February 22, 2013
Carey Murdock opens
Shawn Mullins translates life into song. His musical accomplishments include a dozen self-produced records, two number one charting songs, Grammy nomination and thousands of live performances. ¶ Nashville based Carey Murdock, who opens the show, is an Americana artist who frequently performs on both sides of the Atlantic.
An Atlanta-based folksinger best known for his Top Ten hit “Lullaby,” Shawn Mullins was serving as a member of the U.S. Army Airborne Infantry Division when he released his first self-titled cassette in 1989. Following the release of 1991’s Everchanging World, he left the military after eight years to pursue music on a full-time basis. After three years spent fruitlessly searching for a record deal, Mullins established a new label, SMG, and released the LPs Better Days and Big Blue Sky in the interim. Jeff’s Last Dance, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 arrived in 1995, and Mullins returned a year later with the solo effort Eggshells. Released in 1998, Soul’s Core marked his first album for a major label, Columbia Records; it also signaled his critical breakthrough, as the single “Lullaby” became a chart-topping single on the adult Top 40 charts. The album eventually went platinum, paving the way for an anthology of the singer’s early work with 1999’s The First Ten Years.
In fall 2000, Mullins released the official follow-up, Beneath the Velvet Sun. The Essential Shawn Mullins collection arrived in 2003, followed by 9th Ward Pickin’ Parlor for Vanguard Records in 2006. He remained with Vanguard for 2008’s Honeydew, which was inspired by (and recorded in) his native Georgia. Live at the Variety Playhouse was released that same year, capturing a sold-out Mullins performance in Atlanta. Since that time, Mullins has undergone a series of transformative experiences (including the birth of his first child), leading to a second coming for the veteran artist. Evidence of Mullins’ newfound level of musical and lyrical ambition courses comes through with Light You Up. This captivating new song cycle will likely be viewed as a flat-out revelation even by Mullins’ most fervent fans.
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Originally from North Augusta, SC — the town across the river from Augusta, Georgia where he was born — Carey Murdock relocated to Nashville, Tennessee in August of 2011 after years of touring based out of Augusta. Sharon Jones, the famed soul singer, called and left him a voicemail to wish him luck on his move to Music City. Carey Murdock has since shared the stage with Shovels and Rope, Shawn Mullins, Tracy Lawrence, Mountain Heart, Jessica Lea Mayfield, and more. His latest album, Baby Don’t Look Down, was produced by Patrick Blanchard (Shawn Mullins) and features Cary Ann Hearst of Shovels & Rope on guest vocals. Bandcamp named it a Staff Pick Favorite.
Currently, Murdock tours the US and Europe regularly. He just wrapped up the first of many sessions with producer Rick Beato (Needtobreathe, Crowfield, Shinedown) on what is the first of many “digital 45” releases. This session produced the new songs “Shot in the Dark” and “You’re Leaving Me,” which was just released in January, 2013.
- On Shawn Mullins:
- Wrapped up in sparse, organic arrangements that remind of Cash’s late-life American recordings, the songs on Light You Up are fresh, incisive and wonderfully crafted. Light You Up isn’t just captivating — it’s essential. American Noise
- The album is overflowing with perfect rhymes, telling detail and underlying intimations. This is uncommonly literate stuff, striking in its insightfulness and compassion. Vanguard Records
- Light You Up is the best album that the Eagles never made! No Depression