Lee Murdock Makes Great
Great Lakes Music

Reviewed by Gloria Peck

Download Sample From Cold Winds

I have been filled with love and awe of Lake Superior since I first saw it in 1954. As often as I travel there, I still fill with delight at first catching sight of Gitchee Gumee at the crest of the hill south of Duluth. This fascination may partly explain how I can keep the same CD on the changer for eight months. But that is only part of it. Lee Murdock’s collections of Great Lakes stories set to music capture the history and haunting beauty of the Lakes with rare skill. The disc I have listened to for so long is Cold Winds. This, like his other CD’s, Safe in the Harbor and Freshwater Highway, is a collection of songs written by Murdock and other contemporary composers, along with traditional folk songs.

Lee’s music can be enjoyed on two levels: listening lightly to the pretty tunes while doing other things, and concentrating on the well-rendered lyrics. I was embarrassed recently, caught with tears running down my face while seriously listening to “White Squall” from Safe in the Harbor. Chuckles soon followed, though, as Murdock’s “The Spirits of Long Point” unfolded.

Lee Murdock is not only a recording artist, he is also a performer and teacher. He performs over 200 concerts a year. He presents workshops on Great Lakes music and guitar techniques. He draws upon personal experience and copious study to teach and compose his music.

If you like the Great Lakes, good folk music or both, Lee Murdock’s music is for you. His clear, articulate voice is perfect for musical storytelling. The backup, both vocal and instrumental, always fits the piece. But the tune that stays with me most is the simple, a capella,

“Cold Winds”:

“Cold winds blow across the harbor
Cold winds on the inland sea
Same winds that called our fathers
Cold winds calling me.”

I know that call.

For more information on personal appearances, contact:
Artists of Note, P.O. Box 11, Kaneville, IL 60144, 708/557-2742.

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