"You’re only as old as you feel!"  That’s what most folks say when I mention how I don’t like getting or being old.  To answer them, I want to say, trying to be humorous, "Oh! Were you at my funeral?"  But that seems too harsh and perhaps rude.  So, I usually just follow with, “Yeah, I guess!”

In reality, most of the time I feel more like the song I wrote, "If I Look Old."  You know, trying to be "enjoying my day."  Yeah, I do move slower, and, sometimes I am NOT steady on my feet, as the song implies, (and the cut on my chin!!).  And there are times being tired of living is a thought!!  ONLY A THOUGHT!!!  Because I will NEVER get tired of life!  

Okay.  So, I don't like being old.  Big deal.  Being old puts me at an advantage over younger folks, in that I have been their age, but, they have never been mine!!  Sadly, a lot of young folks today don't see it that way.  That's alright.  If I recall, and I do, most of us boomers didn't see it that way either.  The difference is, we never lost sight of the fact that yeah, the adults had in fact been our age, and certainly, we had not been theirs.  The difference is a word, was and is respect.  

I won't get into that because my opinion, though respected by many, has cost me venues and gigs by booking cats and kittens, who don't agree with some of the things I have said, and are "punishing" me by closing their doors to me.  And, yeah, that bothers me, hurts me, disappoints me, and :all those other sad feelings" me.  But, I still go to the bank, every Monday morning and put the money in that I earned from bringing my music to all the venues and owners and fans who still understand everyone, including the "door slammers," have a right to their opinion.  And they also know mine and anyone else's opinions do not affect their talent!

You see, I'm old!  I've lived life younger people haven't… yet!  And I pray to God that some of what I have endured, they never have to!  I'm not going to preach ethics, nor philosophy right now. That's for a coffee table gathering somewhere down the road.  Because right now, it’s common in today's world, to be vilified, castigated, and condemned for simply disagreeing.  Strong words?  Maybe, but, prove me wrong!

I'm and artist; a singer-songwriter.  I climbed a rung or two on the ladder of success a few times.  I just didn't get to the top.  That's where the "I pray to God that some of what I have endured, they never have to," comes in.  

You see, I'm old.  But my clock is still ticking.  The hands are still moving forward, and I can't slow them down, nor turn them back!  I have always, always told my kids, "There's a reason the rearview mirror is smaller than the windshield!"  I will continue to look forward, that's where the adventure lies!  The rearview mirror, that's places to which I've already been, and going backwards is a direction I've already tried, several times.  That brings us back to the rungs on the ladder.

God let me grow older, and I hope it's because I have more music to make, more songs to write, more people to meet, and in that more friends and fans to make!  And all of that is the view through the windshield.  That's where this old man is looking!

Down the road,

Michael Murphy
The Big Dog.



In 1918, around 11:00 AM, on the 11th day of November, an armistice was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I. The following year, November 11th was celebrated by many countries as Armistice Day, and in 1938, became a federal holiday in the United States. Following the end of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became known as Veterans Day.

Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans—living or dead—but especially gives recognition and thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

Saturday, November 11, was Veteran’s Day. 

The significance of the day did not go unnoticed by me, nor the importance. Ordinarily, I would have watched one of my favorite movies, more than likely “We Were Soldiers,” and probably walked out onto my front porch and watched my American flag waving in the breeze. I should have, but I didn’t. Aside from the dismal state of affairs in the United States, and the ever-increasing threat of another world war, the apathy I’ve encountered among too many of its younger citizens, our future world leaders, is frightening and difficult to understand.

What happened?

I remember back in the ‘50s, when the television stations would sign off for the broadcast day, (Yes, Elizabeth, there was a time when the television stations were not broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year), ALL of them did so by showing a patriotic video and playing our National Anthem. I won’t belabor the in-class, hand-over-the-heart, pre-school activities in which we actually took pride in participating. It was just something we did, and I hope I speak for all the boomers, we loved it. 

Many of us, did as our parents and grandparents and so on did, and we ourselves joined or were drafted into military service. Most boomers who are veterans, like me, served during the Vietnam conflict. Those fortunate enough to have survived serving “in country” and remained in service, more than likely participated in some way, in the following Gulf Wars and Middle East actions. Regardless, we are all veterans. We did what our country asked, and most of us would do it again. Yeah, I believe that!

