Complicated Game

Complicated Game

Blessed with a voice of limited but perfect range for his tales of everyday people, James McMurtry remains a songwriter’s songwriter, a man whose lyrics make other songwriters consider rewriting what they originally considered good enough. Working with C.C. Adcock and Mike Napolitano as producers, McMurtry achieves a balance between austere and small-band intimacy, centering the songs on his acoustic guitar’s simple cowboy chords and letting others work around it. His lyrics tell tales of people who remember the past too well (“Carlisle’s Haul”) and who feel like they’re sitting in the perfect seat for observation (“These Things I’ve Come to Know”).

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