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STILL LIVES: Asa Murphy - Romantic crooner

Stephanie De Leng finds a striking Chet Baker lookalike striking up the band (and a gaggle of Tuesday Tarts)

Published on February 12th 2009.

STILL LIVES: Asa Murphy - Romantic crooner

I AM a loose woman. I will explain.

Just over a year ago, I was asked to become a panellist on Linda McDermott’s “Late Night Live”, a nightly BBC Radio Merseyside programme where a mix of topical news that might be interesting to “sassy” ladies is discussed. Initially I was a Monday Madam, but quickly I became a Tuesday Tart.

Asa Murphy would definitely be of interest to any lady, sassy or otherwise, who likes that old fashioned, romantic, Sinatra kind of thing. One Tuesday he was invited into our garrulous sanctum and entertained all with his smooth voice and down-to-earth manner.

That night he was riding high, having just sung to great acclaim at a sell-out concert in the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. Before it had been Ronnie Scott’s and later it would be the Liverpool Arena, not to mention Colleen McLoughlin’s hen party.

After one of his songs was played on air, someone commented that he could be Liverpool’s answer to Michael Bublé. I thought he was even better, possessing that rare talent for perfect phrasing. Furthermore there was a certain intense energy about him, the essence of which came across in his singing. Certainly it caused the collective hearts of The Tuesday Tarts to beat faster.

This aside, Asa was very unassuming. Growing up as one of seven children in a working class, Irish-Liverpool family provided a level grounding for whatever life might throw at him. Airs and graces were strictly off the menu, the ability to laugh at yourself always on.

Previously a care worker, and before that an assistant in WH Smith, Asa has

never been trained musically. His natural talent has propelled him forward by chance.

Intrigued by Asa’s resemblance to Chet Baker, I looked him up on the net. His photos did not do him justice so I got in touch and offered a free shoot - he was beginning to get a lot of publicity and I figured he could use a solid headshot to tide him over. Also, I told him, I would like to do something more unusual for my own projects.

Two days later Asa was sitting in my kitchen, talking candidly about things that were troubling him deeply. It was there that I captured the kind of shot I like. Then, we went upstairs to the studio and I took the kind of shot I thought he could use. And that was that. I gave him the photos and forgot about it.

Some months later he called me up and said that his first CD was coming out on this forthcoming Valentine’s Day and that he had used one of my photos on the cover. Normally I would have been miffed at not having been consulted before the fact, but not so with Asa. I was genuinely pleased that I had been of help. He was bright and happy and his troubles were behind him. I asked him about the songs on the CD and he went into long detailed analysis of each one, his enthusiasm brimming over. Finally though, he said modestly, I do not really like doing studio work, it is the on-stage performance that gets me going.

Disarming and unassuming as ever, Asa Murphy is one to watch.

*Stephanie’s first book, People in Liverpool, is available for £19.99 from various outlets and through www.stephaniedeleng.co.uk

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NormanFebruary 12th 2009.

Wow! she has done it again, another Stephanie's discovery i'll watch out for that CD....

Angry of AigburthFebruary 12th 2009.

That Linda McDermott is awfully common, don't you think?

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