So, back to Veteran’s Day, and why I did nothing to commemorate or celebrate. As I said, the significance of the holiday I did not forget, I WILL NEVER FORGET. I got up that morning, made my first cup of coffee, sat down in my office/studio/messiest room-in-the-house, and started working on songs. I was working on music all day. And somehow, what the day was got by me! 

It was probably around 5:00 PM when I realized I had not written anything on social media, expressing my love and appreciation for the vets I knew, and those whom I’ve never had the honor and pleasure to meet. I realized I had not posted a picture of a vet or the flag or anything, anywhere!  Realizing what I had missed doing, I immediately went outside on my front porch and stood there for a few minutes looking at my flag, remembering her importance and what each color on her stood for. My mind went back to those early school days, both feet together, standing as tall as I could, my hand flat on my chest, covering my heart, facing the American flag waving atop the pole in the schoolyard, or displayed inside the classroom, reciting the Pledge Of Allegiance. I remember the pride I felt in doing so. It made me feel a part of something much bigger than myself. It made me feel connected to every other person in the world. I couldn’t imagine anyone not loving that flag or this country, or what they both stood for, as much as I did. And still do.

My excuse for the lack of observance? I don’t have one. Suffice it to say, some of what I worked on yesterday, dealt with patriotism, but most was editing songs I haven’t been able to finish. 

So, I missed posting yesterday. And being a vet, I feel a bit guilty. Okay, I feel a lot guilty. Be that as it may… to all of you veterans, I am honored to be among you, and you all have my deepest gratitude for your service.




Here it is, February already. In a couple of months, I’ll be celebrating my 73rd trip around old Sol. Yeah, I’m just as surprised at that as many folks who knew me back when, well, those that are still with us anyway!! And, oh yeah, No! I am not going gently into that good night!

“Hey, Siri, directions to becoming a rock star.”

As I’ve aged, I’ve figured out there is much to be considered when remembering Frost’s words, “…and miles to go before I sleep.” I still get awakened from my already screwed-up sleep pattern, with lyrics and ideas in my mind. Sometimes I write them down; more often, I hope I can remember them and roll over and try to sleep… again. And eventually, the pen hits the paper, the guitar hits the words, and the song is born. Now, to find a venue and in it an ear to which to sing it. That’s the path that the GPS of life directs me. Sounds simple. It is, but it ain’t easy! Well, not in my seventies, it isn’t. I’ve always liked Mickey Mantle’s comment, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself!” Yeah, well, now my wife can say, “Too late!”

I’m an artist, a singer/songwriter, and an entertainer; at least, that’s what I try to be. The fact that there are some people who seem to like what I do and continue to come to listen and hang out with me for a while kind of attests to that! Of all the careers I could have had, this was the one that chose me! And I am ever so thankful that it did. I have met some amazing people; rock stars, blues stars, and tons of just regular people that share my love of music and helped fashion the man I’ve become. 

I made it through the excess-fueled ‘60s and the turbulent ‘70s. I made it through needles, trips, and booze. I made it past the hardships of a self-imposed rambling lifestyle, sleeping in boxes behind supermarkets (waxed ones are best, the rain just rolls off them.) I’ve been welcomed in hobo jungles along the Chattahoochee River and listened to goodbyes coming from inside boxcars as the travelers headed to the next town. I learned how to make friends with some pretty vicious dogs in my life, some even on four legs. It’s all in the eyes. Mine are old and have seen much. You have to read the signs!

Robert Frost’s poem, “Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening,” describes an artist’s life perfectly when he says, 
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”

This is a crazy business, and if I let it, will make me a cranky old man. What? Did I hear my wife say, “Too late!”



I think it may have been around 1954 when my younger brother, Pete, and I ran into the living room to the Christmas tree early in the morning to find Santa had come and brought us all some gifts.  I don’t remember what Momma or anybody else got, but I got a Roy Roger’s Ranch Set, complete with Nellybelle, Bullet, Trigger, Dale, Buttermilk, and of course, Roy!!! 

It's funny; I remember more Christmases, but none more so than that one.  Which is strange because I received other gifts throughout my childhood, like a “Crash-Mobile,” (that gift was a big hit, LOL), that were just as wonderful.  But, as my late friend and NA sponsor, Jim, wrote in one of his songs, “It’s strange what we remember, and sad what we forget.” 

