James McMurtry

What's weirder: That Americana stalwart James McMurtry (son of Larry) is playing a Thursday night gig on Bainbridge, or that Stephen King is his most ardent booster? Neither, really. In just over a year, the Treehouse Cafe has proven itself as a formidable option for island dwellers who'd prefer not to have to miss the final quarter of an artist's set to catch the last boat home (and for touring musicians looking for a convenient double-dip). As for King, he's simply hitched his wagon to a stoic Texan who's easily one of America's half-dozen or so greatest songwriters. McMurtry's vivid brand of country-rock has always been more deep woods than pristine prairie; his narrative compositions will fall on more knowing ears in an affluent island enclave than on, say, the Puyallup Fair's mainstage. And unless you find a worn-out fedora and monotone banter to be the sexiest of tics, rest assured that when McMurtry takes the stage, there will be little to distract from his remarkable music. Also at the Tractor Tavern on 9/21. MIKE SEELY

Thu., Sept. 22, 8 p.m., 2011

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