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


Celebrated tunesmiths plans tour stops in several major markets including 
Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle on groundbreaking run

AUSTIN, Texas — James McMurtry and Anders Osborne are joining forces for the first time for an exciting eight-city West Coast tour in November that opens at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, California (November 10) and closes at Seattle's Triple Door (November 18). Stops between include legendary venues the Troubadour in Los Angeles and Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. “Back before Napster and Spotify, we toured to promote record sales,” McMurtry says. “Now we make records to promote tour dates.”

Clearly, the sea change has only inspired the singular songwriter. Witness Complicated Game. McMurtry's first album in six years has garnered universal acclaim. “At a stage where most veteran musicians fall into a groove or rut, McMurtry continues to surprise,” Texas Music magazine recently noted. “[Complicated Game] is a collection of narratives as sharply observed as any from McMurtry, but with a contemplative depth that comes with maturity.” 

Indeed, McMurtry's latest collection spotlights a craftsman in absolutely peak form as he turns from political toward personal (“These Things I've Come to Know,” “You Got to Me”). “The lyrical theme is mostly about relationships,” the longtime Austin resident says. “It's also a little about the big old world verses the poor little farmer or fisherman.” Either way, McMurtry spins his stories with a poet's pen (“Long Island Sound”) and a painter's precision (“She Loves Me”) throughout. 

Complicated Game delivers McMurtry's trademark story songs (“Copper Canteen,” “Deaver's Crossing”), as noted by the media: “[McMurtry] takes listeners on a road trip of unprecedented geographic and emotional scope,” No Depression raved of the record, adding, “Lyrically, the album is wise and adventurous, with McMurtry —  who's not prone to autobiographical tales —  credibly inhabiting characters from all walks of life.” “[McMurtry] fuses wry, literate observations about the world with the snarl of barroom rock,” National Public Radio echoed. “The result is at times sardonic, subversive and funny, but often vulnerable and always poignant.”

Meanwhile, Osbourne will hit the road supporting his new high watermark Flower Box (Back on Dumaine Records). “Super psyched to do this solo acoustic tour with James,” he says. “It will give me a rare chance to hear him perform his great tunes every night and to share my music with all the wonderful people living on the West Coast.” “Listening to Flower Box is like finding money,” says liveforlivemusic.com. “You didn't know it was coming, but your world is a happier place for it. Dripping in Southern blues and fuzz box guitars, Osborne and his band hit all the right notes, even if they take their time getting there.” 

Longtime fans have come to expect nothing less from the fiery guitarist and his airtight outfit. The New Orleans resident has made a career of deftly balancing richly detailed songwriting with intensely emotional, soulful vocals and expertly piercing guitar work. Osborne's simply among the most original and visionary musicians currently writing and performing. “The poet laureate of Louisiana's fertile roots music scene,” Guitar Player calls him. OffBeat doubled down by naming him the Crescent City's best guitarist for the third year in a row and best songwriter for the second straight. 

Osborne has toured relentlessly since releasing American Patchwork (2010), Black Eye Galaxy (2012) and Peace (2013) with a band or solo and has served as a guest musician with countless others including Toots and the Maytals, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Keb' Mo' and the Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh. “There's a healing aspect, a comfort level of letting yourself go,” Osborne has said about performing live. “There's something about not having to control everything for a few moments. Obviously, I love music, but it's also a bit of an obsession. There's a striving to connect with people.” 

For nearly two decades and more than a dozen studio albums — from Doin' Fine (1989) through the new Flower Box — the connection has resonated deeply with fans. Credit Osborne's spiritual approach to songwriting. “Peace is light from darkness,” he said about his 2013 standout Peace. “The songs are written from the outside looking in. They are not making any judgments. I'm just stating facts. I'm writing from a brighter perspective. There's less dusk and dark and much more sunlight. The driving tones and sounds are free and natural.” 

At the same time, McMurtry's vibrant vignettes have turned heads for a quarter century now. “James McMurtry is one of my very few favorite songwriters on Earth and these days he's working at the top of his game,” says Americana all-star Jason Isbell. “He has that rare gift of being able to make a listener laugh out loud at one line and choke up at the next. I don't think anybody writes better lyrics.” “Yes. Spin “South Dakota.” You'll hear. “They took their time with this one,” Texas Music magazine notes, “and it was well worth it. He's always been wise beyond his age, but middle age suits him well.”

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 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 the rapidly rising organization's Song of the Year. 

Of course, Complicated Game doubles down on literate storytelling longtime enthusiasts expect. Recall high watermarks past: “Childish Things,” “Choctaw Bingo,” “Peter Pan,” “Levelland” and “Out Here in the Middle” only begin the list. (Yes, Robert Earl Keen covered those last two, “Levelland” remaining a live staple.) Just Us Kids alone includes fan favorites “Hurricane Party,” “Ruby and Carlos” and “You’d a Thought.” High watermarks deliver equal measures depth and breadth and pierce hearts with sharp sociopolitical commentary (“Fireline Road”).

James McMurtry and Anders Osborne tour dates

Thurs., Nov. 10  SOLANA BEACH, CA  Belly Up Tavern
Fri., Nov. 11  WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA  Troubadour
Sat., Nov. 12  SAN FRANCISCO, CA  Great American Music Hall
Sun., Nov.13  SAN RAFAEL, CA  Terrapin Crossroads
Mon., Nov. 14  ARCATA, CA  Humboldt Brews
Tues., Nov. 15  EUGENE, OR  Hi Fi Music Hall
Thurs., Nov. 17  PORTLAND, OR  Aladdin Theater
Fri., Nov. 18  SEATTLE, WA  The Triple Door (two shows)

“James McMurtry may be the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation” – Stephen King

“Anders Osborne is a consummate showman and shaman” – New Orleans Times-Picayune 


Publicity: Cary Baker • Conqueroo • (323) 656-1600 • cary@conqueroo.com (national)

Julie Arkenstone • (747) 900-6212 • julie@conqueroo.com (tour)

James McMurtry management: Jenni Finlay • (512) 787-8968 • jenni@ jennifinlay.com 

Anders Osborne management: Doug Altman • doug@7smgmt.com

“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