The Murphy Beds (Eamon O'Leary, Jefferson Hamer) w/ special guest Nick Halley
Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 8:00 PM
The Murphy Beds (Jefferson Hamer and Eamon O’Leary) present traditional and original folk songs with close harmonies and deft instrumental arrangements on bouzouki, guitar, and mandolin. They have performed and collaborated with artists across the folk spectrum including Beth Orton, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Anais Mitchell, and Sam Amidon.
“their great feat turns out to be taking what’s best of the classic Irish folk revival without falling into any of its clichés. The resulting album bears repeated listening from start to finish, with ten beautiful, crystalline songs.” -Huffington Post
Eamon O’Leary started playing Irish music while growing up in Dublin through his friendship with the Mayock family, traditional musicians from County Mayo. When he moved to New York City in the early 90s, he immersed himself in the city’s traditional music scene and travelled widely, performing with many of the great players in Irish music. In 2004 he and fiddler Patrick Ourceau released the album Live at Mona’s. Eamon has taught at many traditional music programs in the US and also records and performs original music. His last solo record, Old Clump, was released in 2012.
Jefferson Hamer is a traditional musician and songwriter based in Brooklyn, New York. His most recent album is Child Ballads, released in 2013 on Wilderland Records. A painstaking, contemporary American reworking of seven of Professor Francis James Child’s venerable 19th century English and Scottish Popular Ballads, this record was arranged and performed in close duo collaboration with acclaimed singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell. The album received two BBC Folk Award nominations, showed up on best of 2013 lists in Rolling Stone and New York magazine, and was named one of NPR’s top-ten Folk and Americana releases of 2013 (“their tight harmonies and ... lyrical edits turned these centuries-old songs into contemporary gems” -NPR). Jefferson’s other release from 2013, The Murphy Beds, is an acoustic collaboration with Dublin-born musician Eamon O’Leary. Featuring ten American and Celtic-influenced folk songs, sung harmony duet-style, and decorated with intricate guitar and bouzouki accompaniment, The Murphy Beds creates a contemplative space where musical composition and arrangement converge with the deep river of tradition. The Huffington Post said it succinctly: “The resulting album bears repeated listening from start to finish, with ten beautiful, crystalline songs.” In the Oct. 2013 issue, Acoustic Guitar magazine wrote, “A gifted guitarist and singer, Hamer is able to hit close harmonies... and weave gorgeous instrumental lines.”
As a drummer and world percussionist, Nick Halley performs and records internationally with a wide range of musicians, including James Taylor, Oscar Castro-Neves, Maucha Adnet, David McGuinness, Revenge of the Folk Singers, Concerto Caledonia, Jefferson Hamer, the Chris Norman Ensemble, various Paul Halley ensembles, Suzie LeBlanc, Theresa Thomason, Diomira with Dinuk Wijeratne and Joseph Petric, and occasionally the Nick Halley Band. The recording Barnum Hill (2008) features Nick and his ensemble performing Nick’s original compositions.
Nick Halley is the new Host of CBC’s Choral Concert. As a choral conductor and singer, Nick is the founder and Artistic Director of the Capella Regalis Men and Boys Choir in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is the founder and Director of The King’s Chorus, a choir for members of the King’s and Dalhousie University communities in Halifax. Nick is also the Assistant Director of the acclaimed University of King’s College Chapel Choir directed by his father, Paul Halley. He is Cantor and Director for the King’s College Chapel male Compline choir. In 2012, Nick was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his contribution to Canada and Nova Scotia through the arts, particularly for his work with Capella Regalis Men and Boys Choir. In 2011, Nick was awarded a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to study in England with some of the world’s finest directors of men and boys choirs.