Kaz Murphy | Home For Misfits

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Home For Misfits

by Kaz Murphy

Upbeat Easy Listening Alt-Country songwriting, a voice that crosses over to retro pop, invoking the aura of Bobby Gentry and mixing Neil Diamond with Neil Young, juicy grooves and lyrics to soothe your soul or envision your other life as a loser.
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Hardly Think About That
3:47 $0.99
2. Waitin' On Elvis
3:36 $0.99
3. Below The Skin
3:38 $0.99
4. Brimstone Daddy
3:47 $0.99
5. Killin' Wheel
3:46 $0.99
6. Midnight Fire
3:54 $0.99
7. Psychic On Your Telephone
3:41 $0.99
8. Honey, Was That You
3:50 $0.99
9. Anything She Wants
3:30 $0.99
10. Been Away Awhile
3:01 $0.99
11. Walk These Hills
4:25 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
HOME FOR MISFITS is the new release (6/1/07) from Americana singer/songwriter Kaz Murphy, produced by Rich McCulley and Murphy, with eleven original songs. Murphy has been stirring the pot of the rich Los Angeles roots rock scene for the last two years, and what has emerged is the best of this prolific singer-songwriter to date. Kaz reaches across the pop/country divide — weaned on Dylan, Cash, Bobby Gentry and Leadbelly he went alt-country but with Misfits has crossed back to his Lovin’ Spoonful/Simon & Garfunkel/Mamas and the Papas roots. With a voice as distinct as Petty, Prine, David Byrne or Dylan, Murphy has coined an album with a classic rock mood – and a current pop/Latin edge — that McCulley has dubbed the “easy listening Kaz” sound. From the wealth of talent that is the LA music scene, Home for Misfits features the performances of Murphy’s long-time band members Brian Young (Fountains of Wayne, etc.), John Skibic and Sully Sullivan (Twilight Singers etc.), and wife Jacqueline Grad, along with McCulley, Amy Farris, Kip Boardman, John McDuffie and Duane Jarvis.

The songs on Home for Misfits depict emotions, imagery and stories of ordinary people gone awry and genuinely examines, through carefully taken long-shots and close-ups, the misfit that lingers in all of us. In “Waiting on Elvis“ a guy waits for his old girlfriend who’s running to him from an abusive marriage. She finally arrives on the train, “You run your hands across my face, across the years you slowly trace, as you tear everything outta your suitcase and we’re stuck here in this embrace”… “Below The Skin” features Amy Farris on strings and Duane Jarvis on Spanish Requinto guitar, about the Koreatown section of LA when the new kid in town becomes chump change on the street, “Stuck in Koreatown, like a chicken on a spit…” The psychadelic sound and tribal rhythms via Brian Young in “Brimstone Daddy” deliver a hypnotic ode to the wild daughter of a Bible-thumping preacher. One of the more rocking numbers, “Killing Wheel” laments a family’s daughter off to Iraq; with a Ramones-esque punch and straight-faced story it hits you right where it counts. Plus it has a classic pedal steel performance by John McDuffie. If Neil Diamond collaborated with Dylan, they might come up with “Honey was that You?”, “Time just passes like molasses… poured so thick that you can’t see through… Honey, was that you?...” “Been Away Awhile“, full of over-the-top harmonies and orchestration recalls America or early Costello, “I’ve been away awhile, but I’m coming back again, with my piehole and my pen, and gonna do it all again…” A misfit finally discovers a way out in “Psychic on Your Telephone”, with a boot-kickin’ groove and Murphy’s talk-sing approach, this one sticks to you like liquid nails.

Each song, unique in itself, works well off of the others and it’s these special elements that add up to a mature work by a man with vision whose voice is as original as any of the greats named above. The sound and style is big and rich, yet simple and straight up. So order Home For Misfits – take it home, begin your favorite relaxation method, put it on, turn it up a touch, close your eyes and let this album sweep you away. If you ask someone to listen to it with you, there’s an extra bonus — you can dance to it all the way through.

Kaz Murphy is a well-traveled singer/songwriter with a knack for reinventing his music, this time around a highly melodic, rythmic roots rock album with a nod to his 60's and 70's pop heroes.

