A Question of Taste: Jim Murray, Guitarist

Jim Murray is a guitarist, originally from An Muine Fliuch, Co Cork.

A Question of Taste: Jim Murray, Guitarist

Jim Murray is a guitarist, originally from An Muine Fliuch, Co Cork - between Macroom and Millstreet. He regularly tours with Sharon Shannon, and has recorded two albums with Seamus Begley.

Murray is currently playing with Galician piper Anxo Lorenzo, fiddle player Dónal O’Connor and concertina player Jack Talty, on a 14-date Music Network nationwide tour.

Dates include Triskel Arts Centre, Cork, Weds, Jan 22; Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, Jan 23; National Opera House, Wexford, Jan 24; and Ionad Cultúrtha, Baile Mhúirne, Jan 25.

Best recent book you’ve read:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is a brilliantly written book set in occupied France during WWII. I enjoyed it so much I will read it again sometime.

Best recent film you’ve seen:

I rarely watch films but I did watch Paddington 2 over Christmas with my three children and we loved it.

Best recent show or gig you've seen:

Pokey LaFarge at a bluegrass festival in Michigan.

Best piece of music you’ve been listening to lately (new or old):

Love Comes Back by Vince Jones. I first saw Vince by accident in Adelaide, Australia, twenty years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. He came to our gig when I was playing with Sharon Shannon a couple of years ago in a beautiful place called Milton in New South Wales where he lives. Sadly, it’s currently under threat by the bush fires.

First ever piece of music or film or show that really moved you:

The first piece of music that really moved me was playing a bit of Fáinne Geal an Lae on the piano when I was three. I can still remember dragging my parents out of bed to listen to it and the excitement it awoke in me to be able to recreate a melody.

The best gig or show you’ve ever seen (if you had to pick one!):

The best concert I have ever been to was Paul Simon and James Taylor in Dublin. They were amazing, as were their band members, and the crowd was full of musicians.

Tell us about your TV viewing:

I watch very little TV but I do enjoy travel, cookery, nature and music programmes if I stumble upon them. I hate reality TV.

Radio listening and/or podcasts:

I like to listen to current affairs programmes when I am driving during the day and I always enjoy the company of Late Date on RTÉ Radio 1 during an often long drive home to West Cork after a gig.

I really enjoy a lot of the RTÉ Radio 1 Doc On One podcasts when I’m travelling out of the country and I thought the West Cork and S-Town podcasts were brilliant.

Your best/most famous celebrity encounter:

Chatting to James Taylor in a security line in Heathrow Airport where we just happened to be standing next to each other.

You can portal back to any period of human cultural history or music event — where, when, and why?

I would like to go back to a less materialistic time in humankind when people had a closer connection to nature and more time for each other. I feel we have lost touch with so many of our core human needs to an overly demanding and frantic world.

You are curating your dream festival – which three artists are on the bill (living or dead)?

Stevie Wonder, Queen and the duo Ian Carr and Karen Tweed.

Do you have any interesting ancestors or family?

My Grandmother’s mother was a Kelly and she always told us we were related to Grace Kelly. I’ll have to do a “Who Do You Think You Are” on myself!

Unsung hero — individual or group you think don’t get the praise they deserve:

I came across a band called Dreamers’ Circus a few years ago when I was in Japan. They are three amazing musicians from Scandinavia that I hope someday they will get the huge following they deserve.

You are king of the music business for a day — what’s your first decree?

I would get the government to put in place a system that was first established in Brittany where musicians get paid a weekly wage for doing a certain amount of shows. This would give many musicians the creative outlet and financial stability they deserve for honing a lifelong craft – craft that is enjoyed by both local people and foreign visitors from all over the world.

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