This singer-songwriter with the slowest of slowhand guitars is promoting his latest Americana masterpiece, «Complicated Game» after it was blocked in the pipeline for an eternity. Let’s hope the album doesn’t make him tour that long. But it can make you feel like you’re riding shotgun with James in his vehicle traversing the Texas heartland, listening to «I’ve got a cup of black coffee so I don’t get lazy / I’ve got a rattle in the dashboard driving me crazy / If I hit it with my fist, it’ll quit for a little while / Gonna have to stop to smoke in another mile / Headed into town gonna meet you at the mercantile / Take you to the Sonic get you grinning like a crocodile.» Jason Isbell, another master Americana artist calls McMurtry «One of my very few songwriters on earth and these days he’s working at the top of his game.» But innocents beware, he’ll lure you with a smile and shock you with his guile. John Cougar Mellencamp, taking a time out from romancing over-the-hill-models, produced the all-time classic «Too Long in Wasteland» with him. James’ old man is Larry McMurtry, who wrote the screenplays for cinematic Americana masterpieces like «Brokeback Mountain» and the b/w iconic «The Last Picture Show», son James could’ve been a character in this masterpiece. It was Dad though who must have bred the family’s way with-words: «A man that ain’t willin’ to cheat for a poke don’t want it bad enough.»
One more comment by tonight’s artist as the observer: «We’re basically the service industry. We’re symbiotically tied to the club business. Beer sales and tips, you know?» We totally agree. Buy him lots of beers and fill his hat with gratuity.