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David Lee Murphy Still Delivers

The story is a familiar one. An aspiring country star treks from their supportive hometown to Music City where they are turned down by every single record label in Nashville, some twice. They take odd jobs to make ends meet and seriously consider calling it quits. Finally they buy a Takamine guitar from Larry Garris and Corner Music in Nashville and shortly thereafter become successful beyond their wildest dreams, while those snotty record execs slip into oblivion.

Okay, so we may have embellished a few details, but that’s how we (and Larry Garris) tend to remember it – and we’d like to think our friends Toby, Garth, Kenny and Blake who all lived one version or another would not argue the fine points.

The Tak playing country music legend we celebrate in this case is the Grammy nominated, chart topping, cool as they come, future Nashville Songwriting Hall of Famer, David Lee Murphy.

“When I first came to Nashville, they didn’t have 20-year-old country singers” remembers Murphy. “You had to be at least 40 with a few scars, some wrinkles and some miles on you. So I concentrated on my songwriting. Meanwhile I had this band called The Blue Tick Hounds and we played all the little clubs and dives in town. We were kind of edgy and played loud and hard so I needed a good sounding, acoustic electric and Takamine had that reputation. My first Tak was an EF360S (now the EF360GF).  Been performing and writing with one Tak or another ever since.”

Gradually, a diverse range of artists from Reba McEntire to Dobie Gray began recording Murphy’s tunes. Grammy-winning producer and MCA Nashville President Tony Brown heard Murphy’s recording of a song called “Just Once” and put it on the soundtrack of the 1994 rodeo movie “8 Seconds”. This led to the recording of Murphy’s debut album, 1995’s Out With a Bang. It yielded the massive hits “Party Crowd” and “Dust on the Bottle” and charted gold.

“I had a ball,” he recalls of his graduation to record stardom. “In the early ‘90s when I was starting to have hits. That was fun. It was the first time I experienced people knowing who I was. And it was a great time to be out playing music, because there was a lot of great music going on. Nashville was blowing up.”

To say David Lee Murphy went on to become one of Nashville’s premier songwriters sounds a bit cliché. So take a look at this collection of  David Lee Murphy song cuts and decide for yourself. It’s no wonder new-school artists like Grammy nominated Shy Carter want to collaborate with David and tap into some Murphy magic.

One such co-write is the anthemic Beer With My Friends  written by Shy Carter, David Lee Murphy and Bryan Simpson. The accompanying party video features Shy, Cole Swindell and of course David Lee and his EF341SC.

“He is such a phenomenal writer” says Shy Carter about David Lee Murphy, “one of the best ever.  I’ve been a fan of his for a long time. He's the coolest guy, he's got the coolest voice, he's got the coolest swag, I've learned from him to be patient, to be humble, to be cool and let these great songs just flow. And let whatever is gonna be, let it be." 

Murphy has lots of fans among his peers. His most recent album No Zip Code was produced by friend and fellow Tak player Kenny Chesney and featured the hit single Everything’s Gonna Be Alright, a song for today’s play list if there ever was one.

Chesney explains Murphy’s staying power this way; “What he does is so unique and so authentic, it stands out when you hear it on the radio. He's not chasing who he was, nor is he chasing what's going on. He's being David Lee Murphy, and he's so good it stands out.”

Takamine Guitars is extremely proud to be the guitar of choice for the great David Lee Murphy – and we look forward to many more years of earning his favor.

Visit David’s website at

David Lee Murphy No Zip Code cover

David Lee Murphy playing his Takamine guitar

Shy Carter album cover