Songwriter James McMurtry will come to the Boulder Theater
In James McMurtry’s new effort, The Horses and the Hounds, the acclaimed songwriter sustains personal narratives with effortless elegance (“Canola Fields”) and endless energy (“If It Don’t Bleed”) . This first collection in seven years, due out August 20 on New West Records, spotlights a seasoned musician at the top of his game as he turns to reflection (“Vaquero”) and revelation (closer “Blackberry Winter”). Familiar bases guide the journey. “There’s a real Los Angeles vibe to this record,” McMurtry says. “Warren Zevon’s ghost seems to be stomping among the guitar tracks. I don’t know how he got into this. He never signed a contract.”
The Horses and the Hounds is a kind of reunion. McMurtry recorded the new album with legendary producer Ross Hogarth (Ozzy Osbourne, John Fogerty, Van Halen, Keb’ Mo’) at Jackson Browne’s Groovemaster’s in Santa Monica, California, a world-class studio that has housed legends such as Bob Dylan (2012’s Tempest) and David Crosby (2016’s Lighthouse) as well as Browne himself for I’m Alive (1993) and New Found Glory, Coming Home (2006). McMurtry and Hogarth first worked together 30 years ago when Hogarth was a recording engineer for John Mellencamp at Mellencamp’s Belmont Studios near Bloomington, Indiana. Hogarth recorded McMurtry’s first two albums, Too Long in the Wasteland and Candyland, for Columbia Records and later mixed McMurtry’s self-produced debut album, Saint Mary of the Woods, for Sugar Hill Records. Another veteran of those three releases, guitarist David Grissom (Joe Ely, John Mellencamp, Dixie Chicks), returns with some of his best work.
Accordingly, the new collection marks another upward trajectory: The Horses and the Hounds will be McMurtry’s debut album on US label New West Records (Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, Lucinda Williams, John Hiatt, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Buddy Miller, dozens more).
“I first became aware of James McMurtry’s tremendous songwriting prowess while working at Bug Music Publishing in the 90s,” said New West president John Allen. “He’s a real talent. We at New West are all excited to champion the next phase of James’ already successful and respected career.” McMurtry is a perfect fit for a label featuring “artists who perform real music for real people.” After all, No Depression says of the literate songwriter’s most recent collection, Complicated Game: “Lyrically, the album is wise and adventurous, with McMurtry – who is not inclined to autobiographical tales – inhabiting believable way characters from all walks of life.” “[McMurtry] fuses wry, literate observations about the world with the rumble of bar rock,” says National Public Radio. “The result is sometimes sardonic, subversive, and funny, but often vulnerable and always poignant.”
His praised storytelling – check out songs like “Operation Never Mind” and “Ft. Walton Wake-Up Call” on The Horse and the Hounds – has consistently turned heads for decades now. “James writes like he’s lived his whole life,” John Mellencamp said in 1989, when Too Long in the Wasteland hit the Billboard 200. “James McMurtry is one of my very few favorite songwriters on Earth. and these days he’s working at the top of his game,” says Americana star Jason Isbell. “He has that rare gift of being able to make a listener laugh out loud one line and choke the next. I don’t think anyone writes better lyrics.” McMurtry’s albums Just Us Kids (2008) and Childish Things (2005) confirm this claim, each winning endless critical acclaim. rose to the Billboard 200 in two decades (since eclipsed by Complicated Game) and landed Americana Music Award nominations Childish Things spent six full weeks at the top of the Americana Music Radio charts in 2005 and 2006, and won the album of the Year from the Americana Music Association, with “We Can’t Make It Here” named the organization’s song of the year.
Other accolades include a 1996 Grammy nomination for long-form music video for Where’d You Hide the Body and an American Indie Award for Best American Album for It Had to Happen (1997).
McMurtry tours year-round and consistently delivers unparalleled performances, as evidenced by the release of two live discs: the universally acclaimed Live in Aught-Three on Compadre Records, and 2009’s Live in Europe, which captured the first European tour. of the McMurtry Group and their extraordinary live ensemble. Alongside veteran band members Ronnie Johnson, Daren Hess and Tim Holt, Live in Europe features special guests Ian McLagan (Faces) and Jon Dee Graham (True Believers, Skunks). (Video of the performance is available on the included DVD.)
Saturday July 23, 2022
Doors: 7:00 p.m. | Show: 8:00 p.m.
Tickets on sale Friday, April 8 at 10 a.m. HERE
$25.00 General admission seated | $30.00 Reserved tickets plus applicable service charge