James McMurtry

It's really a shame this show isn't scheduled for the flatbed stage out back of Slim's with the promise of hundred-degree heat, a whole-roasted pig, and bottomless kegs of Shiner Bock. Simply put, a McMurtry-Gourds twin bill epitomizes Austin, the Lone Star State's capital city whose social currents nevertheless run counter to Texan culture. In Austin, as in McMurtry's lyrics, the river ain't red; rather, it's a clear-eyed, hyper-literate depiction of the folks who populate modern-day Middle America. That doesn't mean you'll be clear-eyed by the end of this show, even if it's at the ornate Neptune instead of Georgetown's industrial fringe. With the Gourds. MIKE SEELY

Tue., Sept. 18, 8 p.m., 2012

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