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Andrew Murray Biography.

Andrew was born and reared on the island of Inishbofin, Co. Galway, Ireland.

He came to the attention of the public at large as a result of being asked to join the famous Galway based group, De Dannan, in 1997/98. Until that time, his ability as a singer was known by a relatively small group of people who lived on, or visited, Inishbofin.

Among that group of people, however, were many well known musicians. Alec Finn, of De Dannan, being one of them, met and heard Andrew singing at a session in the Murray family hotel, The Doonmore Hotel. Soon after that Andrew joined De Dannan as their new vocalist, replacing Tommy Fleming.

In the years since then, Andrew has travelled the world with De Dannan and others. He has toured in China twice, The United States many times and most countries in Europe as well as the four corners of Ireland. He has shared the stage with some of the greats of Irish music and has performed with many of them.

Those who have heard him won't find that strange, as his warm, deep, resonant voice, described as being like ' a blend of warm tar and brown sugar', is instantly recognisable and '... inspires the audience to hang on his every word'.

With the launch of his first solo CD, Hell or High Water, Andrew is set to take his singing to a greater audience, an audience you will want to be part of. If you hear this man once you're sure to want to go back for more.

See his website for more details www.whitecowmusic.com

The Poor Ditching Boy:

Black Muddy River:

Jock O Hazeldene:

  1. Castle Garden - Traditional song learned from the singing of Len Graham.
  2. The Poor Ditching Boy - Written by Richard Thompson
  3. Old Shoes (& Picture Postcards) - Written by Tom Waits.
  4. Lord Franklin - Song about Franklin's doomed search for the North West Passage
  5. Black Muddy River - Written by Jerry Garcia & Robert Hunter (Grateful Dead).
  6. Little Miss Kelly - Written by Thom Moore, never recorded before; Thanks Thom.
  7. I Wish My Love was a Red, Red Rose - Traditional Irish song.
  8. Another Story - Written by Dougie MacLean.
  9. Green Grows the Laurel - Traditional song I learned from the singing of Len Graham.
  10. Slow Song - Written by Kevin Doherty. Thanks Kevin.
  11. Jock O Hazeldene - Old Scottish song that was adapted by Walter Scott.
  12. The Father's Song - Written by Ewan McColl.

Press Reviews

liveIreland Awards 2006 Male Vocalist of the Year---Andrew Murray

The Chicago Irish American News:

This is a contender for Male Vocal Album of the Year, and is not to be missed. This is great. Bill Margeson Rating: Four Harps

The Orpheus:

Murray is breathtaking with his vocal and emotional range. What a voice, what an album!

The Glasgow Herald:

"the emerging voice of Irish music". Rob Adams

Net Rhythms.Com

"His expressive gifts are gently stunning - truly a voice to die for", David Kidman.

Froots:

I came to this one cold and came away thoroughly impressed. Nick Beale

Irish Music Magazine:

This is a mesmerising album, well packaged, expertly sung and with accompaniment that lifts the magical to the sublime. Nicky Rossiter

www.folking.com

This album by Andrew Murray is a magical mixture of the old and new, the familiar and the innovative. The roll call of writers ranges from traditional to the best of modern writers. All benefit from the wonderful voice of Murray. The voice is the first thing to strike you here. There must be something in the water in the western portion of Ireland that blesses the performers. There is a hint of Sean Keane in Murray's sound alongside a 'smidgin' of Sean Tyrrell.

The album opens with the marvellous 'Castle Garden' a traditional song excellently sung. We then come up to date with the work of Richard Thompson on 'The Poor Ditching Boy', one of the best songs on offer here. He gives a great performance on Tom Waits' 'Old Shoes'. The lyrics are 'spot on' and the delivery does not miss a beat. 'Lord Franklin' is one of the better-known tracks on here. It starts almost unaccompanied - just that beautiful guitar. As he moves through this great story song the instrumentation grows and works brilliantly with concertina, cello and double bass, not immediately springing to mind on a folk song. The tune is probably better known as 'McCafferty'.

I must confess my ignorance in not having heard 'Black Muddy River' before but I have made up for it now. This is one of those songs that properly performed can have you visualise that water.

