After 30 years working as a grey-suited local government manager, Ian Murray is now taking time off to explore his musical horizons.
Ian is a relatively recent convert to the ukelele but has been playing guitar, mandolin, and double bass for about 35 years. A tutor at Glasgow Fiddle Workshop for three years, he is well known there for taking his class through an incredible range of songs from easy to difficult, and from folk to pop and from classy to down right cheesy. He has a massive bank of songs that classes will enjoy learning and playing but he is happy to prepare song sheets in response to suggestions from his classes. He strongly believes in the power of the ukulele to make friends and have fun.
Ian is the musical leader behind an eight piece ukulele performance group, the ‘Dukes of Uke’ – based in Biggar where he has lived for 12 years. He is widely credited with bring the ukelele to Biggar changing people’s lives for ever although not necessarily for the better!
As well as playing the usual ukulele gigs, the Dukes of Uke like to put together themed shows. Last year they staged an evening of songs from the movies and a previous concert entitled Dukes of Uke and the Ukovision Song Contest’ featured 23 Eurovision hits from 1959 to the present decade.
See them on Facebook: The Dukes of Uke
Ian also plays in a wide variety of other bands. Along with Lanark accordionist Allan Smith, he forms the core of Clyde Valley Ceilidh Band in which he plays mandolin and is the resident dance caller. He plays guitar with Biggar Big Band (a fifteen piece jazz big band), and double bass with the occasional old-time country outfit, the Darlin’ Clementines.
He has played various instruments in scratch bands for local amateur operatic productions including ‘Sweet Charity’, ‘Calamity Jane’, ‘The King and I’, ‘Me and my Girl’, ‘The Man of Lamancha’ as well as various Christmas panto shows.