The Christmas holiday meals were ALWAYS fabulous, regardless of whether I was in TN with my Momma’s side of the family or in GA with my paternal Grandmother and that side of the family.  So, yeah, broken home, blended family (sometimes the “blending” was a little lumpy), and all that stuff.  But, when I was a little kid, I was somehow able to look past the CRAP and find the good in most situations.  I say most because there were some instances in which there simply was no good – like my step-grandfather’s suicide when I was fourteen. 

But today, December 24, 2022, I’m not really looking back.  I am looking forward.  And at my age, with the uncertainty of how many more Christmases I will see, looking forward seems appropriate.  I will try to make the most of my life in whatever time remains on my clock.  And during the holiday periods, of which I am blessed to be a part, I will have plenty of time to walk down memory lane with my wife, kids, and many in-laws and relatives near and far. 

Yeah, my ears still ring, I’m still overweight, and still take a crapload of pills every day.  But I still have the music!  And I still sing and play the guitar and write!!  So, this Christmas Eve, I am thankful for that.  And I am thankful and grateful for you, my fans, and my friends.  And to everyone, I wish the Merriest of Christmases and the best of New Years and what’s to come. 

Michael “Big Dog” Murphy


Having stopped using drugs back in 2010, I stopped drinking alcohol in February of 2016, and that ended my addictive struggle with alcohol and drugs.  Well, at least it represented an end to my active addiction.  But, the rest of life, well, THAT struggle is ongoing!  And holidays in particular still present a challenge. 

Being a musician, I spend a lot of my time performing in venues where alcohol sales and consumption are paramount to those venues survival.  Over the years, my desire to drink has been replaced by my desire to not drink!  Well, not drink booze anyway.  Coffee?  Well, me and the doc’s still argue over that one!! 

When the holidays roll around, there are a crap-load of things that pop-up that could, if I let them, make those special days really eat at me.  And, as any long-timed recovering addict can attest, really make alcohol and drugs appear attractive!  But the key here is, as I said, “If I let them!”  There is a long list of not so admirable things I have done in my past.  And even with as long as I’ve been involved in recovery, and with as long as I have been clean and sober, a little guilt still rises and lets me know about the things I did.  But, unlike my early days in recovery, I don’t carry little whips around in my shirt pocket and pull them out every now and then and beat myself up over the guilt I feel.  Instead, I acknowledge the pain I have caused, and I feel, and move on.  Hey, I can’t change anything I’ve done.  ANYTHING!  But I can NOT do those things again.  And hopefully, the injured parties can recognize that the fat man standing in front of them has changed and sincerely regrets those wrongs. 

Anyway, holidays can wreak havoc on recovering people, if they haven’t learned how to deal with whatever feelings creep up during those days.  In my early recovery, I depended on attending sober functions during the holidays if I found myself uncomfortable in “earth-people” situations!  And that’s a safe alternative.  Now, don’t take my next statement to mean to NOT rely on sober circles for a safe alternative.  But it doesn’t really add to your abilities to deal with everyday situations when temptation is everywhere.  That is where understanding yourself, your shortcomings, and your strengths come in.  And most important, where “forgiveness” comes in.  And the forgiveness to which I am referring is “forgiving yourself!”  It’s not enough to be just clean and sober, to reap the rewards of life in recovery.  Forgiving yourself is key! 

So, Happy Thanksgiving!!  Merry Christmas!!!  And Happy New Year!!  Life is awesome!  YOU are awesome!!  

I’ll catch you folks down the road!


Man, oh man!  What a week this has been!!  From getting a reply from a venue to a gig inquiry of, “Not interested.  Thank you.”, to last night finding my left hand from the first finger knuckle all the way around to the thumb pad was purple, this week has been very eye-opening, disheartening, and frankly, possibly life changing. 

Oh!  Hello.  If you don’t know me, I’m Michael Murphy.  I’m an old musician, singer-songwriter, sort of a poet, sort of a cartoonist, sort of a guitar player, sort of.  “from the dog house” is possibly going to be a weekly (if I’m pissed enough – daily) blog, sort of.  Now you’re up-to-date, sort of!! 