There is hardly a better song in the folk canon than 'Green Grow the Laurels'. It needs a strong, warm voice to give proper delivery on a tale of heartbreak and Andrew Murray has just the timbre to do it justice.

We all think ourselves familiar with 'I Wish My Love Was a Red Red Rose'. Listen to Andrew Murray for a very pleasant surprise. The final verse sounds very much like 'Mary from Dungloe' transported to Dublin.

Anyone who has ever had a 'bad day' or a broken heart will identify with his rendition of 'Slow Song' from the pen of Kevin Doherty. Nicky Rossiter

Irish Music Magazine March 06

This album by Andrew Murray is a magical mixture of the old and new, the familiar and the innovative. The roll call of writers ranges from traditional to the best of modern writers. All benefit from the wonderful voice of Murray and that voice is the first thing to strike you here.

There must be something in the water in the western portion of Ireland that blesses the performers. There is a hint of Sean Keane in Murray's sound and of Sean Tyrrell too.

The album opens with the marvellous 'Castle Garden' a traditional song excellently sung.

We then come up to date with the work of Richard Thompson on 'The Poor Ditching Boy', one of the best songs on offer here.

He gives a great performance on Tom Waits' 'Old Shoes'. The lyrics are 'spot on' and the delivery does not miss a beat.

'Lord Franklin' is one of the better-known tracks on here. It starts almost unaccompanied, just that beautiful guitar. As he moves through this great story song the instrumentation grows and works brilliantly with concertina, cello and double bass, an instrument not immediately associated with a folk song. The tune is probably better known as "The Croppy Boy" or 'McCafferty'.

I must confess my ignorance in not having heard 'Black Muddy River' before but I have made up for it now. This is one of those songs that properly performed can have you visualise that water.

There is hardly a better song in the Irish folk canon than 'Green Grow the Laurels'. It needs a strong, warm voice to give proper delivery on a tale of heartbreak and Andrew Murray has just the timbre to do it justice.

We all think ourselves familiar with 'I Wish My Love Was a Red Red Rose'. Listen to Andrew Murray for a very pleasant surprise. The final verse sounds very much like 'Mary from Dungloe' transported to Dublin.

Anyone who has ever had a 'bad day' or a broken heart will identify with his rendition of ''Slow Song' from the pen o Kevin Doherty.

This is a mesmerising album, well packaged, expertly sung and with accompaniment that lifts the magical to the sublime. Nicky Rossiter

www.irishmusicreview.com

Mayo-born singer Andrew Murray has the kind of sumptuous voice which one would willingly acquire as part some Faustian pact with the devil. Slightly reminiscent of Dolores Keane's brother Seán, but perhaps more resonant and decidedly more intimate, it lingers and lurks in the soul's darkest areas while ever offering an optimistic chance of redemption.

Hell or High Water is the debut by the ex-De Dannan singer and features a wonderful, often evocative selection of songs, both traditional or derived from the pens of such writers as Richard Thompson, Dougie MacLean, Thom Moore and Kevin (Four Men and a Dog) Doherty, as well as perhaps unexpected covers of tracks derived from the works of Tom Waits and the Grateful Dead (and, let's face it, there aren't too many of those around).

Graced by very attractive packaging (a digipak case into which is slipped a twelve-page liner, complete with lyrics for all of the songs), Hell or High Water fully reveals a singer confident in both his choice of material and, thanks to crystal clear production by Gavin Ralston and sensitive arrangements (often featuring Ralston on guitar or telling string formulations by Fiachra Trench), someone very willing to test and prove the range of his voice's extraordinarily warm tones.

Sometimes every component seems to work without any seams showing, as on an a stunning Jock o' Hazeldene, but, at others there's a somewhat ponderous feel - the listener really does sense that traversing the Black Muddy River requires gumboots and I'm not sure that Andrew really captures the flippancy inherent in Little Miss Kelly. However, any doubts about his interpretive qualities are fully assuaged by a glorious reading of I Wish My Love was a Red, Red Rose (with Arty McGlynn providing suitably apposite guitar).

