Arts & Entertainment

Singer/Songwriter Chip Murray's "Wide Awake" Hits Home

chipmurrayI met Chip Murray in 2006, moved and touched by his music and songwriting gifts. His first CD, Gone Wishin’, released in 2004, garnered rave reviews.  At the time, I asked Chip if he could play some of those tunes for Kerryl and I on our wedding day.  Over time we’ve become good friends, built on a mutual respect for each others talents and openness regarding relationships, politics and music. These subjects touch at the core of Chip’s music, providing substantive, intimate, and stirring portraits and vignettes.

Today, Chip is proud to share his second CD, Wide Awake, touching on similar themes, with several rousing political songs at center stage, such as “The Ballad of John Hall,” “Wide Awake,” and “Independence Day.”  Avowedly, he’s a Tea Party Patriot, proud to speak up and openly about values dear to our American heritage – Freedom to Worship, Family Values, the Constitution and Capitalism.  From the liberal side, he may not be too popular.  “There are things you don’t talk about at the dinner table or a cocktail party. We are at a place where we cannot afford not to. Public discourse has been silenced by political correctness.”

Almost four years after the release of his first CD, Chip laid his guitar aside. In September of 08’, as a hurricane swept through our area and in the midst of soul searching of his own, he broke his dry spell with “Wonder Why” as he claims it “fell right out of the sky.” Sounding like Eric Clapton, he sings, “I wonder why we wake up only to fall back asleep again…. I wonder why we break up only to fall back in love again.” 15 songs followed, produced and compiled in this very noteworthy CD.

It’s hard to determine my personal favorites, as many of these songs grab me and won’t let me go. “Wide Awake” has gotten the most play on my CD player. “Tip Jar” is really a lovely tune, a tribute to the songwriter and artist within to not let that spark and source of creativity die.  “So let it out, don’t keep it in. Don’t let another day begin without a song in you.” “My Girl,” is a beautiful expression of the challenge of living in relationship, as we experience its highs and lows. 

To celebrate the release of “Wide Awake,” Chip and his band performed at Pennings Farm on July 1st, 2011 at 7:30PM. He states, "There is no greater symbol of what it means to be American than the American Farm. And while I am pleased to know many, there are no greater representatives of the American Farmer to my mind than the Pennings Family and their wonderful staff.  So, it is with great pleasure that we invite you to the birthday celebration of the greatest nation in history…and the release of the CD inspired by our American Heritage and Birthright of Liberty and Freedom."


Richard Kimball, A 21st Century Romantic

What a pleasure it was being in the lovely home of Richard and Andrea Kimball listening to Richard’s fine music played on his magnificent nine foot Steinway grand on a beautiful Sunday morning -  a concert which was one of several that took place over the course of a recent weekend in Warwick as part of the first annual Warwick Valley Jazz Festival.


When Richard approached me about writing a review of his solo concert, I was touched - Richard had been a friend of my late father, also a jazz pianist, and as a music student many years ago, at my father’s suggestion I interviewed Richard and heard him play at the River Cafe in New York where he has had a steady solo piano gig since the 1970’s.  He was very kind and gracious then and remains so today.

Read more: Richard Kimball, A 21st Century Romantic

Loretta Hagen: Featured Performer


Loretta Hagen has been writing and performing music that earns rave reviews for her rich vocals and poignant songwriting. With a style that mixes fold, country and rock genres, she has performed at venues such as Music at the Mission, Outpost in the Burs, The Mainstage, Minstrel Coffee House, Mayo Center for the Performing Arts, Lycian Centre, Groovin'In New Fairfield, Listen Live Music, Black Potatoe Festival, Falcon Ridge FolK Festival, Musikfest and many more, sharing the stage with national artists including Roger McGuinn, Steve Forbert, John Gorka, Jonathan Edwards, Johnny Winter, Ellis Paul, Richie Havens, Ollabell, Gin Blossms, The Kennedys, Gretchen Wilson, as well as headlining her own shows, making a lasting connection with audiences and building a loyal fan base.


Loretta Hagen playing and interviewing at WTBQ