Wilmington’s Tommy Murray wins inaugural Musikarmageddon Solo competition
Acoustic and rock guitarist and vocalist Tommy Murray took home first place in the inaugural Musikarmageddon Solo competition by winning over the crowd and judges with a performance rooted in Irish folk music.
The style inspires “beautiful songs, passionate songs, songs of rebellion,” says Murray, a Wilmington native.
The March 27 event, which awarded booking opportunities and other prizes to the winner, was an off-shoot of the annual summer Musikarmageddon competition in Wilmington.
Held at the baby grand, it brought out 15 contestants, with a panel of judges and a crowd of 70 to determine the artists’ fates.
Round one eliminations left Tom Esposito, James Hearne, Lauren Kuhne, Kevin McCove, Dave Meredith, Billy Toulson, David Wilson and Murray. By round four, the competition was down to McCove and Murray.
“Kevin is a mesmerizing pianist and writer and I was humbled to be in the last round with him,” says Murray. “We shook hands and laughed behind the curtain even before they announced the final winner—it was that kind of night.”
As a child, Murray was introduced to music when his parents enrolled him in the Wilmington Music School, where he studied violin. Then his father taught him how to play guitar, which proved a huge inspiration.
“I think I just wanted to be like him,” says Murray.
As he grew older, Murray continued to pursue music as a hobby while preparing for a career in law. From 2000 to 2003, he attended Southern New England School of Law in North Dartmouth, Mass. Living alone, he focused more intently than ever on playing guitar, sharpening his songs and understanding and defining himself as a musician.
Murray returned to Wilmington in 2003 and is currently at the Law Office of Cricket Browne in Elkton, Md., while spending as much time as possible on his music.
“I shoot for being sincere and powerful with my writing,” he says. “Even the songs that I have that are quieter, I think are more rock than you’d expect from an acoustic singer-songwriter.”
Murray’s album, The Broken Sound, is on iTunes, and he plays regularly in the area with his band, Satellite Go. On Tuesday, May 26, he’ll be at Dead Presidents in Wilmington.
Search Murray on Facebook or visit satellitego.bandcamp.com for more information.
Look for Musikarmageddon Solo to return next spring—with a new champion.