This disc is a rocker. From the opening notes of Bayou Tortous right to the close of Restless you have just shy of 42 minutes of music that is played with a passion and intensity that allows for no prisoners to be held. It was recorded at several venues in Europe. There is an included bonus DVD, and it is just as hard hitting as the CD, only one cut is repeated. On the DVD McMurtry brings out the confrontational Jon Dee Graham for one short rant and to sing one of his own songs, Laredo. Think the show might have been better served if he left Jon Dee backstage, however what is, is, though more variety of James McMurtry would have suited this reviewer more.
If you overlook the good songwriting, the great guitar playing, the wonderful stories told in the songs, the humorous slant on things, the topicality of some of the songs, and the sincerity in the delivery, you are left with the passion with which the songs are played, and that is a thoroughly nourishing meal in itself. Mc Murtry is a strong writer and his passion comes through in all the songs. Yes, the name may sounds familiar, his father is that wonderful storyteller, Larry McMurtry, who gave us such delights as Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment, and The Last Picture Show, to name but a few of the wonderful books that have also been adapted to fill the screens for our viewing pleasure. It is easy to see where James learned his word craft, and his songs are as vivid in imagery as his father's books. The songs are literate and display a strong sense of humor and a definite slant in his thinking. It's a very powerful disc from someone who deserves recognition for his honest direct songs and the intensity of their delivery.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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