For nearly two decades, The Bughouse 5 have enjoyed a devoted following in their home base of Vancouver BC. Their music, a mix of rockabilly, blues, swamp rock, tex mex, beat inspired, true story blues poetry, and straight ahead, warts and all , rock 'n' roll, has won over audiences, from small and big town Canada to big town U.S.A. With a voice that is both soulful and powerful, Butch Murphy is one of those rare front men that demands your attention. Their distinctive sound can be heard on any of The Bughouse 5's five CD's: Solid, Dark Days Passing, Everything Must Go, Bull Mercury and 24 Hour Charlie.. which was released in November 2006 on Northern Electric.
Far from a mere rockabilly band, Vancouver's Bughouse Five stretch out in all directions with Dark Days Passing. Guitarist Russel Schindel's Peter Green-like slinky blues guitar, clipped country staccatos and pure pop strumming are excellent throughout, and he particularly shines on the opening cut "Move." Not that the rest of the band is to be ignored -- far from it. Upright bassist Ron Hayward is known all over town for his hard-hitting Railway Club jam sessions and he smokes here as ever; drummer Taylor Little has played with almost everyone of note in town, for good reason; and singer Butch Murphy holds down the ruckus with as soulful a set of pipes as Eddie Cochran.
This band kicks up some serious fun and furious frenetic boppin' on cuts like "Really Ugly," and covers like the classic "Tell Me Mama" and Dave Alvin's "I Don't Want To." Or they play sensitive country blues numbers, like Hayward's great "601 South Delta Blues." If they're chasing down a single it would be hard to best Schindel's "Old Tom Mullen," one of those catchy folk ballad rockers that has a timeless quality about it.
It's a hard road to travel down these days, being a rockabilly-influenced country rock band in the nineties, but genuine emotion should stand for something, and the Bughouse Five have plenty.
What the experts say...
"Stones, Clash or Replacements fans will dig this literate polished CD...it's like a tour of the seedy side of town with a guide who knows where all the bodies are buried."...Rating: A The Province..."The band strikes gold on the brand new 24 Hour Charlie...a winner throughout...full of ear-catching conceits and clever lines"...Georgia Straight..."24 Hour Charlie is sure to have a whole new wave of music fans begging to be committed to the Bughouse...24 Hours...•••• (4 stars) .."Big beats, reverb-drenched Telecasters and lonely po' boy vocals squeeze these Vancouverites in the backseat of a '52 Caddy alongside Hank WIlliams and the Rolling Stones. Fuel-injected country blues for the thinking, drinking and dancing set, the band's songwriting is as surefooted as it's rhythm and twang."...Greg Potter (The Province)..."These Canucks play a mixture of rock 'n' roll, tex-mex, rockabilly, blues and country...and switch gears without missing a beat."... Williamette Weekly, Portland Oregon, U.S.A ..."The best rock and roll band ..you've probably never heard of"...Steve Stav, Rolling Stone/The Stranger...
Big Joe Turner, The Blasters, Gene Vincent and his Blue Caps, Buddy Holly, J.Geils band, Delbert McClinton, Little Richard, Wynonie Harris, The Band, Phil Ochs, Howlin' Wolf, Lightnin' Hopkins, The Rolling Stones, Sonny Burgess, Sleepy La Beef, Van Morrisson,Marianne Faithfull, Gun Club, Undertones, Ivory Joe Hunter, T-Bone Walker, Tony Joe White, Lefty Frizell, Creedence, Tim Hardin, Stiff Little Fingers, Clash, Shakin' Pyramids, Alejandro Escovedo, Marianne Faithfull, Rank and File/The Dils, Jason and the Scorchers, Beat Farmers, Long Ryders, Memphis Slim, Herald Nix, Del Fuegos, Los Lobos, Green on Red, Husker Du, the Replacements, Charles Parker, Art Pepper, Alexis Korner, Skydiggers
More facts: in Butch Murphy's career with Bughouse Five and other projects he's fronted he has worked as support act for the likes of The Pogues, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Blasters, Sleepy la Beef, the Blasters, The Beat Farmers, Richard Buckner, Junior Wells, Brian Setzer, Robert Gordon, George Thorogood, Blue Rodeo, Handsome Ned, Ronnie Dawson, Joe Ely, The Rheostatics and Tragically Hip to name but a few