Advertise with The Big Takeover
The Big Takeover Issue #94
MORE Recordings >>
Subscribe to The Big Takeover


Shop our Big Takeover store for back issues, t-shirts & CDs

Follow us on Instagram

Follow The Big Takeover

Chris Murphy - Never Learned To Drive (self-released)

3 June 2024

Chris Murphy is a man of many musical moods, capable of weaving together all manner of genres and geographies, sounds and styles, eras and approaches to create an ever evolving sound. We have followed him from ambient, digital delicacies to more traditional, foot-on-the-monitor, full-band roots rock blowouts and everything in between.

This new single, “Never Learned To Drive” is the first taste of his forthcoming album, The Red Road, and it takes something from both ends of his sonic spectrum. Although a purely voice and violin affair, with just a kick drum beat keeping a hand on the musical tiller, the song is delivered as if at any moment a frantic, six piece folk-rock band is about to kick in behind him. It never does, of course, not this time, but that is perhaps the charm of what Chris does so well: he makes you hear what the rest of the players would be doing, be it delicate cello accompaniment or a full-on rock and roll extravaganza, even when they aren’t there.

There is also his trade mark humour running through the song. Never Learned To Drive is a particularly poignant confession; the US is, after all, the land where the car is king, and perhaps there is also no small amount of self-depreciation at work here too.

The result is a bluesy violin-scape, raw and honest playing that is at a turn soaring then rhythmic, simple and ornate, melodic and occasionally muscular, groovesome, gritty and graceful. Throw in his worldly-wise vocals delivered as if it’s just the two of you leaning on a bar somewhere sharing a whiskey and putting the world to rights, and you have the Chris Murphy experience, in a nutshell. Honest, intimate, witty, and wise, with the best and most down-to-earth playing you will have heard in a long time.