Friday, May 30, 2008


James McMurtry has released a new CD called Just Us Kids. For those of you who are not familiar with James or his music, he is the son of novelist Larry McMurtry. Since his 1989 debut album, Too Long in the Wasteland, he has recorded several CDs that are worth owning. 

Known for his dark humor, sometimes perverted lyrics and interesting point of view on modern life, he writes songs populated with memorable characters and situations. Choctaw Bingo, from his 2002 effort St Mary of the Woods, is probably his finest moment as a song writer. In over 8 minutes, he covers about as much ground as possible in a song. Listen carefully to the lyrics and you will be impressed ("Sister Twister" indeed).  Bob Dylan would have a hard time keeping up with this song. His song writing is the quality of Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark or Robert Earl Keen.

 Speaking of Robert Keen, he has covered two McMurtry compositions: Out Here in the Middle ( Farm Fresh Onions) and Levelland (Picnic) with success. Worth checking out as well. 

Just Us Kids has solid playing as well as his usual good song writing. I recommend you pick it up. If you are new to his music or haven't heard it, St Mary of the Woods is another one you need to have in your collection.


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