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Alex McMurray Press Kit

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Press for Alex McMurray

The New York Times

Back to New Orleans, Gently

The New York Times by Matt Gross November 26, 2006

IT was a Friday afternoon in late October, and the narrow lanes of the French Quarter were quiet. Fresh paint — pale green, robin’s egg blue, canary yellow — adorned the low, tidy Creole cottages, and the wrought-iron railings of town-house balconies shone blackly in the sunlight. The streets were free of litter, the air unpolluted by the musky odor of all-night parties. But as I wandered the beautiful Quarter, one question stuck in my mind: Where was everybody?

I suppose I already knew the answer. Since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, wreaking havoc across Louisiana and Mississippi, fewer than half the 485,000 residents of New Orleans Parish had returned to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, according to the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau. Even in the French Quarter, which was mostly spared the devastation visited upon neighborhoods like the Ninth Ward, “For...

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Gambit Magazine

All That Chaz

Review of Chaz Fest
Gambit Magazine by David Kunian May 2, 2006

One of the best aspects about the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is the festival that happens outside the Fair Grounds' fences.

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Save the Music: Big Easy Musicians Come to Bard for Benefit - Daily Freeman by Bonnie Langston October 14, 2005

New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, but the city's music lives, something French Quarter regulars Coco Robicheaux and the band Tin Men will demonstrate tonight in a benefit concert at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson...

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TC Extra/Lakeville Journal

Jazz Concert at Bard to Benefit Victims of Hurricane Katrina

TC Extra/Lakeville Journal October 6, 2005

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Jazz at Bard presents a benefit concert for the victims of Hurricane Katrina on Friday, October 14, featuring New Orleans musicians the Tin Men, Coco Robicheaux, and special guests. The suggested donation is $20. The concert begins at 8:00 p.m. at Bard College’s Olin Hall. Concerned about friends in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, Bard alumna Raissa St. Pierre ’87 was only too eager to help Tom Thayer organize a concert of New Orleans bands. Thayer, from Tivoli, New York, owns the club DBA in New Orleans, which is a mainstay of the music scene on Frenchman Street on the edge of the French Quarter...

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Offbeat Magazine Freaks for Industry

Tin Men - Freaks for Industry review - Off Beat Magazine

Offbeat Magazine by Robert Fontenot June 1, 2005

Only in New Orleans could an album featuring jazz guitar, washboard, and tuba—and those instruments only, save for an occasional short-order cook’s “order up!” bell—be most notable for its songwriting. And yet, that’s true; while the Tin Men’s ’03 debut, Super Great Music for Modern Lovers, showcased the talents of local mainstays Matt Perrine (tuba), Alex McMurray (guitar), and Washboard Chaz (guess) in reinterpreting and recontextualizing jug-band jazz, the newer, more focused, more streamlined Freaks For Industry serves as a stage for the continuing development of McMurray’s writing chops. “She will give her hair a toss / so as to hide that so so so so face,” he sings on “The Woman I Love,” and you’re not quite sure where his snottiness and his affection meet. Which is the point. I think.

To a lot of people, however, this is still a joke band, or maybe a curio of a forgotten...

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Freaks for Industry

Tin Men - Freaks for Industry

OPENING ACT By Alex Rawls by Alex Rawls April 19, 2005

CD Release Party
The Big Top, 1638 Clio St

Freaks for Industry, the self-released second album from New Orleans' Tin Men, seems improbable. The trio of Alex McMurray on guitar, Matt Perrine on sousaphone and "Washboard" Chaz Leary on washboard was an unusual band configuration from the outset, but McMurray's move to New York City last October after falling in love with a New Yorker sounded like the band's death knell.

The album, though, features the band at its irrepressible best. Recorded over four days last September and October, it explores New Orleans' musical forms in original songs or covers that touch on jazz, blues, R&B and rock. The Tin Men cover Danny Barker's "Palm Court Strut," the Dirty Dozen's "Blackbird Special," and McMurray's "The Ballad of Cap'n Sandy," which tells of the darkly funny drinking life of the character McMurray played while working in a Japanese theme...

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Gambit Magazine Banjaxed

Reviews of Alex's solo release - Banjaxed

Gambit Magazine by David Kunian January 1, 2005

All Music - Tin Men Bio by Eugene Chadbourne January 1, 2005

Our official all music bio

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Tin Men Rosy's Jazz Hall August 12, 2004

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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Circle Bar performance Review by Jason Songe February 4, 2004

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.

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Offbeat Magazine Banjaxed

I Love Alex McMurray, Everybody's Favorite Songwriter

Back From Tokyo
Offbeat Magazine by Christen Hardy January 1, 2004

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."

"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.

"Your pocket's a little lighter/ You're reelin' in the dawn/ You make your way down Esplanade/ After everybody's gone"

It's the kind of description that I didn't even know I needed until I heard it.

McMurray establishes this emotional connection by making his songs intensely personal, by...

Read More Super Great Music for Modern Lovers

All Music - Super Great Music for Modern Lovers - Review by Eugene Chadbourne January 1, 2003

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.

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The Big Sleazy

Fingerbowl hops the New Orleans/Boulder Express
Boulder Weekly by P.W. Miller October 1, 2000

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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Greyhound Afternoons

Royal Fingerbowl's Greyhound Afternoons

LeisureSuit by Jordan Hoffman October 1, 2000

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...

Read More Greyhound Afternoons

All Music - Greyhound Afternoons Review by Tim Sheridan August 29, 2000

Check it.

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