The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168275 Message #4065342
Posted By: GUEST,Fiona Ross
21-Jul-20 - 09:31 PM
Thread Name: 2020 Obit: Murray Macleod
Subject: Obit: Murray Macleod
The Edinburgh folk community is still reeling from news of the sudden passing last Friday of Murray Macleod who, over the years, was an enthusiastic contributor to Mudcat. As a friend and erstwhile musical collaborator, I wanted to share some background, especially for those who may not have known Murray outside this forum. He was born in Scourie in the Scottish Highlands, lived for a time in both England and the States, but spent most of his adult life in Edinburgh.
He was a stalwart of the folk scene – a weel kent face at folk clubs and sessions around the city and surrounding region. Murray was a skilled guitarist with a wide repertoire that ranged from traditional through to ragtime (his version of The Sting is a highlight for me) as well as a luthier. He was also an engaging singer, perhaps best known for his wonderful delivery of comic songs. The Wine Song, Cholesterol, The Ramblin Rover and The Errant Apprentice are just a few of the most requested favourites in his set.
On top of his playing and singing, Murray was a great raconteur – witty and intelligent with a dry sense of humour. His performances were always highly entertaining and the warmth of his character allowed him to connect easily with his audiences. He was a masterful wordsmith, as evidenced in his songwriting (not to mention his contributions to forums such as this!). One of his more recent compositions – the beautiful Caitlin’s Lullaby – was written for his granddaughter on whom he doted.
I first met Murray at a singaround at Glenfarg Folk Club some 30 years ago. I remember him coming and speaking to me after he heard me sing. We became good friends then, and remained so ever since. Murray started to accompany me on guitar as he did other singers on the folk scene at the time such as Maggie Cruickshank, Nancy Nicolson, Gilly Hewitt and Paddie Bell. In addition to our occasional performances together, Murray and I just loved singing and playing socially – going along to folk clubs and festivals, and taking part in sessions.
Murray was a tremendous supporter of the folk music scene. He was a long-time member of the Edinburgh Folk Club, and served as both Vice-Chair and Chair. He was incredibly loyal to the musicians and singers he admired – it is no secret to most that as a singer, he has always been my number one fan! He was also a big fan of American fiddle player Elizabeth Crisfield, with whom he formed a duo when he lived in the States. Most recently, Murray collaborated with Edinburgh musician Sandie Wyles.
Outside music, Murray’s main passion in life was horse-racing. He worked for a time at Mark Johnson’s racing stables in Middleham. He was also an inventor – particularly of precision tools related to instrument repair. Murray was the proud father of two sons, Iain and Graham.
As news of his untimely death has spread, there has been an outpouring of sadness. Murray is clearly someone who made a lasting impression on many – and not just in Scotland, but across the globe. He had a manner that allowed him to get on with everyone he met, no matter their background. His openness put folk at their ease and his cheery outlook on life brought a real smile to many faces. It is striking how many people have commented on him simply being such a lovely, genuine guy. So true.
You made a huge impact Murray Macleod. Your passing is mourned by many and you will be greatly missed.