History: Kaz grew up in the midst of the Philadelphia folk scene and the South Jersey Italian suburbs of the 70's, whose mother performed in community operettas, and took him to the rehearsals. His first gig was as drummer of a party band at the age of 12, but he was also writing hundreds of original songs, which he regularly performed, playing acoustic guitar & singing with a bongo player at East Coast coffee houses and folk scenes.

One day while listening to Doc & Merle, Kaz decided to head west. After some years in Santa Fe, drumming for Allen Ginsberg and playing in one too many coffee houses, he hit the road to Asia. That's where he met Jacqueline Grad, who played violin and keyboards. They performed in Tokyo that summer, then moved together to Seattle.

After spending the first few years in Seattle writing, producing and starring in two rock musicals, Kaz became lead singer and songwriter of Mad Mad Nomad, a folk-rock group on Green Monkey Records. The band released a single and an album, "Snap Out", played about 200 shows a year for four years straight, then Kaz decided to go solo.

"One Happy Camper" was released on LiquidCity Records in '97, to great reviews and enthusiastic national airplay. Kaz hit the road. He became a regular at Austin's SXSW. Then in Europe (1999), Kaz & Jacque played Paris, the "Europe-in-Music" conference in Brussels, Vienna, a handful of Roman festivals, and performed on national Italian TV. The pair decided they loved Italy and stayed there for a while. Kaz played drums in a Roman rock band, they lived with friends, learned Italian, and ended up getting married there. After discovering his knack for storytelling, Kaz was asked to come to Vienna to help write a book for Nofrontiere, a European new media design company. The result, "In the Place of Coincidence" is available in most major and design bookstores in the U.S., Europe and Japan, or at www.amazon.com.

The journey hasn't stopped there. Soon after returning to the US, the pair relocated to Los Angeles. In 2003 they released Kaz's second solo CD, "Devil in the Barn" to glowing reviews and respectable airplay on Americana charts and in Europe. After touring, SXSW and four years of regular live shows in the Los Angeles alt-country scene, Kaz retreated to the studio, spending almost two years writing new material. Along with co-producer Rich McCulley, and aided by his loyal dog Virgil (see inside of CD) they selected 11 cuts, and recorded "Home For Misfits", with longtime drummer Brian Young (Fountains of Wayne). Brian had brought fellow Ivy bandmates Jon Skibic and Sully Sullivan into the group a couple of years back. Together with his rhythm section and co-producer Rich McCulley, Kaz cut eleven songs, along with talented friends Duane Jarvis, Amy Farris, Kip Boardman, John McDuffie, and wife Jacqueline Grad. What has emerged is Kaz's best work yet, "Home for Misfits" available now.



to write a review

Mark Gauthier

Kaz gets 5 stars for this extraordinary collection!
He has found a way to blend those intellegent lyrics of his with accessible melodies. He has controlled the idiosyncracies of his vocals just enough to allow the songs to sell themselves and still put his very personal stamp on them. The players are exceptional. The packaging is beautiful. Buy 2 of 'em, one for the car and one for the house or a friend.

Michael Stusser

Kaz Murphy has made an incredible album!
What a great album! A fabulous singer-songwriter, Murphy is reminiscent of throw-back folk-rockers Dylan, Guthrie, and the man in black, Johnny Cash, but with a neoteric edge all his own.

Part Grange, part rock, part Americana, part Alt-country, Murphy’s beat keeps your foot to the metal, while the lyrics ingratiate themselves into your heart. The new album sounds as original as its creator, whose influences obviously include Captain Beefheart, Leonard Cohen and Vic Chesnut.

A regular on the musical indie-circuit for decades, Murphy has drummed for Allen Ginsberg, fronted Mad Mad Nomad, was bandleader for Inspector Kazbo and led Kaz and the Ponymob. Like most truly independent performers, Murphy’s hard-to-describe stylings have made him difficult to pigeon-hole - and even harder to garner radio-time. If he wore a funny cowboy shirt he’d be bigger Garth Brooks; with better marketing, he’d croon perfectly on “Grey's Anatomy.” Luckily for the rest of us, we can buy "Home for Misfits." Do it - you won't be sorry.

Michael A. Stusser

Suzy Brown

Clever, touching, witty and romantic, the lyrics speak of the yearning heart of an adventurous soul, the music gets you up and dancing, and MAN wotta sexy voice! There are a lot of subtle little musical touches that tickle me whenever I hear them--great production values.