Kathy Murray and the Kilowatts
Gig Seeker Pro

Kathy Murray and the Kilowatts


Band Blues Rock




"Kathy Murray & Bill Jones: Austin Blues Love_ Interview by Michalis Limnios"

Kathy Murray
What do you learn about yourself from the blues, what does the “BLUES” mean to you?
My love of the blues saved my life. There have been dark times when I cared more about the music than I was able to care about myself. Music has been my compass, directing me how to take care of myself physically, emotionally and spiritually, in order that I could deepen and develop my ability to experience and transmit the blues that I love so much.
How do you describe Kathy Murray’s sound and progress, what characterize your music philosophy?
My sound encompasses influences of all of Texas’ rootsy regional musical styles that I’ve been fortunate enough to be exposed to throughout my life: blues, rockabilly, swamp pop, zydeco, soul, and conjunto. As my basic philosophy, I would say that music is not about fortune or fame, music is about love. When your music is coming from a place of love, you cannot go wrong.
From whom have you have learned the most secrets about the blues music?
Many years ago, when my band opened a show for the great Koko Taylor in Houston, Koko generously shared some of her secrets with me. In essence, she told me not to get too distracted by the audience, but instead to create a sacred and authentic experience, grounded within your space on the stage…and then to extend your energy out to invite the audience into the real experience that you are creating. One of my prized possessions is an encouraging post card Koko sent to me about my original songs saying, “Them songs is sharp!”
What is the best advice a bluesman ever gave you?
Here in Austin, when I was a young singer, the legendary Blues Boy Hubbard played some amazing shows with my band. Hubbard knew that I had not had any professional vocal training and he was kind enough to come over to the house and work with me, explaining that one should make the musical changes with your voice just like it was an instrument – which it actually is! That advice really got me off and running.
Which was the best moment of your career and which was the worst?
The best moment was the first time I played on stage with my husband and guitar player, Bill Jones. It seemed as if the air crackled with the instant connection of our souls. We stayed up all night after the gig, playing music and talking about life. It’s something I will never forget and our connection has just continued to deepen over the years of playing together.
The worst was when my friend and role model Stevie Ray Vaughan died. It still hardly seems possible that he’s gone. Stevie taught me so much, especially about being in the present moment and laying it ALL on the table every time you play.
How/where do you get inspiration for your songs & who were your mentors in songwriting?
I get inspired by all of the great songwriters past and present, like Willie Dixon, Doyle Bramhall, “Texas” Johnny Brown, and more recently Raul Malo and Amy Winehouse. Playing my favorite Jimmy Reed, Doug Sahm, and Stevie Ray Vaughan music gets me in the groove, and then it’s just a matter of writing down every idea that comes to me without censoring. I’m always gathering raw lyrics to be crafted into songs later. And occasionally I get lucky and a song will come to me complete and it’s like all I have to do is quickly write it down! “Room for More”, one of my songs that was recorded by the great Kate Meehan in Australia, was immediate like that.
Why did you think that the roots /blues lyrics continues to generate such a devoted following?
Because roots/blues music is real and vital, and it makes you feel something, like a release of true emotions. And even if it’s a sad song, feeling something real makes a person feel good.
Tell me about your meet with Stevie Ray Vaughan, which memory from makes you smile?
Stevie was best friends with my brother David Murray, a great Texas guitar player in his own right. We first saw Stevie play in 1973 in a band called The Nitecrawlers and he was already so good at the young age of 17 years that he put our jaws on the ground. Stevie was always so cool, and was such a bright light and fun to be around. To my thrill, he sat in for a set once with my early band, Kathy and the Kilowatts, at a legendary club called the Rome Inn that was on Rio Grande Street in Austin.
Would you mind telling me the most vivid memories sharing the stage with Albert Collins, Koko Taylor, and more?
One thing that amazed me about Albert Collins was that, for such a bad ass player, he was such a sweetie pie! I met him after I opened for his band at the Soap Creek Saloon in Austin. He was encouraging and kind, even kind of humble when you spoke with him. Then he got up on stage and absolutely burned the place down with his fabulous intensity-no one could do it like Albert.
What’s the best jam you ever played in? What are some of the most memorable gigs you've had?
Austin’s full of great musicians and we’re always having amazing jams. Last fall some - Blues Greece: Keep the Blues Alive

"Kathy Murray "Relatively Blue" CD Review by Margaret Moser"

Family Style: Kathy Murray's Blues
From the dance floor to the stage
By Margaret Moser, 4:20PM, Mon. Dec. 3, 2012

In the mid Seventies, about the time Austin’s blues scene began to whip up, I hit the clubs however possible. That’s however, not whenever, because I had no car, only a bicycle, and lived in dread North Austin. Getting to places like Soap Creek out in the hills could be tricky. Among the people I saw in the audience wherever I went was Kathy Murray.

Murray was about my age. We both liked the music and we both liked to dance. Without willing partners, we’d often dance with each other.

It was the days of the Ritz, the Armadillo, the Buffalo Gap, the Sit n Bull, La Cucaracha, the South Door, the Back Room. Any venue that booked the blues, we’d be there, waiting to dance. I never minded dancing with other girls because I wanted to dance. Kathy Murray, on the other hand, would even dance by herself.

In front of lanky Paul Ray as he crooned on Tuesday nights with the Cobras snaking out behind him, Murray sometimes owned the dance floor. Wearing blue jeans and tossing around her long dark hair, she’d grin to the band and they’d all grin back. Then she'd close her eyes and let the music move her feet.

Playing my copy of Kathy Murray’s brand new CD, Relatively Blue, thus approximates tumbling down the rabbit hole and coming out in a mirror world. This time it's her in the spotlight. And it’s not her first time center stage, either. Murray's sultry voice electrified local blues as Kathy & the Kilowatts for a number of years in the Eighties.

Relatively Blue arrives as something of a family affair. Murray wrote eight of the 10 tracks and co-wrote the other two with husband and guitarist Bill Jones and brother David Murray, who also cut his guitar teeth on the scene with his sister before playing for Marcia Ball and acting today as the Sound Engineering Consultant for City of Austin. David’s son Andy drums with his familial elders on the album, which was recorded at Murray Music, David’s studio.

“The project started with ‘Bird the in the Hand,’ which I’d pitched to Toni Price and was thrilled when she cut it,” explains Kathy. “Spencer Thomas cut it too. I really liked the feel of being in the studio with Bill and David, so I decided to flesh out the other songs. I'd taken years off to focus on songwriting and wanted to learn to play instruments onstage. Now I play guitar. And ukulele.

“I wanna be good cake,” she chuckles at her efforts. “Bill’s a monster on the guitar. He’s the icing.”

As the title suggests, the disc's largely blues, a spectrum as broad as the sky above and rooted deep in Murray’s heart. On Wednesday at Antone’s, Relatively Blue receives its official release. On the bill is another Kathy who grew up under the sway of Austin music, Kathy Valentine, who’s performing with the ever-fabulous Bluebonnets. And like Valentine, Murray values growing up in Austin.

“The first night I saw a live band in Austin, I was 16,” she recalls. “David was 14 and we’d sneak into the Armadillo where they’d sell us a pitcher of beer. There was a triple bill of Storm with Jimmie Vaughan, the Nightcrawlers with Stevie [Ray Vaughan] and Keith Ferguson, and Paul Ray & the Cobras with Denny Freeman. My little teen self was totally blown away!

“Blues comes and it goes. Maybe it’s time for another wave.” - The Austin Chronicle

""Kathy and the Kilowatts" Live Show Review by Michael Lovas"

Kathy and the Kilowatts belie their neon wave sounding epithet to push pelvis-grinding blues into our spleens. They push it with style -notably the style of Kathy Murray, who is fast closing in on Austin's premier blues singers. She's a very pretty, very ballsy vocalist who strains and gyrates like it's orgasm time at Melody Ranch. Ms. Kilowatt crosses cultural, ethnic and gender lines with ease.
The inspiration behind every eighth note and flattened third of rhythm and blues depends on the delivery of an emotional experience. If the musician/performer is experiencing and transmitting, the audience is touched. If not, the audience finds itself in the show lounge at the Motel 6 in Kankakee, Illinois. Ms. Kilowatt feels it; she experiences it. She is a good blues singer and she is getting better every week.
This group loves the blues. It shows in their performance. Kathy is not just another pretty face. She and the Kilowatts perpetuate the truth about Austin music - it lives! 7/14/1983 - The Austin Chronicle

"Kathy Murray "Relatively Blue" CD Review by Dan Forte"

