2006 Archives

Photos courtesy Americana Music Ass'n


With "God Bless America," McMurtry picks up where political anthem "We Can't Make It Here" left off

AUSTIN, TX - Fresh off winning 2006 Americana Song of the Year and Album of the Year accolades, James McMurtry has recorded a new political tune. Just in time for election season, "God Bless America", showcases more of the social commentary that made McMurtry's "We Can't Make It Here" an anthem for people unhappy with the current state of the union. "God Bless America" skewers the governmental powers that be with razor-sharp barbs that take the current administration to task for hiding its actual motives for war. "Gonna turn up the heat till it comes to a boil. So we can go get that Arab oil," McMurtry sings.

McMurtry is making the rough mix of "God Bless America" available for free on his website, jamesmcmurtry.com, and at the link below. "I had meant to wait until I was finished overdubbing before putting this song out, but our brave legislators have once again outdone themselves in their acquiescence to the executive by passing the detainee bill," said McMurtry. "We refer to foreign governments that employ all-powerful executive branches as dictatorships, but we're still supposed to think of our own government as democratic. I'm appalled at the spinelessness of Republican legislators. I guess they still think they'll be invited to the feast. They will be, but only if they continue to watch their mouths."

Described by Stephen King as "the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation," James McMurtry is the son of acclaimed author Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment). His first album, released in 1989, was produced by John Mellencamp and marked the beginning of a series of critically acclaimed projects for Columbia and Sugar Hill. In 2003, McMurtry joined forces with Houston's Compadre Records and together they released the universally lauded Live in Aught-Three. His next Compadre album, Childish Things, garnered some of the highest critical praise of McMurtry's career and spent eight weeks at number one on R&R's Americana Music Radio Chart in 2005 and 2006. McMurtry won the Song of the Year and Album of the Year awards for "We Can't Make It Here" and Childish Things respectively at the 2006 Americana Music Associan Honors and Awards.

"God Bless America" will appear on James McMurtry's as yet untitled new album, which he's currently recording in Austin. McMurtry and his band, The Heartless Bastards, will continue to tour the U.S. for the remainder of 2006.They play in Hollywood this Saturday, October 7 at Safari Sam's


James and the Heartless Bastards!!!

....[Friday] night, James McMurtry was the recipient of Album of the Year (Childish Things) and Song of the Year ("We Can't Make it Here") at the 5th Annual Americana Music Awards held at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. The award show was broadcast on satellite radio. ...James and the Heartless Bastards flew out [Saturday] morning (at 6am) to begin their west coast tour.

courtesy of Jenni Finlay
Jenni Finlay Promotions www.jennifinlaypromotions.com

for more details: www.americanamusic.org.

Click here for The Tennessean's coverage and more photos .

Click here for CMT's coverage.

Click here for Drowned in Sound's coverage.

Click here for the complete Associated Press story on the awards.

Photo courtesy Americana Music Ass'n

The Associated Press reported:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Singer and songwriter James McMurtry took home album of the year and song of the year honors, and veteran rocker Neil Young was named artist of the year Friday at the fifth annual Americana Honors and Awards.

The awards, which honor American music based on the country, folk and bluegrass tradition, also recognized the Drive-By Truckers as duo/group of the year and guitarist Kenny Vaughan as instrumentalist of the year.

McMurtry, 44, won album of the year for "Childish Things" and song of the year for "We Can't Make It Here Anymore," a pointed commentary on the economy, war and other issues.

The Austin, Texas-based singer is the son of "Lonesome Dove" author Larry McMurtry and credits his father with exposing him to country music as a boy. ...

The awards were presented by the Americana Music Association. It is in part a reaction to slicker mainstream country music that grew in popularity in the 1990s, the organization said.


James McMurtry featured on Veterans Today web site:
The Status Quo in Everyman's America

L.E. Brady's alive and bloggin' on KRCL's RootsnBlues.org
"Roots n' Blues on KRCL is your afternoon excursion into the roots of American music. Blues, soul, country, folk, cajun, early rhythm and blues, and lots more." Linda East Brady blogs out by putting her foot down on a dance issue in SHUT UP AND DANCE.

It is an absolute thrill for me to be posting this news—needless to say it is accompanied by a really huge THANK YOU to all the fans who have supported James over the years. Lillie Ruby, Webmaster, Ls.M.

5th Annual Americana Honors & Awards Nominees
James WON in TWO categories!

Album Of The Year
Childish Things, James McMurtry (Compadre)
Cost Of Living, Delbert McClinton (New West)
Souls' Chapel, Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives (Superlatone/Universal South)
The Outsider, Rodney Crowell (Columbia)

Song Of The Year (presented to songwriter)
"Black Cadillac" by Rosanne Cash; appears on Black Cadillac by Rosanne Cash (Capitol)
"Don't Get Me Started" by Rodney Crowell; appears on The Outsider by Rodney Crowell (Columbia)
"Not Ready To Make Nice" by Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines, Emily Robison and Dan Wilson; appears on Taking The Long Way by the Dixie Chicks (Open Wide/Columbia/Sony BMG)
"We Can't Make It Here" by James McMurtry; appears on Childish Things by James McMurtry (Compadre)

You will find the complete listings of every Americana Honors & Awards nominee and recipient for the five years of the event on www.americanamusic.org.

Song Lyrics are available here.

The lyrics and guitar chords for "We Can't Make It Here" are on page 82 and 83 of the Summer issue of Sing Out Magazine. "We Can't Make It Here" is also included on the CD sampler included in subscriber copies of the magazine.

Dan DeLuca, music critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer says "Earnest message-mongering can be deadly dull, a musical buzz-kill .... But a dose of high dudgeon can come as a welcome shot in the arm to a serious-minded storyteller. A case in point: James McMurtry's "We Can't Make It Here," as riveting an antiwar, anti-Bush, anti-rich-white-guy song as any out there in 2006."
to read more: War dissenters finding voice in music

New York Times bestselling author, Emily Giffin is a huge
McMurtry fan and is willing to put it in writing!

EMILY GIFFIN is the New York Times bestselling author of SOMETHING BORROWED and SOMETHING BLUE. In 2005, Giffin was among the top three selling authors in women's fiction, and her third novel, BABY PROOF (St. Martin's Press; June 13, 2006), is being touted as one of the biggest releases of the summer. BABY PROOF is a witty, heartfelt story of what happens to the perfect couple when they unexpectedly find themselves at odds over the baby issue – and it explores whether there is such a thing as a deal-breaker when it comes to true love.


In one pivotal scene, Giffin writes about James McMurtry and his band. She said she enjoyed finding a way to pay her respects to James and work her love of his music into her story. She laughs that “James probably never expected his name to land in a pastel novel”, but says she hopes that her legions of “chick lit” fans will give James a listen “and see for themselves what all the fuss is about.”

Visit Emily at www.myspace.com/emilygiffin.

BABY PROOF debuts at #12 on NYTimes Best Seller list! Congratualtions Emily!


News from the Compadre Records
McMurtry Featured on A Taste of Triple A Sampler
James McMurtry’s political single, "We Can't Make it Here" is featured as the third track on the May A Taste Of Triple A sampler. “We Can’t Make It Here” has been called the “protest song of the decade” by Entertainment Weekly, and has been named in the Top 5 songs of 2005 by, among others, Stephen King. Just in time for the Non-Comm Convention, McMurtry will help you get your groove on in Louisville.

McMurtry featured on a new Compadre Records compilation, " Let’s Step Outside"


Photos from SXSW 06: thanks to Ron Baker
Photos of the band and other fine photographs of many artists who performed
this year can be viewed here on Ron Baker's SXSW page.

Congratulations to the band!
2006 Austin Music Awards winners Best Roots Rock Band —James McMurtry & the Heartless Bastards—the best of the best, by the people's vote. More winners posted in the Continental Club's newsletter Continental Confidential.

In Radio:
We can't thank the radio stations enough for the airplay we've received since the release of "Childish Things" . Here's another great letter:

"My name is Pamela Stone from KCUB Texas 98 in Stephenville, Texas. Not only do I play a mandatory McMurtry song during my shift, but he plays all day and all night. Pulling from all his albums but the two we don't have ('Where'd You Hide the Body' and 'It Had to Happen' - which we NEED!!),
we have 35 songs in our regular rotation! If you could kindly inlcude us in your list of stations playing his tunes, I would so appreciate it. "

"Tons of requests right now for 'See the Elephant,' and 'The Old Part of Town' too!"


Pamela Stone
KCUB Texas 98

A huge, heartfelt congratulations to James' dad, Larry McMurtry for his outstanding work on "Brokeback Mountain."
What a list!
2005 Best Adapted Screenplay, Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana:

British Academy Awards, Broadcast Film Critics Association, Chicago Film Critics Association, Golden Globe, London Film Critics Association, Online Film Critics Association, Oscar 2006, Phoenix Film Critics Association, St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association, Writers Guild of America

Most current pictures--- ogle won't you?
Thanks www.maxcreative.com! | t4tx.com/james-mcmurtry.php
also Check out the recent photos of the band by Ryan Albert from their Dec. 28th gig at the Austin Continental Club.

February 19, 2006 Sunday
Classic rock Protest song makes long-form comeback
Tom McNamee, The Chicago Sun-Times

Protest songs are so 1968, but a seething new song by singer-songwriter James McMurtry, "We Can't Make It Here," is getting regular airplay on WXRT (93.1 FM). Listeners can't hear it enough.

"I can honestly say we have received more calls either asking who that was or saying 'that was really great' than any song we're playing right now, including songs by superstars like Cold Play and U2," said Lin Brehmer, morning drive DJ on WXRT. "It's extremely angry. It's not correct in any political or polite way. It has obviously chimed a chord in people's minds."

WXRT may be the only radio station in the country playing the song regularly. The song is long -- 7 minutes and 5 second on the CD -- and includes an obscene word. To make it work for radio, Brehmer, working with production director Jason Dildine, shaved the song down to 5oe minutes and eliminated the four-letter word. They left the song's power untouched.

Tom McNamee is the editor of Controversy

McMurtry ringtones are now available

Traffic from Abroad: Thanks to Bob Harris
We are always appreciative of the radio airplay we receive here in the US. Now we'd like to say CHEERS to a UK station from which we've gleaned a good block of site traffic:. Bob Harris Country (and) Bob's late night Friday and Saturday programs. They are streamed simultaneously and are available as Listen Again for 7 days at www.bbc.co.uk/radio2

BBC.co.uk/radio2 has been added to our list of other radio stations —on the box and on the web— that spin McMurtry tunes: see our Radio/Web page.

Looking for new performances by McMurtry?
James performs Jon Dee Graham's "Laredo" on the
Big Sweet Life: The Songs of Jon Dee Graham
A truly amazing limited-edition two-disc set (CD and DVD), Big Sweet Life features Austin artists performing Jon Dee songs with all proceeds going to The Willie Graham/Legg Perthes Fund. read more!


Vermont Independent for the U.S. Senate, Bernie Sanders, adopts "We Can't Make it Here" as his 2006 campaign song.
“Whether you’re a veteran, a worker who has lost a job due to outsourcing, or a young mother trying to get by, this song tells it like it is. How refreshing to have an artist connect with the realities facing working folks. Thank you James.”
~Bernie Sanders

To learn more, visit www.bernie.org. Bernie Sanders, leading the fight for America’s Working Families

Niki Dakota, Music Director at WYSO-FM in Dayton, OH, was suspended without pay for one week by the FCC for playing the unedited version of "We Can't Make it Here." More about the DJ and the station WYSO-FM: www.wyso.org/excursions.htm

Linda East Brady interviews McMurtry and Troy Mumm, operations manager for Salt Lake City’s community station KRCL, as they offer their views on censorship in radio Bleeped and Gagged: Lyrics and the First Amendment on AmericanaRoots.com

SPEAK MORE on the TOPIC at the
New Fan Forum for James

A new forum for fans and a place to hear new music first. The forum wlil also feature a blog by James starting the week of 6/27/05.
"Childish Things"—a new song every week until the album release!

A SPECIAL NOTE regarding the censored download version available above:

The song is censored as it needed to get as much airplay as possible at the time when it was
released ---- right before the last presidential political campaign. James placed the bleeps himself in order to get it on the radio. There was no pressure by the label or otherwise to censor the the online version. An unedited version is available on" Childish Things".

“ ‘We Can’t Make It Here’ by James McMurtry and the Heartless Bastards. Stark and wrenchingly direct, this may be the best American protest song since ‘Masters of War.’ Love it or hate it, you’ll never forget it...and this one’s actually a free download, at McMurtry’s web site.”
~Stephen King
April 29-May 6 issue of Entertainment Weekly

"Thanks so much and keep up the great work James.
I am the originator of the "Mandatory McMurtry" tune. Been a fan of his
work for a long time and freely admit that he is my favorite

Shayne Hollinger
Music Director/Morning Show Host
Revolution FM

McMurtry on
World Cafe

Set List
"We Can't Make It Here"
"Childish Things"

Harmony and Empathy archive link

WFPK Radio Louisville 91.9FM
Live Lunch

show date: June 13, 2003

"The Dreaded Beard" – Narrative, 35mm B&W
by Carolyn Macartney
is now online!


A dark absurdist comedy about a fellow tormented by his fear of beards. Featuring a voice-over by famed Texas musician James McMurtry.

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