James McMurtry – Just Us Kids

January 01, 1970

(Lightning Rod)





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


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.


Standout tracks: “Fire Line Road”

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