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“James writes like he's lived a lifetime.” —John Mellencamp

“The most vital lyricist in America today.” —Bob Harris, BBC 2 RADIO

“James McMurtry is a true Americana poet – actually he is a poet regardless of genre” —Michael Nesmith

“McMurtry might be the best topical writer performing right now and (Just Us Kids) finds him at his finest.”
—Patterson Hood, Drive-By Truckers

"America's fiercest songwriter" - CNN

“James McMurtry writes songs filled with characters so real that you're sure they're going to climb out of the speakers and look you in the eyes.” —VOICE OF AMERICA

“McMurtry aims for the jugular.” —DIRTY LINEN

“A conservative,” Franklin Roosevelt said almost 70 years ago, “is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward.” James McMurtry – work shirt tucked, fists clenched – turns those words into weapons on Just Us Kids. Think Steve Earle with an even more pointed – and sometimes sharper – vision. Essential listening at the height of election season.
– Brian T. Atkinson, RELIX

“The songwriting conscience of America,” —FOLK WAX

“As the years pile on, James McMurtry sings with ever more authority and deserved cynical grace...With each album, (he) finds more to say and a stubborn, uncompromising way to say it.” —iTUNES

“Music that's haunting but familiar, much like the struggles he depicts.” —WASHINGTON POST

“brave, smart, and pithy music that captures James McMurtry at the top of his game.” —ALL MUSIC

“more energized than ever.” —TEXAS MONTHLY

“His songwriting is clear and precise, and he proves once again that he is not afraid to take on the powers that be.” —VINTAGE GUITAR

“McMurtry’s songwriting is in a class by itself.” —METROMIX

“Texastentialist panorama of gray-sky lucidity and neon highway jungles...” —VILLAGE VOICE

“The veteran Texas songwriter’s new album, Just Us Kids, features the slow burner ‘Cheney’s Toy,’ one of the sharpest musical indictments yet of George Bush.” —ROLLING STONE

“emboldened by the reception to 2004’s acerbic (and increasingly relevant) ‘We Can’t Make it Here,’ McMurtry ramps up the polemics on Just Us Kids.” —USA TODAY

“One of the best protest singers working today.” —TIME OUT CHICAGO

 

 

 

"The simple fact is that James McMurtry may be
the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation..."
Stephen King | Entertainment Weekly

The son of acclaimed author Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment), James grew up on a steady diet of Johnny Cash and Roy Acuff records. His first album, Too Long in the Wasteland (released in 1989), was produced by John Mellencamp and marked the beginning of a series of acclaimed projects for Columbia and Sugar Hill. In 1996, McMurtry received a Grammy nomination for his Longform Music Video of Where'd You Hide The Body. 1997's It Had To Happen received the American Indie Award for Best Americana Album.

In 2004, McMurtry released the universally lauded Live in Aught-Three on Compadre Records. 2005's Childish Things garnered some of the highest critical praise of McMurtry's career and spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Americana Music Radio Chart in 2005 and 2006. In September 2006, Childish Things and "We Can't Make It Here" won the Americana Music Awards for Album and Song of the Year, respectively. McMurtry received more Americana Music Award nominations for 2008's Just Us Kids. This album marked his highest Billboard 200 chart position in more than 19 years.

In 2009, Live in Europe was released, capturing The McMurtry Band's first European tour and extraordinary live set. Along with seasoned band members Ronnie Johnson, Daren Hess, and Tim Holt, the disc features special guests Ian McLagan and Jon Dee Graham. Also, for the first time ever, video of the James McMurtry Band's live performance is available on the included DVD.

The poignant lyrics of his immense catalog still ring true today. In 2011, "We Can't Make It Here" was cited among 'The Nation's' "Best Protest Songs Ever." Bob Lefsetz writes, "'We Can't Make It Here' has stood the test of time because of its unmitigated truth."

