Ever since Murray began writing songs and performing them in his late teens before moving on to famed venues like The Riverboat in Toronto and The Bitter End in New York, his astonishing status in Canada and around the world as a sturdy and beloved musician has been long settled.
Back in the day, before Murray had actually recorded an album of his own, his riveting magnificent “Child’s Song” was already making the rounds after being recorded by American folk star Tom Rush. Live versions of his song “Honky Red” were performed by Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and Bobby Neuwirth, adding to his growing and committed following. He received early song boosts from country music star George Hamilton IV.
Now, with his 19th (!!!) album, ”Love Can’t Tell Time,” Murray answers the question, what more can he bring to his legion of fans? “I guess the most notable thing about this record is the songs. They are a great collection of songs I love to play when I have no other agenda than just to enjoy playing music.”
A mix of original material and a fair old-kicking to some much-admired chestnuts Pick Yourself Up, Hey There and Come Fly With Me, Murray says, “They’ve been around for quite a while but they are my songs, in so much as I have made them my own. They’ve seen me through some dark times and helped me celebrate seeing the clouds from the other side.
Of the songs I wrote or co wrote, Love Just Can’t Tell Time and Little White Lies have a special place in my heart. They were co written with my friend Alison Gordon, a take-no-prisoners gal who was a sportswriter, a novelist, a broadcaster and a great critic when any of us got off the rails. She passed away before I finished this record but she lives on in these songs.”
Well served by a light and carefree approach to his free time, it was a recent trip to Italy that allowed his creative spirit to flow once again. “I rediscovered the joy of playing the guitar. I started learning a whole new language on it and found, to my great joy, that I could play a lot of music I loved that I couldn’t attempt before. My old haunted 1938 Hensell guitar was a great help in this process.”
And there’s no studio trickery here, either. “This is a simple record. I recorded it live off the floor. No artificial flavours or colours and no preservatives. Just me and the Hensell on one old tube mike and Victor Bateman on the doghouse bass facing me. Then we turned it over to Drew Jurecka for his brilliant string arrangements. I can’t seem to get that rebellious streak out of me that dictates when the world is going in one direction I have to strike out in the completely the opposite,” Murray explains.
Then it’s still settled. Murray McLauchlan is back. Call the world.