Like many a contemporary Irish album, there's a country feel to Hell or High Water. Now, spend a weekend night in Castlebar or Belmullet and you'll undoubtedly encounter a band offering a

C & W approach to ballads. It's certainly an approach popular in both towns, but that doesn't guarantee success on record, as an inappropriately arranged and rather plodding rendition of Green Grows the Laurel (albeit with Tim O'Brien on fiddle and voice) soundly proves.

Andrew's firmly at his best when he eschews glossy arrangements and heads directly for a song's core, allowing his resonant voice to explore the lyrics' meaning fully, so it's no surprise that the simplicity of Jock o' Hazeldene proves to be the perfect vehicle for his larynx while the closing The Father's Son ramifies that his vocal cords are most effective when linked with the sparsest backing. Geoff Wallis

liveIreland Awards 2006 Male Vocalist of the Year---Andrew Murray

This former lead singer for De Dannan really has found his voice, and this year's Hell or High Water is his amazing solo album. Deep, pure resonant. This voice wraps you up, keeps you warm and you smile a lot, too. At the danger of being politically incorrect, it is a " man's voice ". The album is great, the voice even greater. He is now performing with The Dave Munnelly Band in what is the best vocal / instrumental group in trad right now. Well done, indeed. Bill Margeson

Froots Dec 2005

An authoritative singer from Ireland with a repertoire including traditional material, Richard Thompson, Tom Waits and Dougie McLean.

The sound is (mainly) acoustic small group with some very nice piano playing from Geoff Woods. Lord Franklin is well worn to say the least but Murray's singing of it grips nonetheless and Fiachra Trench's string quartet arrangement is the perfect complement.

Things go very restrainedly electric for Black Muddy River (guitarist Gavin Ralston has heard Richard Thompson's tremolo setting somewhere down the line), and while it's nicely sung, it doesn't quite capture the warmth that Norma Waterson brought to the same song.

Thom Moore's Little Miss Kelly picks up the tempo considerably and is entirely acceptable as melodic Radio 2-type pop. It hasn't the intensity he brings to other songs here but he negotiates its twists and turns with assurance.

He's joined by Arty McGlynn for I Wish My Love Was A Red, Red Rose and the result's sparing, elegant and beautiful; not many notes but every one in exactly the right place. Ewan MacColl's Father's Song is hardly an upbeat way to close but Murray is fully in command of this sombre lullaby.

His voice throughout is as expressive as his style is restrained, no histrionics and precious little ornamentation are allowed to intrude.

I came to this one cold and came away thoroughly impressed. Nick Beale

The Chicago Irish American News

We love Andrew Murray, and here comes his new album, Hell or High Water. The first time we heard the boy was when he appeared many years ago at Irish Fest with De Dannan. We immediately loved the tonality and expression in his voice. But, oh!!, the vibrato. Too much. Now gone. Under total control, and thus, a terrific album!

There are 12 songs, and all of them were done in Ireland. Produced by friend and fellow Munnelly Band member, guitarist Galvin Ralston, it is a wonder of an album. What a beautiful voice! Full, deep, resonant, accessible. Magic. We prefer it even to the terrific, Sean Keane.

It is in that range, that type--only fuller. A man's singer. No fancy-dancy patent pumps twinkling on the stage here.

This is a guy about his business and connecting with his own heart. Highly varied in tone, substance, and emotion, he hits all the buttons. Our favs after several listenings are Slow Song, Green Grows The Laurel and Old Shoes. The album was sent to us by good friend, Alan O'Leary of Copperplate Distribution out of London, who is handling this gem. If not in your shop, Google Andrew Murray or Copperplate Distribution.

This is a contender for Male Vocal Album of the Year, and is not to be missed. This is great. Bill Margeson Rating: Four Harps

The Orpheus: The Virgin / Our Price Instore Magazine

The ex-member of Irish trad band De Dannan offers a fine debut with this

brilliant collection of 12 songs: old Irish and Scottish as well as new songs by Tom Waits,Richard Thompson and Jerry Garcia.

Murray is breathtaking with his vocal and emotional range. What a voice, what an album!

The Glasgow Herald *****.