Never one to rest on his laurels, James McMurtry continues to tour constantly, and consistently puts on a "must-see" powerhouse performance. 'The Washington Post' noted McMurtry's live prowess: "Much attention is paid to James McMurtry's lyrics, and rightfully so: He creates a novel's worth of emotion and experience in four minutes of blisteringly stark couplets. What gets overlooked, however, is that he's an accomplished rock guitar player....it's serious stuff, imparted by a singularly serious band."

JAMES McMURTRY SIGNS WITH COMPLICATED GAME - NEW ALBUM OU IN LATE 2014
James McMurtry recently signed with the bourgeoning Los Angeles record label Complicated Game. The legendary songwriter will enter the studio later this month to start working on his first album in six years. “I’ve got a new batch of songs, organic and with no added sulfites, aged in oak for several years,” he says. “Francois Moret at Complicated Game seems to like these songs and (producer) C.C. Adcock thinks he can turn them into a record. Good times fixing to roll.”

Label head Moret agrees. “In March 2013, when C.C. Adcock told me we were going to see James McMurtry at the Continental Club in Austin, I expected to see a good show,” he says, “but what I saw left me mesmerized! I immediately knew I wanted to sign him. As a European, it is an amazing opportunity to work with one of the most talented American singer-songwriters.”

Evidence: McMurtry’s Just Us Kids (2008) and Childish Things (2005). The former earned his highest Billboard 200 chart position in nearly two decades and notched four Americana Music Award nominations. Meanwhile, Childish Things scored endless critical praise and spent six full weeks topping the Americana Music Radio chart in 2005 and 2006. In 2006, Childish Things won the Americana Music Association’s Album of the Year and “We Can’t Make It Here” was named its Song of the Year.

Of course, the forthcoming (and as-yet-untitled) record will include the literate story songs longtime enthusiasts expect. Recall high watermarks: “Childish Things,” “Choctaw Bingo,” “Levelland,” “Out Here in the Middle,” “Peter Pan” only begin the list. Just Us Kids alone includes fan favorite live staples like “Hurricane Party,” “Ruby and Carlos” and “You’d a Thought.” His finest deliver equal measures depth and breadth and pierce hearts with sharp sociopolitical commentary (“Fireline Road”).

JAMES McMURTRY ALBUMS REISSUED: 'CHILDISH THINGS' & 'LIVE IN AUGHT-THREE'
On February 1, 2011, two of James McMurtry's most popular albums, Childish Things and Live in Aught-Three were reissued by Lightning Rod Records. Live in Aught-Three has been remastered since its original 2004 release and will be available on vinyl for the first time. The deluxe double LP also includes a copy of the album on CD.

JAMES McMURTRY LIVE IN EUROPE CD WITH BONUS DVD DOCUMENTS FIRST EURO TOUR WITH GUESTS IAN MCLAGAN AND JON DEE GRAHAM
On October 13, 2009, Lightning Rod Records released Live in Europe, a document of McMurtry's first European tour, on which, along with long-time band members Ronnie Johnson, Daren Hess, and Tim Holt, he was joined by keyboardist Ian McLagan and fellow Texas songwriting legend Jon Dee Graham. The set is available as a CD with a bonus DVD, or as a deluxe vinyl LP package with a CD and DVD insert. In early 2009, James McMurtry and his trio traveled overseas to play their first European tour. The guys played for enthusiastic crowds in Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, The Netherlands, Scotland and Belgium. Joining the band on keyboards for the tour was the legendary Ian McLagan (who also played on McMurtry's latest studio album, Just Us Kids). The best recordings from the Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Geislingen, Germany concerts were combined to create Live in Europe. The album includes a bonus DVD featuring performances from the Amsterdam show. This marks the first time fans will be able to purchase video footage of McMurtry live in concert. The deluxe vinyl version includes inserted copies of the CD and DVD. Fellow Austin-based songwriter Jon Dee Graham opened the shows and joins the band on a version of his tune "Laredo" on the bonus DVD.