JAMES McMURTRY – ” The Horses And The Hounds “

Posted: June 10, 2021 in MUSIC

James McMurtry new effort, “The Horses and the Hounds”, the acclaimed songwriter backs personal narratives with effortless elegance (“Canola Fields”) and endless energy (“If It Don’t Bleed”). This first collection in seven years, is due August 20th on New West Records, spotlights a seasoned tunesmith in peak form as he turns toward reflection (“Vaquero”) and revelation ( closer “Blackberry Winter”). Familiar foundations guide the journey. “There’s a definite Los Angeles vibe to this record,” McMurtry says. “The ghost of Warren Zevon seems to be stomping around among the guitar tracks. Don’t know how he got in there. He never signed on for work for hire.” The Horses and the Hounds is a reunion of sorts. McMurtry recorded the new album with legendary producer Ross Hogarth (Ozzy Osbourne, John Fogerty, Van Halen, Keb’ Mo’) at Jackson Browne’s Groove Masters in Santa Monica, California, a world class studio that has housed such legends as Bob Dylan and David Crosby as well as Browne himself.

McMurtry and Hogarth first worked together 30 years ago, when Hogarth was a recording engineer in the employ of John Mellencamp . Hogarth recorded McMurtry’s first two albums, “Too Long in the Wasteland” and “Candyland“, for Columbia Records and later mixed McMurtry’s first self-produced album, “Saint Mary of the Woods”, Another veteran of those three releases, guitarist David Grissom returns with some of his finest work. Accordingly, the new collection marks another upward trajectory: The Horses and the Hounds will be McMurtry’s debut album on genre-defining Americana record label New West Records.

“I first became aware of James McMurtry’s formidable song writing prowess while working at Bug Music publishing in the ’90s,” says New West president John Allen. “He’s a true talent. All of us at New West are excited at the prospect of championing the next phase of James’ already successful and respected career.” McMurtry perfectly fits a label housing “artists who perform real music for real people.” McMurtry — who’s not prone to autobiographical tales — credibly inhabiting characters from all walks of life.” “ wry, literate observations about the world with the snarl of barroom rock,” 

The result is at times sardonic, subversive and funny, but often vulnerable and always poignant.” His lauded storytelling — check out songs such as “Operation Never Mind” and “Ft. Walton Wake-Up Call” on The Horse and the Hounds consistently has turned heads for decades now. “James writes like he’s lived a lifetime,”

James McMurtry is one of my very few favourite songwriters on Earth and these days he’s working at the top of his game,” says Americana all-star Jason Isbell. “He has that rare gift of being able to make a listener laugh out loud at one line and choke up at the next. I don’t think anybody writes better lyrics.”

The former earned McMurtry his highest Billboard 200 chart position in two decades (since eclipsed by “Complicated Game“) and notched Americana Music Honors & Awards nominations. “Childish Things” spent six full weeks topping the Americana Music Radio chart in 2005 and 2006, and won the Americana Music Association’s Album of the Year, with “We Can’t Make It Here” .  

McMurtry tours year-round and consistently throws down unparalleled powerhouse performances, reflected in the release of two live discs: the universally lauded Live in Aught-Three on Compadre Records, and 2009’s Live in Europe, which captured the McMurtry band’s first European tour and extraordinary live set. Along with seasoned band members Ronnie Johnson, Daren Hess, and Tim HoltLive in Europe features special guests Ian McLagan (Faces) and Jon Dee Graham (True Believers, Skunks).

“Lyircally gritty, musically gutsy, go tell ‘em all…we need James McMurtry bringin’ us more.” —Andrew Farrris, INXS“James McMurtry may be the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation” ‑—Stephen King

From the new album ‘The Horses and the Hounds,’ out August 20th on New West Records.

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