No one’s more of a populist than JAMES MCMURTRY , whose tales put a human face on the downtrodden. The only thing surprising about his entry into protest music is that it took him so long. WE CAN’T MAKE IT HERE is a seven-minute state-of-the-union mantra that looks at the Bush claims of economic recovery and finds nothing but smoke and mirrors. “Try it yourself, Mr. CEO,” he chides. “See how far $5.15 an hour will go.” This is no anti-Bush diatribe—he’s barely mentioned—but a blameless rumination on the growing chasm between haves and have-nots, a cold world where those who can’t make ends meet can always “join the Corps.” While not as finely crafted as his other work, the song is fiercely compelling. And in a true egalitarian touch, absolutely free. Download it at jamesmcmurtry.com.