BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Much has been made of the fact that James McMurtry is the offspring of famed novelist Larry McMurtry, but at age 52, with eleven albums behind him, the younger McMurtry has long since shored up his standing. Nevertheless, it’s been six years since his last studio set, nothing less than an eternity in today’s fickle pop culture.
It’s fortuitous then that Complicated Game is such an extraordinary achievement, a series of rustic, rambling narratives that demonstrates his father’s story-telling prowess is firmly entrenched in the family genes. That’s especially evident in songs like “Copper Canteen,” “Deaver’s Crossing” and “Carlisle’s Haul,” well-worn travelers’ tales fleshed out with vivid touchstones and exacting imagery. McMurtry segues well into his various roles, whether it’s the crusty desperado dictating the edgy, banjo plucked lament “How’m I Gonna Find You Now” or the hopelessly infatuated lover and loser singing the indelible refrain in “You Got To Me.”
Staunch and undeterred to the brink of defiance, Complicated Game finds McMurtry’s rugged resilience again setting the tone.
DOWNLOAD: “You Got To Me,” “Copper Canteen,” “Deaver’s Crossing”