AS THE last of Frankie Gavin's amazingly consistent vocal discoveries for De Dannan, Andrew Murray comes from a long line of great Irish singers, including Mary Black, Dolores Keane and Maura O'Connell.

And with his magnificent, rich dark tone and ability calmly to "tell" a song, he's easily worthy of keeping such company.

There are shades here, too, of Sean Keane, Fairport Convention's Trevor Lucas and even Ewan MacColl as Murray commands material drawn from traditional song, MacColl himself, and contemporary sources including Richard Thompson and Tom Waits.

The result is a mixture of superbly rendered ballads, including a lovely Lord Franklin and amiable folk-rock that flirts with radio-friendly MOR but can't dilute Murray's promise, as the emerging voice of Irish music. Rob Adams

The Living Tradition Nov / Dec 2005

Andrew Murray was born on an island off County Galway, where he was surrounded by music - sorry good music. Being lucky enough to live in the family pub, he met fine musicians during the sessions held there. One of these, Alee Finn, was to play an influential part in his musical career, asking Andrew to replace Tommy Fleming in De Dannan. Until then very few had heard his rich, golden voice. The rest, as they say, is history.

During his time with De Dannan he toured the world, appearing in many of the largest concert halls, but he has now returned more to his roots with his first solo album, 'Hell and High Water'. The album contains a collection of twelve fairly safe songs, many of which will be familiar to listeners, but there is nothing wrong with that - a good song is always worth listening too. Traditional songs sit side by side with ones composed by the likes of Richard Thompson, Tom Waits and Ewan McColl.

On all tracks you are made aware that Andrew Murray believes that it is the words of a song that are important. The clarity of the recording helps the listener appreciate the poetry of the material, just listen to the words of 'Father's Song' - as relevant now as when it was written.

Having said that, the quality of playing is outstanding - listen to the cello of Jane Hughes on 'Lord Franklin', Arty McGlynn's guitar on 'I Wish My Love Was A Red, Red Rose' or the contribution of Gavin Ralston throughout the album. But it is the quality of Andrew Murray's voice which gives this album its feel good factor. It makes me want to dim the lights and settle down in front of a roaring fire with a warming glass of something - problem is I've only got gas! Dave Beeby

www.paythereckoning.com

Since launching his solo career, the press have been falling over themselves to lavish praise on former De Danaan vocalist Andrew Murray's new CD and the extensive tour which accompanied its release. The same words are repeated over and over again to describe his voice; warm, deep, resonant, rich, luxurious ... and indeed Murray's voice possesses all of these qualities, and more. His sonorous tones and deliberately low-key delivery call to mind other fine singers, Len Graham, Tim Dennehy and Murray's fellow county-man, Sean Keane. And yet Murray is, like all fine singers, "his own man"; a slave to no style or category.

His musical intelligence is keen as a blade, allowing him to sing songs from the Irish and Scottish traditions alongside contemporary songs and yet have the album gel perfectly, anchored by his velvety voice and unrushed delivery.

Among the highlights are a superb rendition of Lord Franklin and a masterly reading of Richard Thompson's The Poor Ditching Boy. However many singers will be grateful to Murray for the first ever recording of Thomas Moore's Little Miss Kelly. On first hearing, a deceptively slightish ditty, Murray's highly-swung delivery grows and grows.

Accessible enough to become a best-seller and yet with so much honesty, ruggedness and understated passion to satisfy the demands of the connoisseur. Aidan Crossey

www.netrhythms.com/

De Dannan's loss is our gain - Inishbofin-born Andrew, formerly singer with that world-renowned traditional ensemble, has now chanced his arm and recorded this, his debut solo CD.

Andrew's deliberately chosen songs from a broad mix of sources - five out of the twelve tracks are folk songs from the Irish, Scottish and English traditions, which are placed alongside contemporary compositions, and these together display an astonishing degree of unity that reflects Andrew's thoughtfulness in their selection and presentation.

