Peter Kenneth "Pete" Murray (born 14 October 1969) is an Australian singer-songwriter whose first three full-length albums have all reached #1 on the Australian music charts. He has been nominated several times at the ARIAs and has had several songs reach the top forty in Australia.
His first LP, Feeler, reached number 1 a few months after its mid-2003 release, and his follow-up record, See The Sun reached a similar level of success, with all of the singles receiving widespread airplay. His third studio album, Summer At Eureka, was released in May 2008. To date Pete Murray has sold over 1 million records. Some of the greatest influences on his career are Nick Drake, Neil Young and Bob Dylan.
In November 2013, Pete Murray is touring Canada with Paul Langlois and Rob Baker of The Tragically Hip.
Early life and career beginnings:
Pete Murray was born on 14 October 1969 and attended St. Joseph's Nudgee College. At Nudgee College, he showed a great deal of talent in sport especially rugby union, athletics and swimming. He briefly played Brisbane club rugby for GPS and Brothers. When he was 18, his father died while he was contesting the Australian championships of the 400 meters.
While on the sidelines, Murray started to learn the guitar at age 22 and his ability soon improved with plenty of practice. Eventually, he worked up the courage to take his guitar to a barbecue singing songs by Neil Young and Crowded House. However, his main interest was in pursuing a career in sports medicine and traveling.
Eventually, enough people told him that he had the talent to be successful in music and he started a musical career, playing small gigs around the country with flautist Col McIntyre, eventually putting a band together (including keyboard player Ben McCarthy, who works with him to this day). In 2002, he released an independent album The Game in Brisbane and moved to Melbourne to pursue a musical career. Murray signed a contract with Sony BMG Australia in early 2003.
The Game (Promotional/independent album):
"Fall Your Way",
"Bail Me Out",
"With Only You",
"Young Mr Attitude",
"Fly with You",
Feeler - mainstream success:
In early 2003, Pete Murray and his band entered the studio with producer Paul McKercher and his band (consisting of Ben McCarthy on bass and keyboards, Christian Sargeant on drums, Paul Tyrell on guitar and Col McIntyre on reeds & flute) to make the Feeler album. On his website, Pete Murray outlines the type of record he was hoping to make. "The records I love by people like Nick Drake, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, they are built to last. I wanted this to be an album like that, something you can pull out in 30 years and still hear the feeling in it, rather than something that's dated by the musical fashions of the day."
Feeler was released on 21 July 2003 with the title track as the first single. Triple J radio started playing the track with the Nova FM and Triple M networks picking up the track. With this support, Feeler entered the Aria top 50 album charts in 2003. His reputation was building fast and he started selling out shows in smaller venues.
The momentum of the album continued to build with the release of the second single "Lines" and two ARIA award nominations reaching platinum record status. Radio programmers had been asking for the track "So Beautiful" to be released as a single and the track was widely played on Australian radio, reaching the top ten in 2004. This spurred sales of the album driving it to number one on the Australian album charts in late March 2004 and six times platinum status. As of 2008, the album has sold half-a-million copies.
Pete Murray commenced an Australian tour of larger venues. Due to the level of demand, he had to announce nine extra dates. As well, he made one of his sellout performances at the Sydney Metro theatre on 27 March 2004 available for download at BigPond Music. Following the Boxing Day Tsunami, Murray appeared at the Wave Aid fundraising concert in Sydney, to raise funds for aid organisations working in disaster affected areas.
See the Sun:
His second album See the Sun had two standout hits in Opportunity and Better Days. Class A and George's Helper were also released as singles. Days after its release Murray performed at the 2005 NRL grand final.See the Sun sold 350,000 copies.
Summer at Eureka:
His third album, Summer at Eureka, was released on 17 May 2008. On 26 May 2008 it achieved #1 status in Australia, becoming his third consecutive #1 album. The first single of the album was "You Pick Me Up", which reached #36 on the Australian Charts. The second single from the album will be "Saving Grace", which was scheduled for release on 2 August.
Blue Sky Blue:
His supporting band is The Stonemasons, featuring Andy Sylvio on drums, Jonathan Zion on bass, Ben McCarthy on keyboards, and Pete Williamson on guitar. Pete Williamson parted ways with The Stonemasons to pursue a career with the Australian band Mammal, and was replaced by Brett Wood, but as of 2014, Williamson has returned to play guitar.
Blue Sky Blue:
His fourth album, Blue Sky Blue, was released in Australia 2 September 2011.
Murray married Amanda Coutts on 7 October 2006, in Eureka, New South Wales. In July 2009, it was reported that Murray and his wife had separated and have been living separately while sharing custody of their two young sons.
Awards and nominations:
The APRA Awards are presented annually from 1982 by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA).
"So Beautiful" (Peter Murray)
Most Performed Australian Work
"Better Days" (Murray)
Song of the Year
Most Performed Australian Work