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Matt Murphy

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Biography

Matt “Guitar” Murphy (born December 29, 1929) is an American blues guitarist.

Murphy was born in Sunflower, Mississippi.[1] He played with Howlin’ Wolf as early as 1948 (harpist Little Junior Parker was also in the band at the time).

By 1952, Murphy was in Chicago, where he began his long association with Memphis Slim by playing on his dates for United Records and Vee-Jay Records, including the album, At The Gate of Horn (1959).

He was already a legend among serious guitarists by the 1960s, famed for the incredibly fast and intricate blues riffs that would soon change rock and roll. While white rock and rollers were still playing the slow melodic riffs of “Love One Another” or the slow fuzzy riffs of “Wild Thing,” a few (like Eric Clapton, Rick Derringer and Jeff Beck) were listening to the flying fingers of B. B. King and Matt Murphy and trying to emulate them.

Murphy did not have a band of his own until 1982, but played with many famous bands. Among them (more or less chronologically):
Howlin’ Wolf
Little Junior Parker
Ike Turner
Memphis Slim
James Cotton
Otis Rush
Etta James
Sonny Boy Williamson II
Chuck Berry
Joe Louis Walker
The Blues Brothers

He played with some of these bands for many years (for example, 20 years in a row with Memphis Slim), while others were just sessions during his work at Chess Records (obviously, a virtuoso like Otis Rush did not need a full-time lead guitarist).

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