Richard Thompson's wondrous Poor Ditching Boy is very much in the traditional idiom of course, and Ewan MacColl's Father's Song is similarly a song that deserves to be covered more often (here Andrew's spare, powerful and bleak treatment makes it sound as though it could almost have come from the Thompson catalogue!). Then again, the Grateful Dead classic Black Muddy River has of late been covered by many folk luminaries from Norma Waterson on down, and good though Andrew's version is, and with a neat arrangement, the song might be due a rest! The uptempo Little Miss Kelly (from the pen of Thom Moore) is perhaps the album's weakest cut, if only in that despite Andrew's persuasive advocacy the song's charms elude me.

As far as the trad-arr pieces are concerned, Lord Franklin and probably come off best, though Andrew manages to bring something fresh to each of them, principally by virtue of his singing. His chosen settings are sensibly acoustic-based, mainly built around simple guitar textures (mostly Gavin Ralston, or, on one track, Arty McGlynn) with occasional double-bass (Joe Csibi), piano (Geoff Woods) and a little percussion, with sensitive string arrangements on just two tracks (Lord Franklin and Kevin Doherty's Slow Song). Tim O'Brien also guests on mandolin, fiddle and backing vocal (on an interesting fast-country-waltz treatment of Green Grows The Laurel).

But Andrew's superbly warm, rich voice is the focus of this collection, of course, and its presence inevitably imparts an extra degree of unity to the proceedings. His expressive gifts are gently stunning - truly a voice to die for, within the beguiling creamy tones of which no nuance is ignored.

All in all, this is an album of good songs worth singing, sung by one of the most luxuriously captivating voices you could imagine. And the CD's artfully packaged in a really attractive digipack. But I must insist on this one little whinge - why oh why do so many sleeve-notes and CD credits persist in misspelling Ewan MacColl as McColl?!! Andrew's CD is available from the excellent Copperplate Distribution. David Kidman

Mojo November 05 * * *

Formerly singer with De Dannan, Inishboffin-born Murray blends a laid back style with a lovely dark brown voice that recall the comforting assurance of Len Graham. The Material is relatively safe - Richard Thompson, Tom Waits and Jerry Garcia plus well-known trad songs like Lord Franklin and Green Grows The Laurel. Unashamedly populist, but sweet with it. Colin Irwin.

The Irish World 23.09.05

Deep and delicious, Andrew Murray's voice once fronted Irish trad super band De Dannan. Murray is now flying solo and exploring his passions for a broader range of folk music. Hell or High Water is a collection of 12 songs that draw upon traditions of Irish, Scottish and English folk, as well as some contemporary compositions.

Murray was born in Inishbofin, off the West coast of Ireland and started his music career singing in the bar of his family's hotel on the island.

Hell or High Water is produced by guitar ace Gavin Ralston and features musical contributions from some of Ireland's most talented musicians. The opening track Castle Garden is beautifully accompanied by Geoff Woods on piano and Ralston on guitar, and it is a truly captivating rendition.

'Black Muddy Water' is a more contemporary sound offering strong guitar sounds. A highpoint on the album has to be Little Miss Kelly', a catchy little number which shows Murray's impressive vocal range and emotive skills.

Murray's voice has been crafted for folk, but he has the rare capability to tackle with great skill, a range of folk style with a deftness that

defines him as a performer.

The Irish Post 24.09.05

VOCALISTS don't come much better than former De Dannan lead man Andrew Murray. Since having left the world-renowned Galway ballad stars he has branched out and his new album Hell Or High Water is set to propel the Donegal man to the frontline of Irish traditional music.

The songs chosen are a mix of old Irish, Scottish and English folk songs as well as some newly-written ones. However while many of these

are wonderful pieces of work Murray's interpretation of them seems lifeless.

Like his young namesake in the tennis sphere there is no doubting Murray's fine ability. He has received rave reviews for his gifted voice from many parts of the entertainment industry in Ireland and has delighted traditional and folk music fans from Beijing to his native Inisbofin.

But for me there is a lack of emotion and over cautious delivery on many of the tracks on this album, which by the way has a cover that Daniel

O'Donnell would be proud of. Graham Clifford

THE IRISH VOICE

Not often do I venture into the showbusiness area. When I do, in fairness, it's because I'm powerfully impressed by some group or some artist I've heard over here. I'm sure and certain, for example, that I was the first to tell ye about the roistering Sawdoctors on this page years before their first American tour. Now I have somebody else to warmly commend and the best part of it is that he is in the USA at the moment to the best of my knowledge.

