Listen to an EP of songs based on the life of 19th century migrant and convicted murderer Maria Murray
The Doomed Bird Of Providence are led by vocalist and accordionist Mark Kluzek. Their new EP follows on from 2011's Will Ever Pray and 2013's Blind Mouths Eat. You Brought The Knife continues Kluzek's lyrical investigations into tales of horror and misery from Australia’s early history through murder ballads and bloodthirsty shanties.
Kluzek based the songs on this EP on the life of Maria Murray, a former slave and convict. In 1825, while living in Belize (then British Honduras) Murray was found guilty of the murder of William Mair, a disbanded soldier who Maria lived with after escaping from a slave owner called Mary White. She was sentenced to death, but that punishment was commuted to transportation to the penal colony Van Dieman's Land in Tasmania.
Murray later married and ran a boarding house in Hobart but died of consumption after a decade, and before an expected pardon for her crime arrived from England. She had at least one child but beyond this nothing is known about Murray's life.
You Brought The Knife features Kluzek joined by Richard Acton (guitar), Drew Barker (ukulele), Stafford Glover (bass) and Ian Hothersall (percussion) together with a string section including Joolie Wood, Rachel Laurence, Angela Chan and Katie English (who also plays flute on the EP).