February 9, 2022

Bouzouki, Guitar, and Mandolin at Upcoming Concert

LIVE FOLK MUSIC: The Murphy Beds duo perform at Christ Congregation Church on February 18. Eamon O’Leary and Jefferson Hamer are known for harmonies and instrumental arrangements on bouzouki, guitar, and mandolin. (Photo by Anna Colliton)

The Princeton Folk Music Society presents The Murphy Beds in an evening of traditional and original folk songs Friday, February 18 at 8 p.m., at Christ Congregational Church, 50 Walnut Lane.

Eamon O’Leary and Jefferson Hamer are known for close harmonies and instrumental arrangements on bouzouki, guitar, and mandolin. They began playing together at traditional music sessions in New York City. They share an interest in collecting, arranging, and performing songs from Irish, American, Scottish, and English traditions.

Whether performing songs of the Irish travelers, Arkansas spirituals, or their own compositions, the duo’s arrangements feature the same carefully wrought interplay of voices and strings. The Murphy Beds have toured extensively throughout Europe and North America, with performances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Alaska Folk Festival, Milwaukee Irish Festival, Doolin Folk Festival (Ireland), and Unamplifire Festival (London).

O’Leary started playing Irish music while growing up in Dublin. When he moved to New York City in the early’90s, he immersed himself in the city’s traditional music scene and travelled widely, performing with many of the great players in Irish music. He has taught at many traditional music programs around the world and also records and performs original music. His last solo album, All Souls, was released on Reveal Records in 2018. Other recent recordings include The Alt with John Doyle and Nuala Kennedy, and The Immigrant Band, a joint old-time and Irish endeavor with John Doyle, John Herrmann, and Rafe and Clelia Stefanini.

Hamer is a guitarist, songwriter, and producer based in Brooklyn, N.Y. He has recorded albums with Sarah Jarosz, Anais Mitchell, Session Americana, and many others. Jefferson recently toured with Sarah Jarosz, performing her Blue Heron Suite, a current Grammy Award nominee for Best Folk Album.

Tickets range from $5 to $25. Visit princetonfolk.org.