James McMurtry

Music |
March 31, 2008

Just Us Kids

The title track may lament the fact that even arrested adolescents grow old, but, if anything, James McMurtry sounds more energized than ever. On Just Us Kids (Lightning Rod), he and his longtime rhythm section—Daren Hess, Ronnie Johnson—have solidified their sound into a low, tribal rock growl, with

Music |
January 1, 2005

We Can’t Make it Here

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

Music |
August 31, 1998

CD and Book Reviews

Hot CDsI was already familiar with James Brown’s Say It Live and Loud (Polygram), which was recorded live at Memorial Auditorium in Dallas on August 26, 1968. I was there, a couple of rows back from the front, and hearing it all over again is one sweet pleasure: the tight,