Feel free to add your own reviews or thoughts in comments. Some big words used but in the end of the day its just music :-)
Review Publication: Rhythms Magazine
Date: Jan/Feb 2015 edition
Author: Marty Jones
A HORSE CALLED FREEDOM
Northern NSW local Cheynne Murphy delivers on the promise of his two EPs with a debut album that focuses on earnest singing and songcrafting. Remaining firmly within the boundaries of contemporary roots-rock, Murphy isn’t aiming at breaking new ground. He’s simply presenting the sounds and ideas as he hears them in his head with the help of some adroit playing from the likes of guitarist Toby Andrews, bassists Maurice Cernigoi and Matt Bone and drummer Mat Akehurst.
The album peaks early with smouldering centrepiece ballad, ‘Burnished Gold’, showcasing the shimmering production and instrumentation (consistent throughout the entire album). While Murphy occasionally wanders into prosaic territory lyrically, the arrangements and performances are accomplished and should appeal to fans of the Powderfinger and Pete Murray school of song based rock. Martin Jones
Review Publication: Country Update Magazine
Date: Feb 2015 edition
Author: Gareth Hipwell
CHEYNNE MURPHY A HORSE CALLED FREEDOM Independent
The first full-length release from Byron Bay’s Cheynne Murphy, A Horse Called Freedom is a narrative record of sorts, loosely charting the travails and epiphanies of an introspective everyman as he makes his way in the world. Produced and engineered by Paul Pilsneniks (Angus Stone, Powderfinger) and featuring Matt Bone of Starboard Cannons on bass, A Horse Called Freedom is the evolutionary endpoint in a process begun with EPs Firesongs For the Soul I and II. Cheynne has embraced a full band here, and the resulting sound is true to the spirit of acts such as Crosby Stills Nash & Young, and America. Across the record, Cheynne engagingly clothes the meat and bones of a folk animal with the skin of a rock beast, pulling together folk-like lyrics, gentle percussion, and frequently chiming lead guitar to gently soaring effect. At once ambling and cinematic, the nostalgic ‘Burnished Gold’ is a wistful tale of a cowboy encountering a beautiful maiden (‘there’s an echoe in the canyon from a time long ago…’), while ‘Until It’s Gone’ is a portrait of loss painted in ashes, overgrown wildflowers, and misty rain. Title track ‘A Horse Called Freedom’ is inspired by the mythology of the First Americans, and combines uniquely Australian imagery with a building blues-rock mix: ‘I see a black cockatoo cross the sky, I’m gonna move my camp up a little higher.’ While his lyrics are consistently engaging, Cheynne is at his best when giving flight to an engaging vocal hook scaffolded by a pop-informed rock arrangement (‘Firebird’, ‘Good Feelings’). An impressive debut that captures a strong sense of movement and reflection. Gareth Hipwell
Review Publication: Fender Newsletter
Email subscribers: 3000
Date: October 2014
Author: Fender Australia
A HORSE CALLED FREEDOM
Classic Aussie folk rock – soulful stories backed with big acoustic guitars, uplifting melodies, driving rhythms, and tasty guitar work.
In the tradition of other timeless homegrown artists – from Paul Kelly to Pete Murray, the Black Sorrows to the Waifs…catchy, original and unmistakably Australian.
Source: Fender Australia
Review Publication: Courier Mail
Date: Jan 31, 2015
Author: Noel Mengel
Total audience 693, 000, Circulation: 215, 000, Qld/NSW
Online: 3.2 million readers, National
A Horse Called Freedom (Independent)
AUSTRALIAN songwriter Murphy knows music can be a tough game: He threw in a corporate career to pursue his music and after signing an international publishing deal saw it all come crashing down. He found peace in the foothills of Byron Bay while teaching university students about the pitfalls of the biz. His rediscovered love of songwriting has resulted in this 10-track album, which reveals a mature folk-rock style with a tight band including his long-time guitarist Toby Andrews. Lyrically, the focus is on surviving to fight another day in a philosophical song cycle which celebrates the joys of a simpler life. Subtext: you better do this because you love it, because it can tear you apart. Burnished Gold is one of the best tracks with its imagery of an old coin uncovered in a canyon and the title tune takes inspiration from the warrior imagery of the Richard Harris film A Man Called Horse. Elsewhere some overused metaphors slip through, but songs like Good Feelings, a powerful folk-rock track with sighing harmonies and evocative guitar from Andrews, show how deep the fire still burns.