Back to the week.  I discussed with a VERY few close friends that “not interested” email response.  One friend replied, “Consider the source.”  Another replied, “LOL!  Don’t contact them again!”  And another replied, “Can’t win’em all.”  While they’re all right, it still hurt and still stings a bit.  Now, full disclosure, I emailed back and asked why?  A less terse reply received was “fully booked” and “not the style” they were looking for.  A bit easier to swallow, but looking at their schedule and type of acts, not fully truthful either. 

It really doesn’t matter how talented one is any more.  What matters is what the venues figure sells their products best!  So, maybe I am just too old for millennial music lovers.  I’ve actually heard that as a reason I wasn’t considered for a popular annual music festival, years ago.  Too old.  

I am old.  I’m 72.  I’m still writing songs.  I am still making records, er, CDs.  I still play as often as I can.  And, when I was a pup, older musicians were my, and other players of my age, heroes!  Sure, the Beatles came along and turned our heads around in more ways than one, as did other younger artists in a variety of genres.  Guthrie, Seeger, Dylan, Joni, Baez, Byrds, Robertson, Stones!  Too many to remember.  But, even while they were burning up the airwaves, we never lost respect for or interest in the trailblazers who inspired all those young artists who were changing the world of music and ideas!  

I’m not trying to change the world.  I’m just an old musician that has paid his dues and who is lucky to not have died from the life I lived, as did so, so many others.  By no means am I going to quit playing because somebody said, “Not interested.”  I’ll continue finding a corner to sit in and sing and play to anyone who will listen, or who is just in the room.  Maybe something I’ve written will help you, or make you laugh, or make you think.  Maybe a song I cover will bring back a memory of some fleeting moment that changed you in some way, bring a tear to your eye, or a smile to your face.  Because that’s what we do, we wordsmiths and songsters and artists.  We connect with you, to the world through the music.  And when we connect with you, we did what we set out to do.  Not to be put on a pedestal, not to be adored.  Just to be a part of the world, the only way we can. 

“Not interested.”  That’s okay.  Someone out there is.  And we will find them.  We always do.


I had a birthday the other day.  The result?  71 trips around our sun.  In my wildest dreams, when I was in my twenties, NEVER did I imagine getting to this age.  But, here I am.  Now what?  I'm a bit slower these days, but I still love to play!  Sometimes, I get a little unsteady on my feet.  Solution?  I sit when I play now and have done so for a few years!  The songs I write these days seem to be more reflective of what I've seen, heard, and done throughout all my years.  Take, for instance, "Empty Table."  True story, and NOT just once!!  Or, "Mama It Hurts."  I was personally, deeply affected and touched by events like this.  When younger, I wrote songs that more or less did not require deciphering like many of the songs that are written today.  They were straightforward in their message, whether sad like "The Ice We're Skating On Is Thin,"or bouncy like "Supermarket Blues."  

Seventy-one!  Whether you write it out or represent it numerically, it's a long time.  What it means to me is that I have way more years behind me than I have in front of me.  And, that's a heavy thought!!  

Now what?  Now, I'll keep playing, even though it's a bit more difficult to find gigs these days.  I'll keep writing, words still come to me!  I can't say I know from where the words come, but they do, from somewhere.  And it seems that every time I pick up my guitar I learn something new, and that's awesome!!

Sadly, making it to 71 (so far) has seen many of my friends, and fans called home.  And also called home have been some stellar talent we all knew and to whom we listened as we spun around on this rock.  But, that's life, I guess.  

I have much for which to be grateful and thankful.  My wife, Wendy, continues to get an ALL CLEAR result from her cancer checkups!!  YAY!!!  My youngest daughter graduates from college this year, as does my youngest son from High School!!  My oldest daughter has been invited to join a sorority, Phi Theta Kappa, and accepted at her college, down in the Keys.  PLUS, she is celebrating beaucoup days of being clean and sober!!  THAT is a miracle.  And my middle son is also changing his life.  My oldest boy?  Well, he's still paying the price for very poor choices, something for which I am truly thankful I made it through.  I won't get into all my years of addiction, except to say, I have beaucoup years now, on the other side of life!!  

Seventy-one.  Yep.  I guess that officially makes me a sage, a deep thinker, wise.  What that makes me is 71, plain and simple.  What I am officially is on my way to 72!!

Love you cats!!  I'll see you down the road!!

