Focus on Community/Arts
America’s Favorite Singing Cowboy Rides into Wye Mills

Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2004


WYE MILLS – Country music legend Michael Martin Murphey will perform Wednesday, April 14 at the Todd Performing Arts Center at Chesapeake College in his only Maryland appearance on this tour. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Known for songs like "Wildfire", "Cowboy Logic", and "Carolina in the Pines", Murphey is a prolific songwriter and beloved performer. His musical and storytelling abilities have driven his career for four decades. This self-taught musician plays guitar, banjo, piano and harmonica. In addition to managing all of his creative projects, Murphey serves as an adjunct professor of music and American studies at Utah State University.

An avid historian, the performer has been recognized as a scholar and researcher on topics of the American West. He established the Murphey Western Institute in 1998 for the preservation and study of the American West. Murphey is also actor, playing "Murph" on the "Lonesome Dove" television series and narrating numerous books on tape.

In the 1990s, Murphey became a leading force in the cowboy music revival: co-founding the Warner/Western label, launching his WestFest Western Art and Music Festival, and playing frequent symphony shows where he marries the Western music style with classical sounds. Even though he now lives in New Mexico, the artist traces his musical roots to his home state of Texas.

"You can’t overlook the fact that one of the two most important original country music artists, Jimmie Rodgers and John Lomax, came from Texas," Murphey said. "I got the title for my first album "Cowboy Songs" from Lomax’s music catalog about cowboy songs. The synergy of it was all around Texas and Texas cowboys. Cowboy music is an interesting mixture of Hispanic music, Celtic music, and African American music. This is a tradition that goes way back."

Murphy started performing in Texas folk coffeehouses while an undergraduate at North Texas University. He headed to California for post-graduate study in creative writing at UCLA, and landed a publishing deal as well as a recording contract for his first band, The Lewis and Clark Expedition. Murphey went solo in 1968, but he continues to collaborate with other artists on a variety of projects. He has worked with Bob Dylan, Lyle Lovett, the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Kenny Rogers and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

Tickets for the show are $25. For more information, please call the box office at 410-827-5867.


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