Matt (Guitar) Murphy, notable blues guitarist, dead at 88
Matt (Guitar) Murphy, a renowned blues guitarist who played with The Blues Brothers and jammed with musical heavyweights Muddy Waters, Etta James and Chuck Berry, died Friday. He was 88.
Murphy’s nephew Floyd Murphy Jr. confirmed his death in a Facebook post. It was unclear how he died.
A bluesman throughout his life, Murphy rose to fame when he joined The Blues Brothers, a band founded by comedians Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi in 1978 as part of a musical sketch on “Saturday Night Live.”
Murphy went on to appear in the 1980 film “The Blues Brothers” and its 1998 sequel “Blues Brothers 2000” as the husband of a cafe owner played by Aretha Franklin.
The famed musician continued performing with The Blues Brothers until the early 2000s when he suffered from a stroke, according to Deadline.
“He was a strong man that lived a long long fruitfull (sic) life that poured his heart out in every guitar solo he took,” Murphy Jr., who played with his uncle, wrote on Friday. “The master is upstairs now.”
Aykroyd called Murphy “immensely talented” in his own Facebook post Saturday.
“The Blues Brothers would not have been what they were without Matt's playing power, stage magnetism and knowledge of music,” he wrote.
Murphy was born in Sunflower, Miss., in December 1929, and moved to Memphis as a toddler. As a teen, he became well-known in the Memphis blues scene with his brother Floyd.
Eventually he moved to Chicago to work alongside musicians like blues singer Chester (Howlin’ Wolf) Burnett and harmonica player James Cotton, Deadline reported.
In 1982, Murphy started his own band. He was touring up until recently, according to Deadline.
Fellow musicians and actors took to Twitter Saturday to mourn his death.
“He was the real deal. Incredible musician. Always called me “big stick”. We will all miss you Matt. RIP,” wrote Keith Carlock, a drummer who played with The Blues Brothers in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
“RIP Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy, one of those play-all-night guys that rock 'n' roll is made of,” wrote actor Michael McKean.