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Post-Etta James, Bobby Murray comes back to his own music

@graffonmusic, www.facebook.com/garygraffonmusic

Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013

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This new chapter in Bobby Murray's musical career is decidedly bittersweet.

The guitarist, songwriter and bandleader's new album, "I'm Sticking With You," is his first since the 2012 death of R&B singing great Etta James, who Murray played with for 22 years. Life, and music, certainly go on, but Murray says he'll carry that association with him forever.

"I certainly did a lot of reflecting since Etta's passing -- maybe about life in general, too," says Murray, 60, a military brat who moved to Detroit in 1996 after meeting his wife during a James show at the Fox Theatre. His resume also includes Albert King, Charlie Musselwhite, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley and many others. "Y'know, none of us are getting any younger. I don't know if I'll ever be a sideman again if anyone; I wouldn't refuse an offer if it was right. But, yeah, I feel like it's time to be out there doing my own music now."

"I'm Sticking With You" -- which features vocals Barbara Payton, Wiley "Red" Redding, Tom Hogarth, Dave Uricek, Mark Thibodeau, Robert Randolph and others -- actually features music Murray has been doing for awhile. Though making the actual recording took about a year, some of the songs date back as far as when he first started working with James, and he's happy they're finally seeing the light of day.

"Some of these songs, it was getting to the point where if I didn't get them out it was probably going to start creating problems. They wouldn't go away!" Murray says with a laugh. "Some of them started out as innocuously as going out and doing some work in the yard and having the hook come ot my mind and keep going, and the next day it comes back again.

"So a lot of these are songs I've been intending to write and finish. I love writing songs every bit as much as I do performing and playing guitar and everything like that. So I concentrated on (the writing) a bit. It was just stuff that needed to be done, and hopefully people will like it."

Bobby Murray celebrates the release of "I'm Sticking With You" on Friday, Oct. 25, at the Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Barbara Payton will be a special guest. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is free. Call 248-546-3696 or visit www.lovingtouchferndale.com.

Web Site: www.lovingtouchferndale.com

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