A third generation Bay Area native, Judge Murphy began his musical career in 1965 as lead vocalist in the ‘LOST & FOUND’, a band of Redwood High school kids with a passion for rock & roll. These were times of the British Musical explosion on the American scene, & bands like The Byrds, Dylan, & The Airplane, Dead, & Quicksilver, right here at home. With this vast palate of musical influence, ‘The Judge’ set out on a path that would gain him great musical acclaim. Playing the rec. hall & frat house circuit of the 60’s, Murphy & his band won numerous ‘Battle of the Band’ contests in the Bay Area. Judge , also a great drummer, played dual roles as singer / drummer , in a number of bands that he captained through the 1980’s ,
including MURPHY’S LAW.
Scouted by a number of musical giants, ‘THE JUDGE’, had the great pleasure of sharing the stage with such notables as BRUCE HORNSBY, CLARANCE CLEMONS, ‘Stone’s’ piano man NICKY HOPKINS, JOHN CIPOLLINA, & DAVID BYRNE.
It was his association & singing w/ John Cipollina on a tune penned by John, called “Hired Hand”, that Murphy got an audition with the Bay Area Band, ZERO. According to co-founder & leader, GREG ANTON, he & STEVE KIMOCK were sold on Murphy after he sang one word ; ‘Catalina’. At that time, GRATEFUL DEAD lyricist ROBERT HUNTER had penned 5 songs to music written by Steve Kimock & Greg Anton, but they lacked melodies. Hunter was blown away at Murphy’s ability to create melodies with his lyrics, adding to Kimock’s & Anton’s music, birthing what are now known as Judge’s signature songs. He went so far as to say, “They are Judge’s children” Inspired, Hunter wrote more. Hunter & JERRY GARCIA helped fund a live recording at THE GREAT AMERICAN MUSIC HALL in San Francisco that was to become the CD ‘CHANCE IN A MILLION’ ( later picked up by A & M RECORDS).
In June of 1994, Judge took some time off of the ZERO project to collaborate with virtuoso Canadian born guitarist, DAVE GOODMAN, & recorded a Cd for the German label TAXIM RECORDS. Back in Zero (April 95?) THE JUDGE returned to 5 more years of nationwide touring ( where he met Lauren ), & recorded several more CD’s with the band. He also got back in the drum chair, supporting Lauren’s original compositions in their band, THE HOUSELEVELERS( 1997 -1999). Lauren shared the stage with Judge as background vocalist for ZERO from 1998-2000, until Steve Kimock left to pursue a career with “The Other Ones”.
Married in 1999, Judge & Lauren moved to the Hawaiian Islands to be together & write. A brief residency in New Orleans had them both bitten by the music bug, and they moved home to California, bringing a little of the gumbo along. In 2005, Judge began producing the CD, “MAGNOLIA HEART”; a body of work written predominantly by wife, Lauren Murphy. Recorded over 3sessions at The Plant Studios, ‘LANSDALE STATION’ was born, as was a new dimension in the pair’s relationship. During 2006, The Judge joined Zero for a brief run of reunion shows, preferring to focus on his main vocally infused project , Lansdale Station. 2007 finds this blue-eyed soul singer and multi-talented artist more than inspired. The culmination of his 40 some years of experience in music are evident in his presence,versatility, & delivery. Still in contact with Robert Hunter today, he said he is pleased that The Judge continues to sing these songs that he helped create, in any configuration. While his main musical attention remains on LANSDALE STATION, Judge recently spoke of his role in ZERO & his current outlook “The guys in Zero will always have a place in my musical history, & I am sure we will continue to do gigs when the timing works.” The future may just be another golden age of music. Tune in.. Turn on…
August 21st, 2007 | Tags: Music | Comments: