Saturday, July 9, 2016

Norman Transcript: Red Dirt Macabre

 An article about Christophe's upcoming show on July 23rd was in Friday's copy of The Norman Transcript.

Christophe Murdock pulling together show in Norman

  • By Doug Hill For The Transcript
Christophe Murdock was born and raised in Oklahoma and that’s what much of his songbook is about. He’ll sing those tunes July 23 with titles such as “Road Rash” and “Fear the Dead” at the Red Brick Bar, 311 E. Main St. 
Since starting a troubadour career nearly two decades ago, he has generally gone by his first name. Christophe resides in Norman now, but the 30-something was raised as a Kickapoo youth in Shawnee.
“That has a lot with how I view myself,” he said. “The tribe is down in McLoud.” 
It’s a small town in Pottawatomie County. At the top of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma’s website is a 2015 news article about the divisive issue of a successful school board vote to keep McLoud High School mascot’s name as “Redskins.”
“I grew up in Oklahoma and have spent my entire life here,” Christophe said. “It’s what I know and I only write about what I know.”
Even when he’s traveling between gigs, much of his lyricism is about leaving or coming back to this state.
“I’ve been playing ‘Back in Oklahoma’ a lot and that one involves getting away from everything on the road,” he said. “But then coming back home to the depression, friends passing away, s--- jobs and gigs. No one to hang out with and no one to talk to and trying to not get back to drinking.”
Christophe’s best buddy and former Prairie Fire bandmate is in Oregon. He goes back to Shawnee only to visit family and his dog. Norman is home now and it’s a more tranquil place for him. Christophe recently crossed paths with local writer and film producer Guy Lozier, who is producing a movie version of his book “The Eternal: Guardian of Light.”
“In the movie, I will be portraying a character named Spartan,” Christophe said.
Lozier writes in the fantasy genre, and his film is based on one in a series of books from “The Mind Rift Saga.” It’s a natural collaboration for Christophe, whose interests and music have always had a tinge of the macabre. 
One of his first bands was called Mockingbird Lane, the street that TV’s The Munsters lived on. His music has been an unlikely blend of Goth, punk and country.
Christophe has sometimes been known as the Hardcore Troubadour for busking anywhere, playing biker saloons and honky tonks.
“I’ve performed from street corners to big venues with touring festivals,” Christophe said. “It all varies. Sound systems and sound guys are never going to be the same. Sometimes you have somebody who knows what they’re doing and can work wonders with a crap sound system, or there will be a brilliant system and they don’t know the first thing about using it. I just try to go with the flow.”
Consistently in his career, Christophe has connected with other musicians, and that will be reflected in the Red Brick Bar bill. Nashville’s The Punknecks are the headliners.
“It’s a husband-and-wife duo who play a mixture of country, punk and bluegrass,” he said.
Also playing will be local thrash-grass outfit JV’s Fillin’ Station and Christophe’s Shawnee pal Danny Trashville.
It will be a curiously curated show with Christophe’s fingerprints all over it.

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