After years of playing all over Canada and the world with a variety of artists, including a five year apprenticeship with rock legend "Romping" Ronnie Hawkins, keyboardist Dave Murphy formed his own band in order to finally play the music closest to his heart: rock, pop, blues, roots, funk and soul. After a few hastily arranged performances at some local pubs, the band got it's real start on Sunday April 25, 1993, at the Chick and Deli after a recommendation by Toronto guitarist Danny Marks. Eventually The Dave Murphy Band was performing to a packed house on a weekly basis at the popular Toronto club, and gradually began performing all over Ontario.
Over 200 shows a year quickly earned the band its reputation as one of the most talented, versatile and hardest working acts in the business. While Dave has always been respected as a formidable pianist and musician, these early years of the band saw him mature into a compelling singer and frontman as well. In addition to his own abilities, the band's popularity was no doubt due to the fabulous talents of various musicians Dave had the good fortune to surround himself with. And the good humour of the band meant that shows were not only musically captivating, but a lot of fun as well.
In the summer of 1996 the band released its first album entitled "Waiting for Dave." The ten original tracks display the broad range of the group's influences and talents. Later that same year, a dream came true for the band when they opened for their hero, James Brown. Since then the band has opened for numerous other acts, including The Bare Naked Ladies.
In 1997, the band made the prestigious Orbit Room in downtown Toronto their new home for weekly performances, where the band continues to perform on Friday nights. It was here, on a stage complete with a house Hammond organ, that the band really began to stretch out musically, and since then there have been many incredible shows featuring the band at their spontaneous and improvisational best. In early 1998, exhausted by years of nonstop performing, the band took a four-month break while Dave travelled around the world.
Invigorated and refreshed after the break, the band put their focus into finishing and releasing their second CD, "Mysterious Juice." This latest effort contains fifteen original songs documenting the band's evolution and continuing passion for the music they love: rock, blues, funk and soul.
Although loyal fans had always enlisted the band for their weddings and company parties, the late nineties saw the band become more in demand for larger, specialized events, such as their performances for both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles on separate occasions at Hamilton's Copps Coliseum. In 1998, the band began a four-year run as the house band at the largest Elvis festival in the world, the Collingwood's Elvis Festival.
In 2003 Dave was asked by guitar legend Jeff Healey to become the leader of his house band. Every Thursday night Dave opens the show and then performs with Jeff and fabulous special guests at the guitarist's club Healey's in downtown Toronto.
These days, more than 3000 shows later, the band continues to perform their incredible variety of songs with undiminished passion and enthusiasm. Although more popular and busier than ever, these guys still love to play, and it shows. Find out for yourself by listening to the band, hiring them for your special event, or coming to see their live show.
To read more about the individual musicians in Dave's band, click here.
To find out what former members of the band are up to, click here.