Michael Martin Murphey

Cosmic Cowboy Souvenir

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Revealing Michael Martin Murphey's philosophical tendencies as well as his preference to drift into deep, thoughtful songs, Cosmic Cowboy Souvenir addresses the type of artist that Murphey truly is. The material on Cosmic Cowboy Souvenir is borderline romantic, but the album doesn't get too convoluted, too intricate, or too commercial sounding, and it manages to keep its simplicity and rustic charm intact. Tracks like "Cosmic Cowboy, Pt. 1," "Alleys of Austin," and the beautiful "South Canadian River Song" blend a certain amount of guilelessness with Murphey's own brand of urban poignancy, laying claim to Murphey's trademark as a "non-traditional" country music artist. The songs emerge as wholesome and wonderfully unceremonious, cashing in on Murphey's unconfined image and using it to give his material its wandering, nomadic quality in both the lyrics and the wide variety of string work. Even cuts like "Prometheus Busted" and "Drunken Lady of the Morning" keep the album's unbounded feel from sounding conventional or overindulgent without much effort. Although it spawned no hits, Cosmic Cowboy Souvenir is the album that quietly proclaimed Murphey as a progressive country artist, even though the material that was to follow would extend this style to even greater lengths.

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