Chip Murray of Warwick, N.Y., sports a baseball cap with a “Stop Common Core” button pinned to it and a black T-shirt with a Joan of Arc quote, and at CPAC he is a rock star. BigDawg Music Radio (tag line: “Music for the Right side of your brain”) has brought a bevy of conservative musicians to the conference — including Murray — who have interspersed speeches by Wayne LaPierre and Ted Cruz with folk songs about patriotism and the welfare state.
Lisa Mei, who co-founded BigDawg, tells NRO that it’s grown alongside the Tea Party. She and a friend and co-writer (a former marine who went by Big Dawg) wrote a song called “A Revolution is Brewing,” which they performed the night of a march at the Free Republic National Convention that Allen West keynoted.
“People loved it, they wanted me to sing it at their rally, this rally, that rally,” she says. And through that, she found other conservative artists making Tea Party-friendly tunes. Since then, she and others have put together BigDawg Music Radio, angling to connect conservative creative types and appeal to people who may not listen to Rush Limbaugh or watch FOX.
“We gotta build our own celebrities,” she says.
That includes Murray. When he isn’t strumming away for conservative audiences, he works as a financial adviser. I asked him how he liked playing at CPAC for the first time.
“I played on the main stage after John Bolton today,” he says. “It was a thrill!”
People have stopped him in the hallway to sing his praises, he adds, including Maryland Congressional candidate Dan Bongino. But not everyone is a fan. Murray says his wife is liberal.
“She told me to break a leg,” he says. “Of course, she might have been being literal. She would never be caught dead down here.”