I have been playing Irish traditional music for over twenty-five years. An immigrant to the U.S. from England in 1978, I didn't discover Irish music until high school. While later attending university in New Orleans, I began playing tin whistle and flute under the instruction of Dublin native, Richie Stafford. He is a player of both Irish traditional flute and fiddle and was then host of the local Irish radio show on WWOZ 90.7. Richie had a wonderful collection of rare Irish LP's and as a musician was a bottomless repository of tunes. He and his show provided a great and diverse exposure to Irish music. After college, I began a fifteen year stint as one of the house musicians at O'Flaherty's Irish Channel Pub in New Orleans' French Quarter. Famous for its weekly sessions and ceilis, O'Flaherty's attracted traditional musicians and dancers from around the world. Initially learning tin whistle, flute and bodhran (traditional Irish drum), I later added vocals and guitar (for more gigs!). I currently play gigs in the Orlando area and teach anthropology at Seminole State College in Sanford, FL. I also recently began working with Lamont Goff, mandolin and guitar player extraordinaire. We are currently recording our first album and starting to play gigs in Orlando and surrounding areas. Please check out the "Goff and Murphy" tab for more information.
While living in New Orleans, I was a founding member of the critically acclaimed Irish band, The Poor Clares, which debuted at the 1993 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (Jazz Fest). With band members Betsy McGovern, Patrick O'Flaherty and Beth Patterson, The Poor Clares recorded three albums and headlined festivals and concert venues throughout the US, including the Milwaukee Irish Festival, the Celtic Classic in Bethlehem, PA, the North Texas Irish Festival (NTIF) and the Irish Cultural Center in Chicago, IL. Our second album, Change of Habit earned us the title, "...one of America's best Irish bands," from Dirty Linen Magazine. I also played for many years at the Kerry Irish Pub in New Orleans, along with Eddie Doyle and Larry Meyerhoff. We were the house band in the mid to late 90's.
Additionally, I played in the Irish traditional group Legacy along with band members Valerie Plested and Don Penzien. Focusing on the traditional dance music of Ireland, Legacy regularly appeared at Irish festivals around the country including the North Texas Irish Festival (NTIF), the Savannah Irish Festival, the Northeast Louisiana Irish Festival (NELA), and Hirishfest (Mt. Rose, NV - the highest Irish festival by elevation).
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, O'Flaherty's Irish Channel Pub shut its doors for good. I moved to Washington, DC and regularly performed solo in many of the Irish pubs in the area, such as the Dubliner on Capitol Hill, Ireland's Four Provinces in Falls Church, VA, Ireland's Own in Alexandria, VA and the James Joyce in Baltimore, MD. I now live in the Orlando, FL area and play at local Irish venues, including Raglan Road on Disney's Pleasure Island and Nolan's Irish Pub in Cocoa Beach.
From foot-stomping jigs and reels to pub favorites and songs in the tradition of Planxty, Paul Brady, and Ossian, my performances offer a diversity of Irish, Scottish and other Celtic music that pleases many tastes.