Chris Murphy – “Hard Bargain”

 Chris Murphy – “Hard Bargain”

Chris Murphy – “Hard Bargain” – Single Review

Well…I’d be lying to ya if I said I wasn’t entertained by this.

Initially when I saw Chris Murphy onstage in his latest video for the single “Hard Bargain” I thought we’d be in for an instrumental.  This guy!  Starts it all off with an spectacular riff on the violin and a curious sound that pulled me in quickly.  So much so, that I nearly resisted the vocals at first…as Murphy dipped into the verses & chorus of this live-solo recording, it felt like the song itself became a bit more standard in its style – but every time I felt myself feeling that way, I still couldn’t deny just how well-suited for this sound his voice really is.  So again, can’t lie to ya…for me, it was largely the instrumentation that won me over on “Hard Bargain” and the professional performance that Chris lays down in the video.

When I say standard…don’t get me wrong…that’s also another way of saying comfortable…familiar…that kind of thing.  The verse & chorus of “Hard Bargain” are similar to those that you’d find in the classic catalogs of country-rock…and I think that’s part of the allure to hear that kind of sound done solo like this on a violin with just a simple stomping kick to accompany the melody.  It heads pretty hard into a country sound once combined with the vocals and Murphy’s flawless drawl – and for those out there that are looking for something different in that genre, this might just fit the bill for ya.  At the very least, you gotta admire this performance that you see/hear in the video for “Hard Bargain” – if there are errors or something he got wrong, I surely can’t hear it.  His vocal tones are a perfect match for the sound he’s looking for to pair with the music, the instrumental riffs outside of the verse/chorus are absolutely awesome and the solo mid-song highlight the man’s capabilities without a doubt.

I feel like Murphy stuck to a great recipe for success here by adapting to a blueprint usually established by full bands and finding a way to seriously entertain as a solo artist & keep the sound full.  What really makes it work for me here, is that “Hard Bargain” DOES sound full – but if you listen to the ingredients here, it’s minimal…vocals, violin, beat and away we go.  Murphy ends up winning at every possible moment and remaining on point by not overcomplicating anything and keeping the path a simple & surefooted one.  I’d absolutely watch this!  I have!  I would again!  You get what I mean – I’d go see a live-show like this for sure, Chris is highly entertaining and definitely a verifiably skilled musician.  Most importantly – you can see he keeps the entire atmosphere FUN…he might be singing about personal troubles and hardships, but take a look at the crowd and the performance itself – this is a good time for all concerned.  Even if country, folk, Americana-rock or violin-anything isn’t your thing, committed and confident performances like count for so much when it comes to interesting people from outside of the genres you’d find Murphy in – I think it’s undeniably watchable…the passion is clearly on display at every turn and the quality in his performance, tone and musicianship stay never waver.

I appreciate what Chris Murphy has done here and what he’s all about.  I checked out ‘A Short Film About Chris Murphy’ on YouTube as well and it seems like combining cultures & different styles of music is what this guy is all about – you know I’ve got a lot of love and respect for that.  He’s versatile, adaptable and wildly creative when it comes right down to it…with all the skills and humble confidence to match…and the man just might to be onto something through his own unique perspective and approach to music.

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