James McMurtry & Band

“The simple fact is that James McMurtry may be
the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation…”
Stephen King | Entertainment Weekly

The son of acclaimed author Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment), James grew up on a steady diet of Johnny Cash and Roy Acuff records. His first album,Too Long in the Wasteland (released in 1989), was produced by John Mellencamp and marked the beginning of a series of acclaimed projects for Columbia and Sugar Hill. In 1996, McMurtry received a Grammy nomination for his Longform Music Video ofWhere’d You Hide The Body. 1997′s It Had To Happen received the American Indie Award for Best Americana Album.

In 2004, McMurtry released the universally lauded Live in Aught-Three on Compadre Records. 2005′s Childish Things garnered some of the highest critical praise of McMurtry’s career and spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Americana Music Radio Chart in 2005 and 2006. In September 2006, Childish Things and “We Can’t Make It Here” won the Americana Music Awards for Album and Song of the Year, respectively. McMurtry received more Americana Music Award nominations for 2008′s Just Us Kids. This album marked his highest Billboard 200 chart position in more than 19 years.

In 2009, Live in Europe was released, capturing The McMurtry Band’s first European tour and extraordinary live set. Along with seasoned band members Ronnie Johnson, Daren Hess, and Tim Holt, the disc features special guests Ian McLagan and Jon Dee Graham. Also, for the first time ever, video of the James McMurtry Band’s live performance is available on the included DVD.

The poignant lyrics of his immense catalog still ring true today. In 2011, “We Can’t Make It Here” was cited among ‘The Nation’s’ “Best Protest Songs Ever.” Bob Lefsetz writes, “‘We Can’t Make It Here’ has stood the test of time because of its unmitigated truth.”

Never one to rest on his laurels, James McMurtry continues to tour constantly, and consistently puts on a “must-see” powerhouse performance. ‘The Washington Post’ noted McMurtry’s live prowess: “Much attention is paid to James McMurtry’s lyrics, and rightfully so: He creates a novel’s worth of emotion and experience in four minutes of blisteringly stark couplets. What gets overlooked, however, is that he’s an accomplished rock guitar player. At a sold-out Birchmere, the Austin-based artist was joined by drummer Daren Hess and bassist Ronnie Johnson in a set that demonstrated the raw power of wince-inducing imagery propelled by electric guitar. It was serious stuff, imparted by a singularly serious band.”

Jonny Burke is at it again. Just over a year after the release of his debut solo album “Distance And Fortune”, Burke puts forth “Cup Runneth Over”.

A veritable narrative of the seedy underworld and gritty glory that is the life of a down and out song man, “Cup Runneth Over” projects the insight of a young artist who has seen more than his share of heavenly highs and crippling lows; ranging from rootsy, rollicking numbers (Wake Up, Back On Top) to tuned-down soulful tracks (El Paso, God In Them (You)) peppered with a good dose of humor (Sociopath, 32.50).

As sonically adventurous as it is lyrically ripe, the album seamlessly exhibits a combination of bluesy riffs, synthesized bass and crashing drums, plus songs featuring just Jonny and his guitar. Guest appearances throughout include Ian McLagan (Faces, Small Faces, Stones) and Marc Ford (Black Crowes). Interludes of minute-long sketches acted out by a Montana whitewater guide, a former Penthouse pet, hometown neighbors, a noted cinematographer and a German oompah band (all friends of Jonny’s, of course) leave the listener guessing and laughing simultaneously.

Though his bread and butter influences such as Townes Van Zandt and The Rolling Stones still shine throughout the album, “Cup Runneth Over” is a clear departure from the classic sounds of last year’s “Distance And Fortune”. As producer of the bulk of the project –released on his own Dreamcar Records—Burke puts forth an album that is as raw and honest as it gets.

In “Cup Runneth Over”, Burke injects his stories with the sharpest of wit, and an attention to detail that leaves little to the listeners’ imagination. And however far he takes his story, Burke maintains a connection to his subject matter. On Sociopath, a tale of a murderous girlfriend, Burke says “I’ve been chased in a car a few times. Sure, I’ve been threatened with a knife by a girlfriend. But the more I sing this song live the more I find lots of people have been in a relationship like this at some point.”

Burke admits that he has enjoyed being on stage and performing from an early age. He was born and raised in New Braunfels, a town in Texas between San Antonio and Austin. His dad taught him his first chords and played him Chuck Berry’s ‘Jonny B. Goode’ when he was a little boy and Burke would listen to albums like Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” and Townes Van Zandt’s “Flyin Shoes” over and over again. By the time Burke was 15, he was already performing in bars. He formed his first band, the Dedringers, with his friend Sean Faires, and it became a popular regional band while they were still in their teens. “I thought it was the coolest thing in the world to come home after playing a bar and making a little cash,” he recalls. “Nobody in high school could compete with that!”

When it comes to celebrating the release of “Cup Runneth Over”, it turns out Jonny Burke is one hell of an event planner. On March 15, Burke and friends threw the first annual Heartbreaker Banquet on Willie Nelson‘s ranch outside of Austin, where Jonny toasted his latest project alongside an explosive lineup of performers including Gary Clark Jr., Blitzen Trapper, James McMurtry, Father John Misty, Phosphorescent, Billy Joe Shaver, Joe Pug, Shovels and Rope, Jonny Corndawg, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Rhett Miller.

$20.00 - $25.00

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James McMurtry & Band with Jonny Burke

Tuesday, September 17 · Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM at The Southgate House Revival-Sanctuary