Murray dedicates album to memory of his beloved son

Murray McDowell pictured at the launch of his CD, Summer Moon, in Dan Campbells on Friday evening.  INLT 18-700-BM
Murray McDowell pictured at the launch of his CD, Summer Moon, in Dan Campbells on Friday evening. INLT 18-700-BM

A LARNE musician has dedicated his newly-released album to the memory of his late son.

Well-known local singer-songwriter Murray McDowell performed tracks from his debut solo CD, Summer Moon, at a launch event in Dan Campbell’s recently, surrounded by family and friends.

The album is comprised of 10 self-penned tracks, each influenced by some of the most defining experiences of Murray’s life.

But the 53-year-old told the Larne Times that the album’s inception came during a very dark time in his life, when he was still coming to terms with the tragic death of his son Jamie, who passed away suddenly last May.

“For a long time after Jamie’s death I didn’t pick up a guitar; I just couldn’t face it,” he added.

“But my wife encouraged me to write some of my emotions down on paper, and once I started doing that the words just came flowing out of me and I couldn’t stop.

“Summer Moon came about as a result of Jamie’s death, but it is by no means an album full of doom and gloom. In fact, I would say that most of the songs are very uplifting and come straight from the heart. I found the whole process of writing these tracks and recording the album to be very therapeutic and it really helped me cope with Jamie’s death. It got me through a very difficult time in my life.”

Undoubtedly one of the most emotional and deeply personal songs in this collection is ‘24’, which serves as a tribute to Jamie’s life.

Murray described the other songs on the album as an amalgamation of his personal experiences; almost like a diary of his life so far.

“The album is really just me and my guitar, and that is the way I wanted it - very stripped back and bare. I want people who come to watch me perform live to hear the same thing that they heard when they listened to the album,” he added.

Murray has played with various bands down through the years and has been writing his own material for the past quarter of a century. While he has always had a love for making music, he is only now starting to consider himself a professional musician.

And he has been stunned by the positive response for his new album.

“I have been amazed by the reception Summer Moon has received so far, and bowled over by the support I have received from my friend and family. I could not have hoped for a better turnout at Dan’s and I want to thank everyone who came along,” he added.

Murray, who has one surviving son and is about to become a grandfather for the fifth time, is now busy performing tracks from his album at venues across the province.

“Music was always more of a hobby for me, but things have spiralled since the release of this album and I now see myself a self-employed professional musician. I am now looking forward to what the future holds and hope to have another album out before Christmas,” Murray concluded.