Yours and Owls
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When Neil Murray gets up on stage with Jim Moginie he knows to expect a few surprises.
"He has a quirky kind of taste at times and can bring something really unusual to a song, instrumentation wise," Murray says of Midnight Oil's former guitarist.
"He has a menagerie of tricks, he's like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat.
"If it's just the two of us it tends to be acoustic-based, but he might have electric guitars or a ukulele or a little keyboard, things like this.
"He has a great skill for coming up with a sound that is unique and that helps the song a lot."
Through his work as a founding member of the Warumpi Band, which recorded three albums in the 1980s, and his 11 albums as a solo artist since then, Murray has earned a reputation as one of Australia's best singer songwriters.
His song My Island Home, originally recorded by the Warumpi Band and later re-recorded by Christine Anu, was APRA Song of the Year in 1995.
Murray and Moginie's show at Yours and Owls is a rare event.
While they have been friends and collaborators for years, busy schedules mean they perform together only a few times each year.
Nonetheless, says Murray, they know each other - and each other's music - well enough to slip into the groove pretty quickly.
All the preparation they need, he says, is "a cursory glance at my set list".
"Jim knows all my stuff pretty well," Murray says.
"He's always been a great supporter of my songs, even when I thought no-one else was listening.
"He's played on most of my albums and produced a few of them.
"He's got an ear for a good song and he's not backward in coming forward and wanting to play on it or produce it."
The pair first met back in 1986 when the Warumpi Band and Midnight Oil teamed up for the widespread Blackfella Whitefella tour across remote Northern Territory communities.
"If I had to pinpoint it to one gig I would say it was a gig at Port Keats, which is Wadeye community," Murray says.
"We had been playing the song My Island Home and the [Warumpi Band] singer GRB [George Rrurrambu Burarrawanga] decided he'd like to have keyboards on it.
"The only person on tour who had keyboards was Jim, so we asked if he'd like to get up and play on the song when we played it that night. He did, and then we asked him up every time we played it on the rest of the tour.
"When we recorded it for the Go Bush! album, we got Jim to play the part on the original Warumpi Band recording.
"From that association the friendship developed and when I did my own albums I asked him to come in and play on various things and then I ended up asking him to produce, and so it went on.
"He's been a great sounding board for my material."