Legendary Texan Michael Martin Murphey will celebrate the forthcoming release of his new masterpiece, Austinology • Alleys of Austin.
Fifty years after Murphey helped pioneer the Austin Music Scene (along with Jerry Jeff Walker, Gary P. Nunn and more) , his latest offering is a look at the seminal period of Austin’s music history that set the stage for the “Outlaw” movement with Nelson and Waylon Jennings, among others, and the live music scene that is still thriving there.
“Murphey was a key player in the Austin, TX phenomenon,” wrote noted journalist Craig Havighurst for WMOT — The String. “He was a regular at the Armadillo World Headquarters, the iconic venue at the heart of the live scene, where a diverse audience heard a diverse array of roots music, from hard country to traditional blues. Murphey, along with Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker and others forged a country-rock hybrid that became the foundation for the progressive folk music field we now call Americana.”
What is most striking about Austinology • Alleys of Austin, is how relevant the songs remain. It is certainly not a trip down memory lane as they clearly illustrate that great songs withstand the test of time.
For Austinology, Murphey chose songs — including some by the likes of Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt and Jerry Jeff Walker — that were important to the late 1960s and 1970s when he lived in Austin and created the “Cosmic Cowboy” era.
Murphey is joined on the project by several artists who were integral to that era as well as those influenced by the work they created.
The songs are given a fresh reading by Murphey and his special guests, including Willie Nelson (on “Alleys of Austin” and “Cosmic Cowboy”), Steve Earle (on “Geronimo’s Cadillac”), Lyle Lovett (on “Alleys of Austin,” “Cosmic Cowboy” and “Drunken Lady of the Morning”), Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison (on “Little Bird”), Jerry Jeff Walker (on “Cosmic Cowboy”), Amy Grant (on “Wildfire”), Randy Rogers (“Backslider’s Wine”), The Last Bandoleros (on Guy Clark’s “LA Freeway”) and more.
Murphey, who plays and sounds better than ever, also enlisted some of the finest players in the world, including guitarist Kenny Greenberg (Nelson, Bob Seger, Etta James), dobroist Rob Ickes (Earl Scruggs, Alison Krauss, Vince Gill), keyboardist Tim Akers (Dolly Parton, Bruce Hornsby, Jimmy Webb) and more. The album is co-produced with Christopher Harris (CeCe Winans, Amy Grant).
Distributed by Soundly Music via The Orchard, the release date for Austinology • Alleys of Austin is slated for October 19th with the digital pre-order of the album beginning Friday, July 27. The pre-order features both "Geronimo's Cadillac" with special guest Steve Earle and “Outlaw Medley” as immediate downloads.