His name is Andrew Murray and he is an Inishbofin islander. And this islander, from an island steeped in music and craic, in my view, has a voice to die for. I met him at a session in Miltownmalbay during the Willie Clancy Summer School. It was a music session and instrumentalists,normally, don't like to be stopped in their bowing and button-pushing and blowing and battering by a mere singer. There's a tension there and there always has been. But what I noticed specially,in the back bar of the Central Hotel was that it was the musicians who called for a ballad from Andrew Murray the islander.

Five minutes later I knew why, and exactly why. This young dark swarthy Spanishy looking balladeer, whom I did not know from Adam, took a song that I dislike intensely, the normally doleful and dire "Lord Franklin" and, by Heavens, he turned that sow's ear of a thing into a silk purse:-

"Through cruel hardships they bravely strove,

But the ship on mountains of ice was drove,

Only the Eskimo in his skin canoe,

Is the only one that ever got through".

I did not know then that the singer was a western islander. Maybe that sealore that is in the islander bones put the extra nuances and shades into the ballad, I don't know, but,for the first time I felt the chill and wildness of the vain voyage to try and find the North West Passage by the doomed Franklin and his crew. It was blazing outside,midsummer, but inside, through the alchemy of a highly unusual voice, you could feel the cold and the Polar chills. A remarkable feat.

Lisrening I thought back to the hearing,two years ago, of the Ballad of The Five Pilots which was sung down the telephone line for me on a radio programme by two veteran singers from Loop Head. One was Marty Bonfil, the other name slips my mind now, and it was about ship's pilots from the Peninsula on a bad night, racing out to get the pilotage of a ship, and all being lost in the storm. Marty sang one verse, his friend the next, and so on to the bitter end when all were lost before the eyes of their families ashore. It made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. It was not just the beautiful florid Victorian language that was in it, but, above all, you would know that Marty and his colleague, being Kilbaha men,

know the sea, know its tides, know its deadly dangers and cruelty. That added the extra dimmension. This singer had the same kind of knowledge, his eyes closed throughout, the verses like tides and currents.

Anyway, through my Spiddal friend Martina Goggins, I made it my business to meet the young singer and yes, as she said, he sang briefly with De Dannan before moving on to a solo career. You could not start with a better group than De Dannan whose vocalists, down the years, have included Maura O'Connell (never as good since!) Dolores Keane, and the talented Tommy Fleming. Anyway, with that experience behind him, and his own way of going, as they say on Inishboffin, Andrew Murray is now a solo performer and, to put it mildly, I commend him most warmly to you.

Later on at the session he sang another song or two, again, singularly these being "noble calls" from the instrumentalists who ( as I now knew) included his old colleague Alec Finn of De Dannan. This fellow is no ordinary come-all-ye balladeer, with a standard range. There is a murky kind of depth to the voice-you could hear a pin drop- and,I don't know if he is aware of this or not, there is a lot of both seawater and freshwater in his repertoire. The next one he sang, completely different to Franklin, was "The Black Muddy Water". I've always liked that one:-

"When the last bolt of sunshine hits the mountain,

And the stars seem to splatter in the sky,

When the moon splits the south west horizon,

And scream of an eagle in the sky........".

And later, before the session broke up, we had "Green Grows The Laurel" with everybody singing along this time. We had a cigarette outside, Andrew and I, before parting and it was then he told me that he was going on a tour to the States, from New York through N. Jersey and Virginia, I think, and even as far across as San Francisco. And I told him,honestly, that I thought he was mighty good and the first chance I got I would tell ye about him. Had he a website, I asked, for those seeking info about him. He wrote it down for me -www.whitecowmusic.com- and, though he did not have one with him, he has a CD on the market,he said, entitled Hell or High Water. I'd get it, I said, I'd go through hell or high water to lay hands on it. I did get it too, yesterday, and it's playing now,as I write. and he's singing something called "Slow Song" so well that I'm very glad I kept my promise to tell ye about his American tour. I'm nobody's PRO,as you should all know by now, but when I hear somebody as good as this I like to pass the news on.

