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James McMurtry And The Heartless B**tards

Texas singer/songwriter James McMurtry, known for his hard-edged character sketches, comes from a literary family; his father, novelist and screenwriter Larry McMurtry, gave James his first guitar at age seven, and his mother, an English professor, taught him how to play it. McMurtry began performing his own songs while a student at the University of Arizona and continued to do so after returning home and taking a job as a bartender. When it transpired that a film script McMurtry's father had written was being directed by John Mellencamp, who was also its star, McMurtry's demo tape was passed along, and Mellencamp was duly impressed, serving as co-producer on McMurtry's 1989 debut album, Too Long in the Wasteland, which landed McMurtry a deal with Columbia Records. McMurtry also appeared on the soundtrack of Mellencamp's film, Falling from Grace, working with Mellencamp, John Prine, Joe Ely, and Dwight Yoakam in a one-off supergroup called the Buzzin' Cousins.

McMurtry recorded two more albums for Columbia, 1992's Candyland and 1995's Where'd You Hide the Body, before he and the label parted ways. McMurtry found a more comfortable home in the independent label community; he struck a deal with the respected roots music label Sugar Hill Records, and released his debut for the label, It Had to Happen, in 1997. Walk Between the Raindrops followed in 1998, and 2002 saw the release of Saint Mary of the Woods. McMurtry signed with the Texas-based Compadre label the following year, releasing Live in Aught-Three in 2004 and Childish Things in 2005, the latter featuring McMurtry's striking protest song "We Can't Make It Here," which longtime Village Voice music critic Robert Christgau declared was the best song of the 2000s. Just Us Kids appeared in 2008 on Lightning Rod Records, with another concert album, Live in Europe, arriving in 2009. It wasn't until 2015 that McMurtry -- who tours frequently and has a weekly residency at Austin's Continental Club when he's not on the road -- finally completed a new solo album, Complicated Game, which was produced by C.C. Adcock and Mike Napolitano. ~ Steve Huey & Mark Deming, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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drewjill
Jimmy is still rippin' it up. I just saw him at the Fine Line Music Cafe In Minneapolis Saturday night !
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mtbexpress02
I've Known James since 1987, we met in Kerrville at Schriner College, before he had his first album.
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Great song, what a story. Drugs kill!
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his son also writes and is performing on the road
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Hey bj who cares
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thspurlin0
My husband is taking me to see JM tomorrow night in Chattanooga, TN. I must say, we are really looking forward to the show!!!
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F**k Pandora
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F**k Pandora
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I believe it is Jame's song and RWH covers it really solid, kinda like REK covering Jame's song Levelland. Great lyrics & music can be covered by those of the same kind of mind-set and appreciation of each other's talent...kin d a like a tribute to them w/ lots of respect for each other. All three JMc, RWH & REK are all great balladeers and absolutley terrific live. We've seen all three in Cowtown or Grapevine, Texas but not together. If love to slow dance w/ you lady - 'Lights of Cheyenne Ev
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balladeer for us blue collar boys
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He's coming to Ithaca, NY in March!
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right on withe the ray wylie hubbard
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korte_richar d
Love it so glad to listen to his music
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er is it the other way around? either way, love em both.
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choctaw bingo is a ray wylie hubbard song. james does a great cover but it sounds almost identical to the original. rays the man
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Great songwriter/s i n g e r / g u i t a r i s t - please add his other albums to the play-list. Pandora.
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John appears to be influenced by Mark Knopler's '80s riffs.
My respects!

Also, The Lights of Cheyenne is such a graphic trip. Turn off the lights & visualize the scene.....
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Love Choctaw Bingo & Childish Things. This guy is the best! Agree with the poster who said listen to your local indy radio station, we are blessed to have WXPN in Philadelphia within listening range!
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Best music this side of chicago and Lil Ed and the Imperials
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mjbaird14
Great stuff. The imagery he paints through song is incredible. Good stuff.
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cadeturner49
choctaw bingo best song ever
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thomas.whise n h u n t
The first song I herd by James McCurtry was Choctaw Bingo it reminded me of home so much that I was an instant fan from there on out.
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first mcmurtry song i heard was For All I Know, rest my soul by that fishin hole, watch that pole till the float goes under.... i was hooked.m1997
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Just saw James McMurty at Fox Theatre in Boulder Colorado.... w h a t a great show he put on!
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Choctaw Bingo was the first James McMurtry song I heard. If you are tired of the same 20 songs played all day long, find your local independent radio station. The new music written and played by real working musicians is there.
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mssinglemama
Wrong bio... please fix Pandora. LOVE James McMurtry.
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Choctaw Bingo is the bad**s James McMurty classic. So dirty, so rockin' and honky tonk Americana, that I had to make a Pandora station around that one tune.
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This guy's songwriting ability is not to be matched.
Almost everyone else that tries this style comes across as pretentious
and mediocre
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curtismcmurt r y
Pandora has their bands confused on this Bio page. James McMurtry has nothing to do with Erika Wennerstrom' s Heartless B**tards. They should probably fix this.
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diggidy dango
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stopthat.ros s
Saw him at Ashland Coffee and Tea for the first time ever. I had never even heard his music and was FLOORED. He plays a 12 string guitar as if it were 2 separate people playing 2 seperate guitars. Gritty lyrics and song content. Felt privileged to have seen his sold out show.
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I have see him three times at the Birchmere - excellent performer.
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just caught his show in felton, ca and he was fantastic! great performer, choctaw bingo was insane
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I saw James in Austin this winter, playing at midnight at the Continental Club. He was awesome! His band was a**-kicking, and the feeling that James created made me realize that he is a special songwriter and a master performer. Best live music I've seen in a while....
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James McMurtry and this song in particular are spectacular! What a story teller, with a great rock sound behind it. He is not afraid to say what needs to be said. Play him more!
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charta0
He's a terrific and I think underrated writer and guitar player. I was listening Too Long In The Wasteland one afternoon while traveling through north east Ohio and sure enough, there was a marching band playing Smoke On The Water...true story.

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