DIARY - 9 AUGUST 2005 - NEIL MURRAY CD REVIEW
ABOUT TIME - A SONG COLLECTION (SHOCK)
metal fans don't read on - this is not the Whitesnake bassist or the
It's a double CD retrospective of a bush-bred bloke who champions
eels - not snakes - and hosted a recent lakeside festival and Hopkins
River trek for such passions.
Murray was reared on a farm at Lake Bolac due north of a not so cryptically
named Mortlake in the guts of the Western District wheat and sheep
And it was there, in an era where TV was a rarity, his musical awakening
came from eclectic bush AM radio stations that are now cheap cogs
in a corporate chain.
artists diverse as Happening Thang, Adam Brand and Christine Anu cut his
songs the sources of the singer's catalogue reaches back to a more organic
A time when his subjects lived off the land and blazed trails unseen in
the big smoke.
Murray, like geographical and spiritual peer Shane Howard, has thrown
the spoils of an outback journey, beginning in 1978, into a cathartic
On the first disc he reaches to 1989 for indigenous idol Cleverman and
the title track of debut album Calm & Crystal Clear at the
start of his journey.
The sardonic Big Truck precedes environmental eulogy Native
Born and Broken Song - a tune rooted in the religious fervour
used to justify all sorts of evils.
the anthemic Eddy Mabo, footy metaphor of Tom Wills Would (Geelong
fares better in 2005 than Wills' other team Edenhope in the heart
of Tjapwurrung Country) and reconciliation tune Myall Creek.
Murray is known for social comment but smart sequencing ensures punctuation
by rollicking wanderlust songs such as Far Away and Good
Light In Broome, outback exploration parody Menindee and
romance requiems Late This Night and Ocean Of Regret.
CD features live cuts from as far afield as Perth, Fremantle, Macquarie
University, Richmond and the long lamented Prince Patrick in Collingwood.
include collaborations with Anu on One More Mile from 1992 and
Johnny Grey from 1993 and five piece vocals without her on My
Island Home in 2003.
Murray deserves praise for a career longevity fuelled by living beyond
the fame game, condensing a 20-year plus career in two discs.
The singer joins an Aussie posse performing at the 9th Australian Music
Festival in Nashville from September 6-11.
Also on the bill are expatriates Catherine Britt and The Greencards and
spring exports Felicity, Sam Hawksley and Ross Wilson.
The spotlight will be on the festival with Britt cracking the U.S. Top
40 with her duet with Elton John on her song When We Both Say Goodbye.
The Greencards are also a hot item after tours opening for Willie Nelson,
Bob Dylan and Kasey Chambers.
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