Charlie Daniels, Roy Acuff, Doug Kershaw... These names conjure images of a singer, front and center, making an audience scream as they sawed away on the most American of instruments: the fiddle.
What's missing from that list? Simple. A woman.
Natalie Murphy is determined to add her name to that elite group. Beyond that, she is poised to redefine it.
Natalie Murphy is a woman characterized by an unconventional, even contradictory nature: She is a city girl from Minneapolis, MN, longing for a home on a farm in the country with her horses. A singer who sings with the soul of Tina Turner yet has the smooth lilt of Emmylou Harris. A classically trained violinist destined to rock out for thousands.
Murphy began her musical journey when she began taking violin lessons at age 5. "It was the first thing that I was able to really focus on," she says of those early years, "I was a bit of a day dreamer, but music captivated me."
She was a natural. It wasn't long before she was performing in recitals, and even making a little money. "My neighbor gave me a nickel when I was 6," Murphy says with a smile, "I guess I technically became a professional then!"
As time went on she began to expand her musical horizons, singing and learning to play guitar. She wrote her first original songs as an early teenager and around the same time started to perform in bands. It was in these early shows that she started to develop her unique fiddle style: melodic and passionate with an edge that cuts like an electric guitar.
By the time she was 20 this diverse blend of strings and voice had taken her to stages all around the world. She joined a popular Midwest band and averaged 200 shows a year in smokey bars and on festival stages. It was in these shows that she developed a stage presence that is electric yet approachable. It wasn't long before she set her sights on Nashville.
"Nashville was an inevitable evolution for me, though I might not have realized it when I was younger," Natalie says of her 2011 move. "I had dreams of being my own person, my own artist. I had a vision for the music I wanted to make. Nashville seemed like the place I could develop that vision and bring it to fruition."
Within a year of her move Murphy had graced the Grand Ole Opry stage close to a dozen times. She had taken the stage with some of the biggest names in Country Music. She joined the band of rising star Maggie Rose, and toured with her for almost 2 years before stepping away to write and record her first solo album due out late 2014.
Now, Natalie Murphy is stepping out as a woman following in the footsteps of the fiddle-wielding men before her. "I feel like there is a niche to be filled in Nashville. I have just scratched the surface of who I am musically."
It's about time.