He is best known for his stint on ‘You’re a Star’ back in 2003 - which made him a household name in Ireland because of his remarkably mature voice - but George Murphy has done a lot of living in the past 19 years.
When he was dropped by his label, he moved to New York to work as a barman; upon his return to Dublin he joined (then left) The High Kings, tried his hand at acting and now has his own band, The Rising Sons.
With a new album on the way this year, Murphy and The Rising Sons conclude their nationwide tour with a gig on May 14th at Dublin’s Liberty Hall, with support from Lisa Lambe.
Ahead of the show, we caught up with George to find out more about his influences and inspirations.
1. What’s the music that you listened to growing up, that you still listen to today?
To be honest, most music I listened to growing up I still listen to today because my father is/was a singer. I grew up on The Beatles, Bob Dylan and a lot of the classic artists of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, and they are still some of my favorites today.
2. In three words, describe the minute before you walk on stage.
Nerves, Excitement, High.
3. How do you wind down after a gig?
There’s not much better ways than a cold creamy pint of Guinness.
4. What’s the one song you wish you’d written or recorded first?
This is a tough one, but perhaps John Lennon’s ‘Working Class Hero’. It’s still a personal favourite of mine and I love performing it.
5. You can only have three albums on your phone/in your house at any one time - what three would you pick for today?
The Beatles - ‘White Album’, Tom Waits - ‘Closing Time’ and ‘The Essential Bob Dylan’.
6. Name one record, one book and one film that everyone should hear / read / see.
Again, I’ll go for Tom Waits - ‘Closing Time’. Pat Egan’s book ‘A Life in Show Business’ is brilliant and for any Irish musician it’s nice to have an insight into the way things used to be done and the Dublin of old/music industry of old. The film might be obvious, but ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ is a must for all.
7. Pick the director and lead actor(s) for a biopic about your life.
I love Scorsese as a director, but I don’t know if he would specialise in a Dublin biopic... my favourite actors are all older than me, so not sure who would play me - but maybe a younger version of Brendan Gleeson. What an actor!
8. You’re ordering take-away, what do you get?
I’m a sucker for a Chinese.
9. Describe your perfect day off.
Sunny day, swimming pool, cocktails, friends, music and good food.
10. Tell us, in one sentence, why we should come to your next gig (whenever it may be.)
The Rising Sons is more than a band, it’s a way of life - and the camaraderie we have built from a session to the big stage is well worth seeing and sharing in our journey.
BONUS QUESTION: Recommend a podcast and tell us why we should subscribe to it.
‘Stall It with Darren and Joe’ - two of the funniest Dublin lads you'll ever listen to.
George Murphy and the Rising Sons play Dublin's Liberty Hall on May 14th.