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15-year-old Perham singer, pianist releases first album

The cover of Perham High School sophomore Patrick Murphy’s new album. Submitted image

The clever title of Patrick Murphy’s new CD tells its own story. You just have to know how to decode it.

“Uncovered, 15:01 PM,” is Murphy’s first album, thus the “01.” “PM” is his initials, and the “15” is his age.

The “Uncovered” refers to his as-yet-undiscovered talent, at least in the broader, non-local sense. In Perham and the surrounding area, Murphy has already built up a strong network of fans and supporters.

In the last couple years, the young singer and pianist has performed at The Brew, The Cactus, Spanky’s Stone Hearth, and at various community events. He also played a leading role in this year’s community musical.

Wanting to get his name out beyond Perham’s borders, and to have a professional sample of his work to share with prospective performance venues, the Perham High School sophomore decided to record an album.

Once he made up his mind about it, things moved swiftly. Recording was held at the end of August, in a brief two-day session, he said in an interview Monday. The production work and CD cover art took a little longer to finish, but by Nov. 26, 300 copies of the disc were out on select store shelves in Perham and Ottertail.

Featuring covers of well-known piano songs like Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” alongside of newer pop music like “Carry On” by the group Fun, Murphy said he chose the songs based on their popularity with audiences as well as his own personal preference for playing them.

Murphy, who has had seven years of piano lessons and a brief stint with voice lessons, plays piano and sings lead vocals throughout the album. But putting the disc together was a full family effort.

Patrick’s older brother, Mark, 18, provides percussion and backup vocals on the album, and sister, Natalie, 17, also sang a small backup part on one song. Parents, Tom and Betty, provided invaluable support and input throughout the recording and production process.

Outside of the Murphy family, others involved in making the CD include Peter Thiel at Shiloh Studios in Ottertail, who engineered, mixed and mastered the disc, and Thru Him Photography, which provided the album art.

“I loved it,” said Patrick of how he felt after hearing the finished album for the first time. “I really enjoyed how it came out and I was really happy with the results. I thought everybody who helped me out did an amazing job.”

He said he’s also gotten good feedback so far, with people who have already bought the album telling him how much they like it.

If all continues to go well with this CD, Murphy said, he’d like to put out another one in the future, probably a Christmas album. He also wants to play more live shows, both solo and with his brother. Mark is away at college now, but the two hope to perform more around the area this summer.

“It’s fun,” Patrick said of their collaborative shows. “We enjoy it a lot.”

In between practices and performances, Patrick manages to squeeze in some other extra-curriculars: he’s a member of the high school football, swimming and baseball teams.

The CD is available for $15 at The Wild Goose and Goose Gang stores in Perham, and at The Creamery in Ottertail.

Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson joined the Perham Focus more than five years ago, and has since worn many hats as writer, editor and page designer. She lives in rural Frazee with her husband, Dan, their one-year-old son, Simon, and their yellow lab, Louisa. 

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