So I've done that. If he's anywhere close to you don't miss the islander with the special voice that has tides and depths in it;that surfs through a song, sweet as a mouse's heart, deft as one of those Eskimos in their skin canoes. And remember MacConnell told ye about him first! Micky McConnell

The Galway Advertiser 14.07.05

INISHBOFIN NATIVE Andrew Murray has previously been a singer with De Dannan and The David Munnelly Band but Hell Or High Water finally sees him emerge as a solo artist.

The dignity and wisdom Murray's voice allows him to make two very different songs - Thom Moore's 'Little Miss Kelly' and Ewan McColl's 'The Father's Song' - seem like lessons on surviving and understanding the wiles of people. Murray is also able to transform the universality of Dougie MacLean's 'Another Story' into a deeply personal tribute to his late father.

Possibly the key track is Murray's take on Richard Thompson's 'The Poor Ditching Boy'. This marriage of Murray's voice with Thompson's striking line: "But she cut through to my blood" sears home the point about someone who has left her mark on you forever.

County Galway has already produced a superb solo singer in Sean Keane. In Andrew Murray it has produced another. Kernan Andrews

The Irish Times, June 17th 2005

Inishbofin singer Andrew Murray's voice is rooted somewhere south of Tasmania. It's the most curious of instruments, balancing gravitas beyond its year's with a taste for adventure that sees it tackling borrowings from Richard Thompson and Tom Waits with the same nonchalance visited upon the traditional 'Lord Franklin'. Murray's strength lies in his interpretive ability, which favours plainsong over curlicued adornment. Producer Gavin Ralston affords him just the right space in which to soar, his clean lines an ideal backdrop for Murray's sculpted vocals, particularly on Dougie Maclean's 'Another Story'. The telling of the tale is what matters, and Murray recounts each with a canny ear for precision. Siobhan Long

2 Best of Irish: Conor Byrne, Méabh O'Hare, Gavin Ralston & Andrew Murray The Little Theatre, Skerries, Dublin.

The mantle has been passed to the next generation. This impromptu quartet, gathered under the fine patronage of Music Network for a whirlwind 14-date tour, is as fine a gathering of trad's next generation as you'll this side of a Comhaltas-fuelled Starship Enterprise.

Flute, fiddle, guitar and voice were the scaffolding, but the tunes and songs were the bricks and mortar. Marrying the most stalwart traditional pieces — passed on from Tommy Peoples, Paddy Fahy, the Ó Domhnaills and many more, each duly name checked — with contemporary tunes, many of them written by Byrne and O'Hare, alongside beauties from Richard Thompson, Máire Breatnach, Tim O'Brien and Paul McGrattan, this was not so much the past colliding with the present as the tradition growing into its skin as it navigates a path through the 21st century.

Murray's magnificent voice was the glue that held the tunes together. Lurking in a netherworld in which vocal cords are drenched in a blend of warm tar and brown sugar, his voice enveloped the gorgeous miner's refrain School days Over and the eternally classical Lord Franklin with equal parts of grace and danger. Siobhán Long — The Irish Times Jan. 17th 2002

The Hot Press 13th Feb. 2002.

As a vocalist Andrew Murray, on this evidence, has few peers. Possessed of an amazing emotional range, he truly gets the best out of great songs like Thompson's 'Dimming of the Day', and the traditional Lord Franklin'. There's no fuss, just a sense which inspires the audience to hang on his every word. Those who missed these gigs — the band are whipping round the country as I type this — may well have missed one of the gigs of the year. Oliver P. SweeneyHell or High Water' - a collection of twelve songs.

"I have deliberately chosen a mix of songs; old Irish, Scottish and English folk songs, newly written songs and some in between. The songs on this album are drawn from my interests in the broader folk genre and are somewhat of a cross section of what I have been singing over the past few years and more recently. To me, a good song is worth singing. I hope you like them". Andrew Murray.

Price: £13.99

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