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02.14.2005

Well kids. If you tried to come see me play in January 2004 you were shit out of luck for the most part because i caught pneumonia in NYC and spent 2 weeks in the hospital. All manner of fucking tubes and wires coming out of me. I looked and felt like something out of science fiction. But I'm out now and they say I am going to live. Managed to get one in at the Lakeside Lounge Tues 1/20 (thanks everyone for coming out), which went well, although my voice sounded a bit like Peter Brady's. The big story is that they put me on The Patch, so no smoking. The tradeoff isn't as bad as it could have been, for The Patch gives you the most vivid dreams about mathematics you can imagine. As i was warned by Jim Merrill up in Maine. I'll be back in New Orleans Feb. 4 to go back to the Old Grind at the Circle Bar. Where i shall share all the news of my...
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01.22.2005

Hear ye, hear ye

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My new record is finally done and shrink-wrapped for your safety and protection. All you need to do is acquire it somehow (through this miraculous website, of course), grab the biggest bottle of cough syrup you can find, borrow a friend's car with a cd player, find a nice straight road and start driving. Better yet, get dumped or dump someone and hang around behind the bowling alley with a discman and a bottle of muscatel.

You fingerbowl fans are in luck because, while the tin men and 007 are fine bands, there's just too much finger snapping for People Like Us. Working titles for The Record were "For the Aficionado" and "Too Bleak for Even the Fingerbowl". Indeed, I'm joined by Carlo Nuccio and Matt Perrine on most of the tracks, but we also got Bob Andrews, Joe Cabral, Debbie Davis, Sue Cowsill, Glenn Hartman, James Singleton, Grace Treffinger, David Torkanowski, Rick Trolsen,...

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08.12.2004

Tin Men Rosy's Jazz Hall

liveneworleans.com

liveneworleans.com

I felt pride for New Orleans as Tin Men dropped city references in songs like "Location, Location" and "Uptown Girl." On "Uptown Girl," vocalist/guitarist Alex McMurray spelled out subtle differences between those below Claiborne and those above it. Differences only a local can fully appreciate. This talent is probably one of the reasons everyone I've talked to about Tin Men have expressed nothing but love.
Sousaphone guy Matt Perrine and washboardist Chaz Leary rounded out the band at a full Rosy's Jazz Hall for Scat Magazine's monthly magazine release party Thursday night.

The band was in top form. They have an eclectic sound, but it's always something you can dance to, as many people proved Thursday night. They did R&B, jazz, blues, and rock n'roll love songs, but everything was anchored by Perrine's brass band bop, which made me tap my foot or swing it during every song.

...

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02.04.2004

Circle Bar performance Review

liveneworleans.com

liveneworleans.com by Jason Songe

Alex McMurray is the singer/songwriter soul of New Orleans. Proof is in the love he was showered with when he returned from a sojourn.

First, he left us for a year-long stint in Japan and returned to a welcome home party at The Circle Bar. Next, he spent all of last month in New York City playing in French dives and having surgery on his lungs for an undisclosed illness.


01.01.2004

I Love Alex McMurray, Everybody's Favorite Songwriter

Offbeat Magazine Banjaxed

Back From Tokyo

Offbeat Magazine by Christen Hardy

McMurray says that Banjaxed, the title of his first solo album, is Irish slang for being “frustrated or stymied via a fuckup, usually involving booze.”

McMurray admits that Banjaxed is a “little bit dreary,” and, at times, it is. “Effortless Binge” is standard Alex McMurray fare, but like most of his solo album, it is a bit more vulnerable, both lyrically and musically, than his previous efforts. I typically shy away from songs that include holidays/neighborhoods/themes that are exclusive to New Orleans, but McMurray’s “The Day After Mardi Gras Day” is the most accurate description of the empty feeling that creeps in immediately following Fat Tuesday I’ve ever heard.

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01.01.2003

All Music - Super Great Music for Modern Lovers - Review

Allmusic.com Super Great Music for Modern Lovers

Allmusic.com by Eugene Chadbourne

The Tin Men trio of New Orleans should for sure not be mixed up with Tinmen, a house music mixing outfit, or T.I.N. Men, a rock band that made one album in the late '90s. Putting aside the small pile of tin entirely, few groups have a sound as nifty as this one.


