James McMurtry

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Too Long In The Wasteland, 6/10
Candyland, 6.5/10
Where'd You Hide The Body, 6/10
It Had To Happen, 5/10
Walk Between the Raindrops (1998), 4/10
Saint Mary of the Woods (2002), 5.5/10
Childish Things (2005), 5/10
Just Us Kids (2008), 6/10
Complicated Game (2015), 4/10

James McMurtry, son of the novelist Larry, joined the ranks of Austin (Texas) singer-songwriters. James inherited his father's knack for storytelling, although his richly detailed vignettes of the depressed American wasteland recall Raymond Carver more than his father's epics. A minimalist economy presides over the literate albeit laconic tales of moral and physical breakdown that make up Too Long In The Wasteland (Columbia, 1989). Backed by John Mellencamp's band and produced by the star himself, McMurtry hums (if not exactly sings) his lyrics and hints at melodies, a tactic reminiscent of Lou Reed.

A catchier and radio-friendlier style surfaces on Candyland (Columbia, 1992), especially in Candyland, but McMurtry's true voice is still in the flashes of ordinary life of Where's Johnny and Good Life.

With Don Dixon producing, arranging and playing, the autobiographical Where'd You Hide The Body (Columbia, 1995) broadens McMurtry's sonic palette and tries very hard to produce catchy tunes.

It Had To Happen (Sugar Hill, 1997) continues in that vein of increased musicianship without sacrificing his manic attention to the everyman. He even experimented with funky rhythms.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Michele Venturini)

James McMurtry Š un cantautore di Austin (Texas) , figlio del romanziere Larry. James Š rimasto inerente alla capacit… del padre di raccontare storie, sebbene la sue vignette riccamente dettagliate delle aree desertiche depresse Americane richiamino Raymond Carver pi— dei racconti epici del padre. Ue'economia minimalista presiede i racconti letterati sebbene laconici di morale e di esaurumenti fisici che truccano Too Long In The Wasteland (Columbia, 1989). Rientrato dal gruppo di John Mellencamp e prodotto dalla star stessa, McMurtry canticchia (se non esattamente canta)parole e suggerimenti alle melodie, una tattica che richiama Lou Reed.

Uno stile che cattura ed Š adatto alle radio emerge da Candyland (Columbia, 1992), specialmente in Candyland, ma la vera voce di McMurtry Š ancora nei flash d vita quotidiana di Where's Johnny e Good Life.

Con Don Dixon produce,arrangia and suona, l' autobiografico Where'd You Hide The Body (Columbia, 1995) espandendo la tavolozza sonora di McMurtry e impegnandosi duramente per produrre suoni che catturino l'attenzione.

It Had To Happen (Sugar Hill, 1997) continua in quella vena di accreasciuta musicalit… senza sacrificare la sua maniacale attenzione per l'uomo qualunque.

The humble vignettes of Walk Between the Raindrops (1998), like Every Little Bit Counts, and of Saint Mary of the Woods (2002), like Dry River, sounded less and less relevant, although the latter contains the eight-minute feverish country blues Choctaw Bingo.

Childish Things (2005) contains the seven-minute Dylan-ian sociopolitical rant We Can't Make It Here.

Sensing that the times were mature after eight years of bad government, McMurtry delivered Just Us Kids (2008), a set of protest songs (Cheney's Toy, God Bless America, Hurricane Party) that constitute a pessimistic fresco of the USA in the first century. However, the music is elsewhere: the swamp-blues Bayou Tortuous (with cajun guitarist C.C. Adcock and a Tom Petty-esque refrain), the rugged ZZ Top-esque boogie of Freeway View (Ian McLagan on piano), the defiant country lament Fireline Road (with a ghostly guitar solo by John Dee Graham), and especially the anthemic singalong Just Us Kids (with martial Warren Zevon-ian pace and another Tom Petty-esque refrain).

Complicated Game (2015) continues the sociopolitical program but with less venom, thanks to the rocker How'm I Gonna Find You Now and the nostalgic She Loves Me.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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