Tickets $22/adv; $20/SRO.
“The simple fact is that James McMurtry may be
the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation…”
– Stephen King
AUSTIN, TX James McMurtry’s extensive UK winter tour launches at the Loft in Galway, Ireland on January 26 and routes throughout Europe before concluding at Cantu in scenic Como, Italy a full month later on February 27. Major markets on this action-packed run include Dublin, Ireland; Glasgow, Scotland; Oslo, Norway as well as Zurich, Switzerland and a week-plus tour throughout Germany with shows every day. Time to tour, I say, McMurtry explains. Back before Napster and Spotify, we toured to promote record sales. Now we make records to promote tour dates.
Clearly, the sea change has only inspired the singular songwriter. Witness Complicated Game. McMurtry’s first album in six years has garnered universal acclaim. At a stage where most veteran musicians fall into a groove or rut, McMurtry continues to surprise, Texas Music magazine recently noted. [Complicated Game] is a collection of narratives as sharply observed as any from McMurtry, but with a contemplative depth that comes with maturity.
Indeed, McMurtry’s latest collection spotlights a craftsman in absolutely peak form as he turns from political toward personal (These Things I’ve Come to Know, You Got to Me). The lyrical theme is mostly about relationships, the longtime Austin resident says. It’s also a little about the big old world verses the poor little farmer or fisherman. Either way, McMurtry spins his stories with a poet’s pen (Long Island Sound) and a painter’s precision (She Loves Me) throughout.
Folks notice Complicated Game delivering McMurtry’s trademark story songs time and again (Copper Canteen, Deaver’s Crossing). [McMurtry] takes listeners on a road trip of unprecedented geographic and emotional scope, No Depression raves of the new record. Lyrically, the album is wise and adventurous, with McMurtry who’s not prone to autobiographical tales credibly inhabiting characters from all walks of life. [McMurtry] Fuses wry, literate observations about the world with the snarl of barroom rock, National Public Radio echoes. The result is at times sardonic, subversive and funny, but often vulnerable and always poignant.