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Cheyne Murphy, Friday June 15th from 8.30pm

Cheynne Murphy is a folk alt-country rocker hailing from the alternative never-lands of Byron Bay, Australia.  Debuting his first EP Firesongs For The Soul at Bluesfest 2009, he has just released a debut album A Horse Called Freedom late 2014 to strong critical acclaim. Country update described the album as ‘at once ambling and cinematic’. Rhythms magazine commending its ‘shimmering production and instrumentation’ and The Courier Mail commented on the ‘tight band, sighing harmonies and evocative guitar’. Paul Pilsneniks (Pete Murray, Angus Stone, Powderfinger, Jeff Martin) has co-produced the album and created some rich sonic textures wrapped around what Fender Australia has described as ‘music in the tradition of other timeless homegrown artists – from Paul Kelly to Pete Murray, the Black Sorrows to the Waifs. Catchy, original and unmistakably Australian.’

After discovering three chords and the truth in his final year at university, Cheynne dropped the security blanket of his corporate marketing career to his parents dismay, pursuing something far more meaningful at the time…the art of music and the dream of fame and glory. With no previous musical training he started a naïve journey of creative self-discovery and to his surprise, two years later negotiated and secured a worldwide songwriting deal with Warner Chappell, as well as two live performances on national television and national radio airplay on JJJ and MMM. Drum media called the rock album he penned with his band Wingspan in 2000 as: ‘ambitious orchestral rock with rare song-writing genius’. A star was rising. Or was it? Record deal scams, band breakups, management breakdowns and financial desolation had Cheynne running for the rolling green foothills of Byron Bay where he resettled on a farm in a tiny village called Possum Creek. Inspired by his 12 string acoustic guitar and rustic country living, and the arrival of his two young children, Cheynne invested in a new musical connection inspired by the rural vista and the simplicity of the fireside and the warmth of family, friends and harmony.

He recorded his debut solo EP ‘Firesongs For the Soul’ in 2008 and showcased this in the company of giants at the 20th Anniversary of the Bluesfest in 2009. He followed this up with a second EP, ‘Spaces In-between that Rhythms Magazine (2011) described as ‘an unpretentiously earnest sprawling folk rock record’. That EP which was volume II in the Firesongs for the Soul series, was recorded in Cheynne’s beach shack in South Golden Beach just north of Byron Bay with a couple of microphones, a laptop, and a bunch of friends who he says ‘were lured in with the promise of wine and baked dinners cooked constantly throughout the recording process’.  In a sense Cheynne had reconnected to the spirit of what music and collaboration was all about as he recalls: ‘Music has always been an innocent pursuit for me. Its been a constant companion and song-writing is a balm for my soul. I felt I had got ‘corrupted’ by the machinations of the music industry and the desires of ‘fame and fortune’. The Firesongs for the Soul concept was a coming home to authenticity once again with the fire a grounding focal point, a hearth for sharing but also inspired by my love of acoustic guitars and harmonies’.