For more than 25 years, acclaimed singer-songwriter Michael Martin Murphey has been celebrating the Christmas season — “Cowboy-style.”
A pioneer of Americana music with a resume that includes hits that have topped the Pop, Country, Bluegrass and Western Music charts, the genre-busting Murphey has announced plans to continue celebrating with his multi-city Cowboy Christmas® tour for the 26th straight year.
The 2018 holiday tour was more successful than ever, with multiple sellout performances in some 20 cities between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.
Seems Murphey never tires of spreading the Christmas cheer. “What I try to do is encourage people to think of the spirit of giving, charity and forgiving, which is the spirit of Christmas,” says Murphey. “It’s about delivering that beautiful message of Christmas to people.”
Michael Martin Murphey’s Cowboy Christmas® was inspired by an event that began in 1885 in Anson, TX, when the local community of cowboys came together to celebrate the season with the very first Cowboy Christmas Ball. The festivities included dancing and merriment that has continued virtually every year since. (Murphey will return to this year's ball at the famed Pioneer Hall in Anson on December 19.)
“The first time I came to the annual Cowboy Christmas Ball in Anson, I was floored that the community had worked so hard to keep it going,” says Murphey, himself a rancher and farmer. “I fell in love watching the older couples dance and the dances being passed on to the younger people. It re-connected me to the tradition. The Cowboy Christmas Ball is steeped in everything I hold dear of growing up in Texas at Christmas. All the dances were here — the waltzes, the mazurkas, the Paul Jones, the Virginia Reel. The women make their own costumes and clothes and the men still wear string ties and frock coats. It’s a family reunion of friends.”
Cowboy Christmas® differs from other seasonal presentations in its focus of the “special relationship” of the Christmas story to rural communities, farmers and ranchers. “God first sent an angel to the livestock people — shepherds in the fields. Whether you're a believer or not, the story emphasizes that the news of the birth of the Savior was not given to royalty or politicians. The Lord did not alert the media or ministers.
“That underscores that Jesus came for all people, all races and all classes,” he continues. “That means that rural people should feel a significant part of the Christmas message because they were chosen to hear the story first. This is my favorite season of the year. We remember our fathers and mothers. We celebrate our children and we treasure our friends and the many blessings given by our Lord. It really brings out the very best in all of us.”
This past year has been incredible for the Number One Selling Western Music Artist. In April, he was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the prestigious Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, OK. A month earlier, he was inducted into the Texas Songwriter Hall of Fame.
Meanwhile, he continued to rack up praise for his latest release, “Austinology • Alleys of Austin”, a project that pays tribute to the early years of the Austin Music Scene when Murphey, Jerry Jeff Walker, Gary P. Nunn and more laid the groundwork for the Outlaw Movement with WIllie Nelson, and in the process setting the stage for what has now become known as “Americana” music. Murphey is best known for such huge hits as “Wildfire,” “Carolina In The Pines,” “Geronimo’s Cadillac,” “What’s Forever For,” “Long Line of Love,” “Cowboy Logic” and more.
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