Neil Murray The Telling

Rebecca Varidel
31st Mar 2023

One of Australia’s finest songmen, Neil Murray, has today released his new album The Telling. After three albums with the Warumpi Band and one with Sammy Butcher, The Telling is his 10th original solo album and marks a recording career of four decades since the Warumpi Band released their debut single Jailanguru Pakarnu (Out from Jail) in 1983.

Maverick songman Neil Murray originally sprang from Victoria’s western district, but in the late 1970’s with guitar in hand he set course for the Northern Territory. He emerged at Papunya in 1980 as a founding member of the pioneering Warumpi Band, which over three albums (Big Name No Blankets, Go Bush and Too Much Humbug) and twenty years of performing thrust contemporary indigenous music into mainstream Australia, yielding such classic songs as My Island Home, Blackfella Whitefella, Fitzroy Crossing, Jailanguru Pakarnu, Stompin Ground, From The Bush and Waru.

The Telling recorded in Melbourne by Roger Bergodaz and mixed in Sydney by Ted Howard contains some of Murray's strongest songs ever. Murray has never held back from the way he sees Australia and he’s not about to let up here, with a litany of injustice and loss- both historic and recent – explored on much of the album. The opening tracks Broken Land, No Justice, Tears of Wybalenna present a powerful and moving reckoning. Rainbow Serpent and a Mine (co- written with traditional owner Jack Green) brings graphic detail to the devastation wrought by the McArthur River mine near Borrooloola. The Murrumbidgee is an affirmation of perseverance and hope - despite environmental setbacks. The troubled affairs of the heart gain clarity in Heal my Life, and the honouring of the departed are heard in For evermore and The Manager. A positive reflection on an indigenous town- My Yuendumu Song and a sea shanty - If the Wind be Kind round out the album.

The Telling features instrumental contributions from Bill Heckenberg,(drums), Craig Kelly, (bass) Stephen “Stretch” Teakle (keys, accordion, clavietta) Damien Neil (mandolin, guitar) Jack Howard (trumpet), Shane Reilly (pedal steel) with vocal harmonies from Grace Robinson & Damien Neil.

Neil and his band will launch The Telling with the following launch shows and tour dates. More shows to be added.

Support: Melanie Horsnell

Support: Melanie Horsnell