Michael “Big Dog” Murphy

michael-big-dog-murphyListen to some of his music below.


Members: Michael Murphy – vocals/guitar; Duane Collier – bass; Jay Olivares – drums/vocals; Rick Bailey – harmonica/vocals; Dan Germic – keyboard

Sounds Like: Howlin’ Wolf, Roy Buchanan, Luther Allison, Sam “Lightnin” Hopkins, Lonnie Brooks

All songs listed are original. All copyright laws apply.

Michael “Big Dog” Murphy’s love of music began as an awkward, chubby child in the choir of the southern church he attended with his grandmother every Sunday. The son of a convicted robber and as the story goes a murderer, he never felt like he quite fit in. Stirred by the passion of gospel music, his first memories singing in that choir made him feel as though he was a part of something for the very first time.

As a lonely teen, he loved music, was always singing & making up songs in his head. Michael found comfort in his companion guitar, writing lyrics & picking out melodies.

Leaving the gospel message behind, Michael found his expression in the music of the blues. “Here was something of substance,” he says. In the Blues was “the revelation that despite whatever one was going through, it could be overcome. It allowed me to understand that there is a way to find solace even in the darkest times.” Thus began a love affair that has lasted to this day.

Michael grew into a 300-pound gruff, growling man earning him the nickname “BIG DOG”. His reputation for “excusing” a member of his band while in the middle of a gig are legendary.

While no longer commanding attention through sheer size, growling and snarling the music of the poor and downtrodden, Big Dog is now a creative force enhanced by the powerful wisdom of age and his formal education as a historian. He loves a good story whether it’s sharing one of his own or putting a new twist on an old favorite, calling it “A Different Shade of Blues.”

“Do I play like the masters? HELL NO! No one does! But, I stay true to the feeling and the emotion blues music can and does invoke.”

Midwest recording artist Michael “Big Dog” Murphy still sings with all the emotion of an old time “tent revival” preacher. His guitar playing reflects the same kind of fervent fire that you’ll find in his sometimes haunting, but always soulful vocals. He has been writing songs almost his entire life. And considering his age, some are lost forever. But others he has managed to hold on to, as well as those written over the past 30 years or so, he has neatly stored in a few binders.

His singing style when performing these original ballads and blues has been likened to a “storytelling” blues man. His natural, raspy vocal style adds a tremendous element of reality to his songs, which, in a sense, are reality. Michael doesn’t write about what he doesn’t know, and what he does know is his life. What many folks find and have commented on is that they feel he is singing about their lives too. They say they find themselves going on a little trip with him, transcended, if you will, to the time and places of which he sings.

From the whimsical “Super Market Blues”, and, “Big Fancy Car”, to the poignant “The Flower”, or “I Went By The Blue House Today”, are songs that mean more to him than just a performance. His songs are many. His life, and maybe yours, is in them all.

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