Shaun Murphy has been known for decades by the company she keeps -- in Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band, as part of Little Feat, backing up Eric Clapton or in tandem with Meat Loaf during the early 70s.
Her own time has arrived, however.
Murphy released her fifth solo album, "Cry of Love," in November, and it's climbed to No. 6 on the Roots Music Report. This is after winning a pair of 2013 Blues Blast Music Awards, including Best Contemporary Blues Album for 2012's "Ask For the Moon." So Murphy is making -- or at least making more of -- her own name these days.
"A lot of times its' been, 'Oh, she's that girl that sang with Little Feat,' 'cause they don't remember the name," says Murphy, who was born in Omaha and moved to Detroit as a teenager, where, billed as Stoney, she appeared in a pre-Broadway production of "Hair" and recorded an album with castmate Meat Loaf for Motown`s Rare Earth Records. "So all these CDs of mine have been so hopeful. ('Cry of Love') is my fifth one, and I'm really getting a toehold in the music industry on my own right now. That's been wonderful."
So I'm just looking forward to playing more and more festivals and clubs and making that toehold stronger."
"Cry of Love" certainly gives Murphy the goods in that regard. The 11 track album features mostly covers ("You Can't Hide From the Truth" is its sole original), comprised of songs Murphy "just wanted to do for a long time" from the catalogs of icons such as Solomon Burke, Bobby Blue Bland and others. The set straddles a line between blues and R&B, and Murphy -- who considered more than 50 songs for the set -- says she's comfortable singing on both sides of that not-so-great divide.
"My bottom line is the emotion the song gives, and as long as I can get in there and gnash my teeth on it, it's a song for me," explains Murphy, whose hoping for another Seger tour this year but notes that "he plays his cards really close to the vest." For now, then, she's "just looking forward to playing more and more festivals and clubs and making that toehold stronger."
Shaun Murphy celebrates the release of "Cry of Love" at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at Callahan's Music Hall, 2105 South Blvd., Auburn Hills. Tickets start at $20. Call 248-858-9508 or visit www.atcallahans.com.
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