“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.”
"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
“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 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. At a sold-out Birchmere, the Austin-based artist was joined by drummer Daren Hess and bassist Ronnie Johnson in a set that demonstrated the raw power of wince-inducing imagery propelled by electric guitar. It was serious stuff, imparted by a singularly serious band."
JAMES McMURTRY LIVE IN EUROPE CD WITH BONUS DVD DOCUMENTS FIRST EURO TOUR WITH GUESTS IAN MCLAGAN AND JON DEE GRAHAM
JAMES McMURTRY ALBUMS REISSUED: 'CHILDISH THINGS' & 'LIVE IN AUGHT-THREE'