Blues, Folk, & Country
Sat., Dec. 21, 9 p.m.
Singer-songwriter John Murry, who was born and raised in Tupelo, Mississippi but now lives in Oakland, makes poignant, bluesy rock ’n’ roll music. His debut album, The Graceless Age, released earlier this year, details his struggle with substance abuse and how he overcame addiction. It received acclaim from NPR, The Guardian, Uncut, and American Songwriter, but interviews with Murry reveal his river of discontent runs deep: He’s a poet that sees mostly darkness, with occasional flickers of light. On The Graceless Age, his husky-yet-delicate voice is accompanied by touches of guitar and piano. The album veers toward dreariness, but Murry’s storytelling is so unadorned and honest (e.g., I held my hands out, blood-stained, and I got my doubts) that he’s transfixing, not depressing. Listening to him, along with openers Melissa Phillips and Vincent Rodriquez, an Americana folk act, at The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) this week should be cathartic.