murray's sound effectively mixes jangly power pop with rootsier fare, and this is a very appealing hybrid. "Assess The Mess" has the bracing hookiness of a Guided By Voices cut, while other songs hint at Tom Petty or Beatles influences. The fluency of Murray's playing isn't quite matched by his vocals, but they possess an amiable and honest feel, as on string-fuelled ballad "Evicted." There are some adventurous arrangement and production work on that and "The Wind is Trying to Kill Me," showcasing Murray as a very well rounded talent.
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