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Tradition - January-February 2005

Man am I thankful we have some local talent that doesn't try to be something they are not. Michael Murphy, part Native American has always been one of my favorite folk-like singers. His ability to transcribe from his mind and heart into words what he feels about the savage treatment handed Native Americans by the American government, is very real. This CD opens with some really good Native American flute playing by Michael. Colin Petersen of Omaha makes Native American flutes, and Michael is obviously playing them on this CD. His version of Amazing Grace is especially poingnant and beautiful. Very authentic, and very real. This is ofne of those projects that you just need to have a nice fireplace burining somewhat low, perhaps a glass of old-time wine, and a relaxed mood. This CD will take you very very far from where you are. Thank you Michael for this inspiring piece of work. Please be with us again at our festical and share your wonder with us. This CD is well worth adding to anyone's collection. It's super! Notice how Michael doesn't waste words on his titles. He tells you up front in the least possible way what is most important to him. If you find a chance to hear Michael in concert, don't miss it.

The Catholic Voice - October 25, 2002

Michael Murphy, a choir member at Sacred Heart Parish in Omaha, NE, said music is his form of prayer. It's how he touches others. Although his folk-style music doesn't necessarily mention God by name, the topics of his songs talk of social awareness, peace and those who have influenced his life.

"Music is my passion," Murphy said. "I like to sing a song that puts a face on things, that has moral significance."

On his CD, Sacred Hearts, he sings about his late parents, his friend, the late Father Jim Fitzgerald, who died of brain cancer, as well as social justice and peace.

Murphy is giving all the profits from Sacred Hearts, which sells for $15 to Sacred Heart Parish. It's his way of being a good steward, he said. By combining his time and talent while writing his music and recording his songs, Murphy said he wants to incorporate his treasure as well. The idea of using your talents to give back to the church is something he hopes people will embrace in their own lives.

"I'm not going to change things, but maybe by perhaps doing this, if somebody paints or is a plumber, they'll go to their church and offer help," Murphy said. "They'll find other ways to give their time and talent to the church community."

Michael Murphy's Sacred Hearts can be purchased through Sacred Hearts Parish, Homers in Omaha, or through Murphy himself at



Tradition - May-June 2003

Michael Murphy is one of Omaha's best folk music composers and singers.  Whenever I hear him I'm always impressed with his nonchalant manner and presence.  He's always so easy going.  Yet, he sings and speaks of things so close to the heart, so near to the soul, so much a part of us all.  He's a fine guitarist, a prerequisite to being a good folk music presenter.  

It takes him a while to get into "Migrant Farmers & Meat Packing Houses," but the wait is well worth it.  He speaks with the voice of the needy, the forlorn, the lost, the hopeless, the out of work migrant, the hungry.  Very good observation Michael, and very well presented.  The theme is different, but I can really relate to what Michael is talking about.  My dad had to leave the farm during a scorching three years of drought.  Nothing left, nothing to hope for, nothing to feed his family with.  He sold what little he had left, and went to Omaha to work in the meat packing plants, dragging his penniless family with him.  My mom had to work in a laundry.  They both found their way out of it, eventually, but it was tremendously hard for them.  We were hungry a lot.  It's the same for Mexicans today.  Michael is asking that we not hate them for taking a job, it's a job that you wouldn't do.  

On "My Mother" he talks first about his old cedar flute, and how he finds his mother.  This is followed by a simply great flute rendition.  

Come to our festival Michael and share your wonderful music.  Please do some flute music in our tipi village.


Tradition - March-April 2000

This is another 2-CD project featuring one of my favorite folk singers, Michael Murphy. One of the incredibly satisfying experiences I have is reviewing CDs and tapes, and bouncing from one like Ginny Wicker who uses a full Nashville back-up production to Michael Murphy, who uses himself, is an incredibly delicious experience. I feel sorry for someone who has never had the opportunity to do that.

Michael is probably Nebraska's if not Omaha's premiere singer-songwriter-guitarist-flautist, etc. Michael, to use an old crutch, paints pictures with words and music. Well, so that's an overworked adage, but in Michael's case it's brand new. Whoever heard of a coyote talking to you in a dream. Michael has, and explains it...with poignant expression and incredible word pictures.

Hey, this guy puts a lot of those New York City and Los Angeles boys shamefully aside. I like everything Michael does, and have heard him do delightful sets at Avoca. Keep it up Michael, you're one fine artist, one of a kind, and one that sooner or later a lot of people are going to know. I know how the creative process works, and Michael is in his prime time. Michael keep every scrap of paper you write a note on, your mind is in YOUR mode now, so keep it as long as you possibly can.

The two sessions were done in separate locations, but the engineering is fine on both. More importantly is the fine songwriting and presentation Michael is doing for you. Another fine Christmas stocking stuffer (I know I'm way to early for Christmas, but this is going to be a special Christmas-2000), so if you have someone on your list who likes a gentler music, this is your chance to buy that special one-of-a-kind music at a low cost. Keep Michael on your mind, I do.



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