Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Town Council.

Our friend Hannah Zahn got some cool shots of us at the debut show at Luthier's Co-Op. This was also the first time I'd brought the new Strat out in public. It's a wonderful guitar. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Another Last Friday.

February's Last Friday song is called Forever and a Day. Go get it.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Come Out! Come Out!

The Town Council plays Luthier's Co-Op in Easthampton this coming Friday night. We're on from 7-8pm, and following our set are two other great acts: Colorway from 8-9:30, and Soul Magnets from 9:30-11pm. This is gonna be a really fun evening, in one of our favorite rooms. Do join us, won't you?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Four To Go.

This being February, there are now four songs left to release during this first Last Fridays project. Volume One concludes in May, and plans are afoot for a downloadable album in June. The song sequence will represent the order in which the singles were released.

A very limited edition of physical CDs will be pressed at some point after that, along with a souvenir full-color poster. I'm currently toying with the idea of having this coincide with my birthday in October. Good excuse for a bash, right?

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the next four songs as much as you have the ones up 'til now. Thanks for listening.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Monday, January 9, 2017

(Re)Introducing: The Town Council


Nick Dines, Fred Goodhue, and I first played together in a neighborhood band called The Bluescasters. Eventually we went all-original and renamed ourselves Group DeVille. GDV made a demo CD, started booking club shows, and went on to enjoy a twelve year run performing throughout the Northeast, recording and releasing four well-received albums of blues rock along the way.

Group DeVille disbanded in 2011, and I went off on my own, releasing the "Wednesday Child" and "Building the Railroad" albums in 2012 and 2015, respectively. I've been fortunate to have played and toured with many local pros, and have shared a few stages with some of my favorite international acts. But I've also kept playing area shows with Nick and Fred as my rhythm section, mainly community events and benefits, but the occasional club gig as well.


Sometime last year, Nick and Fred and I realized that those bluesy numbers from the GDV days and the classics we covered with The Bluescasters are what we enjoy playing best when we're together. We've decided to take this approach from this point on, and leave my solo material to my solo gigs. We will be performing not as The Rick Murnane Band or Trio or whatever, but under a new name that means the three of us instead of just highlighting one of us. As of now, we are The Town Council.

Our first appearance as The Town Council will be Friday, February 24th at Luthier's Co-Op, sharing the bill with Colorway and Soul Magnets.

Friday, December 30, 2016

December's Last Friday.

Let's end 2016 on an up note, shall we? This one's called Fine This Time.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Two Shows.

I'm playing a solo set at Luthier's Co-Op in Easthampton this Friday from 7-8pm.

Saturday night I'll be opening for (and later joining) Mystics Anonymous at the Rendezvous in Turners Falls, Show starts at 9:30pm.

Ingrid Steblea did some wonderful artwork (and a comic book!) for MA's latest release, She Wanted the Future, and I incorporated some of it into the poster:

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Living Large.

I recently traded my Eastman Grand Auditorium acoustic for an electric acoustic Jumbo — a Rancher by Gretsch (the bright orange one on the right). Yes, I quite like Gretsches. You can blame Chet Atkins and George Harrison for setting me on the path, and my friend Chris for lending me a couple of his to record the Wednesday Child album with. After that, I had to have one. This makes number four, which means half of the instruments in my toolbox are now Gretsches. It also means that my beloved Yamaha Dreadnought (on the left) is now the small acoustic.

Playing Games.

At the moment, I have what feels like a sprained knuckle. The big one on my left index finger, where it meets the metacarpal. When I play guitar, certain favorite chords and go-to lead patterns hurt to play, especially down around the first position. Sorry, this is guitar player geek talk. But basically, ouch.

This has happened before, and I was able then to put the guitar aside for a couple of weeks, rest the joint and let myself heal properly. Right now I can't exactly do that. So I have been consciously altering the way I position my hand and move my fingers while working the fretboard. This isn't easy, but one good thing I've noticed about the process is that the heightened awareness of technique is making me stop several ingrained ways of approaching chord changes and solos. I have to concentrate more, and not simply rely on muscle memory and familiar cliches.

What I'm discovering is a way of sounding more like I've wanted to sound all along. More like the type of players I admire most. I am becoming less busy. I am playing fewer notes, and am making the notes I play more accurate. Because I'm taking my time and choosing them more carefully.

Some of you know that I enjoy golf. Tonight I was pondering the time I spent this past year out on the links, and how it actually made me a tiny bit better at the game. My concentration improved. I relaxed. My drives became longer, straighter, and more consistent. I'm still just a duffer, but a better one. I've put my clubs away for the winter, but am guessing (hoping?) that when I dust them off come spring, what I have learned this season will have stayed with me.

In golf, the idea is to play as few strokes as you can to get from the tee to the green, and once there, into the cup. So now I'm gonna try to approach my guitar playing and soloing this way. Instead of bashing around, trying too hard and zigzagging all over the place, I'll attempt to make a clear and elegant way from the start of each song on through to the end, with plenty of fresh air between the notes.

And after my small injury heals, perhaps I'll keep this other game in mind, and not just because I want winter to end. Maybe it will have taught me enough about not falling back on lazy old habits that I'll find that my six-string playing has stepped up a level, too.