Warumpi Band originated in the Aboriginal settlement of Papunya
in the central desert region of the Northern Territory in the
band's name derives from the honey-ant dreaming site located
near the settlement of Papunya which is 260 ks west of Alice
Springs. Original founding members were Sammy and Gordon Butcher,
Neil Murray,George Rrurrambu (deceased) assisted by other young fellas
in the community.
toured the Northern Territory and Kimberly region playing to
communities, outback stations and isolated townships developing
their unique sound and writing much of their material on the
Warumpi Band wrote, recorded and released the first rock song
in an Aboriginal language "Jailanguru Pakarnu" (Out From Jail)
in 1983. In 1984, the debut album "BIG NAME NO BLANKETS" was
released with "Blackfella/Whitefella", "Breadline" and "Fitzroy
Crossing" receiving national airplay.
1985, Warumpi Band toured Australia and overseas - Papua New
Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to promote the album which
was now gaining much critical acclaim.
They inspired and accompanied Midnight Oil on a month long tour
of Aboriginal communities in 1986 and recorded "GO BUSH" on
their return. "GO BUSH" includes the tracks "From The Bush"
and the original version of the indigenous anthem "My Island
Home". More touring followed to promote the album and on their
return to the Northern Territory, band members took time out
to pursue other goals.
Sammy Butcher, Gordon Butcher and George Rrurrambu honoured
family and tribal commitments.
Murray launched his solo career in 1989 with the album "Calm
and Crystal Clear" and has since released 3 more albums - "These
Hands", "Dust" and "the Wondering Kind". In 1995, he was awarded the APRA Song of
the Year for "My Island Home" after it became a national hit
for Christine Anu.
That same year, the Warumpi Band was back on the road, completing
a highly successful tour of Germany, France, Poland, Switzerland,
Italy and the United Kingdom.
They signed with CAAMA Music and released "TOO MUCH HUMBUG".
MUCH HUMBUG" includes the track "Stompin Ground" which received
widespread national airplay on Triple J and was inspired by
the "Stompem Ground" festival in Broome.