Neil Murray was born in Ararat in 1956 and grew up on a farm near Lake Bolac in the western district of Victoria. He studied Art in Ballarat and Melbourne and by 1976 he was writing songs and poems. After teaching briefly in Robinvale, he moved to the Northern Territory in 1980 to become an outstation worker at Papunya – an Aboriginal community in Central Australia and it was there the Warumpi Band was formed.
The Warumpi Band toured widely over two decades and released three albums: Big Name No Blankets (1985), Go Bush (1987) and Too Much Humbug (1996) and were outstanding pioneers of contemporary indigenous music. Known for their exciting and powerful live performances, they were among the first to use indigenous language in rock music.
Neil Murray launched his solo career in 1989 and has subsequently released 8 albums: Calm & Crystal Clear (1989), These Hands (1993), Dust (1996), The Wondering Kind (2000), Going The Distance (2003), About Time (2005), Spoken (2006) and Overnighter (2007).
In 1995 he received the APRA song of the year award for his composition ‘My Island Home’. ‘Jailanguru Pakarnu’ – co written with Sammy Butcher, and recorded by the Warumpi Band, was included on the inaugral National Film and Sound Archive’s ‘Sounds of Australia’ collection in 2007.
He is an active environmentalist and in 2005 he received an individual award by the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority for his efforts in instigating an overland ‘Healing Walk’ along watercourses in the region as well as being the inspiration behind the establishment of the annual Lake Bolac Eel festival. As well as living in the outback he has lived in Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin.
He maintains a residence in his native ‘Tjapwurrung Country’ in western Victoria and is a frequent visitor to the Northern Territory. He performs regularly at music festivals around the nation and overseas.[button link=”http://www.neilmurray.com.au” color=”#a74b16″ size=”3″ style=”1″ dark=”0″ radius=”5″ target=”blank”]Visit Neil’s Website[/button]