Rockford Rocked catches up with musician Floyd Murphy Jr
Rockford Rocked Interview: I’m told that you have been playing music most of your life and are currently the drummer for the popular Rockford band Big Daddy Woo Woo. I’m also told that you play a mean guitar as well. Tell us how you got involved in the blues and what made you want to play in the first place.
Floyd Murphy Jr.: I’m currently playing drums with Big Daddy Woo Woo and also in a killer blues band called Souls of 5 which also includes members of BDWW. There was always music being played at home growing up. My father was a musician and always had band rehearsal at our house. There always seemed to be a guitar or two lying around. My dad bought me my first drum set when I was 8 years old.
RRI: Your father (guitarist) Floyd Murphy knew and performed with many of Memphis’ greats including James Cotton, Junior Parker, Rufus Thomas, Bobby Blue Bland, and many others. He must have been a huge influence on you growing up. Thoughts?
FMJ: Yeah, my dad was a huge influence on me wanting to play music. They would always set their stuff up in the living room and jam. Those were great times.
RRI: Your dad recorded at the famous SUN Studios in Memphis Tn. I hear there is a cool “vibe” about the place and some say you can even feel the history. Have you ever been there?
FMJ: Yes, I stopped by there many times when I toured with my Uncle Matt’s band. Cool place for sure.
RRI: Many folks might know your Uncle Matt “Guitar” Murphy from the movie The Blues Brothers but like your father he had been doing session work for years. In a previous conversation you told me that you had the opportunity to tour with Matt. Tell us about some of your favorite touring memories and favorite cities to visit.
FMJ: I toured and recorded with my Uncle Matt playing drums from 1985 to 2003. He took me to Europe, Japan and South America. He also got me the gig with the Blues Brothers Band. That was a lot of fun playing the Blue Note circuit in Japan. The band members at that time included Steve Cropper, Lou Marini and Leon Pandaruis from the Saturday Night Live Band. I’m also featured on three of his albums and co-wrote some of the songs.
RRI: I’m going to say a word or phrase and you reply with the first thing that pops into your head. Ready?
RRI: Big Cities Lounge (former Rockford club.
FMJ: Great place.
RRI: Sam Lay (Famous blues session/touring drummer.
FMJ: Totally awesome drummer. Legend.
RRI: Buddy Guy’s Legends (Blues Club Chicago).
FMJ: Played there all the time. One time Buddy came up and jammed with Matt and I. Dan Aykroyd would also jam with us when we played House of Blues in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
RRI: Cort Guitars.
FMJ: Matt used to endorse their guitars.
RRI: John Belush.
FMJ: I never met him but I’ve heard nothing but great things.
RRI: What’s next for Floyd Murphy Jr.?
FMJ: I’m currently in the studio working on my new CD entitled My Father. I am playing all the instruments and producing it myself. I’m just about ready for the vocalists to come in and lay down their tracks. This will be my first solo recording.