"Trail Songs of the Deep"
Vocals, guitars, bass, piano, harmonium, Mellotron, tanpura
Piano, organs, Mellotron, harmonium
Bowed upright bass
Drums, tambourines, shakers
Murry here, and a little about me. I was born & raised in Texas, where in my 20's I co-founded alt-country legends Old 97s. Over the years the band released more than a dozen studio albums and have appeared in films, television and had the pleasure of working with some of our musical heroes. I've written plenty within the band, both by myself and with my long time music partner Rhett Miller, but it took a few years before I felt like my writing voice was unique enough, and truly had something to say. The result was my first album, I Don't Know Where I'm Going But I'm On My Way. I got a lot of wonderful response to it, one of the most special was the inclusion of my version of the Carter Family's "In The Shadow of Clinch Mountain" in The Winding Stream, the acclaimed documentary film on the legendary Carters. Despite all this nice attention, the 97s schedule and just life in general delayed my getting back in the mood to doing a real follow up. Well, I finally got in quite a mood in 2020, and I went completely and happily overboard, as is my habit. I began working with friends and musical soulmates pianist Annie Crawford, cellist / upright player Faith Shippey, and drummer Richard Hewett. Together we completed a large body of new work, the first of which will be released in 2023 as the 10-song Trail Songs of the Deep, followed at some point by another 10-songer, Another Idle Day. There's actually even more than that, but one record at a time, ha.
My producer pal Mark Neill (Black Keys, Charley Crockett, et al) who worked with Old 97s and did with me on I Don't Know', describes me as "a Southern Gothic Nick Drake experience", and I won't disagree, though I might add Syd Barrett and Johnny Cash to the list of things that inspire.
That's me. As a songwriter my output can be a bit like a windy old house attic - disheveled, spooky, sometimes too sad, but also punctuated by warmth and light, hopefully. Anyway, I do hope you find something you like among the piles. Enjoy, and see you all soon, either with the Old 97s, my travels with The Long Ryders, or just as plain old me.
“As a solo artist, Murry Hammond is a blend of Leonard Cohen and Jimmie Rogers. At his best, he is reminiscent of Gordon Lightfoot in his ability to bring the sepia-toned color of his stories into focus and make music that is provocative and breathtakingly beautiful.”
— Vintage Guitar Magazine
“Fans of alt-country pioneers Old 97’s know Murry Hammond as the affable chap on bass and backing vocals, but he’s stepped out of Rhett Miller’s shadow for his first solo album, and it’s a doozy.”
— Las Vegas Weekly
“Murry Hammond has long been the Old 97’s’ secret weapon — the amiable bass player and harmony singer who always sneaks up with one or two of the best songs on nearly every album the band has ever made. He keeps a low-key profile on his solo album, too, quietly picking (and yodeling) his way through a spookily beautiful mix of acoustic tunes that beg for a long, slow drive down a lost highway.”
— Texas Music Magazine
“Honest reflection provides the most inspired moments. Unfussy production turns the sonic canvas into an echo chamber as limitless as Montana’s blue sky. Meanwhile, the chugging instrumental “Grainer,” the album’s surprise highlight, swells with the heady gratification of a lost soul’s first steps toward redemption, its breathless coda a watershed sigh.”
— Austin American Statesman
“It can be heavy listening, but Hammond's ear for odd, droning soundscapes, his fondness for shuffling brushed-snare beats, and his liberal take on old songs lend it a sense of real discovery.”