(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Award-winning Texas singer-songwriter James McMurtry returns to Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday, April 8, at 9pm. McMurtry writes literate, politically charged songs with country, folk, Americana, and Texas influences. Veteran Pioneer Valley pop-rock singer-songwriter Ray Mason warms up the crowd for McMurtry.
Son of famed novelist Larry McMurtry, James has a strong cult following, devoted to his smart lyrics, laconic vocals, and deft guitar playing. Last year McMurtry released “Complicated Game,” his first album in six years, which Texas Music Magazine called “a collection of narratives as sharply observed as any from McMurtry, but with a contemplative depth that comes with maturity.”
Longtime fans know McMurtry’s vibrant vignettes have turned heads for a quarter century now. “James McMurtry is one of my very few favorite 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.”
Evidence: McMurtry’s “Just Us Kids” (2008) and “Childish Things” (2005). The former earned his highest Billboard 200 chart position in nearly two decades and notched three Americana Music Award nominations (including Artist of the Year). Meanwhile, “Childish Things” scored endless critical praise and spent six full weeks topping the Americana Music Radio chart in 2005 and 2006. In 2006, “Childish Things” won the Americana Music Association’s Album of the Year and “We Can’t Make It Here” was named the rapidly rising organization’s Song of the Year.
McMurtry’s critically lauded first album “Too Long in the Wasteland” (1989) was produced by John Mellencamp and marked the beginning of a series of acclaimed projects for Columbia and Sugar Hill Records. In 1996, McMurtry received a Grammy Award nomination for Long Form Music Video for “Where’d You Hide the Body.” Additionally, “It Had to Happen” (1997) received the American Indie Award for Best Americana Album.
The poignant lyrics of McMurtry’s immense catalog still ring true today. In 2011, “We Can’t Make It Here” was cited among The Nation’s “Best Protest Songs Ever.” Bob Lefsetz wrote that it “has stood the test of time because of its unmitigated truth.”
McMurtry tours year-round and consistently throws down unparalleled powerhouse performances. The Washington Post notes, “Much attention is paid to James McMurtry’s lyrics and rightfully so: He creates a novel’s worth of emotion and experience in four minutes of blisteringly stark couplets. What gets overlooked, however, is that he’s an accomplished rock guitar player … serious stuff, imparted by a singularly serious band.”
For reservations in The Restaurant or in the club call 518.828.4800.