Eleanor Murray’s debut album, For Cedar, came out in 2008 on Anonymous Monk Records. While her live shows up until then had largely been just her and an acoustic guitar, the majority of the album is filled out by violin, bass, and drums. The album’s ten songs have firm roots in American folk and country traditions – with weighty folk ballads like “Electric Sky” and “Midwest Winter,” the troubadour themes in “Joseph’s Song,” and the bluegrass swing of “River.” The album has some brief forays into other influences, with the slow build and heavy D-tuned climax of “Healing” and the mournful waltz of “The Last Meal” both showing other sides of Eleanor Murray.
“For Cedar, the beautiful sparse debut from Eleanor Murray, is another shining example of the music that seems to settle in the NW. Gentle strums and fret board squeaks provide the most fragile support for her to stand on, and her voice shakes and wavers accordingly. When I was talking to Ben, I said her voice makes you want to cinch up the collar of your coat as you walk defiantly through the chill of the fall air. I can’t pretend to get everything out of this record after only hearing a few songs, but I guarantee I will be taking the time to unearth all of the hidden treasures Eleanor has to offer on this release (like the explosion of guitar, strings and chimes that shocks the pristine, glass like calm of Walk Home).” -Herohill
The band for For Cedar includes Pamela Margon on violin, Ben Kamen on bass, guitar, harp and celeste, and Austin Cooper on drums. For Cedar was recorded by Ben Kamen at a home studio in Olympia, WA.