James McMurtry

The son of literary lion Larry McMurtry, James McMurtry hails from Texas, and rarely leaves. If you’re a James McMurtry fan who lives in or around Austin, you might catch 100 gigs a year. If you’re a James McMurtry fan who lives anywhere but in or around Austin, you might catch him once every 100 years. This is fitting, as McMurtry is one of those rare artists whose work is so grounded in a particular region that when he leaves, it’s as though the land he’s invaded has been given a jolt of electroshock therapy. McMurtry is a lanky, hairy Texan who sings the songs you’d expect to hear coming from a lanky, hairy Texan. His voice is deep and quivering, his rhythms rollicking, his guitars fuzzy, his lyrics poignant and textured. He’s a macho man who doesn’t take himself too seriously, and a Yellow Dog Democrat to boot. He makes music for life’s forgotten truck drivers, welders, and mill workers, fighting to hold onto a slice of blue-collar Americana that becomes ever more elusive every day. He is to Texas what Springsteen is to Jersey or Mellencamp is to Indiana, with a sliver of the fame and twice the talent. (21 and over.)MIKE SEELY

Wed., April 22, 8 p.m.; Thu., April 23, 8 p.m., 2009

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