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Murphy’s Tavern

in Madison, WI
by Mike Huberty - February 2008

Photo Caption: Doc Dave of Murphy's Tavern

Doc Dave of Murphy's Tavern

**** Location Closed

First, I’d like to say a genuinely heartfelt goodbye to Madison’s King Club, which was one of the city’s most reliable venues for original music over the past few years. They’ll still have Clyde Stubblefield’s Jam on Monday nights, but otherwise live music has left the building. I’ve been there countless times as a performer as well as a spectator and it was one of my favorites in the area to play and to party, cheers to the King for some great years!

This month, though, we’re checking out another venue on Madison’s east side, Murphy’s Tavern on East Washington. Formerly known as Tailgators and right on one of the city’s main drags, East Washington, Murphy’s currently features live music on Fridays and Saturdays. Murphy’s entertainment director, “Doc Dave” (I’m not sure if that’s a real medical degree), says the motto of Murphy’s is “Damn good music. Damn good food.” And that’s the focus of the club currently as it transitions from a neighborhood sports bar to a live entertainment venue. In addition to the music, Mondays feature a Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament and Tuesday is Hospitality Night (drink specials for employees of any restaurant or bar). Hungry customers will want to note that Murphy’s specialty is hamburgers at the grill (also open for lunch), but they’re also known for the eternal Wisconsin tradition of Friday Night Fish Frys.

Friday also hosts a weekly blues jam called the “Blues n’ Brews” with veteran Madison outfit, The Shake Daddys (and often other performers guesting on the jam.) Saturdays hold a wide variety of the area’s rock and pop music scene. Some Saturday nights feature cover bands and some feature original bands, so depending on your preference make sure you check out their listings beforehand. They feature a single band that will play throughout the night. Doc Dave’s favorite recent performance at the club was The Blue Bazookas, a Madison blues-rock band (well-known for their abilities to entice crowds into a glute-shaking frenzy.) Upcoming shows include Lucas Cates and Johnny Rocker and The High Rollers in February and March.

Bands interested in booking at Murphy’s should contact Doc Dave at [myspace.com/docdavemusic], the website for Murphy’s is currently under construction.

Murphy's Tavern
3737 E. Washington Avenue
Madison, WI 53704 (608) 249-783



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