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.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

December Dates Announced.

Got a couple of back-to-back solo shows booked in December. It'll be a two-night micro-tour right here in Western Mass to finish up the live performances for this year. Gonna be sharing both bills with some truly wonderful performers, so mark your calendars:

Friday, December 16th: 7pm at Luthier's Co-Op in Easthampton.
I'll be playing the first set from 7-8, and then sitting back to enjoy Eavesdrop from 8-9:30, and Syd Straw from 9:30-11pm.

Saturday, December 17th: 9:30pm at The Rendezvous in Turners Falls.
I'm opening the show for Mystics Anonymous, a favorite band I've guested with in the past. Their new EP is wonderful.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Pugwash Tour Photos: Portland.

We played "Picture Book" by The Kinks and "Nice to Be Nice" together. Photo: Andy Levine.
The Empire. Portland. 3rd October, 2016.

Clockwise from top left: Thomas (and Shaun), Joey, Shaun, and Tosh.

Pugwash Tour Photos: Northampton.

With Thomas on Joan Holliday's radio show. WRSI - 93.9 The River
The opening act (never heard of him - Rick something). Photo: Andy Levine.
Above: the soundcheck. Below: the show.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Pugwash and the Iron Horse.

Photos: Laurie Glasser (upper) and Thomas Walsh (lower)
Had another marvelous time with my favorite Dublin/Liverpool band Pugwash this past Tuesday, sharing the bill at the Iron Horse Music Hall. Prior to the gig, Thomas and I joined the wonderful Joan Holliday at WRSI (93.9 The River) so Thomas could be on Joan's show The Riversound Café.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Spirit of '86.

Photo by Chris Collingwood
My friend Chris and I went to see Mike Peters at the Iron Horse last night, partly because another friend, Scott Lawson Pomeroy, was the opener (he killed it, by the way, per usual). But we also wanted to go because we were both fans of The Alarm back in the Eighties. They had a string of radio hits and were frequently on MTV (remember when MTV was mostly about music?). Probably my favorite song of theirs was Rain in the Summertime. Go ahead, click the link. Catchy, right?

Friday, September 9, 2016

Back In The Charts.

My new single Goodbye Lonely Times has put me in the charts again, at least over at Radio Free Americana. The track was just added this week, and I am sitting at 126, tied with Bob Weir, among others.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Transperformance 2016.

Photo by Chris Collingwood
21 bands played Northampton's annual Transperformance bash yesterday. The event is held every August as a fundraiser for the Northampton schools' arts programs, and is always a ton of fun, with somewhere around two thousand in attendance. The theme this year was "Labor Party," so each act based their set on a job/occupation-related artist like The Police, MGMT, etc. I played guitar for the Zip Cody band, as we transperformed ourselves into Johnny Paycheck. It sure was fun crankin' up the Tele and sending some chicken-pickin' goodness out into the evening air.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hiatus = Evolution

So. We've been talking, and the Rick Murnane Band you have known recently is no more. We will be introducing a different take on the trio show in 2017, with a new name that doesn't have so much me in it, and more of an us feel. We're reworking the repertoire, concentrating on the intersection of blues, jazz, and pop that influenced our mutual favorites back when we first began performing together. Which means the set list will have more of a swing in its step than a rock swagger. We'll also be taking a new approach to booking and venues. The trio is basically going to have a life that is separate from my two solo albums and the Last Fridays project. Call it getting back into our comfort zone if you like, but at this point in the game, feeling at home feels like a good place to be.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Our friend Ivan Oransky took this photo at our Bread Euphoria show. I cropped it a bit.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Florence Scene.

Original photo by F. Alex Johnson

My friend Al hosts an Open Mic night each Wednesday at Brew Practitioners in Florence. I stopped in one night early on, but knew ahead of time that I couldn't stay, so didn't have a guitar with me. I finally made it down there again last night, and brought one. Fun evening, great place, good people. I'll be back.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

All Folked Up Again.

I'll be back in South Hadley with Michael Orlen and Co. this Friday. It's time for another of Michael's All Folked Up evenings at the Thirsty Mind. I had a blast with these guys last year, so come out and join us if you've a mind to. Here, read a fine piece by George Lenker about the event.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Trio Takes a Break.

The Rick Murnane Band shows in July (at the Thirsty Mind on the 16th, and Bread Euphoria on the 30th) will be our last two appearances before we enjoy a well-earned hiatus. I'll be concentrating on studio work and solo gigs from now on, but this is also not a final goodbye to the trio. We're still gonna pop up here and there from time to time. But for now, it's time for some time off.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Look Out, South Hadley.

I've played here before as part of Michael Orlen's excellent "All Folked Up" series, but this will be the trio's first appearance. Gonna be a "half acoustic, half electric" night, so don't miss it.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Prestons: Summer Shows Announced.

The Prestons will play Mocha Maya's in Shelburne Falls on the afternoon of Sunday July 17th, and Bread Euphoria in Haydenville on the evening of Saturday August 20th. Got calendars? Mark 'em.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Another Gig Poster.

We're really excited about this next show, because we're sharing the bill with some of our favorite people ever, at one of our favorite venues ever. Check out the lineup and mark your calendars now, so you can be in one of our favorite audiences ever.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Upcoming Shows Announced.

My Spring/Summer gig schedule starts at the end of April. Here's the lineup so far. There are a couple more events in the works, but these are the definites as of right now.

RM Band at Bread Euphoria - Saturday, April 30th in Haydenville.
RM Band at Luthier's Co-Op - Saturday, May 21st in Easthampton.
RM Band at Mocha Maya's - Sunday, June 12th at Shelburne Falls.

RM Band at The Thirsty Mind - Saturday, July 16th in South Hadley.
The Prestons at Mocha Maya's - Sunday, July 17th in Shelburne Falls.
RM solo at The Thirsty Mind - with Michael Orlen's "All Folked Up" series - Friday, July 29th in South Hadley.
RM Band at Bread Euphoria - Saturday, July 30th in Haydenville.

The Prestons at Bread Euphoria - Saturday, August 20th, in Haydenville. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

News From Liverpool.

On Monday, I learned that a song of mine was put before the four panelists on BBC Merseyside's Jukebox Jury over the weekend ("Nowhere is Where She Belongs," for those of you keeping notes). The verdict was two very much for, none completely against, but the other two did not find the production appealing (the familiar "digital lacks warmth," argument). Overall, a good result in front of a panel that historically pulls no punches.

Band Name Update.

You might remember I had an idea to book my shows with Fred and Nick as "Goodhue, Dines, and Murnane." Well, it seems like everyone (press, bookers, friends, Fred and Nick themselves...) default to "Rick Murnane Band" no matter who I'm playing with, so we're going back to that. Simple is good.

Monday, January 18, 2016

February Show Announced.

Remember that plan I had to not play any gigs during the winter months? Well, plans change. Especially when a friend like Shawn from Golden Bloom asks if you'd like to share a bill at a favorite venue. Come see us. Luthiers' Co-Op on Thursday, February 4th. Scott Lawson Pomeroy at 7pm, a solo set by yours truly at 7:30, and Golden Bloom's Album Release show at 8:30.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Studio News.

Taking some time off from working on my own stuff, and am concentrating for now on the second Goodhue Project record. I'm engineering once again, and contributing to the arranging and a few of the instrumental flourishes. Fred himself is playing most of the rhythm guitar tracks, and is also busy lining up some great vocalists from our areas's impressive talent pool.

There is also talk of another EP from The Prestons, as both Bill and I have written new material to add to a couple of older but as-yet unrecorded favorites.

And yes, at some point I will put the finishing touches on my third solo album, the working title for which is "Words in the Wind." I have slated the new record for a Fall release.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year.

Thanks again to all who came to the shows, bought the albums, and downloaded a song or two last year. And now it's 2016. Let's go see what happens.