Dennis “Daddy-O” McMurrin, one of the finest and highly respected guitarists in Iowa, has been playing and singing for 45 years now, gaining a loyal following through his recordings and countless gigs.
McMurrin first picked up a guitar when he was 9 years old, influenced by his maternal grandfather, who played guitar as a hobby.
His first paid gig was in 1963 for the Boddicker School of Music Christmas Party at the Danceland in Cedar Rapids. His first band was called The Plannets.
McMurrin’s biggest influences include James Brown, B.B. King, Johnny Winter, and Tower Of Power. In fact, the Tower Of Power Horns played on McMurrin’s first album. Daddy-O has developed a super-funky, soulful style of Blues that definitely gets the place jumping.
One of the venues that has been a regular stop for McMurrin is the Yacht Club in Iowa City where he has performed over 50 times with his Demolition Band, a group he has led since 1986.
In addition to his longtime association with the Demolition Band, he also does gigs with D-Dog & the B-Bits and McMurrin & Johnson. He formed McMurrin & Johnson with bassist Dan “DJ” Johnson in 1994. In addition to several long-running house gigs at various venues in eastern Iowa, the duo has performed together at Bluesmore, the BBQ Roundup, the Freedom Festival, and Jazz Under The Stars, among other notable events.
McMurrin has also done some gigs with Terry Lawless, who plays keyboards for Irish Rock band U2 and also toured recently with Bruce Springsteen. Daddy-O also did a high profile show recently with film composer Michael Boddicker, who shared a Grammy award for the score to Flashdance and also played on some of Michael Jackson’s biggest albums, including Thriller.
McMurrin has performed on radio and television and writes and produces radio and TV commercials for businesses, and is now a proud member of the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame.