2007 Archives

photo by Cynthia Kinney
Kinney Design



When Kent Finlay started his weekly Songwriters'
Circle at Cheatham Street Warehouse, in the '70's, it
was unique to say the least. There just weren't any
songwriter nights, at least around Austin or San
Marcos, Texas. Even in Nashville, the Bluebird didn't
open until 1983. Songwriters had to get together at
someone's house and play "pass the guitar" in order to
hear each others songs. And consequently, there
weren't nearly as many
songwriters as we are blessed with today. But with
Kent's Songwriters' Circle, aspiring songwriters had a
place to be . . . a place to be heard . . . a place
where writing and writers were more important than
making money.

There weren't that many songwriters coming out at
first, but slowly, the numbers increased -- and
everyone's songs kept getting better, as new aspiring
young writers started discovering "Songwriters'
Church" as some of them started calling it. Many of
these young writers who started at Kent's Songwriters'
Circle have gone on to exciting music careers.

On November 29th, there will be a 20 year reunion of
the Songwriter Circle regulars from 1987 . . . and
they have turned into some of the world's best
songwriters. "The Class of '87
Reunion" will include Todd Snider, Terri Hendrix, Al
Barlow, James McMurtry, John Arthur Martinez, Bruce
Robison, Hal Ketchum . . . and of course Kent Finlay.
Also, there just might
be some surprise guests. It will be another magical
night of original music at Cheatham Street Warehouse,
for sure.

The show is being filmed by Texas Music Cafe for
television, so even if you miss the live performance,
you can see it later, but you won't want to miss it live!!

Cheatham Street Warehouse (San Marcos, TX)
Songwriters Class of '87 Reunion

Todd Snider
James McMurtry,
Bruce Robison,
Hal Ketchum,
Terri Hendrix,
John Arthur Martinez,
Kent Finlay, & Special Guests

Tickets $40 Advance -
Front Gate Tickets
$50.00 at the door


McMurtry Plays Benefit for Maine Workers
James McMurtry and the Heartless Bastards will play a benefit on Labor Day, Monday, September 3, 2007, at the Bangor, Maine Waterfront for the Worker Center of Eastern Maine.  A reception will be held following the show at the Sea Dog Brewing Company to allow fans to meet James.  The reception and Waterfront show will be ticketed separately.  For further details, see the Summer 2007 issue of the Food AND Medicine (FAM) Solidarity News or phone (207) 989-5860 for info or to purchase tickets. Tickets are also available at all Bull Moose locations.  All proceeds benefit the Workers Center of Eastern Maine a project of Food AND Medicine. The event is being organized by The Eastern Maine Labor Council and Food AND Medicine.


McMurtry Narrates New Short Film

James McMurtry narrates the documentary shortfilm, Ghost Town: 24 Hours in Terlingua. Once an epicenter for mining, the remote desert town of Terlingua, Texas is a literal shell of its former self. Naturally, it’s the final stop for those fleeing modern society and seeking ultimate freedom of personal expression. Join the residents of Terlingua for just 24 hours, and they’ll not only make you laugh; they’ll make you wonder who’s right about this thing we call “life.” CLICK HERE to preview Ghost Town, and CLICK HERE for info about upcoming events and screenings.

People of the West

Check out this interesting web site:  www.contemporarywesterndesign.com   These fine folks have interviewed James and published an article on the site.  Click here to go directly to the article.   But hurry--they put up a new profile each week! 

Encore Presentation of ACL Performance

Austin City Limits Presents James McMurtry & The Heartless Bastards,

Saturday, June 9th.  CLICK HERE  for more information and stations in your area.

James McMurtry Summer Tour

James McMurtry and the Heartless Bastards are back on the road in July. See the concerts listing on the right side of this page for dates, and don't miss the show! This month, McMurtry is in the studio adding the finishing touches to his upcoming album, schedule to be released this fall.  

Laura Ellen Hopper - One Damn Fine Lady Laura Hopper, Program Director of KPIG in California, passed away Monday morning, May 28th. Her programming was always smart, passionate, and brave. She loved and supported the music and musicians like no other, and was like family to everyone who passed through her doors. The KPIG and Hopper family are in our thoughts, and Laura will be missed by us all.
"I'll no more be here but I'll never be far" - James McMurtry

CLICK HERE to listen to the incredible interviews that WMVY did with James McMurtry during SXSW week.

James McMurtry wins Esky award and spot

in the Austin Chronicle Music Poll Hall of Fame


b Austin, TX - The awards continue to pile up for roots rocker James McMurtry. McMurtry, the 2006 winner of the Americana Music Association's Song and Album of there year, has just been awarded Esquire's 2007 Esky Award for "Biggest Agitator" in the April issue of the magazine. The "Agitator" tag refers to McMurtry's recent musical commentaries on the current state of the union - "We Can't Make It Here" and "God Bless America." The annual Esky Awards recognize musical achievement in areas that aren't explored by typical music awards. The award itself features a mustachioed little man holding up the rock and roll hand sign. Other winners of a 2007 Esky include LCD Soundsystem for "Best Soundtrack for Getting Off Your Ass" and Cold War Kids' Matt Maust for "Best Advertisement for Indie Rock Medical Insurance." Esquire Magazine has a circulation of over 700,000.  See the full list of winners here.


In addition to his Esky, McMurtry was elected into the Austin Chronicle Music Poll Hall of Fame at the Austin Music Awards. The Awards were held last week in Austin, TX during the SXSW Music Conference. The rest of inductees included Paul Ray (of the Cobras), Lucinda Williams, Scratch Acid, Patrice Pike, DJ Casanova, Blues Boy Hubbard and Ernie Mae Miller.


James McMurtry is the son of acclaimed author Larry McMurtry. McMurtry grew up on a steady diet of Johnny Cash and Roy Acuff records. 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. 2005's Childish Things garnered some of the highest critical praise of McMurtry's career and spent six weeks at number one on R&R's Americana Music Radio Chart in 2005 and 2006. Last September, Childish Things and "We Can't Make It Here" won the Americana Music Awards for album and song of the year respectively.

Courtesy of Logan Rogers

Compadre Records


New blog on Jame's myspace.com page.

James McMurtry inducted into Austin

Chronicle Music Poll Hall of Fame
At Austin Music Awards, the opening event for SXSW 2007 on March 14, James McMurtry was inducted into the Austin Chronicle Music Poll Hall of Fame. Other inductees included Patrice Pike, Lucinda Williams, Scratch Acid, Paul Ray & the Cobras, DJ Casanova, Blues Boy Hubbard and Ernie Mae Miller.

James McMurtry wins Esquire Magazine's

2007 Esky Music Award for Biggest Agitator


This note from James just in:

It seems that Sugar Hill Records is about to release something called 'James McMurtry, the Sugar Hill Years,' a best of me on Sugar Hill collection. It's one of some kind of Americana series they're doing. They've chosen some interesting songs, 'Broken Bed,' 'Lobo Town.'   --James

The new CD will be entitled "James McMurtry: Americana Masters Series--The Best Of The Sugar Hill Years."  For more details, check out the Sugar Hill web site.


New photos from the most recent tour courtesy of our good friend, Craig Seth:

c d

Stuart's Opera House 02/07/07

photo by Craig Seth

James McMurtry plays "Safeside"

photo by Craig Seth

James has posted a new blog on his myspace page.  Topic: Iran.    http://www.myspace.com/jamesmcmurtry

James McMurtry Podcast--AWESOME INTERVIEW!!!
Check out this podcast by Sean-Paul Kelley "Live at the Ike"...including McMurtry's brand new song, "When The Lines Go Down (Hurricane Party)"! Click Here!

James McMurtry
"NPR WEEKEND EDITION SATURDAY" Interview and Performance   Tune In
Saturday, February 24 50 minutes after the first or second hour CLICK HERE For LOCAL LISTINGS & MORE INFO
  Winner:  "BEST ALBUM" and "BEST SONG" at 2006 Americana Honors & Awards

What the press (and the occasional author or actor) is saying about James McMurtry:

"The truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation..."
-- Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly

"This guy can tell a story and boy you really feel like you've been there the entire time." - Matthew McConaughey

"James McMurtry can compel you to boogie while you consider the plight of his characters." - Rolling Stone

"You have to listen to the words, but the words do come with the melodies. And the musical whole is spellbinding." -- Blender

"'We Can't Make It Here' is a seven-minute state-of-the-union mantra that looks at the Bush claims of economic recovery and finds nothing but smoke and mirrors." - Texas Monthly

"Thundering voice of prophetic social conscience." - Paste

"McMurtry's unsettling, brutally eloquent protest song We Can't Make It Here depicts a blue-collar worker crushed from the outside by the shifting forces of a changing economy and eaten from within by bitterness and rage." - USA Today

"The album's unmistakable centerpiece is "We Can't Make It Here," a seven-minute saga that seems like an antiwar song but is really a more general jeremiad about busted promises." - The New Yorker

"While the voice of McMurtry may not be the envy of the pop world (think Lou Reed with a nasal twang), it's just right for his short-story songs. It's filled with portent and warning, like the sound of a high howling wind sweeping menacingly across the prairie. It's a voice you notice, a voice you can't ignore."   - Chicago Sun-Times

For the NPR story and to listen to part of the broadcast go to:  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7548171


New Lefsetz Letter Praises McMurtry:
"I do believe in McMurtry. And King. And Jobs too. And life is meaningless without belief."
Check out the Lefsetz Letter HERE

James McMurtry appeared on XM's X Country Concert Series (Channel 12) the week of February 12th. The feature aired Wednesday at 7pm, Friday at 11 am and Sunday at 1pm (Eastern Time). 


McMurtry Makes Appearance in New Book    

In James Patterson's new book, Cross, the main character is a psychopathic serial killer who rocks out to U2, Franz Ferdinand, and James McMurtry and the Heartless Bastards.  

Here's an excerpt:
"...He was listening to James McMurtry and the Heartless Bastards now.  He liked the CD well enough to stay in his parked car an extra few minutes.  Finally he climbed out, stretched his legs, and took a breath of moderately foul city air.  Ready or not, here I come."
(James Patterson is one of the top-selling writers of all time.  Patterson's most recent #1 bestsellers include The 5th Horseman; Mary, Mary; Lifeguard; and the International Thriller of 2005, Honeymoon).


Austin City Limits Post Show Interview (video):

James McMurtry's "We Can't Make it Here" is featured on Senator Chris Dodd's Ipod playlist.
Check it out : http://chrisdodd.com/doddpod

James McMurtry and the Heartless Bastards
perform on Austin City Limits.

They taped the episode on Wednesday, November 29th, and it aired on various dates on local PBS affiliates beginning January 13th, 2007. Go to: www.pbs.org/klru/austin/ for more info or click here for video of part of the performance and an post-show interview with James.

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