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James McMurtry


The New York Times Magazine’s cover story “25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going” (Sunday, March 12) prominently features a four-page spread focusing on James McMurtry’s “Copper Canteen,” from his 2015 release Complicated Game. The author points directly to the song’s frequently quoted opening line as a representative passage in McMurtry’s work: “Honey, don’t you be yelling at me while I’m cleaning my gun.”

“Though that line about the gun got a big laugh when McMurtry played it in Dallas,” Ruth Graham writes, “I still don’t know whether to hear it as a joke or a threat, and McMurtry has never been one to offer the easy comfort of a straight answer.”

Additionally, while many fans consider McMurtry an overtly political songwriter (“We Can’t Make It Here Anymore,” “Cheney’s Toy”), Graham notes that he’s actually more concerned with the effect of policy on personal workaday matters. “McMurtry often writes about how seemingly distant political concerns nudge his characters’ choices and prod their psyches,” she says, “the stretched budget of the Veterans Affairs Department or the birth of a new national park’s consuming the neighbors’ land through eminent domain.”

Read the New York Times Magazine in full here: http://nyti.ms/2mqjFM9.

Those living and visiting Austin during South by Southwest this week will have several chances to catch McMurtry, from his full-band showcase at Mojo Nixon’s Jalapeno Pancake Mayhem at the Continental Club to a solo gig at El Mercado’s Backstage. Fans on the East Coast can see him on his Stateside Solo tour later in March, which launches at the Clementine Cafe in Harrisonburg, Virginia on March 25 and routes throughout the region before concluding at New York City’s City Winery on April 2.

“Nothing makes you miss Waffle House like a couple of weeks in Europe,” says McMurtry, who has been touring abroad recently. “The term ‘Continental Breakfast’ is an oxymoron.”

James McMurtry’s South by Southwest shows
Tues, March 14 Sun Radio Showcase at El Mercado 12 noon (solo)
Tues., March 14 Continental Gallery 8 p.m. (solo)
Fri., March 17 Lucy’s South by South Austin Fried Chicken Revival 6 p.m. (solo)
Sat., March 18 Mojo’s Party Continental Club 4 p.m. (full band)
Sat., March 18 Jenni Finlay and Conqueroo’s Rebels and Renegades at Threadgill’s 6 p.m. (full band)
Sun, March 19 Catfish Concert Townes Van Zandt tribute, 2506 Lazy Oaks Drive 5 p.m. (solo)
James McMurtry’s 2017 U.S. East Coast tour dates
Sat., March 25 HARRISONBURG, VA, Clementine Cafe
Mon., March 27 RICHMOND, VA, Tin Pan
Tues., March 28 ALEXANDRIA, VA The Birchmere (with Tift Merritt)
Wed., March 29 BLAIRSTOWN, NJ Roy’s Hall
Thurs., March 30 NORFOLK, CT Infinity Hall
Fri., March 31 PHILADELPHIA, PA World Cafe Live
Sat., April 1 MILLHEIM, PA Elk Creek Cafe
Sun., April 2 NEW YORK, NY City Winery

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

# # #
Publicity:
Cary Baker • Conqueroo • cary@conqueroo.com (national)
Julie Arkenstone • Conqueroo • julie@conqueroo.com (tour)
Management and radio: Jenni Finlay • jenni@jennifinlay.com • (512) 787-8968


Videos & Press
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  • James McMurtry’s Hard Truths From the Heartland

    [Rolling Stone] A veteran singer-songwriter makes an excellent album about fending off despair Last year, a promotional billboard went up in James McMurtry’s hometown of Austin that dubbed him “the most disinterested man in the world,” after the popular Dos Equis beer ad. It’s a distinction he’s more than earned, thanks to his deadpan, just-the-facts […]

  • Hear James McMurtry’s New Americana Masterpiece ‘Complicated Game’

    [Rolling Stone] The album is the celebrated singer-songwriter’s first studio release in six years By Joseph Hudak There’s a one-liner that Americana singer-songwriter James McMurtry is fond of delivering onstage — at the core, musicians are really just glorified beer salesmen. “We’re basically the service industry. We’re symbiotically tied to the club business. Beer sales […]

  • These Things I’ve Come to Know: A week in the life of James McMurtry

    [Austin Chronicle] By Jim Caligiuri James McMurtry makes up stories and sets them to music. New album Complicated Game, his first studio album since 2008’s Just Us Kids, breaks fresh ground sonically and finds the 52-year-old Austinite digging deeper than ever into relationships and the human condition. After a week of local shows, we met. […]

  • The Most Disinterested Man in the World….Check out James McMurtry’s Billboard

  • James McMurtry and the art of the American song

    [Creative Loafing] By Alec Wooden Stories — the art of telling them, anyway — have never been lost on James McMurtry. The son of acclaimed novelist Larry McMutry, the Fort-Worth born and Virginia-raised James picked up the art at a young age, trading in his father’s medium (the pen) for his own (a guitar, which […]



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