history:


The Warumpi Band originated in the Aboriginal settlement of Papunya in the central desert region of the Northern Territory in the early eighties.

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 assisted by other young fellas in the community.

They 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 road.

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.

In 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.

Neil 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".

"TOO 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.

1981 Warumpi Band

Gordon Butcher, Neil Murray, Sammy Butcher, Denis Minor, and George Rrurrambu

These are some of the people who have played in the Warumpi Band

Hilary Wirrie, Denis Minor, Edgar Ellis (dancer), Amos Anderson, Ian Anderson, Andy Kiwatt, Freddie Tallis, Tjakapurra, Jim Moginie, Bart Willoughby, Buna Lawrie, Elkin Tjapaltjarri, Ernesta Mazzoni, Di Spence, Alan Murphey, Murray Cook, Peter Gifford, Bob Jones, Alvin Duffin, Stan Satour, Gene Knox, Buddy Knox, Kenny Smith (deceased), Bill Jacobi, Bill Heckenberg, Stephen Teakle,Sammy Butcher, Gordon Butcher, George Rrurrambu and Neil Murray.

...and over the years probably about a hundred others jumped on stage to sing, clap, or humbug!


click here to go to Neil Murray's web site

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