We love Neil Murray’s body of powerful songs and work and first saw him perform as part of the Warumpi Band in the 80s. He just gets better with age in our view. Catch him on the festival circuit if you can. Ed: Kevin Parker

Neil Murray, an Australian musician, singer-songwriter, and writer, was born in 1956 in Ararat, Victoria, Australia. He moved to Papunya in the Northern Territory in the late 1970s, working in various roles including as a teacher and truck driver. In 1980, Murray co-founded Warumpi Band, a pioneering Aboriginal rock group, where he contributed as a rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist. The band is known for significant songs like “Blackfella/Whitefella” and “My Island Home”.

Murray embarked on a solo career in 1989, releasing a series of albums that span various genres including Aboriginal rock, folk, country, and indie rock. His music often explores themes of identity, land, and the experiences of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. Notable solo albums include “Calm and Crystal Clear” (1989), “These Hands” (1993), “Dust” (1995), “The Wondering Kind” (2000), “Going the Distance” (2003), “Overnighter” (2007), “Bring Thunder & Rain” (2014), and “The Telling” (2023). He has toured extensively across Australia both solo and with his backing band, The Rainmakers.

Murray’s contributions to music and culture extend beyond his albums. He has written three books, a spoken poetry CD, and his songs have been covered and celebrated by other artists. For instance, Christine Anu’s cover of “My Island Home” won APRA Song of the Year. Murray’s work reflects his deep connection to and advocacy for Indigenous Australian culture and heritage.

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