The Detroit Blues Society & the Scarab Club Present
The Detroit Blues Heritage Series on May 22, at 2 pm
The Bobby Murray Band w/sgs Lenny Watkins and Robert Penn
217 Farnsworth Street
Detroit, MI 48202-4018
Blues guitar great Bobby Murray has been a Detroiter now for over a decade, but honed his skills around the blues clubs of San Francisco and Oakland. In the 1970’s and ’80’s, he played backup for musicians like Sonny Rhodes and Frankie Lee before getting a big break in 1988 and joining up with Etta James’ Roots Band.
Bobby Has been playing guitar for Etta James for over two decades now, he has played on 3 Grammy award winning recordings (one with B.B. King, two with Etta James), & he has thee solo releases as well as recordings with, Otis Rush and many other blues notables.
Bobby Murray is delighted to have as his special guest, Detroit blues great Robert Penn! In 1983 Robert had the chance to play with & conduct the band behind his hero BB King! As conductor/guitarist he has worked with the Contours, the Velelettes, as well as both David Ruffin & Dennis Edwards (both formerly with the Temptations). As a touring blues artist Robert has toured throughout Belgium, Holland, Germany, Sweden, New Zealand, England & Scotland and recorded three CDs. Robert is one of the most engaging blues performers to ever come out of Detroit.
More about Bobby Murray:
Longtime Etta James band guitarist Bobby Murray spent many years carefully Murray was born in 1953 in Nagoya, Japan, grew up in Tacoma, Washington, and cites Albert Collins as one of his most important guitar influences. Murray and Robert Cray went to high school together, and upon their graduation, they booked Collins for the school’s graduation party; the three became friends and later went on to appear in concert together often. Murray, who spent many years in apprenticeship, learned from some of the best the Bay Area had to offer, sharing stages with Charlie Musselwhite, Otis Rush, Jimmy Witherspoon, Taj Mahal and John Lee Hooker, among others. He can be heard on B.B. King’s Grammy Award-winning album, Blues Summit, and he duets with former classmate Cray on King’s “Playing With My Friends.” Murray’s style is fluid and rhythmic, and, freely admitting he’s not one of the world’s greatest singers, often has a singing guitarist with him. There’s plenty of guitar wizardry from Murray on his debut album, The Blues Is Now, released in 1996 on the New York-based Viceroy label, with guests including vocalist Frankie Lee and organist Jimmy Pugh.
~ Richard Skelly, All Music Guide