A founding member of the groundbreaking Warumpi Band, Neil helped make contemporary Indigenous music to be heard in mainstream Australia. Neil has enjoyed a solid solo career since 1989.
Neil’s live shows are the stuff of legend and combine a rare gift for storytelling with a famously passionate performance. He has played at gigs and festivals small and large and remains an enduring and creative talent in the Australian music scene.
“Neil Murray sings from the heart of this country.” – Jim Moginie, founding member of Midnight Oil, producer and songwriter
“His lyrical themes are as relevant to Australia as Woody Gurthrie’s are to America.” – Billy Pinnell, Broadcaster/Writer
“An outstanding singer/songwriter.” – Bill Hauritz, Executive Director, Woodford Folk Festival
In 1995 Neil Murray received the APRA song of the year award for his composition ‘My Island Home’ originally written for the Warumpi Band and later recorded by Christine Anu. The song featured famously in the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics and was named 25th on APRA’s list of the top 30 Australian songs.
‘Jailanguru Pakarnu’ (out from jail) – co-written with Sammy Butcher and recorded by the Warumpi Band was included on the inaugural National Film and Sound Archive’s ‘Sounds of Australia’ collection in 2007. Released in 1983, it was one of the first pop/rock songs sung in an Indigenous language. In 2016 ‘My Island Home’ as recorded by Christine Anu – was also included in the NFSA ‘Sound of Australia’ series.
‘Blackfella Whitefella’, ‘Good light in Broome’, ‘Native Born’ and ‘Burrumbeep Hill’ are just some of the iconic songs Neil Murray has penned. Mary Black, Jimmy Little, Missy Higgins, Christine Anu, Peter Denahy, Amy Saunders, Powderfinger, The Tiddas, Peter Brandy, Adam Brand, Emma Donovan, Yirrmal Marika and Ursula Yovich and many others have recorded his works.
Neil’s output has done much to deepen Australia’s contemporary music heritage. In 2017 he was named Port Fairy Folk Festival Artist of the Year.
He has released 13 solo albums. His latest release ‘Hindsight’ showcases 32 songs selected from his back catalogue.
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View Neil’s latest video ‘Whispering Casuarina’ at: