“The people that drive you crazy — the only people that can really drive you nuts are the people that love you,” a soft-spoken Alex McMurray tells host Zachary Young in this week’s episode of OffBeat’s Look-Ka Py Py Podcast. “They’re going to be the ones that help you,” he goes on to reveal. Here, McMurray’s describing the theme of “Diamonds in Your Hand,” the song that seals his recent release I Will Never Be Alone in This Land.
For the singer-songwriter/guitarist, uncovering the subtle truths that belie such paradoxes has become an art — an unheralded attribute that has underscored his musical sensibilities since the mid-Nineties when his then outfit Royal Fingerbowl stirred the Frenchmen scene and stole a fleeting wink from the public eye.
But as the saying a fool’s paradise is a wise man’s hell goes, after a short-lived brush with the national spotlight, McMurray followed his instincts, honing his craft and finding his calling on the streets of St. Claude. On I Will Never Will Never Be Alone in This Land, never before has McMurray’s telltale Chilton-esque wit and wisdom shown more brightly. And, as the story would have it, with a bevy of New Orleans’ best such as Jon Cleary, John Mooney, Ben Ellman, Matt Perrine and more than a dozen others along for the ride, never before has a record of his sounded more New Orleans — “[not] like red beans and rice… maybe some other kind of lunch special,” he muses. Hear how it came to light: