Local blues harmonica sage Skip Murphy, 60, maintains an inconsistent performance schedule these days—the musician proudly touts his retired-ness—but he’ll party with some of the city’s best players when they perform a free show on Sunday, Jan. 27, 5 p.m., at Shifty’s, 1401 Burnet Ave. Area topliners will include guitarists Dave “Big D” Schneider, George Newton and Mark Hoffmann, plus vocalists Mark Gibson and Sharon Allen.
An encounter with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in 1972 set Murphy on a musical path. He found his calling: the blues harp. “That changed everything,” he says. Murphy would go on to form the country rock group Cumberland Stage, followed a few years later with Out of the Blue, a nine-piece blues fusion outfit that operated throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s. “We were trying to become famous,” he recalls. Murphy says the Shifty’s setlist will be a smattering of blues and soul with a touch of swing. “We’re going to have eight people on stage,” he says. “I just get carried away with running down a sound. I never make money off these gigs; we just want everybody to go home with a smile.”
Call 474-0048 for Shifty’s details.