Singer and songwriter Kathy Murray's musical voice is infused with the spirits of the people, the stories, the passions and the heartbreak of the many with whom she has crossed paths. This, coupled with Murray's gift for lyricism and her heartfelt connection to the sounds of Texas roots, soul and rhythm & blues, has blended together in perfect harmony in this beautifully realized collection that is "Relatively Blue".
Murray first experienced live music at the age of 16, during a life changing triple bill at the Armadillo World Headquarters, in her home town of Austin, Texas. The show included Storm with Jimmie Vaughan, Paul Ray and the Cobras featuring Denny Freeman, and The Nightcrawlers featuring a young Stevie Vaughan (well before his SRV days.) Murray developed her vision of the blues in the formative days of the Austin blues scene, jamming with luminaries like W.C. Clark, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and members of The Fabulous Thunderbirds. Murray was encouraged by Austin blues legend Blues Boy Hubbard to sing professionally, and soon formed her very first band, The Jaguars.
When her family moved from Chicago to Austin, Texas, little did the then 12-year-old Murray know that she was not only leaving one blues hotbed, but also had landed in one of the future musical meccas of the world. Murray says, "Never in a million years back in those very early days would I have thought I'd ever have the nerve to sing in public. I used to marvel at how the great Paul Ray could open his mouth and sing the way he did, with such complete confidence that his beautiful and soulful voice would be there whenever he needed it. When I moved to Austin in the 7th grade, the school music teacher, Mrs. Peterson, had failed me in my audition of "America the Beautiful" to be in the school choir. I'd always had a secret dream of being a great singer, and that was a heartbreaking blow."
Well folks, as Kathy's many smoking hot live shows and her excellent recordings attest, dear Mrs. Peterson was dead wrong, and we are all fortunate that Murray was not deterred from her dream. In the years to follow, Kathy Murray and her band the Kilowatts would become a staple of the Austin rhythm and blues scene. They shared the bill with many top acts, including Albert King, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Albert Collins, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Koko Taylor, Marcia Ball, and Sam & Dave, and graced the stages of Austin's most fabled venues. Besides their numerous club shows, Kathy and the Kilowatts hit the airwaves with appearances on Austin KLRU-TV's "Online", Dallas Cable TV's "Dallas Underground" and "Dixie's Bar and Bus Stop", a syndicated show produced by the Texas Cable Network, airing two half-hour videos. The band also appeared twice on KUT-FM's "Live Set" and garnered airplay locally, nationally and internationally.
Michael Lovas wrote in The Austin Chronicle, "Kathy and the Kilowatts belie their neon wave sounding epithet to push pelvis-grinding blues into our spleens. Ms. Kilowatt crosses cultural, ethnic and gender lines with ease." Murray also has a long and colorful history as a photographer, having captured many amazing images of the Austin music scene that have been published in several books and shown in music documentaries including the Antone's Home of the Blues DVD and the VH1 special on Stevie Ray Vaughan.
During a recent hiatus from the stage, in which she concentrated all her efforts on her songwriting, Kathy amassed a rich catalog of original songs. Kate Meehan, the marvelous Queen of Tasmanian Blues , has recorded 14 of Murray's songs, and Murray won an Australian Blues Association Song of the Year Chain Award for Meehans recording of Murray's song, "Call Me Mrs. Blues". Recently in the States, Murray has been thrilled that the sultry songstress Toni Price and the sensational Spencer Thomas have both recorded her song, "Bird in the Hand", to great success.
Murray's previous recording projects include "Exception to the Rule" and "Take a Chance" and she has been featured on numerous compilation CDs including, ""The Daughters of Texas" along with Janis Joplin and Lou Ann Barton, and "Texas Lovers" with the Rev. Horton Heat and Darryll Nulish, and on two vinyl 45's on Atomic Jukebox and Lectro Fine Records.
The stars were clearly aligned, and the magic was there, as Kathy, along with her husband and musical soul mate, Bill "Monster" Jones, and world-class musician/producer and brother, David Murray, went into David's studio to record "Relatively Blue". The result is a collection of 10 of Kathy's original compositions that are teeming with honesty, soul, groove and family intuition.
Now, with a full-fledged return to live performance, and a red-hot new release, Kathy Murray is poised once again to make some very big, soul-searing waves on the Texas music scene. Stay tuned, music lovers, because this new chapter is only the beginning!