10.01.2000

The Big Sleazy

Fingerbowl hops the New Orleans/Boulder Express

Boulder Weekly by P.W. Miller

When metaphysical Elizabethan poet John Donne wrote "no man is an island, entire of itself," he was referring to the collective plight of mankind and the certainty of death. Now, when Royal Fingerbowl singer/songwriter/guitarist Alex McMurray howls "No man is an island/On the other hand, I'm an island," he's referring to the lonely, sordid circles outside civilization which transcend such lofty clich�s.

These "Bad Apples" orbit the Faubourg Marigny scene-the fringe of the French Quarter-where classic New Orleans sounds and youthful invention mix in a mumbo gumbo of funk, jazz, R&B and blues. It was there in 1995 that Red Bank, N.J., carpetbagger McMurray fibbed (claiming he had a band when, in fact, he didn't) in order to land a gig at a sketchy Thai dive called the Dragon's Den. Things fell into place, and with a little help from drummer Kevin O'Day and bassist Andrew Wolf, the...

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10.01.2000

Royal Fingerbowl's Greyhound Afternoons

Greyhound Afternoons

LeisureSuit by Jordan Hoffman

Okay, I'm going to write a review of the latest Royal Fingerbowl album without mentioning Tom Waits.

Okay, I can't.

Yes, Royal Fingerbowl sound like Tom Waits. Particularly the Tom Waits of the "Heartattack and Vine" period. The vocals are scratchy, the band is scruffy, the lyrics are triumphantly low-rent. "Happy Birthday, Sabo!!" Royal Fingerbowl's debut of a few years back, was played a lot for guests of Casa de Hoffman, and everyone wanted to know where I scored those unreleased Waits tapes. It was a great album, filled with faux-schmaltzy ballads (like the one that goes "Oh, I wish I was in old Manahawkin', on that train bridge walkin', over to yooooooooooou") and goofy comedy ("A Month of Sundays," dedicated to a youngster's summer break replete with references to "snots.")

Now we've got their follow-up. Does it survive the sophomore jinx? Well, not really. But that may just...

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01.01.2000

All Music - Royal Fingerbowl Bio

Allmusic.com

Allmusic.com by Richard Skelly

With just one inexpensive demo tape, Royal Fingerbowl, a trio from New Orleans, attracted the attention of a New York record company. They've been hailed as one of the best bands to come out of New Orleans since the early-'90s emergence of Better Than Ezra...


01.01.1998

Feat Warmers

Happy Birthday Sabo

New Times by Rush Tattered

All bands like to claim their sound is totally unique, but few actually achieve true originality. The New Orleans-based rock trio Royal Fingerbowl--who warm up for Little Feat Thursday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m., at Le Moyne Manor--comes pretty damn close, however, even while wearing its influences proudly on its collective sleeve. The band's debut CD Happy Birthday, Sabo! (TVT Records) boasts a baker's dozen dark tracks ranging from the straight swing of "A Fistful of Love" to the sad waltz of "Ozona, TX" to the bold blues of "My Money."

Fingerbowl owes its off-kilter artistry to charismatic guitarist and songwriter Alex McMurray, although the Royal rhythm boys--bassist Andrew Wolf and drummer Kevin O'Day--contribute at every turn as well. They embellish McMurray's twisted vision with quirky stop times and unexpected tempos, as in the polka-esque "Munchentown."

Critics across the country...

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01.01.1919

Royal Fingerbowl - Skippers Smokehouse review

Groovewell.com

McMurray, a New Jersey native and 13-year resident of the Crescent City, may come off as a boozy, degenerate goofball, the very definition of a class clown gone dissolute, a cut-up given to nonstop drinking and smoking as he crawls his way across the nightscape.

But that might not explain the resonance of the quirky cast of characters he's created, or the musical appeal of the eclectic settings given to his collection of story songs, given life by a singer variously reminiscent of Tom Waits and Louis Armstrong. McMurray wields a mean Gibson ES 335, too.