11 Songs, 15 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

James McMurtry is known as an elite singer-songwriter, as poised with the pen as his father, novelist Larry McMurtry. His vocal range is limited, but used for maximum effect, shading characters with anger or empathy. Over the years, however, McMurtry’s also become a crisp live performer. He may not be much for small talk, but he’s assembled a flawless backing band with ex-Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan influencing the outcome. Tunes such as “Bayou Torture” and “Just Us Kids” come rocking out with a Stones-Faces groove that center on the snarl of the electric guitars and a rhythm section that take McMurtry out of the library and onto the dance floor. The firm guitar-organ chords push the downward spiral of “Hurricane Party” to the max as the water rises and fate takes its course. The country sway of “You’d a’ Thought (Leonard Cohen Must Die)” delivers McMurtry’s patented dry fatalism where wisdom is imparted but rarely employed with a fierce electric guitar leading the fray and McLagan’s organ keeping watch on the backside.

EDITORS’ NOTES

James McMurtry is known as an elite singer-songwriter, as poised with the pen as his father, novelist Larry McMurtry. His vocal range is limited, but used for maximum effect, shading characters with anger or empathy. Over the years, however, McMurtry’s also become a crisp live performer. He may not be much for small talk, but he’s assembled a flawless backing band with ex-Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan influencing the outcome. Tunes such as “Bayou Torture” and “Just Us Kids” come rocking out with a Stones-Faces groove that center on the snarl of the electric guitars and a rhythm section that take McMurtry out of the library and onto the dance floor. The firm guitar-organ chords push the downward spiral of “Hurricane Party” to the max as the water rises and fate takes its course. The country sway of “You’d a’ Thought (Leonard Cohen Must Die)” delivers McMurtry’s patented dry fatalism where wisdom is imparted but rarely employed with a fierce electric guitar leading the fray and McLagan’s organ keeping watch on the backside.

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