Michael Murphy


Not playing SUCKS!  In the old days, (a couple of years ago actually), Sunday morning would have found me up early, regardless of the time I sought the cool side of my pillow in the hours before, drinking coffee, thinking about the gig the night before, and more than likely working on a song.  As most of you know, 2018 and 2019 kind of slapped us in the face.  But Wendy and I got through it, in huge part because of your love, support, and prayers!  THANK YOU! 

These days, I find myself "gig-less" most weekends.  Now I don't desire a return to the 250 plus gigs a year days, though that period in my life was amazing!!  I'd just like to play at the very least every weekend.  Truth is, next April 5, I will be seventy (70) years old!  And being on the road, days at a time, is more an awesome memory, than a desire I can realize. 

And another quandary, I don't know if I want to play with the band or return to the way it all started for me back in the early '70s, solo in coffeehouses and listening rooms.  I love the band and the camaraderie.  We have fun on stage!  I also love the acoustic solo side, because I can play songs I've written that are better suited for the solo style.  My band, being primarily blues-based, could do them.  But that would confuse the audience who came to hear us bend strings and growl, the way for which we are known! 

Getting back to the not playing.  There are few agents with whom I will work.  The cats that actually did the work to get my butt into venues have retired, or, as in the case of Frank "Frog" Seebantz, (Frogwayz Productions) the guy I love the most, has been diagnosed with cancer.  He still calls me occasionally, to gig, and I go!  He has always been there for me, and for my family!!  Not many of the other kind of agents will do that!  I don't even refer to the other kind as agents.  I call them, among other things, "opportunists!"  Sure, they have their favorites, their long-time money makers, but cats like me, they have us in the "Solution" rolodex.  They pull us out, blow the dust off the card, in response to a venue calling and saying, "Our band canceled.  Send me somebody quick!" 

Now, the well-meaning "Devil's Advocates" all say, "Book yourself if you don't want to use an 'opportunist!'"  Another quandary.  I can chat up a storm with folks when I'm onstage, with a mic at my lips.  But, off-stage, I don't communicate so well.  I don't know why, but everyone who knows me knows that! 

So, here I am, Sunday morning, March 1, 2020.  Thinking about the way it was and thinking about Frog.  But I will see you folks, somewhere down the road!


Thanks to all the prayers and support from friends and family, and the doctors' commitment to fighting, my darling wife (and sound tech!!!!), Wendy is now CANCER FREE!!  Now, probably about February, I'll be back hitting the road hard and heavy, watching those white lines as they disappear in the rearview mirror, as we barrel down the road to a venue near YOU!!

It has been a weird road for us this past year and a half, but, not only was there a light at the end of the tunnel, it is now lighting our way back to the people we love to play for, and friends we have not yet met!  So, see all you cats down the road!!

June 2019 • "Down the Road... Finally!" 

Yeah, I know.  It’s been almost four years since my last blog. And believe you me, an awful lot has happened during this absence.  Like it’s been since August of 2018 since I’ve played.  Reason being, both of my hands’ fingers just suddenly lost their sense of feeling.  In other words, they’re numb and the doctors have no idea why!!  Playing guitar, for the most part, was difficult because I could neither feel the strings nor frets.  But last month I began messing around with my acoustic a few minutes a day, to see if I could find a way to play through the numbness!  And, I’ve developed, sort of, a different kind of sensing where I am on the frets and strings.  Hopefully, with continued practice, I will find a way to the stage. 

The worse news came in February or so, of 2019, when Wendy, my wife and “soundtech”, was diagnosed with a tumor in her colon.  It was determined to be cancerous.  The tumor was removed, and now, although the Doctors all feel they got it all, she is receiving chemo treatments to track down and kill any remaining cancer cells that may be hiding somewhere in her body.  She is not happy!  But, she’s a real trooper; an amazing warrior!  She’s got this. 

With all the recent crap, with which we are dealing, and okay, a heavily diminished income, I have decided to give it a try.

I have booked five gigs for the summer months, to see how well I can play.  To keep me company on-stage I called on some old friends, and both former Mobsters, drummer “Randy “RD” Dean and bassists Tom “T-Bone” Bongers or Rick “Smokey” Smith.  Not having performed in almost a year, I wanted artists with me that know the music and have previously played every song with me.  I am still plagued with numb fingers on both hands, but my return to the stage will be made much less stressful, with these two cats backing me up.  First gig is getting closer!