KATHY MURRAY, Relatively Blue (Lectro Fine)
A blues-roots family affair, featuring longtime Austin fixtures Kathy Murray (vocals), her husband Bill Jones (lead guitar), and her brother, guitarist/bassist David Murray (alumnus of Doyle Bramhall, Marcia Ball, and Kelly Willis). Jones coaxes and yanks killer tones from his 335 on a set of lowdown originals, with "Little David" soloing beautifully on the ballad "These Lonely Hours." -DF - Vintage Guitar Magazine

"Kathy Murray "Relatively Blue" CD Review by Abby Owen"

Kathy Murray's voice is comforting and familiar. Bluesy and nostalgic, it gives the listener a feeling of home-grown reflection on life's' challenges that we've all faced at one time or another. It has the appeal and assurance of an older sister who has "been-there-felt-that" and got the t-shirt and koozie. We have all known times when we weren't sure what direction to take; to hold on or to let go. Should I turn up the mojo, or run away fast/ "Relatively Blue" has answers and poses questions to make you think and relate to Kathy's experiences, and you might just fall in love with this jewel of the Lone Star state.

From an interview she did with Margaret Moser for The Austin Chronicle in December 2012 Kathy explains, "The project started with 'Bird In the Hand', which I'd pitched to Toni Price and was thrilled when she cut it. Spencer Thomas cut it too. I really liked the feel of being in the studio with Bill (Jones) and David (Murray), so I decided to flesh out the other songs. I'd taken years off to focus on songwriting and wanted to learn to play instruments onstage. Now I play guitar. And ukulele."

'Bird In the Hand" definitely has the 'hit' appeal, and a smart life-lesson as a bonus. this one really hit home with me to be sure. My other favorite track on this album is 'Animal Magnetism', a fun and creative offering and another highlight on this release.

Kathy has a long-running musical history in Austin's Blues scene and world-wide acclaim as a winner of Australia's Blues Association's 'Song of the Year' Chain Award. For Kate Meehan's recording of Kathy's 'Call Me Mrs. Blues', as well as being a celebrated photographer of the Austin Music Scene. You can find out more on her website: www.kathymurraysongwriter.com and the liner notes inside this release have a well-written biography by Jerry Clayworth that can fill in the gaps for you as well. - American Blues News


"Relatively Blue" - 'Lectro Fine Records
"Exception to the Rule" - 'Lectro Fine Records
"Take a Chance" - 'Lectro Fine Records
"Texas Lovers" - Red Lightnin' Records
"Daughters of Texas" - PeaVine Records
"Soul Shake/Spell It Out" - Atomic Jukebox



When her family moved from Chicago to Austin, Texas, little did the then 12-year-old Kathy Murray know that she was not only leaving one blues hotbed, but also had landed in one of the future musical meccas of the world. She also had no idea that she, herself, would soon be a rising star of that musical landscape!

After witnessing what she can only describe as a "life changing triple bill" at the famed Armadillo WHQ, which included "Storm" with Jimmie Vaughan, "Paul Ray and the Cobras" featuring Denny Freeman, and "The Nightcrawlers" featuring a young Stevie Vaughan (well before his SRV days), Murray developed her vision of the blues in the formative days of the Austin blues scene, jamming with luminaries like W.C. Clark, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and members of The Fabulous Thunderbirds.

Encouraged by Austin blues legend Blues Boy Hubbard to sing professionally, she and her band the Kilowatts would become a staple of the Austin rhythm and blues scene. They shared the bill with many top acts, including Albert King, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Albert Collins, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Koko Taylor, Marcia Ball, and Sam & Dave, and graced the stages of Austin's most fabled venues.

During a recent hiatus from the stage, in which she concentrated all her efforts on her songwriting, Kathy amassed a rich catalog of original songs. Kate Meehan, the marvelous "Queen of Tasmanian Blues", has recorded 14 of Murray's songs, and Murray won an Australian Blues Association "Song of the Year" Chain Award for Meehan's recording of Murray's song, "Call Me Mrs. Blues". Recently in the States, Murray has been thrilled that the sultry songstress Toni Price and the sensational Spencer Thomas have both recorded her song, "Bird in the Hand", to great success.

The stars were clearly aligned, and the magic was there, as Kathy, along with her husband and musical soul mate, Bill "Monster" Jones, and world-class musician/producer and brother, David Murray, went into David's studio to record "Relatively Blue". The result is a collection of 10 of Kathy's original compositions that are teeming with honesty, soul, groove and family intuition.

Contact info:
phone: (512)472-1921
website: www.kathymurrayandthekilowatts.com