Award-winning rock and American singer and songwriter eager to go on tour
American rock and folk rock singer and songwriter James McMurtry will perform for one night only at the Liberty on July 9. In a phone interview, McMurtry said it wasn’t the first time he had stopped touring for a concert in Roswell. The last time was November 2, 2016, also at the Liberty.
He said he remembers the concert well and the venue, it was the day the Chicago Cubs won against the Cleveland Guardians. “The game was on while I was playing,” McMurtry said. “A guy asked if they should turn off the TV. I said no, let me know how the score goes. This story gives a little insight into the down-to-earth person that McMurtry is. The heart of his songs reflect life in small town America, hard workers and ranchers.
His latest album – his first in seven years – is titled “The Horses and the Hounds”. It was released on August 20, 2021. McMurtry sings about everyday people in it, painting fictionalized views in word and air of people who have lived their lives decently, or with horrific guilt over senseless murder.
The album was named one of Rolling Stone’s best albums of 2021 and McMurtry’s song, “Canola Fields”, from this new album was recently nominated for the 2022 Song of the Year award from the Rolling Stone. Americana Music Association. will take place on September 14 in Nashville, Tennessee.
McMurtry recorded the new album with legendary producer Ross Hogarth (John Fogerty, Van Halen, Keb ‘Mo’) at Jackson Browne’s Groove Masters in Santa Monica, California.
Any fan of the artist knows that McMurtry never bases his songs on specific real events or people; however, like a surgeon with a scalpel, he peels back layers to show the pain, love and humor of life. When asked how he found this empathy, he said he was inspired by glimpses through the window on tour. He said he was definitely not a studio guy, but preferred to write on the road.
Descended from pioneers who settled in Denton, Texas, McMurtry’s work ethic was passed from them to his grandfather, a rancher, to his father, Western author Larry McMurtry, and then to him.
When the pandemic caused the lockdown, McMurtry said he kept busy. “We had finished the album (“The Horses and the Hounds”) before the pandemic, but we had to email the keyboards. We had to adapt,” he said.
Looking back on a long career, James McMurtry began writing songs as a child and started playing guitar at the age of seven. According to his biography, his career took off when he won the 1987 New Folk Songwriting Contest. A chance meeting to play a demo tape to singer and songwriter John Mellencamp turned things around completely when Mellencamp asked him to write 10 songs in five months. He hasn’t stopped since.
McMurtry said that not only has the technology changed in recent years, but also the method of sharing album release information. “Before, we were touring and releasing the album at the time. Now we’re releasing an album and going on tour to let everyone know,” he said.
McMurtry said he was looking forward to being in Roswell again and performing songs from his latest album and others. “Come join us, we’re going to have a great time,” he said.