AUSTIN, Texas – James McMurtry has created a forum in which fans may share commentary on the state of the union with the singer/songwriter. "I've always been a little put off by activists. So you know it's a dire situation when I have to become one myself," he explains. McMurtry makes regular posts on topics that range from airport security to the current presidential administration.
In 2003, James McMurtry joined forces with Houston's Compadre Records and released the universally praised Live in Aught-Three. This summer finds McMurtry back with his first studio album in more three years, Childish Things, was released September 6 on Compadre Records. The new album features ten new McMurtry-penned tunes as well as covers of Peter Case's "The Old Part of Town" and the country standard "Ole Slew Foot."
While Childish Things isn't an overtly political record, the centerpiece has to be "We Can't Make It Here," McMurtry's commentary on the current state of the union. McMurtry made the song available as a free download on his website during the 2004 election. The response to the track was immediate and overwhelming and the song continues to be one of the most requested on stations across the country. Stephen King described the song as "stark and wrenchingly direct, this may be the best American protest song since (Bob Dylan's) 'Masters of War.'" Congressman Bernie Sanders is using the song on his Senate campaign, and McMurtry is slowly entering the world of political activism - he just played the national Veterans for Peace convention and Farm Aid. In August, McMurtry joined Steve Earle for a free concert at Cindy Sheehan's anti-war demonstration outside George W. Bush's home in Crawford, TX (NOTE: McMurtry is actually one of the artists the White House confirmed was on President Bush's iPod). Childish Things marks the first time the track will be available on disc without FCC-sensitive words censored.
Author Stephen King describes Ft. Worth native McMurtry as "the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation." The son of acclaimed author Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment), James grew up on a steady diet of Johnny Cash and Roy Acuff records. His first album, released in 1989, was produced by John Mellencamp and marked the beginning of a series of critically acclaimed projects for Columbia and Sugar Hill.
McMurtry's new blog: http://myspace.com/jamesmcmurtry
JAMES McMURTRY ON TOUR
Fri Oct 21 Pittsburgh, PA Club Cafe
Sat-Sun Oct 22 -23 New York, NY The Mercury Lounge, with Joel Plaskett Emergency
and Stephen Clair 10/22, TBA 10/23
Mon Oct 24 Northampton, MA Iron Horse Music Hall, with Joel Plaskett Emergency
Tue Oct 25 South Burlington, VT Higher Ground Showcase, with Syd Straw
Wed-Thu, Oct 26 27 Ellsworth, ME Grand Auditorium, with Joel Plaskett Emergency
Fri Oct 28 Somerville, MA Johnny D's
Sat Oct 29 Philadelphia, PA North Star
Sun Oct 30 Arlington, VA IOTA
Tue Nov 1 Virginia Beach, VA The Jewish Mother
Wed Nov 2 Charlottesville, VA Gravity Lounge
Thu Nov 3 Raleigh, NC The Pour House Music Hall
Fri Nov 4 Greenville, SC The Handlebar
Sat Nov 5 Atlanta, GA The 5 Spot
Sun Nov 6 Birmingham, AL Vulcan Park
Tue Nov 8 Little Rock, AR Sticky Fingerz
Thu Nov 10 Fort Worth, TX The Aardvark
Fri Nov 11 Austin, TX Continental Club, with Matt the Electrician
Sat Nov 12 Houston, TX Continental Club - Houston
Fri Nov 18 Helotes, TX Floores Country Store
Thu Dec 29 Dallas, TX Granada Theatre, with Reckless Kelly