Blues Birthday Bash: Matt “Guitar” Murphy Is Back

At Christmas time last year I wrote a post about blues guitarist Matt “Guitar” Murphy. You can view that post by clicking here. It was his 80th birthday that month and I wanted to make sure people were aware of the occasion… Several years back Matt suffered a stroke. When I heard of this terrible circumstance, I tried to find out as much information as I could, but there wasn’t many details. The only thing I found out was he was recovering in Florida, but as far as the extent of the stroke, and if he was capable of someday playing again was not readily known.

Several days ago I received an email from a friend telling me about a Birthday Blues Bash,and to everyone’s delight, Matt would be on the bill… This is great news to finally hear about the return of this legendary artist. He arrives just in time for the 30th Anniversary of The Blues Brothers.

A Three Day Event–Nov 14th-16th,2008–Fellsmere Riding Club Rodeo Arena in Fellsmere, Florida

This event features some amazing talent… The lineup is as follows:

FRIDAY – November 14th
Gates Open at 4:00 p.m.

Ernie Southern & The Deltaholics 5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Smokin’ Torpedoes 5:45 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Darrell Raines 6:30 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Eric Culberson 7:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Albert Cummings 8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

SATURDAY – November 15th
Gates Open at 11:00 a.m.

Betty Padgett 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Robin Rogers 2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Joey Gilmore 3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Rich DelGrosso with The Nouveaux Honkies 4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Albert Castiglia 5:45 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Matt “Guitar” Murphy 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Blues Guitar Legend Hubert Sumlin
8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

SUNDAY – November 16th
Gates Open at 11:00 a.m.

Ben Prestage 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
The Nouveaux Honkies 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Juke Joint Duo 3:00 p.m. – 4:14 p.m.
Alvin Jett & the Phatnoiz Blues Band 4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Chris Duarte Group 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

For more information regarding this great blues event, you can check it out by following the link located here. You can purchase tickets by clicking on the poster image above.

If you love the blues and happen to live or be in the Florida area at the time, you should take the opportunity to check out this birthday blues bash. With a lineup like this at a price that is extremely affordable, it promises to be one amazing weekend indeed…

If you are attending the bash, please post your comments here. And let us know how the event turned out. I for one would love to hear how Matt is doing and how he sounds since his recovery.


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15 years ago

Mat “Guitar” Murphy is one of my favorite guitar players of all time. Caught his act a while back at the “Red Barn” in Louisville Kentucky. I swear he played 3 hours with out taking a break.

15 years ago

That is great news. Thanks for posting this. (nice blog by the way). He used to play in Chicago at the now defunct B.L.U.E.S. Etc. back in the early 90s when I first got into blues music. I recall one night that we went to see him there in a snow storm. Being a bunch of poor college kids we knew we couldn’t afford to buy more than a couple of drinks in there after paying the cover so we picked up a 6 pack and hid it in the snow in an alley. When we got there there, it was a small crowd but Matt played his heart out. I had seen him on the Blues Brothers but that movie really didn’t show his ability. He had so many ideas on guitar and it was all on display in the small combo he was leading. After the set ended he we walked out to retrieve the beer before it was completely lost to the snow. We started heading for the door but Matt intercepted us and said, “Where do you guys think you’re going? I have another set!” We quickly told him about the beer and he cracked a huge grin and he said, “Well drink one for me but get your butts back here when you’re done”. So we quickly ducked out, drank the beer as instructed, and returned to see the second set which was even better than the first. After the show was over, I walked up to Matt and said, “I told you we were coming back” and he smiled and said that he was just putting us on but was happy we came back. We ended up talking to him for what seemed like forever (it was probably just 5 to 10 minutes). He could have blown us off – he was obviously tired having just driven in that morning. Insead he sat there politely answering our inane questions (believe me some of my companions asked some questions that made cringe) and joked around with us. This is one of my favorite blues memories both for the music and because he was good to a few dumb kids who happened to sneak into a bar to see him play.


Ken McGee
15 years ago

Got to meet Matt when I was a bouncer in Key West, He played at Sloppy Joe’s a couple of times a year. He is a wonderful, gentle man who always had time to talk. Talent to spare.

14 years ago

WOW… This is great… there’s just so many guitarists… I remember from my younger years… then poof… brain fart !! So many I’ve missed for a lot of years !! Thanks Blues Blogger for getting my “gray matter” jogged back to ones that were there at the beginning of “never ending blues adventure” through my life!! Whew… 8o years old now… I’ll have to run some searches now… just to catch up with what I’ve missed from Matt “Guitar” Murphy !! Thanks Blues Blogger for this “tribute” here… for him !!