01 Mar

About Me

My name is Chris Murray and I recently moved to the Madison area from Appleton, Wisconsin. I have been a guitar player all my life. I also play slide guitar, mandolin & bouzouki, Irish flute and whistle, bass, and some keyboards. I studied Theory Composition at the University of Minnesota, and while there, studied classical guitar with Jeffery Van. I’ve also studied with Cliff Suchy and Daniel Sturm.

Most of my playing experience has been in rock and roll bands. I particularly liked the Beatles/Stones, 60’s rock type bands, but I’ve played most styles, including 50’s, Eagles/Country Rock, 80’s Rock, Top 40/Pop. I admit I’m not much for heavy metal.

This is the kind of credential most guitar players have, so it doesn’t say much about me. I really like the more eclectic things I’ve worked on. Here is a list of those off-beat projects as a more comprehensive bio.

• Tenor banjo in a Dixieland band
• Freddie Green style guitar in a swing combo
• Guitar and guitar synthesizer for an art/pop band, Bathoscope (this band recorded an album, that’s right, an old fashioned, pressed-in-vinyl album)
• Lead Guitarist in Raven Wolfe, a Classic 80’s Rock Band
• Flute in a classical trio
• Guitar chair in Rupert’s Orchestra. This was a six-nights-a-week house gig in St. Louis. The band was a show group that had 6 vocalists, strings, horns and a 4 piece rhythm section. The band covered Pop, RnB and Jazz songs
• Banjolin and slide guitar in a jug band, The Juggs
• Acoustic Guitarist for St. Olaf’s Catholic Church in Minneapolis. This was the group that provided music for masses broadcast on cable television.
• Electric and acoustic guitar in the musical Godspell
• Bouzouki in a klezmer band, called Goys And Dolls
• Flute and whistle in an Irish group the Sober Drovers
• Maury Meuhleisen in a Jim Croce tribute
• Last October, I got a fill-in gig at Café Carp with The Daves, a punk/grunge band from Chicago
• Guitar chair in the pit orchestra for Happy Days: The Musical
• Texture strings for the eclectic acoustic Deadly Nightshade Family Singers (this band was up for a Minnesota Music Award for best acoustic album in 2001)

Most of these projects made some money. Some were full-time, some were just for fun. One of my favorite gigs was filling the guitar chair in the musical Grease. I did this a handful of times, including an 8 week, Midwest tour one summer. Best time I ever spent on the road.

Before I moved here, I played every Saturday, a ‘guy and guitar’ show at Harmony Cafe, an Appleton coffee house. I worked with an acoustic trio called Summerfly, I played guitar in a traditional Irish group called Rakes Of Mallow, I did fill-in guitar for Swing Time, a Fox Valley area swing band (16 piece big band, lots of fun), and I was a permanent fill-in for a temporary acoustic band, Laughing Whitefish.

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