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Wendt joined the band toward the end of the recording process. "Aaron really makes a great addition because it helps expand the sound," Murphy says. "He can play keyboards up there, he can do noises and more fully realize what's on the record and what we're doing now."
Dr. Phil questions aside, none of the downbeat misery that seems to link these tracks together appears on Murphy's persistently grinning face now. Whatever caused him to stay away from music for long stretches is a distant memory. He's happily married, playing music with old friends, and finally getting some much deserved attention for his music.
"Now I have a better idea of what I want. It's bittersweet that we're getting recognition now rather than when we were in our 20s. But the music wasn't as good as it is now. And I guess I have low self-esteem because I never pictured myself when I was younger getting a deal. I just always played because I loved it," Murphy says. "And songwriting comes easier to me now because I've been working at it. When you put 100 percent into something and that fails, what do you do? I guess that's the practical side in me that I made sure I had something else going on. So if nothing else happens, oh, well, I didn't invest my entire life on it."
Ironically, he has made an album that captures the desperation of not having anything or anyone to fall back on. What do his law colleagues make of his other vocation, the one where he gets to say "You lied to my face" with a backbeat behind it?
"To people in my professional life who are taken aback, I explain it as, 'You like to play golf and watch football on Sundays. Well, I like to go to rehearsal on Saturdays.'"