This acorn didn’t fall far from the tree — but he certainly rolled in his own direction.
Now we add him to our growing list of Guitar Players You Should Know — where he firmly belongs.
Coryell comes from solid pedigree: He is the son of jazz-fusion guitar legend Larry Coryell, and the brother of jazz guitarist Julian Coryell.
He grew up surrounded by some of the biggest names in music, from Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix, to Miles Davis and Jack Bruce. Coryell says he initially shunned the music industry — how does one follow in such giant footsteps?
But when he discovered blues he found his own voice.
“I had to find my own style,” Coryell told me last week. “Everybody, they kind of expect you to do what your dad does.”
“It was incredibly burdensome and pressured,” he said. “I remember being so stressed out with the pressures of all that and feeling like potentially you’re a failure if you don’t do this. But it was when I fell in love with the blues and decided like, you know what? This is something that regardless of whether I succeed or don’t succeed, I have to do this, and this I can do. It wasn’t this impossible thing.”
And he’s begun building his own legacy. Sugar Lips, his sixth album, is due for release in the coming days, and highlights both his accomplished guitar playing as well as a surprisingly soulful voice.
Of course, Murali Coryell doesn’t entirely shun his father’s fame. The elder Coryell joins him on the new album, as does blues great Joe Louis Walker, a longtime inspiration.
The results are solid, and for any fan of modern electric blues it’s as close to a must-have CD as you’ll come across.
After all, at this rate Coryell won’t stay under the radar for long.
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(NOTE: This is part of my ongoing series of reports on guitar players who fly under the mainstream radar. Keep checking The Listening Room for future installments of guitar players you should know – JF)
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