Maybe we can make it
here after all…


By Fred Mills

The 2008 Americana Honors & Awards, to be held Sept. 17-20 in Nashville,
announced yesterday that BLURT hero — and BLURT blogger —James McMurtry has
been nominated in three categories: “Best Artist,” “Best Album” (for this
year’s Just Us Kids) and “Best Song” (for the scathing track
“Cheney’s Toy”). In 2006 McMurtry took Best Album honors in 2006 for his Childish Things album as well as Best
Song for the, er, scathing track “We Can’t Make It Here.” (We sense a pattern
developing here…)
Just Us Kids has been kicking ass all over the place, spending six
straight weeks at #1 on Radio & Records’ Americana Airplay chart,
and making showings on four Billboard sales charts (Hot 200 albums,
Heatseekers, New Artist and Indie), outpacing his last release, Childish
, in sales. Critics have lined up to sing McMurtry’s kudos as well,
notably the Washington Post, which wrote, “There’s a good chance that
McMurtry’s Just Us Kids will be the best album of 2008.  Angry and
scathing in this year of war, recession and presidential campaigns, the disc
transcends mere sloganeering by offering the kind of complicated characters and
visual description you might expect from the son of novelist Larry McMurtry.
But this is much more than literature set to folkie guitar; these tangled tales
of dead-end teenagers, burned-out boomers, cynical politicians, divorced
loners, drunken roadies and homeless survivors are pushed along by a twitchy
John Lee Hooker-like boogie that keeps you hungry for the next line.”


Meanwhile, in the debut issue of the digital magazine of
BLURT, we awarded Just Us Kids a
rousing 10 out of 10 stars and reviewed it thusly:


If you’ve heard “God Bless America,” the bitter, biting
indictment of our political and corporate leaders first released in 2007, then
all you really need to know about Just Us
is that it’s not even the best song on the album, which is the best of
McMurtry’s career. Hell, it’s not even the best political song on the album, an
honor that goes to the swampy “The Governor,” whose metaphor stands in sharp
contrast to the explicit (but still moving) anti-war proclamations of “Cheney’s
Toy.” But there’s not much here that’s not colored by politics in one way or
another, whether the tender portrait of a vet’s love affair in “Ruby and
Carlos” or in “Ruins of the Realm,” a tender rumination on living in a fallen
empire, whether that empire’s the United States or just your own broken life.
But the real stunner here is “Fire
Line Road,” a tale of sexual abuse that will stop
you in your tracks.


McMurtry is among BLURT’s roster of bloggers and will be
penning a frequent politically-themed column titled “Wasteland Bait &
Tackle.” His debut offering, “See the Elephant in the Room,” talks about
Obama’s clinching of the Democratic nomination and the long road of Republican
dirty tricks that may lay ahead for the Senator. Got to the Blurt blogs section
to read McMurtry.


James McMurtry Tour

Thur June 12  MEMPHIS, TN  Automatic Slim’s
Fri  June 13  FAYETTEVILLE, AR  George’s Majestic Lounge
Sat  June 14  FT. WORTH, TX  The Aardvark
Fri  June 27  AUSTIN, TX  Threadgill’s
Thur  July 3   AUSTIN, TX  KGSR’s Unplugged at the Grove
Fri July 18   SANTA FE, NM   Santa Fe Brewing Co.
Sat July 19   TEMPE, AZ   Last Exit
Tue July 22   LOS ANGELES, CA   The Troubadour
Thur July 24   SANTA CRUZ, CA   Catalyst
Fri July 25   SAN FRANCISCO, CA   Slims
Wed July 30  JACKSON HOLE, WY   Tocky Mtn. Music Series
Thur July 31   TEN SLEEP, WY   Big Horn Mtn. Stage
Sat Aug. 2   SNOWBIRD, UT   Snowbird Music Festival
Fri  Aug 22  PORTSMOUTH, VA Bayside Harley-Davidson




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