Michael Martin Murphey keeping history alive

Arts & Entertainment

Michael Martin Murphey keeping history alive

Iconic country musician bringing ‘Cowboy Christmas’ to Durango
Michael Martin Murphey will be bringing his Cowboy Christmas tour to the Henry Strater Theatre on Dec. 4.

Michael Martin Murphey keeping history alive

Michael Martin Murphey will be bringing his Cowboy Christmas tour to the Henry Strater Theatre on Dec. 4.
Murphey to perform songs from album ‘Austinology’

Added to Michael Martin Murphey’s Cowboy Christmas show this year are songs from his newest album, “Austinology: Alleys of Austin,” which was released Oct. 19.
Three and a half years in the making, “Austinology” features a reworking of Murphey’s songs from his time in Austin, Texas, for which he is credited for pioneering the Austin music scene.
“I said I’ve got to go back and make new versions of my old songs from that era, which was the ’70s, late ’60s and all through the ’70s. And also do songs of other people that I consider to be the best examples of the style of songwriting that developed then,” he said. “And it turns out, because of the style that was there, I was able to fit in a couple of things into the Cowboy Christmas show.”
Among the songs he will include in the show is “Texas Trilogy,” a song about his family trying to survive in the drought of the 1950s.
“I’m 73 years old, so I remember that as a kid,” Murphey said. “My parents and grandparents and my relatives went through that drought; they were ranchers. My grandfather would never give in and take any kind of government assistance or anything because he was a real anti-government guy.”
When he performs the song, Murphey said he relates it to a bigger lesson.
“When I go into the Cowboy Christmas show this year, I remind people that times haven’t always been this good out in the West, and during hard times, we didn’t even know if we were going to get a Christmas present,” he said. “‘Texas Trilogy’ comes in at that point. I like to remind people that Christmas is about giving, and it’s not just your family; it’s about giving to people who are less fortunate.”
“Austinology” also features some of country music’s heavy hitters, including Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett and Amy Grant, three performers whom Murphey said working on the album with were some of the highlights of the project.
“Willie Nelson coming in to sing ‘Cosmic Cowboy’ was huge, but probably all in all, I’d say Lyle Lovett coming in. He did several songs ... so I’d say Lyle Lovett was my favorite,” Murphey said. “A really close second was Amy Grant coming in to sing a duet on ‘Wildfire.’ She did a great job, and I always thought it would be cool to do that as a duet, so in a sense, it’s a new thing.”

If you go

What: Michael Martin Murphey Christmas Show.

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4. (Doors open at 6:45 p.m.)

Where: Henry Strater Theatre, 699 Main Ave.

Tickets: $49 general, $65 reserved. Available at https://bit.ly/2znfdnc.

More information: Visit https://bit.ly/2ziX2z8.

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